Elizabeth Trujillo sees Thumbtack as the matchmaker between her business and potential clients. Customers want great web design and photography, she wants their work, and Thumbtack helps them find each other. Since joining the site a year ago, she’s widened the reach of her company BlushPix and grown her business 70 percent. From Coachella to Vanity Fair, her photography is getting noticed and she’s now a Top Pro on Thumbtack. Here’s how Thumbtack lets her expand her business.
What got you using Thumbtack?
In September 2015 I was thrilled to find a site where I can connect with potential clients easily and effectively! It is always very important that I am right in front of my client base. Using Thumbtack is like true love: You’re both looking for each other and Thumbtack is that perfect matchmaker for exactly who and what you need!
I built my profile in about 10 minutes after looking over the website’s policies and calling the support team to be sure I was signing up with a company that cares as much about their clientele as I do!
What’s been the biggest learning curve in your year on the the site?
How to word quotes. When I first started, there were little tips for writing quotes, but I didn’t know how to go about it and I didn’t know what other pros were saying. Fortunately, I had high scores in my persuasive writing classes in college so that helped immensely!
Now I know how to word things. Quotes have to be short and sweet. It’s important that clients know what they’re getting. Cater to their needs, make sure they’re comfortable, and make sure they know what they’re getting for the price.
There’s a certain magic and special touch to it. Make sure they feel the warmth in your writing, because it’s difficult to get the right impression of a company or freelancer by just words on a monitor. Just be different and inviting.
What percentage of your work is from Thumbtack?
Around 40 percent. I am currently expanding since most of my clients have heard about me by word-of-mouth or have said, “hello” and took a business card during a shoot with another customer. I think the ratio of quotes to responses should at least be 50 percent. This way you know you’re in the game while keeping you aware of how competitive it can be with other pros on Thumbtack.
What strategies have helped you succeed on Thumbtack?
- Read the request and grasp what they really need. Avoid sending a generic, cookie-cutter quote you may have sent to countless others.
- Be simple, yet specific. People want to know what they are getting for their money—no one likes surprise add-ons when the invoice is presented.
- Only reply to requests that completely fit what you’re willing to accommodate. If the request isn’t in your normal price range, let it pass to another pro. Quality and price should be evenly matched.
What have been some of your favorite Thumbtack jobs?
I love all my jobs, they’re like my children! I do headshots and it’s so rewarding because people get jobs from my pictures. Modeling clients who break into new agencies, business cards, I love when I’m able to portray personality through a picture. Jobs turn into more jobs. Recently I did a few headshots for a real estate agency, and the people loved working with me so now I’ve been doing real estate photography.
Any pro tips for other photographers?
Include photos in the quotes that pertain to their request. Sometimes potential customers don’t click on your profile, so you should show them your style in the quote. That way you don’t have to hope they click on your profile to see your media.
Any general advice for pros just getting started?
Don’t expect your first quote to get a response. Be sure to write a few of your quotes out in a Word document before sending them out. That way, when you’re beginning you’re not intimidated by other pros who already have many templates saved, already filled in, and beat you to the punch.
What role does Thumbtack play in your success?
My business has grown about 70 percent since joining. I’m very grateful. I now accept credit cards and have a brand new traveling studio for traveling to the client if they need. I’ve been able to send quotes to a larger volume of requests. Thumbtack has groundbreaking technology to connect the perfect client with the perfect pro. These are clients I would not otherwise be able to get in touch with. I appreciate Thumbtack for giving me that opportunity.
What other tools do you use to market your business or find customers?
I recently started an Instagram account. I know it seems late to join the social media train, but I promise it’s never too late! I’ve gotten a few connections on there. I have many friends in the photography industry, and that helps. I work seven days a week, and some days I’ll be editing portraits in Starbucks and land three jobs just by speaking kindly to others and booking them same-day! I’m also getting a car wrap for my company car, because I travel throughout San Diego, Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles County for work.
What’s the number one secret to being a Thumbtack Top Pro?
Be consistent. If you understand your client base and know where you get the best feedback, respond to those kinds of quotes before you reply to requests that are not in your normal service range. Yes, everyone wants an overall pro, but they want the niche specialist as well.
A way I specialize is after a shoot, I send every single photo via email. I let the client choose their favorites, and have them choose between five editing options. Essentially, they choose how their photos will turn out. Not everyone loves cool tones, or all warm tones. That way I can completely satisfy each person.