How to write estimates that will win you business on Bark

When a client asks for an estimate, it’s an exciting moment – the thought of new business, a new project to work on. And putting together a strong estimate is vital for turning that prospect into one of your future clients.

It’s not just about giving a price for a job. Estimates give your prospects an insight into what you and your business are like. And first impressions really matter.

So, with that in mind, here are some top tips to help you write estimates that will seal the deal and hopefully turn your leads into new business.

1. Ask questions

Getting the facts right is essential to providing an accurate estimate. It saves a lot of time in the long run if you’re both on the same page from the beginning. Sometimes, a quick 5-minute call or sending over a quick email can make a world of difference to you understanding your prospect’s needs.

2. Remember your profit margins

The excitement of potentially landing a new client can sometimes tempt you to go in with a low price to win the job. But, you don’t want to undersell the services you offer. Instead, charge a fair price and make sure you allow for sensible profit margins that reflect your time and effort.

3. Offer a freebie

Giving your clients something for free as part of the job is a great way to get into their good books from the start. Even if it’s just a small detail for you, it can mean a lot to them and will help you stand out from the competition.

4. Add a personal touch

Having a ‘one size fits all’ approach, can seem temptingly efficient to save you time and energy. But it’s important to make sure each client knows that you value their business.

Use your client’s name in the estimate and, if possible, refer to any other additional information that is personal to them and their job. These personal touches can make all the difference to the client.

5. Make it easy to read

Clients should be able to read through your estimate and understand it in seconds, without too much effort. Provide all relevant information and make sure you include details of every part of the job, but keep each point brief.

6. Be thorough and accurate

Double check spellings, names, dates, description, prices etc. to make sure everything is present and correct. And make sure you include your business’s details and logo to make sure it looks professional.

Receiving a well-constructed, comprehensive estimate shows you have a considered, detailed approach to your work. This can do wonders for helping convince a prospect that you’re the person for the job. A sloppy, ‘copy and paste’ estimate can be really off-putting to potential clients.

7. Speedy responses

Responding to your leads within 24-48 hours or less shows you mean business, and that you’re enthusiastic about the project. As they say, the early bird catches the customer!

Hopefully, if you can start using these tips, you’ll have your calendar filling up with booked jobs in no time.

Need help? To make the most of Bark, call our helpful support team on 020 3697 0237 (9am-6pm Mon-Fri), or 424-227-5323 if you’re in the US. Or drop us an email to team@bark.com.

How to get seen more by customers on Bark

We want your business to be as successful as possible on Bark. To get you there, we’ll proactively suggest you to customers looking for your services. So, to help us do that, we need your profile to be as strong as possible.

Here are a few key things you can do to help boost your profile, which will get you seen by more customers and improve your chances of being hired once you get in touch with them.

1. Keep your profile up-to-date

Make sure you’ve filled out as much of your Bark profile as possible. Provide additional details where you can and add links to your website and social media pages. Profiles with lots of information get much more interest and are hired more.

2. Get more reviews

It’s always encouraging to see when a business has been recommended by previous customers. It gives potential new customers confidence in your services and shows them you’re good at what you do.

Asking your customers to provide reviews will help get your profile more attention and encourage prospects that you’re the person for the job. And you can ask all your customers to leave a review, including those you didn’t get through Bark.

It’s also good to respond to all your reviews. Engaging with your customers and acknowledging their feedback shows excellent customer service. Another plus for prospects trying to decide who to hire.

3. Update your lead preferences

The best way to get the perfect leads for your business is to make sure you set the right preferences on your profile. Tell us exactly which services you offer and where, and for each service make sure you review the filter questions to refine the leads you receive for that particular service. That way we’ll send you the leads that you really want to receive.

4. Make sure you have credits

A speedy response to a lead massively improves your chances of being hired, so make sure you’re always ready to respond to leads by keeping your credit balance topped up.

Having credits in your account also means we can suggest your business to more customers, because we know you’re ready to respond.

Need help? If you have any questions about improving your profile, or need help to make the most of Bark, give us a call on 020 3697 0237 (9am-6pm Mon-Fri), or 424-227-5323 if you’re in the US. Or drop us an email to team@bark.com.

