How To Get The Most From Your Money Using Thumbtack

Thumbtack

What is Thumbtack?

Thumbtack is an online service for local professionals which allows them to obtain leads and find work.  After seeing your profile in search results, customers can message you, request a call or estimate, or ask for your availability. Today I’ll show you how to get the most from your money using Thumbtack.

Thumbtack can be  a a great tool for small business and independent contractors.  It can also become quite an expense if not done right.  As a Thumbtack user for more than 5 years myself I had to find a way to make Thumbtack bring in a few jobs without taking the profit.

The Problem

Even with many five star reviews and hundreds of hires I have found it to be quite difficult to actually win the job.  By strictly limiting the hours you allow for promotion you can make yourself more visible and greatly increase your chance of gaining some new clients.

Thumbtack can be helpful to businesses such as Painters, Handymen, Carpet Cleaners, Event Planners, Wedding Photographers and more.  You can find clients both in your local area and if you wish Nationally.

Is It Free?

Thumbtack is not free. Thumbtack charges pros to find work and it can become quite expensive if not done correctly.  You can end paying for “dead” leads, and spending as much or more than you make. Whether or not you are hired for a particular job Thumbtacks wins.  Each request typically bring the customer up to 5 quotes.  Each of these professionals have paid to quote yet its possible that none of them are hired.  In this case Thumbtack still makes quite a profit on your loss.  The trick is to get customer leads from Thumbtack and keep your expense down.

Here is how Thumbtack makes money:

Promotion

Professionals can pay to promote themselves.  Once promoted professionals appear first before non promoting professionals.  You are able to set whatever budget you like.  You also receive a discount of 20% when you bid on a job.

Pros                                                                                       Cons

Higher visibility.                                                      Can get expensive.
20% off quotes.                                                     Does not guarantee work.
Potential clients will reach                               Additional expense
out to you however many
of these jobs may be out of scope.

Bids

You can pass on promoting yourself and still gain additional work via Thumbtack.  The service offers the option of bidding on jobs without the 20% discount you would receive if promoting yourself.  You may not receive as many potential leads, and the jobs may not be exactly match what your looking for as far as location.

Refunds

You may find that some jobs you bid on return no response – even when promoted and a potential client has specifically requested you.  I often send a quote to a potential customer that requested me specifically because of my using Thumbtack’s promotion option and never hear back.

While it really makes no sense that a customer would reach out to you for a quote and then never respond back – it does happen frequently.  My guess is these folks either resolved their issue or found another professional before you responded.

The good news is that Thumbtack does refund as long as the refund request is within their refund guidelines.  Don’t expect a refund simply because you were not hired.  However if the request turns out to be shady, or the work turns out to be different than what you quoted to do you may be in luck.

My Suggestion 

I use Thumbtack promotion.  But very sparingly.   When setting up your promotion set the hours to just 2 or 3 a day to start.  This will greatly reduce the number of leads you receive but will also keep your expense down.  Although I am open 12 hours a day I promote myself on Thumbtack only from 7 am to 11 am.

Add your hours

Whether you decide to use Thumbtack promote or not you will see potential jobs under the JOBS tab.  Be cautious!  I have found about 90% of the leads which appear under the “Jobs” tab to be out of scope.  Typically leads listed under jobs are leads which do not exactly fit your criteria, but may be close.  I have found most leads under the Jobs tab to be location specific – the customer either wants to come to you or you to them. I find myself declining about 95% of these requests.

Conclusion

This service can be a great tool to find new customers. If you use it in a smart way you can find new clients without going broke or spending more than you will make. If you own a small business its definitely worth trying.  Follow these simple tips and get the most from your money using Thumbtack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What To Do On Your Computer When You Are Bored In Class


Read a magazine, comic book or novel secretly.
 Pick a book or magazine that’s the same size as or smaller than your textbook, and hide it behind the book so you can see it. Remember to look up occasionally to see if your teacher is walking around and to pretend like you’re paying attention.

Learn to spin a pencil over your thumb. Use a smooth, weighted pen or pencil to start, and figure out how to balance it on your fingers. Then, hold the pencil between your thumb and pointer finger, and use your middle finger to push the pencil around your thumb. Be sure to catch it as it spins back around into your palm![

  • This skill takes some practice, so it’s great for killing time in class.
  • Beware that you’ll probably drop your pencil frequently when you’re first learning how to spin it. It may be best to only try this if you’re sitting near the back of the class!

