I'm willing to pay $5000** a year for a premium service, let's call it Premium Pros or something -
For me - this solves a lot of the common issues that Top Pros have, it provides some great revenue for Thumbtack, and I believe will lead to better service for the customers as well!
When Thumbtack was really working for me - the return on investment was tremendous. I want to get back to that, and I'm willing to invest upfront.
**EDIT - the $5000 figure initially brought up was at a fair rate for my category, after discussion with other pros - I would suggest pricing the premium fee for each category individually, similarly to how leads are priced for different categories
@ScottArcangel thanks so much for taking the time to write up and share this idea! This is certainly an interesting concept and one I'll be sure to share for review.
One possible roadblock I could see with part #2 is that we want to list pros based on the service they provide: reviews, response time, profile score, pricing, along with letting us know their preferences. As opposed to forcing pros to simply pay their way to the top of the search results. Any additional thoughts you have on this?
First of all, thanks for the feedback & discussion Kameron!
I believe the pros who would choose to invest in this, are pros who have already invested into the quality not only of their Thumbtack profiles, but the quality of service they routinely offer Thumbtack's customers. But if you want to narrow it down and perhaps offer it to pros who already have a certain number of reviews/quality of reviews/strength of profile - you are ensuring that customers are only being shown premium professionals that Thumbtack stands behind.
Kind of like rewarding your top pros with this opportunity - however, doing so without addressing the other terms I've laid out would be seen as nothing other than a $$-grab. So I know Thumbtack will approach it with careful thought. That's when it would be seen as "forcing pros to pay their way to the top."
@ScottArcangel This is an interesting idea. I spend $5K per year with Thumbtack anyways, but the catch is I have profiles in 29 different markets. Thumbtack works for me because I'm finding the type of jobs that I do ($2K - $3K corporate video projects mainly) from several different markets on average 2-3 times a month. So $4K - $9K gross return on a $500 investment. I'm only getting gigs from 7-8 of those markets, but I keep expanding my number of profiles, just in case I find a diamond in the rough.
If I'm understanding you correctly, the Premium Pro feature would be for only one profile. It wouldn't be fair to spread the $5K across 29 profiles and give me top ranking, but on the flip side, I'm not going to put $5K just into one profile. So I'm not sure if this concept would work for someone like me.
My fear is that this offering could be taken over by larger national companies. This could be especially true for home services (painting, flooring, etc). When I get hired for a video gig on Thumbtack, I shoot it. I have 1 part time editor and 1 part time production assistant. I have a small 2 person office with just enough room to have two computer desks and a rack with all my video gear. So I think of my business as a very small business.
There are some companies (some that even use Thumbtack to find freelance videographers) that have a large network of freelance videographers throughout the US and they just send them on shoots and then edit the footage back at the company's home office. There is nothing wrong with this, but those larger companies might have more of an ability to spend $5K on a Premium Pro package in 10 or 20 markets. And then the "little guy" videographer in those markets is getting blocked out by a large company with dozens of employees. Again, nothing is wrong with that, it just seems to go against what Thumbtack's messaging says. They seem to be more about the very small businesses with 1-2 owner/operators doing the work.