Social Media is now the fastest and quickest way to market any business. Having the reach that this tool gives us is a HUGE advantage in just about any area of our lives and what better way to use this, than to apply it to our tattoo businesses.
Nowadays theres tens of thousands of tattoo artists on social media therefore to be a step ahead of the rest you need to make the extra effort.
Heres our tips on how to use these free platforms to your advantage as a tattoo artist:
Do post quality content -
* Use a camera or high quality camera phone. No ifs buts or maybes you need good quality pictures.
* Good lighting - if you don't have good lighting in your shop take them outside or buy some good lighting off eBay. It’s worth it for your business - and its tax deductible.
* Make your pictures high impact and visually pleasing - instagram especially is a visually driven app therefore your followers are going to react positively to the pictures that smack them in the face with goodness and pleasure their eyeballs. A great picture of an average tattoo will trump a poor picture of a great tattoo anyday (on social media). Feel free to post your close ups as other artists will appreciate your skill but make sure you're also appealing to the general public. As an artist you have the added advantage of knowing what looks good so implement this into your pictures.
*Editing - if you don't have a great background to take pictures on its acceptable to edit the background to make your pictures more high impact, it will take more time but you will notice the difference in your engagement. Editing the photo to make it look more like the tattoo does in real life is also acceptable.* See below on what not to do when editing.
Do post consistently (and at the right times) .
This is proven to drop you out of peoples feeds when you stop doing this. The more you post the more peoples brains recognise your name and associate it with getting tattooed. The more they see the passion you have for your work, the more invested they'll become in seeing more of it.
Post 3-6 posts per day. Between 6-8am, 4-6pm & 9-11pm * Impressive Digital Marketing
*Use your stories (this is not included as posts) - by posting your stencil, progress shots, videos, shop life, whatever you see fit. The more you post on these the closer to the front of the clients story feed you'll be and the more likely the user will be to click on your page and get to those posts that they may have missed.
* Post multiple pictures of the one tattoo to make up enough posts for the day. Make sure its pleasing to the eye and people will happily see every angle of the tattoo and be glad they get to.
Be authentic and then stay authentic. Wether its your personality that you let come through in your posts and comments, your unique tattooing style, the way you take your pictures or your opinions. Keep it real. Be that and own that. The quickest and easiest way to standout from a crowd is to let yourself be yourself and show that in a way that feels right to you. Not forced. There’s nothing wrong or right about what you let people know about you but it will always ensure you don't get lost in a crowd of robot tattooists doing the same thing. In saying this remember what your page is for, if you’re looking to get a tattoo community following keep the personal or hobby posts at a much lesser rate or open a personal account as well.
Engage with your followers and the people you follow - If you're reading this you want instagram to work for you and you appreciate it when it does. So show that. Focus on what you appreciate and you'll get more of that. If you have a small following or you're not busy at work then you have no excuse to not be writing back to peoples comments, checking out their page and commenting on their work or thanking people for their praise. If you're not the best at engaging with people its easy enough to go through your comments and 'like' them and just as easy to actually make the effort to 'like' someone else post instead of just thinking it in your head. This can, and does, make a difference when people are going through cleaning out their 'follow list'. They'll keep you if you've engaged on a level as a human and not just a tattoo posting robot. They'll also identify with you as a person and this always makes a big difference.
Editing - Don’t edit the shit out of your tattoo pictures. Not only is it misleading and false advertising but it gives you no room to grow as an artist if you’re pretending to be better than you already are. You’ll also end up feeling bad about your work because you've set the bar way higher than it needs to be and you wouldn't have any right to be proud of your work if you've edited it to look better than it really is. Keep it real peeps. You can do well without lying.
Calling out other artists - Some people might like to argue that this is “authentic” to them but if you’re wanting social media to work for you this isn’t going to work in your favour. People do dumb shit and piss each other off, there’s no need to bring that vibe to your business page.
Keep saying you’re too busy to get people in If you’re constantly saying it’s so hard for people to get in with you, people will stop trying. Not only that, they’ll think youre a dick head for shoving it in their face. To be a busy tattooist for a long time you’ll have to be good with people too. If you’re not good with people get someone working for you who IS good with people. Getting a tattoo is an experience for these people and they use their hard earned money to get tattooed by you so cut the crap.
If you’re really booked out that far ahead just close your books and leave it at that until you can take bookings again. (You can close your books and still take people onto your cancellation list via a Parlour Profile- www.parlour.tattoo )
Copy designs- There’s a few reasons for this. First of all people would have seen it before so you’re losing your impact already. Secondly, we’ve never seen a copy that was better than the original so don’t do it to yourself. Lastly, you’re putting that out into a world where millions of people have access to your pictures. 9 times out of 10 that copy will get back to the artist. Some don't mind but some took hours to put a design together themselves to make it unique so its not going to sit well with them.
In saying this, everyone draws inspiration from the people around them or the people they look up to but let it be just that, inspiration. If a client requests a copy, make it your own and then credit the original artist, if you feel it warrants that. Not only is this better for your social media but it’s just the right thing to do.
Complain about social media To get full use of these platforms you need to make peace with the fact that none of them owe you shit: this is a BIG one and you won’t get anywhere with it unless you do that. Complaining about these platforms in anyway will get you a total of 0 new followers, 0 recognition for your hard work and 0 new business leads. At best you may get to bond with a few people who are also complaining and are also getting absolutely jack shit of what they’re wanting. If that’s what you’re into, then go for it, but if you’re into being recognised for what you’re doing and more exposure for your hard work and talent then you’re going to have to flip your thinking. Yes it may annoy you to scroll past things you haven't asked to see or to have to actually put in some effort for people to see your posts but its small price to pay for what you’re getting, which is a free way to share your work with literally MILLIONS of people all over the world.
Care so much about your following that you forget what you're really doing Social media is a REALLY important part of your job now, but it is just that, a part of your job. You use this to connect with other artists, to be able to market your business and to share your hard work. Don’t let social media define you as an artist, good or bad. Theres plenty of great artists with smaller followings and plenty of average artists with bigger followings. At the end of the day you’re a tattooer, you’ve got one of the best jobs on the planet and your main focus should be the tattooing not the likes or the follows. That stuff helps but it doesn’t define in your job or as a person. So if you find that social media gets you down, take a break, go back to where you started and focus on what’s important.
Now that you've hopefully picked up some tips and probably been overloaded with info just do the things that you can and try to improve on it everyday. Social media is still so new to so many people and although it is around to stay you have to remind yourself that theres companies who get paid to run some of these accounts you look up to. Whatever you've been doing is great and now that you have the tools to do a bit better, we're sure you will.