I have been on TT for a couple years now, and have been through all of the changes they've made. Since the newest "search ranking" idea came online, it's been nothing short of a disaster, evidenced by my own experiences as well as reading through other topics on these forums.
I would like to hear from people who created their profile at some point in 2019 and their successes.
The people I know that are *still* successful are only people that were also successful before the change to the ranking system. I work with over 30 personal trainers, and the ones that still find success with TT were already successful with it before--therefore they rank highest. They've had the complete profile, have had the opportunity to grow past the 10 off-site reviews and so on.
To date, after countless boards being read on this forum, all I have seen moderators do is redirect, hype things up and refer people to generic information.
Once the generic stuff is done (promote, profile, 10 reviews, etc.), there's nothing pros can do to shift the balance in the rankings.
Response time does not matter if no leads are generated. It's impossible to get additional reviews (past the 10 off-site reviews) if no leads are generated.
Like Google, most of the clicks to profiles MUST go to the top 3 pros in the search results. While that doesn't mean it's impossible for pros 4+ to be contacted, the liklihood of that happening is lower and lower as the number rises.
In other words, pros have no way of breaking the plateau they will undoubtedly hit because once the profile and all necessary items are complete, there is NOTHING the pro can do to rank higher. The best profile picture and other things that help you "stand out" have diminished returns.
Is there ANYONE that created their profile in 2019 specifically that has had success with the ranking system?
Here's how I would have made the changes, instead of the ranking system. From the moderators comments I've read, customers were overwhelmed by the number of quotes, followup messages and so on--which is understandable. At at least one time, there was at least 15 quotes that could be sent to a customer--that's 15 emails, not including follow ups. Again, completely understandable because it's equally important to retain customers, not just pros.
But, such a massive overhaul was shortsighted. While some customers likely see an improvement, it also could do more damage if the one or two pros they contact don't reply in a reasonable amount of time, or pass on the job for whatever reason.
So here's what I would have done:
1) Keep Manual Quoting only
2) Allow the customer to choose how many quotes they want to receive from people (1-15 for example), and allow the pros to send manual quotes. These will be the hungriest pros with an incentive to reply quickly--not just present those that TT favors.
Not to speak for anyone else, but I would think pros could handle that--at the very least, they have the opportunity to DO something, not just sit back and wait.
3) Price the quote based on demand (the number of quotes the customer wants). The customer that wants fewer quotes, the pros pay a higher price for the lead (supply and demand). This removes must of the cheap pros that value lead cost over acquisition cost of the customer.
To me, this allows the opportunity to the pro (company revenue) while not overwhelming the customer with too many quotes that they didn't ask for. There would be actual competition, not just search results that mimic Google.
There's no such thing as perfect, but the old way didn't work well for customers, and the new way isn't working for pros. This gives the customer control over how many quotes they want and the pros control over who to spend money on.
Just my two cents, Thumbtack devs.
Thank you for taking the time to write out your thoughts and ideas in this post. I can tell that you truly care and that you want to make Thumbtack work for you, which is exactly what we want as well. I hear your frustrations, there’s been a lot of change at Thumbtack lately. But the good news is that the major changes are behind us! We’re definitely glad to hear that you enjoyed and found success on the old system, but this newer system is working better overall for a larger number of people.
Not only on the old system were customers being contacted by so many pros, but another big problem was that for a customer to actually see a pro and their prices it took entirely way too long and they would end up leaving. So we knew that we had to introduce customers to pros instantly, to increase the chances that they'll actually hire someone. Search Results gives them options much faster and they can choose which and how many pros they're interested in speaking with. We’ve actually been seeing much less confusion from customers in how they’re using the site and an overall increase in hires for pros. That said, we know the system isn’t perfect yet, and we're taking in feedback and continuing our research in order to make it better.
When this new system first came about we did our best to keep new pros in mind as well. Our teams have been keeping an eye on this and monitoring the new system closely to see how new pros faired, along with the exact nuances that may come with any struggles they encounter. Those teams have already begun to work on ways to help pros that may be entirely new to Thumbtack. As well I'll mention that newer pros may be more willing to take on those smaller jobs just to get some reviews and hires under their belt that more seasoned pros on the site choose not to list in their preferences. Which would then show more of those newer pros in search results when customers apply those filters.
There are a great number of pros that have signed up recently and have seen success. I'm looking to see if I can find those pros specifically and if they are on the Community to add them to the conversation and see what their thoughts are. @lettiedawson is one in particular that comes to mind and I'm sure she'd be happy to join the discussion.
Yes, happy to join the discussion and my apologies for taking so long to respond. The upcoming holiday has kept me busy! 😊
I am still fairly new to Thumback, and it is frankly the backbone of my new leads, since I’m new to having an office and the Atlanta area in my profession. When I started on Thumbtack, I was a little overwhelmed with my competition. I also had barriers to entry in this market. I was competing with professionals that had over 100 reviews and offered more services that I did. I almost gave up! I got a great gig in town, and then business really died down. I spent some time considering what differentiated me from my competition. In my field, there are may people doing sessions over the phone/internet, and I have an office at a great location. I used this to my advantage by limiting my customers to the area and created pictures featuring me in my office. I also looked at my rates and offered low introductory rates to stay below the people who were well established. While this was a pain point for me professionally, repeat business and referrals are really what I wanted, so I looked at this as a short term investment. Finally, with every response, I try very hard to drop something to the potential client as quickly as possible. Thumbtack has a new feature that allows you to quickly save responses (MUCH better than the templates, IMO).
The combination of these helped me grow to the point where I had at least 20 reviews, and the quick response rate really helped pull me up in the rankings.
I’m not trying to sprinkle fairy dust on the issues you are having. There were times when the leads have died down, and when that happens, I capitalize on the clients I have worked with to put together classes, work on my podcast/online presence, and look at adding offerings.
I hope this helps! I’m happy to answer any other questions that you have!
That's great! When did you start with your TT profile--before the new ranking system or after? If after, how long did it take you to climb the ranks? Thanks!