Updated: Feb 11
Back by popular demand we kick off our relaunch with none other than Team Micro's very own Damien Porter AKA The Scalp Micropigmentation Guru.
Damien Porter, an entrepreneur and business consultant based in the North of England. Damien has owned successful businesses in multiple industries from publishing and consultancy to retail and ecommerce. Specialising in start-ups, his expertise is diverse with a unique combination of skills including strategic planning, search engine marketing, design, sales and distribution. Damien has been heavily involved in the scalp micropigmentation business since 2008, and offers a wealth of specialist knowledge and experience. He has working relationships with a number of leading and boutique scalp micropigmentation companies, and has a broader knowledge of the SMP industry than anyone else in the world. Damien handled marketing for HIS Hair Clinic, innovators of scalp micropigmentation, at a time when no-one had heard of SMP. Damien held this position for 6 years from 2009 to 2015, and played a pivotal role in growing the business from a single location to nearly 20 clinics worldwide. He also worked at a senior consultancy level with Vinci Hair Clinic, another major industry contender, and later joined Scalp Aesthetics for 2 years, helping to restructure their business model and grow the company into the world’s largest scalp micropigmentation treatment and training provider. Damien now owns and operates the world’s leading marketing agency for scalp micropigmentation and permanent makeup artists, Team Micro. Team Micro works with over 1000 clinics and is the most trusted and recommended provider in the industry. Industry leaders since 2009, Team Micro is a collaboration of 15 exceptionally gifted individuals, dedicated to the growth and development of scalp micropigmentation and permanent makeup businesses. Their clients are based on every continent. They promote and market clinics in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and everywhere in-between. Team Micro works with new artists as well as the biggest names in the industry. If you’re just starting out, or want to take your business to the next level, Team Micro can help!
To get in contact with Damien and Team Micro: https://www.teammicro.com
FB: Team Micro International (group)
Below you will find the podcast transcription. Click on the photo to view the full interview on YouTube, don't forget to like and subscribe to our channel.
David Santiago 0:00
What's up guys? Today's episode is sponsored by Team Micro, the world's leading web design specialists for SMP artists. Is your website lacking? Do you feel it needs well, something more? Do you even have a website in the market since the very beginning, Team Micro is the godfather of SMP, no one understands your business quite like they do with a team of 14 website designers, marketers, content writers, search engine optimization specialist and support staff. Team Micro has everything that you need, go to Teammicro.com/marketing and mentioned the Scalp Solutions Podcast to get a free needle pack worth $200 When you sign up now let's get to the Episode
David Santiago 1:24
What's going on guys, welcome back to the scalp solutions podcast. I'm your host, David Santiago and I am super excited for this episode because it is the relaunch after a one year hiatus of the scalp solutions podcast and to bring back the show. Who do I have none other than the man himself. Damien Porter. Damien, what's going on, brother?
Damien Porter 1:49
Hey, how you doing, David? I'm real, real pleased to be on here, man. And congratulations on the relaunch the podcast. That's so awesome. So awesome.
David Santiago 1:56
Thank you, my brother. Thank you for coming on. It is an honour. I know you are to some of us in the industry, the Scalp Guru, the Scalp Guru. Let's talk. Can we touch on that real quick Scalp Guru? How'd you get that name The Scalp Guru?
Damien Porter 2:10
Yes, sure. Sure. So, way back when we actually started out as SMP guru. We changed it later on. And I guess, I don't know. I mean, we've kind of broadened our scope of what we do. And I suppose as well like Scalp Guru coloured depicts a person, whereas, you know, we're a team, you know, every member of my team is just as valuable as the next. So we wanted a name that kind of reflected that. So yeah, we changed it Team Micro and yeah, we prefer that it fits us a lot better.
David Santiago 2:41
Outstanding. So yeah, Team Micro is now and I was, you know, I should have got to that first. Where are you from? And the business that you currently now represent?
Damien Porter 2:50
Sure. So we're based in the UK. But the majority of our clients are in the US. We also have a lot of clients in Canada, Australia, and of course, in the UK as well. Yeah, we're increasingly servicing much of Europe as well.
David Santiago 3:04
Outstanding. So we're gonna touch in a little bit about our team micro and exactly everything that you guys offer and what you do. But before we go into that, I want to ask you, how do you come about Scalp Micropigmentation?
Damien Porter 3:16
It's kind of a weird story. So I used to work in publishing, I used to work for one of the biggest newspapers here in the UK. And I got a call one day from this guy who said, "Hey, I've got this this new procedure. Come check it out". So I turned up at this house in Birmingham, which is like the UK is the second largest city. And we were talking for a while just kind of, you know, just not really about anything specific. And I was just kind of sat there wondering like, you know, what's this about? And he then told me that he'd had his hair tattooed back on, and we've been sat chatting for about 15, 20 minutes, and I hadn't noticed anything was off. I mean, bearing in mind, like this was in the early days of SMP when things were, you know, the procedures were nowhere near as good as they are now. And I just, I couldn't believe it. I was just blown away by it. Anyway, we ran a story, and I got a phone call. Probably about a week later, asking me to go back in to discuss a job opportunity.
Damien Porter 4:25
So the person I met was Ian Watson who started his hair clinic once upon a time they were like the biggest SMP clinic in the world. And they wanted to bring me in as their marketing director, and I ended up staying there for six years. And that's kind of how I got involved in SMP. I think, kind of at the time, there was a real kind of beat the industry was trying to grow. There were more and more people that were sort of showing an interest and really wanting to get involved in SMP but nobody, training courses didn't exist. Nobody wanted to talk about what was in the pigments, what pigments are being used, what techniques it was all kind of it was kind of like the Wild West, you know, magic pigments and special needles and all that kind of stuff. And I just, I didn't like the fact that the whole industry, an industry that had really kind of grown to love and I was really passionate about, I didn't like the fact that the industry was being held back by this lack of information. So I launched what later became team micro with the purposes of kind of sharing that information. And at the time, it was just us, and it was Steven Greitzer and Taryn Quinterri, actually, we're trying to do the same thing via Facebook group with our Facebook group is still around. And yeah, that's kind of sort of where we were sort of born from was just a passion to kind of share information and cut through some of the bullshit that was circulating in the industry at the time.
David Santiago 5:48
Gotch you. And now, I'm just gonna backtrack a little bit. So this gentleman that brought Scalp Micropigmentation to your attention, was he trying to like, pitch you? Was he trying to like, Hey, man, I have something, you know, for you or something like that? Or was it just like a genuine like, Hey, this is a business opportunity?
Damien Porter 6:04
Yeah, it was. So initially, it was he wanted a media story, you know. So that was kind of what it was about, but we just hit it off. And I think at the time, because his business was very, very new. I mean, this was back in 2010. So you know, his business is very new. And I think the fact that I was so passionate and so intrigued by what he was doing, I think that kind of I think he just kind of felt some kind of connection with me and wanted me to be a part of that journey. And yeah, I jumped at the chance.