6 new features to help you get better leads on Bark

At Bark, it’s our mission to get you the most relevant leads possible to help you succeed in business. We know how frustrating it can be reviewing requests which don’t quite match what you do and where you work. So, we’ve been listening to your feedback and developing innovative new features to enhance your experience on Bark.

Jump to a new feature

Service Areas
– Draw Your Own Area
– Travel Time
Question Filtering
Bark Match
Submit Details
New Messenger
Refer a Friend

1. Improve your leads with our new Service Area tools

No one knows your business better than you. That’s why the some of the most popular features we’ve developed this year are self-service tools. They’ve been designed to help you define your Service Areas more precisely, and automatically filter out Barks which don’t meet your criteria. Why not take a few minutes to try out these features for yourself?

Draw Your Own Area

With just a few clicks, you can draw the area you service on a map – all done in a matter of seconds. You’ll then receive Barks from buyers who are local to that area, and automatically filter out those who are too far away.

Bark sellers can draw their service area on a map in a few easy clicks

Draw Your Own Area

Travel Time

Travel Time is another great tool for filtering out those (hopefully rare) leads that come from far distant lands.

Simply set the area you cover based on your preferred travel method and the maximum time you’re willing to spend travelling to a job.

We’ll send you leads based on the time it takes to walk, drive or take public transport from your location.

Set your Travel Time

2. Question Filtering

As you know, when a buyer places a Bark we ask them questions to find out precisely what kind of service they’re after. We then match the request with a relevant service provider and send a lead.

But it gets tricky to make an exact match when professionals in a given category offer similar but slightly different services to one another. Now, with Question Filtering, you can manage questions at a granular level to ensure leads correspond exactly with the services you provide.

For example, if you only have availability on certain days of the week, you can filter out leads requesting pros on your day off.

We can even get more granular than that. If, for example, you’re a male personal trainer, you can filter out leads which specifically request a female personal trainer.

Set your Question Filtering so you’re only alerted when we have a perfect match.
Screenshot of Bark Question Filtering feature - for photographerSet up Question Filtering

3. Be discovered by more buyers with Bark Match

With our new Seller Suggest feature, it’s easier for buyers to discover sellers on Bark, and easier for you to get new customers.

From time to time, we’ll suggest your business to customers looking for your services, for free. If the customer is interested, you’ll be notified and invited to respond – and then it’s up to you if you’d like to pay to be introduced.

Of course, in the meantime, you’ll still receive the leads that match your service areas, as usual.

In order to ensure your business is suggested to Buyers as much as possible, you can:

      • Make sure your profile is up to date – sellers with more information on their profile get much more interest
      • Update your service areas to ensure we’re sending you the most relevant leads for your business
      • Get more reviews – a strong rating supported by positive reviews shows potential customers you’re brilliant at what you do

Screenshot of Bark feature called Seller Suggest

4. Submit Details and reply to leads with one click

There is a significant ‘first mover advantage’ on Bark. Our data shows that you are 48% more likely to get hired if you’re first to respond to the buyer.

We know every second counts when responding to hot leads, so we’ve made it quicker and easier than ever to secure new business with Bark.  Following your feedback, we’ve created a simple one-click feature, so you can respond to a great lead within seconds.

Simply click ‘submit your details’ to jobs you’re interested in – we then instantly send your details to the client and release both their phone number and email address to you. You can still send a personalised follow up message and quote when you’re ready.

Don’t forget to top up your credits – the next introduction you make could land you a new customer!

Screenshot of Bark feature Submit Details

Check out credit packs

5. New Messenger look and feel

We’ve redesigned the messenger feature on Bark. The new look and feel will help you manage leads, conversations, briefs and quotes with buyers more easily.Screenshot of Bark messenger feature

6. Refer a friend and earn Bark credits

If you’ve loved using Bark, why not give your friends the opportunity to enjoy the same success? Simply refer a friend, and you’ll be rewarded with credits to spend on high quality leads to grow your business too.

There’s no limit to the number of credits you can earn, and you’ll be rewarded each time someone you refer signs up and purchases our starter pack.

If that’s not enough, we’ll also give anyone you refer a massive 40% discount to help them get started.

