So far this site has been an okay route for getting clients. I like how many options you can put to see what type of client you'd want.
I understand that you guys have to make money, but I don't think it is fair to charge when a possible client's first answer back to a quote is "yeah I'd love to chat!" and then I never hear from them again when I reply. I think you should charge if they actually set up a discovery session or a first meeting with someone. I've got limited funds and I would love to use Thumbtack to help my business grow but it doesn't seem very fair to charge right away when the person could just be answering that to multiple people.
I'm very new to Thumbtack as a photographer. My profile isn't fully set up yet.
I have been really confused about how pricing and paying for leads works. Some of the comments I've seen in this thread have, quite frankly, really freaked me out. I had no idea it was this expensive up front with little pay off in the end. I'm a startup and can NOT afford to shell out that much money up front in order to make money... that seems to defeat the whole purpose... Can someone clear this up for me? I'm so confused. Thanks!
I don't really have too much advice on pricing ect. I think the leads are now over priced, but I am willing to chance it because I have some filter methods I use now and have a hire ratio of about 1/3 contacts. BUT i would highly reccomend finishing your profile including getting some past clients to write reviews for you. Upload sample photos that are like what you are trying to book (for instance for me now fall family sessions are at the top of my portfolio). Don't put headshots up if you are trying to book newborns. And finally, be sleective with who you quote. If you seem ify on the locaton, the price, the work, just pass it up and quote ones that seem perfect for you. Good luck!
I have 2 points I'd like to address.
I would like to see customer "Readiness to Hire" play a major role in pricing.
A customer who is "conducting initial research" vs one who is "ready to hire the right pro now" is far, far less likely to make a hire. This should be reflected in the fee for customer contact. I suspect it is, but I suspect it is not in ratio to the customer's likeliness to hire.
One other point. We are charged anytime a customer makes contact with anything other than "thanks but no thanks."
If it is CLEAR that a customer either -
1. has not read your quote and asks you to drastically alter terms that you very clearly stated in your quote
2. wants you to provide a service for free or for next to nothing
3. changes the terms of what they are looking for (example - they request a violin, but then in conversation change it to an incredibly obscure 12th century middle-eastern instrument)
We should not be charged (or a drastically reduced rate). These are all situations where I have been charged a fee, even after reporting with a clear explanation.
We trust Thumbtack to provide us with real leads from real customers and we are happy to pay for that service. That trust exists because we are trusted as professionals to honestly represent ourselves and Thumbtack professionally and ethically in dealing with Thumbtack's clients. Please extend that same courtesy to your professionals.
My name is Mandhi. I am a private yoga and meditation instructor and I first have to say I really appreciate being able to send quotes for free when they don't respond. I send lots of requests but in this field, there are may ways to have a yoga lesson (ie: online, at their home, outdoors, at a studio, pricing, ect.) Usually, most of the time if they are interested they will at least try out a lesson. I feel the current charge of around $10-$14 is fair. I normally charge $60 for a private one on one yoga lesson. If it is a larger group, I give them a discount. My prices all depend on the amount of personalized care I provide (traveling to them, one on one instruction, and so on.) The average rate for a private yoga class in my area per online is from $50-$100.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to call as well.
Thank you and namaste!
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to voice our thoughts and ideas to Thumbtack in this forum. I think the customer service has been great and is very prompt, generally pretty professional and always pleasant. Please do not read the following as a rant, but as an honest critique. 🙂
(For anyone that doesn't want to read on, the gist is...
-Pricing under Instant Match, it's process and components are broken.
-Fix pricing by paying a small fee for the initial communication (while simultaneously fixing what is wrong with the communication tools) and paying a second larger fee when hired.
First of all I want to start by saying I have been using Thumbtack for probably 5 years now. I am a musician and use Thumbtack as a music instructor. At first I was unhappy with the service (when I lived in Nashville) and was unsure it was legit. When I moved to New York City, that all changed, and it has become my only marketing source at this point, as from 2015-2017 it had become so convenient and effecient at securing leads. I went from moving to NYC with no job to being almost completely booked in about 6 months of using the service. Now I am one of the top ranking Top Pros in the area in Guitar Instructors. So thankful for Thumbtack (and my clients that have supported me) for that. Just some background...
Having said that I LOVE Thumbtack, but I am not IN LOVE with Thumbtack right now. As this thread is focused on Pricing, I will try to keep my critique focused on that area of the platform, though I feel you can't discuss pricing without talking about Instant Match, as that is the current system in which the pricing exists.
Using the previous model it cost me $3.33 (sometimes less depending on how competitive Thumbtack deemed the quote). I felt this was totally fair, whether I got the job or not, because I could be HYPER focused in my marketing, and tailor each quote to the client. It allowed me to have a conversation with a potential client. So unique and important. Thumbtack was providing me with somebody I knew was already interested in my service and almost always READY TO HIRE. Combine that with the app (which I think is great and keeps getting better) and the ability to segment forms and pitches, I was able to be at a bar with friends or a gig, and offer my services and book my work easily, (with people that I (emphasis on I) want to work with, on the go.
