Tattoo Business 005: How to open a tattoo shop and get it off the ground

Tattoo Business 005: How to open a tattoo shop and get it off the ground


– Boom! We are live. (mellow music) – [Dax] So the big
question is this, how are passionate tattoers like
us, who know there’s more to tattooing then just doing good artwork, how do we get ourselves
out there and fill our books with clients that
want our style and pay us what we’re worth so we
can take care of our families and get out of
our own way and get ahead? That is the question,
and this channel will give you the answers. (mellow music) – What time is it? – [Crowd] Game time! – That’s right. If you don’t know who I
am, my name’s Dax, shop owner at Savage Tattoo. Just a guy that’s happened
to build a shop that’s almost cutting a million
this year and it’s our fifth year in business
and all of my artists are able to pretty much do
the styles they wanna do, booked up six months to
a year, but besides that, I am nobody special. Any shop owner here has the
potential to do that as well. All of our artists on
average are bringing 140k in per year, as far as from
last year to this year, so if you have the drive, you can too. You can even go further than that. That’s my message for right now
for ya if you’re wanting to, if you’re not at 140k yet. And by the way, this isn’t
about passion or profit. It’s about both. You can have both, it’s possible. Don’t believe anybody that
says it’s one or the other. Let’s get in to the Q&A. So Buddy Sess says, hey
Dax, will you please make a video on how to start up a
new tattoo shop, how to market and how to get new clients
in to be able to get to the stage where we give out
free tattoos and whatnot like you say to grow. Literally if it’s a new
shop, with new artists. There’s a lot going on in that question. How do you get to a
point where you’re giving free tattoos and how do
you pretty much get a shop off of the floor. Sounds like you need a mentor, man. Doing a live video on this
would probably take like an eight hour video. I’m gonna give you a tip
on how to get a new shop up off the floor. First off, with free
tattoos, there’s never a time where free tattoos are more
convenient than others. You should be willing to
give a free tattoo out to learn or to get your
word out at any given time. If you’re just starting
out, the first think, like, especially with more
artists, usually when a shop owner starts out his shop, he might have a following already, right? He might already be
booked, but all the other artists definitely aren’t. Sometimes, he brings in
some resident artists or something like that that
already have a following, already has clientele, but
if they don’t and there’s just not enough workflow in
the door, the first thing we want to do is bring more
workflow in the door, right. So, the first thing and
the most important thing we want to do is get a ton of attention. We want to blast out maybe
advertisements, maybe social promotions,
marketing, business cards, whatever we want. We really gotta get the
word out there and it’s only limited to what you’re
willing to spend to do that. So that would be the first
thing and by the way, a free, you ask how do
you get to the point where you’re thriving enough to
give free tattoos, that is how you thrive. You got, you know, what you
give out, you’re gonna get back tenfold, so give out free
tattoos to your community. I still do that three
times, four times a year. We give out like $1500 tattoos. In the last five years,
we’ve given I think the last count was over $45,000 worth
of free tattoos altogether. We give out a ton and that’s
what keeps people loving us is we’re not just counting
pennies in the couch. You know, we’re not worried about that. It comes, but we’re giving
out stuff regardless. So, I would definitely recommend
if you want more attention, if you want to get your name
out there and get a buzz, start giving out free tattoos. Put that shit out there and
let’s talk more about that because there’s a couple
things that will help you, say if you’re doing a free
contest on Facebook or Instagram, there’s a couple
little things that you need to put in there if you
really want to blast it out there and get the most
out of a free contest. We get a lot of people
out here to see our stuff, but we got a good following
because we’ve been giving a lot of free content, free
tattoos out, things like that. So, when you’re doing
a free tattoo contest, the first thing you need to
do, you need to understand is you gotta have something,
you gotta have a no-brainer offer out there, okay. Giving a $50 and what I
mean by that is giving a $50 gift card or $200 gift card, that’s shit. Like, that’s, I mean, it’s
not shit, but it’s not something that’s gonna
blow anybody’s mind. It’s cool, but how can you spice that up? How can you make it
something that people around your fucking state talk about? Because they’re not gonna
talk about a $200 gift card giveaway; try 1,000. You know what I’m saying? Try 1,000, try 1500 or
something like that; it will go crazy. And there’s a couple
specific tips that I want to give you as far as how
to structure a contest. If you got a paper and pen,
I would highly recommend writing this shit down
so you get it right. I’ll give you a couple
seconds before we go on if you want to do that or
write a note in your phone. But, we’ve been doing
a lot of free contests and we find the structure
of all these stays the same. The offer changes a little
bit and the, the theme of the contest changes a little bit. Sometimes it’s like hey,
we’re trying to, we’re on this mission, like for
example, we did a contest that we wanted to do a big
tattoo, an all day tattoo challenge and we, we said
