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Getting an apprenticeship in a tattoo studio

Posted on: January 18th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

Do you want to learn how to tattoo?

I must tell you—there’s a big difference between learning theoretically and through praxis. Just like baking, even if you do have the recipe and the step-by-step procedure on how to do it, it is still different when you’re actually doing it.

Take coding in website designing as another example. You may know the codes but it is actually getting the site up and live when you can really say you know how to. That’s when you encounter challenges that are not exactly in the code manual you have.  

In doing tattoos, it is beymore than simply buying a kit for tattooing. You discover more with experience. And what better experience is there than to learn “under the wing” of a skilled artist through an apprenticeship in a tattoo studio.   

You need to find an apprenticeship that will provide you the proper training to get you into the business of tattooing. You need to learn the proper skills involved in the business of tattooing like sterilization, proper cleaning, needle making, prepping, making stencils and every other aspect of the business.

Finding the right fit for you may not be that easy. Go and make rounds to as many reputable shops as you can, then leave your contact details.  Let them know that you are interested. Don’t be shy to follow up with a phone call to inquire about the status of your apprenticeship. It shows them that this really matters to you.

Here are some important aspects on getting an apprenticeship in a tattoo studio:

Be respectful and presentable.

You may be surprised to find yourself in a studio with what your Mom may consider as bad-influence-looking-people (even thug-like looking), not to mention real heavy metal music but it does not in any way give you the excuse to behave like you’re the real villain and forget your manners.  Do not forget to maintain your respect towards others. And always be presentable. (The secret is to look neat and clean.)

Gain Knowledge.

Do not pass the opportunity to learn and discover new things about the tattooing business—even the little things which you think may be too small to be unimportant. Learn from the experience and enjoy your time learning stuff.

Be Sincere.

Do not be someone you are not. If you know something, share it even to your mentor. And if you don’t know things, don’t be afraid to ask. Be yourself and be honest.

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Verbal and non-verbal communication in your tattoo business

Posted on: November 27th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

Whether you deal with your customers or you deal with your staff in your tattoo business, communication comprises verbal and non-verbal. In percentages it looks like this:

  •          35% attitude (perception)
  •          15% content (words)
  •          50% non-verbal (impact)

You may be surprised; but what you say plays second fiddle to how you say it. Often times,  the attitude and perception of the person communicating determines how the message is conveyed.

So how do you manage communication for ongoing improvement?

For starters, improve your communication by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers or your staff and follow the golden rule. How you want to be treated as a customer or staff member is how you should treat others. It really pays off to use the right words at the right time to become a good communicator.

And what makes a great communicator? These are the underlying verbal and non-verbal aspects in communication which you need to become a great communicator:

Exchange of Ideas    

A great communicator acknowledges the reality that there must be an exchange of ideas and not just a one-way street of one's message. Try listening to your customer's ideas before you convey your own. The foundation of what you want to say is laid upon the other person’s needs.

The Intention of the Ideas      

The intention of your message must be clear. Your purpose must be direct. And it pays off if the intention is out of genuine desire to serve rather than to follow a set of protocols.

Give Your Attention     

Giving your attention and being able to listen to other people’s needs is a crucial skill. You also need to be able to try to understand what they mean by what they are saying even if you don't agree with it.

Empathy 

Everyone wants to be heard. People want to feel understood. If they are heard, which does not even mean necessarily agreed with.  You can show your empathy by placing yourself in the other person’s shoes. 

Successful communication leads to good business. It is rooted in the ability to measure other people’s  communication style and expectations and then to reflect and respond appropriately. 

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Your Tattoo Business – The importance of working on your business not in your business

Posted on: November 22nd, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

Are you swamped with tasks and a backlog of paperwork and just thinking about them is paralyzing you even more such that you are unable to do anything at all? Do you need help to de-clutter this annoying pattern of not being able to manage and organize your time and be more productive and effective in your work?

Work on your Tattoo business not just in your business. Use this simple principle on how to do it:

Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson's Law is adapted in various productivity-centered activities. This originated from Cyril Northcote Parkinson, the famous British historian and author. The statement first appeared as the opening line in an article for The Economist and later becoming the focus of one of Parkinson’s books, Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress. It is the amount of time which one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task.

Let's say, you give yourself a month to complete a week-long task. Psychologically speaking, you will make the task more complicated so that you can fill the allotted time of a month you set yourself to complete it. You may not even fill the extra time with more work. You may only be filling it up with stress and tension with having to get it done.

You can stop right where you are and have three of the most practical solutions you can apply immediately to shift your work pattern and manage your time and energy effectively:

1.    Divide a huge task into smaller parts.

Chunk your tasks in smaller parts and give yourself half that time. If you have a mammoth task, dividing it into smaller parts will work best for you. It will help if you work little by little towards the accomplishment of the task rather than working aimlessly at getting the huge task done immediately.

