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Thursday, August 25, 2011

There are many sites on the Internet where you can post and promote your site and new ones seem to crop up everyday. Should your create accounts with these services? If so, which one’s? Just the big one’s like LinkedIn?  Call me an overachiever, but in my view, the more of these services you can get listed on the better for your business.  Its like fishing, if you want to eat fish for dinner, you hedge your bets and cast a wide net in as many ponds as you can.

Now I am not talking about link farms that promise to promote your website to the top of the search engine heap. I mean profile-focused websites that include information about your, your business, your affiliated websites, etc. Websites like Xing, Ecademy, (formerly naymz), Referral Key , Ryze, Spoke – the list seems to go on and on and on and on – and now thumbtack.

Thumbtack has been around since 2009 and I had checked it out before and was mostly unimpressed:  MLMers looking to get you involved in their pyramid scheme, people trying to loan you money, affiliates trying to sell you stuff – yuk! Not for me! But recently they rolled out community standards and they appear to be enforcing these. Gone are all the things I didn’t like about their service.

So I signed up. It was easy because I was able to pull data from my LinkedIn page to fill in some of their requirements and even tap videos I posted on YouTube. Very nice.   So impressed was I by their make-over that I even opted for the additional credential verification they offer (cost $7.00)

Three things I really like about thumbtack:

  1. Publicly available profile – people don’t need to create an account to see your information. (Although they recently removed the public link to your website, twitter feed, etc., which they claim is for privacy reason but you and I know is to force people to stay on the thumbtack site and not click away to another site).
  2. Question and Answer component – it really shows people a side of you as a professional that you don’t see at other sites.
  3. Credential verification – people can sort the hooligans from the professionals.

Three things I really don’t like about thumbtack:

  1. Testimonials – really? Yet another place I need to ask my customers to post comments about my business! Why can't I import the 40+ recommendations I have in LinkedIn or the reviews I have in Google Maps / Places? 
  2. No options other than localized search -- unless you dig. So much for consultants that travel or use the Internet as a medium. Thumbtack needs to add:  (a) a search everywhere checkbox on their generic search box and (b) set the search options so that they display by default because some users might not know they can click for expanded options (again, you have to dig).
  3. Thumbtack needs to share their API so folks can post to the News component directly from dashboards like or HootSuite, or allow people's twitter feeds to integrate.  (Sure they offer a twitter and facebook component but you have to post on the thumbtack site and then thumbtack posts to twitter / facebook).

One thing about the shift – or maybe it is just a little known feature – but you can get your own vanity URL. I was able to get -- yes businesscoach. Really? With all the business coaches out there around the world, businesscoach is still available? That tell’s me that there is probably a vanity URL waiting for you with your name it at thumbtack!

Go ahead get your profile today – click here