How to showcase and promote your tattoos
Tips to attract and retain clients
21 September 2023
The world has changed, and so has the tattoo industry, along with how both clients and professionals navigate it.
It's a fact that almost overnight, we've had to shift from 100% physical interaction to coexisting in the online world to avoid becoming outdated or isolated.
However, many artists still don't know how to bridge the gap between the past and the present.
That's why today, we want to guide you on merging the old school with the new school, so you can seize the current solutions and make the most of this profession. A craft that's practiced locally, but that nowadays, offers you the incredible opportunity to begin to learn it online and promote yourself effortlessly through the internet.
By the end of this article, you'll have learned how to harness digital tools to enhance your client base.
Curious? Keep reading!
The power of social media in tattooing
Before diving into this, there's something you should know...
Followers and likes, as much as they can influence your online reach, don't guarantee you clients. Otherwise, everyone would already have a tattoo appointment with you. Still, these digital platforms can make a difference if used strategically.
The key is to connect your online visibility with your local presence.
Thing is, tattooing remains an offline business that requires real customers. Something that requires more than simply posting your work on the internet.
Here are a couple of ideas you can start implementing right away.
How to attract local clients to your tattoo studio
In the past, people used to stroll by and step into your studio out of curiosity. Nowadays, you can discover a tattoo artist's work before even setting foot in their studio. Just by exploring digital platforms, you can locate an artist and get to know their style, no matter where you are.
Now, the million-dollar question is, how do you make sure these potential clients find their way to you among countless options?
While there's no magic formula for instant success, we do have some recommendations to help you gain visibility and establish a stronger regional presence.
Encourage word-of-mouth referrals
In this field, trust is crucial since people don't get tattooed by just anyone, as tattoos are meant to last a lifetime. That's why it's common for clients to return to the same artist.
Likewise, if you provide a great experience for your current clients, they might recommend you to their friends or family.
Few actions work as effectively as good old-fashioned word of mouth, so don't take it for granted, and don't be afraid to promote it. Whether it's giving your client a business card to keep you in mind, politely asking for a review, or even offering occasional discounts for bringing in a friend for the first time or returning for another tattoo.
PRO TIP: Those who have paid for your services are more likely to return than those who don't know you at all. So, care for your relationship with your clients, and don't ditch them once the tattoo is done.
Seize local hashtags
A useful tool on social media is using local hashtags to help people find you based on your location.
The best would be to have this geotag on both your profile and the tattoo images you post.
PRO TIP: After completing a tattoo, if you see that your client takes some photos, you can take the opportunity to ask them to tag you once they post them. This helps create local exposure, as they probably have friends in the same city.
In addition to this action, it's also beneficial to have a presence outside social media, as not everyone turns to social platforms to find local services.
Consider listing on Google My Business
Let's face it, we all know Google, and that's why having a business profile on the most popular search engine is beneficial.
It's easy, free, and doesn't require a website. Here's a simple step-by-step guide:
- Access Google My Business from your Google account.
- Add a descriptive listing of your business, fill in the required details, and submit it.
- Afterward, Google will send you a verification card by postal mail with a code.
- Once you have it, enter the code in your GMB account to confirm authenticity.
- And voilà! Your tattoo business is now listed on Google.
Listing your business on Google is beneficial for several reasons.
Listing your business on Google is beneficial for several reasons. In addition to personal information and address, you can include details like your business hours, contact information, and images. But the most exciting part is being able to pinpoint your studio on Google's local map and appear in search results, making it easier for local people to find you.
Besides, listing your business is helpful for hosting reviews and receiving questions from potential clients, which helps improve your reputation, build trust, and engage in conversations with your future assets.
Overall, it contributes to establishing an online local presence and expanding your visibility, since not everyone relies solely on the social network for finding services.
A website of your own is highly beneficial
If you have the opportunity to invest and are willing to go the extra mile, having your website offers numerous advantages.
On social media, space is limited, and customization options are restricted, plus, you're always subject to algorithm changes. Instead, on your own website, you can showcase your art better and establish your brand or business presence more effectively, thanks to greater freedom in terms of interface, design, and information layout.
Overall, a personal website allows better navigation options and helps you display your portfolio in more elaborate, creative, and organized ways than, for example, an Instagram feed.
All the same, it enables you with more sections to add relevant information about yourself, the types of tattoos you create, your values, your terms and conditions, or anything else you want to share with potential clients.
PRO TIP: You can even include contact forms and integrate tools that automate the appointment booking process, helping you organize better and mostly save time.
Undoubtedly, having your website is one of the best options for those who want full control over their business. While it requires an initial investment and annual maintenance, it's worth it in the long run.
Having a powerful online portfolio is key
Whether on social media or your website, it's essential to have an appealing showcase of your work since it's the first thing potential clients look at and the main reason they choose to get tattooed by you.
We have a bunch of tips to help you create an outstanding portfolio that does justice to your art and displays your top skills. However, that's material for another article, which we'll be publishing soon.
So, stay tuned and keep track of us to continue learning tricks that will help you establish yourself as a professional tattoo artist.
In case you’re not already doing it, the best way to keep up with our posts is by following us on social media and/or subscribing to our newsletter (through the form below), where each month we send a summary of our most useful tattoo tips right to your inbox.
Networking among tattoo professionals
So far, we've given you a series of tips to position yourself as a tattoo authority through individual actions. But are you aware of how connecting with fellow professionals in the industry can benefit you?
Networking among other professionals also offers many advantages for your work.
As rubbing shoulders with other tattoo artists can help you gain more recognition, build a reputation, and expand your general reach. That's why it's always a great idea to attend conventions, collaborate with other artists, and participate in online groups or webinars to promote your art and, at the same time, learn a thing or two from others to keep growing.
Luckily for you, in the tattooing community, there's an increasing openness and willingness to share knowledge. It's becoming a more united and open community, with more integration, empathy, and collaboration among tattoo artists.
Who knows? A guest spot opportunity might even come up!
So, if you haven't considered collaborating yet, this might be the push you need to give it a try. When we cooperate, we evolve!
Clients don't just show up by magic
These were just a few strategies to consider for attracting and retaining clients, but there's always more you can do, especially during slow tattoo seasons, a special time to use your time productively.
In the end, it's about being proactive and coming up with actions that catch the attention of those looking to get a tattoo.
And beyond implementing all or some of these strategies, it's crucial to maintain the right mindset, instead of sitting idly by waiting for customers to walk through the door. While keeping up a positive attitude, taking care of your clients, continuing learning, staying active in the industry, and nurturing both your online and offline visibility.
Wrapping it up: making the most of social media while connecting with your local target audience is what helps you acquire and keep your clients.
Bear it in mind and save this article so you don't forget the actions that can help you spread your art and improve your client base.
See how being a tattoo professional isn't just about slinging ink? It requires a comprehensive range of knowledge, from technical and methodological aspects to artistic and promotional skills. Do you have everything it takes? Complete your tattoo professional training with 10 Masters.