2.    Set a deadline

The deadline we are talking about here is not completing a two-hour task in 1 month. That will only validate the observation which supports the Parkinson's Law. Be reasonable with your timeframe. As you progress and become an expert on this, you may be able to squash your deadline to the minimal level to complete each task. The deadline will motivate you and guide you to your completion.

3.    Cut off on the extracurricular activities

Be wary about the little activities and distractions like checking your email,  updating your status on facebook and reading your friends', checking out the latest gossip in Hollywood, taking a quick peek at the latest trending video on youtube and more. You might usually think these activities only take ten or twenty minutes of your time only to be surprised that summing them all up have already eaten a big slice of your precious time.   

Cut off the time you spend on these extracurricular activities. In fact, don’t give these tasks any more attention until you’ve completed everything on your to-do list that day. Unless of course your task is basically responding to emails and email blasting or social networking, then you can do all these to your heart’s content.

There are tasks where 20% of what you do is important and 80% is absolutely useless. Reverse this and apply the Parkinson's Law to your advantage and become even more productive in your Tattoo Business.

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The Importance Of Being Financially Accountable for Your Tattoo Business Success

Posted on: August 28th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

To achieve your tattoo business success, go back to the basics and remember what you have always been taught regarding your actions— take responsibility.

It doesn’t matter how many staff you have employed in your tattoo studio, or even if you are a solo operator, being financially accountable for your tattoo business is crucial. You can either learn from trial and error and create costly mistakes or you can follow in the tracks of people who are successful in your field and avoid them.

Know your numbers!

Here are a few tips to assist you on how to become financially accountable for your tattoo business and become successful:

  • Discipline Yourself
    Most financial mismanagement comes from not being able to control yourself. Yeah, you are your own worst enemy. But at the same time, you are also what you need to counter this.
    It sounds so ironical but it is only you who can make or break you in your tattoo business. Through your own financial discipline you can determine your financial success. It may take a lot of effort and practice in order to develop and maintain financial discipline just like any other discipline. But this is necessary for proper financial management and without it you cannot accumulate or accomplish anything. You will always be going in circles or starting out from zero level and never going anywhere at all.
  • Plan the finances in your tattoo business and create a budget
    It is imperative that you discover how to manage your own investment. Do not rely too much on your staff to tell you what the numbers are.
    Begin by planning out your finances and creating a budget. Make a forecast of at least a year. In the beginning stages, allow time for your business to take off and be prepared for this.
    Then, take control. If you don't know anything about finance, read as much as possible and research to better equip yourself with the skill on the "how tos."
  • Keep a Financial Journal
    By simply writing down the ins and outs of your finances in your business (what you spent, when and where you spent it, and what you spent it on plus how much money is actually coming in) you will see a pattern and you can develop your own system. You will be able to discover some pretty significant figures. Look it over.
    Doing this will open your eyes to where most of your money is going. Doing this will give you a clear direction of where your business is and where it is going.
  • Review
    Make it a point to monitor your finances. Set a schedule for it. It will serve like a financial “check-up” so you can decide to take advantage of strategies and financial decisions. This will also give you an opportunity to measure the progress toward your plan of action or to see where you have fallen short and make changes. This way, you can better protect your assets and prepare for the unexpected.

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The Importance Of Continually Growing your Customer Base to Build My Tattoo Business

Posted on: July 25th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

The ideal vision for your successful tattooing business is not just about getting your customer in the door but to keep them coming back and getting more customers at the same time. And for this to work, you need to consider a few strategies:

1.Offer more value to your customers

Let your creative juices and imagination flow. Be innovative and offer your customers additional products or services which most unsuccessful businesses fail to follow up. Think of other complementary items to offer—other products or services that can expect or respond to future wants and needs. Listen to what your customers want and how you can support them.You will be keeping your regular customers enthusiastic about the latest you can offer. Plus, you will be generating new customers if you have a wide array of products and services.

That is why, it is very important to continue learning about tattooing. Never stop updating yourself with the latest. This won't only help your craft and enable you to become better at it but also achieve the success in your tattooing business you have always dreamed of.

2. Improve Customer Satisfaction

Keep your customers happy and they will be coming back for more. Customer satisfaction is your key to remain profitable.
Some of the aspects that can affect your customer satisfaction are the following:

  • The value they get
  • The efficiency of the services and products you deliver
  • Your professionalism, friendliness and expertise
  • Your habit of going the extra mile
  • How you handle complaints

If you have gained satisfied customers, your tattooing business will likely be referred to other people. The word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool for your business. Consider then if your impact is negative—people will surely hear about it, too.
So always strive to give your customers the satisfaction they want.

3. Get Personal

This is by far the most important thing you can learn to keep your customer base growing. You can treat your customers in two different ways: relational or transactional.

You are in your tattoo business not just for the profit, right? Even though, it is just as important to be profitable and successful.

However, think of the relationships you build along the way. These relationships you have created through the years are priceless.

