I recently had a heads up from a good friend (Deb Freuh) on an Internet site that could be very helpful to those looking to promote and grow their business. The site is http://www.thumbtack.com/. It presents itself as a marketplace for local services, where those who offer services can list themselves, and those looking for services in their area can find them.
The service is free for those searching for someone to do a job. The search is done by the site, and the individual asking for the search is notified by e-mail when someone bids on the job. All you have to do is list the service you are looking for, where you need it done (i.e. in your home, or whether you are willing to travel for the service), and how the service professional should contact you.
Service professionals are listed on Google, have a permanent profile, and auto-post to Craig’s List. To create your profile, you list very basic information on a form on the Thumbtack site: business name, main phone number, website, description of services, and headline for your listing. The service provider has the option of listing their complete address, or simply the city and state. Under travel preferences the service provider indicates whether they will travel to their client, whether the client travels to them, or whether the service is offered only by phone or Internet. The service provider has the option of indicating whether they charge an hourly rate, and the methods of payment they accept (cash, check, Pay Pal or credit card).
According to the site, direct leads from Thumbtack are free, as are leads from Craigslist. There is also an opt in leads program.
Deb agreed to allow me to list the link to her profile on the Thumbtack site so that readers could get an idea about what to expect: http://www.thumbtack.com/GPS-for-Your-Life-Intuitive-Coach-Certified-Life-Coach-Dixon-IL/service/189302.
I cannot personally recommend this site, because I have never worked with it. However, after reviewing it, I do feel that it is a viable way for readers to offer their services. It is one more way that we can put ourselves out before the largest number of people. I was impressed with the amount of space on the profile for the service provider to explain to the public what they do, and to provide a mini FAQ, as Deb has done.
One further note on Thumbtack.com, written by someone who is knowledgeable about the service directory business: http://www.readresults.com/comments/2011/03/thumbtack-com-new-entry-in-service-directory-business/.
© June 2011 Bonnie Cehovet