Most tattoo artists don’t spend too much time creating advertisements or working around strategies for more tattoo artist leads. However, they are becoming more skilled at presenting themselves to gain wider recognition. If you are like this, you need to expand the idea of “selling” yourself.
To convert into high-quality leads and then clients based on your work, you must know how to advertise it first.
Tattoo artist leads will only come your way when you’re able to build trust in your brand (you) and what you offer. For this, you will need social media accounts and top-quality photos for posts. In addition, websites and all the tools for lead generation must be included in your plan.
CTAs, lead magnets, testimonials, or reviews. Anything that adds value to your offer is key for your business.
Here, we will lend you a hand to know how you can approach your lead generation program. You will notice there aren’t many variations compared to other niches, and this makes it even easier.
However, we must leave something clear first: You need both free and paid strategies in your plan for sales qualified leads. Don’t choose one over the other.
Create Your Image
This is what you will know as branding and is crucial for every artist.
Besides working on who you are as a tattoo artist and your skills, your studio’s presentation is part of creating your image and building trust.
After all, the studio will determine the kind of clients you attract and how aware they are of your talents.
Your potential clients who are savvy on Instagram will visit your studio to see your logo with ornamental birds and flowers. At the same time, your tough-guy biker clientele will look elsewhere for their Metallica and flaming skull tattoos.
It all comes down to identifying your target audience and adapting your branding to their interests and likes.
Remember that your visual identity can greatly represent the themes and tattoo styles you specialize in. It’s a good idea to have a simple name and logo if your studio has many artists working in different styles.
This is why you will notice many studios using the traditional black palette with white and minimal details.
In our case, we are more attracted to the last example instead of going for those that look “rude” or too fancy. It makes us expect something that could be completely different from what we want.
Start Creating Your Professional Website
A professional website is essential for tattoo artists. It will help you build your brand and promote your shop after the branding process.
You can’t just use social media to promote your business. A professional website must include the following:
- A brandable domain URL that contains your store name or your name.
- You can upload your past work to your photo gallery (very recommended).
- Use this contact form to reach potential clients or schedule sessions with your company.
- A list of testimonials from past clients to demonstrate your authority and professionalism.
- Design a website that matches your tattoo style.
Make sure to keep the website as simple as possible. This will guarantee that your prospects don’t feel overwhelmed, and you can capture them easily.
Other aspects like optimization, advertising, and promoting the website will be talked about later.
Work in Your Portfolio
Your portfolio is the most important thing. Many studios have a photo gallery and share their work on Facebook or Instagram. However, some choose to concentrate on Instagram alone since it is the most visually focused of all social media channels.
While this solution is very useful and makes it easy to manage your portfolio, you need to make sure that your target audience uses Instagram.
Remember to share your artwork online with watermarks regardless of where you upload them. This is a half-transparent signature that you add to your photos. It includes the name of your company and/or logo.
Pinterest allows people to search for the original designer of the design, so this could be a great place to add your photos and build a presence as well while protecting your personal content.
This helps you to market your studio and yourself as an artist to generate leads.
Don’t forget the Pinterest Save button for each tattoo image on your website. This will allow your visitors to pin their favorite images to their Pinterest boards.
The concept of working in your portfolio takes us back to your website as well.
Many artists decide to create a separate section and consider the gallery for the portfolio and past projects. This is amazing for SEO (search engine optimization) and ensuring your content will be protected and won’t be lost if your social media accounts ever have a problem.
Spread the Word: Socialize & Connect
You can be an introvert. However, this is kind of not allowed when you work in this niche.
Besides having to work with people closely, you have to connect with them even before they decide to choose you like their tattoo artist. Thus, this is when the lead generation strategy we refer to in this section kicks in: You need to socialize.
For it, you can:
- Participate in tattoo conventions and fairs.
It may seem odd that you want to participate in industry events while you have a desire for actual clients.
But first, good relationships with other tattooists can be very helpful. For example, clients who are looking for a specific style may find you recommending each other. You might be able to make a lot of money from some relationships.
However, the tattoo industry heavily relies on recommendations.
Second, you have the opportunity to meet new clients and book appointments right away. These conventions attract a special type of client who is looking for a tattoo artist whose style is truly appealing.
You can also search for clients who are interested in getting tattoos at the event via your Facebook and Instagram pages.
You can then get recognized for your design, which will bring you publicity. You may also meet tattoo media editors who might be interested in including your work in their publications.
- Participate in charitable initiatives.
Tattoo studios often engage in fundraising projects to raise money for worthy causes. For example, free tattoos are offered to those who donate a certain amount of money to a charity.
