More Information on Scalp MicroPigmentation by Team Micro
If you are in the research phase of finding out about Scalp MicroPigmentation, make sure you stop by Team Micro for a library of articles – a reliable source of information. We chat with founder Damien Porter about his long standying involvment within this industy, Team Micro and how he is supporting SMP Artists from all over the world.
CLINIC LISTINGS, RESOURCES & MARKETING INFORMATION FOR SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION ARTISTS INTERVIEW WITH DAMIEN PORTER Scalp MicroPigmentation recipient Damien Porter created a well known brand called Team Micro to help both clients looking into having this procedure as well as artists looking for Scalp MicroPigmentation products, further learning videos and marketing & website design.
ABOUT DAMIEN PORTER FROM TEAM MICRO | LONDON UK You may hear us talk about the ‘Team Micro Awards’ during our 5 Minute Fast Facts series, Damien is the founder of this company and we discuss the need for a place where clients can find useful information about Scalp MicroPigmentation and a list of clinics and providers. Team Micro also has another side, the SMP Community conferences, awards and marketing and product support for Artists.
Here’s whats in the video above….
Caitlin J.: Hi everyone, Caitlin James here from scalp micro-pigmentation Australia. And welcome to our five minute fast facts on scalp micro-pigmentation interviews with pro artists series, which today we are going to be having a guest speaker here.
He’s not actually a scalp micro-pigmentation artist himself, but he knows just about everything there is to know about scalp micro-pigmentation. He’s all the way from the UK; he’s the owner of our online community for scalp micro-pigmentation artists and consumer information. It’s a company called ‘Team Micro’. Today, we have with us, Damien Porter. So welcome, Damien.
Damien P.: Oh, thank you. Thank you very much for having me.
Caitlin J.: Excellent. So tell us a little bit about your own personal experience with getting scalp micro-pigmentation on yourself many years ago. And how did you discover it as a treatment option for hair loss for yourself?
Damien P.: Sure. So I used to work for a publishing company here in the UK, and one of my clients asked me to go out and see them. They had this crazy idea that they didn’t want to talk about on the phone. And it turns out that company was a company called his hair clinic which people are probably familiar with, they started SMP here in the UK. And I thought it was a crazy stupid idea, but they asked me to be the director of marketing.
So I kind of got involved with the business, and in all honesty, I wasn’t particularly fussed about losing my hair, but rather I had no reasons not to. I mean, I was four years into the industry, and I’ve seen all these amazing transformations. And people kept saying why are you not getting it done? And I didn’t have a good answer to that question, so I got it done. And I think it was probably a year after I got it done I realized how much better I felt.
You know it’s strange, I didn’t feel unconfident before, but I felt so much better afterward it’s really difficult to explain. I think what it does is that when you look back on old photographs of yourself, and you think, you just realize how much you are thinning out, you wish you could go back in time and redo those photographs but just looking better. Do you know what I mean? It’s kind of weird, but yes, that’s my story.
Caitlin J.: Yes. And so how long have you had your scalp micro-pigmentation for now?
Damien P.: I had mine done in 2013, so it’s about seven years old.
Caitlin J.: So after you had the treatment done, how have you seen our industry changed say over the last six years?
Damien P.: I guess it’s the same as with anything, that the process has become more refined and sophisticated over time. I mean some of the work that was world-class six years ago is subpar now, and that’s a good thing. We’re just getting better and better as an industry at producing world-class work. We’re seeing a lot less bad work, and the standard is being raised.
So you know when new people are entering SMP when they enter the industry. The baseline of quality that they’re operating at is better than it was years ago because they have greater availability. They have greater availability of training; I think support to mentorship has come a really long way as well. And this Facebook community has really blown up, and that provides a lot of support as well. So I think well another thing that is happening is that years ago, there was a misunderstanding over where the benchmark should be.
And we saw a lot of clients who were really happy with how their treatment looked, and we weren’t convinced. Whereas now, I think the awareness of what is possible and what should be expected is far higher. So I think that’s translated to artists who are joining the industry, they see the work that some of the very best artists in the world are doing, and they use that as a benchmark. So they understand that they have to strive a little bit harder to produce that level of work. So I think a lot of things have changed, I don’t think we can even compare SMP five, six years ago to what it is today.
Caitlin J.: Yes. And so having said how far we have come as an industry, where do you think our industry is heading then in the next six years?
Damien P.: Well, that’s the 64 million dollar question. I think we’re going to see some positive and some negative changes. We cannot ignore the law of supply and demand, so we are going to see SMP become commoditized as more and more people enter the business. But I believe that that’s going to create even more so than we have now, a place for those clinics that Excel above all the rest.
