Each business model is different, but working in a tattoo studio can be super fun and creative so it helps to understand some specifics of tattoo artist marketing. Typically, there are two types of people interested in tattoo artist marketing. You could own your own tattoo shop or you could be a freelance tattoo artist.
The Basics of Tattoo Artist Marketing
Tattoo artists are typically most valuable to local residents. Sometimes outsiders may visit or utilize your services while passing through town, but you’re marketing will primarily be geared toward those who live near you. So, you need to make sure you’re listed on Yelp and add your business to Google Maps. These will be two of the more popular local search options for potential customers.
The Next Step on The Digital Side
You want to accomplish the following things:
- Have a clean, fun, easy-to-navigate website where people know your basic services and how to contact you
- Establish some social media profiles
- Understand local SEO and its importance
- Collect some testimonials from previous clients
Let’s take these one-by-one.
The Importance of a Website in Tattoo Artist Marketing
Typically, your website and social media profiles will be how people find you or check out what you can do. Some aspects of your website could be:
- A description of you and your story as a tattoo artist (how you got here, including some of the struggles)
- Your services
- Locations where you are during the week
- A scheduling system
- (Potentially) a billing system
- Testimonials from previous clients
- An easy way to contact you
- Social media profiles
I know, this feels like a lot. Thankfully, sites such as Squarespace and WordPress make it easy to design websites and add plugins or widgets to manage these bullet points above.
If you don’t feel comfortable setting up your own website, you can always outsource it to someone. It will be a valuable investment. Usually, you pay a flat fee to build out the website and then a monthly retainer to monitor that everything is running smooth.
Social Media Profiles
Most tattoo artists tend to maintain these platforms:
- Facebook (because of volume of use)
- Instagram (great for sharing new artwork)
- Pinterest (can share info on new designs and trends)
- Snapchat (more organic connection with recurring customers)
You don’t need to be on Twitter or LinkedIn necessarily, but it never hurts to add additional social media networks to your portfolio. If you choose Twitter, you can use it to update your availability and newest designs.
The Importance of Local SEO
As noted above, local SEO is crucial in tattoo artist marketing. You need people within your market to find you and your services. Local SEO begins with keyword planning, which can be done within Google itself or on third-party sites like Moz. Keyword planning means figuring out what people type into Google and other search engines that might bring them to your website. For example: “tattoo artist Miami” or “tattoo artist near me.”
Once you know the keywords you are trying to be ranked (seen first) for, you can work with local SEO. This involves some content creation, and some tweaking of your website to mention the address more, etc. Local SEO is very important for tattoo artist marketing because it can bring the right people into your shop simply off of a single Google search. If you’re unclear how to start, consider outsourcing.
After tattooing a super-satisfied client, you can ask them to write a testimonial about their awesome experience! You can even ask them if you can take pictures during the progress of the tattoo and finished design to post on social media. Most pleased clients will be happy to oblige and show off their new tattoo.
Once you have multiple testimonials, your website will start looking great. People in the community with get to know you and associate your name with your talented artwork. The social shares showcase your skills and the quality of work you can do. This is likely to bring in new and repeat customers.
The Non-Digital Side of Tattoo Artist Marketing
Digital is very powerful, but also consider aspects such as:
- Sending postcards/mail
- Creating brochures/flyers
- Creating business cards
- Attending networking events
- Tapping into your pre-existing network
- Creating first-time offers
That last bullet point can be a big advantage, and you can share on social profiles/website too. Consider offers such as 10% off your first booking or something similar. Share that offer and then when someone takes it, if they are happy with their appointment, encourage them to share the 10% offers looking for new tattoos. Offers can hook people. If your tattoo quality is there, they will come back when wanting additional work done.
Business card creation can also be done fairly cheap. You can hand out cards to clients or at networking events and build your business that way.
How Do You Manage All This?
Your core skill is designing artwork and tattooing clients, but there’s a lot to manage if you want a steady pipeline of customers that will keep you in business.
The first way to manage everything is staying on top of research and trends. You need to know what other tattoo artist marketing ideas are out there. Did someone create an interesting decoration, or do something cool on Snapchat? Could you do the same?
Then you need to find a software with features like an appointment book, legitimate marketing tools with customized templates, point-of-sale, and online booking. If all those features are within one software (so that you’re not constantly jumping around between applications), that’s even better.
Most successful business comes at the intersection of good quality designs and tattoo work. All you need to control is the process and you’re good. Think about what customers will want and expect from you. Most customers will want quality above all else. Your best tattoo artist marketing plan is to give them what they want. What is the easiest path to doing that? Make sure your processes are all bundled together in a great software system so that you can focus on quality tattooing and designs. And do that better than anyone too!
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