David Santiago 6:37
Got it. Awesome. So now, before team micro and before, just Scalp Micropigmentation, in general, what were you doing prior to that?
Damien Porter 6:45
So I've always been in publishing, I was a sales director for one of the biggest magazine companies, I worked for a magazine called FHM, which some people might be familiar with. I did a lot of work with the Daily Mirror newspaper, which as I mentioned, is the second largest newspaper in the UK. And I ran E commerce businesses. So you know, I was deeply entrenched in web design, SEO, the logistical side of running an E commerce business, you know, it was, yeah, so I did a lot of different things. Yeah, just a finger a lot of pies. You know, I was kind of trying to discover kind of what I wanted out of life in my career. So I tried a lot of different things to see kind of what stuck with me.
David Santiago 7:29
Outstanding. And then of course, that leads us into what we now know, Team Micro. Talk to us about team micro. Damian, let us know what it is that team micro offers for our community Scalp Micropigmentation. I know you also cover other vast industry, by all means, just touch on that, please.
Damien Porter 7:48
Sure. I mean, core to what we do is, yeah, we're an information resource for consumers, you know, so we have the biggest site in the industry teammicro.com gets about 3000 visits a day, which is awesome. So first and foremost, we're an Information Portal, but we kind of developed from there. So we launched a conference, the meeting of minds, back in 2016. We had a way higher attendance that we expected. And that's kind of why that snowballed from there. And around that time, we launched online store for supplies, SMP supplies. And we had, where the business colour really took off was we had a customer, contact us and say, Hey, I really love your website, could you build one for me? And we've never really considered that before. And we did and sort of from there, we developed an SEO service, which, you know, we run SEO for close to 200 SMP clinics now around the world, I think we've built up something in the region of six or 700 websites for SMP and permanent makeup artists.
David Santiago 8:53
Damien Porter 8:54
So yeah, the website design and SEO site is now kind of like main, the main part of the business. So we have a team here of 14 people, designers, digital marketers, account managers, and administrators, you know, so yeah, we've grown pretty quickly.
David Santiago 9:09
You know, for the listeners that are new to the industry or just business in general. Um, you know, you say you guys work with SEO? Can you explain what SEO, what that is?
Damien Porter 9:21
Sure. So SEO is the process of convincing Google that your website deserves a place on the first page of results for search terms that your customers are using, you know, so if you imagine, you know, let's say you want to rank top of Google for scalp micropigmentation, New York, right? There's billions of web pages online. And Google somehow has to sift through all of those pages to decide who deserves a space on that first page. So SEO search engine optimization is the process of doing the necessary to give Google the correct signals so that they say Hey, I like this site. You know, we like this site. This site is relevant for us. for that search, so, you know, it's a great investment in any business because unlike ads, when you stop paying for ads, the traffic stops. Whereas with SEO, once you get there, generally you'll hold that position unless you're a super competitive area. So yeah, that's SEO.
David Santiago 10:16
Gotcha. So now I'm a new guy in the industry. You know, I'm a season SMP clinic owner, um, you know, sometimes necessarily, we don't really understand the steps to business. But where should I put my money first? Should I explore SEO or ads?
Damien Porter 10:35
That's a tough question. I think it depends where your priorities lie. So SEO is the long game. So you know, even if you paid our company, a million dollars a month, I can't get you top of google overnight just doesn't work that way. You know, so it's something that you have to do on a gradual basis, month by month. So with that in mind, you know, if a new company is just starting out, I mean, let's say the, as a new artist, you've got a sizable marketing budget, and you're able to, you're not afraid to spend it, then the optimal way to do it, is to start an SEO campaign and an ad campaign at the same time. And as the SEO really starts to take hold, and you start getting organic traffic through SEO, you can start to cut that budget down. So you kind of end up with a reduced Reliance over time on paid ads.
David Santiago 11:24
Gotcha. Okay. And I pose that, because that's such a big debate. It's like, what's where am I gonna put my money on SEO? Or am I going to put it on ads? And so people don't realize it is not? It's night and day when it comes to those two.
Damien Porter 11:37
Yeah, I think the issue is that with SEO, there's no guaranteed results, like even we I mean, we consider ourselves to be extremely good at what we do. But even we can't guarantee results, nobody can, you know, so our job is to give Google what we know they want. And Google then responds to that, you know, to that input. With ads, you can just upload your credit card details, press a couple of buttons, and you can get traffic tomorrow. So I think a lot of people default to ads. But the difficulty is that whether you're advertising on Google or Facebook, it's all behind the scenes, it's all based on an auction, right? So you're paying per click or per conversion, or whatever. You know, and that's only getting more and more expensive. Facebook is not producing the calories as it used to. There's more competition, it's getting more expensive to get results in Google ads is kind of the same. I mean, you know, so SEO really is kind of the way that's how we built our business, you know, those 3000 visits a day we go, I mean, 90% of that plus is from SEO, I think you need to do a bit of both. But the aim of SEO is to reduce your reliance on ads over time, because you don't get on appeal every month. I mean, it just gets crazy expensive.
David Santiago 12:51
It hurts sometimes, especially when they take that big chunk, you get the receipt, and then you like, oh, man, you only got five clients this month. Okay, great. So I now want some more visibility for my website, and I want to explore SEO, take me to the process, if I want to conduct business with Team Micro.
Damien Porter 13:09
Okay, first thing we need to do is figure out exactly what you need. I mean, you know, a brand new artists is going to need a very different approach than somebody like yourself, David, we've been in the industry for a while, there's a lot of different factors that kind of, you know, that influence kind of what that journey looks like, in terms of the work that we need to do. So first step is go in contact with us, we'll carry out an assessment of what we feel is needed. Obviously, it's in both our interests and to create something that is affordable, but also is going to produce the kind of results that you need. So it really is kind of on one kind of basis, depending on what's required. You know, from there, we kind of take over from that point, there might be some things that on the website needs to change. So we might need some login details. So you know, to make some edits, but most of the work goes on behind the scenes. And we'll give you a rank tracker so that you can monitor it, you know, there's no hiding behind rankings, you know, I mean, so that's why we give you that tracker for like to complete transparency. You get that tracker, and then you can monitor at any time so you're not relying on like monthly reports or anything like that. And yeah, we just keep you updated. Generally speaking, we'll do review every three months, things are going.
David Santiago 14:25
Outstanding. So every three months once you know how is it, is it a yearly premium or monthly premium, quarterly premium?
