When Joan Warren found Thumbtack, she had an established marriage and family therapy practice, but she wasn’t as busy as she wanted to be, seeing clients for just several hours a week. In just two years, she’s been hired more than 230 times on Thumbtack. Now, New York City-based Joan Warren Therapy has enough clients to fill Joan’s schedule several hours a day, six days a week. Here’s how she uses Thumbtack to find the clients she’s passionate about helping.
Why did you sign up with Thumbtack?
I was listed with marketing agencies and getting referrals, but I wasn’t as busy as I wanted to be. In 2015, a colleague suggested Thumbtack. I made a listing and immediately started getting clients. At times I would get five new clients in one day. In no time I went from working several hours a week, to working multiple hours a day, six days a week. I was ready for it.
How much of your new business comes from Thumbtack now?
I would say 75 percent. When I first started it was 80 percent. But it really is up there. The first half of this month alone I booked 10 new clients through Thumbtack. It’s amazing. I’m grateful to Thumbtack because the number of people and couples I’ve been able to help is the whole reason for being in this profession. It’s my purpose.
How did you create a profile that attracted clients so immediately?
I have a nice website that a colleague helped design and I had already carefully written out to reflect my services. It was easy to pull information from my site and plug it into Thumbtack.
I highlight how, due to my training, I can help a broad range of people. I explain I have a Masters degree both in counseling psychology and education, that I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist, and that I specialize in multiple modalities, allowing me to reach more people. That’s been my focus.
For new members, the great thing about Thumbtack is you can put what you want on there, the site doesn’t require excessive information.
Any tips for evolving your profile as your business grows on the site?
Address the most common requests for help that you receive from your clients in your profile. I hear so many clients say, “I feel like I’m walking on eggshells,” or “We’ve lost our connection,” that I now ask those questions directly in my profile. My profile reads, “Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells? Do minor issues lead to major conflicts?” I ask them what I know many of them are experiencing.
How do you handle reviews?
Before Thumbtack, I never had reviews. It just wasn’t something that people did for therapists. But when I got on Thumbtack and realized the role reviews play in getting work, I followed Thumbtack’s suggestion to ask people I had treated prior to Thumbtack for reviews. So I reached out to two couples and one individual I had treated and had strong relationships with. I said, “I’m getting listed and reviews are really important, could you help?” I’m grateful that Thumbtack let me import reviews and that help me bring in more people.
Another great thing about Thumbtack is when I get awards like Top Pro I can put them on my website.
Any tips for other therapists?
Especially if you’re a woman, be clear that you are open to both perspectives (if it’s a heterosexual couple) and that your sessions will reflect both sides. I’m very structured in the first session and don’t make it about one or the other.
Why do you love your job?
I have couples who come in who are silent and distant and they’re talking about divorce. But they haven’t worked on their issues yet. It’s so rewarding to help people gain a deeper understanding of what is going on, and see what the underlying issues are. We work on what to do differently, how to show up, and how to move forward to stay in the relationship and be happy.
Conflict can be a signal that a couple must address relationship issues with more than silence, and the fact that people even come in at all deserves credit. Even when someone steps out of the relationship, I still can help them stay together if we sit down together and see what was underneath that. Have I helped couples stay together after cheating? Yes. As completely painful as that is — it takes time to settle down that trauma in the brain for the person who feels the victim — it can be worked on if both parties can work and change.