@CLGPatrick , you are spot on with evaluating and monitoring your business success with analytics. I would bet you have a written plan detailing your annual goals with monitoring criteria for actual results against that plan, too. I like your analytics and have used a similar approach throughout my career.
We are photographers too but at entirely different ends of the spectrum with our objectives. We were formerly event photographers and in a dominate position in our field. We are now in more of a passive position and no longer trying to grow and promote. We are also very selective in our assignments. In fact this is the third phase of our careers and now we are entering a semi-retired phase. My first phase was in representing several Fortune 500 Technology corporations in various executive sales capacities. The 2nd phase was by founding owning and operating a high visibility technology firm where we dominated for 20 years and grew to 25M in annual revenues with a headcount of 60. This current phase if for the past 21+ years, in our photography & marketing businiess where we had a staff of 12 at one time. Ten of those years were spent traveling nationally shooing prestigious events in motorsports and named entertainment venues. We shot approximately 200 Nascar related events and about 800 major shows with performing artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, REO Speedwagon, Charlie Daniels, .38 Special, Styx, Eddie Money, Blackfoot, Jackyl, Steppenwolf, Robert Randolph, Kellie Pickler, (one of our favorites) The Purrfect Angelz out of LA, and a few dozen more. Those years were a lot of fun but the travel was not!
We were a Top Pro with TT a few years back and utilized their model to supplement our organic marketing effort for our vertical market, "The Beauty of Boudoir". Now in our 8th year of boudoir specialization, we shoot from our studio that we opened to get off the road. So the TT appeal was the simplicity of selective assignments through the bidding process. TT now takes the position and assumes that all businesses want all the leads and business they can bring to the Pro. That is so NOT the case with us. We stay booked and can only handle more business if we choose to add staff which requires a growth plan. We now shoot 35-50 boudoir shoots per year and that is all we can manage efficiently with our staffing ratios. The changes TT has made has not affected our business only that we have not used them in almost 2 years due to their direction separating from our direction Now we focus more on our local clientelle rather than an impersonal online clientele. It was a lot of fun a couple of years back bidding and winning business even though it generated our lowest priced and least profitable business of all of our marketing instruments. The bidding process was intriguing by servicing a clientele we did not know and had never heard of us.
The new Thumbtack model was not developed for businesses such as ours. It is developed for those growing and achieving. We are retiring and shooting supplementally. We will leave this complex TT plan to those such as yourself that are experts in promoting efficiency and maximizing their business operations through the ratios. We actually create more income from selling businesses and commercial real estate as a sideline than our photography business generates.
I do admire your ability to make this TT model work and if anyone plans to use it, they should study how you are being successful by using it. For us, it was about using TT to fill in holes in our assignment calendar that looked interesting and doing so with simplicity due to the cost effectiveness of the past. I truly would not know how to get back involved at this point as so much has changed from the selective bidding process to what has evolved today. So @Kameron is right the new TT model is not for everyone. And I can see that includes our business. Maybe one day they will revisit the bidding process for those of us whos foot does not fit in the shoe they have created.
Thank you for your comments and showing everyone how your have made this system work for you. You are one of the few with positive comments and success. This is what I wanted to see since so many Pros have little to say that is positive which would cencern me if TT was my business.
Our best to all at TT!
New system isn't for everyone. I'm finding out it's not for my business, at least the way I'm used to conducting my business. I've expressed that sentiment over and over. Maybe gone about it the wrong way in letting my anger get the better of me. Lately, trying to prove to Thumbtack why it isn't working for me.
@CLGPatrickI admire your algorithms and statistics and the way you say new system is working for you. I cannot take the time to work on algorithms, as my time is better off looking at other ways to find new business(other platforms, snail mail/email, updating my website, advertising with churches/schools/country clubs/other places that may need a DJ for events). Thumbtack provides an insight report, but it's only numbers, not showing me what categories of people are looking at my profile (ages, events, etc) That would be more than helpful along with the customers.
@CLGPatrick I did look at other area DJs profiles as you suggested in a previous comment, and questioned as to why I'm the only one with pricing in my profile as suggested by TT reps. Going to edit my profile again. Maybe that will help, who knows? My response time is higher than others, but it seems like I get bypassed for other things.
