Most well-known tattoo artists might have a Facebook page for their tattoo parlor that shows off some of their work and gives users and potential customers general information on the store, such as how they got started or where the shop is located. Usually it stops there, and artists might see a slight bump in customer growth thanks to higher visibility. However, one artist felt that wasn't enough. She wanted to give users a true inside view of her shop and her artistry, and now she has close to 1 million fans.
Liz Cook is like any other tattoo artist. She has her own store in Texas called the Rebel Muse Tattoo Studio, and she greets and helps any customers who come into her store eager to get their first, or next, tattoo. Yet Cook is much different than the rest. On any given day, you might see her husband, Cookie, filming Liz as he asks her questions. Normally these inquiries are done while she is actually giving a person their next tattoo. While this might seem peculiar, it's not. Cook is posting these videos to Facebook Live, a new streaming tool the social media platform added to its site a few months ago. At first, Cook's husband asked the questions while she streamed the content live. Now, she has fans posting new questions for her daily, allowing her to get more views, more customers and more fans of what she does.
"Cook has fans posting questions daily, allowing her to get more views and more customers."
Cookie is often mindful to show off Liz's latest masterpiece as well as document how she goes about completing the process, one part of the video that fans tend to enjoy. Unlike other tattoo shops, Liz has her own style – she only creates high-end portraits as well as realism pieces for her customers. Her talent has certainly caught the attention of others, even fellow tattoo artists in far away places such as Russia, the U.K. and even Australia.
Cook admits that she had the plan to share her process for awhile on a live streaming site, but none of them really drew in a lot of fans. First, she tried Periscope, a popular streaming tool that many celebrities have used to address their fans and answer their questions. However, for some reason Cook wasn't getting a lot of fans or questions from the site, despite streaming new videos frequently. So that's when she turned to Facebook Live, but initially found that her business was restricted. When the tool first launched in August 2015, it was only available to public figures such as celebrities and athletes, keeping her out of the loop. Then in December 2015, the tool could be used by any verified Facebook page, so Cook was good to go. Now, the tool can be used by just about anyone who has a smartphone with video capabilities.
Cook noted that at first, she figured fans wouldn't be interested in watching her create tattoos and she would get few clicks from it. But because of the creativity involved in her tattoos, as well as their uniqueness, Cook started to see lots of people interested in watching her work, so she decided to add questions to the mix to make it more engaging.
Usually, the questions Cookie asks are relatively simple. He might ask about the different colors she is using or what her favorite type of tattoo gun is. Cook sees anywhere between 1,000 and 5,000 people viewing her video as she streams it. Sometimes she will post the video on her Facebook page for 24 hours, and that's when she really sees a spike in the number of people visiting and liking her page. Sometimes the videos can get up to 30,000 views in one night.
Before she started uploading and streaming regular Facebook Live videos, she had around 700,000 likes on her page. Now, she noted that she has over one million, all thanks to a simple video tool. Naturally, Cook is surprised by her massive success and noted that she only expected she would get those kinds of likes if she had her own reality show. But instead, Cook gets to share what she wants and engage with all of her fans on a daily basis, making the job all the more rewarding.
"It's crazy to make that kind of difference without even having to be on TV or anything," Cook said to the publication Refinery 29. "Learning to be a better Live presenter is the next evolution of being a great tattooer."
She suggested that other artists who are looking for more publicity should follow in her footsteps.
Facebook Live is a very simply tool for anyone to use, and can even be uploaded using a smartphone. All people have to do is simply post under their status update to get the video to stream live. Hopefully others like Cook will be able to show their work and share their talent.