This is a huge problem. Thumbtack has undergone a few big changes to its model since I joined two years ago, but it still has a ways to go. First, we paid when someone viewed our quote. Then we paid only when the client contacted us. A better system, to be sure, but two big issues with it:
1. The client can contact any number of pros at no detriment to them. This is intentional on Thumbtack's part, as the more pros a client contacts, the more money they make. Of course, a client can only actually hire one pro, so this system hurts us.
2. The amount it costs when a client does contact you increased by 5X from the original amount. So rather than paying $3 for a $150 headshot session when a client views your quote, we now pay $15-$40 for the same quote if a client contacts us. The issue with this is that, despite contacting Thumbtack several times, nobody can quite tell me how they decide what to charge. I've been charged $11 for a $250 corporate headshot quote, then $25 for a $100 headshot session.
In short - Please, please, please be more transparent about how you decide to charge for these quotes, or at the very least, make it more standardized. If it's not based on the price of the job, tell us what it's based on. I've heard "it's the value you'll receive." How is that different than the money we receive?
To add to the discussion: I haven't been with you (Thumbtack long), and I'm also just starting my business. And so I know that there are many more talented photographers with references and committment to Thumbtack, that look like a better choice than myself. And I get that. But it order for me to survive Thumbtack, I just can't be paying you for consideration. At this point, I haven't been hired much but already paid you plenty to decide to quit. Unless you have a system where you don't pay if you don't get hired, I can't afford you. And that you actually get hired because the new system doesn't work either. I'm just paying more to communicate with the person, who then decides to move on. I've been eager to make things work, but at this point, I don't see a future with Thumbtack. Thank you.
@cpr4everybody43, thanks for this post!
Your credentials say a lot about your business and help customers decide who to hire. Soon, you’ll be able to display the degrees, certifications, and other awards you’ve worked hard to earn, in addition to your license and background check information. Maybe one day we’ll add insurance here, too. Overall, we want customers to get a full sense of your background and what you can do.
We’re also testing new ways to verify businesses on Thumbtack. Our goal is to increase customers’ confidence in the pros they meet while also giving you more ways to stand out. So please stay tuned! We'll keep sharing updates here in the Community.
Adding other pros who also posted about credentials: @eerlikh, @JohnBurbridge, @ringo6355, @Kixnbux, @TSMB, @asweetlifetx, @twintroubleinc, @anniepink1, @thedcsystem, @stephanie, @Colemanmindy, @Nwskyview, @JeannineV2P, @Heatheranne, @paklucas, @Donna2445, @Beepropetservic, @Suomalainen, @LexiAssist, @Stagedc, @heartsinbalance, @patty5357, @JoshEnden, @Drone_On_Demand, @rgaerosolutions - thank you all!!
Even as a violin teacher I have many different ages and levels of students. My profile is very generic toward children ( a very diverse category) Most of my requests seem to be from adults. I also teach other styles of music in addition to classical. I need quick links at the top of my profile that take them to what interests them.
Perhaps none of them like reading through aspects of my profile that do not address their needs. I like the idea of giving them links at the top of my profile that bring them down to the question or description they are most interested in. In addition to the generic information that is the same for everyone.
I am also available on certain days at other people's studio's in addition to my own main studio with specific hours. How to handle that option. Sometimes I find out a student is commuting from one of those places.
What makes this even more complex is that many of prospects are trying to do this search from their phones where it is difficult to see everything.
Even among teachers of one instrument, we may specialize in Jazz, Classical, fiddling or Preschoolers, Suzuki Method, etc. Or the parent is looking for a teacher who is comfortable with preschoolers vs. high schoolers etc.
A system of tags and links in the upper section or column would be one way for customers to see a list of all the things a teacher specializes in on their profile page.
Additionally a featured list of teachers who specialize in teaching specific subcategories of music for particular age levels that have those tags on their profiles.
No, to your question, wouldn't you prefer to pay for customers who interact with you. Not at the rates your charging! I've been with Thumbtack for 7 years as a Top Pro editor and I haven't been able to get a job for 3 weeks and I have paid OVER $200!!! The problem is each customer response is different as to how engaged they really are. They may just fish for info, they may tell you your price is too high, they may not have given you enough information becaues the request form has been ridiculously reduced to asking them for a word count range rather than the exact count. I can't give an approximate price for such a wide range. So I have to ask for an exact count in a PS. I have put it in my template but then as soon as they answer the question I am charged between $20-$30. If they don't like my quote, that's it! It's jus too expensive for us. And I think the customers are getting overloaded with 10 qutoes. They're confused and don't know which one they're speaking to. It was much better with 5 quotes allowed, even though we had to scramble to get our quotes in there and often lost out. I've got 44 rave reviews and I'm a professional writer of 7 books. It seems crazy that suddenly I can't get any jobs and I'm losing money out of my checking account hand over fist! It's so discouraging.
This discussion is about profiles, but it has morphed into a discussion about the failure of the Instant Match system. And as I read comments that mirror mine, I am perplexed by the information that I just received about the number of quotes that the customers are receiving. This may be one of the keys to the failure of Instant Match. When I started with Thumbtack, I realized that if I was quick and got my quote sent as one of the first 1-3 pros, I was more likely to get a call from a customer. I may have not gotten every job, but the odds of getting a call from a customer even to talk about the job details went down if I were the 4th or 5th quote. So, I never quoted on requests if three other pros had already quoted. And I got jobs.
Now, with Instant Match I am told that there are 15 quotes going to the customers. And all of the custom quotes are sent a few minutes after all of the Instant Match quotes. I speculate that the customers are not even reading the Instant Match quotes because they all look the same except for the price. And they are sure not going to read 15 profiles. They just aren't.
I would like to know what made Thumbtack believe that customers want to do so much reading? And even if they are basing this decision on a poll of customers, I wonder if the customers knew their answers would generate 15 quotes to look at.
I think Thumbtack should roll back the number of quotes sent to 6 or 8 and make the split between custom quotes and Instant match equal.
But, really, we need to go back to all custom quotes. The best pros will be the ones who know how to write clear meaningful quotes. Their custom quotes will be sent when their work load permits. The customers will not be bombarded by the TT Bid Bot.
It is time for another Focus Group with customers. The study should be constructed by real Psychologists and NOT Marco.