Make a game out of the class with a friend. Entertain yourself by counting how many students are wearing a school sweatshirt, or try to guess which color car will drive by the window next. If you’re sitting by a friend, quietly make bets on what you think will happen. Try to keep your games lighthearted and fun. Remember to be polite and respectful to your classmates, especially if they’re paying attention and involved in the lesson.

Chew gum or eat a piece of hard candy. If your teacher allows food in class, pop a piece of gum or candy in when you start to get bored. This will give you something to do and can help keep you awake. You can even make a game by closing your eyes and trying to guess the flavor if you have a few different candy flavors.[

Tip: Eating sweet candy can give you a mini sugar rush, which will help you stay awake through the class.

Play with a computer or tablet if you’re allowed to. For computer-based lessons or advanced classes, you might be able to have a laptop or tablet to take notes and do exercises. During a boring class, pull up social media or open up a simple game, like Minesweeper or Snake, to keep yourself entertained. Remember that the people sitting around you will be able to see your screen, so avoid browsing on questionable sites.[

  • If your school doesn’t allow laptops or tablets in class, be sure to keep yours out of sight. It’s very difficult to hide a tablet or laptop, and if you get caught, your teacher might confiscate it.
  • Remember to turn the sound off on your tablet or laptop so you don’t disturb other students. If you’re in a computer class, ask your teacher if you’re able to wear headphones.

Text your friends secretly during class. This is a riskier move if your school doesn’t allow students to use phones during class. Try to keep your phone concealed by holding it under your desk, in your pocket, or behind a book. Stick to short messages that you can type quickly without looking, like “So bored in class.”[

Tip: In case your teacher comes around, make sure you have a place to hide your phone out of sight.


Do easy homework for another class.
 If you got assigned a simple worksheet for French class or a few easy math problems for Geometry, lay that work over your notes. Do your homework inconspicuously and quickly, and remember to look up sometimes to make it look like you’re taking notes for class.[

  • If you’re worried about having your homework confiscated, ask your teacher if it’s okay to do the homework in their class. Some teachers might only allow this if you’ve already finished the lesson or work for their class that day.

Jot down a to-do list or a weekly schedule. If you have a lot going on in your classes, use boring class time to write a list of things you need to do to clear your mind. Try making a time-line of things to do for an upcoming project or a study schedule for your exams. You can make different lists for each of your classes or just make one longer list for all of your classes and activities.

  • Making lists can encourage creativity and help get rid of anxiety about upcoming assignments or tests.
  • Keep in mind that you can make lists about pretty much anything. If you want to make a list about your top 10 favorite movies or books, you can!

Use colored pencils or pens to doodle and decorate your notes. If you feel like you’ve taken a million notes and just can’t pay attention anymore, go back through and review your notes. Highlight important parts, underline information you need to know for a test, and draw pictures of important figures and ideas. When you look back over your notes to study, your doodles and markings can help you remember the information.

  • This will keep you entertained and engaged with the lesson so you’re still doing a bit of studying!
  • You can also draw geometric patterns, circles, or even random shapes in the margins of your notes. Most teachers won’t mind a little doodling since it keeps you occupied and you don’t disturb the class.

Write a short story in your notebook. Come up with a story about your favorite fictional character, your favorite celebrity, or even yourself! Keep your pen or pencil on the paper and let your thoughts roam free to write a short story. Remember to look up occasionally so that your teacher thinks you’re writing notes for class.[

Tip: If you enjoy writing, carry a separate notebook with you that’s just for short stories. Then, whenever you’re bored in class, you can pull out the notebook and pick up the plot where you left off!

Take very detailed notes to stay focused on the lesson. If you know what the teacher is talking about, the lesson will be much less boring. Print out the syllabus and, if they are available, any visual aids for the class. Use these and your textbook to help you take notes as your teacher speaks.[

  • Remember to write down any questions that you might have about the lesson. You can ask your teacher for clarification at the end of the lesson or after class.
  • You can structure your notes in whatever method works best for you. Whether it’s using bullet points, writing in shorthand, making headings and subheadings, or all of the above, you can make your notes work for you.

Making Your Notes Exciting

Use a pen that’s your favorite color.

Add bullet points to make lists of important information.

Draw pictures and charts of complex topics to make them easier to understand.

Type up your notes after class to review the information.

Listen carefully to the teacher and follow along with the lesson. Even if it’s not the most fascinating lesson, you may save yourself time on the homework or grief on the tests later. If you’re too bored or tired to take notes, simply watch the teacher while they talk or read along in the book.[

  • If you have trouble paying attention in general, ask to be seated at the front of the classroom. That way, you’ll know the teacher can see you.