Damien Porter 14:32
Yeah, that's a, it's an ongoing arrangement. It's a minimum target top bands. And for any kind of SEO campaign that's really what you're looking at. But I mean, generally speaking after the first three months, you'll start to see some improvements. But really colour where the traffic spikes and where your what, whether number of calls and emails and bookings come in, is when you hit that first page. So it depending on where you are, I mean if you're on like if you're on an SMP clinic and brand new SMP clinic in here in Manhattan, it's going to take us longer to get you to where you want to be than what it would if you're in somewhere like West Palm Beach, right? So it does come down to competition. But generally speaking, you'll get some pretty good results within three maybe four months. And then you'll see like a steady, steady increase from there. But as soon as you hit the first page, that's where things start getting a little bit crazy. And that's where it all comes to fruition. And we love it, you know, because obviously, we have clients who are like, you know, what are we going to get there? When are we going to get there? And then one day, we get a call, and we're like, damn, what's going on? We do. So it's the immensely satisfying job, but it just takes a little while to get to where you need to get to know.
David Santiago 15:41
Yeah, I'm glad you touched on that, because I was gonna ask, because I know, you know, new business owners, and the way that Scalp Micropigmentation is marketed is kind of like, hey, you know, pay this for your fundamentals. And you're now on your way to a six figure salary. And, you know, practitioners, artists are like, desperate. So they need to understand that this is something that you need patience for.
Damien Porter 16:08
I think you and I have discussed this in private, I think there is so much to running a business beyond the procedure. And the difficulty is, is the, you know, artists, co creative people, you know, to get that combination between being super creative, and super savvy in business is a tough call. And sometimes you're asking artists to, you know, to understand things that either they've not been exposed to before, or they're just not that interested in. I mean, honestly, the majority of our clients at whether it's website design, or SEO, they don't care how all of it happens, they just want it to happen. So I think a lot of it is the way that training is sold in our industry, you know, it's like, come in and do this course. And look how much money we're making, you can make the same, you know, but it's like that is sniper iceberg analogy, isn't it, you know, what you see above the surface of the water is the glitz and the glamour and the nice cars and the watches and the money.
Damien Porter 17:07
You know, it's all the stuff beneath the surface is the, it's the late nights, it's the you know, it’s the risk factor, and, you know, risking it all to, you know, to make something happen. And you know, SMP is no different at all, you know, there's so many different areas of the business, you've got to get good at or bring in people that are good at that, if you like, for example, you know, either completely I have no interest in tax at all, don't talk about it. Don't want to, I just want to bill at the end of the year. So I hire an accountant to take care of that stuff. That brilliant. They just do they just do as needed to do. And a lot of people approach SEO, web design, or whatever it might be kind of in the same way. It's like, I don't want the recipe. I just want the dinner.
David Santiago 17:50
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, you could have, you could keep all that just give me the goods. Yeah, Awesome. So now on with Team Micro, right, we got the SEO, we can reach out to you for a team micro for SEO, you also do web design. And let me say you do amazing web design over there at Team micro. What's the process with that? Now do you just take on any artists? Or are you looking for someone who is already established in the industry? Or has the potential? How do you go about that?
Damien Porter 18:25
Our clients are so varied. I mean, I gotta say, we do have a definite passion for working with brand new brand new artists, because that's at the point where they're like, they're so excited about their new venture, and they want the best out of it. And it's also the time where they're most needy of guidance and support. And that's something we're pretty good at. So we do like working with new artists. But to be honest, a lot of the people we work with are second website clients, right? So these are people who, when they were starting out, they might have built their own website using Wix or Squarespace and it's like, it's okay, you know, and they've had a few clients in the business is starting to go places. And they think, okay, I need to take care of this now. So a lot of those clients will come to us, you know, when they want that website number two, where they really kind of want to upgrade. I mean, those we are we have some, you know, I mean, some of these really well established companies to you know, I mean, we've worked with Vinci, Scalp ascetics, is our clinic, you know, and a lot of the bigger colour independent SMP artists and permanent makeup artists as well.
Damien Porter 19:28
So we want everybody I mean, in terms of the process, it's try make it easy. I mean, the problem is you can, building a website is one of those things that it can take a fair bit of time, even on the client side, because obviously, we need certain things from that. So we need the photographs. And we need a little bit of creative input. But if a client can tell us kind of like I want something really clinical or really edgy or quite feminine or approachable, and then maybe they can show us a couple of sites that they liked. We can colour pick it up a rumba that, you know, I mean, all we really need is the photograph some of the feedback on our work. And generally speaking, you're talking well, four to six weeks depending on the client, I guess.
David Santiago 20:15
Got it, so now let me give you a scenario, right? I'm a new artists are kicked off my clinic and I wanted to do everything on my own because I am a true entrepreneur and I am now realizing, holy shit, I need to start delegating. And the first thing I want to do is my website, but on my own, I went, I got a, let's say, a Squarespace or Wix website. And you know, now I'm picking up may I got about 10 clients a month, and I'm ready to take it to the next level. Can you help me?
Damien Porter 20:45
Sure. So you speak with one of our account managers, Dale and Harris are great guys. Their job is to figure out what's needed, get a deal done, they say we've got monthly plans available as well, which is making it really easy. I mean, I think probably about half our clients pay for their websites monthly, it just kind of takes that initial, especially if they're just starting out. Or if cash flow is a little bit tight. Obviously we've had, you know, difficult times with COVID, or lockdowns and so on and so forth. You know, once that deal is done, we arrange a zoom call with our design manager. But the purpose that Zoom call is really to understand kind of what vision our client has. And if they don't have a vision at all, I have no clue what they want. That's cool, too. It's really, it's really kind of and that does happen. That happens a lot.
David Santiago 21:36
I was gonna ask, like, how often does that happen?
Damien Porter 21:38
All the time. All the time. I think it's just I think a lot of our clients just kind of say, Look, you know, I want a nice looking website, just make it happen for me, please. You know, and sometimes that is literally all.
David Santiago 21:52
I'm that guy.
Damien Porter 21:53
Yeah. So once, you know, kind of once we've established that, you know, we'll go away and build a design concept, which is basically a homepage, so just the homepage, nothing else. And the purpose of that is we want to come back to you and say, you know, look is, you know, are we along the right lines here? Or is there anything that you want to change, and we kind of go through that process, usually we hit the nail on the head first time, but quite often there's, you know, there's some things that need to be tweaked. So then once we've got that approval, we'll then go away and build the rest of the site, it's worth mentioning a couple of things. So we have a full time writer here who is very, very familiar with all aspects of SMP and permanent makeup. So writing the content per site is a real pain in the ass, you know, so we take care of that stuff. And the other side of it is the we do some kind of an initial basic SEO setup with every website, whether you buy an SEO service or not. So we take care of all of those things. And then once the client is happy with the website, when all of the snaggles has been taken care of any bits and pieces are taken care of, we can then go live. And it's a pretty simple process. I think because we were so heavy into this one market, we've got our process down to a fine art. So we try and kind of eliminate as much aggravation for the artists as possible, because we know the busy.
David Santiago 23:12
Got it and what's a normal what's like a standard turnaround time for you guys to develop the website and get it going live?
