Thumbtack.com Best Practices

Ideas and recommendations for professionals new to the site.

Note: to see my full Thumbtack profile, go to: http://www.thumbtack.com/ca/la-crescenta/life-coach/life-career-transition-coaching.

Setting Up Your Profile

  1. Before you develop your Thumbtack profile make sure that you’ve defined your niche.
    • Whom do you serve?
    • I’ve found it helpful to develop an “avatar” of what your ideal customer does, thinks, behaves and needs.
    • Once your clear on your ideal client, it’s much easier to complete your Thumbtack profile
  2. Setting up your Services Profile is super important – it’s the most likely place prospects will go after receiving your quote. I suggest covering what you do, how you do it, your competitive advantages, your qualifications and what the next step you want prospects to take.  I also recommend cutting and pasting a few testimonials here (even though there is a section for this elsewhere on your profile.  Testimonials add credibility and sometimes people will not go to or find the testimonials elsewhere).
    • Scroll all the way to the bottom of this page to see my Services profile as an example.
  3. Get testimonials added to your profile – go to Profile and scroll down to Manage reviews. Copy the URL shown to request testimonials and  send it to current and past customers with a request that they post a review for you.  The more reviews you have, the more appealing you will be to prospects who receive your quotes.
    • By adding at least 2 testimonials to your profile you will increase your chance of getting hired by 400%!
    • Note that quotes you send out will be accompanied by the number of times you’ve been hired and your (star) rating.
  4. Take advantage of the “points” offered by Thumbtack that you can earn by filling out more parts of your profile.
    • Points help you to receive more leads from Thumbtack.
  5. If you are in a business that can provide professional services without geographic boundaries, choose the maximum number of miles in the “How far are you willing to travel?” question in your Profile.
    • If you are willing to travel to a customer, you will receive leads.
    • If you have enough Thumbtack points, you may start to get requests from out-of-state. Generally, prospects prefer quotes from in-state providers, so unless you’re shipping a product or are just a great match to the prospect’s requirements, stay away from answering out-of-state requests as they yield low conversion rates.
  6. Get a background check done that is offered by Thumbtack – it’s worth the money as it adds credibility to your profile.
  7. Add professional photos of your work and/or a professional headshot of you if you are in a service business.
  8. Be sure to set up your profile to get requests via text message AND email. Sometimes one is faster than the other and getting notification both ways assures you of getting notified as quickly as possible.
  9. Beneath your Services description is a Question & Answer section. Choose 4-5 questions and answer them honestly and authentically.  Answering all of the questions seems like overkill to me and I doubt anyone would read all the responses anyway.  Chose those ones that you feel you can provide the best answers to and leave the others blank.
  10. Make sure that your Bio supports the product or service you are offering and makes you appear like an expert. Keep the prospect’s question in mind “what will I get?” when composing your Bio and composing responses to the Q&A section of your profile.

 Submitting Quotes

  1. There are many professionals vying for the qualified leads on Thumbtack. In some lead categories a request may not receive the maximum of 5 quotes within the 24-hour window.  In other, more competitive, categories you may only have a matter of minutes to respond when a new request comes in before it gets 5 quotes from professionals.
  2. Compose the initial message you will use in a word processing application (e.g., MS Word or Apple Pages). Do a character count and make sure that the total number of characters is less than 1,000.  After you’ve drafted and spelled checked it, cut and paste your message into your quote response and customize the greeting to use the quote requester’s name.
    • Your reply letters should clearly state what you provide, the benefits and call to action.
    • I also like to refer people to my web site and to my Thumbtack profile.
  3. This is your chance to make a personal connection. Always address any issues the customer raised and respond to the prospect’s
    specific needs.