We’re confident Bark will be a great help to any seller who tries it. We cover over 2,000 categories and deliver leads from interested customers to thousands of businesses every day. You can refer anyone you like from any industry, from babysitters to plumbers, web designers to bookkeepers.

It’s so easy – you can invite people directly from your address book, or use the unique personal link we’ve created for you, which you can share on Facebook, in email or anywhere you choose.

Refer friends now

What do you think of our new features? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Pro Tips: How to improve your chances of getting hired on Bark

Establishing quickly that you’re the right pro for the job is essential when pitching for business on Bark – and that’s why it’s important to make sure your Bark profile looks as professional as possible.

Professionals whose profiles are more than 80% complete get hired 340% more frequently than those who leave theirs just 20% filled out. So, in this week’s blog post, we’ll show you how to fill out your profile and start securing more business with Bark right away.

Step #1: mastering the basics

Your profile is one of the first things customers see when you contact them through Bark, so it’s important to spend some time making yours looks as professional as possible.

When you click the ‘Profile’ tab in your Bark dashboard, one of the first things you’ll see is a space for your Basic Information.

Display pic and name
Upstart Photography is a great example of a professional looking Bark profile

Make sure your company name is both spelt correctly and properly capitalised, and that you’ve uploaded a high resolution image of yourself or your company logo to use as your display picture.

We recommend using your company logo as your profile picture and a self portrait as your avatar in the Bark Messenger – although you may prefer to use the same image for both.

Step #2: promoting your business

In addition to the ‘bare bones’ of your profile, we’ve created a range of extra sections you can use to promote your business and maximise your chances of getting hired. We recommend filling in as many of them as possible.

Use your company description to show people what’s unique about your business. Keep it short and snappy, and try to present your business in a way that captures people’s attention.

Company description
Use your company description to capture a customer’s attention

You can then use the Q&A section of your profile to go into more detail about what makes your business a cut above the rest. Answer as many (or as few) of our suggested questions as you like and we’ll display your responses prominently on your profile.

Step #3: stand out with a 5-star rating

Our research shows that you’re 170% more likely to get hired through Bark if your profile has a rating of 3.5 stars or above – and the more reviews you have, the more likely you are to get hired.

Basic information
Professionals with more than five reviews on their Bark profile are a full 220% more likely to get hired than those with none

That’s why we encourage everyone who joins Bark to ask some of their existing customers to leave their feedback on their Bark profile.

You can do this by emailing previous clients using the ‘Reviews’ tab in your Bark dashboard, by sharing a link to your profile on social media or by adding the Bark reviews badge to your company website.

Step #4:  adding the finishing touches

By the time you’ve chosen your display picture, filled out most of your profile and got your first review, you’re already in a great position to get hired.

But there’s still a wide range of extras you can add to your profile to showcase the quality of your work and boost your SEO ranking – including links to your social media pages, a photo gallery, videos and more.

Picture gallery
Our photo gallery is a great place to showcase examples of your work

These little extras really can help your business stand out from the competition, and could boost your Bark conversion rate by as much as 340%. So spend some time now filling out your Bark profile and start securing more business with Bark today.

Click here and complete your Bark profile now

How to find the best customers for your business with our new ‘dashboard search’ tool

Professionals covering large service areas – or providing many different services – often receive a high number of requests through Bark. So we created a brand new tool to make sure finding the jobs you want to pitch for is always easy.

It’s called “dashboard search” and it lets you quickly filter the requests in your Bark dashboard to find the jobs you want to do the most.

Simply use the brand new search bar at the top of the page in your Requests tab to specify exactly what you’re looking for and find the best customers for your business.

Our new dashboard search tool
The ‘dashboard search’ tool lets you filter your matching Barks to find the best customers for your business

This new search bar lets you filter your matching Barks by: 1) when they were submitted, 2) what they cost to respond to, 3) which category they were placed in and 4) where the job needs doing.

This last feature will be especially useful if you cover a large service area but are most interested in jobs from a specific location, such as your home town.

You can even filter your matching Barks by specific keywords customers use when placing their requests. (For example, customers looking for personal trainers often ask for either “daily” or “weekly” training sessions.)

