They Googled you and Found Nothing.

Stop Relying on Instagram Alone - Build Your Digital Footprint

Social media like Instagram has become a vital marketing tool for many tattoo artists. While having an Instagram account is important, relying on it as your sole online presence is dangerous. I am going to tell you why you need to expand your digital footprint beyond just Instagram, and the importance of a website that converts followers into paying clients.

You have the right idea, create a sales funnel that drives online interest and converts leads in real clients.  If you add a website to your sales funnel and create an online footprint that reaches more people than Instagram can by itself your sales funnel will become more dynamic and you will have control over the impression being made about you and your service.


You're Using Instagram Wrong

Many tattoo artists focus on vanity metrics like follower count and "engagements" as the key indicator of success on Instagram. But less than 4% of your sales will actually come organically through social media.

The reality is, most potential clients don't randomly stumble across your Instagram and decide to get tattooed by you. They find you through other means like word of mouth or seeing your work in person. Instagram is primarily used to research artists they've already heard of and its just one way to leave a footprint online.  If you are only using Instagram, then you are severely handicapping peoples ability to find out who you really are as they play online detective.  Everyone researches there artist! You can give them the information they need to help them on their journey.

Relying solely on Instagram makes you vulnerable to changes in their algorithms and policies. Your account could get shut down or throttled at any time, destroying your marketing pipeline. Don't put all your eggs in Instagram's basket.


Why Tattoo Artists Need More Control of Their Digital Footprint

To attract clients and build credibility, you need a diverse digital footprint across multiple platforms you control. This includes:

- A personal website and domain

- Profiles on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc

- Mentions, articles, or interviews on industry sites and podcasts

- An email list and newsletter

- A YouTube channel

- Active social media profiles

With a website as the hub, you can drive traffic from all these sources back to your own platform. There you control the design, content, sales funnel, and user experience.


Make a Website With These 5 Key Elements

An effective tattoo artist website should have:

  1. A Clear Offering

Explain simply what you provide - "private tattooing," "custom artwork," etc.

  1. Benefits Statement

How does your approach improve clients' experience? E.g. a more comfortable, personalized service.

  1. Strong Call to Action

Make it obvious how to book a consultation or appointment. Have CTAs in multiple places.

  1. Lead Generator

Collect emails by offering a free guide, tips, or other value-add.

  1. The Process

A simple 3-step explanation of how clients can get tattooed by you.


What Happens When They Google You?

With a website as your digital hub, aim to dominate the first page of Google results for your name. This means actively building your digital footprint by:

- Appearing as a guest on tattoo podcasts

- Getting featured in online magazines

- Starting a vlog, podcast, or YouTube channel

- Having an active presence across social media

- Joining/starting niche communities related to your interests

The goal is that every result links back to your website and helps drive traffic to your lead capture and sales funnel.


Take Control of Your Sales Funnel

Don't rely on Instagram's algorithms and policies to send you business. Take control by building your own digital ecosystem centered around a high-converting website.

Use Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms to drive awareness and traffic back to your website. Then use the site to capture leads, educate potential clients, and convert them into appointments.

Owning the process from discovery through sales gives you the power to market effectively on your terms.


5 Things You Can Do Now

Here are a few steps to get started expanding your digital footprint today:

  1. Register a custom domain name for your website (Squarspace and Wix are great platforms)
  2. Build out a simple lead capture landing page
  3. Start compiling an email list by offering a free guide/tips (offer trust and value and in return capture their email )
  4. Research podcasts and blogs to pitch as a guest (Just ask! Podcasts need content too!)
  5. Audit your social media and update linked URLs to your site (Google yourself from a friends web browser)

By taking ownership of your digital presence, you gain the flexibility and control needed to thrive as a tattoo artist in the digital age.


TL;DR: Don't rely on Instagram alone. Build a diverse digital footprint that drives traffic to your own website, where you control the sales process from start to finish.

Matt Hodel

28 years of tattooing

Business Coach

Photo Jul 25 2023, 2 08 33 PM

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