I love sharing information with clients and peers, but please don't listen to a word I say. Instead, if something resonates with you? Then happily check it out, first, to see if it's right for you.
Quotes are free to the public, and service providers pay for the opportunity to provide quotes.
As a massage therapist in private practice where traditional advertising just does not work, the idea of tossing a few dollars at a real person who is actually seeking services in my field, works for me. I say that, without having gained a single new client in the two weeks I have been aboard.
Thumbtack came to my attention through an unknown fellow professional on LinkedIn. My instincts said not to ignore this one, so I Googled and BBB’d. It became immediately apparent that Thumbtack is one of those companies that sparks heated, childish debate; there is either love or hate, and surely nothing in between. Groupon sparks similar "debates."
When there is heated controversy, my reaction is to not react, but to investigate. I don’t just read other people’s opinions and pick a side, I immerse myself in the product and learn as much as I can by using it and evaluating every step of the way. I then foolishly attempt to bring rational conversation to the table.
There is a commonality between Thumbtack and Groupon and there is no simpler or truer way to say it: As a service provider or participating business, if you don’t have your sh** together, getting involved with either company is going to be a rough ride, at best.
Both Thumbtack and Groupon load you up with real, potential clients. If you can not reel the client in and keep them, it is essentially your fault. With at least one exception: When the goal of the potential client is finding the cheapest price or the biggest bargain, then the only service providers who are going to get business are the sellouts.
I said good things about Groupon while they still had integrity. When they lost their integrity and potentially contributed to the reduction of my profession’s reputation and ability to earn a living wage, I had to walk away, and I did so not silently.
At the moment, Thumbtack appears to have integrity. The more their service professionals have "it" together, the more respect and attention Thumbtack gives them. I can respect that.
What I do not know, yet, is if Thumbtack is seeking out bargain hunters or enlightened hunters. May they maintain their integrity and contribute to the betterment of society by focusing on the latter.
Update on Monday, May 26, 2014 at 1:35PM:
From March 16 to May 26, 2014, a little over two months, I received 304 leads (now renamed to "customer requests") from Thumbtack.
Of those 304 leads, the majority were not local to me. The Lower East Side may be in Manhattan, but no client is going to want to travel from there to Manhattan Valley to see me, even if it is only a few miles as the crow flies. Same is true for just-across-the-river New Jersey; the George Washington Bridge is costly and involves long waits just to get into Manhattan and it is the closest NJ entrance to my business.
And therein is one of TT's problems: The inability for therapists or clients to choose by one or more zipcodes.
Of the remaining customer requests that were actually local to me: Many only wanted a male therapist; some only wanted 0-30 minutes of time for a one-time visit only; most did not say anything about themselves or their needs in the free-form text box offered to them; many wanted something asap; and a few only wanted relaxation and "emotional healing."
I do remedial bodywork by advanced appointment only. That left 12 potential clients out of 304 who were looking for something specific to be resolved, whether an injured shoulder or knee, or neck pain. I submitted a professional looking and sounding quote with an email written as advised by TT's marketing team. Every quote offered these clients the free BioSyntonie healing treatment that I offer all newcomers, so they could get a combination session of massage and energy healing for only $70. A pretty good deal. One of the customer requests came from a person seeking alternative healing, so her quote was $0 as BioSyntonie is most definitely alternative healing. One of the quotes was not read within 48-hours, so TT refunded me.
I understand the fears new clients might have in choosing a therapist they can trust. However, despite my very good reputation, my close proximity to these clients, easy online booking, a website that would calm anyone's fears about me or my work, and testimonials about my skills, and the great deal I was offering, not one potential client accepted. Not even the lady who could have tried my services for free.
So, Thumbtack works to make sure providors are up to snuff, but I am wondering what they are doing to make sure potential clients are actually looking for a therapist and not just playing with the software? Or kicking the tires, as some other TT reviewers had suggested. Many providor reviewers think the leads are all fake, as in someone working for TT is sending them to entice us to spend money. I don't believe that is true as I have read the BBB reports on this. But, I do believe that it is easy to imagine it is true.
It is possible that Thumbtack will succeed, but I doubt it will be the go-to for people looking for massage therapy in New York City. This is not unusual. NYC may be big, but inside, we are more like many little villages. I suspect we shun giant one-size-fits-all directories and prefer something more local, unique, and quirky.
Solutions to everyday stress involve identifying where we are emotionally unhappy and then taking action to correct or curb the circumstances involved, and that means finding out what’s at the root of a given problem, before seeking solutions. I love this kind of problem-solving and happily share for those seeking similar unique yet ubiquitous solutions. Consequently, the topics here may vary within health, lifestyle, and work/business.
Su, M, W, Th, 12-8 by appointment
Located on Manhattan's Upper West Side in Manhattan Valley
203 W 108th St
New York, NY 10025
No sales or marketing calls.
Prevention, Pain Management, Pain Solutions, Rehabilitation, Special Needs, Body as Instrument (Singers, Dancers, Athletes, Brainiacs, etc.), Stress Reduction, Anti-aging, Sports, Geriatric, Prenatal, etc.
The word massage denotes Paula's Fasciae Therapy (connective tissue therapy) which integrates and innovates based on: Swedish medical massage, Neuromuscular therapy, Trigger point therapy, Acupressure, Shiatsu, various vibrational therapies: Massage cupping by machine, Tok Sen, gentle Gua sha, and BioSyntonie.
Paula's Body Shop
Paula Mae, LMT
Copyright © 2003 - 2019
All rights reserved.