You are here

Five Strange Things People Notice about Your Tattoo Shop

Jodie Michalak's picture

Drawing an Audience: Part Five

Our Drawing an Audience series is intended for tattoo artists looking to maximize their profit potential by using to build long-term relationships with both new and existing clients.


Call them freaky, your potential customers are checking out more than you think on your Member Profile. When they visit your tattoo shop gallery, there’s a little (or a lot) of snooping going on, and that continues once they step through the doors to meet the tattoo artists.


I don’t care about your autoclave (I mean I do, but not at the moment). And neither does your customer. Instead they are analyzing the:


Five Strange Things People Notice about Your Tattoo Shop


1.Why Does it Look Like a Medical Office?

O.K., street appeal matters. I know many of you have set up shop in buildings without much curb appeal. But there’s this stuff called paint, and even graffiti. YOU are ARTISTS. Find out what’s allowed from the building owner or city ordinances, and then get creative. Paint Koi fish, swirlygigs, gypsies, skulls, I don’t care. Paint the whole place purple and add some blown glass sculptures and windchimes. Buy a banner if you can’t paint the exterior. There is no GOOD reason a tattoo shop should look like a dentist office from the street. No good reason at all.


2.Why Are People Staring at Me?

No one likes to arrive unannounced, but that’s what happens in tattoo shops. People just sort of “pop” in. That means at times you’ll have to become the official greeter, whether you like the idea or not. When I walk in the door, I don’t care how deep into tattooing you are, a simple “Hey welcome to the shop, be with you in a few, blah blah…” is wayyyy better than looking up, and then looking back down. I mean seriously, who does that? It’s just basic manners. (Walking back out….)


3.Your Music Sucks

Have you ever walked into the retailer Abercrombie and Fitch? Besides getting a headache from cologne overload, the music blasting from overhead speakers makes it hard to even think. How do people work there? It’s true that everyone believes their taste in music is good and I’m not here to knock it; when you are catering to the general public you have to appeal to the masses. In this case, Classic Rock always works.



4.What’s up with the Flooring?

Again you are likely to some degree at the mercy of the building owner when it comes to flooring, unless you occupy your own space. So please don’t include bad photographs which reveal what’s underfoot on your Member Profile gallery. And if you can, stain those concrete floors in your tattoo shop, throw down laminate flooring, or cover up scratches and unleveled ground with a few area rugs.


5.Poster Frames Just Look Bad

Many tattoo shops display poster frame after poster frame of tattoo flash, thinking this will better show off the talent and designs available in the shop. Not true. In fact, this too, is overwhelming. Would you frame the Mona Lisa in a dollar store frame? I hope not.


Put some value on your art and select a few of your FAVORITE pieces. Then simply thrift shop a few ornate frames and spray paint them gold. Store all your flash in easy to view photo albums instead.


Once your customers get comfy on your couches (clean couches please!) they can really start to view your work in a relaxing and comfortable environment, which is much more inspiring when making a lifelong commitment.


Why don’t you take a moment to revisit your Member Profile and check out your shop surroundings?


 If your space is speaking any of these sins, perhaps it’s time to do a remodel on the fly?


 Paint, picture frames, a water cooler and coffeepot, a bowl of lollipops, clean furniture, nice sparkling floors, and an ash tray (no butts at the entrance) will speak VOLUMES to your walk-in traffic, and to those that just catch a glimpse from online photos.


Just think, if you turn someone off from just a photograph, they will NEVER step foot through your doors.


(Unless of course you’re rocking out to AC/DC and have a welcoming and eclectic vibe going on from the street. Hello strands of twinkle lights!)


Call me strange like a moth to a flame. Just leave those lights on for me.



Newsletter Series: 
Drawing an Audience