I loved getting a notification from Thumbtack because once I had honed my sales pitch I knew I stood a very good chance of getting that gig. It truly empowered me and made me more proactive in my marketing, as if I didn't respond quickly and offer something the client wanted I would not get the gig, or perhaps even the chance to bid in some cases. I think this is underestimated byproduct of the old system.
Then Instant Match came out and I thought, "This is great! I don't have to be by my phone or computer now?!" I didn't understand what would be lost with Instant Match, partially as I don't think the nuts and bolts were sold to us, mainly the convenience of the new system.
I didn't mind paying more for the quote, because as I understood it, I was essentially paying for the client and, in my work this is still a great ROI. I soon found out of course that it wasn't the case. As soon as Instant Match was enacted, my New Hires vanished. I went months without a new hire and when I did get a new hire, it was few and far between. Thankfully I have a high retention rate and some great loyal clients. I attribute this partially to the old system and being able to choose who I quote to.
To pull the trigger... I think all of the new tools Thumbtack are offering and what they are trying to do is great, I just feel like maybe it's all a little too much, too soon. Each area of the new implementations feel a little half-baked. As far as Pricing, it's too high (for how Instant Match currently operates). It's too easy for a potential client to click through and request a quote without any accountability. This results in too many non-lucrative "What Is The Process For Working Together?"'s and "What Is Your Schedule Like?"'s. Honestly after a few of those with no return response, I thought Thumbtack had been hacked and I stopped responding. On that note it may have been good to notify the Pros that this feature was being implemented. Learning by experience in that instance probably costs me about $30. Not a complaint, just thinking of some of these guys/gals that pay way more for a quote than I do. So while I appreciate that Thumbtack is trying to make it easier for the person hiring, I feel it is hurting the professional, who, I think it is important to remember, is Thumbtack's client.
So what do I propose? I personally have no problem paying more for a high ROI. Perhaps dividing fees for communication and booking. I would gladly pay a smaller fee for when someone talks to me and a bigger fee when I get hired, especially if you ever implement a payment feature at point of hire. Even if the total were higher than my current rate, it would not upset me, especially if all the other tools and implementations were a little more aligned and complete (I'm looking at you Calendar and Search Results ((which is inherently broken)) ). I do have a problem paying such a high fee when someone can just click something and not be aware of what they are doing, asking questions that can be answered by my profile or in the process before the quote is sent. I especially don't like having to pay or asking Customer Service for a credit when someone starts talking to me only to find out that I am not in their area and they didn't actually want Online Remote Lessons, this sort of thing.
I think I have made my point. Just to reiterate, I LOVE THUMBTACK! I am very eager to see what the future brings for the company. I believe in the concept and the people implementing it. I believe in what it can do for SMALL businesses and entreprenuers who want to take their future in their own hands and CREATE something. I know they are listening and that if we can all be honest and constructive with our critiques, we can all help build something that is great and unique in the marketplace.
Thanks Thumbtack (and anyone else) For Listening,
First and foremost I think it's nuts to charge folks just for a potential customers getting in touch with you. I've spent almost $300 trying to win bids from potential customers and haven't secured not one of them. My prices are good, and what we offer I feel is more superior then the competition. You send a quote, they review it, and Thumbtack tells you to follow up with them. Even if they have no interest in your service and contact you anyway, you still get charged and you're out of that money. This is just like playing the lottery in which you're taking a risk from the first time you send out that quote. It's hard for me to continue justifying the use of this service and I'm sure alot of your customers feel the same way.
I have a problem more with the process of how requests are currently posted. I have stated this formerly and suggested that I may be willing to assist in tweeking the process.
As an electrical contractor, I need certain details that are not provided by your current customer utilized automated process/system. These details are needed to provide a more accurate estimate. You should depend more upon descriptive requests which include details such as access and distances. Pics would be a great help too. I find myself deleting many requests due to lack of detail; more than I actually bid upon. Any attempt to seek details, results in my being charged when I receive a reply. Then I may not receive the job anyway.
In so far as pricing, yes, I believe that your cost is too great. I believe that the customer should have a small charge as well for their request. There are far too many putting requests out there just to see what the pricing would be. Even if we are not charged, it still costs us to look through these postings and formulate an estimate. Time is money; after all. Make the cost equitable to all parties.
It also seems that there is a limit to the amount of quotes that are allowed per request? Sometimes its 5 and others as many as 12. This limit should cease. If not, then when the bid threshhold has been met, then the rerquest should be deletedor recalled from the email list. Time is wasted looking at these types of requests unncessrily.
On another note my charges has cost from $14.47 up to $27.77, WHAT!! I couldn't believe this when I seen these. I agree with everyone else that if some of these folks get charged for constantly costing you these outrageous cost, they'll think twice about this. I love Thumbtacks concept but pricing and how we're getting charged is ridiculous.