Trying to find a good tattoo artist online, with a good website seems to be more difficult than I anticipated. So I question why is this? and what can be done about it?
I’ve currently got 2 tattoos, 1 on my collarbone and 1 on my wrist. I have always wanted a tattoo sleeve but never had the balls to go do it. Christmas 2015 was the time were I made the decision to start looking at artists and book myself in. I’m from Atherton just outside of Manchester so my initial thoughts were to do the following…
1. Ask my friends for recommendations`
2. Google it
3. Ask random people in the gym where they got their tattoos
A few of my mates have got really nice tattoos, and they look ace…. but they aren’t the style I want for my sleeve. I was looking for realism as a major part of my arm will be a portrait of Dziadek ( which is polish for grandad ) as he meant a lot to me…. plus the fact that he looked absolutely awesome, probably the coolest guy I’ve ever known.
After googling, and googling, and searching - I have to be honest, I didn’t find much. That was obviously not a reflection for all the talented people in the North West of England providing tattoo services, so I questioned their presence online. It was obvious that these artists rely heavily on recommendation and word of mouth…. but why???
It’s easy to say that recommendation is the best form of generating new work. And I have to admit, that’s the way MadeByShape used to work a few years ago. But I really don’t see that working in this case. For example; if somebody gives a recommendation, the new potential customer will more than likely google their details…. which provides a bad website ( in the majority of cases of my research ).
So… are tattooists bothered about having a good website? Do they not see the benefit? Is a social media presence enough? Are they already busy? If so, can you always rely on that? What if customers stop recommending you? Or they run out of friends to recommend too? All valid questions in my eyes.
I found that the best way of finding amazing tattoo artists was via Instagram. And that was very easy. So it brings the question, once I have found their amazing images…. how do I get in touch? And most either link to a Facebook page ( and I’m not on Facebook so that’s no good ) or link to a *bad* website. So the importance of a good website is still important in this case, even if they do have a good instagram feed.
So, now, that was my problem. What would I do about it?
I’ve designed a concept for a tattoo studio which contains various artists. It enables the end user to go online, look at every individual artist and their work, automated instagram feeds, easily find out which style suits their taste and look at prices, estimated waiting length, and get in touch. All sounds simple right…. so why aren’t other people doing this?
Every business needs a USP, so what is this for the concept? As recommendations are obviously working for artists, let’s give the customers an incentive to recommend the artist even more! The way this would work is that every user would have an account on the site. A referral form would be completed by User1234 to state who they are recommending, Bob Dylan, and their contact details. This gets saved into the website, and it understands that User1234 has recommended Bob Dylan. When Bob Dylan books in sessions, User1234 would get credit to use against future tattoos. This would not only repeatedly promote the artist for new customers, it would encourage previous clients to recommend and book in a new session for themselves. Winner winner, chicken dinner in my eyes.
In terms of the web design, keeping it very clean maximising images so the end user can see examples of their work. A responsive website is mandatory as many people will be looking on their mobile or tablet.
*Photography used is for concept purposes only
The right hand side menu would be sticky so that it follows the end user througout the site and makes it very easy to get in touch at any moment through the online experience.
To those who are interested, since writing this blog post and not publishing it online in time, I decided to go with a girl called Emma Callaghan based in Leigh, who is a fantastic tattoo artist but also an exceptional illustrator. This gave me confidence as I know the attention to detail she will put into my arm after seeing previous illustrations she has created. Examples of the first session with with Emma can be seen below. I’m going to be getting my full left arm covered and can’t wait, because her attention to detail is outstanding.
As I’ve mentioned a few times how important recommendations are, here are her contact details if anybody wants to check her out :
Email: [email protected]
And if you are a tattoo artist or tattoo studio and would like to discuss potential website requirements or would like to use this concept, feel free to get in touch with me direct: [email protected]