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How to Get the Best Out of Thumbtack: Your Thumbtack Marketing Strategy Guide

Local contractor on job from Thumbtack
Home Services
Rebecca Riserbato

As a home services professional, I’m sure you’ve heard of Thumbtack - an online directory similar to Angi and HomeAdvisor.

These sites help you generate leads, build up reviews, maintain your reputation online, and reach new customers searching for a home services provider in their area.

But you might have wondered, “Why do I need to be on these sites? Are they worth it?”

Well, 97% of consumers consult reviews online before making a purchase, and 91% trust businesses with positive reviews, so yes - being active on online directory and review sites is essential.

In this post, we’ll help you learn everything you need to know about marketing on Thumbtack - from creating a profile that will stand out to building up positive reviews on the site.

The Basics: What Is Thumbtack?

Thumbtack is an online directory that makes it easy for customers to connect with the right contractors and skilled professionals.

Understanding How Customers Use Thumbtack

On the customer side, the Thumbtack experience begins by specifying the kind of work you want to do - be it plumbing, roofing,landscaping, or something else. Those initial criteria will filter a customer's results when they look for a small business like yours.

The results that show up are based on factors such as:

  • Budget
  • Keyword criteria
  • Location
  • Ratings

Just from this, you can already see just how important it is to set up your company listing correctly. The information you put on there will help customers find you. Done right, Thumbtack can provide your local service with quality leads.

So, how does Thumbtack work? Let’s dive in below.

How Does Thumbtack Work?

Why do people use Thumbtack in the first place? There are three main reasons:

  • To browse home service providers
  • To directly hire a professional whose product or service they need
  • To leave reviews of their experiences

With this in mind, you need to create a Thumbtack listing that maximizes your business’s appeal for your target audience. That listing page should be as detailed as you can make it, with consistent messaging used across the board. That means it should include things like:

  • A clear and concise list of services
  • Brand logos
  • Contact information
  • Eye-catching company photos
  • Slogans

Try to see your business listing through the eyes of someone who has never heard of your company before. Is it easy to tell what you do and why you stand out from the competition? What are your specialties?

Your description shouldn’t be too detailed, but it should provide enough information to be helpful. Your visitor should know at a glance what your company does and how. Find what makes your company unique and look for ways to communicate that in every facet of your profile page’s messaging.

Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of using stock photos. Although they’re free and easy to acquire, they’ll appear out of place on your company listing page, as though you can’t take your pictures or you don’t have proof of a job well done.

Personalize your page and let customers know that you and your employees are real people. Scorpion has a lot of experience developing great business pages on Thumbtack and would be happy to advise you at this stage.

Creating Your ThumbtackProfile

The first and most important step to marketing on the Thumbtack platform is setting up your profile page. This will be the central hub of all your business operations on the platform going forward. You owe it to yourself to spend a good amount of time here and further revise your listing page as you go along.

Here are the basics to setting up an excellent Thumbtack profile:

  • Add a good profile picture and use a compelling profile summary. If you don’t, your profile will be marked as “incomplete” and will not show up in search results. You can also add a detailed description of your business, as well as your services. Your company summary should be concise but engaging.
  • Add the keywords most relevant to your services or products. It’s okay if you don’t have many of them, but they should be closely related to your services. For example, if you sell high-end landscaping services, you may want to add keywords like “landscaping,” “green scaping,” and “flower gardens.” You can also add your city or town.
  • Include your contact information, including your phone number and email address. You can also include a link to your website in your company summary.
  • Upload a professional-looking photo. If you don’t have one yet, consider creating a portfolio that highlights the quality of your work.
  • List all of your specialties. This way, consumers will see which services you offer. Depending on your industry, this can help you stand out from the competition when customers need more specialized services.
  • Add the services or products you offer. Remember that the keywords and services you list will influence whether you appear on the search results page when potential leads run a search for companies in your area. Be thorough and exact here.
  • Display some current reviews. Consumers will see how many reviews your company has on Thumbtack, and they’ll be able to read them to see what other customers had to say about your business.
  • Add testimonials from satisfied customers. You can also add a picture of a customer with their review. Just be sure you have the customer’s permission first. Feel free to ask them-many will gladly agree if they’re happy with the work you did for them.
  • Tell your story. Your listing page is for your customer, but that doesn’t mean you should entirely leave out information about yourself. People do want to know who they’re working with. Include some background information explaining how you got into the business and what attracted you to it in the first place.

