Do you have skills in home improvement, or training in certain industries? If so, you could make thousands of dollars with Thumbtack. Below, RSG contributor Chonce Maddox-Rhea reviews the gig worker app Thumbtack, where you offer your skills and get hired by local customers.
The gig economy is not slowing down any time soon. The best option for drivers right now is to diversify with different gig apps. One app that you may be interested in trying out is Thumbtack.
If you’ve never heard of Thumbtack before, don’t worry. In this Thumbtack review, we will break down how the app works, how you can get started, and the best strategies to make a profit.
In order to make the most money with Thumbtack, your goal is to be as clear as possible on your profile to get gigs quickly. Turn around those gigs as quickly as possible, rack up good reviews from customers, and increase your prices from there.
According to Thumbtack CEO Marco Zappacosta, he stated in 2017 that “On average, the pros on Thumbtack earn about $70/hour and earn a yearly mean income of almost $75,000/year (and this sample is inclusive of workers in every county in the US, not just the coasts and major metros)”.
However, read on to see what you can expect depending on the services you offer with Thumbtack.
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What is Thumbtack?
Thumbtack is a site and app that people use to find local professionals for short jobs and gigs they need completed. If you’re looking to make money on Thumbtack, you can sign up to offer a service or skill.
Thumbtack is primarily for people who offer home-related services. Think:
- General repair or maintenance work
- Dog grooming
- Lawn pros
- Gutter cleaners
However, Thumbtack can be truly used for anything local. You can also offer services as a wedding officiant, makeup artist, DJ, yoga instruction, self defense – if it’s something you can offer to people in your city, it’s probably on Thumbtack!
The best use for Thumbtack for drivers looking for more or a new side hustle is to advertise an existing side business or service you already offer. For example, if you already help fix people’s cars or clean offices on the side, create a profile on Thumbtack to get hired for more jobs.
As with all solid gig jobs, you can set your own hours based on your availability so you’ll have full control over when you work. You can also set your own prices and offer custom quotes.
You can join the over 400 services that are offered through the platform. Thumbtack can become pretty busy at times and has had over 50 million projects started on the platform over the years.
As you can see, there are plenty of options to offer your services with Thumbtack. With that comes wildly different pricing, though.
From our research, people on Thumbtack either offer quotes based per project or hourly. For example, a customer reaches out to you and says they would like you to put a retaining wall in their backyard.
Depending on your skills, the type of wall the customer wants, and even what part of the country you live in, you could estimate this job between $3,000-$5,000 for the total project.
Let’s say a different customer reaches out to you about language tutoring, however. For that, you may charge $20 an hour – again, depending on your city, skills, and the type of language instruction the customer wants. In most cases, you would charge a customer more for advanced language tutoring than beginning language tutoring.
Wedding officiants can typically charge at minimum $350 per wedding – and you don’t even have to stay for the whole wedding. Once your officiant time is up, you can leave and stack another wedding!
Pro-tip: People are always getting married, and you can become an officiant for free!
As you can see, there’s a lot of variability of earnings depending on what you offer. However, if you are more experienced and have training, you will earn more.
Not sure what to charge on Thumbtack? Don’t worry – Thumbtack will provide you average costs in your city.
How to Get Started
Make sure to download the Thumbtack Pro app to start earning. You must sign up as a ‘Pro’ if you want to offer a paid service through the app.
The regular blue Thumbtack app is only for clients. When signing up you can either use the search bar to tell Thumbtack the type of work you do or you can browse through the different job titles that are offered yourself.
After you enter what type of work you do you’ll then be asked a few questions about what your goals are for using the app along with how much you may already spend on advertising if you have a side business.
Thumbtack in Action
Thumbtack offers so many different gig opportunities. Be sure to be as detailed as possible when setting up your profile. Mention any licenses or certifications you have as well as if you have years of experience doing a particular task.
There is plenty of space to talk yourself up as you complete your profile.
Once your profile is completed, you’ll be sent leads for potential jobs that are available in your area. Generally, users will mention the city they are in along with the details of the job they need help with.
Your profile will also begin to pop up in search results for people who are looking to pay someone for a job. Users will be able to see your name or the name of your business, what city you’re in, along with your rating and how many jobs you’ve done.
If a customer does reach out to you for work, make sure they explain the job in detail and be responsive. Odds are, they may have reached out to other workers on Thumbtack as well.
Pro-tip: Thumbtack pros recommend only responding to requests that leave a phone number – this limits back and forth and shows that a customer is serious about their request.
Keep in mind that Thumbtack pros do pay for leads and there are two options to choose from.
As a contractor, it is free to list your services on Thumbtack. What you pay for are “credits” that you spend to obtain new leads through the website. If the customer sees your profile and chooses to communicate with you, you must spend the credits.
The cost of leads varies based on a number of factors, such as the scope of the project and your location. I’ve read that each credit costs around $1.67 to buy and leads can cost anywhere from 2 to 9 credits (so $3.34 to $15.30 per lead).
