Here’s a great small business success story: JR Gramstad tells us he gets a 2,300 percent return on his investment from his investment as a pro on Thumbtack. JRG Taxes—his Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas-based company—reaps regular big rewards bidding on customer leads from Thumbtack. We asked him to share his business savvy with other up-and-coming entrepreneurs getting their start with the help of Thumbtack.
How did you get started on Thumbtack?
In November 2015, I founded JRG Taxes LLC. After preparing 10,000 tax returns working for another accounting company, I had the confidence to start my own practice. My wife signed up on Thumbtack to look for someone to take my headshot for my new business. She showed me the site and I figured it was worth a shot. I’ve been on ever since.
What do you wish you had known when you first started?
Honestly, I wish I had known about Thumbtack sooner! When I started my business in November 2015, I looked at many different print, online and advertising services. Nothing I have used has come close to the ROI (return on investment) that Thumbtack has generated. By my last calculation, Thumbtack has generated over 2,300 percent on the investment I have put into it.
What percentage of your work is from Thumbtack?
Thumbtack is a growing part of my business. But more importantly, the quality of client coming from Thumbtack is often higher when compared to other sources.
What are your top tips for expanding your business on Thumbtack?
First impressions matter, especially on Thumbtack. Being first to respond is important and also personalizing your quote increases your chances for a response. Clients want to know that the professional can handle their tax situation.
Do you use the Thumbtack mobile app? And if so, how?
Yes, the app is an important part of being a Thumbtack professional. The app immediately lets you know someone is looking for your service and that something new is posted. A lot of the time, being first wins and the app is critical if you want to be first.
Any tips for writing winning quotes on Thumbtack for other pros?
Personalize your quote and give the client as much info about you and your business as possible. Make sure your profile, website, and quote all convey your message and why you are the right professional for them.
Do you have any particularly rewarding jobs from Thumbtack?
I am proud to say that due to Thumbtack, I was able to return over $20,000 to a client who mistakenly overpaid their taxes. The client decided to DIY his taxes for a few years and the DIY software didn’t apply some IRS rules properly. Once I talked to him and saw the info, he was very happy with the results—as you can imagine.
Any specific advice for other tax accountants on Thumbtack?
- Take the time to set up your profile properly. Clients look that what you write or if you even bothered to fill it out at all.
- Make sure your pictures and headshot look great. Do like I did and hire someone on Thumbtack to take it!
- Ask for the client to leave you a review. I have had clients outside of Thumbtack hire me just because I had outstanding Thumbtack reviews!
How integral is Thumbtack to your success?
Thumbtack has opened up a whole new channel for my business to grow. Prior to Thumbtack, my business base consisted primarily of past clients and referrals from those clients. While that’s still the foundation of my business, Thumbtack has led to expansion at a rate that I previously thought was unobtainable. Not to mention, most of the leads generated are outside of my “circle,” so it’s all incremental to what I would have been doing without the site.
What other tools do you use to market your business or find customers?
In the accounting industry, word of mouth is always a primary marketing tool. If you do a good job for clients, they will tell their friends and family. I have used other marketing tools such as Facebook and Google. Those tools combined with Thumbtack has been a successful mix so far.
What’s the key to success on Thumbtack?
Understanding our prospective clients. The better we know them, the more effectively we can craft our initial message. While we can’t possibly know everyone on a personal level, a professional should be able to anticipate a prospects’ needs based on past success. If the initial message fails to communicate the potential for success, the client might pick another pro, so it’s critical we have a profile or persona for the ideal prospect.