Your Thumbtack Profile and Template Settings

Bidding for projects drives business on Thumbtack. Since Thumbtack imposes limits on how many companies can bid on any given project, you’ll need to bid reasonably quickly if you intend to make a mark. The site offers a valuable bidding template feature that you can adapt to different kinds of clients to respond to listings faster.

Thumbtack templates should not be cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all. Each of the client types you serve could demand a different template type, so you need to modify them accordingly. Moreover, you’ll need to further modify the template for each client on an individual basis, based on their specific preferences or demands. Finding the right balance here can be a challenge, but it’s important for your long-term success on the platform.

To that end, your Thumbtack profile should be complete and fitted with the correct information well in advance. You should know before you bid how much you’re willing to charge as a bare minimum figure - this number can change over time, but don’t try to figure it out while you’re in the middle of bidding.

The longer you’re active on Thumbtack, the more you can expect to receive from the site. As you complete projects and receive positive reviews, your self-promotion will become easier because your past clients will do some of the heavy lifting for you.

It’s helpful, as well, to consistently review your Thumbtack profile. Don’t think of your profile as a static, “set it and forget it” thing, but as a living document that you freely add to and amend as the need arises.

How Much Does Thumbtack Cost?

Unlike other services, there’s no monthly fee for using Thumbtack. It’s also free to sign up, create a profile, and look for leads. Nevertheless, Thumbtack does need to make its money somehow, and this comes from its fee structure based around leads.

In short, you pay a small fee whenever a customer contacts you on Thumbtack. The fee structure isn’t set in stone, so you’re only charged a partial fee if leads don’t match your company exactly. You’ll pay a partial fee for partial matches, in other words. The full fee is charged for potential customers who contact you and match your company preferences to a tee.

If this sounds somewhat precarious, like you could wind up paying micro fees for clients who simply reach out and then “ghost” you, don’t worry. As long as you respond to the client in a reasonable period - within four hours - Thumbtack will refund the fee if the client doesn’t read your response within 48 hours. More competitive leads can also cost more money upfront, so keep that in mind.

One thing that should jump out at you is that you’re directly paying Thumbtack for leads. That means that Thumbtack is directly incentivized to provide you with the leads it promises. Since each of those leads can “lead” to a potentially profitable contract, the costs you incur can quickly balance out, and you can find Thumbtack to be lucrative if you use it right.

Thumbtack contractor

Thumbtack: An Engine for Word-of-Mouth Marketing

One of the primary strengths of Thumbtack is how well it consolidates word of mouth marketing for local businesses. When people search online for home services, they do so largely based on referrals. These referrals are sometimes based on direct referrals - someone directly told them to look for that company - but more often happen indirectly, through reviews and testimonials.

Word-of-mouth marketing operates by the principle of social proof. That means that most people will do business with someone whose word they trust. The theory goes that if many people are telling their friends and family about a particular company, then that company is probably worth considering, which also applies to the online review field. Word of mouth marketing matters to you because when a customer knows a company is good, they'll talk about it, and other customers will notice and be curious to learn more about the service.

On the internet, in particular, that means reviews and testimonials. Thumbtack reviews are worth their weight in gold for any small business. They’re what potential customers will see when looking for contractors, and they’re what will drive their decisions when looking for someone to message. You can maximize your use of Thumbtack reviews to increase your chances of marketing success on the platform.

Building up Positive Reviews on the Thumbtack Platform

Reviews will be the bread and butter of your marketing strategy on the Thumbtack platform. They offer powerful social proof of the work you’ve done in the past and the clients that you’ve pleased. You can’t “fake” reviews - they stand as a testament to the actual results you’ve achieved and the problems you’ve solved. As such, they’re precisely what your customer base will be looking for, and getting more good reviews needs to be your aim going forward.