Try spending an “evening in with Bark” today

‘Dashboard search’ lets you pick out all kinds of customers with the click of a button, from massage clients looking for a male masseur to wedding photography clients within three miles of your home and more.

That’s why we believe it will turn your Bark dashboard into a tool you can use whenever you like to find the best customers for you – whether you’re out on a job, or relaxing at home in front of the TV.

So spend some time today getting to know your new dashboard and using it to find the best customers on Bark.

Search for the best customers for your business now

Here’s what makes Bark customers the best leads for your business

With many of our pros generating thousands of pounds a month using our platform, it’s easy to see why Bark is fast becoming the UK’s favourite lead generation service.

Professionals throughout the country use us on a regular basis to find new customers and grow their business – from wedding photographers in Birmingham to magicians in Canterbury.

To show you why more businesses join our platform every day, here’s a closer look at what makes Bark customers the best leads for your business.

Customers on Bark are actively searching for your services

As a professional on Bark, every potential customer we alert you to is actively seeking the services you provide.

We invest heavily in online campaigns to find people looking to hire everything from balloon twisters to criminal lawyers, and then use ‘service areas‘ to match them with skilled professionals in their area.

For example, we find people looking to hire interior designers in Liverpool by running targeted PPC ads like this one for people who search “Liverpool interior design” on Google:

We find people looking for services online using PPC ads like this one

But if you’ve ever run your own PPC campaigns, you’ll know most people who click these ads aren’t serious about buying your product or service.

So the first thing Bark does is filter out everyone who’s not really serious about paying for your services. If they click our ads but don’t finish placing their Bark, you’ll never hear about them.

See exactly what each customer needs doing for FREE

When we find a customer who needs a service you provide, we then ask them a series of questions about the job they need doing.

At this stage, we also run a series of checks to ensure that they’re serious about hiring someone – such as checking their contact details are valid and ensuring they’ve filled out our questionnaire correctly.

Once we’ve verified that the Bark is genuine, we’ll send you the details free of charge, so you can see if it’s something you’d like to pitch for:

When someone places a Bark, we’ll then email you the details of the job they need doing so you can decide if it’s for you

With other marketing methods, you’ll often end up paying to receive enquiries that aren’t right for your business, but Bark is different.

If you’re busy on the dates the customer needs the work done – or if you just feel the job isn’t something you’re interested in – you can simply ignore the request and wait for something else to come along.

When you see a job you’d like to pitch for on Bark, click the “CONTACT” button next to their request to send the customer a tailored message and access their personal phone number.

No commission, no monthly fees

With thousands of people using Bark every day to find everything from plumbers to web designers, event performers and more – there’s never been a better time to join our service.

You don’t have to pay subscription fees and we don’t take any commission on work you secure through our platform. So, once you’ve responded to a Bark, everything you make from the business is yours to keep.

So why not join the thousands of small businesses who are already profiting with Bark today? Claim your FREE account now and start hearing about customers in your area right away.

Start receiving the best leads for your business today

Our new-and-improved trades categories make it even easier to secure new business with Bark!

We launched 300 new-and-improved trades categories this week, to make it even easier to find great leads for your business with Bark.

As well as many services that are brand new to our platform, we’ve divided general categories (e.g. plumbing) into specific job types (e.g. bathroom repair, or leaking and burst pipes).

We believe this approach will make it even easier to find new customers with Bark – and today we’ll look at what these changes mean for your business.

Know exactly what customers are looking for

By making our general trades categories more specific, we hope to give you a much clearer idea of what each customer is looking for before you respond to their Barks.

Where previously someone might have placed a Bark for a builder, they can now specify exactly what type of work they need doing – whether that’s concrete levelling, block paving installation or anything else.

This will make it much easier for you to decide if a job request is something you want to help with before you respond to it.

Cheaper to pitch for smaller jobs

Splitting the requests placed on our site up in this way also helps us ensure the price of responding to a Bark reflects the value of the job the customer needs doing.

For example, we know a pipe repair job is worth less than a full bathroom remodel – so these new categories will help us make sure smaller jobs are cheaper to pitch for than big ones.

Easier to choose which leads you hear about

Last, but not least, these new categories will help us make sure we only alert you to the best leads for your business.

