Tattoos and the Artist: Are you Rocking the Client?
It’s funny how some things have changed in today’s society. It seems as though a lot of people just don’t care about the next person. Please don’t misunderstand, that doesn’t mean everyone, but a good majority. One of the biggest things you can notice is a lot more rudeness that people are not afraid to show. It’s almost as if it’s OK to be that way.
In the business world where you deal with people face to face, it seems to have become a way of life for either the client or the employee to be rude and nasty. I’ve seen some pretty nasty battles take place between a customer and an employee that made my jaw drop.
Online shopping has really taken over. Many major retail stores have closed because clients just are not walking through the doors anymore. I’ve asked friends why they online shop and they tell me that they just don’t want deal with rude customers and employees.
One thing for sure is that the only online shopping you can do for tattoos is either for supplies or an idea for your next tattoo. So obviously a client must continue to go to a tattoo shop to get inked, but is the artist rocking the client? So grab your beverage and let’s rock this conversation.
That first impression
I couldn’t count how many times I’ve walked into a tattoo studio and stood at the counter waiting as the counter person in front of me made their phone more important than me. Is that phone paying your bills? I’ve had artists act like I was bothering them when I would want to talk about a tattoo I wanted to get. Like most people, this first impressions deciphers if I will want to do business there or not.
How are you Treating a Possible Client who Walks Through the Door?
I have an amazing artist, Mikey, who is not only fantastic for the work he does, but in how he treats me and other clients. When I first met him, I walked into the studio knowing what I wanted, but not sure where and how. It had been many years since getting my first tattoo and I was ready to start my journey with ink.
I had walked into the studio impressed with how clean it was. I was greeted right away by the young lady at the counter and asked what could she do for me. I let her know what I wanted to get, but that I wasn’t sure how I wanted it. This is when she introduced me to Mikey.
After meeting and talking to Mikey, he handed me his portfolio and said, “Why don’t you have a look at some of my work and I’ll draw something up?” He came back after a bit and showed me what would be my next tattoo, the word courage. He had suggested it would look good on my inner bicep and I thought perfect.
I asked when he was available to do it and he replied “My next client isn’t for another hour and a half and it’ll take an hour if you’d like it done now.” So we rocked it.
The Nervous First Timer
Getting that first ink job can be a nerve racking experience. When the client has the thought to get one done, all the questions begin to swarm in their head. Remembering times I would be with a group of friends and they would share their tattoo experiences with the friend who wanted their first one. They would make it sound so horrific; the pain of the needles and all the blood. Almost like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The first timer should be treated with a lot of love and guidance through the process. They’re walking into the unknown and really don’t know what to expect. Lots of artists I know explain things in quite some detail to really make them feel like they belong there.
I’ve seen great artists suggest choosing a less painful spot for the first time client. Always remember this is potential income for the future, so you want them to have the best first time experience as possible.
No Matter What You Do, They’re Not Happy
In every business there are always clients that no matter what you try to do for them, it’s not good enough and in the tattoo world It’s no different. I remember a time when no matter what Mikey tried to do for this customer, she was not happy. She wanted a rose on her arm she and had no picture and could not find anything on the walls that even lit a bulb in her head.
Mikey is a very down to earth kind of guy and he wants you to be happy. He talked with the woman for an hour and must have drawn five different sketches until she finally agreed on it, but it didn’t end there.
She wanted to know the price. Now mind you he’s very fair on his prices, but she still wanted to negotiate. So Mikey being who he is, knocked off a $100. It’s up to the artist if they want to deal with this kind of client. I agree 100% it’s up to you as the artist who you accept.
The comfort of the Session
There always needs to be a comfort level for your client when they’re getting the tattoo done. One of the first things a customer wants to know when they sit in that chair is that it’s going to be safe.
The tattoo sterilization will really ease the mind right away by pulling the needles out of the package in front of your client. Also, showing that equipment which is exposed to fluids will be wrapped in plastic and maybe even showing how other equipment is sterilized.
The interaction can be a tough call. I know lots of artists that love to talk with you and others that don’t say too much because they get in their zone and focus on the art at hand. There are the clients for some reason want to share their life and all its problems to the artist. I don’t know, maybe they feel like they get a two-for-one deal: a tattoo artist and a psychiatrist.
You Hold the Key
Are you rocking your clients? Lets face it, the tattoo business needs clients to make money and how you go about treating your clients can make or break you. They are what pays your bills and as the saying goes: one bad word of mouth and you could lose a hundred potential clients. Now mind you, one does not have to put up with a nasty customer. I definitely agree it’s not worth it.
The client could be spending a few hours with you during any given session, so it’s up to you as the artist to rock the client and make them want more. It’s a lot easier to sell to a regular client then it is to a new one. Take time out for your client and make them feel like a rockstar.
I hope you enjoyed our chat, and as always never hesitate to leave a comment.
Rock your Journey,
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