Now that Thumbtack instantly connects you with the customers you want, get ready to save time—a whole lot of it—and think about what’s next for your business now that the job of finding new customers is off your plate.
But before you can do that, you need to make sure you’re set up for success. Your Thumbtack job preferences determine everything from the kinds of jobs you get, to the distance customers expect you to travel (or expect to travel to you) and the size of jobs you’re willing to take on.
We asked Thumbtack Top Pros to give us their best tips for how to set preferences—here’s what they told us works best.
Tune Your Travel Preferences
If you’re getting a lot of responses from customers in zip codes that are too far away, odds are it’s time to revisit your travel preferences.
Setting a travel distance that makes sense to you will save you a lot of time in the long-term. As Carla Ribeiro, a massage therapist (and Top Pro) in Houston explains, deciding whether or not to take a job often came down to how long it would take to get to the appointment.
So when Carla set up her Thumbtack preferences, she made her travel distance relatively small. For now, it works great. But Carla also knows that if things change for her business—if she’s not hearing from as many customers as she’d like, or she has more business than she needs—those travel settings can also change.
“It comes down to finding your sweet spot,” Carla explains.
Select the Right Job Types
Hearing from customers who are ready to hire you is wonderful—but only if you actually offer the service that they’re looking for. Getting a customer that needs tiling isn’t helpful if you’re an epoxy coating specialist.
Thumbtack makes it easy to specify exactly what kinds of work you do and services you offer. Just set those details in your preferences. Joel Scott, a Top Pro DJ and event services pro in New Jersey, learned to adjust his job preferences as his business grew.
“When I started, I only offered DJ services, so those were the only customers receiving my quotes. Now that my business is growing, we do event set-up, music, lighting, sound—and we offer all of those on Thumbtack,” Joel says.
These days, Joel receives instant matches for all different kinds of event jobs—from music to lighting design. And he’s able to compare how he’s doing in each service type as his business grows, thanks to his pro Insights report.
Adjust Your Availability
With Thumbtack instantly matching you with new customers, it’s easy to lose track of your appointments. That’s why Top Pros like creative agency owner Ricky Godoy use Thumbtack’s calendar feature to keep their schedule on track.
When you set up your profile, Thumbtack asks you for your general availability—that is, the hours you work Monday through Friday. Once this is set, Thumbtack will only match you with customers who also need work done during those hours.
To keep track of your appointments, you can log each job you book in your Thumbtack calendar. Once that slot has been filled, Thumbtack will stop quoting on customer requests that fall within that window. Even better, once you’re up to date customers can book you directly through your calendar, by requesting a slot of time that works for both of you.
“As soon as I get a deposit for my booking, I add it to my Thumbtack calendar,” explains Ricky. Each opening on his calendar is a new customer opportunity, waiting to be filled.
Pro Tip: Balancing Your Workload
On Thumbtack, you’re in control. It all comes down to setting your preferences in a way that makes sense for your business. And finding that balance is a process.
Perhaps the biggest thing to keep in mind: customer volume. You want to take on as much as you can, but you don’t want more than you (or your team) can handle.
The two factors that most affect your customer volume are your availability settings and travel distance. If you’re getting more customers than you can handle, think of limiting your job radius. If you want to increase the number of new customers you get, consider opening your availability instead, and only block off time where you know you won’t be able to do the work.
For more on how to instantly match with customers that are right for you try these 5 essential tips for winning business on Thumbtack.