When we say “set your targeting preferences” it means “tell us what kinds of leads you’ll be happy to pay for automatically.” Those are leads in the right place, at the right time, and doing the right kind of work.
When pros call support telling us they just auto-paid for a lead that was too far away or for a job that wasn’t really their specialty, the first thing we do is have the pro take a look at their preferences and make sure they accurately reflect what that pro is willing to pay for.
So let’s start from the top. Thumbtack understands who you are and what you want through your profile and preferences.
When you make a profile, you tell us who you are. For example, you say:
I’m a tutor.
I’m located in San Francisco.
I teach Spanish.
With that info, we can start showing you to customers. We won’t show your business to people in Los Angeles or to people looking for French tutors, but anyone looking for Spanish tutors in the greater San Francisco area might find your business in their search results and contact you.
The challenge is that with just your profile we don’t know everything about the jobs you want most. We’re missing the details:
You don’t work weekends.
You’ll travel to Daly City but not Oakland.
You only teach kids, not adults.
We don’t want Oakland-based adult students looking for weekend classes to contact you. That would be a waste of time for them and for you.
The best way to avoid that is with targeting preferences. You go to your Services tab, promote yourself, and spend some time filling in the blanks. That’s how you tell us the locations, times and jobs you’re most interested in.
That’s also how you tell us which leads you’re ok automatically paying for.
So if you’re a Spanish tutor mostly looking for jobs in San Francisco and cities south of San Francisco, your location preferences would look like this:
If you prefer not to work weekends, your timing preferences would look like this:
And if you only teach kids, your job preferences would look like this:
Once you set that up, you’ll start targeting those kinds of customers — we’ll try to get as many of them to you as possible. And if a customer who’s a bullseye for all these preferences contacts you, then you’ll auto-pay for that lead and get 20% off.
If your preferences are all cleaned up and if everything works right, then you only auto-pay for jobs you would have happily paid for anyway. If a job comes in that doesn’t hit all your targets, you can look at it and decide whether you want to pay for it or not.
Have a question about what you should do with your preferences? Ask below.