As a professional in any type of field, there’s always the question; how do you sell your service to more people? If you’re a business owner or planning to become one, then the obvious question is, how can you get more customers to sign up? That answer lies in getting leads and Thumbtack for professionals is one of those platforms that can do the job.
What Is Thumbtack
Thumbtack is basically a US-based online job listing site, very much like AirTasker or Taskrabbit, except that it deals with more specific occupations instead of just random/regular tasks. Customers can find a wide array of service providers within their local area, ranging from dog sitters to tax attorneys if they like.
As a professional, your profile will include your skills, qualification, work experiences, customer ratings, fee charges, and so forth. This information will enable visitors to understand your background better before requesting for a full quotation or booking an appointment call.
To get started, you need to register for an account which is totally free. There will be a few questions that will prompt you to fill out the necessary details but there is one feature that makes Thumbtack different from other job listing platforms I’ve reviewed in the past.
It’s called ‘targeting preferences’ and that means you can control who sees your profile on the platform’s search results. Targeting customers help to save communication time and increases sales conversion because it narrows down on the people who are likely to pay you for what you’re worth.
This is called leads and it basically means an individual has expressed interest in your service but hasn’t purchased it yet. The cost per lead is the only fee you need to pay when using Thumbtack to acquire customers and it differs according to job markets.
It’s going to cost more for highly skilled sectors than those who aren’t. But if your customer profile is an exact match, meaning that the person is an ideal customer, a 20% discount will be applied to the cost. If it’s a partial match, you’d only pay when you accept their queries.
The Advantages of Using Thumbtack
Now that you know what Thumbtack can do, let’s first talk about the benefits of using this platform for publishing your service.
(1) It’s free to list and since you don’t pay until you get hold of a potential client, there’s very minimal investment apart from the effort to create a stunning profile that stands out amongst the rest. Imagine a profile that goes live 24/7; it’s like having your business open all the time for inquiries which is definitely a good thing.
(2) A typical listing will look something like the above; doesn’t it look professional? Every corner is fully utilized to include useful details about your service, social presence, customer ratings, and different ways of communication. Such layout enhances trust and reliability and it reassures people who want to connect that you’re genuine in what you do.
(3) The ‘targeting preference’ feature is a great time-saver because, like any profession, you only want to deal with people who are interested and willing to pay for what your service is worth. Yes, it’s an automated thing and may not always be perfect but it sure is better than not having the option to target at all, given the fact that so many people browse the site every day.
(4) Professionals who use Thumbtack have the advantage of earning credits from becoming a referral. That means, if you know someone personally and refer them via email or social media to use the platform for publicizing their services, you’ll accumulate credit to spend for your own lead. The bonus is only allocated for up to 10 referrals per year though.
(5) And should you find yourself in a maze of confusion during the listing process, Thumbtack has a great number of resources detailing how you should set things up. In addition to the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have also prepared guidelines on how you can stay safe while rendering your service and keeping your job/business running.
The Downsides of Using Thumbtack
No doubt Thumbtack offers ease and opportunities, there are a few disadvantages to using the platform.
(1) The most obvious one is that you have no control over the cost per lead. This value is often determined by factors like job demands and the company’s earning policy so it’s going to fluctuate from time to time. In any case, you’re actually paying upfront to acquire a potential customer who may OR may not use your service.
If they hire you, then you’ll have profits to cover expenses. But if they don’t, you still need to pay for the CPL regardless. There are also reports that Thumbtack’s leads tend to cost much more than other similar sites. Hence, it’s probably best to compare this data to get a better idea and choose the rate you’re comfortable spending on a weekly basis.
(2) The second thing which is inevitable is the number of competitions. The platform currently hosts about 1,100 types of services and each occupation may hold 100’s if not 1000’s of profile listings within a local area.
If you’re new, it’s going to be an uphill battle to outshine those who’ve built their credentials over time with stellar ratings and reviews on Thumbtack.
(3) The third most obvious aspect is that you don’t own the space of listings. While the company can host your profile for free, they also have the full capacity to terminate it if you’re found to have breached any terms or conditions.
That means you could possibly lose all forms of customer communication, ratings, and reviews in an instant. This is unlikely to happen, but you never know, right?
So, Is Thumbtack a Good Platform for Professionals?
In many ways, Thumbtack is a decent outlet for promoting your service or business. Their site exhibits a strong trust factor which is likely to attract more visitors in the future. The free listing allows beginners to enter the market with ease and you only pay when there’s a potential lead.
However, you mustn’t rely on this platform as the sole channel to acquire clients because it takes a while to build a strong reputation in a crowded directory. The cost per lead can also affect your earnings negatively if you aren’t specific with your targets and are slow to respond to queries.
As an alternative to Thumbtack, you should always consider having your own platform like a website to publicize your offers. It gives you the freedom to do whatever you want;
- Add your site to Google (for free) and appear on local search results within your area.
- Create a blog for your business and get free traffic from Google.
- Create ad listings for your service to target bigger audience size, not just Thumbtack visitors.
- Link to your favorite social accounts to build more trust and transparency amongst your followers.
- Diversify your income stream using affiliate marketing. If you know of any product/service that is a good fit for your clients, you can recommend them through your site and earn from sales commissions. This is a good strategy to generate a passive income, especially when something prohibits you from rendering your services.
Can you see how much more flexibility you have by having your own site? In fact, it’s the first thing that needs to be set up if you’re planning to promote your service in the online space. Unlike yesteryears, creating a website is very easy nowadays.
You just need a custom domain name (aka a brand name that represents your business or service) and connect it to a WordPress website. Use the site builder below and try it for yourself.
With this, I hope you’ve gained a better understanding of Thumbtack for professionals; its benefits, and also downsides in growing your career in the online space. For more tips about running a successful online business, please check out my recommended training platform here.
Let me know what you think about this site or other similar experiences in the comment down below.