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How to Get the Most Out of

Updated on November 14, 2014

Thumbtack Connects Customers with Professionals in an Easy, yet Effective Way

This book explains why you don't need a fortune to start your own business, and why age should never make a difference when it comes to living your dreams!

What is Thumbtack?

Thumbtack is an online source where professionals in over 400 areas are able to connect with potential clients. Although Thumbtack is new to the game, it is quickly becoming a go to platform for people to meet new customers, grow their business, and complete tasks.

Whether you have a service to offer, or a job that needs completing, Thumbtack has streamlined the process of hiring professionals and getting hired yourself. Only founded in 2008, thousands of people across the United States have doubled or tripled their business just by using Thumbtack's service.

There is no cost to sign up for Thumbtack, however there is a fee to purchase "credits", which are used to bid on projects. If a professional offers a quote for a service, and the quote is not viewed in 48 hours, the professional is refunded the credits used to submit the particular quote.

Professionals are guided through the set-up process by Thumbtack support to set up profiles that will most likely encourage customers to hire the person. Professionals who hold licenses or certificates in their trade can upload copies to improve their credentials. Background checks can be purchased for just $7.

In 2011, Thumbtack won the award for Most Innovative Small Business by the Wall Street Journal.

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My Experience with Thumbtack

I signed up for Thumbtack after doing extensive research on the service and checked out its reputation. Although I found a large handful of unhappy customers, I found that all those who were leaving negative reviews had the same complaint: they were professionals offering a service and didn't get hired for any jobs.

In the cases where the complaintant still had a profile on Thumbtack, I reviewed their profile and came to the same conclusion almost every time - I wouldn't want to hire them either. These complaints came from people with incomplete profiles, few images of their work and no reviews.

With that in mind, I signed up for Thumbtack and created my profile. I used Thumbtack's guideline for professionals to complete my profile and was able to create an impressive portfolio, complete with reviews before I even submitted my first quote.

Today I have been a professional using Thumbtack for a little over one month. I have submitted around 30 quotes, have been hired 4 times, and am currently talking to three to four perspective clients. Out of the four times I was hired, one of the jobs has been completed and I have received five stars from that client, one job is tomorrow, and two are in the next week.

I have been trying to create a name for myself in the photography industry for five years, and in one month, I have been able to find more work than I find during some years. I may be new to the game, but from what I have seen so far, Thumbtack looks like it can be a practical solution to my strong desire to pursue photography as a steady, full-time job.

Review of Thumbtack from a Long Time User

Tips for Pros Looking to Find Clients Through Thumbtack

If you are someone who works in the art field, the construction or plumbing industry, the event planning business, the culinary industry, or perhaps someone who excels at a trade that they feel could earn them a second source of reliable income, Thumbtack is a great way to increase your customer base.

Here are five tips for professionals who are looking to acquire clients through Thumbtack:

  1. Don't slack on your profile - you have two opportunities to make a good impression on a customer, the first is your profile. Keep that in mind while completing each step of Thumbtack's profile set-up process.
  2. Don't copy and paste generic quotes - I mentioned that there were two ways to make a good impression through Thumbtack, and your quote for each client is that second way. This is you selling yourself to the client in a way that is personal, detailed around their specific needs, and written in a manner that would encourage the client to chose you.
  3. Wait to submit quotes until you have at least one review - Profiles with reviews have twice the chance of being chosen for the job compared to profiles without reviews. Professionals with at least four reviews have a 400% chance above other profiles.
  4. Choose images for your portfolio that best portray the services you provide - If an image is worth a thousand words, then the 8-10 images you choose for your portfolio will say more about you then any other portion of your Thumbtack profile. Although 8-10 images is not the limit you are stuck to, it is the amount recommended by Thumbtack.
  5. Take it slow - Thumbtack works through a credit system, where professionals buy packs of credits which can be used to submit quotes. When starting off, purchase a quote pack that makes sense. Don't go for the jugular and buy the largest pack, then go on a quoting rampage. Submit a few quotes, wait a few days, and see what happens. Don't start with jobs that are the highest paying, but instead start off with the smaller jobs so you can work more on your reputation on the site. Once you have several site-based reviews, you can move up to higher paying jobs.