Damien Porter 23:21
Okay design concepts, we give you a guarantee of two weeks, as long as we get the things that we need from the client, there's a two week kind of deadline on our self imposed deadline for that design concept. After that, you're looking at the very, very fastest we can turn our website around this is about four weeks. You know, sometimes it's, I mean, six weeks is what we aim for as a maximum, sometimes it'll over stretch that and it's not usually anything on our side, it's usually just that it's an acceptance that our clients are busy. And if we're asking them for feedback, and some of them or some of our clients want to give like really detailed feedback, and it'll take them a while to come back to us with that. So it can take sort of up to eight weeks, but four to six weeks is typically the timescale that we aim for.
David Santiago 24:04
Got it and now um, you know, this next question I ask you, with the keeping in mind, the new artists who's ignorant to the process website and everything like that, but I have a Wix website. Do you your design team? Are you guys going into my Wix profile and redesigning it to, you know, to my liking? Or are you putting this on a totally different platform server?
Damien Porter 24:31
We are whether you're doing SEO with us or not. We want you to get the very best result. And WordPress is quite simply by far the best platform for SEO. So we build every single one of our sites of SEO and the other reason in WordPress so and the other reason for that is because Wix and Squarespace can be a little bit restrictive and sometimes you know when a client wants a particular thing to happen on site Wix, Squarespace and so on GoDaddy won't allow that to happen, that it's just not flexible enough, you know. So those platforms are not aimed at professional designers. They're aimed at people that want to build their own sites. So everything is done in WordPress. You know, with that in mind, you know, WordPress is quite unfamiliar to some people. When the website is done, it's live, we have a couple of options. So most of our clients will pay a small monthly retainer, typically around $80 a month, it's not a huge amount of money.
Damien Porter 25:33
But what that does is that retains a communication channel between the client and our design team, so anything they need on an ongoing basis, or make updates and changes, they just drop us an email. And within two days, it's done. Alternatively, we're quite happy to talk our clients through kind of how to log into the site, how to make those changes themselves, do they want to self manager, and often they actually want both. They want us to handle things, but they kind of also want that direct access because they set a website, you know, they want to be able to get in there. And do things need to do a drop of a hat.
David Santiago 26:07
Got it. So now what happens if David's your client and I want to gain a little bit access, but I now ruined the website?
Damien Porter 26:15
Good question. So we have a five day backup. So if the website is hosted on our server, which we thoroughly recommend for exactly this reason, every single day, there's a backup taken automatically of your site. So we can roll back up to five days. So if you go in and absolutely destroy your site, as long as you let us know, within those five days, we can roll back any changes you've made, and go back to the original unscrewed up website.
David Santiago 26:42
And you know, I bring that question up, because I am a perfect example of that. And for you guys listening out there, this is something you need to ask whoever you go with, to be your web developer, clearly, you're going to go with Team Micro, because you hear these guys got their stuff on point, but I was a victim of that, myself. And then I had a buddy of mine who was like, Yeah, I know how to mess with this. We destroyed my first website. And when we call them up, I mean, within hours, they were like, you know, there's nothing that they could do, like they were unable to, they didn't have like a system intact, where they can go back and bring it back to how I originally received it when I started editing. And I was just like, Are you kidding me? He was like, Yeah, you know, it's probably gonna cost another 1300 to 1600 bucks, you know, to get me back to where I was, you know, New York, you know, that's what they do over here in New York, you know, they get you good. So they got me really good for that one. Alright.
Damien Porter 27:38
It's already tough balance. Because in an ideal world, I mean, I'll be honest, I would rather our clients didn't have access to the websites at all, because we can handle that stuff. And you know, we don't expect our clients to be professional web developers. And if something breaks, they're not necessarily going to know how to fix it. We do give them access purely and simply because it belongs to them. It's their website. So if they want access, then of course, we're going to get them access, you know, and in some cases, if they prefer will actually, we won't host the website on our server at all, it'll be hosted on their own hosting plan. So it is that fine balance between, you know, giving them what is rightfully theirs, because it's their website, they paid for it, and they have every right to have access to, but also kind of saying, like, just be a little bit careful. And if you run into trouble, let us know as quickly as you can, so that we can put it right.
David Santiago 28:25
Outstanding. And now, you also have aside from these services that you offer, you also have a program for SMP practitioners. I don't know, let you elaborate on it if it's exclusively for new practitioners, or if it's for also for seasoned practitioners. And that's your well, you have the SMP insiders. Can you talk to us about that?
Damien Porter 28:52
Yeah, so the SMP insiders program is primarily aimed at newer artists. So anyone who's got three years experience or less.
David Santiago 28:59
I'm sorry, can you say that one more time, Damien, what's considered a new artist?
Damien Porter 29:04
Anyone with three years experience or less, okay. And the reason for the three year mark is because we find the after that three year period of time, generally speaking, artists are good to go, you know, they've learned the lessons they've had to learn, they've got the business on point, they've got a regular flow of clients coming in, you know, they've got enough experience to be able to fix any issues to come up with, you know, from a procedural point of view, you know, so up until that three year point, and by the way, that's well over half our, in our industry. There's, you know, that that's the time where there's this gap you see between and it kind of comes back to the conversation that we had earlier about training, there's this really big kind of void between kind of when somebody completes their training, and when they really kind of get up to speed because during that period of time that there's very little support available.
Damien Porter 29:56
And you know, Facebook groups are great, but there's a limit to kind of what you can take from those and how useful they can be. Trainers do offer increasingly, you know, more support after training, but just not for that period of time. And it's, and I think that kind of support tends to focus on the technique stuff, and not so much on the business development. And the biggest risk to any new SMP artists, in my view is that they, you know, they learn how to do SMP, but then they don't build up early momentum. So they don't get into that routine, you know, they don't build up that muscle memory, and they don't get to the point where, you know, kind of just it just habitually, you know, the clients comes in, they did a consultation, you know, do the forms, set up the workstation, you know, draw out the hair lines and stuff, it's like, you know, I mean, you can probably do it. Now, David, with your eyes closed, you know, you just get into that habit, you know, but during that period of time with the new artists, you know, the generative really nervous going through that because they're not in that routine.
Damien Porter 30:54
And that technique doesn't really develop in the way that it could do, because they're not getting that early momentum. So we find that a lot of people end up doing multiple training courses. Not that that's a bad thing anyway, but more because they've forgotten what they learnt on their training. So the purpose of SMP insiders is twofold. The first thing is that they have support from, members of support from a group of trainers from around the world who give them support from a technique point of view. And under, and from Team Micro, we give them business support with the aim of getting them into a place where the bill of early momentum as quickly as possible. Basically, it's there to give them the best possible start to their careers. And there's a number of things that they get with that, they get heavy discounts off of our marketing services, if they choose, they don't have to buy those services as a member, but they get access to them at a great price. If they do.
