Meghan Aro knows how to make Thumbtack work. With over 97 percent of her clients coming through the site, she’s built a thriving personal training and nutrition business in the competitive Los Angeles market. As a small business owner for the last three years, and a seven year fitness industry veteran, she’s been changing lives and bodies through her holistic approach to health. Read on for her tips for building an empire from scratch.
How did you get started with Thumbtack?
After graduating from college, I had a 9-5 office job and began realizing fitness instruction was my real passion. I began studying in the evenings to get my ACE (American Council on Exercise) fitness certification. When I left my office job and launched my personal training business, I realized Thumbtack was a relatively inexpensive way to get direct contact with potential customers.
What percentage of your work is from Thumbtack?
At this point, 97 percent of my customers have come from Thumbtack. When I have a customer choose to not continue working with me, I make sure I’m answering more job requests to fill their spot. Filling my schedule usually happens within a month.
What’s the key to success on Thumbtack as a Top Pro?
The most important piece of advice I can give is make your profile look professional. Take the time to answer questions, upload photos, and give insight on your business and what makes you different. Make sure ALL of your customers leave reviews. Don’t undersell yourself. People won’t always pick the cheapest quote. Help people see your worth.
What do you wish you had known when you first started?
First, answer all relevant job requests. Second, just because you don’t get responses back from every quote you send doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Many people send out requests for work and never actually follow through—which can be discouraging. For every 15 quotes I send out I might get 1 hire, but that hire will be worth far more than the other 14 quotes I lost.
What are your top tips for expanding your business on Thumbtack?
Include your professional website on your profile, include pictures of yourself and the work that you do, answer some FAQ’s on your page, include transparent pricing, and have a template message ready to go for quotes that you know will go quickly (and make sure you proofread it as to avoid typos).
Do you use the Thumbtack mobile app? And if so, how?
Always. I’m rarely on my computer when answering quotes. Thumbtack mobile app allows me to be anywhere and get work quickly. I live in LA so job requests in areas like Santa Monica, Venice, and Beverly Hills go quickly. I have maybe 2 minutes to respond before that job request is gone. You have to be on your A-game to get those gems.
Any tips for writing winning quotes on Thumbtack for other pros?
Don’t write one-liners, but don’t write essays. Make your response 1-2 paragraphs. Start by introducing yourself and your credentials. Let the client know how long you’ve been in the business, let them know you’re excited to work with them, and include your phone number, email, and website. Don’t have any typos or misspellings.
Do you have any particularly rewarding jobs that came via Thumbtack?
I’ve been working with one client for a year now that has become a great friend. She found me on Thumbtack from across the country before she moved to LA. She was looking for a trainer and lined me up 5 months out. She has turned out to be one of my most loyal and dedicated customers.
Any specific advice for other personal trainers on Thumbtack?
There are a lot of personal trainers on Thumbtack, especially if you’re living in a major city like LA. Be professional, and don’t undersell your services. Offer discounted packages that incentivize people to commit to a certain amount of sessions with you. It also helps to give them an idea of what type of fitness you specialize in, i.e. body building, yoga, corrective exercise, pre/post natal, high-intensity training, etc. It helps clients to know your areas of focus. People want to feel like they’re coming to a specialist.
Any advice for professionals in general just getting started on Thumbtack?
Consistency is key. Don’t give up after a few weeks if you’re not getting any hires. People can be flakey and forgetful. Follow up with your job requests after a day or two. Remind them you still want to work with them and do your best to meet in person.
What other marketing tools do you use?
I hand out business cards, I’m on social media (mostly Instagram), and I’ll sometimes run Facebook ads. Thumbtack has saved me a lot of money from running online advertisements, so I don’t do them often.
How integral is Thumbtack to your success?
Most of my clients are from Thumbtack. It’s helped me grow my status as a reputable personal trainer in my area. People come to my profile and see the number of jobs I’ve completed, read my reviews, and feel like they’re in the hands of a professional. I’m very happy with Thumbtack, I haven’t found a similar platform that delivers leads like Thumbtack does.
[Photo via Meghan Aro]