Participate in class discussion and ask questions. The time will pass much faster when you are engaged in the material. Ask about the assigned text and what you haven’t understood, or offer counterpoints to someone else’s opinion in class. Offer to volunteer in group work or demonstrations to show your teacher that you’re engaged in the lesson.

  • When you need to ask a question, make eye contact with your teacher and raise your hand to let them know. Most teachers won’t be upset if you ask for clarification during the lesson, since they want their students to understand the material.

Use group work to talk to friends and classmates. In some classes, teachers will allow students to work in pairs or small groups on projects, worksheets, or even homework. Take time to talk to your classmates about the lesson, and ask them questions if you’re confused or lost. If you finish your work with extra time, you can talk about whatever you want![

  • If you know a lot about the lesson topic, you can also try to help other students who might still be learning the information. This will help keep you engaged and interested in the topic.

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If you are looking for a home security camera you cant wrong with this one. I have had this one for about 4 months myself now and it has worked perfectly. This camera has full pan and tilt, motion tracking, and night vision.

You can view the camera from your phone anywhere you are. The camera can send you notifications when it tracks movement. It also has 2 way audio although the quality of the audio leaves a lot to be desired. You can even share the camera with anyone in the world and allow them to view it whenever they wish.

Its very easy to setup and most people can get this camera going in less than 10 minutes. If you have always wanted a security camera, whether to protect your home, monitor the baby, or just for fun this $37.98 price tag just cannot be beat.

Check it now out on Amazon

Windows 10 News App Blunder Made Users Think They’re Infected

A configuration mistake in the Microsoft News app caused Window 10 users to receive strange test notifications, which caused them to think they were infected.

Last Friday, users on Reddit began posting about strange notifications they were receiving in the Windows 10 action center. These notifications indicated they were from the Microsoft News app, but were labeled as coming from Microsoft Movies.

Even stranger, these notifications contained messages stating “Test Notification, “thsi test notification”, and “this is test notification” as shown below.

When users clicked on these notifications, it opened Microsoft News to an error page.

When users started receiving these errors, especially the ones that were misspelled, they became worriedthat Windows was infected with a virus. Some went as far as to say that they almost wiped their machines.

A Microsoft support engineer replied to the Reddit post today and stated that these notifications were caused by a configuration error on their side. They do not explain, though, why developers would be testing configuration changes on a production environment.

“Due to a configuration error in the Windows 10 News app notifications (English edition), some customers reported seeing test notifications. This issue was resolved on March 29th via a configuration update for existing versions. We have also released a new version of the app that addresses the issue. The notification does not affect the application or use, and this issue should now be resolved.”

Microsoft also confirmed that this was the reason in a statement to BleepingComputer.

“This was due to a configuration error in the news app notifications and has been resolved.” – a Microsoft spokesperson 
 

Then again, it was Friday when this happened and as one Reddit user stated:

How to check which apps are using your internet connection in Windows 10

If you notice your Internet suddenly slowing to a crawl, chances are that an app on your PC is using your bandwidth in the background. Using Task Manager, you can check which apps are communicating over your local network, which might help you figure out where the bandwidth is going to.

Begin by launching Task Manager using the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keyboard shortcut. If Task Manager opens to its simplified view, click the “More details” button in the bottom-left to expand the window.

You’ll arrive at the Processes tab, which provides information on every app that’s running on your PC – including Windows internal processes. The rightmost column of the table displays the current network usage of each app, in Mbps. Click the column header to sort the running processes by bandwidth usage, highest-to-lowest.

You should remember that this column shows local network activity, not Internet usage. In other words, if you’re backing up files to a network-connected hard drive, that program will be communicating at several hundred Mbps on your network, but won’t be using any Internet bandwidth.

In most cases, an app’s network activity will be purely Internet-based though. If your connection slows down, try and spot an app in Task Manager that’s communicating at around the same rate as your maximum Internet speed. Sometimes, you might find the culprit is a Windows system component, such as “Service Host: Local System,” which is responsible for downloading Windows updates.

If you’d like to see actual data usage details for your apps, switch to the “App history” tab in Task Manager. The Network column here shows you the total network data usage of your apps over the past 30 days.

Further information can be obtained by opening the Settings app and navigating to Network > Data usage. This screen displays data usage for traditional desktop programs too, whereas Task Manager only includes Microsoft Store applications

Finally, you can limit the data usage of Microsoft Store apps from the Data usage Settings page. Under “Background data,” click the “Always” radio button to restrict what apps can do in the background. This will free up more bandwidth for your foreground tasks, but could result in the loss of useful app functionality. Automatic sync processes, live tiles and other background network activity will be prohibited, so you might miss out on incoming notifications and real-time content updates.