the mission was to do a really good tattoo before
the New York Tattoo Expo, and so we had a mission involved. So you can throw a mission in there. People like to see a
tattoo artist on a mission. It can be improving your
technique, it can be really try to get the word
out there for your new shop or it can be like
just a free tattoo contest to the community cause we represent you. Whatever it is, give a
reason why you’re doing this tattoo contest and make
it more than just about you. That does really well. Another one you can do
is fuck your Friday the 13th tattoo, okay? Rather than giving $13
tattoos out, let’s give a free tattoo out, blast that
out in the community and really drown out all the
other people that are doing Friday the 13th tattoos, okay? Nobody would get Friday the
13th tattoos if somebody was giving a free one. They are gonna enter that contest. You see what I’m saying? You wanna zag while
other people are zigging. So, you wanna have a theme
to it, you wanna have a mission to it. Another really important
thing that you’re gonna wanna have in a free tattoo
contest in the structure, is you want to have something
that creates a bubble effect. Okay, imagine a bubble bubbling up. How do yo do that? How do you get something
to go a little viral in your community? You gotta have something that
people are willing to share or tag people in. So, we usually do three,
three, three steps to our tattoo contests. So it’s number one, send
in information of what you would want. Number two, tag five people
that would want tattoos. And then number three, do
something else, whether that’s share this post, repost
it, or something like that. You want to have people
tag a bunch of people, but you don’t wanna
have them tag too much. I say three to five people
and you should be good. That will get people to
start like, that will get attention to your post, a
lot of organic attention, and especially when you
run an ad with that, it’s gonna get even
more and more attention. That’s a really great way
to do a free tattoo contest, and here’s the thing guys,
a lot of people don’t understand, they think free
tattoos, it’s just a free thing. It’s not, man. When you get a free tattoo,
when you do a free tattoo contest and you really, push it out there, you get so much attention
that people will actually come to you for tattoos. They don’t even care if
it’s a free tattoo or not. And another way is if you
have them DM you their idea in one of the steps, you
can follow up with everybody and say something like hey,
I really liked your idea. Lemme give you 50 off. Let’s get you in for that tattoo. I can’t give it for free,
but I still wanted to make you a winner like this guy
because I liked your idea. Imagine how that would make somebody feel? Imagine maybe not everybody
will take that offer, but imagine how many people
could take that offer, okay? That’s how I recommend
doing a free tattoo contest. Is this making sense? Are you getting some value outta this? If you’ve already done
something like this, explain your situation and maybe
I can help you out. But that’s normally our
three steps to our contests. Obviously, the basics are
have a good image and things like that, but that’s how I
would recommend doing ’em, and I would recommend doing
one every three months. Just like we do. If you do ’em too much, they
stop becoming so effective. But other than that,
that’s what I’d recommend. If you wanna get a shop
up off the floor, the big, the most important thing
is get as much attention as you can to your shop,
because the reason why so many businesses go out like
not including tattoo shops, every other business as
well is obscurity and that means people don’t know
about you or people forgot about you, you’ve become
unimportant, not special because you’re just bland. It can be you’re bland,
the shop just isn’t nothin’ special, and the way outta
that is you gotta stand out and get a bunch of attention. Put it out there. Show up for your audience. One of the most important
places to get attention on, a lot of people use
business cards and that stuff. I don’t recommend that stuff. I don’t even use business
cards for myself. All I use is social media. There’s, you can use social
media like everybody else does, just posting tattoos,
saying thanks for looking, or you can use it in a way
that’s a little more effective, a lot more effective
where you’re pretty much answering peoples’
questions, helping people, educating people and
getting clients attracted to you in a whole different way. That’s what I recommend
doing, that’s what I do, that’s what all of our artists do. We have a social media course. If you’re new around here,
you might not know about this. If you have been around
here, you do know about this. We’ve got a few people on here that have got our social course. Check it out, it’s 27
bucks and it’s in the link in our profile. Other than that, send me a
DM if you got any questions. We also have a bigger mentorship course. That’s over 1,000 bucks, so it’s not gonna be for everybody. Check out the social
course, if you, that’s like the first step to getting more
clients and more attention. That’s what I recommend and
once you get that course, if you do the work, you’re
gonna know exactly what to post, what your audience wants to hear, and exactly how to post and
how to engage with them, if you don’t already know how to do that. So other than that, it’s
birthday weekend, so you all have a great one.

2 thoughts on “Tattoo Business 005: How to open a tattoo shop and get it off the ground

  1. Can I open a tattoo business without knowing how to tattoo myself ? I just want to own this business but I am not an artist

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