How Does Thumbtack Work for Professionals and Users?

Painter standing on a ladder facing the wall

If you are in any kind of services industry, then there is nothing more difficult than generating more leads to grow your business. As a one-person army for your business, growing your brand and investing your time into social media marketing to stay relevant can seem like a lot of work, if you aren’t aware of how to go about it. That is where lead generation tools like Thumbtack come to the rescue.


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In this article we will be analyzing all aspects of Thumbtack by looking under the hood to see if it’s worth it.

What is covered in this article

Let us jump right in and take a look at what Thumbtack is all about to give you a comprehensive review of what it can do for your business.


What is Thumbtack?

Thumbtack is an online service that connects local service professionals to customers who want to hire their services for their home or business needs. From a service professional’s point of view, they get online visibility and a lead generation tool which is free to sign up for, and they only have to pay for ads and connecting with potential clients. As a customer, this is a great place to look for local professionals in your city or town for any kind of service that you might be in the market for.

Thumbtack app showing a search for painting jobs
(Image credit: Thumbtack)


How does Thumbtack work?

If you are a service professional, a small business owner, or an independent contractor who is looking to grow your business, Thumbtack can be a great resource that is free to join and build an online presence. All you have to do is create a stunning profile, highlight your skills and expertise, and ask your clients to leave a review once you’ve completed a job.

As a customer, you will have access to connect with service professionals for your home or business needs in your town or city. Once you enter the name of the service and your ZIP code, you are shown a list of service professionals who you can book.

Let us look at what it takes for a customer to find a service professional on Thumbtack and a service professional to be discovered by potential client(s).


Find contractors with confidence

Thumbtack’s intuitive and user-friendly website and app (that you can download from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store) makes it easy to browse through their list of available local professionals. Since they have more than 2000 services listed on their platform, you can find a professional for pretty much anything. Let’s look at how you can search for the perfect professional to get your job done:


1. Getting started

Searching for a massage therapist on Thumbtack
(Image credit: Thumbtack)

Type in the service you are looking to book in the search box along with your ZIP code to browse through the professionals servicing your area. Select the service from the suggested keywords that best describe your job request to proceed.


2. Filter your search

massage therapist search results page
(Image credit: Thumbtack)

Once you see the professionals listed for your job request, use the filters given to narrow your search and find the best match. For example, if you are looking for a Massage Therapist, you can select the type of massage you want, the length of the massage session, and if you prefer a male or a female masseuse.


3. Give more details about the job request

Pop-up screen with more details on job request
(Image credit: Thumbtack)

On selecting a professional that you want to work with, you will need to answer a few questions to provide more details about the reason for your booking, your availability, and any other specifics that they’ll need to know. 

Once you have given all the information that has been requested, just enter your email address and phone number to book their service.


Find customers with ease

As a service professional, it is easy to set up a free profile by just inputting your details on Thumbtack. Whichever type of service you offer, whether you are a dog walker, photographer, plumber, or lawyer, there is a good chance that you will be able to find your service listed on Thumbtack. 

Let us look at how contractors can find clients:

  1. Create your free profile on Thumbtack Pro, that you can access on your desktop or mobile device. (Download the app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store).

  2. Complete your profile to display your skills, expertise, fee, and a business logo (if you have one).

  3. Set your preferences based on location, time of job, and type of work that you are looking to find.

  4. Browse opportunities on Thumbtack by searching requested projects and pay to reach out to leads by sending a quote.

  5. Be quick to respond to any requests that come your way as that helps with your ranking.

  6. Be courteous when you communicate with a customer and get all the details that you need to know before you can get started.

  7. Once you complete a job, ask the customer to leave a review that can help you gain more work through Thumbtack.


Who should use Thumbtack?

When Thumbtack started back in 2008, it wanted to position itself as an all-inclusive platform for any service that you might be in the market for. So if you booked a make-up artist for your wedding, you will be able to see that you can also book a photographer, caterer, and decorator.

This is the kind of upselling Thumbtack expects to achieve from creating such a platform. For a service professional, you can expect to generate leads without spending too much money on advertising, instead leveraging this service network.


For a contractor

Anyone who is running a small business, is an independent consultant, or is just getting started as a freelancer must sign up on Thumbtack to see the competition that is out there and what it is that they must highlight on their profile. Ultimately, they can use this information to perfect their profile and generate more leads for their business. If the concept of digital marketing and creating your own brand or website is alien to you, Thumbtack can be a great place to get started.


For clients

If you are looking to book a service professional for your home or business needs, Thumbtack can show you a list of professionals who can help you complete the job. On comparing platforms like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor with Thumbtack, the cost of getting a job done is much lower, thus making it an economical and budget-friendly option to book home services.


Pros of using Thumbtack

There are several advantages and benefits to using Thumbtack. Let us look at some of them to help you understand the platform better:

  • One-stop shop for all services: Customers enjoy the convenience of finding a service professional for any service.

  • Free for pros and customers to join: Anyone can join Thumbtack and start shopping for services or selling their services.

  • Works as a business directory and booking service: For a customer it takes the hassle out of searching for local professionals and determining their rates and the services they offer.

  • Only enter ZIP Code and service name to search: Unlike other platforms like Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor, where a customer has to give their personal details and fill in a lengthy questionnaire to be matched with a professional, Thumbtack shows you the list of professionals in your town or city by just entering the name of the service and a ZIP code. 

  • Lead generation platform: For a service professional or a consultant who runs a small business or works independently, it can be a great place to find new leads to grow their business.

  • Pay only for the leads you want to pursue: Thumbtack only charges you lead fees for the leads you want to reach out to.

  • Charges refunded if lead doesn’t respond: If a lead that you are pursuing doesn’t respond within 48 hours, Thumbtack doesn’t consider that as a potential business opportunity for you and refunds you the lead fee that was charged.

  • Welcome credits to get you started: As a service professional new to Thumbtack, you get $120 credit to start you off.


Cons of using Thumbtack

Like everything, there are two sides to every coin. While there may be some obvious benefits that lures several professionals to join the platform, there are some disadvantages as well that might be important to consider if you are still deciding about joining Thumbtack. Let us look at some of them:

  • Crowded marketplace: Since Thumbtack is free to join, you’ll find professionals with varying levels of experience and expertise in each category.

  • Professionals need a niche to stand out: Highlighting something unique or adding a special skill that your peers don’t offer will help you set yourself apart. 

  • Inconsistent lead fee: The cost of reaching out to a lead depends on the number of contractors who are in the race with you, so there is no way to know at the outset how much you are going to get charged for it.

  • Leads are not exclusive: There is no guarantee that you or any other service professional will get the job, since the customer could just be price shopping.


Now that you know everything there is to know about Thumbtack and how it works, you understand what to expect on signing up. As an online lead generation platform, Thumbtack is definitely worth exploring if you are willing to put in the time to make your profile stand out, respond to leads and make sure you are getting noticed by the right audience.

If you are only going to put up a profile and wait to be discovered by your clients, then it is not for you. But if you are still on the fence, then you can compare Thumbtack with other alternatives like TaskRabbit, Fiverr, and Upwork to see what they can do for you.

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