Obviously when you create a website for your business one of the things that is important is SEO, how easy are you to find, who finds you, where do you rank on search sites. So after I created my bodiesbykelly.com website I wanted to see for myself how it all worked. Interestingly every time I googled "personal trainers in North Jersey" or "personal trainers in Haskell" or others towns, the result that kept coming to the top was thumbtack.
I was intrigued, so I entered their website. It's an interesting idea. If you are looking for a product, you tell thumbtack where you are located and what service you are looking for (house keepers, dog walkers...etc) and they send out that information to the service providers registered with them and you start to get quotes. One you have received your quotes you look through, see qualifications, reviews, profiles and you can choose to reach out to one of the providers or you don't.
I am on the other side of the equation. I am one of the service providers, so if people go on looking for personal trainers in my area I get an e-mail: Mary S is looking for a personal trainer in Anytown, USA. I get their age, their preferred location for working out, the frequency for the workouts...etc. I can then choose to pay a fee to submit a quote.
Having used the service for a couple of months now I think it's an interesting idea that still has some hiccups. The people going on to ask for quotes pay nothing. I understand to a certain extent that has to be the case but it makes it too easy for people to go on just information seeking without realizing that it costs the trainers to submit quotes. I have gotten far too many requests from people " 18 or younger" some as as young as 15 . Also, I have a lot of people looking for quotes, but they want to work out of their current gyms...equonox, planet fitness,..etc. These gyms are not going to allow outside trainers in. IN those cases you have to go with the trainers and the prices of the gyms you are working out of. Some never even look at the quotes that you send. IN that case thumbtack does refund the money but it gives you an idea of how seriously the people were looking.
My other concern is that I really do hope that people check the credentials and certifications of the personal trainers they are hiring. Thumbtack does not verify my certifications. In the state of NJ anyone can be a personal trainer and take your money to put you through a workout. But that is an easy way to spend hard earned money and never see results, or even worse get hurt. Price should definitely be the only criteria that someone takes into account when choosing a personal trainer. Certifications, training philosophy, experience should all rank as high when making that decision.
I have gotten two solid clients from thumbtack and need to follow up on another lead tonight. IN order to get those I have probably sent 30+ quotes. The return on investment is way worth it, it's all a numbers game. I screen pretty carefully who I choose to send quotes to, I am not the cheapest but I am competitively priced and so the results have been good.
I admit to frustrations, three times questions i have asked have been deleted for not meeting "guidelines" when they shouldn't have been. Their geographical mapping I think needs to be tweaked. As a personal trainer I am not going to travel to Brooklyn or Queens to train, and obviously trainers from there aren't going to travel to Paramus, and yet we are all sent the same "leads". But overall I think it's a good service that truly offers value to both sides of the coin, those looking for a service and those providing it, and that can be a tough challenge to achieve.
Check it out here for yourself. Let me know what you think .