To be honest, I'm in total agreeance with you on this issue. I have a really hard time isolating blame though.
Videography is in a weird place right now. Many photographers, even myself, think we can throw together some "awesome" video while running around with our Sony a7iii cameras on a gimble, throw it all together in Adobe Premiere (or, sadly, iMovie), and then just charge $500-$1000 a video and call that "videography".
Sadly, TRUE videographers (most likely like yourself since I saw you mentioned you may carry $40k worth of equipment at a time) are in a space where the wannabe videographers are doing "o.k." level videography with photography cameras and really driving down the value of TRUE videography. It's really hard to explain the value of someone that uses full rigs like RED, Black Magic, Sony Video, etc. (just by the brands I named, you can probably tell I'm NOT a pro videographer).
Honestly, I think this is a space where Thumbtack can benefit from allowing YOU to be able to set up filters for yourself. Would you be happier if you could filter your name OFF the list if someone put <$500 budget on their quote? Maybe you could filter your name off the list if someone puts $500-$1000 for multicamera projects?
I'm really typing this out as context more for Thumbtack than for you, @Jeffcam, because I think they may be able to benefit from understanding that there is a significant difference between a photographer shooting video vs. a true videographer.
Thanks for your post! It's not realistic though when I do get every once in a while a client who says. Hey I need a quick shot of a store and it's going to take an hour and my budget is $500. And it's a large corporate client where I can get more work. That's a no brainer YES. Additionally just a couple of days ago I get a request for videotaping a girls middle school gig. Budget $5000 Really? They need to do a better job at getting qualified leads and for THUMBTACK to have some filter that says. multimcamera, multiple locations 4k, editing, music, animation and professional voice over budget $250-500. I had a competitor do a request for some competitive research and it cost me $36, no refund from Thumbtack when I reported it. I used to get quality leads, I got a $60k job that turned into a $200k client over three years. It's the ROI now. You can check out my reel... www.jlimages.com/demoreel I'm not a guy sitting around with a few cheap cameras. But I am a guy who wants all of us pros to make more money and grow our business. That's the ROI we should all be looking for. BTW They mentioned me talking to their team to help improve Thumbtack. Haven't hear a word from them about that. Just crickets. Bark has to be the worst. I think thest aggregators are actually allowing customers to just drive prices down. We are not plumbers and electicians. We are like home builders. What's a video cost? too many options to give a price. Thank you again for your post.
@Jeffcam as Meckell mentioned if you're quoting on jobs in the Jobs tab there will be a wider variety to choose from and you can choose to quote or pass on any of them. The Jobs tab is a place that we anticipate many jobs will be passed on by pros and is more of a secondary way to introduce yourself to customers whose job happened to catch your eye. The main goal is that customers will see your profile from the search results and reach out to you directly for their job and that the majority of your work comes in that way. I'll agree that not showing up in a customers search if their budget is a substantial amount below yours would likely be ideal and I've passed that along already for consideration. Thanks for weighing in and sharing your thoughts as well @CLGPatrick.
I wonder if anyone at Thumbtack fully understands that videographers ARE NOT a commodity! Nor is our business transaction driven. None of us who have made 5-figure investments (and more) in our gear are even remotely interested in "little Susie's dance video." and to the extent TT does such a poor job of explaining what a video project entails, we are left to flush out the good from the bad, BEFORE we bid.
This is frustrating on a large scale! I said I wasn't going to post on "Community" any more as I felt no one was listening. Just following some of the more recent threads, now I'm CONVINCED of it!
@Jeffcam , I have made the same recommendation -- multiple times, too, and it would just make sense to have advisory boards from several professional categories, to make sure that any REAL product development would have meaningful results through which both the pro AND Thumbtack could prosper. Right now, TT is the only one in the equation that is prospering, while we just throw good money after bad. Which is why I rarely bid anymore and I KNOW my profile isn't being seen.
This portal used to be fairly decent, but it took a wicked turn south, and I don't hold out much hope that there will be any REAL improvements.
I have been watching the leads that have come in and responded to a few. Zero contacts. I see so many that are just not worth even hitting the pass button. Full day shoot three cameras budget under $500. They should at least give the customer some realistic numbers to guide them to a solid professional. If they did I think we would end up with more qualified leads. Also when someone wants a five minute corporate video, it's not like I need a plumber to install a toilet. It's more like building a house. You have to figure out what their needs are and how you can help. Drone? Multi Camera? Animation? Music? Narrator? I've been complaining for well over a year. On my first week of using Thumbtack I was getting project opportunities like crazy and some were great and one I've billed a couple of hundred grand to over time. In the beginning I could count on 80/20 Qualified Lead to Joke, now it's 10/90 Qualified Lead to Joke. I mean I used to jump on the leads like a dog to a steak.
So here is todays request. SlowMotion Shoot. I have a 1000 FPS camera that works pretty well so I go ahead and send them a note. His response is, Oh I am not sure I mentioned in the request but I need a 12,500 FPS camera......He never told me he wanted a $15,000 specialized camera for extreme slow motion. I don't feel I should pay for this lead. They also indicate that they have a inside videographer so the lead is no good for me.
How hard is it for Thumbtack to have a primer video on quality of work difference in equipment etc. to help teach those needing our services. I mean I get a pop up on Thumbtack that wants to educate me on how people find me on Thumbtack. I mean really?