What is a Tattooist’s sales Pitch?

Tattoo Artists are a Dime a Dozen

Pretend we meet two different tattooists at a social gathering and the when asked the question, “So what do you do for work?”they both answered with different replies.  The first one gives a simple and straight to the point answer:

“I do tattoos.  Here is my card. You should call me sometime.”

A few minutes later, we bump into another tattooist, and they say:

“You know how most people have an idea for a tattoo stuck in their head but have trouble explaining it? I sit down with clients and help them tell their story.  I create visual literacy in the form of a tattoo for my clients.”

After meeting both artists, the next day I was inspired to get a tattoo.  Who do you think I will call?

The quality of your tattoo work alone is not enough to build a loyal clientele. You must be able to clearly communicate who you are, what problems you solve, and why someone should choose you as their tattoo artist. Developing an effective "pitch" is essential for connecting with potential clients.  A pitch is a simple explanation of how you help people and is sometimes referred to as an “elevator pitch” because you will have less than a minute to create interest in your listener.


Your Work Does Not Speak for Itself, You Must Tell People How You Can Help

Throw a rock and you will hit a tattooist.  What makes any of them more qualified than the other?  Historically it has been the quality of their craft.  Today, we have a plethora of talented artist.  Sorting through which one is the most skilled is a waste of time.  Find the one that speaks to you, literally.

I have something I need you to do.  Can you sit down and write down why you tattoo? Why does tattooing help solve your clients’ problems? In what ways do you make an impact in people's lives?

Take this list you have written and think about your pitch.  How do you verbalize what it is you do for people that goes deeper than “Duh duh  I make tattoos, dah duh….”  Unfortunately this is the pitch 90% of tattooist make and they sound like they lack confidence and experience to help a client find a solution.

Even if you are highly skilled at tattooing, simply letting your work speak for itself often won't attract many clients. Generalized interactions where you just say "I tattoo, call me sometime" don't give people a reason to do business with you. You need to explain how you listen to clients, collaborate to tell their personal stories through tattoos, and create a comfortable atmosphere. Share specific examples of meaningful pieces you've done. This establishes your skills and shows how you help clients.


Becoming the Guide and Showing You're the Qualified Person to Help the Potential Client

Position yourself as a guide who is interested in listening to clients and solving their problems. Briefly mention your years of experience so they understand you are qualified. Explain how you take time to listen to their vision and collaborate to create custom tattoos. Make it clear you want to figure out how to best help them. Show enthusiasm for using your skills to solve their needs. This establishes you as an authoritative expert they can trust.

Clients do not know how the process works. They get tattooed infrequently. Help explain to them the steps you are going to take them through to develop a new tattoo!


Be Interesting and Invite Them to Work With You

Share a brief story illustrating your passion. For example, "I just helped a client tattoo a meaningful scene commemorating their mountain climbing accomplishment." Then invite them to meet and discuss their vision, with no obligation. Most people find it difficult to even talk with artists. So offering a relaxed, personalized consultation makes you stand out. Follow up inquiring about their needs and ideas. Show sincere interest in them as an individual.

Avoid all the industry jargon.  It does not make you look like an industry expert.  It make you look like a cocky jerk.  Talking at people from 10,000 feet goes right over their head.  Talking to people at ground level is how you make that connection.  Don’t be so heavenly that you are no earthly good to anyone.


Apply Your Pitch to Every Point of Contact, Online and Socially

Write out your pitch.  Write it and fine tune it. Once it is written out, use this language in everything you do.  Use it so much that it is effortless to give your elevator pitch on the spot.

Use this language to spread your message!  Get people interested in why you tattoo and how you approach your craft.

Consistency is key. Integrate this pitch into your website, social media bios, and messaging. Briefly explain how you collaborate with clients and solve problems. Share your enthusiasm for creating meaningful tattoos. Use this pitch when networking in person or online. Repeating this message builds awareness of how you help people.


Nurture the New Client Relationship

Once someone shows interest, continue building rapport. Learn about their vision, offer guidance, and explain next steps. Set up a consultation focusing completely on them. Build trust by actively listening and showing you want to turn their idea into the perfect tattoo. Follow up after the appointment to continue the relationship. Provide excellent customer service throughout the entire process. Meeting and exceeding expectations will convert them into loyal advocates.

Do not wait for them to make the first move!  Some people like to be lead.

By developing a compelling and consistent pitch that highlights how you help clients, you build awareness of your skills while attracting the type of customers you want. Focus on communicating your passion, expertise and commitment to exceeding their expectations. This helps you create meaningful connections and referrals.

Matt Hodel

28 years of tattooing

Business Coach


Photo Jul 25 2023, 2 08 33 PM

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