For many years, Selysa Love was on the road — from Chile to Mexico to Peru — and she had no intention of slowing down. Then one morning she woke up and was done. She was ready to go home, she just needed to figure out how she was going to earn a living once she got there. Figuring that out required one more trip, this time to India for yoga teacher training and Reiki healing lessons. When she got back, Selysa started a wellness business that incorporates everything she learned in her travels, from Reiki healing to yoga and more. Here’s how Thumbtack helped her grow her Top Pro business in a few short years and what she’s learned in the process.
How did you first find out about Thumbtack?
I consulted a friend of mine who taught yoga and was really successful when I decided I wanted to be a teacher. She told me about Thumbtack, about how to get hired at studios, and gave me a lot of general advice on how to get hired. But the only tip that worked was Thumbtack. So I stuck with it. For a while, it was 100 percent of my business. Now around half of my new clients come from Thumbtack.
What’s the most critical element to succeeding on Thumbtack as a Top Pro?
I have to keep a constant check on my mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being — as a yoga teacher you’re giving a lot of yourself in sessions. I need to be anywhere between 80 to 100 percent capacity to do my work very well. When I’m at 100 percent and I get a new client, they leave this session feeling completely restored and renewed. And that’s where my best reviews and longest lasting clients come from.
I imagine the same is true for pros who do massage or psychotherapy, any type of counseling, or any type of work where they’re holding emotional space for others — you really need to take care of yourself because if you don’t, you can’t begin taking care of someone else’s emotions.
What do you wish you had known when you first started on Thumbtack?
I wish that I’d known that the speed of your follow-up plays a big role in whether or not you’ll be hired. I’ve noticed that if I respond in five minutes or less — because I’ve already built my profile out and I have so many reviews — I’m usually going to get hired. That’s especially true, I think, when you’re dealing with a younger customer base who move really fast.
What are your best tips for getting great Thumbtack reviews?
What I love about Thumbtack is that I can get reviews from previous clients. Not every forum has that ability, which makes it way harder to get started. I already had a couple of clients through word of mouth when I signed up on Thumbtack, and I literally reached out to every single one and asked if they wouldn’t mind writing me a review. If I have a client who I’ve been working with for a couple of months and they never responded to the Thumbtack review follow-up and I know that they would have good things to say, I’ll ask them individually.
What goes into a great Thumbtack profile?
I think it’s important for people to be able to read a little bit about my background and moments that were defining in my journey because it gives them something to relate to. Most people really like the fact that I did my training in India, so I use that to my advantage.
I’m also clear about my prices and scheduling policies. I offer a first-time discount, but I point customer’s to my profile to understand my general pricing and how much I charge.
Any tips for taking a really great headshot?
My sister was the photographer, actually! She’s a professional photographer and the way that she captured the light and color really captures the energy I want clients to see. I’m in the industry of healing arts, so I want to look warm, welcoming and inviting.
How do you pick the photos and videos you include on your profile?
I wanted to show basic poses and also challenging poses, so that everyone could find a level of, “Oh I can do that!” in the photos. I am a little bit spoiled because yoga photography is such a big thing on Instagram right now. There are thousands of yoga accounts, so for me it’s very easy to find good examples and bad examples of how to take yoga photos and then follow that.
What are some of your most memorable and rewarding jobs on Thumbtack?
I have one client who’s an elementary school teacher. He gets Reiki with me weekly and it’s been amazing to see his progress. When he first came to me, he had a lot of stress and a lot on his plate. He was having a really hard time managing work-life balance and finding peacefulness and moments of stillness. After working with him for many months, it’s just awesome how the way he feels has changed. Before, he would walk out of the Reiki session like, “I feel better,” and now he walks out of the Reiki sessions, like, “Wow I feel a deep sense of inner peace.”
Are you seeing any big trends now or anything out of the ordinary?
This is not at all what I expected, but what I’ve realized is that people are a lot more willing to pay a lot of money for a service that can only be done one-on-one than for a service that can be done in a group class for $10.
What has Thumbtack let you do that you wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise?
Oh my gosh — a lot! Thumbtack has allowed me to pay my rent, to eat, to continue to do what I love as my profession and not get some job as a waitress to make ends meet. That’s how most yoga teachers start, they work part-time in a flexible job and part-time as a yoga teacher, and it takes years to get onto studios’ rosters to actually support yourself.