Tiffany Cruz is taking over Thumbtack. She’s been hired nearly 500 times by clients seeking her professional resume writing services since starting on the site in September 2015. She launched her business as she joined Thumbtack, so for those just starting out—here are her secrets for leveraging Thumbtack to build her business and help her clients build better lives.
What’s crucial for success on Thumbtack?
Active communication. Regardless if you’re the best at what you do or still learning your trade, you have to communicate with clients. Keeping them in the loop is so helpful—it builds good relationships and it builds return clientele.
What do you wish you had known when you first started?
I wish I had known the value of my service. Not just monetarily, but also the impact my service can have on people’s careers, the direction of their lives, and their ability to be able to care for their families. As soon as I understood that, I was able to convey it to my clients and deepen my reach.
What percentage of your work is from Thumbtack?
At least 70 percent. Of course it fluctuates, but nearly three quarters is from Thumbtack. The rest is from word of mouth, which touches me, because it speaks for my work. Thumbtack has been amazing and really opened up a whole new avenue for me personally and professionally.
How did you get started on Thumbtack?
I discovered Thumbtack through online research. A year and a half ago, I was looking for sites that would drive business to my resume writing service. It really is an awesome way to market your business.
What are your tips for expanding business on Thumbtack?
Be flexible. It’s so important. Especially if you’re launching a new business, you have to adjust your message to what suits your clients and what they want. Starting something new takes so much work and so many different tries. You just have to keep reformatting, be flexible, and adaptive to what clients and your field needs.
On that note, don’t give up. There are always slow days followed by slower weeks, but then you’ll have a great week. These fluctuations are normal when starting your business. There’ll be days where it’s raining clients, then days where no one calls. That’s where being adaptable and flexible comes in. When work isn’t coming in, it’s your cue to try new things, reach out to clients, maybe follow up more, or make phone calls instead of email. It requires communicating with clients and getting them the product or service they want.
Are you on the Thumbtack mobile app?
Definitely. I get texts and emails from clients while I’m on the go. I like to get quotes out immediately because there are a million other writers out there who I am competing with. When I get a notification coming in, it means potential business.
Any tips for writing great quotes?
I definitely think you need to be priced competitively. That’s ultimately what it comes down to, is price. Often clients have a number in mind, so know your competition and be reasonable in your rates.
Beyond pricing, the key to landing quotes is follow up, follow up, follow up. People are bombarded by their five quotes so quickly it can be overwhelming, but then a lot of pros don’t follow up. A good portion of the jobs I get are just from me following up and communicating with the client.
What are some of your most rewarding jobs on Thumbtack?
I enjoy jobs that challenge me. I had a client who was not super happy with the product I initially gave them. This doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, I really put in the work to fix it. Most of my communication is via email, but I was on the phone over an hour with this person, explaining my work, and helping turn around their frustration, and figuring out what they needed. It brought me joy to have that person then be really happy with the finished product and end up giving me a five star review.
Another great challenge was the first time I wrote for an executive who was shooting for a Fortune 500 company, high up position. With my resume help, he ended up landing the interview. It was both challenging and rewarding to work with someone who had such high expectations. It means my skill level is increasing, and I get to learn, too.
What other tools do you use to market your business or find customers?
Yelp and Google ads, Facebook ads, print ads, direct mailers—honestly, a variety of avenues, but ultimately Thumbtack has been the biggest driver.
Any tips for other professional resume writers on Thumbtack?
Get certified. I’m a certified professional resume writer (CPRW) which adds to my credentials and accountability. It demonstrates to your clients that you’ve gone through the testing and you’re ready and able to help them.
Any advice for other professionals just getting started on Thumbtack?
Make sure your profile is completed, thorough, and consistent with the brand you want to portray. If you have a website, make sure there’s similar verbiage on your website and Thumbtack profile. You really need consistency with your marketing. Maintain active communication with clientele. Follow-up right away. Give your clients as many options for communication as you have: text, call, email. Being flexible brings you business.
How much has Thumbtack contributed to your success?
It’s everything. Without Thumbtack, I would have to go back to working a full-time job in an office somewhere. It’s so critical. Besides the partnership and SEO it offers, being able to have the profile up and accessible to my clients increases by credibility and gives them access to my reviews.