Carol White more than doubled her headshot session output since joining Thumbtack. An established photographer, she’s discovered that shooting professional headshots provides a great financial return for her time investment. She quotes mainly on headshot requests, and allows the rest of her business (family portraits, etc.) to grow organically. The reach of Thumbtack gives her a steady stream of new and return headshot clients. Here’s how she’s living the small business dream with Bliss Photography in Overland Park, Kansas.
When did your Thumbtack journey begin?
I think it was fall of 2013. Thumbtack called and said they were looking for photographers near Overland Park and would I like to join. Coincidentally, I had just learned about Thumbtack because I had been looking for a life coach. I was a bit wary at first, but I’ve been on three years now and it continues to work for me.
How has Thumbtack changed your work?
My headshot business has more than doubled as a result of Thumbtack. I offer several different types of sessions, such as family portraits, headshots, etc. The professional headshots have been most impacted in the last three years. I love doing headshots now. They’re quick, they’re easy, and they’re good money. It’s just been great. Honestly, I respond to every single headshot request, but I pass on a lot of family portrait requests.
Before Thumbtack, I wasn’t really advertising for headshots, because a lot of my work is word of mouth. Also, where I’m located, I have signage outside my studio for when people drive by. Now people find me online.
What’s been the key to your success as a Thumbtack Top Pro?
I just stuck with it. I could see the value of working with Thumbtack from the beginning. Especially after I got that first job, I said, ‘oh yea!’ Even now, I don’t get every job but I’m persistent. I knew Thumbtack would benefit me and my business.
What have you learned since you first started?
When I first started, I felt like I didn’t have to respond as soon as possible. Now I know to respond quicker. It’s key to respond as soon as I get the text, especially for headshots.
For anyone who is skeptical and just starting out, at least try it for a while. Give it two weeks to a month and see how well it works. So many people are online, Googling, it’s easy to get lost in the abyss. Being on Thumbtack fine tunes the search for your potential clients. You’re only competing against four other quotes.
Do you operate via mobile or desktop?
I use the mobile app to receive texts and send quotes. It’s easier on my computer, but I’m very mobile so I do the best I can when I have to respond. I find it’s easier to manage the templates on my computer. Although it still works just fine on the app.
What works for you when it comes to quotes?
I follow tips in the Pro Center or in emails I’ve received from Thumbtack. In the first paragraph I introduce myself, I greet the client by name, I say, “I’m Carol, and I’ve been in business for 10+ years.” The second paragraph I address their needs. Then I end my quote with a thank you.
My format has changed up a little bit. Even with the template I change it up a bit. I personalize it whenever I can. I use the reports you send. I find Thumbtack really helpful. It’s not just a service, Thumbtack is actually trying to help business owners grow and that in turn helps the site even more.
What stands out for you when it comes to Thumbtack customers?
I’ve met so many wonderful people. All my Thumbtack sessions connect me with people who need headshots. I tell you, I have not had a bad session. I enjoy meeting people, I get thrilled when they come, I love to pick their brain and get to know them. I treat all of them as special because I know they had options and they chose me.
Any specific advice for photographers on Thumbtack?
No! Haha, I don’t want to share my secrets! Just price really high and only work two days a week. But speaking seriously, I say let your personality come through in your quotes. As photographers we’re different creatures, we’re creative and fun. Detail out what your little niche is, and show the special thing you offer that makes you stand out. My little niche is offering hair and makeup for those who want it in tandem with their shoot. It’s a bit more of a cost, but it really sells my services.