Eric Evans joined Thumbtack after seeing it work for a competitor. He’s dropped all of his other marketing because of the low financial output to high customer return he gets from Thumbtack. He’s been revolutionizing the locksmithing world one key at a time with his company Phoenix EZ-Keys—where his focus is a well-organized business of clean-cut professionals. We asked him to share how he builds his repeat client base through Thumbtack.
How did you get started with Thumbtack?
I started on Thumbtack in 2013. I saw my cross-town colleague and competitor using it, so I stumbled onto the site. When I joined, I started getting daily leads immediately. I’ve tried other services like Homeadvisor, but Thumbtack gives me the most bang for the buck.
Anything you wish you could tell your 2013 self that you’ve since learned?
I wish I had known about it sooner is all. That’s the main thing—we get leads, it’s fairly inexpensive, and if you don’t want to respond you don’t have to and no money goes out of your pocket.
What percentage of your work is from Thumbtack?
Probably 20 percent. We had a big existing client base, and it’s important that we continue to take care of our existing clients as well as adding new business. We get a lot of referrals from any one job, so it just multiplies.
What other tools do you use to market your business or find customers?
Our website. I stopped pouring money into SEO. I stopped pouring money into Google Ads. I wasn’t getting the return that Thumbtack gives me. I am active in my community and give back, and people notice.
What are your top tips for expanding your business on Thumbtack?
It seems to me I get a better response rate when I send an open-ended question as opposed to just hard and fast numbers. I find I get better and more leads by building rapport. It also helps me know in a better way how I can help them.
Do you use the Thumbtack mobile app? And if so, how?
I do, all the time. I use the push notifications and text. I absolutely use it to send quotes, that’s the only way I do it. I do wish I could see the number of quotes that have been submitted by the other pros.
Any tips for writing winning quotes on Thumbtack for other pros?
Use open-ended questions. Be short and concise. Putting in too much detail can be overwhelming. Engage the customer by sending them a request for more information.
Do you have any standout jobs from Thumbtack you’d like to share?
Honestly, we’re just thankful for every job we get and we kind of treat each customer that way.
Any specific advice for other locksmiths on Thumbtack?
Be honest. I have seen a lot of people that come in with low number quotes, but when they go do a site visit, it’s a different charge or there are hidden fees. Be open and honest and your business will grow.
Any other advice for other professionals just getting started on Thumbtack?
Don’t think of people as one time customers. They generate referrals and they will be repeat clientele if you are honest, respectful, and clean.
What’s the most critical element to succeeding on Thumbtack as a Top Pro?
The reviews are crucial. It can’t just be one or two or reviews. And just making sure that you push your position on Thumbtack. All of our invoices go out with our badges and awards. Everybody seems to look at reviews these days. My kids are 7, 9, and 15 and they read reviews for everything. It’s the way the world is going. You have to have a positive online presence.