Sarah Freeman built her event planning business, Sarah Kathleen Events, using Thumbtack. With 50 percent of her events booked through the site, she’s now going strong, designing and planning weddings, birthdays, corporate events, and more in and around Aurora, Illinois. Here she shares how she shot to Top Pro status in a short time with winning quotes, stellar service, and hard work.
What brought you to Thumbtack?
I started using Thumbtack when I launched my business last year. I wasn’t sure how best to spend my meager marketing funds, so I started searching the internet and came across Thumbtack. It seemed like a promising site so I gave it a try.
What percentage of your work now is from Thumbtack?
I would say about 50 percent at this point.
Anything you wish you’d known when you first started on the site?
That it’s OK to not book every request that comes your way. I would stress over little jobs that wouldn’t end up being serious in the end. Now I know I can focus my efforts on the more worthwhile business projects.
Any tips for expanding business on Thumbtack?
Once you book a job through Thumbtack, show it off! I make sure I collect reviews and photos from all of my clients so I can display them on my profile and book even more business! Clients like to flip through portfolios and reviews to make sure they are booking the right person for the job.
Do you use the Thumbtack mobile app? And if so, how?
Yes, I use it to view and respond to requests. I love that it allows me to send quotes out right away. Since there are only 5 quotes available to send, I want to make sure I’m on the front line and getting potential clients the info they need right away.
What makes a winning quote?
Show some personality! It’s tough to get your point across in the limited space, but doing so with a little character makes your quote stand out more to clients. I also like to attach a few photos of projects that are similar to the request, so clients can really see what I can do.
What’s helped you get to Top Pro status on the site?
Give the absolute best service possible. That includes everything from sending detailed quotes (with no grammatical errors!), responding to clients questions right away, and being honest and open about all prices and services. Clients can quickly tell if they are dealing with a true professional, so I try to show that in every aspect of my business.
My first wedding ever booked with Thumbtack will always hold a special place in my heart. I was so grateful the bride took a chance on me and allowed me to plan her wedding. It turned out to be a gorgeous event. That bride started a chain reaction, bringing me new business.
Another favorite job was an Alice in Wonderland themed birthday party I planned for a little girl. It was very detailed and the decor was amazing. All of her guests were in awe. I live for those ‘awe’ moments.
Any special tips for other event planners on Thumbtack?
Be flexible! Wedding and event planners deal with a lot of changes from the original request, so showing the client you can work with them will keep them coming back for future events!
Don’t get frustrated and give up. It took me awhile to start booking consistently, but if you stick with it and really do a nice job, the business will come. You have to grow that portfolio and gather all the reviews you can. I’m so happy I didn’t give up on Thumbtack in my early days. It was truly a lifesaver when starting out.
How integral is Thumbtack to your success?
Thumbtack has honestly been the biggest help to my business. I went from booking a couple of random events, to booking work all the time. Now, I have a wonderful referral rate from past clients, too. I can’t imagine my business taking off the way it did if I didn’t use Thumbtack.
[Photos via Sarah Freeman of Sarah Kathleen Events, pictured top left and bottom left]