What are you going to gain? More publicity, greater recognition, and potential clients (tattoos done for charity might get more).
Don’t be a skeptic if the cause isn’t important to you. Doing charity solely for profit is an awful thing. Don’t be like that guy.
- Refer to others.
Word-of-mouth recommendations are still the best way to get new customers. Ask your clients for reviews.
Remind them to tag the studio if the photos are published online. Versum allows you to reward clients who bring their friends with a significant number of points. These points can be exchanged later for a tempting prize.
- Barter (wisely).
Bartering refers to the exchange of goods and services without actual money. Bartering is a popular practice among tattoo artists and influencers. You can offer design for an advertisement (posting a photo, writing positive publications).
Bartering can be very lucrative, but you need to be careful. You may have a bartering offer or are considering one.
Take a moment to analyze the person you wish to work with. What number of active followers does this person have? Are they your target audience? Are you interested in being associated with this person?
Be clear about the terms if you agree to make the deal. This will ensure that both parties are aware of what they can expect and what they should do.
Managing Your Social Media Right
Focusing on social media, you must know this is essential for every tattoo business. Overall, for every business.
But before we start mentioning how to manage them, did you choose the right platforms for your business?
Are you a fan of Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? You don’t have to be on every social media platform. It is better to be active on just one platform, preferably Instagram or Facebook.
Be where your target audience is, and don’t waste your time or energy on any other activity.
Social media is a great tool to connect with new customers and build deeper relationships. However, certain social networking services are better suited for certain industries and professions.
Tattoo artists can use the following social media apps to showcase their work and connect with specific audiences:
- Instagram has a photo-centric platform, so it’s an ideal place to share images of your work. Keep these things in mind when sharing photos of tattoos. Filters can distort the color, so don’t use them. You should also take lots of photos, but only the best ones will be posted.
- Tumblr is a long-standing platform in the tattoo community. You can create your own page to showcase your work. You can also build connections with other tattoo artists by liking their Tumblr posts, sharing photos, and commenting to begin conversations.
- Pinterest used to be a place to share recipes and clothes but has expanded into many other categories, including tattoos. You can create boards that feature your artwork, as well as boards that highlight other tattoo styles. This will increase your reach and help you connect with a wider audience.
Moving on with the managing part, you might be enough to manage it initially or not.
Social media isn’t that simple when you have to follow algorithms and be a proper manager. Thus, hiring someone who knows about each platform individually can be a good move.
Remember, from now on; the right person should manage it.
Studio owners often make the mistake of appointing a manager to manage social media accounts.
Owners are often very busy and don’t prioritize doing this. This is understandable. They may not be interested in learning all the nuances of social media.
You should look for someone who is suitable among your younger employees or someone with experience in the area.
Employees are usually very active on social networks and may even be internet micro-celebrities. Make sure you have some guidelines in place for your employees so that the online identity of your studio is consistent or allow them to guide you if they are knowledgeable.
However, if you are starting alone, this is what you must do:
- Post only related photos and content.
You probably won’t want to post photos of your baby bathing on your tattoo artist page. If that is the case, you are on the right track!
It is important to keep your business page professional. Make sure your descriptions are accurate and don’t disturb the aesthetics of your profile. Hence, you shouldn’t use unrelated pictures unless you just want to connect a bit more.
For the latter, only use yourself as the artist in question and upload very few selfies or photos of yourself.
- Use the right hashtags.
You should also learn the correct hashtag.
People often look at the photos that are added under a particular hashtag when searching for design ideas. People also use hashtags to search for specific styles or locations.
You can reach people who are interested in your services by carefully selecting hashtags.
Always Measure & See Results
Without properly measuring your marketing or lead generation strategies, you can’t know which ones bring you real profits and work in generating leads you need.
This is why you must utilize online and offline tools that help you measure results and analyze the current progress of each strategy.
Accessing clear, concise statistics about the number of returning and new clients will allow you to understand your audience better and adapt your marketing strategies accordingly.
You can also track which acquisition source brought you the most customers.
Depending on the strategy, you can use Google Analytics, SEMrush, and many more tools.
Quick research can help you decide on the most suitable one for you.
Again, Ask for Reviews
What was the last time that you went to a new restaurant or business without reading reviews? Perhaps we’re old-fashioned, but we want to read the reviews of past customers to know if we will enjoy or, at least, fits our preferences.
This, of course, applies to anything we do, and anywhere we go.
Since many people have the same idea, it’s important to ask clients for reviews. You can ask them to leave reviews on Google, tag you in photos they upload via Instagram, or give you a testimonial for their website.
