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!

Now you can show off how many times you’ve been hired on Bark!

You can now display how many of our users have hired you prominently on your Bark profile.

Whenever someone hires you, simply click the new ‘I was hired‘ button next to their Bark in the My Responses section of your dashboard and we’ll automatically add them to your total.

Then, when new customers view your profile, they’ll be able to see you have a proven track record of helping other Bark users with their projects – like It’s Magic Time here:

It's Magic Time I was hired
Tony Charles has been hired seven times since he joined Bark in June.

Buyers can also let us know when they’ve hired you using the new ‘I’ve hired someone‘ button in their dashboard – and we’ll ask them who they’ve hired when they close their Bark.

You can see all the Barks you’ve responded to in the My Responses section of your dashboard, so be sure to go back and click ‘I was hired‘ for all the jobs you’ve secured through Bark to date.

Who hired you button

We’ll also now show you your average response time if you get back to customers quickly Bark Messenger. So be sure to respond to customers as quickly as possible to maximise your chances of success!

King Pest Control response time
King Pest Control responds to pest control Barks in four minutes flat, on average!

This feature should prove especially useful if you work in an industry like pest control or boiler repair, where  customers are often looking for someone who can help them right away.

Combined with the customer reviews you collect on your profile, these new features will give you a real edge over the competition when pitching for business on Bark.

We hope you find them useful, and look forward to helping you secure even more business in the coming weeks and months.

If you have any further thoughts or ideas about how we can help you promote your business one Bark, send us an email at team@bark.com, or leave a comment in the space below!

Ask the Expert: How to get more customers and grow your business with Bark

Thousands of people throughout the UK use Bark every single day to find new customers and grow their businesses.

Some use our service here and there to fill the gaps in their diaries. Others use us to generate thousands of pounds a month, often using Bark as their sole source of qualified leads for their business.

But, in our experience, there’s one thing that all our best pros have in common, no matter how frequently they use Bark. They know how to make their businesses stand out by presenting clients with a great sales pitch.

To help you get the most out of our service, we spoke to some of our most successful professionals to discover their biggest pitching secrets.

“We’ve made some great contacts and
generated £10,000 in business”

“I made a 30x Return On Investment on my second Bark response,” says Very Clever Marketing’s Dom Murphy. “We’ve made some great contacts and several loyal customers, and generated approximately £10,000 in business.”

Dom initially joined Bark because, unlike other lead generation services, it doesn’t cost a penny to open an account – and you can hear about customers in your area completely free of charge.

Since then, he’s generated roughly £10,000 using our service, and says the key to his success is his ability to quickly form relationships with customers.

“Focus on building relationships,” he says. “Offer the customer something for free – tell them about a special offer you have on. Encourage them to call you or perhaps even call them yourself and say you’re calling in response to their Bark listing.”

“Explain to the customer that you’d like to meet with them or talk on the phone,” he adds. “This will allow you to build a relationship with them, instead of just throwing the book at them and quoting.”

“Realise that there are several others responding too. It’s not a ‘solus’ lead just for you,” he concludes. “Make yourself stand out from the get-go and avoid using terminology or jargon.”

“I recommend Bark to all my friends
with small businesses”

Having been in business for 11 years, Janet Gow has historically been wary of lead generation companies – but after a great experience with Bark, she’s now changed her tune.

“In the six months I have been listed with Bark I have already secured £7,000 worth of business,” she explains. “I now recommend Bark to all my other friends with small businesses.”

John Austen from Marvel Booths agrees Bark has the potential to help small businesses grow exponentially.

“Bark has helped us grow the photo booth side of our business exponentially,” he says. “We have already invested in a magic mirror and second photo booth, four months ahead of schedule.”

“You need to have great marketing material, and you really need to think about how you’re going to stand out from other competitors,” he adds. “You can only be the cheapest for so long.”

He says the best advice he can give to someone who’s thinking about signing up to Bark is to just give it a go – so long as you remember to treat it the same as you would any other part of your marketing strategy.

