Thumbtack.com, should this do me good for now?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by robgomez, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Hello my very helpful pros,
    I have been growing my wedding photo business now for the past 3 years, and I can very much say that when people tell you to stick with something, it will be good, ... listen to them. I swear I can't believe how much I have improved my craft, image, presentation, and professionalism. Just keep going at it, got no where to go but up. Check it out! robgomezphotography.com
    My question is about the lead generating site called Thumbtack. I know, I know ... this and others are not the places to get "real" quality leads .... but this is my question...
    Because of my small footprint in the business, I don't have much word of mouth yet, ... and because, maybe more importantly, I am not the extroverted, chippy, happy go lucky person that goes a long way in booking weddings .... can I right now invest some risky money to get a return?
    In the last month, I thought to myself and said "You gave Thumbtack $20 a month for 6 months, you got 2 $700 package bookings ..... hmmmmm, time to INVEST MORE". Last month, I took the risk, and spent $100, and got 2 $1000 bookings within a week.
    My thinking is, at least money wise, will this suffice UNTIL I can get better at the other things?....(Bridal shows, word of mouth, referrals, etc.)
    Or, is this stupid? Wrong? Counter? Anything? .... I know this is maybe lazy, but for now, ... it's just seems to make sense. If I spend more, get more ... kind of approach.
    Let me know, I really want to start booking at least 3 a month, and yes, quality leads that understand more of what they want.
    Thanks everyone!
    Rob
     
  2. I started out with similar package prices and found that most of the people looking for my services on those types of sites were price shoppers, first and foremost. That serves a very specific purpose starting out as you build both your experience and your word-of-mouth referrals. Different things work for different people, you just sort of have to feel your way around to find what works best for you. Some of it will be expensive, frustrating experiences which gain you nothing. Some of it might surprise you.
    The two major players, as far as I have learned, are theknot.com and weddingwire.com. Other than that you are taking a pretty big risk to try something. I get so many companies who say they're going to deliver me the brides, to which I say "Put your money where your mouth is. Let me list on your site for free and when you bring me the brides that book with me, I will bring you the dollars." They have never once agreed to do this. Not surprising.
    Your new site has a nice, crisp look to it. If I could offer a suggestion: even if you don't want to put your prices up there for weddings, NOT dealing with that might do you more harm than good. Put up something in your INFO area so that people who want to know about your packages can at least get a taste of what you offer, even if they have to email you for more information.
     
  3. I've been with Thumbtack from almost day 1 and have completed 72 jobs through them. For me it works.
    I book 3-4 events a month off of them - between that and referrals I am as busy as I need to be.
    My experience with both the Knot and Wedding Wire is you have to pay $$$$$ to get top placement. If you don't pay you don't play. And there's always someone willing to pay a little more to get in front of you. Also keep in mind neither of those are "lead" services - they put you out there, it's up to you to generate hits, contacts, etc...
    Dave
     
  4. Thank you guys,
    Yeah Michael, that's how I think right now, that I'm just in the feeling things out stage of the business. I know I have to sell to price shoppers ... I am that way sometimes with certain things, so I understand where they come from. I don't know if I want to put up prices yet, since I deal with both high end and price shoppers. Thanks for the compliments on the site, that is exactly the look I was going for. I like to think Mercedes and Apple. Ha.

    David, thanks! Yeah, I wanted to know if it is totally possible, and reasonable, to get that many hits on Thumbtack?
    Any advice you two can lend me on how you do this? I asked Thumbtack how I can get leads from multiple cities, but only showed me how to do it for one city at a time. That negates the whole point of what I'm trying to do.
    I travel to SF and NYC often, and want to see all the leads from each of these cities.
    They said change to "my customers" come to me, make a new profile. But it doesn't work that way I want it to.
    How can I look at the most leads possible .... with phone numbers of course.
    Thanks!
    Rob
     
  5. Rob -
    The only way I know of to do quotes from multiple cities is to have multiple accounts set up perhaps different profiles would do it too but not sure.
    As for phone numbers - good luck with that. About 15-20% of the leads for portraits / weddings / events have phone numbers. This has been the #1 (or 1b) complaint a lot of pros (including myself) have with TT. It's a bummer to pay $15-20 for a lead which is supposedly high quality - yet not get a phone number. TT's response has been that if they required the phone number, fewer people would submit requests (since they fear that people would slam them with calls 24x7).
    A number of pro photographers, DJ's, and other vendors have even suggested to TT to give the consumer (and vendor) a couple of options - 1) a lower cost per quote for those leads without phone numbers or 2) Refund the no phone number quote if not hired.
     
  6. I've been using Thumbtack with some success. I don't bid on every job that gets sent my way. I have dry spells that drive me nuts. It really is aggravating when I don't hear back from a prospect at all once I pitch my bid. I tend to say to myself, "I'm not going to bid on another job..." But then I do. And now I have a job coming up in May that I wouldn't have gotten without Thumbtack. Funny enough, the bride and I knew of each other. I knew her sisters much better than her, they were more my age in school. She was excited to hire me. Even though she still lives in my area, we wouldn't have connected without Thumbtack.
    The nice thing is, you don't have to commit to them. You can just bid on the jobs that you want to try for. If you get them, it is a better return on money.
    I've spent hundreds of dollars on print ads in a local magazine, local newspapers, bridal show publications with NO return.
    I like that clients post their budget and needs, so you can decide if you want to go for it or not.
     

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