[The following story was written and submitted by Top Pro Leslie Taylor (@RevDrLCT)]
I started my business on Thumbtack in February 2017. I’m a wedding officiant — I’ve done about 70 weddings through Thumbtack, plus referrals from those weddings. When I first started, I’d chase down every lead on my schedule. Since I was doing it part-time, I didn’t really stress about “Oh, I need to have X number of weddings per month.” It was initially “Christmas” money. Fun money.
Now I’ve left my other job and will focus on doing weddings full time. Now I do have to worry about the number of weddings I get per month. But showing up in search results hasn’t changed anything for me. Being in the list, when somebody wants to find a wedding officiant, then I’m right there with six other people or whatever. The customer can see that I’m a Top Pro, what my ratings are, and they can click to learn more about me. When they reach out to me and a few other people, they’ve already done their homework. They’ve thought about what they want. So when I talk to them, it’s just about whether or not I’m the right fit. I like giving the customer the option of looking and doing their own research and not having us chase after them. The customer’s in the driver’s seat. It’s their choice. So it’s my responsibility to make my profile stand out to them.
I’ve looked myself up on Thumbtack before. It’s kind of fun. I want to look at people that are ahead of me. I want to look at their profile to see if there is anything I can tweak in my own. I think I’m one of the top three or four. I’m generally on that first page, which is helpful. And I promote my business on Thumbtack now.
I think promoting makes sense because the customers are looking, not me. Otherwise, I’m going to be glued to my phone and computer all day, looking every few minutes to see who’s new. That’s a complete waste of time. But now it’s set up that if somebody’s interested, then I get a text message and an email, then I can go respond. And if I’m in the middle of something, I can respond when the time is right. I pay automatically, but as long as I remember to block out the dates that I’m not available, then I don’t have any concerns. So I like promoting my business. It helps people find me, and it feels far more efficient to do it. It just makes sense.
I'm glad that Promoting your business is working for you. What suggestions do you have for Pros who have Promote on, receive charges for numerous conversation starters, and after viewing the customer profiles, etc that we feel aren't a good fit for us?
@RevDrLCTIt is more than frustrating, even after editing my profile and doing everything per Thumbtack reps. But I don't think you understand what I'm trying to say. Even if I have Promote on, I would love to see the info that I mentioned in previous comment before anything is charged. Then get charged after I decide to send message/quote. Not everyone is a good fit for me, no matter how preferences match us up. Many factors go into my decision making.
@RevDrLCT I'm glad it works for you, it should, as you only perform a single type of service, not many variations. For contractors, like myself, it's impossible to use; we need to actually meet the client and see what our scope of work is going to be before we can put a dollar figure on something. Therefore, blindly allowing Promote to hit my CC with charges, for a project:
I may not even want
or have time for
or be equipped to do
isn't in my best financial interest.
I completely agree, @RevDrLCT, it just makes sense! All of my research about online marketing is to always be on top of any search or list and "promoting" on Thumbtack is no different!
@AutumnElectric, I am a business where every project and need is completely different and promote is a no brainer for my business. I put all necessary info in my profile, like FAQs from paying clients and info I know they want, and explain that a phone conversation will be needed and possibly a home visit for more info. There are many successful contractors on Thumbtack making it work. Great communication is key!
Also, @DJStevie, I stick with the "conversation starters" who don't reply at first and message them once a week until I get more info out of them or until they change the status of their project. I convert 15%-20% of the customers "just browsing" which more than covers any of the other leads that didn't convert. Don't give up on the "conversation starters" who don't respond! They are looking for you and sometimes they need a push 🙂
I do follow up within 24 hours, then a few days later, sometimes twice within 7 days. As I said, I need to see the information I mentioned earlier in my previous comments ahead of time before sending message/quote before being charged. Kind of makes sense to me, for my business anyway. Like I said, many factors go into my decision making, before I reply. Spoke with a rep earlier, and took me awhile to get my point across, after proving to him about those factors that aren't in the preferences, and he then understood and would pass my feedback on. Does it help me if I turn Promote on, no. But we shall see what if any changes/improvements may occur.
@DJStevie You are correct. I misunderstood your concern. I am not sure how to respond though. If you could describe your ideal client, who would they be? Are there clients you absolutely do not want to work with? Is there a way to present yourself so people are clear about your expectations/desires? Perhaps, if you contacted @JasonB he could help you reframe your profile. I hope you are able to attract the clients you really want.
This article is the transcript of a phone interview. As a writer and public speaker, I hope I would have written this a little more coherently! LOL! I do appreciate @PhilippaB taking the time to try to discern what I was saying! Thank you for the opportunity!