Your clients should be shouting the names of your tattoo shop and artists from the rooftops. A bit exaggerated, but the idea makes sense.
You’ll have to ask if you want to receive those reviews. So, don’t be shy of it.
We are less likely as a species to write a positive review than we are to leave one for a negative experience. Show your clients how much you appreciate their support and explain to them why it is so important.
Make Your Environment More Comfortable
Your goal as a businessperson is to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for customers when they walk into your shop. If customers seem anxious when they enter it, you will be allowing them to leave quickly.
This does not mean you have to give up your identity in order to get more tattoo artist leads. You need to create an experience that is both true to you as an artist and for your business while still considering the comfort of your customers.
You are the only one who can control the details. It is possible to spend time focusing on the wall color, the music played, and the art displayed. You have endless options to attract more customers and increase revenue.
Our advice? The signature style is what you should be focusing on
You can’t be ahead of your competitors if you only have one style. This is especially true when you are looking to open a new tattoo shop.
Artists who are more focused on their signature styles are your main requirement. Expert artists are required to fill all available seats in the tattoo studio. They must be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t hire them if they say “NO” because they don’t know how to do the tattoo according to the customer’s specifications. It is the customer’s satisfaction that matters most in the end.
Customers must be confident that the ink artist on their bodies is skilled and dedicated, and remember, they are responsible for your success.
Thus, know your niche, please as many people as possible at your tattoo shop, and book your appointments.
This does not mean it will be difficult when you open your shop. If you prefer to be customized only, then you can let your customers use Pinterest to express their needs.
Although it is difficult to open a business, the results will be rewarding. Keep going and keep inking customers.
Just remember to make things more comfortable in every possible way while adding the trust factor.
A Solid Marketing Strategy Is Essential
A strong and results-oriented marketing strategy is essential to increase your visibility with more leads. If you don’t put in the effort to market your business, no one will find you. You have many options to market your tattoo studio.
So far, we have discussed the main ones, and we know you’re thinking, “Isn’t marketing what we have been covering?” Well, yes and no.
Lead generation falls into marketing, but let’s say both of them have their own space.
You are promoting your studio and tattoo services in your marketing, and lead generation strategies follow the same. However, one is often for awareness and the other for capturing prospects.
That being said, we consider them the same in terms of building a plan, and strategies from both sides must be included in it. There won’t be differentiation.
However, we want to mention the solid strategy because you don’t need ONE strategy; you need several and a complete marketing plan.
With this in mind, we can continue mentioning other lead generation strategies.
Online Appointments Must Be Available
Do you still use pen and paper to make appointments? Are all your Instagram DMs and SMSs is-smashed? If you are serious about your business and want more sales, find booking software that works for your studio.
This appointment solution not only allows you to save time, but potential clients are also able to book a date without having to contact you beforehand and in a matter of seconds.
Besides, this software is more than just booking; customers can book, cancel or modify their appointments.
The option eliminates all stress related to double bookings, staff availability, and no-shows. Your customers will be able to book whenever and wherever they want.
In addition to the entire booking option, you must keep in mind that clients or prospects forget to book their appointments, and worse, they don’t even know how to do it.
As a result, the tattoo studio loses the chance to make a profit, and it may not be able to book other customers at the same time.
When you add automated reminders to the booking option, this strategy will help you get more tattoo clients.
You are a businessperson with many bills to pay. It is important that you keep following up. It is essential that you have a better way of communicating with customers about your policies and allowing them to reschedule.
You have stopped using the traditional online scheduling methods and are now sending text and email reminders to your customers (you can set an email marketing campaign). The Salon Management Software has an automatic reminder system that allows customers to cancel, reschedule, or schedule appointments.
It is better not to follow the customers but to concentrate on the productive ways you can get more tattoo artist leads.
The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Tattoo Artist Business
All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?
The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).
Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:
The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.
Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”
You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.
The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.
The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.
To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.
Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.
To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.
By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.
An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor
You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.
HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.
They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.
If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.
HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.
Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services. They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).
Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?
They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.
However, you need to remember two facts:
- Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
- They don’t generate “natural” leads.
Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.
Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.
What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.
When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.
What Is Local SEO?
Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.
What does this mean?
Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.
To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.
If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.
Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.
“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.
Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.
Can My Tattoo Artist Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?
If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.
Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.
Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.
How Powerful Are Organic Tattoo Artist Leads from Google?
For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.
This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.
I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.
However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.
On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.
You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.
What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?
Here it goes: you can work from home.
The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.
We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high. Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.
You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.
Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.
So, let’s summarize this:
- You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
- You can bet on passive income.
- There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
- You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.
How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?
Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.
Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?
You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.
You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.