Damien Porter 31:51
They also get 25% off of the things that they're gonna buy all the time, you know, needles, pigments, machines, that type of thing. And they get discounts from conference tickets. And but I think the real big thing is, every week, there's a Zoom call with a trainer or with a team here to micro and that's there to give them support, give them the opportunity to ask questions. And the feedback from those calls has been phenomenal. It's been it's been fantastic. And I feel like we're filling that void, which makes us feel great because if the industry is going to become stronger if new artists are going to get off to the best possible start if we're going to see less mistakes and less people dropping out of the industry because they're not getting the customers through this program is going to go a long way to helping that become a reality.
David Santiago 32:40
Yeah, for sure. Man, where were you guys four and a half years ago when nobody wanted to answer any questions. It was like what you want no, what? No way, buddy. So now how does it work? Is it a monthly subscription? Are you comfortable with discussing fees pricing for the SMP insiders can you let the listeners know.
Damien Porter 33:01
Of course, so there's a minimum term of six months and that's more because we want people on the program who are committed to the process. After that six months, people will stop if they want, I don't think they're well I mean the feedback we're getting I think these guys gonna stay in this group for quite a long time. The cost is $300 a month or 200 British pounds a month. If you look at kind of the discounts just on products, I mean, you're going to get back half of that fee just in discounts of pigments, needles and so on. So we've tried to make it as accessible as possible because you know, new artists have got to watch what the spending of course, but we also acknowledge that this program is really good for them so we don't want a situation where people are not on the program because even though they want to be because they can't afford it so we've tried to keep the cost as low as we possibly can.
David Santiago 33:51
Artists, do you want to ensure your clients SMP procedure looks is absolute very best. Of course you do. That's why here at scalp solutions grooming company we developed our SMP aftercare kit, formulated to be used immediately after your SMP procedure to ensure proper healing and pigment retention. Our SMP aftercare products will protect you and your clients SMP investment and keep it looking fresh at all times. So log on to scalpsolutionsny.com/shop and pick up your aftercare kit today, Use Discount Code SSPodcast and save 15% off your order. Alright guys, let's get back to the episode.
David Santiago 34:32
Got it awesome. And for them to get access or more information on the SMP insiders that's also on your team micro website, correct?
Damien Porter 34:41
Sure. They just need to go to teammicro.com/insiders. On that as a button, they can use that button, tap the button and they can book a call with Harris who manages the program and then will we bring them into we have a telegram group. For those who are not familiar with telegram it's a bit like WhatsApp. That's a private group just for members. And we use that group for all of us for members to communicate. I mean, there's always like a ton of communication in there, you know, people asking questions and you know, I've got problem with this or I need help with that, you know, so all of that kind of goes on to, but that telegram group kind of is the is the centre point. And from there we give people access to the weekly Zoom calls and all of the discounts and everything else that comes with it.
David Santiago 35:28
Outstanding. And you mentioned that, you know, there's some perks to the SMP insiders, whether there be discounts on marketing or discounts on products, I want to touch on that product. You also have a ecommerce shop where you sell a variety of accessories after care, pigment, can we elaborate, you know, can we touch on that?
Damien Porter 35:49
Sure, sure. So I mean, the main products, we supply our needles and pigments, so we supply roughly 7 out of 10 clinics, SMP clinics in the English speaking world, which is great. So we have distribution in the states in the UK. And we ship all over the world. I mean, today, our online store manager is not in today. So I've been packing the orders and stay with some goods to the Philippines, South Korea, the Caribbean, and obviously the states, the UK, Europe everywhere. So we supply a lot of clinics, the main kind of reason why people buy from us is because it's the only store that you can get everything in one place. So we have all the leading brands of pigment like Olivia and Icon and 5pm and follicle, the new follicle brown, Poma bland, all of that stuff, and it's the only place you can get all of that in one store. Needle brands are big, you know, we sell a lot of needles, fit Bishop, icon 5pm and so on. Increasingly, people buy aftercare products, so we stopped the entire membrane range, which is fantastic range for both current makeup and SMP, the Golden Eye range, which is a brilliant range of products and we sell as we sell a whole load of other things as well machines needles, you know, see a typical Bishop wand and your Apollo's and your access Valhalla is and all that kind of stuff.
David Santiago 37:11
We'll have to set you Scalp solutions package out there that say your bucks some Scalp solution after guest. Let me get you also recently collect correct me if I'm wrong, you recently announced something in regards to drop shipping. Now is was that a question you put out to the to the industry? If that was something that they would be interested in? Or is this something that you're set and forth? Like you're going with it?
Damien Porter 37:39
Okay, do you want the honest answer? So, I guess, I mean, we supply a lot of clinics, as I mentioned before, and I suppose I kind of up until this point, we've resisted sort of any, we've had people come to us and say, Hey, can we buy your products and resell them? And we've always said no, just purely because I mean, obviously, you know, we already supplied most of the industry, so we haven't really kind of seen a need to kind of complicate things in that way. But I think kind of what we're what we're seeing now is that, actually, you know, as the SMP industry is growing, it's growing into territories that, you know, it's difficult for us to service because we don't speak the language. You know, and we want all our customers have a great experience. So and also as well, you know, we kind of want to share the we want to share the opportunity, because if there are passionate artists out there who you know, who want to, he wants to sell product, it or a trading schools that want to supply their students, you know, we don't want to keep that for ourselves.
Damien Porter 38:45
And also as well, to be fair, all of the marketing responsibility for those products falls on our shoulders and our shoulders alone. And I kind of want to spread that around a little bit. So it's a way of kind of helping us grow the online store, but at the same time, sort of sharing the opportunity with the industry, you know, so there's three options. The first option is drop shipping, which is quite simply, you tell us that you want it you want us to send a certain product to a certain customer, and we cut you in on the deal. The second option is traditional wholesale. So you can buy our products in bulk, you get a bigger discount for doing it that way. And then you resell those products. And the third option which we're really excited about and we've had a lot of interest in is the brand licensing opportunity. So let's say let's say that you run a an SMP training school in Mexico, right? So we can't really service the Mexican market very easily because we don't speak Spanish. So what that opportunity is is that we will create a kit about the next flight. So we would set up t micro.com.mx. which would be a Mexican store, all in Spanish, obviously, prices, you know, prices in local currency.
Damien Porter 40:07
And you would effectively become team micro Mexico, right. So any orders that come from Mexico, we won't take orders from Mexican customers directly anymore, all of that will come straight to you. We supply you on a wholesale basis. But it's that brand alignment, where you're effectively representing us, which gives you a much bigger opportunity. Because we've got existing customers, we've got all the goodwill and reputation of the brand. And we've got all the products as well. So that's really exciting. And yeah, you're going to see very, very soon see team micro stores opening in South Africa, in Sweden, in Italy. And apparently, David in Mexico, too. So
David Santiago 40:48
Well, I'm gonna have to touch down here and make sure that their Spanish is on point, I want to make sure they're not keeping you from any battle is anything All right, we'll go check them out. You have, you know, you have built an amazing platform with a team micro and is providing such an immense amount of value, you know, to all of our artists, but you don't stop there. You also have the meeting of the minds, where now you get artists from all over the world together under one roof, awards, networking, all that good stuff. Talk to me about the meeting of the minds. I know, we got one that's coming up soon. But how do you come up with that? What was that tip that you say, you know, what? I think, you know, the industry needs something like this.