“I’d say put aside some budget and give it a go. Perhaps enough for 100-odd credits, which is around £115,” he explains. “If the client doesn’t read your response [and their phone number doesn’t work], you get a refund anyway.”

“If you get even two bookings it’s probably been worth your while,” he adds. “And you’ll get direct contact with around 20 potential clients for that fee. In theory, that’s probably better value than advertising on AdWords and Bing.”

He concludes: “Think about your USP and make sure your customer service is exceptional. Who knows where it might take you!”

Join today and start hearing about potential
customers completely FREE

We hope this article has given you some fresh insights into how our most successful pros pitch for business on Bark.

Put their advice into action today and soon you too could be growing your business online with our qualified lead generation service – just like Dom, Janet and John.

If you’re new to Bark, you can start hearing about customers in your area completely free, so you can get a feel for just how easy it can be to secure new business with Bark.

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

Click here now to start growing your business with Bark.

‘Modern day word of mouth’: how to promote your business online with Bark reviews

Word of mouth has always been a powerful tool for promoting your services to new customers – and it’s only getting more important as the services industry moves increasingly online.

A full 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to SEO experts BrightLocal. They’re the first thing customers look for when hiring professionals online, and having great customers reviews can give you a real edge over the competition when pitching for new business.

Today, we’ll show you why collecting reviews on Bark is an integral part of promoting your business online – and look at how you can start collecting great feedback on our site right away.

How Bark reviews improve your online presence

The moment you start collecting great reviews on Bark, you’ll be awarded a Bark star rating. Not only will this appear on your Bark profile and in our pro directory, but it will also show when people search for you in Google.

LexisTech five stars
Collect Bark reviews to earn a 5-star rating on Google

As digital advertising company WordStream notes, this boosts your online presence by making your profile distinct from the search results around it.

That means, when people see your Bark star rating, they’re much more likely to click through to your business page. Better yet, they’re also much more likely to hire you when they do.

Convert more business with Bark reviews

Online reviews are critically important to the vast majority of online shoppers. For example, diners regularly check reviews sites like Yelp to inform their decisions when choosing somewhere to eat.

Entrepreneur Magazine reports that more than 35% of shoppers say they’d never eat at a restaurant that had a 3-star review. What’s more, this Harvard study found that a 1-star improvement on Yelp can translate to a 5%-9% increase in revenue.

That’s a big difference, and we’re already seeing exactly the same thing happening in the services industry as more and more people use Bark to hire great local tradespeople online.

That’s why we believe collecting great reviews on Bark is an integral part of promoting your business online – and why we make requesting reviews from your customers as easy as possible.

Asking for reviews is easy with our ‘reviews tool’

The more great reviews on your profile, the more confident our users will be that you can provide them with a top quality service –  and the more business you’ll be able to secure using our service.

We recommend asking each of your customers to review your services within 14 days of completing a job for them to ensure you’re still fresh in their memory.

To do this, simply log into your Bark profile and visit the ‘Reviews’ tab in your dashboard. Once there, enter your customer’s email address into the reviews tool and click ‘invite’ to ask them to review your services.

You can test it out right now by visiting your ‘Reviews’ tab and entering your own email address into the box provided.

Start collecting great reviews today
with the Bark Reviews badge

You can also start collecting great reviews today using the Bark Reviews badge. It makes collecting feedback easy by reminding everyone who visits your website to review you on Bark.

Absolutely anyone who clicks your badge can leave a review on your Bark profile, even if they didn’t originally find you through us.

Simply copy the code from the ‘Badges’ tab in your Bark profile into your website wherever you like – and we’ll do the rest:

Collecting great reviews is easy with the Bark Reviews badge

To help you with this, we created this simple walkthrough. It looks at all the most popular website building platforms used by Bark pros like yourself – including WordPress.org, Squarespace, GoDaddy and more.

Click here to log into your Bark profile and visit the ‘Badges’ tab in your dashboard and follow the simple steps provided to claim your new Bark Reviews badge right away.

If you’d like any further help getting great reviews on your Bark profile, send us an email at team@bark.com or leave a comment in the space below!