    • Set a competitive price and include a brief summary of your qualifications and specialties.
    • Be clear what your price includes and what you can or cannot do.
    • Pay attention to the details: address the customer by name, make sure not to make spelling or grammar mistakes, and sign your name at the end.
  4. Your reply letters are re-useable (use the hyper link found to the lower left of message box window to scroll through your last 10 responses), so you may want to have several varieties of letters based on prospect needs and/or variations of products and services offered.
    • I keep a file of message variations stored on my computer so I can quickly cut and paste different responses based on the lead request received.
  5. The objective of your quote should usually be to drive prospects to a consultation. Unless you are selling to price savvy customers, it is best to select “Need More Information” or to set “Fixed Price” to “0.”  This will prevent being compared to your competition on price.  Unless you know that you can win based on your price, it is almost always better to get more clarification on the prospect’s requirements before giving a firm quote.
    • The bigger ticket item you are selling, the more important it is to get a prospect into a consultation.
  6. You can also add attachments to messages. It may make sense to attach brochures, photographs, data sheets, etc. that you have to enhance your offer.
  7. If you are not getting responses from quotes that you submit, try tweaking the message you send out. Also get more good testimonials added to your profile to increase credibility.
    • A good testimonial does not focus on how great you are but what result you provided your customer. Have them write about what they got out of working with you and how it helped them.
  8. You can submit quotes when you are away from your computer by receiving requests via text message on your phone. Click the link sent in the text and re-use one of your last messages (and remember to customize the greeting to the requester’s name).
  9. If someone finds you directly on the Thumbtack site, you will receive a request to submit a quote without cost. Note that you are still competing with others even if this person requested a quote from you directly – so if the prospect receives 5 quotes, you will get frozen out

 After Submitting a Quote

  1. Just because you submitted a quote and didn’t hear a response, doesn’t mean it’s over. You can always re-message a prospect once you’ve made a successful quote.  You can also do a two-part initial quote.  Any follow-on messages after the initial quote is not constrained by the 1,000-character limit.  Why not follow-up with prospects and provide more information?  You will stand out from your competition with a second contact.
  2. The Thumbtack customer care center is first rate and extremely responsive. Don’t hesitate to contact them with issues, concerns or questions at (855) 846-2825 (5AM – 8PM PT). I have always had a good experience with them.
  3. After you win a quote and get hired, be sure that you mark the quote as “Hired” (the number of times you’ve been hired is shown to prospects receiving your quote) Go into “Quotes,” select the winning bid and click the “Hired” button.  Also set the Review Date to request a testimonial to some date in the future after the customer has had time to work with you.
  4. Thumbtack offers a rudimentary filing system under “Quotes.” I like to “Archive” requests that have been cancelled, auto-refunded or go unanswered for a month. The others I keep in the “In Progress” bucket so I can easily re-contact them and follow-up.
  5. The more times that you are hired and reviewed, the more likely it is that you will be.
  6. Be persistent. For a majority of pros on Thumbtack, it takes more than 5 tries to get their first hire. You can succeed, too – by being
    persistent and experimenting to see what works. Write different types of messages; ignore requests that don’t seem like a good fit – learn what works for you.

 

SAMPLE THUMBTACK SERVICES PROFILE

Here is my Thumbtack Services profile to offer a data point on how it can be done:

WHAT I DO

I specialize in mentoring business professionals to discover and define their purpose and passions, to shed fear, limiting thoughts and bad habits, and I teach shortcuts to success that set them up for a lifetime of health, wealth and happy relationships. I will help you to:

1. Get crystal clear on where you want to go
2. Develop a manageable action plan
3. Get there!

HOW I DO IT

I use a well-developed methodology (called the “Career Synergy System”) to augment my personal coaching and mentoring to unlock inner wisdom and gain clarity on personal and professional purpose that is highly interactive and fun. Clients I work with routinely see increases in their confidence, fulfillment, happiness and bank accounts (see “Testimonials” below).