Damien Porter 41:38
Sure. It was it kind of happened by accident. You know. So I mean, there was I mean, bearing in mind, this was at a time, as I alluded earlier, this was at a time where information sharing was really sparse, you know, it wasn't happening. And, you know, the Facebook groups, which now kind of make up the basis of all of the kind of collaboration and communication among artists, those groups weren't really there. There were a couple of groups, we had one and Steven greaser and Taryn Quintero, he had another but there wasn't really much out there. And you know, we really wanted to bring people together. And it was initially going to be a UK meeting. It wasn't going to be a conference, it was just a meeting.
David Santiago 42:21
Something like a mastermind meeting, you know, just all get together. And everyone's got it.
Damien Porter 42:25
Yeah, we were gonna meet the hotel, book room, and, you know, sort of thrash through some kind of collaborative stuff, and then go out in the evening and get very, very drunk. That was the plan.
David Santiago 42:37
Great, great plan.
Damien Porter 42:38
Absolutely. So we booked a room, which was big enough for the 30 people that we thought we were going to come. And we sold tickets, which was just to cover off the cost of running the event, the dinner and everything else. Right? It was never a profit making exercise. And it still isn't. That's not why we do it. So, yeah, so anyway, we put the ticket sale offer out there, and people from all over the world started booking these tickets. And we were like, what do we do? We booked room for 30 people. And we ended up with 80 people who flew in from two thirds of those people caught a flight to the UK to come to the event from overseas.
David Santiago 43:23
Damien Porter 43:24
And it's I mean, what really kind of what really kind of made me realize we're onto something was the, distance you know, we have a lot of people from the West Coast states, Canadian so a lot Canadians came over and the Australians you know, the Australian SMP industry really, kind of responded well to the event. In fact, our first ever speaker was at our first ever event was Caitlin James from SMP Australia, she came all the way from Adelaide, you know, so that's kind of where it started. And I remember, there was one person at the event, who turned around and I won't embarrass him by mailing him. But he turned he turned around to me at one of the breaks and said, Damien, you do not realize what you have done here. And I went home after that, the following day after the event, and I just thought, yeah, what have we done? And it gave me the biggest sense of satisfaction that I've ever felt in business. It was just it meant so much more than, you know, than just it just being an event. Yeah, just a meeting, you know.
Damien Porter 44:26
So we decided to run the event the following year. So the first year was in Leeds City of Leeds, that the second year we did at Manchester, UK. And we had I think 99 people attend. And then the following year, we did London where we had 129. And then the London event was on a whole different level. You know, we had a much bigger team of people do the staging and lighting and it was just it was so so cool. And obviously COVID has kind of put a damper on things to a certain extent last couple of years, but we're back next year. June 12, 13th, we're in Edinburgh in Scotland, capital city of Scotland Beautiful, beautiful city. Yeah, we just found it to be honest, we are looking forward to the event itself. But we're really looking forward just to seeing everyone again, getting everyone back together in one space. And I think the sorry, I'm talking a lot you can probably tell I'm really passionate.
David Santiago 45:21
No, this is there, let me know.
Damien Porter 45:24
I mean, honestly, that the thing that I love most about the meeting of minds, and like, every year, we have people say, I don't know anyone, I'm nervous about attending. And within an hour, you know, they feel like they're at home, you know, that made her feel so welcome. And it's gotten to a point now where, when everyone turns up for the event, it's not like a regular conference. It's pretty unique. When everyone meets when everyone's getting off their flights and turning up at the venue. It's like an airport arrivals for you know, the people are hugging and crying and we're so happy to see each other and it means a lot the fact that, you know, we have those kinds of relationships in SMP is so valuable. I think it's part of what makes our industry special.
David Santiago 46:11
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I experienced that myself for the first time with you know, the last event that I attended and hosted was the expo the SMP my first time like, actually in a room with nothing but artists, so I totally understand where you come from. It's like, oh, hey, it's you from Facebook. You're the guy that's been trolling me for you, give me a hug, it was awesome.
Damien Porter 46:35
Yeah, that looks really good. I mean, there's the US needs a really good, a really good SMP band. You know, I mean, it's always tough, especially on the first button. It's always hard. There's so many things you just don't think of, you know, but I think Jeff and the guys did a really good job. And I know that Matt Lowe has his event coming up. Which will be really cool. I know Matt really well known him for a long time. And I know that he's gonna, he's either, you know, Matt is a Go big or go home kind of guy. So he's gonna be he's gonna do a really good job about two.
David Santiago 47:07
He's got a great location Vegas. Yeah, they say, What Happens in Vegas? Stays in Vegas.
Damien Porter 47:18
Have you ever been on a night out with Matt, that's gonna be interesting and interesting experience.
David Santiago 47:22
I've haven't had the pleasure of meeting him. I mean, I've interviewed him, but I haven't met him like in person.
Damien Porter 47:28
Now this hope you come back alive, buddy.
David Santiago 17:32
That's great. One day One day maybe in Vegas, maybe in Vegas one out there. We'll have a cold one together. So let's touch back on the this next meeting of the minds that you got coming on? What would we expect? If you're attending.
Damien Porter 47:48
Okay, so every year, we want to be doing something a little bit different. Okay. And yeah, I mean, I guess it's just in my nature that I don't want to, you know, I don't want to just keep doing the same thing, because that breeds complacency. So each year, we try and offer a different kind of experience. Next year's meeting of minds is going to be all about business development. So there's going to be less content around technique, and around kind of the history of the industry, I know previous events have kind of focus a lot on sort of where we've come from, I really want to look forward. You know, I think we've had a really tough time, all of us have, you know, with the whole COVID, lockdown thing, you know, it's affected all of us in different ways. And I think that the number one thing I want to focus on is looking forward with positivity and enthusiasm. So the event is going to be all around two things. The first thing is about how you can build a stronger SMP business.
Damien Porter 48:46
So real practical stuff that you can take, it is great coming to an event and listening to speakers, but what you really want a practical tools that can take back to your business that are really going to make an impact. So next year, the speakers are going to be very different. So it's not going to be so SMP artists heavy, we are still going to have some SMP artist speaking at the event, of course, but you're going to see a lot of people that come from a marketing background, people that you might not have seen before. Experts in Facebook marketing, Instagram marketing, Google ads, branding, business, development, copywriting, all of that copyright. Okay, you got your ticket books already here. So yeah, so basically, we're going to be doing a lot of that kind of stuff, a lot of that kind of stuff. And it's gonna be it's gonna be awesome. From the point of view of, I think, when an artist can implement something in their business and they see a benefit for it. It makes them feel good. I'm doing something differently now. And the net result has been X.