Imagine your company offers wallpapering services, but not shelf installation. In the past, these jobs would have both come under ‘handyman services‘ – but now you can use our new trades categories to specify that you’d like to hear about one and not the other.

Start hearing about customers completely FREE

Our registered pros are already signed up to hear about relevant Barks in our brand new trades categories. If you’re new to Bark, you can join them today and start hearing about potential customers in your area completely free.

Click the link below now to claim your free Bark account and start growing your business with our service right away.

Get the best leads for your business now.

Top Pro Interview: “Bark is the Holy Grail – a lead producing system that works!”

Brian Wilcock always wanted to be a professional photographer. But, for much of his life, fate led him down a different path.

He was inspired to enter the charity sector when his son became disabled, and spent 12 years working for the learning disabilities charity, Mencap. So it wasn’t until 2005 that he finally had the opportunity to fulfil his lifetime ambition and become a full time wedding photographer.

Today, his company Imagination Creative is one of the most popular wedding photography services on Bark – and he’s booked over £17,000 in new business in his first eight months with us.

“I have booked 17 jobs worth a total of £17,237”

Brian first discovered Bark in February this year. Although he was initially wary because of bad experiences with lead generation companies in the past, he eventually decided to give us a try.

“When I realised that Bark had a different system that involved detailed information for individual clients I decided to give it a go,” he explains. “I’m certainly glad I did.”

placeholder
Brian Wilcock at a wedding photography job he booked through Bark! 

He adds: “At the time of writing I have booked and collected deposits for 17 jobs worth a total of £17,237.”

When he secured his first job through Bark, Brian was pleased our service had succeeded where so many others fail.

Having worked in sales most of his adult life, he says he can appreciate the value of a system that finds genuine customers looking for your services.

“It was refreshing and encouraging to feel that I may finally have found a viable source of lead production,” he explains. “I think my favourite thing about Bark is the quality of the information received for each potential client.

“As the requests are obviously completed by the client individually, it tends to be more accurate than other agencies I have tried.”

Brian currently still uses traditional methods to find new photography clients. But, if his current rate of success continues, he says he can foresee a time when Bark becomes his sole source of business leads.

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A bride and groom stare into each other’s eyes – photo by Imagination Creative

As such, he highly recommends Bark to any wedding photographer who might be thinking about giving us a try.

“Any established photographer will have tried a number of ways to find that Holy Grail – a lead producing system that works,” he says. “My advice would be to forget all the failed methods you’ve tried in the past and give Bark a try, because this one actually does work and you won’t regret it.”

Start hearing about customers in your area today, free

Bark is fast becoming the UK’s leading platform for businesses seeking new clients in a wide range of industries – from photographers to personal trainers, tradespeople and more.

With over 600 different categories to choose from, businesses of all shapes and sizes can find new customers quickly and easily with our service.

Join our network of 80,000+ registered businesses today and we’ll start alerting you to new customers completely free of charge – so you can see firsthand how easy it can be to secure new business with Bark.

Click the link below now to claim your free Bark account and start growing your business with Bark right away.

Start growing your business with Bark today

 

Top Pro Interview: “Bark has added another string to my bow”

Ask any professional magician where they find new customers and, until recently, they’d have told you all their work comes through word of mouth. But that’s rapidly changing, thanks to online marketplaces like Bark.

It’s Magic Time‘s Tony Charles is one of thousands of UK magicians who are transforming their businesses with Bark. He joined our platform in July this year, and has been using it to find new customers ever since.

“I get about 200 bookings a year, and so far in 2-3 months I have got seven from Bark – which should extrapolate to about 28 for the year,” he explains. “Not bad as this is work I probably would not have received.”

Why magicians all over the UK are growing their businesses with Bark

Tony says his first seven bookings with Bark are worth more than £1,000 on paper. But, as he explains, the value of a booking through our platform goes far beyond the fee for the job itself.

“60% of my clients rebook,” he says. “Many refer and every booking is a showcase and generates further bookings. So that initial £1,000 of income will grow, even without further bookings from Bark.”

Tony Charles made around £1,000 in his first 2-3 months with Bark
Tony Charles made over £1,000 in his first 2-3 months with Bark

Now he’s got to grips with the Bark platform, Tony says he’s finding it easy to find new clients.