Thumbtack takes you through the process of setting up your profile step by step, offer a long list of tips and tricks to help you get hired, and despite their growth, they have maintained a customer service that resembles one of a small mom and pop store, where you feel like a real priority whenever an issue or question arises. is a Platform for Painters, Photographers, Wedding Planners, Contractors, Writers and More


This book by Carrie Wilkerson provides great information for people looking to run their own business or be their own boss.

Tips for Clients Looking to Hire Professionals Through Thumbtack

Thumbtack is not just for professionals looking to grow their customer base, it is also for individuals looking to hire trustworthy professionals who can be trusted to complete the job.

Those using Thumbtack to find a professional for a job or task provide the staff at Thumbtack with a description of what is needed, what budget they have available for the project, as well as information such as how far they would travel to get the job done, a timeframe for the job and more. Individuals looking to hire are encouraged to provide as much information about the job as possible in order to get matched with the perfect professionals capable of completing the job.

If you are considering using Thumbtack to find qualified professionals for a particular job or project, here are some tips:

  1. Try to figure out a budget before asking for quotes - It costs the professionals money to submit a quote, so if you put down that you have not decided on a budget yet, you are potentially scaring away many qualified professionals who have no idea what to charge.
  2. Be as detailed as possible - In order for Thumbtack to sort through the thousands of thousands of professionals representing 400 plus different areas of work, the staff relies on customers to provide detailed information about their needs. The more details you provide, the more likely you are to find the right person for the job.
  3. If you hire someone and have them complete a job for you, leave a review - Thumbtack is a site that relies heavily on the reviews of former customers. Just like you felt browsing through a list of professionals you had never worked with before, so does every customer starting out on Thumbtack. Reviews add to a professional's reputation on the site, which ensures a strong community for professionals and clients alike.
  4. Trust your gut- At the end of the day, regardless of a person's profile, we all get some intuitive feeling about whether or not a person is fit for a job, or even whether or not they will be someone who is a pleasure to work with, or a nightmare. This is why it is crucial to trust your gut when it comes to hiring someone through any online service like Thumbtack.

© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal


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    • profile image

      John Branch IV 

      6 years ago

      For anyone else wondering. I've personally have had a wonderful time using Thumbtack. There are some small things I personally don't like, however they could possibly fix this by making some changes. However starting a new photography business, and moving to a new area Thumbtack has allowed me to build a portfolio, and land regular clients. Basically my business has started all from Thumbtack. For anyone starting out at a new business!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and useful. Thanks for sharing and voted up plus shared.


    • travmaj profile image


      6 years ago from australia

      Thank you for this. I found it fascinating and all credit to you for the success. Like Jodah it's probably not suitable for me but I shall be passing the info on.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Odenthal 

      6 years ago from Bridgewater

      Thumbtack takes no cut out of what you quote the individual, you pay one time to purchase credits used to send quotes, but they are reasonably priced and so far I have made like 300% of what I spent. They really are not like a lot of the sleazy companies out there trying to rob the freelancer. And anyone can leave a review, whether they worked with u thru thumbtack or not

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Kathleen, I've never heard of Having to bid on projects reminds me of the writing bid sites that are notorious for paying little to nothing.

      How do you get review on your profile before having been hired by a TT client? Does Thumbtack take a cut of what is paid to the 'professional'? How often are you paid and by whom? Thumbtack or the client? Without divulging personal information, are you being fairly compensated for your work?

    • jumper007 profile image

      Ashik Ur Rahman 

      6 years ago from Bangladesh

      Interesting topic. Like it very much. Thanks

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      6 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting, never heard of it. It sounds like it is worth a look. Thank you.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Odenthal 

      6 years ago from Bridgewater

      well that's the great thing jodah! you can sign up, create a profile, select your specialties and view potential clients and jobs all for free!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      6 years ago from Gondwana Land

      Interesting review Kathleen. I hadn't heard of Thumbtack before but it does sound like you have made a success of it, so well done. Maybe not suitable for me but I'll check it out.


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