Because as the industry becomes commoditized, we’re going to see an increase in, I don’t know; I don’t think it’s going to be good for the overall quality. Because a lot of people are going to treat SMP as an add-on to their main business. And to be really passionate about SMP, and to really get good at it, you’ve got to have momentum; you got to do lots and lots of SMP work. And if it’s an add-on, if it’s one of 20 services that you offer, you’re never going to build that momentum.
So it’s the dedicated SMP clinics I think that over time we’re going to be able to hold, they’re going to continue to charge a little bit more. And they’ve continued to be the choice for those that do their research. I guess my worry is I don’t want every street corner to have an SMP company and the quality that they deliver being the benchmark by which our entire industry is judged.
Because a lot of people get their head done because their friend or their father or their uncle or their colleague had it done, and they think it’s amazing and they then make an inquiry themselves, that’s how a lot of clients come into business. So we just want to hope that their friend or their colleague or their uncle or whoever had a good job, because that’s how we’re going to hit the mainstream. So I just hope that we’re able to ensure that the standards remain high, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect the industry to regulate itself in that way. I think the best of the best do that, but as the industry expands, that’s not going to happen as much. I think the best thing we can do is to educate the consumer so that they understand what they should expect.
And if there’s an SMP company in their area that isn’t delivering that standard, then that SMP Company simply won’t get the work, which will force them to strive for better or force them out the market? And I think maintaining that level, that standard, that level of realism is key to everything that we’re trying to do. Because ultimately, everything that we’re doing as an industry is paid for by the number of people that want to get the heads done, and that’s affected by how they perceive SMP.
Caitlin J.: Yes, excellent. So you have a company called team micro, which was previously called scalp guru. Where did the idea of starting this online community come from? And how long has it been going now?
Damien P.: It wasn’t actually an online community at first. I guess I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I was working on a freelance basis for three major SMP companies. And I wanted to do something for myself, just as an outlet for my kind of desire to write, I suppose. And I’ve always run various different businesses as well as the consultancy stuff, so I guess I just needed, I wanted something to pull my creativity into, that was something that I was building for me, rather than for my clients I suppose. And so it started out as a simple blog site, and it just grew from there.
The traffic just started increasing more and more, and then that site then morphed into a Facebook group, which was pretty small at the time. We then ran the first meeting of minds in the UK, and from the meeting of minds, we launched the online store, and then from there, we launched our consultancy business.
So things have grown organically to a certain extent, but when we first launched, we had no intention of making it a business. We had no intention of making any money from it; it wasn’t a revenue generator. It was an outlet really just to be able to write about the topic that we love, that’s what it started as and it’s just gone from there, it’s been fantastic.
Caitlin J.: Excellent. So tell us a little bit what is actually on your Team Micro website and Facebook pages what might be useful to a client that’s researching having scalp micropigmentation as a hair loss solution?
Damien P.: Sure. So Teammicro.com is split into two very defined distinct areas. One for consumers, and one for artists. The consumer side of things is designed to educate them so that they understand kind of what we were talking about before about benchmarking. So if they’re going to have SMP, then we want them to have a really good experience. And for them to have that experience, they have to be armed with the right tools.
And that’s ensuring that they understand how the process works, what questions they need to ask during the consultation process. And also what level of treatment is, what standard of treatment they really could be striving for. So that when they’re choosing a clinic, they could look at their portfolios and understand whether that work is good or not so good or without having some kind of standard in place, they simply don’t know.
So it’s there as a place where they can get answers to all of their questions, and to understand not only what happens during the procedure, but what the long-term implications are after their procedures. So they have to go in with their eyes wide open. You know SMP is not perfect; it has limitations.
And the more they understand that process, and what it really involves, the more satisfaction they’re going to get from their procedure because the outcome is exactly what they were expecting. I think that answers your questions.
Caitlin J.: Yes, beautiful, thank you. And also, tell us how are you supporting the SMP artists with your annual conferences that you’re holding, and why did you decide to start these amazing events for us?
Damien P.: Well, the SMP industry is a really fragmented business. There are one or two large companies, but the majority are solo practitioners. Or like your own company Caitlin, you have a small team. But the majority of companies they stay as a single artist working out of a single office, and it could be quite isolating. And it’s the same as anything, you know these guys and girls they need motivation, they need togetherness, they need unity, they want to feel like a part of something.
And it’s good for our industry to do that too. If we want to maintain standards to a certain extent, then we have to have that togetherness. So the main reason is exactly for that, but also it gives us a way because there was no central point of the industry before team micro was there. So we wanted a way that if we wanted to steer the industry in a certain way, that we could do that together.
We can make decisions weekly about what the industry needs, and we could have at least some kind of collaborative, collective of people who could do that together because no individual can do that. You can’t; I can’t; we have to do it together, so that’s largely the reason. As a second part of the answer to your question, the reason we continued is because after our first event, what we found was something really remarkable happened.
