Four Steps to Mobile Spray-Tanning Success

by | Farr Factor

Successful mobile spray-tanning success is all about communication. This is especially the case if you’re traveling to new locations and meeting new clients. Do you know how to communicate effectively when you book your potential mobile spray tan? What you want to do is make sure your clients have a great experience. Here are examples of the questions you must ask during that crucial first conversation:

1. Why is the client/party getting tanned?

You need to assess your clients to best accommodate their needs. This is where you figure out what solutions you need to bring, get an idea of their expectations, and develop rapport.

2. Price-per-client and group rates

If you set up a group rate with the host based on the number of people coming, discuss an alternate price should that number of clients not show up. Be sure to bring more disposables and solution than you think you’ll need.

Note: You should charge for travel if you don’t already. Add $10-20 per client or party for your travel costs. If there are six or more people in attendance, spray the host for free or waive your travel fee. That is not necessary, but it provides an incentive for the host to make sure all six guests show up.

3. Where to set up your tent?

You definitely need a tent. Most spray tan pros recommend a black or brown spray tanning tent with clear top and upper side panels for lighting. Also, tell your client that you need a well-lit space that has floors that are neither carpeted or porous. This makes it easy to wipe down in case of a spill. You’ll also need a ceiling height that accommodates your tent.

You need access to an electrical outlet, so don’t forget to bring an extension cord. You’ll also need a water source.  If your tent can fit inside a bathroom, this works well because they have an added exhaust system you can use during your service. (Spraying a client in their bathtub should be a last resort.) Kitchens, garages, patios, laundry rooms might also work well.

4. Client prep and tan maintenance

Proper prep is key for a great tan. This is one of a thousand reasons to have a quality website for your business. You simply tell the client to click on the “Tanning Preparation” or similar link on your site to find out how to prepare for their appointment.

Send the client/host an email with the list when they book. It’s important to include the agreed-upon prices per tan/group rates/travel fees and estimated number of attendees, plus any other information you discussed. Your client/host will have all the information written down, and you will be able to reference the email should any issues arise when you get there.

Remember, the more prep work you do, the more confident and efficient you will be, and that is professionalism. Your reputation will build with each thoughtful experience, and your business will grow in kind.

How to educate your clients about pre-appointment spray tan preparation

Feel free to copy and paste these directions directly onto your website. The tips offered here are a compilation of the best advice from many of my tanning salon owners who also do quite well with custom spray tanning.

Try to book your spray tan 24-48 hours before your special occasion/trip/event. Most spray tan techs offer a “rapid tan” that develops in 1-4 hours. Tans last about a week with proper care. Your airbrush menu page describes the different solutions we offer. All are equal quality. Find your perfect based on personal preference.

Here’s a quick list for your spray tan prep to provide your customers:

  1. Shower, shave, and exfoliate the day before your tan. Do NOT use shave gel/cream or Dove products. If you plan to shave right before your appointment, let me know so I can give you a cold towel to close your pores.
  2. Schedule waxing appointments for a day in advance if possible, and definitely prior to your tanning appointment. Waxing will remove your tan.
  3. Do not apply oil-based lotions, deodorant, or makeup directly before your tan. Let me know if you need makeup remover. If you have an appointment later that day, do not use baby oil as a lotion.
  4. I will provide a wipe to remove deodorant. This prevents you from developing green armpits. (It’s a temporary but annoying condition.)
  5. Wear dark, loose-fitting clothing, flip flops, and a strapless bra or top. (Most people tan without a top on, which is your preference, but putting it back on can be tricky if it has straps. No bra after your tan is best.)
  6. Schedule all hair appointments, manicures, and pedicures prior to your tanning session to avoid scrubbing your tan off.

Here’s a quick maintenance list of things to do after your tanning session:

  1. Stay dry for the set period of time as recommended for your tan to fully develop.
  2. Sleeping in your tan is okay if you follow your aftercare.
  3. Any bronzer that gets on your sheets or clothes should wash out without worry, but don’t use or wear your best clothes to your appointment or through your setting time. A reliable rule is that if face makeup washes out of it, so should the bronzer.
  4. When you look in the mirror at the end of your set time, don’t panic. You are not going to remain THAT dark. You are looking at your now-tanned skin with bronzer on top of it. Relax. Rinse.
  5. Preserve that top layer of skin! Shower with warm water (not hot) to rinse off excess bronzer.
  6. Use your hand, not a loofah or washcloth, to make sure it’s all off.
  7. Use recommended body wash, not bar soaps such as Dove, Dial, Irish Spring, Oil of Olay, etc.
  8. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Also remember to hydrate by drinking water regularly.
  9. Shaving will shorten the longevity of your tan, but shouldn’t immediately strip it. Shave gels and creams, however, will strip your tan and cause streaks. Use hair conditioner to shave while you have a spray tan.
  10. Rinse with fresh water and moisturize after exposure to drying agents such as chlorine or salt water.
  11. Use an SPF all day every day. We recommend spray sunscreen.

If you have any questions, I will go over everything and answer questions at the time of your appointment.

Good Luck With Your Mobile Spray Tanning!

More and more tanning salon owners are incorporating custom spray tanning into their business’s service menu. This is a great idea because it offers you the opportunity to tan people who can’t or won’t use UV tanning as well as tan people who need one-time color for various special events. Like anything else in this business, custom spray tanning success means paying attention to details and offering a high-quality, professional service. These tips should help you toward that goal.

Four Steps to Mobile Spray-Tanning Success

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