There are plenty of American home services websites today but only a few can proudly say that they have connected millions of potential customers and home services professionals successfully. One of them is Thumbtack.
If you are a home service provider looking into getting more leads quickly and finding the right customers for your business, then you might want to consider creating an account on Thumbtack.
Plenty of local professionals in a wide range of industries primarily those in the home improvement services sector have signed up on this platform and have since found exact match leads from Thumbtack customers.
For a homeowner or business owner looking for local service professionals that provide high-quality services at a decent and reasonable price, a Thumbtack profile is a must.
And if you own and operate a home service business, don’t let your competition get ahead of you by missing out on the benefits you can get out of creating a Thumbtack account.
But first, let’s dig deeper into whether or not Thumbtack works, what the platform is all about, and if it is truly worth it for local businesses to get into.
What is Thumbtack?
Simply explained, Thumbtack is a home services website or online directory that provides customer leads to home service providers.
Millions of customers have signed up for the platform to search for the local businesses they need.
Thumbtack will then filter those results so that the customers can get connected to the most ideal Thumbtack contractors in their area.
Although there are similar lead generation platforms offering pretty much the same services, Thumbtack stands out because you can sign up your local service business on their website for free.
Winning paying customers is an entirely different story though as you would have to pay for leads. We will discuss that in more detail in a bit.
Thumbtack: A Brief History
Thumbtack was founded in 2008 by Marco Zappacosta who continues to be its current CEO.
Zappacosta is the son of Pierluigi Zappacosta, an Italian engineer residing in the United States since the 1970’s, the co-founder of Logitech.
In 2007, Zappacosta who was then the director of Washington D.C. ‘s Students for Saving Social Security or S4 came up with the idea of creating an online marketplace that can help customers reach local businesses.
He along with two of his fellow S4 directors and another team member launched Thumbtack by 2008.
Thanks to angel investor Jason Calacanis, they made Thumbtack work and did so successfully.
It wasn’t long before many more investors became interested in their business as the company continue to grow over the years.
Thumbtack has received a $3.2 billion valuation.
Yelp only comes second to Thumbtack when it comes to the highest number of professional listings.
Who Can Use Thumbtack?
Thumbtack is used by both local business owners and potential customers.
For instance, if you are a homeowner who doesn’t have a go-to plumber or HVAC technician, Thumbtack would be the best place to find a local contractor near you that can help you out.
This is a much more convenient way to hire service professionals as compared to flipping the good old directory book and dialing the number of each company in every category.
By using Thumbtack, customers can have access to hundreds or even thousands of professionals who have undergone a background check and are guaranteed, licensed and legitimate.
These customers can also get estimates or quotations depending on the job details they have entered.
This eliminates the hassle of having to call up each company just to get a quote.
On the side of home service providers, Thumbtack is such a simple and convenient way to reach your target customers.
The best part about it is that it is free to join.
Compared to other similar online directories that charge monthly or annual fees, local businesses need not pay Thumbtack unless they receive leads.
There are service providers from practically every industry out there found on Thumbtack.
Whether you are a tree service contractor, solar company, pest control pro, countertop installer, carpenter, or home builder, you can definitely enjoy the many benefits of having a Thumbtack account.
Is Thumbtack Legit?
Thumbtack is a legitimate company.
As a home service provider, you can gain access to millions of customers on the Thumbtack platform.
Yes, it is free to sign up with Thumbtack, but you would have to pay for leads as they come.
The good thing about this is that you have control over your spend according to your company’s budget and can even adjust your bids for projects depending on your schedule.
If you own a local business and would like to reach more potential customers in your service area, you should definitely get a Thumbtack account.
Top Benefits of Being a Thumbtack Pro
Whether you own an established business or if you recently launched your own company, becoming a Thumbtack Pro is certainly a must.
There are plenty of benefits you can get out of signing up on this platform. Among them are the following.
Thumbtack Can Help Strengthen Your Online Presence
You probably know by now that being on top and staying on top of search results on large search engines such as Google can be very challenging yet it is something that you must work on to reach your potential customers.
Many customers would rather search online rather than check on directory books or flip through flyers they have received over the years to search for a local service professional.
Especially if your business has plenty of competition in your area, then you have to compete over those potential customers.
One of the great things about Thumbtack is that it is an effective online marketing tool that’s easy and simple to use even for beginners.
Thumbtack already has millions of potential customers on their platform so you’re one step closer to converting them into paying customers of your business.
