There seems to be a lot of confusion about independent ladies, and agency ladies in the industry of late. What are the pro’s and cons and really, what is the difference? Why does it even matter to the consumer?
Well, a truly independent working lady, is someone who manages herself. There is no agent behind her, there is no PA taking calls and answering emails. She is completely in control of her destiny. She is in control of answering emails, phone calls, managing a website, online marketing, print media, social media marketing, booking her flights if travelling, organizing her own schedule and running her own business as any other business.
Of course, the benefits are huge , just as the responsibilities are to match the benefits. You are in control of your hours, availability, what services you cater for, your image, how you market yourself and most importantly choice. The responsibility is just as huge, without the fallback and security blanket of an agency.
It can often be isolating working alone without the banter and interaction of other ladies. Private ladies need to be really self motivated and focused on what they are doing, as any other business owner would be. It often is a 24 hr business 7 days a week. Even if you are not in actual bookings, the hours spent behind a computer with marketing are horrendous not to mention the never ending phone inquiries.
With the different laws in place around the world, and the stigma somewhat associated with agencies these days, Agents are becoming more creative in how they market themselves. There are very few agents today who will be honest about being an agency. The ones that are, are usually professional and business orientated, the good ones! Most now they come up with terms like “ PA” to a private lady. That just means I am an agency but I don’t want to call it an agency, lets call it a PA. It makes me sound less like an agency – but that’s what it is in reality. And often lets me take a bigger cut than a conventional agency with integrity and honesty would be able to.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with working for an agency if you chose to. Private independent work does not suit all working ladies You need to be business savvy to be successful, and not all have the tools or the drive to do run and manage themselves independently. Some of the benefits for ladies who work for an agent include 1. Set hours so that you can plan your private life around that schedule. You are able to be more organized, and clock on and off like a 9 to 5 job – it s just that it might be 6pm to 2 am. You don’t have the hassle of answering a phone, email, marketing or organizing appointments These are taken out of the equation altogether, as this is what an agent does. It’s a popular misconception that an agent is some “pimp style guy” collecting money for free while the ladies doing all the work. This couldn’t be further from the truth in today’s digital competitive age, although I am sure it is present in seedier parts of society on a global scale. Agents work under tremendous pressure, not to mention the fact that they need to manage a huge number of working girls with diverse personalities, which is an enormous challenge that should not be undertaken by the light hearted at the best of times. Although it is a business like any other, it is also a business like no other, and experience in how to delicately manage and balance people is essential.
The annoying aspect I find is when you do not have a clear view as a consumer of who is managed by an agency or PA shall we say, and who is truly independent. These days, agencies will set up websites posing as an independents, while it’s really an agency, and websites calling themselves directories, but its really an agency where the emails of their ladies are going straight to the website operator and not the individual girls. That tells me it’s an agency straight away This aspect I find frustrating and unfair as its clearly dishonest designed to confuse the consumer. It was only yesterday I read a newspaper article on Brothel operators blaming independent ladies for their lack of business. The industry is simply changing and evolving, and unless you evolve with it and unless you embrace the changes, you will not move forward.
If you are an agency, say you are an agency, don’t lie and pretend you are something else. Don’t try to submit listings to directories like ours posing as an independent. I have read on many forums clients complaining they booked a lady thinking she was an independent, and turns out she worked for an agency. The industry is big enough to cater for both, managed and independents – and for both agencies and privates there are pro’s and cons. One option is not better or worse than the other, it is just different and a personal choice. Some consumers prefer to deal with independents only, but some prefer the choice and variety afforded to them by an agency. It’s a shame that choice is not always clear and given to the consumer as to who is really an independent and who is managed.
I started this website directory in mind for only advertising independent ladies, but then I realized that reputable agencies have every right to promote their ladies as well. What I want to avoid in the future is creating an environment where agencies are submitting their ladies as independents, only to find out later that it is not an independent lady at all.
In the future, we may look into creating a sub section for “agency represented ladies” but clearly stating the fact that its agency represented section, in the hope of maintaining an honest directory with integrity where it is clear both independents and agencies can promote their business without stepping on anyone’s toes in the process.