@Kameronas you had said, the new system isn't for everyone. My question is, what is Thumbtack doing to make it work for everyone? Majority of the pros can't be alienated. I've expressed my concerns over how this new system isn't for me, and given many suggestions to improve it. Grant it, I know it takes time, but 3 months ago, I along with other Pros gave suggestions to improve it, even recently in a TT thread asking for suggestions, but how much longer do we have to wait for some improvements to be made?
@CCoen when you Promote your business you tell us what kind of jobs you want by filling out your job preferences, and from there, we only connect you with customers who's filters and job details fit your preferences.
As far as your insights report, what's not working for you with that?
Thanks for requesting to hear from pros who are happy! I have been on thumbtack for almost 2 years and a top pro since January 2018 (and still am).
Personally, I love the promote system. It’s obviously very different but I find I have to do less work for the same amount of leads and I definitely like that. The quality of my leads have not changed and my business is the same.
I’ll be honest, I feel it’s hard for pros to chime in who are happy because the Thumbtack experience can vary greatly depending on the industry including lead pricing and other factors. A lot of the pros here don’t even want to hear from the pros who are happy or have advice to help and I believe that hinders the pros who are “sticking up” for Thumbtack instead of joining in on the bashing. I think this also hinders interaction from a happy pro because we can’t always assume we know or even understand another challenge a pro in another industry has. I do try to comment a lot about the changes and try to stay positive. Above all, human psychology and general social interaction tells us when a larger group of people are unhappy and one person comes in and says “ HEY I LOVE IT IM DOING GREAT”, the information is not only not accepted it’s refuted and almost considered rude.
These are just a few of the reasons why you may not see a lot of positives out there right now. I like being here and chiming in to help people but I find people here are normally venting and not looking for help more so than a place to publicly air out their frustrations.
I beg to differ. I am speaking for myself as I do welcome advice. I even took advice from a Thumbtack rep and tried Promote. Last week, I posted if any of my DJ peers were using Promote and liked it, to give me insight on it. I had nobody comment. I must admit, lately I only see you and a couple of other Pros commenting on their like for Promote. But from reading comments in recent weeks, majority of the Pros comments that I read, are on the negative end. I'm sure several of those Pros will welcome advice, such as myself, and see what we are doing wrong. Grant it, each category is different, and we all know how to make our businesses work for us. You know yours better than I do, and vice versa.
Thumbtack knows my feelings on Promote and why it's not working for me. Not to re-hash from my previous comments in recent months, but I can't be surprised with conversation starters. I need to see the customer profile, event info, lead cost, ahead of time before seeing if it's a good fit for me. Even though I set preferences, Thumbtack tries to match me with customers they feel are a good fit for me. NOT everyone is a good fit. Hope you understand where I'm coming from.
How do we agree? You love the system and I don't. But, I do welcome advice, and I've taken/used alot of advice from Thumbtack lately, (if I'm wrong, let them tell me) but the system isn't working for me and majority of the Pros(case in point was yesterday's new thread). They know why it's not working for me. I've given alot of input on how to improve it. Not going to repeat it again.
Yes, I do welcome advice and if you have any to send my way, you can message me. But if the majority of the Pros have tried the new system and don't like it, and find that their input isn't being heard then something is wrong, don't you think?
Just curious, how do you know "the system isn't working for me and majority of the Pros"?? Are you talking about the majority of the pros posting on the community? If so, I feel I addressed why you'd see more negative than positive feedback on any forum on the internet. That is human nature. I wouldn't try to skew the data based on a community forum.
I do think Thumbtack is hearing the input and I do think they care. I also think a majority of the pros are hesitant to change, which is also human nature. It's a lot easier to blame Thumbtack for any changes rather than taking Thumbtack's advice with changing your profile or better utilizing new tools to help. Thumbtack is a 2 way street of pros and customers of these pros. If the customers love something and some pros hate something, they can't just swap it back to the way it was for the pros. This is not how business and commerce work... That being said, last time Thumbtack had major changes it was the SAME issue with all of the pros...
I'm going to be honest, If any pro's business can't make it through changes of the way a lead comes to you on Thumbtack, your business is not going to make it, period. The economy, customers, any type of lead generation site, facebook, your website traffic, and foot traffic ALL are liable to change at any time and some changes come regularly. If any pro here can't rise above and make the necessary changes to be successful, you're just not going to make it... Successful people are positive and rise above any challenge or change. Successful people do not blame everyone around them and give up.