Ever feel like giving up trying to market your business altogether? Then spare a thought for professionals in the sexuality industry, where marketing challenges are an everyday occurrence. Welcome to Episode 69 of The Whin Big Podcast with this week’s guest Cameron Glover, a sex education business coach and founder of Successful Sex Ed.
Katie and Cameron (both she/her) discuss the unique challenges that face business owners in the sexuality field and show us how we can all take lessons from this important industry to add value to our audience. Her insight in creating a premium experience for her communities and finding ways to have fun with marketing and relationship building is relevant to business owners across every industry and sector.
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Successful Sex Ed – Cameron’s business journey
Cameron (she/her) is a Sex Ed business coach based outside of New York City. In her company, Successful Sex Ed, Cameron and her team provide professional development for the industry.
After college and a planned career in academia, Cameron found herself in the space of uncertainty, a sort of decision-limbo, working out what her next steps would be. One area that interested her was sex education, so in 2015 began researching her options and signed up for a certification programme. Despite enjoying the programme, she was frustrated that the business support was centred around practitioners finding a job and getting hired.
“I had a lightbulb moment. I realised I don’t want to be the person who gets hired; I wanted to be the person hiring.” – Cameron
She realised that many of her colleagues had the same questions and issues around setting up in business, that there was a need for this kind of support. From here, she took her knowledge and experience of sex education and pivoted to business and marketing solutions for the industry.
Let’s talk about sex money, baby
Cameron started her business from the perspective of helping people. She concentrated less on making money and more on what sex educators needed to break the barrier and belief that a career in sex education can’t be sustainable and long-term.
There’s a stigma around talking about money and wanting to be successful. It was Cameron’s mission to shine a light on the fact that this work is important and deserves to be paid well, with premium professional development to support the work.
“Talking about money is deeply uncomfortable; talking about sex is deeply uncomfortable. When you mix the two, how do you even start the conversation?” – Cameron
The challenges facing sex education business professionals
While so much business advice can be adapted and tailored to suit specific industries and sectors, there are a few challenges unique to those working in the sex education industry those other business owners don’t face.
Those working in the sexuality industry have to face challenges around censorship, misinformation, shame and judgement. The result is that the perception of sex education professionals can be tainted from the outset.
Censorship and marketing
Misinformation and perception play a large part in the struggles that sex education professionals face when promoting the work they do. While online marketing is an essential part of today’s business professionals, it’s steeped in challenges for those working in this area.
Cameron believes that censorship can harm everyone as more and more topics become unacceptable to discuss openly and maturely online. As a result, creating a safe space with a trusted community is an essential part of business development.
The importance of inclusivity in online spaces and communities
With so much misconception around the sexuality industry, finding resources and support can be problematic. Business owners in this space require the same access to help and information as any other business owner. It can be hard to find the right professionals – for example, tax consultants, legal professionals and finance experts – who are willing to work with their industry.
For sexuality professionals, traditional resources open to business owners, such as joining networking groups on Facebook or LinkedIn, can come loaded with shame and judgement, closing down opportunities.
“You end up creating a business where your ideal customer avatar is someone who looks like you, thinks like you, has the same life experiences as you do. And that excludes people with different life experiences who could still benefit from your help and expertise.” – Katie
Building a person-centred business with accessibility and inclusivity at the fore
In this week’s episode of the podcast, Cameron and Katie dive deep into the subject of threading accessibility and inclusivity into everything you do.
It’s a weighty topic for all business owners, so make sure you listen to the episode to get the whole conversation loaded with ideas for how you can add value to your services and offers by normalising inclusivity.
- Adapting resources for accessibility needs
- Incorporating different learning styles
- Planning for people to access the proper support for their needs, versus having to request it after the fact
- Keeping integrity at the heart of your activities
- Ways to avoid overwhelm and take small steps toward inclusivity
- The importance of sharing your pronouns to normalise gender expression
“No-one wants to feel like they’re an afterthought. I feel strongly about approaching business growth not just from the bottom line, but from a human-first perspective…I think there’s room for both.” – Cameron
Marketing: creating a premium experience for your audience
Due to platform restrictions and ever-changing terms and conditions, Cameron’s marketing efforts centre around creating a premium experience for the Successful Sex Ed’s community.
Part of that will include developing a more enhanced and sustainable relationship with people through email marketing. Cameron wants her email list to feel like an exclusive club, so she will send fresh content to subscribers first, rather than repurposing content from other marketing platforms.
Where you can start adding value to your email list:
- Regular weekly email newsletters
- Segmented top-up emails with audience-specific content
- Monthly live stream for subscribers only
- Exclusives or surprises for people in the private community
“If we rethink the way we look at what it means to create a premium experience, there’s so many different ideas that don’t take much time and effort. It’s so worth it when growing a community of people who are invested in what it is you’re doing and what you stand for.” – Cameron
Marketing: Make it fun!
Katie and Cameron talk about how impossible it is to turn the algorithm to your advantage – especially in an industry where talking about what your business is (sex education) is likely to get your account closed down.
The conclusion is to take on activities that make you happy, that is fun and will connect people to your activities because of that, rather than trying to be clever to beat the algorithm. Cameron believes in getting excited and getting creative is more important than falling into a rhythm and creating content as a process.
“How can you make it fun, so you want to show up? We feel like we have to post four times a week and engage in a certain way; it becomes stale and robotic. Our audiences are very smart. People are very smart and can pick up on that.” – Cameron
Next marketing steps for Cameron and Successful Sex Ed
Email marketing: The main focus for Successful Sex Ed this week is revamping her email marketing strategy, so most of the activity this week centres around that.
Freebies: Cameron plans to launch new freebies and will add these into her marketing activities.
Welcome sequence refresh: It’s been a while since the welcome sequence was updated, so Cameron will work on this and will look at a few freebies that add value and creates a high-quality experience
Mini-Course launch: Cameron will launch a mini-course called ‘Becoming a Sexuality Professional’ for aspiring sex education professionals. It contains six different modules around networking and figuring out your niche and tech and digital marketing advice for running a business in this space.
What’s on Cameron’s bookshelf?
Every fortnight, we ask guests to share their favourite business and self-development books. Here are Cameron’s current top picks:
I am my brand* by Kubi Springer
This is great for breaking down branding from a top-down perspective. This looks at the brand from a practical standpoint.
Juliet takes a breath* by Gabby Rivera
This is a book of fiction, written in the first person and gives you insight into the character as she works out who she is and what she’s all about.
Keep in touch with Cameron and Successful Sex Ed
* Links marked with a star are affiliate links to Bookshop.org. When you buy through these links, a small portion of the cost of the book goes to supporting your local bookshop, and a small portion comes to The Whin. The books won’t cost you any extra!
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