You Can Adjust Your Rates to Beat Your Competitors
While others might look at this as a disadvantage as many customers would choose a contractor with the lowest bid for a project, you can turn this into your advantage.
You can take a look at what your competitors are offering to a particular customer and you can make adjustments to your offer as needed.
To ensure that money is not lost while bidding against competitors, make sure you’re doing enough research.
Remember, even if you won a bid on Thumbtack, there’s no guarantee that the customer will eventually hire you for the project.
Furthermore, the price you discussed on the platform can still be changed if there are additional services the customer requires. Take that as an opportunity to upsell.
Thumbtack is Cheaper Compared to Other Platforms
As a service provider, there’s usually no fixed income that comes into your company on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Seasons change and home improvement needs vary every now and then.
For instance, if you are a snow removal company, then you probably won’t have any customer inquiries during the summer.
Tree service companies also receive fewer calls during the holiday season.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be ideal for all types of companies to pay a fixed monthly or annual fee to receive leads when there are weeks or months in a year when they would receive very little to no inquiries.
Compared to HomeAdvisor, which charges fixed subscription fees on top of the lead generation fees, Thumbtack is a way cheaper option.
At HomeAdvisor, you will have to pay for the leads you receive whether or not you’re interested in them.
Thumbtack, on the other hand, only asks you to pay for the leads you want. You bid for a customer along with your competitors.
You can adjust your targeting preferences too so you can offer your services competitively.
Your Company Will Grow Over Time
Customers can leave reviews on your Thumbtack profile.
As you receive more feedback from your customers, your account becomes more visible in the search results when customers search for services like yours.
Make adjustments to your profile and be confident with the rates you offer to customers.
An experienced contractor with a strong profile on Thumbtack wouldn’t have to offer the lowest bid to win a potential customer.
Your profile will become more enticing over time.
Some Thumbtack Cons You Should Know About
Although we can say for sure that Thumbtack is legit and has helped countless local professionals grow their business through the years, the platform isn’t 100% perfect – just like many other similar platforms.
Here are some of the issues you might encounter when you are already a Thumbtack pro.
Leads Are Never Guaranteed
When you decide to pay for a lead, they are not guaranteed to become paying customers.
That means you have spent money on nothing.
Money isn’t even the only issue here.
Since Thumbtack encourages you to respond immediately to customer inquiries, you might have just wasted your precious time on a lead that would decide against hiring you.
It’s worse when they choose to hire a competitor.
Furthermore, many customers inquire without any intention of hiring immediately.
Some are just curious about the rates for certain services for their future plans. Many are not committed to pushing through with their project just yet.
You Would Have to Deal With Your Customers On Your Own
Thumbtack is not a mediator and would only step in when it is absolutely necessary. You are responsible for pricing and working around issues with your potential customers.
So, if you encounter a Thumbtack user that gives you a headache with way too many questions only to say that they aren’t interested in hiring right now, Thumbtack can’t do anything about it.
It is a Competition Among Contractors
There are plenty of contractors on Thumbtack and you would have to compete with them.
Say you’ve found an exact match customer that’s looking for the services you offer, you can’t immediately work with them right away. You must bid against competitors first.
This gets extra challenging when there are plenty of other service providers in your service area.
For example, if you operate a pest control business and there are several more businesses offering the same service in a customer’s location, then you might have to adjust your offer to win that customer.
And again, your adjustments to your rates or offer still won’t guarantee you will convert that potential customer into a paying customer after paying for the lead.
How Does Thumbtack Work?
As a service provider, it is important to understand how you can make Thumbtack work for you by learning the system and platform by heart.
The good news is that it isn’t difficult at all.
The Thumbtack platform gives you step-by-step instructions as you go through your application and you will have an active profile sooner than you think.
First, you have to sign up then you can download their application.
Background checks are extremely important too as this helps build trust and confidence when dealing with your potential customers.
Choose a relevant category or niche for your business and add the services you offer.
Set your targeting preferences so you may find the exact match you’re looking for on the platform.
What Are the Services Thumbtack Offers?
You might be wondering right now what types of businesses can use Thumbtack
Will you be able to subscribe and add your business to the platform?
There are so many business categories available on Thumbtack.
While the most common ones are in the home improvement and home service niche, there are also companies that offer financial and legal services and even event planning.