Damien Porter 49:47
And that just it really puts you in the driving seat and we want to help artists kind of get to that point. The second purpose of the event is to take all of the new artists who have joy In our industry in the last three years, and we want to extend an open arms greeting to these people, and welcome them into the fold. And, you know, a lot of these artists because of COVID haven't been able to meet up with anybody. So there may be not quite as much of, maybe they don't feel as connected to the industry as some of the some of the IG's do. So we want to really kind of welcome them in and introduce them to people and help them develop, you know, support circles. And, you know, and people who can act as mentors and can't really get them off on the right stuff.
David Santiago 50:37
Yeah, that's great. Now, do you have the tickets available now for that, and you know, just happening with the whole how you said, like, it's gonna be really focused on business development, which is something that, you know, so many of us, like, we just lack that information, because we think it's just okay, I opened a business LLC, I'm ready to rock and roll. And there's just so much behind, I feel like we've, every time we talk, we talk about, like, the business, part of the business, you know, so to have that information available, is going to be invaluable.
Damien Porter 51:11
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, like I said, before, there's so much more to running a business than the technique itself. I mean, tickets are available, just go to meetingofminds.com. And there's currently the option to pay monthly, if you want to divide that cost up. But yeah, I just, I don't want to just run an event and have people turn up. Like I said, the conference is not and has never been a profit making exercise for us. You know, I mean, we probably lose money, when you take into account the amount of time it takes us to put the show together, it's more about doing something good for the industry, it makes us feel good. And honestly, it's the best part of our year. So from a selfish point of view, we do it because we enjoy it, you know, so we really do genuinely want every person who attends to get value from the event that they can take back to their clinic. I mean, we're super passionate about that.
Damien Porter 51:58
So I think that's what kind of sets us apart. We don't rely on the event for an income or profit, we don't try and make money out of it. It's there for you the attendee, the person who's turning up. So I think you'll find a lot of, we kind of tend to go the extra mile with a lot of things. So we spend money on things that maybe other events don't, just to make the experience a little bit more special. We acknowledged that most people who attend fly in so we always make sure that it's a good venue that they're going to enjoy staying in, which is why we're doing Edinburgh, you know, a lot of people who come especially from the US, you know, have said in the past, why don't we do a Scottish event because, you know, the our American attendees have such an interest in Scottish history. So we've been wanting to do that for a long time. But also from Scotland, you can get anywhere in Europe for about 50, $60 on a very, very short flight. So a lot of our attendees in the past have flown on to places like Milan, Madrid, Amsterdam, Prague, all of these places, because it's so easy to get to from the UK, you know, so we want to make it a well rounded experience rather than just, you know, come in and listen to some people talk.
David Santiago 52:16
And get a little jog. That's awesome. So guys, again, if you guys want to purchase some tickets to the next meeting of the mind, you can log on to meetingofminds.com. All right. So let's I want to ask you some SMP specific questions now. All right. I promise to be nice. All right, we'll put you on the spot. Alright. If there was one thing that you can change about the SMP industry, what would that be?
Damien Porter 53:41
I would change the reason that people get into the industry in the first place. So I think that I mean, like, I'm in business, I'm all about making money, you know that there's nothing there's nothing wrong with that nothing to be, you know, nothing to be ashamed, all that's all about wanting to make money. But there's 1000 different ways that you can make money. You know, when you come into the SMP industry, you know, first and foremost, it's about making people's lives just that little bit better. And in order to do that, you have to have a real dedication to your craft. And I think a lot of people kind of take the view of that, and I don't think it's necessarily the artists fault. I think it's a combination of a lot of things, the way that training is sold, for example, and maybe some skewed expectations. But I think what I would change the you know, it would be to have people coming in with a view of serve the customer first make money second, because the reality is that in any business, no matter what business you're in, if you provide value and solutions to people's problems, the money is [Inaudible 54:48]. Just a by-product.
David Santiago 54:50
Got it. Passion, got to have some passion. Good answer. If not, not that there's a wrong answer. Oh, If you could sit down and have a beer with one artist, who would it be? And why?
Damien Porter 55:06
Oh, man, I've already sat down with quite a few.
David Santiago 55:09
I know so many of them. But there's got to be one, there's got to be one that you treasure that that moment more than the other?
Damien Porter 55:20
That's a real, real tough one. This is not going to be the answer that you're going to expect. I had a telephone conversation with a with an artist called Tobias Romero. A few days ago. And yeah, he's somebody who kind of he, I wouldn't say keeps himself to himself. But he is someone who kind of he's not too loud on social media, you know. And the passion that comes across with him is just crazy. You know, and I think that kind of as your business develops, you know, as team micro is developed, you know, I think you kind of, you know, you get so wrapped up in the day to day kind of running of a business that, you know, for me, Tobias Romero kind of reflects the roots of kind of what SMP is all about, you know, he is somebody who is so ridiculously passionate about what he does. And all he wants to do above all other things is serve, you know, and I would love to have a beer with him. Because I love it when I can reconnect with that raw, grassroots kind of, you know, sort of passion for the art, passion for the client. And, you know, just a reminder as to why we're all here.
David Santiago 56:39
Okay, outstanding. I'll still have a beer with you, though. Okay. You don't, you know, I as I as I put the questions together, I'm like, Man, this is a perfect opportunity to like just put, you know, make you little discomfort like, Come on, man. You didn't see me like, What the fuck? No, I get it. All right. Where do you see the industry in five years? Or where would you like to see the industry in five years?
Damien Porter 57:08
Well, those are two very different questions.
David Santiago 57:10
You are absolutely correct. Let me let me rephrase that. Where do you see the industry in five years?
Damien Porter 57:17
Okay, I think SMP is going to become much more available. I think we're going to see a continuation of what we've seen over the past five years, you know, so I think SMP is going to be available from multiple outlets, even in the smaller cities, you know, so there is going to become a much greater level of choice. And that's going to have positive and negative consequences. You know, so there's going to be a lot more competition, I think it's going to put downward pressure on pricing. But it's also going to raise awareness of SMP in a big way. And, you know, I even for the last kind of, I mean, I've been in SMP, for what, 12 years. And in all of that time, there's always been this kind of discussion around kind of, Oh, we've gone mainstream now. We haven't even started to mainstream embryonic. Right? So I think we are going to see SMP clinics all over the place. And I think a lot of artists are going to feel threatened by that. And I don't think it makes any difference whether you feel threatened by it or not, I think it's going to happen regardless.
Damien Porter 58:27
So I think the artists who are kind of looking forward with enthusiasm and positivity are the ones that are going to have the best time because if that's the way the industry is going, would you rather fight that? Or would you rather adapt to it? You know, so I think that the we're going to be talking about a different model, because there'll be downward pressure on pricing, but they'll also be a lot more demand, I think you're going to see a lot more clinics with multiple artists, I think it's going to become more of a volume game. And the clinics that make the most money, long term and most successful, are going to be the ones who can manage that increase in volume without sacrificing the level of quality, if they can master that balance, which isn't easy, by the way. But if they can master that balance, they're the ones that are going to be really successful.