In fact, he’s already secured another three jobs through Bark since we interviewed him.

“I would say it is less time consuming than many other [marketing] methods and that is of great value,” he says. “To generate new clients with little effort is a great bonus.”

When asked what advice he had for other magicians thinking about giving Bark a try, he said the best thing would be to certainly give it a try.

“Give yourself a budget and a time limit to try it out and get the profile built up,” he says. “Also, experiment with your responses and definitely put the Bark Reviews badge on your own website. That is brilliant as all your clients can post – and all prospective clients can see – testimonials.”

He adds: “The clients I have received through Bark so far include adult birthday parties, children’s birthday parties and a school prom.”

Claim your FREE Bark account and start growing your business today

Bark is fast becoming the UK’s leading platform for businesses seeking new clients in a wide range of industries – from entertainers to tradespeople, business professionals and more.

With over 600 different categories to choose from, businesses of all shapes and sizes can find new customers quickly and easily with our service.

Join our network of 80,000+ registered businesses today and we’ll start alerting you to new customers completely free of charge – so you can see how easy it can be to secure new business with Bark.

Click the link below now to claim your free Bark account and start hearing about customers in your area right away.

Start growing your business with Bark today

How ‘service areas’ help us find the best leads for your business

We help tens of thousands of small businesses throughout the UK find new customers every single day – from accountants in Acton, to window cleaners in Wandsworth.

But with customers coming to Bark looking for everything from personal trainers to masseurs, wedding planners and more, matching each customer with the right service providers is no small feat.

That’s where ‘service areas’ come in – and today, we’ll show you how to update your service areas to hear about the best leads for your business.

STEP 1: Let us know which services you provide

Service areas let you adjust the type and quantity of enquiries you receive from us. If you’d like to hear about more leads, you can add new services or widen the service area you cover – and vice versa.

Similarly, if your business relocates or branches out into a new type of service, you can update your service areas to reflect this so that we continue sending you enquiries you’re interested in pursuing.

The first step is to click the ‘Service Areas‘ tab in your dashboard. This will take you to your service areas page, where you’ll see a box that looks like this:

Enter your services here
Enter which services you provide into your ‘Services’ bar to get started.

Type the service your business provides into the box and click the ‘ADD SERVICE‘ button to let us know what sort of customers you’re interested in hearing about.

STEP 2: Add relevant ‘related services’

When you add a new service type to your service areas page, we’ll then suggest some related services we think your business might also provide.

For example, if you tell us you’d like to receive photography enquiries, we’ll present you with a list of related categories like this one:

Add related services
Next, add the related services you also provide.

Simply tick the check boxes next to the categories you’re interested in to add them to your services.

STEP 3: Tell us how far you’re happy to travel

At this stage, we know what you do – but before we can start sending you relevant enquiries, we also need to know where you do it.

To specify your travel preferences, type where your business is based into your Travel Preferences bar and enter how far you’ll travel from there:

Enter your travel preferences here
Specify how far you’re prepared to travel using the ‘Travel Preferences’ tool.

Clicking ‘ADD LOCATION‘ will plot your chosen radius onto a map around your chosen city, so you can visualise where the customers we alert you to will be based.

If you offer multiple services, you can then click the ‘Show categories‘ button to specify a different radius for each of them:

Your advanced travel preferences
Click ‘Show categories’ to specify different service areas for each of the different services you provide.

This can be useful in cases where you’re prepared to travel further for certain types of high value job (e.g. loft conversion) than you are for lower value ones (e.g. bricklaying).

Finally, you can select whether you want to receive enquiries from customers who are searching nationwide using the toggle button at the bottom of the page – and after that, there’s just one thing left to do.

STEP 4: Start contacting customers!

Once your service areas are set up, you’ll automatically start receiving emails whenever a new customer requests your services. You can also find a list of everyone who’s currently searching for services you provide in the ‘Requests‘ tab of your dashboard.

When you see a job you’re interested in doing, simply click the green ‘CONTACT‘ button to send them a personalised message and estimate.

We hope you’ve found this simple walkthrough useful, and that it helps you secure even more business with our service. If you have any questions, send us an email at team@bark.com, or leave a comment in the space below!