I offer private coaching, group coaching as well as home self-development programs to meet particular needs – and each has a definitive “graduation” date along with measures of success that we set-up in the very first session. The Career Synergy System combined with 1:1 coaching will enable you to:

– Clarify passions, skills, abilities and talents (known and hidden)
– Uncover and understand your “whys?”
– Identify core values and define a life and career vision
– Clarify and prioritize your goals
– Create a manageable action plan
– Move past resistances, fears and limiting beliefs
– Improve time management skills
– Revise the negative stories you tell yourself
– Establish more focus
– Identify resources (people, education, training) needed for next steps
– Conduct research/get training/discovering options
– Set-up ongoing accountability
– Establish sustainable support systems

UNIQUE ADVANTAGES

Here are two things you won’t get with any other career coach:

1) Sharing the workload. I am a “functional” coach who goes far beyond simple coaching and mentoring sessions. I roll up my sleeves and do the work with you to facilitate your success, Here are examples of my hands-on approach:

– Re-write/improve your resumé
– Create/improve your online presence (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook)
– Make meaningful introductions into my extensive, high caliber network of contacts
– Provide interview training
– Develop business & marketing plans

All at no extra cost! My passion is to help people who want to make a positive difference to succeed and these things are included in my program offerings.

2) Holistic coaching. I partner with an intuitive (and highly regarded) coach. If you so desire, she can work with you to create more energetic alignment in your life. It’s really an amazing process that often creates dynamic and lasting change. Most coaches focus only on the practical and entirely neglect the behind-the-scenes energy work. Our collective offer is unique in the coaching world as it provides a truly holistic approach that combines practical and intuitive guidance resulting in turbo charged progress for clients. What’s more, it’s like having two coaches for the price of one!

QUALIFICATIONS

I walk my talk have used the tools, techniques and strategies that I teach to:

> land positions on Wall Street, with hot start-ups and Fortune-500 companies
> gain entrance into the Harvard Business School
> work and travel throughout Europe & Asia for 7-years
> transition from the corporate world into 2 entrepreneurial ventures
> develop a network of thousands of contacts around the world.

I also authored a book (currently being published) that shows how to live a purpose-driven life entitled; “Thank God It’s Wednesday! A Business Professional’s Guide to Creating More Time and Space for Personal Passions and Life/Work Balance.” This book provides a blueprint of how to get clear and confident on your calling, how to make a manageable plan, how to live LARGE.

TESTIMONIALS

“I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of working with Mark as a colleague in the corporate world as well as an inspirational mentor/coach during a recent major career transition. Mark is highly regarded in the corporate world for his intelligence, business acumen, and experience in project management as well as launching new products in the marketplace. Mark is also sought out as an author and has written his own book “Thank God It’s Wednesday!” (which will be incredibly helpful to anyone considering a career transition).

Recently I made one of the biggest life changes I could have ever imagined and that was leaving the corporate world to pursue my life’s purpose and passion. Mark has been a tremendous support to me in this transition and has provided invaluable advice, encouragement, and guidance on next steps along the way. Mark is incredibly gifted as a coach and inspires a can-do approach. There were many times that I doubted the possibilities and Mark helped me to see how all things are possible. Mark is incredibly insightful and resourceful and his passion for his work is clear. When I share my successes with him he is equally happy for me. And, when I need support he is there to support me. There’s never a shortage of ideas or new tools that Mark has presented me with that has helped me pursue my passion with ease and enjoyment.

I highly recommend Mark’s career coaching services. He has been a true gift to me and I’m thankful to him that I am now pursuing what I’m meant to do and am living a life of joy and fulfillment.”

– Kim Thalken

“Before I started working with Mark, I felt paralyzed by the difficult decisions I had to make relating to my life and career. Mark has provided me with a systematic way to approach these decisions.

I think everyday we doubt ourselves and our abilities in small ways. Over time, we let these doubts become beliefs that limit our choices. Part of Mark’s process is to take these beliefs and deconstruct them, which has been very useful for me (it turned out that I had a lot of these beliefs).

One thing that I think separates Mark from a lot of other career consultants is his vast knowledge and diverse network. Each week before our session Mark sends me an extensive email filled with resources that he thinks might be useful for me to look at, questions to ask myself, and contacts in his network that he thinks might be useful to activate.

Mark has also helped me setup a timeline to achieve my career goals. Every week, he identifies exercises or tasks that I should do that relate to my goals. I was amazed at how much this helped improve my productivity and confidence with my career exploration.

