Reddit AMA: Marketing Lessons Learned as a Sex Coach

This week I took a leap and hosted a Reddit AMA, or “Ask Me Anything” post. It went better than expected! Given all the ways it could have gone wrong, as well as all the ways it could have gone better, I certainly learned a lot.

In case you haven’t heard of Reddit AMAs, here’s a summary from Revive.Social:

If you’re unfamiliar with the platform, you might be wondering, “What is a Reddit AMA, exactly?” In a nutshell, it’s a Q&A session where Reddit users post questions, and the host goes back through and answers them. Typically, subreddit administrators verify hosts (at least on the main IAmA sub) to ensure that they are who they say they are.

While I didn’t “go viral” by any means and the AMA admins didn’t get in touch to verify me, it was a fun experience that revealed some of my blind spots. It also opened up new doors.

5 things I learned while doing a Reddit AMA

Here are some takeaways from my experience:

1. Expect the worst; plan for the best.

I was completely prepared for this idea to flop. Sex is often a tricky topic to tackle on Reddit, where anyone can create an anonymous account in seconds.

More often than not, my Reddit comments and posts have drawn chat requests from people more interested in cybersex than coaching. Some of my content has even gotten downvoted simply for daring to mention sex on a subreddit not strictly dedicated to the topic.

Needless to say, I figured there was a good chance this post would get downvoted, removed, and/or would simply attract more off-target chat requests.

Instead, however, I was pleasantly surprised. After answering about 10 questions and then calling it a night when all seemed quiet, I woke up to 40 notifications from the thread the next morning. I had a lot of work ahead of me!

2. The trolls don’t always win.

I’m not gonna lie; when I saw those notifications, I was sure that the trolls had taken over. Surely, I was about to read a lot of “hEhe PuT mE iN cOaCh” comments.

And while those comments were there, they were outweighed by a long shot with genuine questions. People wanted to know what a sex coach does, how someone becomes one, and what the job is like.

Many people also genuinely wanted advice about their own personal sexual issues. By far, these comments and support for my responses made up the majority of the interactions.

3. It really is helpful to just be yourself.

Another type of response I got was less about my content, and more about my delivery.

A couple popular comments mentioned an appreciation for my humor and directness, as well as the need for more people willing to talk this comfortably about sex.

I think this, paired with me basically setting the whole day aside to respond quickly to questions, led to readers really enjoying the post. Ultimately, it received over 600 upvotes and 6 awards including the Silver, Helpful, and Wholesome awards.

Being myself simply worked, and that’s cool!

4. Reddit probably isn’t a good source of paid coaching clients.

Despite the 600+ upvotes, 400+ comments, 60+ new followers, and 100+ new visitors to my website that day, I’ve so far gained zero new paid coaching clients.

This is really, really valuable information. Once I was certified, I created a new Reddit profile dedicated to my sex coach persona. I joined subreddits centered around sex, sexuality, relationships, and advice and began interacting daily to build rapport with others in these communities.

While I was slowly gaining followers and occasionally got chat requests asking for sessions, nothing was converting to paid sessions. The AMA got a much farther reach than anything I’d done so far. If anything was going to gain me clients, it would have been this—yet it didn’t happen.

There’s a chance that there’s some other hiccup in my client journey between finding me on Reddit and booking a paid session; I’ll concede that. Most likely, however, people who turn to Reddit for advice are looking for free advice from peers, not a professional sex coach, and that’s okay. I can now redirect my energy, efforts, and goals accordingly.

5. It is a great source of exposure opportunities.

An unexpected outcome of the AMA was multiple offers to appear on podcasts. This isn’t something I have done yet; I’ve even held off on some opportunities to appear on “bigger” podcasts because of my lack of experience with the format and not quite yet having a defined message.

(It’s really best to have something concrete to “sell” before making these appearances, I’ve gathered.)

Some of these offers, however, are for smaller podcasts where it feels safer to be new to the format. With a smaller audience, any mistakes will have less impact, and that’s comforting in a way. It makes me feel safer dipping my toe into these waters.

So, while I didn’t directly find paid clients on Reddit, I did connect with some content creators open to giving me a platform where I might. I’ll keep y’all posted on the appearances that work out. In the meantime, feel free to check out the AMA post here:

What lies ahead…

Honestly, the AMA threw a wrench in my week work-wise. I spend Tuesday responding to questions instead of working on an article for a client. That pushed that work to later in the week, when I normally write and publish something for my followers on Medium. Between that and fielding podcast invites, the delays simply snowballed from there.

So, this week’s article will be out next week, hopefully. It’s another masturbation piece focusing on whether solo sex can be taken too far…and what to do if you think you or someone you love has crossed a line into compulsive behavior.

Other than that, my strap-on class and the polyamory panel will be happening again next month on December 11 & 12 in New Orleans. Get your tickets from the Happy Kitten Pleasure School now!

In the meantime, I hope you get this Thursday and Friday off and that you spend those days however you please. Stay warm, and…

stay sexy <3

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Published by Shannon Burton

Sex educator and writer by day, poet and flash fiction author by night, I occasionally manage to get out of the house to enjoy New Orleans as it's meant to be.

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