Would you walk into a business and ask how much things cost without giving a description of what you are looking for? Well, that’s the daily struggle of a tattoo artist by social media.
When I first started tattooing, it was just phone calls and walk ins. When people called, we told them to come in at a specific time for a consultation and to bring references, and that’s all she wrote.
Now, I know times are changing, and more than ever, people want quotations online. This is fairly simple for very small tattoos, but almost impossible for large scale work.
My studio is located on a fairly busy street, and we get loads of walk ups and, sadly, our fair share of time wasters. But nothing compares to the incompetent inquiries we receive on Facebook, Instagram, etc. Those platforms have lot of problematic users for a tattoo artist on social media.
Yes, those platforms are a great help for sharing photos of work, ratings, helping clients and interacting with them, etc. However, if you want a price or help on a tattoo idea but you can’t string together a basic sentence or two to inquire, you most likely will not get the reply you are looking for.
The horror of being in social media
When potential online clients are rude, pushy or entitled, I assume they won’t be much more pleasant to deal with in person, and that makes me feel less obligated to assist them.
Many times a day we get inbox messages with just one word “cuanto?”, or sometimes an abbreviation of a word, “inf”. Can’t they find the time to write the full word: “information“? By the way, I still would need lots more “inf” to know what exactly they are looking for.
I’m not sure if that works with other studios in the area, or if I’m just the lucky one who gets the three letter inquiries, but needless to say, I seldom reply to them.
Instagram has been leaning towards the other end of that boat, where more often than not, I get potential clients that seem they want to chat all day about their tattoo ideas, but when I request them to come to the shop for an actual consultation or making a deposit, they are very forgetful or preoccupied. I know I spend a lot of time on my phone, as most of us do, but this doesn’t mean we want to spend it planning your unfinanced tattoo dreams.
I guess what I’m trying to say is: don’t waste both of our time. If you are going to write to me, explain yourself. If we agree on a plan, great! But if you don’t plan to come in for a consultation or leave a deposit, please don’t waste my time.
You can see my portfolio on the same platform you contacted me with, and set a date to further discuss your tattoo via consultation if you are serious.
Social Media is well known for fantasy clients
There are millions of people all day scrolling and gawking at things they might wanna buy one day. When that day comes, we are happy to help, but please approach us correctly.
I’m not saying you have to be overly polite or walk on eggshells, but God damn, have some online decency and respect, as I hope you would have it in person. This should be common knowledge, but in my past few years of online experiences I felt I should speak on it a little.
Thank you for coming, this Is Dave, see you in my next Ted talk.