I can’t thank Mark enough and I highly recommend him!”

– Jason Osajima

“Sometimes in life you get blessed to cross paths with someone who is a genuine and gifted at what they do.

I am so grateful at Mark Langford’s tireless effort to help me see the blocks that were getting in the way of myself. He helped me define what was really important to me in my career and then worked with me to tear down ANY obstacle that I could come up with so that I could truly step into a new reality. I am so grateful for his energy and wit which made the process fun (instead of painful as I thought it might be). If you are reading this I encourage you to work with Mark if you too dream of having a different life, but need someone to help pave the way with you to make it possible! Thank you Mark for being so generous with your time and knowledge and giving me the kick in pants I needed to get out of my way!”

– Liza Raymond

“When I went looking for help, Mark stood out like a sore thumb. There was energy in his words that touched me from his profile. Something just felt right and I hoped it was real. It turned out to be very real – the way he popped up in my life and took time to help me. I was had a bunch of disorganized ideas and mark helped me sort everything out quickly. He also introduced me to his wife, Claudia, who was able help connect on a whole new level. They profoundly helped me to ‘clear the smoke’ and I love them for that!”

– Jeremy Stone

“Before I hired Mark I was stuck in a job that was paying the bills but felt like torture. I was neither 100% sure what I wanted to do, nor did I feel that I could afford to leave the position. Mark introduced me to his 3-month Life on Purpose program which he facilitates with his wife and partner coach, Claudia. Even after the first session, I felt like I had been given a secret shortcut to to a whole new life. Through their progressive program, I gained tremendous clarity around the work that would be a perfect fit for me. I gained a vision that was more expansive than anything I could have possibly conceived by myself. Mark then supported me in every aspect of the practical details of bringing my new vision to life. He FAR exceeded my highest expectations and held my hand the whole way through. For example, Mark re-wrote my resume and made extremely helpful introductions into his extensive network. He checked in often and even did research on alternative career options for me — I’ve never worked with a coach before who took that much initiative (and I’ve worked with several) — amazing!

I can tell you that I absolutely love my new career path and outlook on life, that I feel more self-confident, and finally feel like I have arrived at my “sweet spot” (where I get to use all of my talents and abilities). I can’t thank Mark and Claudia enough for what they have done for me and recommend them 110% if you are looking to get clear on your calling and then to make it a reality. I’ve never worked with a husband/wife coaching team before and it has been a truly holistic, and surprisingly healing, experience for me.”

– Lisa Lewis

“Mark Langford has been an outstanding career/life consultant for me. I had taken a number of years off work to raise my children, and was uncertain as to how to return to the practice of law. Within weeks of beginning to consult with Mark, I found a job I love. He helped me create LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Mark is a highly-educated and savvy businessman, and brings his international work experience to those he consults. But equally important to me is that Mark takes adventure very seriously. He’s given me at least a dozen ideas of new things to do in the Los Angeles area, many of which I have tried and loved. Mark’s influence has made my world a little bit bigger, and one can’t ask for much more than that!”

– Sherry Lawrence

“Mark’s experience largely speaks for itself but he is additionally thoughtful, possesses extremely keen insights, and more than willing to be hands-on in order to get the job done right – a rare combination. He is focused on results and a lot of fun to work with. I highly recommend Mark as a seasoned career and life coach.”

– Jason Alexander

HOW TO GET STARTED

If you are ready to take the journey to more fulfillment, happiness and fun, then I am ready to help you:

– Get clear on your passions and purpose
– Find work you love
– Improve time management skills
– Create easy, flowing relationships
– Develop a sustainable life/work balance

I offer a free, no obligation strategy session so I can give you some powerful tools and make some recommendations to get you started. My programs are highly interactive and very effective and I am happy to provide referrals. And, I never lock people into contracts and you can stop at anytime.

Call or message me to set-up a time to experience the benefits of working with me firsthand and so that I can give you some powerful tools and recommendations that you can start using right away.

  • Thank you and I hope we get the chance to work together!