Instant match was okay but now Promote has made things worse for us Pros. With Instant match I was able to really narrow down and control the type of clients that I was looking for now with Promote I'm forced to change my preferences so that I can at least rank high enough to be seen by potential clients.
Needless to say that with that change came A LOT of leads that I needed to decline because the client wasn't the right fit. I spent close to $400 in leads one month without booking one client! Before that I was spending about $100-$130 a month but was booking about 70%-80% of the people I was speaking with so of course I didn't mind it at all. I'm sorry but I can't help but feel like Thumbtack needed to figure out a way to get more money out of us and that's why we're forced to pay for leads we don't want.
Now with Promote I need to have my settings specifically set so that my profile can show up higher than the other Pros in my area. The only bad thing is that I get requests from people I wouldn't normally do business with in the first place and I'm forced to pay for those leads anyway?
I can see how Thumbtack wants to improve the clients experience but it shouldn't hurt the Pros in the process. Why are there always changes to the system every 6 months? When you get an idea, and want to re-vamp the whole system, don't you try it out in a small area first before leashing it out to everyone? Also, why don't you just promote and reward the Pros with the most reviews, best pricing, most active, Top Pros, etc. Or just make it random. With the list being different everytime a client searches. That way it's fair to all. There's probably a lot of other ways to get to the top of the list then for me to have to drop down my prices in order to get higher in the rankings right?
Since I have shut off my Promote option and now I'm not even in the search no matter how far down I look. So is that Thumbtacks way of punishing me for controlling my leads again and now paying less again? Why wouldn't I be in the top 25 at least if I'm a Top Pro, with over 50 hires, over 40 reviews (4.9 stars), Great Value and a great looking profile? Isn't keeping the clients from seeing my profile in their search hurt them in a way, because they're not aware of a Pro like myself being available for them? Instead you have someone with 1 hire, 3 reviews (3 stars) and a starting estimate of $1 on the very top of the list because they don't mind paying for Promote. Not fair really to anyone
@DJEddieB when you say that since we went from Instant Match to Promote that you've had to go from narrower preferences to wider preferences can you expand on that a bit more? Normally when pros start promoting we encourage them to start with their main service and to be pretty specific with their preferences to make sure they only get charged for jobs that they really want.
There are 5 main ways for pros to rank higher in search results. One of them is to promote your business but it's based on others as well:
The search results and promote were definitely things that we researched and put time into before we brought it to 100% of the site and it's been showing more sustainability and healthier marketplace overall. At the same time, we realize that things aren't perfect and are collecting valuable feedback like yours every day in efforts to improve. When you decline certain leads we use that as feedback in order to create stronger leads, however, this does take time. In your category are there certain trends with leads that aren't a good fit that you've noticed? If you're open to sharing that insight, again I'd be happy to pass along your feedback for our product teams.
Hey Kameron, thanks for the quick reply.
So when Promote started I did all 5 of those things that you listed but I still wasn't showing up high on the list (not even top 15!) so I contacted my TT account manager for some help and tips. He suggested for me to change a couple more things in my settings/preferences in order to get up higher.
As a DJ I don't like taking any 1 or 2 hour jobs. It's just not worth it for me, so I didn't have it listed in my preferneces. I was told that a lot of customers don't even put in the amount of hours at all so all the Pros who did do the 1 hour jobs were going to show up before me. Okay so I gave in and changed it to accept the 1 & 2 hour gigs. Next, my prices were too high. The Pros that were showing up much higher than me had lower estimated costs on their profiles so I was told to lower my prices in order to rank higher. Which I did despite my beliefs against it.
After making those changes, I shot right up to top 3 but then started receiveing contacts from clients that I didn't want. That would be fine but with Promote I'm forced to pay for all contacts. So someone who wants a DJ for 2 hours contacts me and I have no option but to pay. So how do I win here? If I set my preferences to attract the type of clients that I want then I won't show up in the rankings and no one will contact me. If I loosen up my preference settings to get ranked higher than I end up paying literally hundreds of dollars before I can find someone I actually want to do business with. Also keep in mind that with Instant Match I didn't have this problem. My perferences were all exactly how I wanted them to be and I was only talking to (and more importantly paying for) only the leads that fit my business.
I wish that ranking high up was as easy as those 5 things you mentioned but it's not. If that were the case I'd be up there all the time. My profile compared to other Pros is immactulate (I inivte you to please take a look), I turned on Promote so that was going, my current respose time is 44 seconds, my prices have always been listed as well as competitive, and I have 4.9 stars for the 42 reviews that I have so far.
So Kameron, what else you got?
@DJEddieB I can definitely see where you're coming from and this is something we're looking into. This feedback is super helpful to our Product Team as we continue to improve Search Results. Thank you for sharing this example!
As a fellow DJ, I also don't like taking the 1 or 2 hours jobs, especially when I get someone in an hour drive or more from me. Even though I may have a city an hour from me listed in my preferences, I want to book a 4-6 hour wedding where the profit is worth it. I would even take a 3 hour party! But less than that, no way.
I've had promote on for the past week, and the past 3-4 days, heard nothing from any customer. It's frustrating.
As for the 5 things @Kameron listed, I've done all that as well as per the moderators and reps, (Been on Thumbtack for just over a year) even getting reviews is what I'm working on, received a couple more the past few weeks. With Promote on, what I don't like is receiving a conversation starter "What's your estimate". My prices are listed so it proves to me that they aren't looking at the profile. Or "Are you available" that's a good one..If I wasn't available, I wouldn't be shown to customer as dates are blocked off. So, yes we get charged for someone reaching out to us, and after receiving those conversation starters, we look at the profile and we can tell if that customer is a good fit for us, whatever the reason is(length of event, type of event, lead cost, etc). More than likely, those customers aren't good fit for us.
Lower prices is one thing that I am thinking of doing. But how low do we go with prices to make a profit?
So if we turn Promote on pause, we are being punished, not deliberatley, to be low on the search list, or not at all. And we have to work the Jobs tab almost 24/7. And with Promote on, we get charged like crazy, or not receive anything.
@DJEddieBWhat do DJ's like you and I do, especially being the business for a long time?
I agree with your post. It is so frustrating. Thumbtack shouldn't be changing their platform every 6 months. I am really disappointed with Thumbtack.
I have the same experience. I used Instant Match to really grow my business in year 1, facilitate meaning conversations with potential customers, and as a result, I converted Instant Matches at a rate of 35%. This was fantastic!
Promotion is MUCH more passive, as I have very little control over the engagement and interaction, and my conversions have plummeted. My profile is spot on, and I'm a top pro. At this rate, I will probably will not remain a top pro, and it's not because I am doing anything differently. The platform changes may have increased my Google search results, but the quality of the leads is now terrible.
I am afraid this experience has made me shift to other lead generation avenues. I feel I cannot count on TT where I had in the past.