The problem I see in my industry is that because resume writing is something you could potentially do on line, on Thumbtack I am competing with dozens of national resume mills. There are already plenty of companies that do that and you probably don't need to go to Thumbtack to find that. It used to be that I was competing against four or five local companies. with my profile, (Top Pro, 140 positive reviews, 300 hires) I could be pretty darned competitive. With Instant Match competing against dozens of national providers, the person is likely to get bored and move on long before they see my site. The only contacts I get are the "Tire Kickers" who hit "When are you available" .
They should get rid of promote and go back to making each pro look at the job and decide if this is something they want to bid on.
Here's how I would fix this.
1) Local Providers only.
2) Get rid of Promote and have everyone bid personally.
3) Limit bids to 5 Pros. They can resubmit a day later by checking "Didn't like any of these pros" to get five new pros.
4) Either only charge when someone is hired or reduce the cost of contacts back down to what they were when they were just quotes.
I honestly don't see how the current system serves Pros or Customers.
Under the old system, I used to always follow up my personalized quote with a personal message a day or two afterwards. I'd ask if I could clarify more, answer any questions, or would offer to set up a phone call to discuss. Clients loved the personal response.
Of course, now I would never follow up on a quote, because that might provoke a meaningless response that I would have to pay for. It grates on me to not follow up -- it goes against my brand of warm, personal and excellent service. Thumbtack forces me to be less than I could be, professionally. It's a good thing I have other ways of getting new clients.
It's nice to see that I'm not the only Pro who is personable and used to send personlized quotes with follow ups. But for weeks, Thumbtack made it sound like that I was the only one who could be successful that way. I took a step back from commenting for most of last week, and spent time reading many of the Pros comments, and the more that I read, the more that I saw how Pros miss being personable. I was told over a month ago that I can be personable but in my profile, as customers would see that first. Really? How could I fit so many situations, etc in my profile and not make it lengthy? Thumbtack suggested that I put my prices in my profile as well. People may see those prices and not read that it's negotiable. The other way, when writing personable messages, I was able to incorporate that, after seeing if they are just asking for basic service, which is a sign that they just need basic services and I can be able to work with them.
Promote may work for some, and I repeat some, as I notice majority of the Pros here do not like it. It doesn't work for me, so I turned it off, thsi way I can control who I feel is a good fit for me, not for Thumbtack to decide it, and I can still be personable. Does it work? Yes, as I was hired for 1 job last week, and another will get back to me in a few days.
@BethI can appreciate where you are in your business and we share the warm approach in our business too. We are established photographers for over 20 years and just word of mouth carries us in our specialization of boudoir for the past 10 years. We liked the TT model originally where we could selectively bid on projects. They were making a national market and the Pros could decide the business they wanted to compete on based a a lot of factors including work load. If we are busy we do not want more business! TT takes the position of all business must want all business. So they expect us to bid on everything and their model circles that philosophy. In our business that would be suicide! Ours is labor intensive after the shoot in editing and dressing up the shots, printing, photos book prep, plus the delivery of the finished product, etc. So there is a limit to what we can do and we do not want to expand with additional photographers. Been there and done that and have the T-Shirt! We have shot over 1200 events and traveled nationally for many years. We are well known and do not have to advertise. But the TT model was originally appealing and now it is not. It is that simple. I do think there is a void in the market for another firm to set up like the orginal TT model. And I think they would draw a huge number of current TT Pros immediately. We asked TT last week to suspend our profile for the first quarter of 2019. I want to see the dust settle on this new approach that is now a push model where their original was a pull model. It may be substantially more profitable for them and very successful. In fact, for them, I hope so. But it is nothing we will be using in the future if not a service where we can make money. As we see it today it is an unnecessary expense not a revenue generator.
It also seems like TT prefers the start up companies to the already well established firms in their markets. All of their approach is as though we do not know how to run our businesses and need them to tell us. The unfortunate part is if we ran our business the way they run theirs, we would not have a business. We depend on excellence, 5 star reviews, and word of mouth marketing which has almost doubled in 2018 and not one dime of our revenue came from a TT lead in all of 2018. It has been almost two years since our last TT booking.
Glad you too do not need them right now for your marketing. Let's hope they can put something reasonable in place and we can all enjoy success together again. We will see?
@DJStevie The trouble is that even if you turn Promote off (as I have, as well), you still have to pay if the prospective client replies in any way except, "No, thanks." Following up prompts a response, but doesn't mean that it's a useful response that indicates genuine interest.
Even without Promote on, I won't follow up on a quote any more. They could reply, "OK, thanks!" and I'd get charged.
True, but at least I know ahead of time what the cost will be before I send that personalized quote out, along with knowing if the customer is a good fit for me. In the DJ business for 29 years, being personable is the only way I know how to be, regardless of what I've been told by reps. With Promote off, at least I can try to keep within my budget.
Speaking of budgets, I can set a budget of say $100, and 2 leads can cost me $50 total, which in turn gets charged to my credit card. It used to be $100 til about 6-7 weeks ago. Why set a budget if that happens? It should be once we reach our weekly budget, then charge our cards.