To understand the cost of exact match and partial match leads, go to where you set your budget (from your Services). Under “Price of leads,” you’ll see the most you could pay for exact match or partial match leads (but you could pay less, depending on the job’s details).
You can also set a weekly budget for leads to ensure you don’t exceed the limit you set.
You can choose how you wish to get paid from customers whether it’s via PayPal, Zelle, check, Cash app, or any other payment method of your choice.
Thumbtack Reviews & How to Earn More on Thumbtack
According to the Thumbtack reviews we found online, the best way to earn more money with Thumbtack is to be as specific as possible in your profile details and to also have some reviews.
According to this Thumbtack Pro on Reddit, having reviews is helpful for your customers – customers are probably going to look closer at the person with 25 reviews vs the person with 2 reviews. You will need to spend credits for these reviews, but you can have previous customers give you reviews – for free!
Having reviews will help you gain credibility and also separate you from other gig workers on the app who offer a similar service.
To get your first review, you can always ask a friend who you’ve done work for in the app to sign up and review you for a job. Or you can mention in your profile that you’re new to Thumbtack but also mention your experience and that you’re eager to start working and getting reviews.
Another strategy to get some reviews might be pricing your rates slightly under what the average person is charging in your area for the same job. I see people do this all the time on other gig sites and apps.
Among the Thumbtack reviews we found, we also found this solid suggestion from a Thumbtack Pro. They started out their business (photography headshots) on Thumbtack to generate clients and repeat businesses. As they mention below, they didn’t really ‘get going’ until they had 14 reviews – so aim for at least 10 before you get discouraged using Thumbtack.
Below are some other tips and strategies to help you book jobs quickly so you can earn more money with Thumbtack:
1. List past jobs – When creating your profile, there’s an option to list a ‘Featured Project’ so you can share pictures and additional details about your work.
2. Get a background check – Thumbtack will run a background on Pro account holders through an accredited provider. Displaying that your background check has been verified on your profile is an additional way to build credibility and trust with customers.
3. Set your target audience – Be sure to set your target audience when completing your profile to make sure the leads you receive are more targeted to the service you’re offering. Another reason why you’ll want to set your target audience is that when a lead matches your customer preferences exactly, you’ll get 20% off the fee.
4. Have flexible travel preferences – If you are able to travel a few extra miles to get to jobs, this will increase your qualified leads as well as the likelihood that customers will want to hire you for jobs. If you limit your travel preferences to one small city for example, you may be cutting off some qualified and profitable leads.
5. Answer questions in your profile – This is important. Make use of the FAQ section when filling out your profile and answer as many questions as you can upfront. Remember that you will likely have to pay for leads if a customer reaches out and seems interested in working with you. However, if they don’t hear back or your profile is vague, they may have more questions or stall the process. Being upfront and as specific as possible cuts down on the extra back and forth communication so you can book the job quickly and get paid.
6. Get it in writing – Get the customer to sign a written agreement outlining the work you’re doing and the agreed-upon price before you start working. Yes, you’ll likely have proof of communication through Thumbtack, but it never hurts to have your own template and documentation on your end as well.
From all of the Thumbtack reviews we researched, it seems like your best option with Thumbtack is to use it as a starting point. Regardless of your business, if you have few to no clients, Thumbtack can be an excellent starting point.
HandymanStartUp.com has this to say about Thumbtack: it’s a great temporary solution. If you’re starting your business and need customers, give it a shot.
Once you have some customers, it makes sense to create your own website using Bluehost or HostGator and start driving leads through there – it will save you more money in the long run than using Thumbtack, as you’ll already have repeat business.
Pros and Cons of Using Thumbtack
- Set your own hours
- Can adjust what services you offer at anytime
- Can list what parts of the job you do and don’t provide (Installation, maintenance, assembly, repairs, etc.)
- Mobile app option
- Location preferences
- 20% off lead fee when a customer exactly matches your customer preferences
- Pay for leads
- Pros get charged when interested customers reach out to them even if they aren’t hired
- May not appear in customer search results at first (if you’re not paying for leads)
- A lot of competition
- No limit on the number of pros a customer can contact
- Job locations can be far away if you don’t set your location preferences
Should You Sign up With Thumbtack?
If you have a professional service that you’d like to offer locally and don’t know where to start in order to get leads, Thumbtack is a solid option to consider. Thumbtack would be best for someone who has experience in a particular area or a marketable skill set that they can get paid well for.
Since you’d be paying for leads, it’s important to price your services accordingly to make sure you’re earning a profit. Luckily, Thumbtack welcomes pros with varying areas of expertise.
There could be a lot of competition for jobs at first, but once you start getting reviews and referrals from clients that shouldn’t be as big of a factor.
Would Thumbtack be a good fit for you? If so, what service would you offer?
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-Chonce @ RSG