So we had an industry that was, everyone was kind of doing their own thing, and the people were very secretive. They didn’t want to share what pigments they were using, what techniques they were using, and everyone was very kind of defensive in a way. And after the conference, the first conference in Leeds, we didn’t notice this straightaway, but about three or four months after, people started saying hey, the Brits were going out to America to train and the Americans were going to Australia, and the people from Asia were coming to the UK.
And what was happening was that people were making these little connections. So somebody who they’ve met there at the event, they happen to have a conversation with somebody, they had gotten really well with them, they had a really interesting discussion, and these relationships were forming. And it’s something that we take for granted now; it happens all the time. But you got to bear in mind back then; social media was not as big a part of the SMP industry as it is now.
So although that has grown organically and exponentially from that point, I’d like to think we played a fairly big role in at least getting that process started. And that’s why we continued the event because we saw a really tangible real-world benefit to the industry from that after the first event. So that kept us motivated to keep going.
Caitlin J.: Yes, excellent. And we certainly all really enjoy catching up every year, so I can’t wait for the next one.
Damien P.: Yes. I mean, that’s the other thing. We all have a few glasses of wine, and we meet up with our friends that we haven’t seen in a while. I mean, to a certain extent, what other opportunities do we have? You come from Adelaide, Australia.
You know we have friends as you know we have Renata in Canada, we have Pam and Theresa in the US and lots and lots of other friends who come and all meet, and it’s the only time we get to meet each other. And that’s a big part of it as well, and we enjoy it.
Caitlin J.: Yes, absolutely- thank you. For a client, who is looking into having scalp micro-pigmentation, is there anything that you can suggest to them that are doing their research. How is it they can come to the decision on choosing the right scalp micro-pigmentation artist for them?
Damien P.: I think it’s all about the personal connection because it’s not just a case of going into the clinic and having your head done. You’re making a long-term commitment to that artist, and they should be making a long-term commitment to you. So you’ve got the consultation process, you’ve got the treatment itself. But then as time goes on as the year’s progress, you need somebody who you have a good relationship with who can give you honest advice when it comes to assessments, whether or not you need top-ups that type of thing. So that person is going to be a part of your life for a long time.
So I think that personal connection is really important. Of course, we need to make sure that you look at their portfolio. That not only that, they have a good portfolio, but they have work within their portfolio, that is a reasonably close match to what you’re looking for. So that you can get an idea what SMP might look like for you with your skin type and your preferences and that type of thing.
So, for example, if you have Alopecia Areata, you can have a really experienced artist, but they have no experience in treating clients with alopecia, then that’s something you need to factor in. So there are certain things like that. I don’t think it necessarily has to be the artist with the most experience or the one who’s been around for the longest; it’s got to be the one who offers you that combination of confidence in their ability, confidence in their level of service that they’re going to provide.
Somebody who frankly gives a shit, you want someone who’s got your back. And I think that’s some of the criticism that some of the larger companies have had over the years, is that it’s become a little bit more impersonal. And that’s why so many of these artists that are able to master that personal touch are doing so well. And of course, location does play a part; it’s not the most important thing.
But if you’re making multiple trips, then what you’re really looking for is somebody who ticks all those boxes. And location is a minor box, although it’s still definitely a box. And I think yes, just trust you gut instinct, and if you don’t trust your gut instincts, then look at reviews.
Have another conversation with the artist that you’re considering, and be honest. Say look; I really want to get this done. I’m nervous about pulling the trigger; I’m looking for some reassurance. And you’ll soon work out if that technician had got your back or not, by the responses to that.
Caitlin J.: Yes, excellent. Well, there you have it. Thank you to the man dedicated to the cause from Team Micro all the way from the UK, and for being on our five minutes fast facts Pro scalp micro-pigmentation Artist Series.
I’m sure you have made many of our viewers and listeners feel more comfortable about the idea of having scalp micro-pigmentation. So we hope to have you back at another time, thank you, Damien.
Damien P.: Thank you very much for having me.
Caitlin J.: Excellent. If you have any questions or comments, we would like to hear from you. So don’t be shy, you can either call or email us. Feel free to pop something in the comments below, and we hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.
Damien P.: Thank you.
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Caitlin James is the lead artist and founder of Scalp Micropigmentation Australia – one of the best providers of Scalp MicroPigmentation transformation, changing the lives of those living with hair loss. We create the look of a full head of shaven hair by tattooing follicle impressions onto the scalp creating seamless and undetectable effect of a shaven look. We can add the look of fuller density to both men and women with longer hair and hair transplants as well as camouflaging scalp or beard scars.