This blog post is an update from our previous one, Trying Out Thumbtack.com
Well, we gave it the old college try. At first glance, Thumbtack.com looked to be an easy way to shop for new clients without having to go out and pound the pavement. I mean, if you can shop for bank loans, spouses, and tennis shoes online, why not new customers? Well, I’ll tell you why not.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with using the internet to dredge up business. In fact, there’s nothing like it if you want to be successful in modern society (being a web design and internet marketing company, we can’t not use the internet!). But there’s a difference between emailing your proposal to a solid lead and trying to fight against dozens of people for the lowest bid. What did I say in the previous post? That Thumbtack seemed to concentrate more on local businesses than the lowest bid? Turns out, it actually does BOTH.
The problem with these kids of “bid-based” networking sites is just that: they are “bid-based.” When Sandra S. tells Thumbtack she’s looking for a web designer in Orlando, it seems to us like that’s all she cares about. We didn’t see anybody mention the quality of designer they were looking for or what they hoped the web site would accomplish. All they see is that Company A’s estimate is $1700 and Company B’s is $600. Which would you pick? But with nothing to go on but “web site needed ASAP,” it was impossible to make a relevant, appropriate bid. Yes, there is a way to ask the prospective client for more info on the project, but we never got any answers. Maybe we were underbid; maybe the queries weren’t serious, just shots in the dark to see what type of budget they should expect to build a web site. Either way, we realized that Thumbtack really wasn’t worth our time.
Oh, and did we mention that it costs around $25 to submit each bid? Yeah.
Long story short, we prefer to talk with serious clients about specific ways we can grow their business. If you’re a web designer or contractor or cupcake baker who is just looking to build a portfolio (and you have a bunch of $20 bills just laying around), you may want to give Thumbtack a shot. Or maybe the clients in your city are a little more responsive. But once you’re ready to market yourself as a key player in the market, lowering your prices (and paying for the privilege of doing so) seems pretty tacky. Get it? Tack—you’re right. I won’t quit my day job.
Clarity Creative Group is a web design & internet marketing company in beautiful Orlando, Florida. We get a lot of our business by word of mouth, or complimenting a business owner on their awesome skills.