Right on the Thumbtack website homepage, you will find these businesses or contractors and so much more:
- House Cleaning Services
- Local Roofers
- General Contractors
- Handyman Services
- Tax Preparation Services
- Personal Trainers
Based on our observation, the categories that appear on their homepage menu change each time possibly based on the user’s browsing habits or previous searches.
As a service professional, Thumbtack can help you find the leads according to your service offerings.
You can price your service, respond to customer inquiries, and win paying customers.
What is a Thumbtack Pro?
If you are a local service business owner who has signed up for a Thumbtack account, then you are the Thumbtack pro.
As a professional in your selected category, you will be matched with potential customers looking for the services you offer.
You will then be able to bid on that customer against your competitors if there are any in your area.
Being a Thumbtack pro is beneficial for your business as it opens up many opportunities for you to get in touch with new customers.
Although not all leads on Thumbtack end up being paying customers, you might just find some customers with whom you can have a long-term working relationship with!
How to Become a Thumbtack Pro?
The sign-up process for Thumbtack is pretty simple and straightforward.
Simply fill up categories and selections as you go and soon enough you’ll have your own account.
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Visit the pro sign up page.
- Enter the type of service you provide and your location.
- Click on the Get Leads button.
- Continue following prompts until you complete the sign-up process.
How Do Pros Get Paid on Thumbtack?
Pros do not get paid on Thumbtack directly. The moment you get a match that you ultimately win, then you will have to work with the customer.
Payments will be made directly to you and not through Thumbtack.
The only transaction you will have with Thumbtack would be when you pay for leads given to you.
How Do I Get Clients on Thumbtack?
Especially if you have a popular business category with multiple competitors in your service area, then you will likely have to compete with other service providers to win a client.
Many times, professionals had to decrease their rates as customers would usually choose the bidding contractor with the lowest prices. This might seem like a disadvantage, as earlier mentioned, however, you can also use this as an opportunity to grow your client base and customer contacts, gain possible repeat customers, and upsell.
The great thing about this is that lowering your rate is not the only option you have to win clients on Thumbtack. While this might be the best way for you to gain clients as a beginner on the platform, it doesn’t have to be this way all the time.
Check out some of these tips for winning clients on Thumbtack:
Add a Real Profile Picture
Many contractors would display their logo on their profile. This is a good thing. But if you want to add a personal touch to your profile, show yourself.
Take a Background Check
Going through a background check and having your credentials displayed on your profile gives potential customers more trust and confidence. Sometimes, this background check will be their deciding factor if they will hire you or not.
Note that a background check on Thumbtack is free and easy. You simply need to provide a valid ID and your SSN to Thumbtack and they will handle the rest for you.
Respond Quickly to Inquiries
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. It is never a pleasant experience when the service provider takes forever to reply especially when they need the service as soon as possible. They will most likely hire the contractor that responds to them first.
Filter Your Offered Services
Especially when you’re just starting out on Thumbtack, you might find yourself bidding and submitting quotes for so many customers. This will cost you money. It is a great investment in the beginning because you can use the data you get out of those first bids to filter your offered services.
Analyze the patterns and choose the services that appear to be most successful when you’re bidding on projects.
Also, make sure you’re updating your target preferences so that you’re reaching the right customers.
Ask Your Customers to Leave Reviews
You need to have at least one review to get stars showing on your Thumbtack profile. Ratings and reviews are definitely attractive to potential customers so make sure you ask the ones you’ve already served to leave a review.
How Do I Find a Company on Thumbtack?
Some customers use Google to find a local service provider in their area. Others search directly on Thumbtack. Either way, having a Thumbtack profile can be very helpful if you want your customers to find you.
Thumbtack is an established website and having a link to your website on that platform boosts your site’s SEO, which in turn improves your site’s performance on Google’s search results.
The best part is that Thumbtack has millions of customers using their platform on desktop and mobile devices.
Customers find your company by entering the service they need on the site or app along with their postal code. Thumbtack displays a list of companies and a link to their profiles.
How Many Pros Are on Thumbtack?
There are over 250,000 professionals listed on Thumbtack. If you are not one of them yet, then you are missing out on potential customers searching for service providers like you.
It might seem like a large number and a whole lot of competitors. Do keep in mind that Thumbtack also has a lot of business niches and categories. Also, these professionals are located all over the United States.
Can I Trust Thumbtack?
Yes, you can trust Thumbtack. It is a legitimate business and a trusted website that has grown steadily over the years.
