I've been pondering reasons for my dwindling leads and I've got a theory. No hard and fast figures here, just speculation based on my own experience and observations as a formerly successful TT Pro.
I think it's fair to assume that TT end-users will have varying degrees of interest in actually hiring a Pro.
Most TT end-users I feel have only a vague INITIAL interest in actually hiring a Pro. The reason I say that is because the majority of leads I quote on never actually end up hiring any Pro. Only a select few leads seem to turn into a deal either closed by me or another Pro.
The end-users initial vague interest usually translates into a simple question they want answered, which is, "How much roughly would it cost me to hire a [profession]" - that's their bottom line, at least initially.
Before Promote (and before Instant Match) for an end-user to get an answer to that question they would need to enter the details of their job and wait to be contacted by Pro's. The Pro's would receive the end-users details, send their quotes and begin their one-on-one sales process to SELL the end-user on their services.
Most end-users with an initial vague interest would get the prices and you'd never hear from them again. A small few though (depending on the Pro's responses) would have their interest piqued and the good Pro's would do their job and work hard to turn that initial vague interest into a defined interest and subsequently into a deal.
The only way the end-user's were able to obtain the pricing information they wanted was by having the Pro's reach out to them. The Pro's HAD an opportunity to PITCH and SELL their services. The quoting process opened that door.
That doesn't happen anymore with Promote though.
With things as they are now if an end-user with a vague interest in hiring somene wants pricing all they need to do is use Search. They will see the prices of Promoted Pro's which for the most part is all their vague interest amounted to and then be on their merry way. Some of these end-users may view a profile here or there out of curiosity or to get some more information but they too will likely move on without feeling the need to reach out to a Pro.
Why would they do that? Well, their vague interest has been satisfied. They wanted pricing (and maybe some other general information) - they got what they wanted and moved on. The Pro's never had the chance to pitch them personally.
These end-users with vague interest are invisible to us. We'll never even know they were there were it not for the Views and Profile View stats.
Think about this.
Have a look at the leads you closed in say 2017. How many of those started off as an end-user with vague interest just wanting to know what you charged? You did your pitch, you sold them on YOU and you turned their initial vague interest into a deal. You did your job well and that's why TT worked for you back in the day.
Now, think about how many of those deals you'd be able to pick up today? I bet most of them would find TT, do a quick Search, get some pricing to satisfy their curiosity and then be gone filing away that information for another day. You'll never know they had been on TT and you'll never have the chance to pitch them and turn their vague interest into a deal. That's why TT doesn't work for you now and why you're not getting anywhere near the number of leads you used to.
@Lar thanks for sharing your thoughts about this. I'm sorry to hear that you aren't finding success and I want to help in any way that I can to turn that experience around for you. I first want to point out that even with promote, you still have the opportunity to sell yourself to the customer and win them over. You can do this by doing two things. First is having a great profile filled with reviews, photos, and more information about you and your business. From there, when a customer reaches out, you have a great opportunity to be personable in your response to them just like you did with the old system.
A lot of pros are finding success with promote. Upon that, more customers are getting in contact with pros than they were before. The old system wasn’t sustainable and let me tell you why. 80 percent of customers who came to Thumbtack didn’t even see a pro show up in their inbox. Now, we don't see that problem and It's overall a healthier marketplace from both pros and customers. We wouldn't be keeping this system around if it wasn't working.
With all fo that being said, If you have any suggestions or ideas about promote that would help you and other pros, please send them my way. You've found with Thumbtack and I want that to continue for you.
I've seen the '80% of people who came to TT didn't see a Pro' statistic mentioned before.
I can well imagine that previously 80% of end-users who came to TT didn't see a Pro. Why would that be? Because those 80% only had a vague interest in hiring a Pro in the first place and were only after some pricing. They would come onto TT, see that they would have to fill in some information about their job, decide that it was too much trouble for them to do that and they would leave.
The other 20% of end-users actually did take the time to enter details of their job. The job was sent out to Pro's ... The Pro's decided whether they would submit a quote or not. I recall that up to 5 Pro's could submit quotes to the lead.
With the new system...
The 80% who previously didn't stick around on TT now actually get to see the pricing via Search. Some may even look at a profile or two. A few may even reach out to a Pro directly. The end-user is not required to directly interact with a Pro to obtain the information they need. The Pro's don't even know they were on TT.
The 20% who would have previously taken the time to fill in the form with their job details (which was sent to the Pro's) don't need to do that anymore either. They can do a Search, get pricing, browse around a bit, and if they want to they can single out one or two Pro's to contact.
ALL (every single one) of those 20% would previously have been contacted by up to 5 Pro's. Now only those end-users who EXPLICITLY decide to reach out to a Pro will actually end up interacting with a Pro. It is no surprise to me that Pro's are reporting that they are receiving fewer leads because of the recent changes.
I think you are placing too much emphasis on the efficacy of end-users seeing Pro profiles. Profiles do play an important role in grabbing the attention of an end-user but they are only useful if they prompt the end-user to actually reach out to the Pro.
What was far more valuable was being able to correspond with an end-user directly in the way that things used to work. We could PERSONALIZE our interaction with that specific end-user, quote them, actually have a conversation with them.
I do appreciate you taking the time to respond to me Meckell but I honestly feel that your perspective as a support rep for TT is so different from the Pro's that you aren't able to see things as we do. You have the best of intentions but there is little you can do to directly address my concerns in a practical way. I understand that Meckell, please don't see that as a criticism of you or what you are trying to do here by responding to our messages. It is the way it is.
You mention that...
A lot of pros are finding success with promote. Upon that, more customers are getting in contact with pros than they were before
This is not at all helpful to me and is completely counter to what I have seen.
I've seen a significant reduction in the number of leads your service provides and consequently a reduction in the amount of deals I have closed. Virtually every Pro who has commented on this topic has reported the same experience. Are we all wrong? What are we missing here? What are we doing different to the, as you say, 'lots of pros who are finding success with promote' ?
I'm a TopPro - rank #1 in my area - 21 hires, 25 reviews - link.
In Insights over the last 4 weeks I've had 296 Listing Views, 34 Profile Views and 2 Leads.
I closed one lead, The other wanted to schedule call but didn't even view my replies or respond to me. I requested a refund which was given.
@JSGDS asked "Why are customers less interested in hearing from you?"
I know a few TT magicians in my area. They hardly get any leads anymore either. It's not just me.
I think the vast majority of TT end-uers searching for a Magician in my area are basically just interested in obtaining pricing and have only a vague interest in hiring anyone. When they come to TT they are just window shopping. The end-user gets on TT to obtain pricing, they do a Search, get the pricing information they want and with their curiosity satisfied they leave. There is no need for them to reach out to a Pro anymore to get pricing because the pricing for Promoted Pro's is shown in the Search.
I believe that's why there has been a big drop off in leads. Previously the only way an end-user could obtain pricing was to fill in a job request. The request was then pushed out to the Pro's as a lead. That doesn't happen any more. End-users can get the pricing (and other information about Pro's) just using TT Search - no need for them to contact the Pro's directly.
Speculation on my part obviously, but that's my working theory at the moment.
Nothing I can do about it unfortunately. It is what it is.