Tonja Scott used Thumbtack to build her brand. By recognizing a need for quality residential cleaning services, she leveraged her home organization business to become a trusted, one-stop shop. Here’s how she learned to build momentum with Thumbtack.
How does your Thumbtack story start?
Although I’ve been in business six years, I found Thumbtack through another Thumbtack Pro while providing closet organization services for an existing client. I used Thumbtack to recruit services for my personal use, but never thought to use it for my businesses. After making sure my businesses were legally legitimate to operate and my websites were set up, I knew the next step was researching what vendor would give me the best online presence to market my services. At that point, I created a business profile on Thumbtack to feature both businesses. Once I started quoting on Thumbtack in 2013, I never turned back. Thumbtack has been the best marketing maneuver thus far, and I have absolutely no regrets!
How much of your work comes from Thumbtack?
100 percent. Initially my client base was created from Groupon campaigns, but the majority of my new business, in addition to recurring business, is generated from none other than Thumbtack quotes. It’s been instrumental in building my brand both personally and professionally, in addition to being a great confidence builder.
What would have been helpful to know when you started?
I wish I’d focused on my current niche when I first created Upcycle My Closet LLC. I started off providing personal styling services, special event services, and closet organization. Whew! It was too many services. I quickly realized I needed to consolidate my talents to the services I enjoyed the most. So, closet organization services eventually turned into home organization coupled with residential cleaning.
In order to differentiate which services were which, I created another company that specialized in home organization and residential cleaning. I knew there was a niche for this, because I would hear need for it from my closet organization clients. A majority of their complaints were residential cleaning had become subpar and was oftentimes surface cleaning, with deep cleaning charges astronomically high for the quality of work performed. Scott Free Clean LLC was my effort to combine organization and residential cleaning services under one tent, sort of a one-stop shop business. I mean, who better to clean your home than a certified organizer? You get two services for the price of one. Fast forward today, and Scott Free Clean LLC has proven to be quite rewarding.
How can newcomers to Thumbtack succeed?
Make sure your profile is complete, visually appealing, and detailed and consistent with the brand you’re advertising. If you have a website, make sure there’s similar verbiage on your website and Thumbtack profile. Add the various Thumbtack badges to your website.
Maintain active communication with your clients. Send out reminders, promo materials, etc. Be responsive and give your clients the necessary tools (phone, text, email) to communicate with you effectively.
Most importantly, go the extra mile. Clients really appreciate the effort—and monetary rewards almost always will follow.
What are your secrets for business growth?
- Be flexible in working with the client
- Establish a schedule that’s conducive to the client’s needs
- Pitch other services that might be of interest once you provide your initial service
A majority of my business is reoccurring, because I pitch other services to new and existing clients while onsite. This helps establishes a steady revenue stream with recurring services.
What’s behind a winning quote?
Personalize your bid to fit the client’s request. A generic, non-personal, template does nothing to stimulate their interest. Remember, you’re competing with other vendors so it’s important you stand out.
Make sure your price quote is competitively priced. It took me many tries to create templates that were eye-catching, competitively priced, and informative. Today’s clients are avid researchers. Their focus is to get as much bang for their buck.
Most importantly, try not to get discouraged when a price quote has been viewed without a response, declined, or even cancelled. Oftentimes I might overbook, allowing a certain percentage for cancellations, in order to give appointment availabilities to clients on my waiting list. There are so many more quote requests generated through Thumbtack. This almost guarantees you’re going to win one, two, or three quotes for every quote that’s denied or cancelled. And for the weeks that are a bit slow, spend that downtime tweaking your bid templates to attract a new and larger audience.
What are some of your most rewarding jobs on Thumbtack?
Oh my gosh, where do I start? I enjoy jobs that pose a challenge. At times I’ll go to a client’s house and after the site visit I think, what did I get myself into? But once I start working, I’m in the zone, and there’s no stopping me. Once the service is complete, the client’s response is almost always priceless! It gives me such joy to help clear a client’s brain fog and unclutter their home and mind. It’s also rewarding to return to the same house for another service and see the organizational templates I put into place are still working. That’s progress.
Although I’ve used other marketing tools in the past, Thumbtack has had the most positive response in recruiting new clients and retaining old ones. The majority of my clients are pre-existing clients. It’s awesome!
As a Top Pro, what would you advise others in your field?
Get certified! Scott Free Clean LLC is a member of National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). The certification educates you on efficiently performing services in the least amount of time, without sacrificing a quality work product. Certifications also add credibility to your business and brand. I also can’t emphasize how important it is to legitimize your business legally. Purchase professional liability insurance and accept electronic payments. Oftentimes clients carry little cash. The convenience of electronic payments creates a greater revenue stream.
What role does Thumbtack play in your business?
Thumbtack is the reason for my success! I’ve got two thriving businesses with great client bases that continue to grow. What’s really cool is Thumbtack continues to grow with me. Thumbtack has great tools to assist with bidding, call-back and scheduling templates, and for the first time, I saw a Thumbtack commercial. This only solidifies I’ve partnered with a great brand where the options for growth are limitless!
What’s the key to achieving Top Pro status?
Reviews are so very important in getting rehired on Thumbtack. Most of my quotes would not have materialized without the positive reviews I’ve received throughout the years.
I’ve worked really hard, often above and beyond, to receive so many five star reviews. I take what I do very seriously. I’m passionate about the quality of service I give to each and every individual client. I’ve come to the conclusion early on, no amount of money can replace a five-star review.
[Photo via Tonja Scott]