Some people think you can just do a great job, and the good reviews will come naturally. That’s perfectly true for some reviews, but you’ll be disappointed if you rely on that alone. Many customers simply won’t think to leave you a good review after a job. Don’t take that personally - they often lead busy lives and forget to do it once the problem they hired you for is resolved.

That’s why you need to remind them, and there are many ways to do just that.

  • Make some kind of enticing offer in exchange for a review. That could be a discount on your services, but not necessarily. You could simply offer a little extra service in exchange for the review. This kind of “quid pro quo” can make it more likely that the client will follow through on their end of the deal. However, it’s important to note that you can’t and shouldn’t “buy” good reviews. Incentivize people to leave an honest review - whether it’s good or bad.
  • Upon completing the project, send out a note asking them for feedback on Thumbtack. Ask about what went right with the project and what you could improve in the future. Ask whether they would work with you again.
  • Whenever someone does leave you a positive review, be sure to leave them a thank you note. Do this within a reasonable period, usually 24 hours or less. It shows that you appreciate their review and helps others see that you’re attentive to your customers.
  • Take into account all feedback that you receive and respond in detail. Remember that people aren’t expecting to see complete perfection on your part, but they expect you to take steps to mitigate mixed or negative feedback.
  • Consider offering a satisfaction guarantee. This will likely apply to only a small percentage of your customers, but the results can be dramatic. It will make them feel like you are really listening to them and that you are genuinely trying to improve your service.

Dealing With Negative Reviews on Thumbtack

You’ll inevitably receive some negative reviews. No matter how good a job you do, not everyone will “gel” with your services. Disagreements on the job, unclear instructions, and general miscommunication can sour the customer experience in ways that result in a poor Thumbtack review.

Respond as a Professional

When that happens, don’t panic, don’t get angry, and, above all, don’t take it personally. It’s simply part of doing business.

Bad reviews are dealt with similarly to good reviews. Respond to them promptly, acknowledge what took place, and - if you can - offer some form of remedy. The key thing is never to ignore the problem. People want to know that if something goes wrong, you’ll stand by your product or service to the best of your ability.

Is the customer always right? There are different schools of thought on the matter. Don’t allow someone to blatantly misrepresent you, but don’t allow your review section to devolve into an argument either. If the review is fake or otherwise abusive, you can ask that Thumbtack remove it. Thumbtack’s support team won’t be able to accept every request, but genuinely fake reviews can, of course, be taken down.

Aim To Do Better

Rather than investing large amounts of time agonizing about how you can improve your negative reviews, you could instead choose to allow them to remain up. As we said before, people don’t expect perfection from you. If you only ever received glowing reviews, people could suspect those customers aren’t genuine.

Do more work. Get more clients. Satisfy more customers. Earn more positive reviews. Do it consistently, and your good reviews will soon outnumber the bad reviews by a large margin. In effect, you just “bury” the bad reviews under a mountain of good reviews. That’s the honest and stress-free way to have an excellent review page. Moreover, you’ll profit more from getting actual work done on behalf of your clients.

The Benefits of Marketing On Thumbtack

As a small business service provider, Thumbtack affords you the opportunity to increase your visibility and brand awareness. It gives you a distinct, fixed platform to generate actual leads and only pay for the leads you receive.

Marketing successfully on the platform requires that you understand how Thumbtack works and what people will be looking for there. You have to set up a strong profile that attracts potential leads your way, and you need to learn to use it efficiently. You also have to learn the ins and outs of managing reviews on the Thumbtack platform - both good and bad.

This process can be time-consuming, especially when you’re running a business. At Scorpion, our marketing time has years of experience helping teams like yours to grow and thrive on Thumbtack. Get in touch with us at your earliest convenience to learn more about how we can help you.

Our platform brings all of your review sites into one spot and our team is there to help you respond and improve your business with reviews. 

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