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Thumbtack For Photographers – It’s Frustrating! But It’s A Numbers Game!

T TackAs I write this post concerning Thumbtack, I have Facebook comments from two photographer friends concerning Thumbtack opened up on my other monitor. Many of my posts are inspired by things that go on around me along with my personal experiences. Trust me, I have a few experiences with Thumbtack.

As of this post, I have been on Thumbtack for 19 months, so I have formed my own opinion. That opinion does cross over into the Facebook conversation of my two photographer friends.

1) I have 98 MARKED AS HIRED as of this message, so I've done a few gigs on Thumbtack. Guess what, not everyone that MARKED ME AS HIRED actually did business with me. That number is low, but it's also a reality of Thumbtack. Yes, you can be MARKED AS HIRED and still not get business.

2) Thumbtack is a numbers game. You have to provide a lot of quotes to close just one gig. It's the nature of the beast. You have to accept that or not use the platform.

3) Many (actually most it seems) will click on your quote/message but will NEVER actually look at your profile, your website or even communicate with you at all. NADA/ZERO/ZILCH Again, it's the nature of the beast. You have to accept that or not use the platform. 19 months on Thumbtack has taught me that.

4) Thumbtack makes money whether you do or not. For example, on the low end, a headshot is about $3 to quote. If 5 photographers quote, that's $15 for Thumbtack. That number is much higher on other things like events and architectural which could be roughly $24 to $35 +/- if 5 photographers quote. 5 is the maximum number of quotes thus the use of 5 in my examples. What can be frustrating is knowing that Thumbtack made all the money and not a single photographer was hired especially when people check that they hired someone outside of Thumbtack.

So what's the solution?

You must accept that Tumbtack is a numbers game, that not everyone that marks hired will actually do business with you, that communication from those requesting services is generally pretty non-existent and that Thumbtack is going to make money on people submitting quotes whether any of the photographers that reply with quotes are hired or not. It's the nature of the beast. You have to accept that or not use the platform.

In closing, don't assume!

Don't assume that because I have a physical studio outside of my home in a business district that I close the majority of headshot quotes that I provide. NOPE, I'm right in there with everything stated above. It's a numbers game and I have decided to accept it along with everything else that I mentioned above. Why? Glad you asked why 🙂

For me, it's MATH and MATH is part of the numbers game. For example, if I quote on 5 headshots that costs me around $15 or even 8 headshot that costs me around $24 and close just one of them, I am fine with the math based on what I consistently get for headshots. Thumbtack, for me, is CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS. At the end of the day, am I making money on Thumbtack or wasting my time? Do I put more dollars in at the end of the day than I get out? Oh, and that's based over a period of time and numerous quotes not just a bad week of quoting.

FYI, I'm still Thumbtack, so as frustrating as it is, Thumbtack is NOT a complete waste of time for me because I accept #'s 1 to 4 above. As long as the math works in my favor over time and not Thumbtack's, I'm fine. There are days that Thumbtack wins and days that I win.

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David Williams

Short Bio About The Author: I'm David Williams a professional commercial photographer focusing on corporate and business clients with some personal branding, lifestyle photography in the mix. My love for photography began in late 1981 while still in High School. I started making money with his camera in 1982. Brenda, my wife, and I started working together in photography in 1988 shortly after we met. Brenda and I married in 1989 and have two adult daughters. Please be sure to get a quote for services if needed. Call or Text: 919.723.8453. Please reach out to connect with me on LinkedIn.