David Santiago 59:14
I agree. It's gonna lay you out. But this is not about me, this is about highlighting your, right? One piece of advice you'd give to someone who's just starting out in the industry in the scalp micropigmentation Industry.
Damien Porter 59:31
Give it time, give it time. So you know, your number one priority as a new artist is to build a portfolio right? It's no secret. So you know, we can do the we can make magic with the marketing that we can do for you. But if you don't have a decent portfolio, you're still gonna struggle. Simple as that, right? So that takes time. It's kind of like a snowball effect, isn't it chicken and egg whatever analogy you want to use, you know, but you need that portfolio in place. So if you have to offer, so offer to friends and family and so on just to get that portfolio in place, do it. But it's easy during that first year or two to get disheartened, because you came into the SMP industry with a viewpoint of I'm going to make a ton of money, and I'm going to be really successful. And I can see what all these other artists are doing. And, you know, I can see how successful they are. You know, you what you got to remember is, again, the iceberg analogy, what you don't see is the 95% of their life that they do not put on social media. Okay, you don't see the late nights, you don't see the stress and their house on the line and borrowing from friends and family. And you don't see all this, you don't see any of that.
Damien Porter 1:00:41
So, you know, keep going don't get disheartened. And if I may give a second piece of advice. And that is to stay humble. You know, the we provide a service and the customer is in charge, the customer is always in charge. Because you know, they're the ones who pay our bills. They're the ones who are serving. And so yeah, so just stay humble and keep your feet well grounded.
David Santiago 1:01:09
Outstanding. Great advice. Damien. Thank you. What's one question you wish I'd asked you? And how would you have answered? That it's a two perter was one question you wish I would have asked you. And how would you have answered it?
Damien Porter 1:01:25
Man, you promise me we're not gonna put me on the spot. Oh, gosh, okay. I suppose I suppose I suppose the question that the he could have asked which I will have quite enjoyed answering would have been kind of what would the kind of the milestones the turning points that have helped shape the industry to where we are so far? I think I think that question would have been, like a, like a really interesting one.
David Santiago 1:01:55
Okay. And how [Inaudible]
Damien Porter 1:01:59
How advanced it, I think the single biggest thing that has impacted our industry was when the industry fragmented. So way back when there was a handful of large companies that basically dominated SMP. You know, he had his hair clinic, he had Vinci hair clinic, scalp aesthetics, good looking, you know, they were the ones who were kind of kind of dominating SMP. And, you know, I mean, some things have changed, some haven't, you know, I mean, good looking, still going real strong, are doing great. You know, the others, you know, not so much. And I think when the industry fragmented, it was basically the process of those artists who work for those companies leaving and setting up on their own. And what that did was that spread the knowledge of SMP worldwide, you know, all of a sudden, they could offer their own training programs, they could share more obviously, than they've ever been able to in the past, you know, about how they carry out SMP, you know, what products they using to perform those performance procedures.
Damien Porter 1:02:56
And the industry just kind of spread out from there. You know, so we went from, 4 providers to 1000. Very, very quickly when that process started. And I think that's kind of one of the big things that's kind of helped form our industry into kind of what it is today. I think the second thing, sorry, I'm promised one, but the second thing is the permanent makeup industry adopted SMP in a big, big way. And they bought with them, knowledge of colour theory, lots of years of experience of piercing skin, which the SMB industry didn't have. And all the methodologies that they built up in the permanent makeup world, they brought with them to SMP. So, and it was rocky at first, you know, it was I mean, it was a time where a lot of permanent makeup artists were experimenting, and the training was widely available, they were doing the best. And, you know, it didn't always go to plan. But the permanent makeup world almost merging or kind of embracing the SMP world was a real turning point for our industry as well. And, you know, I mean, right now, we think about it in 12 years, we've gone from one provider, which was his hair clinic, to kind of the big four or five providers, you know, sort of within a very short space time after that, to now we have something in the region of four and a half 1000 clinics worldwide. And it's only been 12 years. That's not very long.
David Santiago 1:04:17
No, not at all. I know to some people, you know, they hear that it's like, oh, there's 4000 clinics, you know, the industry is saturated. And I'm like, where are you getting? Like, what numbers are you comparing this with? Like, numbers wise, infancy stage? Scalp micropigmentation. I personally think so. Would you would you agree?
Damien Porter 1:04:39
Yeah. So there are 32,000 more or less 32,000 permanent makeup artists in the US alone. So when you put it into context, and bearing in mind that a permanent makeup artist is charging less for their procedures than an SMP artist is so no, we're just getting started and the hair transplant industry which has The natural affinity with SMP now is very well established, you know, and it's worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year. You know? And then there's, I mean, I think where SMP really has the greatest potential is that 90% of people who are losing their hair who are not bothered enough to get hair transplant, the dollar take pills, the dollar use lotions, they choose SMP because it's easy, and it's guaranteed. So they're not bothered enough to really take any kind of drastic action but SMP is so accessible. So I actually think that SMP has a far broader appeal than hair transplants do. So there will be a time where we go mainstream, but right now we are scratching the surface we don't even we're barely even born buddy. believable.
David Santiago 1:05:47
Yeah, I agree with you on that one. Damien, before we wrap it up. Where can our listeners find you online? How can they connect with you give us all the information please.
Damien Porter 1:05:58
Just jump over onto teammicro.com. You can connect with us there. We have a we run the biggest SMP Facebook group called Team Micro International. So hunt us down there. We're on Instagram and so on and so forth. But you can literally just call the office you know, teammicro.com. Just give us a call, anything you need help with. Whether it's a service we offer or whether you just need some advice, just that's what we're here for. Give us a call.
David Santiago 1:06:27
Outstanding Damien was again, my brother thank you for jumping on the podcast. And Leonardo's give dropping some gems my brother, I appreciate you. I know you're very busy man.
Damien Porter 1:06:37
No problem. I really appreciate the opportunity to come on to the podcast and I've got to say, the industry needs this. I was so disappointed when I found out the podcast wasn't happening. And now we're back and you're gonna do great things with this. And, I mean, you're trying to achieve what we're trying to achieve. You know, we're spreading knowledge. We're spreading information. You know, so all power to you and I hope it goes well. I'm sure it will.
David Santiago 1:07:00
Thank you my brother. I appreciate you. I'm just following your lead brother.
Damien Porter 1:07:05
Thank you, sir.
David Santiago 1:07:06
Alright guys, that's gonna wrap it up for this episode of the scalp solutions podcast. Until the next time, Peace.
The Scalp Solutions Podcast is available on all major podcast platforms; iTunes, Spotify, Google, iHeart Radio and YouTube.
Don't forget to like, subscribe and rate the podcast!