8 Tattoo Business Mistakes to Watch Out For

Tattoos are cool until you hear about the mistakes some ink artists have made on their journey to becoming the experts they are today. These unfortunate incidents have left some with a string of penalties that included fines and license suspension.

If you are a budding ink artist, make it a point to read about the tattoo business mistakes of artists just like you. This way, you can know how to navigate an ‘oh sh*t ‘moment or avoid it altogether.

Okay. Let’s get started!

Countdown: Eight Common Tattoo Business Mistakes Many People Make

Here are some of the biggest tattooing mistakes noting:

1. Getting the spelling wrong

Many tattoo artists on Reddit have shared how they got the spelling wrong, especially where a word was translated from one language to another. This happens a lot if someone wants a tattoo in a language they don’t understand.

In such a case, it will be up to you to use the internet to find the correct grammar and spelling before going forth. Some clients are pretty petty and might opt not to pay or demand free tattoo cover-up.

2. Believing that the customer is always right

Many tattooing mistakes happen because the artist believed the widely spread business mantra that the customer is always right. You are the expert-the first and last person who should guide customers to a pleasant tattooing experience. 

So when someone approaches you with a tattoo idea, an acronym, or any other complex puzzle, ask to know the meaning. That’s if they are willing to share. If not, remind them of the limited removal options available and their approximate costs.

Key Lesson: always double-check spelling…scratch that. Triple check!

3. Ask to know pre-existing medical conditions

There are two instances where inking can go wrong when the customer is drunk or has a blood clot problem. These two conditions can result in continuous bleeding that makes the procedure impossible to complete.

In case someone is HIV+, that’s unsafe to you, the artist. Secondly, if one of the tools used during the procedure is not sanitized correctly, you could pass on the infection to innocent clients. As you can see, failing to inquire about a pre-existing medical condition can result in complications that could cripple you or your business.

Key Lesson: insist on knowing your customer’s medical condition or spell out medical instances where tattooing could go wrong.

4. Refusing to own your mistakes

Perhaps one of the biggest tattoo business mistakes is refusing to admit your errors. Shit happens (pardon the language). When this becomes the case, either refund your customer or offer to cover up their tattoo with any other choice they had in mind.

Refusing to own your mistakes is nothing short of painting your business black. In a few months down the line, you’ll have a long string of poor reviews and bad ratings.

Related: A Handy Checklist to Make Money From Your New Tattoo Business

Key lesson: Take some responsibility and admit that you erred. Next, apologize and do what’s right-fixing your errors.

Your talent and customer mishaps aside, here are other mistakes that could still cripple the upward projection of your business.

5. Not being strategic with your domain name

Sure, you can have anything as your domain name. After all, you’ll still have a website, right? Here’s something you need to know; having the right domain name that reflects your business gives you a competitive advantage when it comes to search engine optimization.

Examples of strategic business names include TattooPro (even though we sell tattoo software for shop owners), Authoritytattoo, ink masters, Inkpros, Inkartists, TattooArtisans, etc. You get the drill, right?

Key lesson: Don’t choose your website name blindly. Find the ones that search engines will love the most.

6. Failure to market on social media

If you are a tattoo artist worth the salt, then your designs rock. So the question is, why are you not showcasing them? The tattoo business is all about visuals-exactly what social media consumers love. 

Therefore, if your habit of populating your pages with your daily gigs and designs, you will gain a considerable following: a pool of fans and potential clients. Besides opening a fan page, you could also leverage social media ads to showcase some of your best designs to people within your country or city. Key lesson: Show off your work on social media to increase your client base.

7. Failure to market through email

Email marketing is not going anywhere soon. It remains one of the best channels for remarketing. We know you want statistics but let’s be honest. A customer who bought from you can be converted more quickly than the one who hasn’t.

Related: A Compelling List of Tattoo Industry Statistics for Business Owners

Every time a customer comes in and fails to get their email, you commit a huge tattoo business mistake. And that mistake is that you are leaving money on the table for others to scoop. With client emails, you can send them alerts regarding the latest designs or irresistible promotions. 

If email marketing seems like a big step, then text marketing can be the next appealing choice. All you need is your customers’ contacts to market straight to their mobile phones.

Key Lesson: Attempt email marketing. It still works. If you go this road, make sure you have strong copywriting skills or work with the best word slingers.

8. Failing to uphold professional standards

Tattoo lawsuits are rare, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. If you are found to act with negligence while handling customers, you can lose your license.

Before you launch the business, make sure you have all the necessary equipment (rubber gloves, stencil, ink, furniture, etc. There are also several tattoo studio software that makes the lives of artists much easier by automating their daily operations.

Upholding professional standards also includes providing clients with tattoo aftercare instructions. This level of professionalism and thoroughness makes customers not only trust you enough to come back but recommend you to others as well.

Key Lesson: Try to meet all the local government requirements and always be professional.

Wrapping up (those mistakes!)

Lastly, don’t be tempted to ink anyone, and that includes teenagers and kids without approval from parents or guardians. Gladly, there are many tattoo consent forms that you can download and have those in charge sign so their kids can get tattooed.

We hope these few setbacks from fellow tattoo artists will help you avoid making costly tattoo business mistakes. Be watchful for spelling and grammar goofs, as these seem to be the most significant challenges many ink artists encounter.

FAQs on Tattoo Business Mistakes

What can go wrong with tattoos?

A lot can go wrong during a tattooing procedure. Some common issues to expect include continuous bleeding, allergic reactions, skin infections, scar overgrowth, bloodborne disease, burning, and swelling.

What happens if you make a mistake while tattooing?

Mistakes are bound to happen when tattooing. Some of those will be beyond your control. However, the first right step is to identify the error, fix it, or cover it with a better alternative. If there is no second tattoo choice, give your customers a refund.

Can a tattoo artist be sued for bad work?

Yes, you can sue a tattoo artist if you have evidence of a breach of the agreement. A spelling error, for example, is a clear indication that the artist did not double-check before starting to tattoo. In this case, the artist will be fined for disfigurement and the resulting mental trauma.