The tattoo business is an extremely competitive field these days and there are a great many factors that affect the success of a budding new studio. While there are many things to consider when opening a new tattoo studio, one of the most important elements aside from having solid, talented artists, is a good solid marketing strategy.
There is very limited information out there specifically targeted for tattoo studios. I’m guessing that’s because there isn’t a course for marketing professionals out there that is industry specific.
As the owner of a new studio, I researched my ass off for good marketing advice applicable to the tattoo industry. That’s not to say that there aren’t some great reliable sources that exist. I just haven’t somehow stumbled across them at this time.
Before we begin, let’s talk about the single most important factor that is in every way applicable to the specialized marketing necessary for a successful tattoo business; the artists.
If you are not a proficient tattooist or if any person in your studio isn’t proficient, then stop right there! We all have a personal responsibility to offer the best possible art to our clients which they will permanently wear upon their flesh. If you’re tattoo abilities aren’t up to snuff, then it’s best to hone your skills before even considering opening your own studio. Let’s call the previous statement a disclaimer.
I could put together a large collection of marketing blogs specifically for tattoo studios, because our industry is so multi-faceted that you couldn’t possibly cram all that information into just a couple blogs. So, I’ll start with the beginning. In order to be competitive and successful with marketing your studio, you first need to come up with a Marketing plan. Having the correct marketing plan is imperative in order to have a thriving tattoo studio.
So, let’s start with the basics; YOUR STUDIO’S NAME.
I’m going to approach a basic tattoo studio marketing strategy as if we’re talking about a new, up and coming studio. Part of having a good marketing plan is DOING YOUR RESEARCH. If you are in the planning stages of putting together your studio, you need to start with a good solid name and begin to promote that name, a logo and artists, associated with it. If you’ve waited till you’ve found the ideal location to find a name for your studio, then you’ve waited too long. Get your name down and RESEARCH that name.
Important questions to ask yourself are:
Are there other studios out there with the same name or a close variation of your desired name?
What comes up on Google and other web search engines?
Check Google images. What do you see?
Where are these studios located?
If you decide you want to name your studio “Ritual Thunder” and you Google image it and nothing but a bunch of bad tattoos from someone’s basement comes up; you may want to pass on that name. If people Google the name of your studio and see craptastic tattoos, you’ve already started at less than zero. By choosing a damaged name, you have already assumed a poor reputation which is an awful lot of extra work to fix.
A new studio should have a clean name with a clean slate to avoid any confusion. Also, did you inadvertently choose a name of a preexisting studio that already has a solid reputation? Consumers may not appreciate the misunderstanding and as far as the tattoo industry goes.
Piggy backing on someone else’s hard work and good name is a dick move. Don’t be a dick and research your name before setting in stone. It’s a lot harder to go back and change a name once you discovered that it’s already being used.
Other things to consider when choosing a name is what kind of image are you trying to convey to the public with your chosen brand.
Does the name rhyme with anything offensive (which is totally okay if that’s your plan)? Is it difficult to say?
Names that are difficult to say tend to also be difficult to remember. Is the name memorable and does it stand out when compared to other tattoo studios in the area?
Is there any kind of imagery associated with your chosen name? For example, Black Lotus Tattoo; I’m going to guess that they’re not going to use a kitty cat as their logo. What is the meaning behind the name and can it be misinterpreted (or would you prefer it be misinterpreted)? You’re Brand name and logo will often be your first impression on perspective clients, so choose wisely.
Once, you’ve decided on name begin your online presence IMMEDIATELY. Again, you don’t have to have a location to promote yourself and your business. Purchase your domain name and get a web page even if that page simply has a picture of a couple tattoos along with your studio name and “Coming Soon”. It’s important to build up hype and inform as many people as you can to create awareness.
Awareness is important, because if people don’t know you exist, how could they patronize your business? Start a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tattoo Cloud and every single anything you can think of that will give your studio exposure.
Blast your work, participating artists and new studio name everywhere you can on the net. This is going to require a lot of repetitious posts, but it’s good to cover as much ground on the internet as possible. This is the beginning of a very important aspect of marketing called “Brand awareness” or “name recognition”.
Brand awareness is just the very tip of the iceberg when forming a marketing plan for your new studio, for this is the very foundation of your marketing strategy. In my next blog about forming a marketing plan, I will discuss the importance of logos and what they mean to your brand awareness, reputation and overall marketing strategy. Keep checking back here at Tatt2Away for more updates, because we believe that weather we’re giving tattoos or removing them; we’re all in this together.
If you are interested in joining the Tatt2Away team to provide the best tattoo removal technology out there to your customers, get in touch with us.