The goal of every tattoo artist is to grow their tattoo business with a full calendar of scheduled clients. No one likes showing up for work to sit and not get paid.
But growing your business as a tattoo artist can be a difficult challenge.
In this guide, I’m going to provide some modern tactics for tattoo artists that can then help book more clients and grow their tattoo business.
Finding People Who Want A Tattoo
Finding clientele can be challenging for tattoo artists. I see two methods that work really well:
Finding Tattoo Clients with Word of Mouth
There are a few ways to get people talking about your tattoo skills. The first is to practice…a lot! The better your work, the easier this will be. Offer free or discounted tattoos to get help get things moving.
One method I saw recently was a tattoo artist at a running event and was offering $25 event logo tattoos and people loved it. They had a line for most of the event and was able to hand out all of their business cards.
Finding Tattoo Clients by Showing Off Your Work
Most tattoo artists are pretty good at showing off their work. Of course this requires a good camera. I see some artists showing off all their work really well. But this can also hurt you if it’s not your best work. Make sure you’re only showing off your BEST work. You don’t want this to backfire.
One of the best channels to show off your work is on social media. Make sure you create an artist page though instead of starting a personal profile. You can’t share personal profiles and it has other limiting factors. For example, you can’t market a personal profile page with ads on most platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Proving Your Worth as a Tattoo Artist to your Clients
The human race lives and spends their money on experiences. Knowing this psychology can vastly increase your clients simply by selling an experience during the tattoo session to help you grow your tattoo business.
Look at Disney, theme parks, movie theatres – they all sell an experience that encourages the visitor return and to tell their friends.
I’ve included five details in this section that can help artists grow their tattoo business while proving your worth as a tattoo artist:
- Your drawing talent
- Your actual tattoo talent (straight lines, color gradients, portrait, etc)
- Use of modern technology and ease (online scheduler (Calendly is free), session reminder texts, etc)
- The atmosphere you create during the tattoo session (avoid cluttered areas that are uncomfortable)
- Aftercare and follow up
Another great way to prove your worth as a tattoo is to have a membership with Tattoo Vault that allows you to quickly search for inspiration on any device. More than that, you can tag designs with your client’s name so you can easily show them your ideas for their tattoo.
Tattoo Vault is a fast growing membership website that provides thousands of tattoo designs grouped into categories for easy browsing. It also includes access to high quality rare prints, tattoo fonts, a digital library of tattoo books, videos of tattoo episodes, and links to some of the best tattoo artists/shops on social media.
Providing A Professional Tattoo Experience
As mentioned above, providing a professional tattoo experience is one of the keys to winning the loyalty of your client.
From my experience, some of the best methods for providing a great experience has included:
- Providing wi-fi access before the session
- Offer a sealed water bottle and bowl of sealed snacks before and during the session
- Utilize your Tattoo Vault membership to let the client watch videos of tattoo episodes during their session
- Asking the client for a shoutout on the social with a pic of their session (great advertising too)
- Easy access to a tv with movies or live tv
- A peaceful atmosphere if the client wants to read or work during their session
These methods have made a positive impact on my sessions with an artist.
Growing Your Tattoo Business and Keeping Clients
Client retention isn’t always possible but selling the experience is a great way to grow your clientele.
Earlier, I mentioned that follow up is a great way to prove your worth as an artist. Before every session, you should confirm that you have the client’s name, phone number, and email address correct. In fact, you should confirm these three contact details when the user first schedules their apointment.
This allows you as an artist to easily follow up with your clients. Here are a few examples:
- Create an automated text follow up schedule with a service called Slick Text (or you can do it yourself)
- Include pictures of client tattoos in a weekly / bi-weekly / or monthly newsletter to show off your work
- Show off your client’s tattoos on your social media page (with consent of course)
Following up with your clients reflects does a few things. It confirms that you care about them as a client which makes them feel valued. It shows your client that they aren’t just a paycheck but that you take pride in their tattoo. It also keeps you as a tattoo artist top-of-mind as a topic of converssation with their community.
I’ll be working on a future article with more ways tattoo artists can use digital marketing to grow their tattoo business. Don’t forget to sign up to get an email notification for future articles!