I think it is confusing how you decide how much you charge in general. Also it is unfair that you charge even when there is no appointment made. It would be great if you could have a way of verifying from the customer in a very easy way whether they hired someone or not and charge then accordingly.
Interesting that I received this e-mail today. I was planning to cancel my account this week as I do not believe the quality of the inquires are as good as you believe & price them to be. Thumbtack has been my lead booking service (over 42 bookings with Thumbtack) but I'm paying more for a lot less bookings now. My conversion rate has been consistant on all of my other platforms so I know it is not on our end.
There seems to be a large trend in potential clients requesting prices without accurately filling out the information and then they aren't actually paying attention to the quote given. We often receive replys just asking if we are available on their date or asking how many hours are included in the quote and then never respond again. If you don't have that a quote means we are available on the requested day you need to clarify that immediately. In fact, you should have a better list that perhaps we can check mark off to let potential clients know what is included in the quoted price.
I would love to see a clear break down of how you determine what a more valuable lead is how it gets priced out. One factor you listed is the size of the job. When that refers to the length of time potential clients are requesting it leads back to them not accrately filling the requests out.
For a photobooth - pricing doesn't vary based on number of people or type of event. Pricing varies based on time of day. Most leads are costing between 6-10% of the job price which is very high. The old pricing methods of credits seemed to work much better. I would actually bid on more projects as I have to be very, very choosy in what I do bid on. Thumbtack has a reputation of clients that just want the lowest price and clients that really have no clue on how much services cost. I pass on a lot of events because I don't want a client to contact me because I am going to be out of their price range, or they don't know what they are requesting. For example, there will be a client request for a party for less than 50 people that want services for 4 hours. There is no way to explain to them that they don't need that much time without paying for it.
In most cases I am spending over $200 a month for one booking. Or I will have indepth conversations with a client about the services, they are ready to go, then I never hear from them again.
I would rather spend money elsewhere.
I prefer the set ammount per bid I submit as it is MUCH easier to determin what I am spending with Thumbtack. That should also include if someone "hires" me without going through the regular process as the fee you charge for that is over $20 (non-refundable) and in 99% of those cases they are only asking for pricing from several officiants and you do not end up receiving the job.
I am still confused about setting up a budget and how a response from a client is verified, thus I have not yet done either since the establishment of that format. I see lots of leads coming in but I don't feel comfortable responding to any of them. As a musician, what I would really want is lower prices per lead. Additionally, it really helps me to know clearly what the client's budget is. Right now the budgets are listed as basic, standard, premium, and high end. These designations likely mean different things to different clients, so there is no way to know whether the client has a sufficient budget to accommodate the cost of my services. Additionally, because Thumbtack does not require the client to supply his/her phone number or direct email address, two of the primary tools of communication leading to booking are eliminated from my repertoire.
How about the following suggestions for musicians and bands:
1) If the client puts in his/her phone number and email address and agrees to have the musician/band contact them, the lead will be $2.
2) If the client declines to offer his/her phone number and email address for the musician/band and only wants contact through the Thumbtack the lead will be $1.
The reality is that after 15 years of doing business as a musician, only about ten percent of clients actually respond to bids, but it is extremely helpful to be able to call and email a client directly after an inquiry in order to negotiate and close a business deal with them. Also, as a musician, the margin of pay for each performance is very slim, so spending high amounts on bids without an ability to do the telephonic follow up is an inefficient use of limited resources.
Thanks for your consideration of my ideas!
I may have a different take on things... I have read, and understsnd well, all the points of views re: the Old days of credits, and how our TT costs are rising. A basic tenet of being self - employed says we must advertise to grow our business, and this new "pay to play" space is a viable option compared with the traditional days of the yellow pages and resource directories. I spend about the same annually as I did years ago, and though more expensive now, at least MOST of my quotes go to "qualified" leads. The honest truth is, TT was pretty cheap on a per quote basis when I started in 2014, and now they are simply re-couping their early investment. However, I totally agree that the vagaries of the value/project makes each quote cost more, and that is the bottom line. Can TT find a way to re-categorize values, re-fund those "empty" quotes that are really just clients fishing, not have "17" of us answer a quote and charge all of us who may never have even received a fair look see from the requester.... and just overall tresat us fairly. This is indeed their challenge, as TT too has competition. Anyone know of BARK? I have received gigs from them, and they are where TT was 4 years ago. I for one, still support TT, but very carefully, and I do not quiote nearly as many jobs now... but the pay to play space is still the way to go for me. Good luck all!