From the moment, you got your customers interest and attention and they responded— there is already a certain level of trust there. And this is not a business thing. This is something personal. In this age, trust is hard to come by. If your customers trust you, they’re likely to listen to you and likely to spend their money on you. And this is where the money’s at.

If you treat your customers in a relational manner and you get personal with them, the level of exchange becomes more meaningful. And this will give you the success that you want for your tattoo business.

Earn big from one-time customers but earn bigger from repeat customers. Then, continue to keep your customer base growing.

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Getting the Right Exposure For Your Advertising Dollar and Make Money From Your Tattoo Business

Posted on: July 16th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can make money from your tattoo business and increase your sales by having an effective and consistent marketing program in place (which can be quite expensive).

Advertising is one of marketing's major activities. You can be successful and stretch your budget in various ways. You just need to get the right exposure for your advertising dollar.
Consider some of these points to assist you to get the most out of your money:

1. Believe that advertising can really work.
So you are a little bit skeptical about advertising because of one bad experience. You ran an ad and never got a single call. And from then on, you have banned advertising from your marketing vocabulary.

However, did you get to the point of evaluating your advertisement's exposure? Where was the placement of the ad? Did you target a competitive keyword? Was your ad captivating? Did you consider your target market?
Sure, there are one-shot ads out there which have produced great results! But it is not enough exposure to throw in the white towel and forget about advertising if you failed at your first try.

Believe me— the idiomatic expression, "A good wine needs no bush!" needs to be redefined in this age. But I am not getting into that right now. I may write about it in another post.
You cannot get into it with a half-hearted conviction that it can help your tattoo business become a success.

2. Know your target market and get inside their head.
Begin your creation (by the way, you are not out to compete because what you are offering is unique to you) and develop your campaign from your customer's perspective.

Discover the answers to some of these questions:

1. What is my customer's problem or lack?
2. How can I solve this?
3. What do my customers need or want?
4. What value do I have to offer?
5. Do I have a solution for my customers?
3. Choose the right media.

Target your niche and select the appropriate medium to utilize. You can reach out to people in various ways. You can appeal to different human aspects—auditory, visual, emotional and so on. You can go on email blasting. You can sponsor online contests. You can do flyers or posters. Do your homework and search effective ways on how you can reach out to your audience.

And never ever forget that CONTENT IS KING. You would want to provide value to your customers. This is what they hunger for.

First, produce, publish and promote a great content. Then create a good advertising out of that good content. Your advertising dollar will go a long way if you make a good content and get more and more people to share it. Think of the exposure you have because you provided people the content they need—because you provided them answers to their difficulties. This is where your advertising dollar will be spent the right way.

The Importance Of Goal Setting For Faster Success In Your Tattoo Business

Posted on: July 5th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

You have probably imagined your profitable tattoo business in your mind. And you have figured things out on how to build your tattoo business from A-Z. Perhaps, there's the aspect of how to start a tattoo shop and make money from it. You can almost taste your victory. But hold your reign, there's one thing which you need for faster success in your tattoo business— goal setting.

Not just for tattoo businesses, but for any business that makes it top priority to develop a plan and effective goals will likely succeed more than its competitors. Goal setting launches your business' journey. And the more precise and clear you are with what you want to achieve, the better for you. You don't want to step off in the wrong direction or go round in circles without really reaching the destination you’re targeting, do you?

Goal setting is the driving force by which your successful tattooing business achieves the results you want. The tremendous advantages of setting a goal will include some of these:

  • fosters discipline that keeps you focused on the destination.
  • avoids costly stops, starts, and changes in direction
  • allows a competitive edge in the tattoo business

So, what must you consider in setting a goal towards your tattoo business success?

1. Your goal must be thinkable. Begin with the thought of your tattoo business— how to profit from tattooing. It's what they used to say, if you can think it, you can achieve it.Top athletes do this all the time. They visualize and conceptualize.  By practicing your success in great detail in your mind, you are already conditioning your mind to achieve your desired success.

2. Your goal must be believable. The first person who needs to believe in your goal is you. If you are convinced about your product and you are sold to it, how hard can it be to sell it to others?  It is very important that you believe in yourself and the goals you have set for your tattoo business. See yourself with the goal in hand.

3. Your goal must be attainable. But what is attainable, right? For all you know, you have set yourself a glass ceiling that tells you, this is the only thing I can achieve. While it is crucial that you have the mental and physical capability to reach the goal, it's just as significant for you to determine the "more" that goes beyond your self-imposed limits.  At the end of the day, you will be amazed that what actually causes you to stretch and grow is what gives you the most satisfaction. Don't be daunted to challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort zone.

Goal setting is important if you want to achieve faster tattoo business success. Let this be your guide as you journey through your tattoo business and become profitable from it.

Write below in the comments section what your goals are in your tattoo business. I would love to hear from you on how you envision your passion for tattooing will be.