This is pretty simple. Thumbtack is one of a few channels I use to advertise my music lessons. It makes sense to keep it in the mix for now, but if the leads are cheaper and/or higher quality, it makes sense to use the site more.
For me, a high quality lead is simply someone interested in lessons who can afford it. It's always a bummer to pay for the lead and then find that the person really had no intention of actually scheduling a lesson, or wants me to work for half of the quote I sent.
I'm not thrilled with the change from pricing around quotes vs pricing around conversations. When I used to pay to send quotes every effort from me had the same value. I offer many serivices and get many different requests. I remember for the most part quotes would range from $4-15 and I could choose depending on whether or not the potential clients gave enough information about their needs whether or not it was worth me reaching out to them or whether I was a great fit and could really help them.
Now that same potential client that used to cost me $4 costs me $14 when they send me a message, except that doesn't necesarily mean that they are a more qualified lead or better matched to my services or more interested in what I have to offer. Actually for some reason, I'm having fewer connections that turn into clients after this pricing shift and I haven't changed any of the ways I communicate on the platform with clients. It's just costing me more.
Additionally, Thumbtack doesn't requiring people to share more information about what they are looking for so that I can determine if I'm the right fit for them so it's even more expensive to me. Essentially I think more effort needs to go towards getting people to give more details about what they need from pros. To be more specific - Especially when people are looking for services that can be really personal.
Most of what I offer is personal like: coaching, hypnosis, marketing, MC services, public speaking,.... All of these services I offer are only really useful for the RIGHT client. And I'm more willing to pay for a lead that needs something I happen to be amazing at. Hypnosis for instance, I'm a rockstar and specialist at helping people quit smoking. But porn addiction or gambling - I can help with those things, but I'm not supremely interested in helping people with those patterns. And people can just say they want help with "addiction" without specifiying what addiction. I for sure don't want to spend $14 to find out what people really need and find I'm not a good fit for someone. That's really expensive for all of us, the client, me and Thumbtack.
Additionally I'm not convinced that your system can really tell if a lead or a connection/conversation is really more or less valuable. I was fine for me to spend $4 and not have the connection amount to something but now I've been paying $14 because someone is asking me a question that I totally addressed in the quote that I sent them. Anyway, the quality of engagement hasn't actually increased for me just because people are sending me messages. But the cost is greater and that's really frustrating. And I suppose that it requires me to shift how I'm showing up with potential clients, but Thumbtack hasn't asked the clients to show up and offer more info, and Thumbtack hasn't stepped up their game of offering more qualified leads. So. I'm having to work harder and smarter as well as pay more, but everyone else gets to half ass how they are showing up. And that's frustrating.
perhaps advertising a minimum and maximum would help budgeting. Also, a few, maybe five, rules for determining amounts charged would help as well.
I have a problem when a potential client reaches out to me for consideration. And then they decide not to use my services. I am still charged which I have a problem with. I should only be charged for those clients who hire me. Agree?
I started with Thumbtack back in 2015. I found it a great way to connect with people in need of what I had to offer. I gladly promoted it with everyone I knew. Then suddenly everything seemed to slide down a black hole of greed. Mystery fees were instituted so I never knew what I'd pay. Turned out I was paying up to 25% of my bid amount. So I bid higher to cover it then ended up bidding less & less often. If I bid and someone just asks me a question it costs me. Who needs that? My use of Thumbtack is down about 75% now. If Thumbtack is serious about regaining our confidence and earning a fair price they need to go to a simple percentage fee of the final bid price after being hired, say 10%. That would be appropriate.
Pricing should only happen when someone gets hired. Frequently, someone reaches out to me through Thumbtack about the service and then they fail to follow up and hire me. Frequently, potential clients/customers are not even reading my quotes. Therefore, I am paying for nothing. Thumbtack payments should only occur when the Thumbtack professional gets hired through Thumbtack.
When you look at all the responces I read on just the first page the system you are using does not work. I declined a job due to chemo therapy illness which is hard to schedule but was still charged because it "fit" my instant match. There needs to be allowance for our saying no to a job and NOT being ripped off by thumbtack. I was told I would recieve a refund on 3 jobs they deemed I should not have been charged for yet after a week I had to call and ask where they were. I was told it had been made as a credit to my account... you take the money the instant they contact but can not put the money back IN MY BANK... in less than 3-5 days? I had to tell them I wanted the money back on my card not as a credit and still have not recieved 2 of the 3 refunds. Your system is broken and works more as a legal cash scam than a business model to follow or use. I will be calling again to request my refunds be placed in my bank and then most likely cancelling my account due to never having made any decent profit but I have paid a great deal to bogus looky loo contacts that I have been charged for and never returned texts after asking if I was available. It would almost seem as if there were "trolls" purposely tagging accounts just to run charges.
As a travel advisor who specializes in honeymoons & destination weddings the cost of submitting a bid has increased significantly this past year. I preferred the old way of purchasing credits where I could decide if I thought it was worth submitting a bid on a job that was X number of credits.
Under the new system it is unfairly matched to the travel pros as some of us are not licensed to sell travel in CA & FL and if we use the promote function, guess what????? We get contacted by a prospect in CA, have to pay for the contact, but can't do a **bleep** thing! I have brought this up before to Thumbtack, so now the promote function is yet again turned off, and I am at the bottom of the search chain and won't get the touted 20% discount; and how do we know that a discount is actually applied to those leads?????
Interesting that you HIDE what the cost to submit a quote is; that should be glaring and out in the open for us to see!