Good photography to help with social media

How To Generate Tattoo Clients Using Social Media

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With over one billion active monthly users on Instagram alone, social media has turned into a vital marketing tool for all types of businesses. Whether you’re an established tattoo artist or just getting started, social media can generate an incredible number of clients in a short amount of time.

When it comes to tattoo artists, Instagram is one of the best social media platforms. This is because the platform is highly visual and a corner of the internet where you can show off your tattoos and use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience. Someone browsing your page can get an instant insight of your style and skill level from a simple scroll, allowing them to judge if you’re the artist for them in seconds. It has the potential to grow your client based incredibly quickly, which is why getting it right is so important.

As tempting as it may be when you’re first starting out, don’t buy followers on any of your social media platforms. It becomes very obvious when you have thousands of followers but low or spam-like engagement. This will only put off potential customers and could give you a bad reputation in the tattoo world. Instead, focus on building your audience naturally by uploading great quality content consistently.

How to beat Instagram’s algorithm change

Instagram had a huge algorithm change in 2016, changing user timelines from chronological order to one that is personalised on individual user engagement. This means putting out excellent quality content and using hashtags is more important than ever, as this will lead to increased user engagement.

Check out tattoo artists with a similar style to you and see what they’re hashtagging, as this will give you an insight into which ones are the most popular. Apps like HishHash will show you the most popular hashtags based on a word you have selected, which will help a wider audience see your work.

When you first open your Instagram account, make sure it’s a business account rather than a personal page. This will give you an insight into your audience and when they’re typically active, which is when you should aim to post to get more likes. This engagement is key to beating the algorithm and will help you get to the top of each follower’s feed when you post.

Generate clients with social media using Instagram insights

Tips and tricks for getting noticed on social media

  • Utilise apps. You’d be surprised at how helpful they can be when you’re trying to grow your social media, whether it’s an Instagram or Twitter account. HishHash is particularly great as it can help you find new relevant hashtags and ensure you aren’t using too many of the same ones.
  • Tag big pages that feature tattoo artists. There is a multitude of pages that share pieces from various artists. The hope in doing so is that the page will share the work that you’ve tagged them in. They tend to post those of a specific style, so ensure you aren’t tagging traditional pages if you’re a dotwork artist, for example. It may sound redundant to share your work with other pages, but they often have thousands of followers – many of which will flood to your page.
  • Create your own hashtag. It may seem pointless when you first sound out, but it’s actually an effective way of getting your name out there. Get customers to use it when posting photos on your work, as this will attract more people to your page.
  • Don’t use overly broad hashtags. Your work will quickly disappear under a mound of other work with the hashtag ‘love’ or ‘cool’, for example. Only use relevant hashtags that are relevant to your industry and audience to ensure you stay visible. Don’t use the same hashtag too often, either, as you may get temporarily banned from appearing in them.
  • Make sure your Facebook page is professional. A Facebook account isn’t essential, but it’s another great way of finding clients in the area. Set it up as a business page and fill in all the information so potential clients know when you’re open, as well as where you’re located.
  • Post regularly and consistently. People don’t like to follow or like inactive accounts, no matter how great your work is. Try and post a couple of tattoos daily, as well as general information if needed.
  • Use the stories feature. From sharing your own posts to giving updates on your work, Instagram and Facebook stories can increase your exposure tenfold. It’s a great way of beating the algorithm change and direct your followers to your post, which they may not have seen.
A tattoo shop manager uploading tattoos to social media

Online tattoo artist portfolio

Treat your social media like a portfolio of your work, putting all of your best work on there consistently as you would in a physical book. Rather than walking into a shop and flicking through a physical portfolio, people often browse social media to find tattoo artists in the area. Some travel miles to get tattooed by their favourite artist, so it’s important to make your social media account one to remember.

Tattoo portfolio ideas and tips

  • Choose a theme or signature style. Pages that focus on a particular style of tattooing tend to be much more popular than those who post a mixture.
  • Don’t use an obvious filter or edit your images. People will notice and call you out on it with the belief that any decent tattoo won’t need to be heavily edited. You can improve the lighting subtly but never distort or blur your photo to the point where it looks significantly different. Pages like Tattooed Truth Fairy name and shame users who do this, so be warned.
  • Create a space to take customer photos. Whether it’s outside against a brick wall or a more professional indoor set-up, this will keep your images consistent. Natural light is great, but if you’d rather an indoor space, a ring light is a worthy investment. Posting similarly posed photos will help you build an aesthetic, which is particularly important for Instagram.
  • Don’t upload blurry photos or bad angles. Remember that this page represents you and your work. Keep it strictly professional by uploading great content and people will be much more likely to follow you.
  • Repost client photos of healed work on your Instagram stories. Only repost good quality photos so you don’t ruin the theme of your social media rather than every client image you’re sent. Reposting images of healed work is generally a good idea as it will show potential clients that your previous customers are happy with the finished product.

By following these tips, you can expect to build an aesthetically-pleasing platform for your business. You’d be surprised at how many customers you can attract using these free platforms – plus, you’ll have fun doing it.

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Meet Our Experts

Chris Harrison Tattoo Artist

Chris Harrison

Bridgend Tattoo Studio

Bridgend, South Wales, UK

Sneaky-Mitch, tattooist at Gold Room Tattoo, Leeds, UK

Sneaky-Mitch

Gold Room Tattoo

Leeds, UK

Tito Inkid

L’Atelier Sans Nom

Armentières, France

Lianne Moule

Immortal Ink
Chelmsford, UK

Julian ‘Corpsepainter’ Siebert

Corpse Painter Tattoo
Munich, Germany

Alex Rattray

Empire Ink
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

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