Whether you are a small business owner who is just starting out or if your business is already established, there are so many ways Thumbtack can help your company out.
You can also always reach out to Thumbtack support if you have any questions about the services they offer.
As for customers, Thumbtack is a great online platform as there are more contractors you can find here with verified reviews. A customer reaches the business owner directly on the platform and can hire professionals they need quickly and easily.
Is Thumbtack Pro Worth It?
It is free to join Thumbtack Pro so it is definitely worth it to take your time to sign up and create a profile. Use this opportunity to boost your online presence and let Thumbtack generate leads for you.
Along with other online resources, many customers browse Thumbtack to look for business profiles of local service providers with verified reviews.
Thumbtack is a great platform as it has its own search engine where you can meet potential clients looking for a service provider. This truly makes Thumbtack worth your while.
How Much Does Thumbtack Cost?
Yes, the platform is worth it and Thumbtack offers plenty of great benefits to contractors signing up with them. Thumbtack charges nothing for you to sign up and create a profile. There are no annual or monthly subscription fees.
But using Thumbtack isn’t completely free. You will be paying for the leads that you get from the platform. The cost of leads depends on the job’s value and project size so they vary greatly.
You have an option to change your targeting preferences and set your targeting prices so you can stay within your monthly budget for marketing and lead generation.
When you visit the targeting prices page, you will already see how much leads cost even before you get them. Prices for opportunities are also shown upfront.
A customer will be entering job details and requirements when they search for a contractor to hire. You can then express interest in the job and bid on the project. When a customer responds to you whether or not he decides to hire you, you will pay for the lead.
Pro Tip: Thumbtack recommends checking the targeting prices page every Friday since they’re releasing the next week’s targeting prices on that day. This way, you can plan your week ahead and make adjustments accordingly so it meets your monthly budget.
Thumbtack and Its Competitors
Platforms similar to Thumbtack exist on the web and many of them have been just as successful in helping businesses find customers.
But Thumbtack stands out in so many ways including how they were able to stay strong and competitive in the industry since it was launched in 2008. They’ve had millions of customers sign up on their platform and over 250,000 contractors creating accounts.
Top competitors include HomeAdvisor, Yelp, Houzz, Angie’s List, now called HomeAdvisor by Angi, and many more. While they’re similar, they have differences too. Let’s take a look at some of them below.
Thumbtack Pro vs Houzz
The main difference between Thumbtack and Houzz is the pricing.
Thumbtack is free to join and you only have to pay for the leads.
Houzz, on the other hand, charges professionals a minimum of $65 per month for a starter account up to $399 per month for the ultimate account.
Thumbtack is mainly a lead generation website and online directory. It helps your online marketing efforts greatly, however, you would have to deal with customers directly. On Houzz, you can create invoices and accept online payments from customers among others.
Thumbtack Pro vs Angie’s List
To be clear, Angie’s List has already merged with HomeAdvisor and the platform is now known as HomeAdvisor Powered by Angi. With the two giants of home service online directories merging together, one would think that HomeAdvisor is difficult to beat.
However, Thumbtack quickly gained traction because of its competitive pricing and efficient platform.
Of course, we also have to remember that while HomeAdvisor primarily has home service contractors on their platform, Thumbtack has plenty more industries using their website. Event planners, attorneys, finance pros, and so much more only to name a few.
HomeAdvisor charges contractors around $300 yearly to become a member in addition to leads that can cost anywhere between $20 and $200 each. Many professionals have also claimed to have received fake leads from this platform.
On Thumbtack, however, you only pay for leads that actually respond to you. Yes, they are not guaranteed and you will have to pay for them even if they end up not hiring you, but this at least minimizes the risk of having to pay for fake leads.
If you are a home service professional and you don’t have a Thumbtack profile yet, then you are missing out on a great opportunity to reach potential clients and more leads.
Having customers leave Thumbtack reviews for you also adds trust and confidence for other customers who are looking for someone to hire.
Thumbtack pricing is quite impressive too compared to many other similar platforms. Thumbtack works just as great as them yet you can start using Thumbtack without having to pay for a sign-up or monthly fee.
You do have to automatically pay for leads that respond to you whether or not they hire you.
Overall, Thumbtack makes it easy for you to increase your online presence and find potential clients along the way.
A pro tip would be to ask your customers to leave positive reviews on your profile so you can have even more extra jobs in the future. Update your target preferences and check targeting prices regularly so you won’t have to worry too much about going over your budget.