The beauty of a career as a male dancer is that you have the ability to increase your income. A very large portion of your income is directly dependent on your actions. This means that you have limitless potential to boost your income! You can make the equivalent of $10 per hour or you can make upwards of $100 per hour. It's all up to you! Amazing, isn't it? How many other jobs can offer that?
As the owner of a male gogo bar, I have witnessed many dancers come and go. There have been some that came only to drink, some who thought they would hit pay dirt by just standing around looking pretty, some who didn't want to interact with customers and then there have been others who understood how to create longevity and have made a tremendous amount of money. My hope is that by sharing with you some of the lessons I have learned over the past few years that I can impart tips to you that will help extend your tenure and maximize your dancing income!
Treat dancing as a job
In many dancer bars, dancers work for tips. Often times they are not paid a base wage. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen dancers make is thinking that because the venue does not pay them an hourly rate that dancing is not a “real job”. If you have ever felt this way, I want to challenge you to change your perspective on this.
The reason dancers are not paid a base pay is because dancing brings with it the potential to make far more per hour in tips than any base pay could ever come close to matching. Working for tips is an amazing employment opportunity because you have the ability to increase your income. If you work hard and put the effort in, I would be willing to bet that you will make far more dancing than you ever have on conventional jobs that you may have held in the past.
When your mindset shifts and you begin to look at dancing as a career, your actions will change as well. You will understand how important it is to show up to your venue on time. You will understand how important it is to not no call, no show. You will understand that a strong work ethic while you are at the venue will put more money into your underwear at the end of the night.
Photo Source: Area 18 Facebook Page Dancer: Killswitch
Invest in Yourself
With the knowledge of knowing that you control your profitability, comes the responsibility of investing in yourself. Customers are initially drawn to you based on your physical appearance. Therefore, you want your appearance to be the best that it can be. Get a gym membership and work out regularly. Eat healthy and learn the types of food that will help you to avoid bloat. You want those abs to stand out!
You will be up close and personal with bar patrons so good hygiene is an absolute must. Always make sure to shower, put on deodorant, and brush your teeth before heading into work. If you are having dinner on the way to the venue, bring a toothbrush and toothpaste with you. Or be cautious of eating any foods that can have a lingering effect on your body, such as garlic or curry. And always have freshly laundered underwear!
Photo Source: Area 18 Facebook Page Photo by Asher Photography Dancer: Hawk
Keep It Fresh
Customers of entertainment venues are always on the hunt for “new”. That is why often times a brand new dancer might seem to make more money when he first starts. Customers crave new! I have had dancers extend their tenure at our venue far beyond the norm for the male entertainment industry simply by changing things up and constantly re-inventing themselves. Get a different hair cut! Buy some fun shoes that light up! Change your underwear throughout the night! Buy quality, designer name brand underwear! Be creative with what you wear!
Photo Source: Area 18 Facebook Page Dancer: Ricky Spanish "Mechanic"
Some of the biggest money earners that have worked for me have told me that their secret is that they never stop talking to customers. They have told me that they make as much money mingling as they do while they are dancing. This is a critical aspect to your success.
Everyone wants to come to a bar and feel like Norm from Cheers. Remember how every time Norm would walk into Cheers the whole bar would shout his name in excitement? That is what our customers crave. They want to feel welcomed and they want to feel that the bar staff is happy to see them. And it's even better if the dancers are excited to see them!
When you take the time to talk to a customer one on one, they feel special. When you put a smile on their face, they are much more likely to put dollars in your underwear! Compliment them. Call them by name. Ask them about something you saw them post on social media. Let them know you pay attention to them.
Social media is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal for creating a fan base. And the best part? It doesn't cost you anything!
Be active on social media. Our patrons use a variety of different social media platforms so you should too in order to reach as many people as possible. Post 2-3 times a day to grow your engagement. Use one post per day to invite them to your club. Let the other posts be fun posts about you....bathroom selfies, workout pictures, casual pictures, etc.
I always recommend my dancers create a separate social media account for their dancer persona. There should never be any negative or dramatic posts on your dancer page. Remember, people come to bars to forget the grind of daily life and to escape their problems so they must always see us as upbeat and fun. It's hard to envision yourself having fun with someone who is always making “woe is me” posts.
I recommend staying clear of political or religious posts on your dancer page as well, as those tend to be very divisive topics.
I encourage you to keep your dancer page free of any references to your relationship or pictures of your significant other. Remember, this is a work page and the purpose is to grow your following and boost your earning potential. Therefore, your page should be filled of provocative images of YOU. It's all about creating a fantasy that will help draw a bar goer into your venue.
It is my belief that when dancers put these basic practices into use that they can reap a long and lucrative career!
Comment from Mike: Thank you Laura! Excellent info from someone who knows the business well! I recommend that all exotic male dancers take the suggestions above and use them for their benefit. Mine these gold nuggets in the blog and maximize your income! Until next time, we'll be putting more money in your underwear! Woohoo!