One of the questions I will regularly be asked about NoCowboys is, what is the difference between what we do and a jobs site? It’s a good question and one that illustrates the contrast between online reputation marketing and leads apportioned from jobs posted by consumers. While we field this query often, it’s also important to note that we are not in competition with platforms that charge for jobs leads – they are an entirely different proposition.

Why do consumers post jobs?

In my experience, job posters are motivated by one overriding factor – price. Posting a job puts the onus on businesses to pitch for it – to spend time visiting onsite, putting together a quote and competing with the others who have have been sent the same lead. Job posters, in essence, have cast out a net and will then choose the business with the lowest quote. It’s great for them but a lot of work for the businesses hoping for the work, often with no result or reward. Obviously, not all consumers are looking for the lowest quote but they like that businesses come to them.

Also, some job posters assume that a tentative brief and a few photos will be enough to generate a quote – without taking into account the complexities of a job that can only be ascertained by inspection. Reputable businesses generally accept that the best work is done after laying solid foundations first – talking with the client, ascertaining what they need and advising them on the best outcomes. This avoids any confusion or misconceptions from the outset and establishes a solid relationship between the business and the customer.

How do job posting sites work for businesses?

Some businesses like a lead generating platform but they tend to be the ones happy to charge a fraction above cost and rely on a high turnover of work to stay in business. Job sites will take a cut of every job – not from the customer but from the business doing the work. This means that a percentage of the invoice is paid to the jobs platform – on top of the registration fees that businesses pay in the first place. But while the business pays, the jobs poster does not and furthermore – they, and not the business, are the actual customer of the jobs site platform.

Jobs sites rely on consumers consistently posting jobs and without them struggle to satisfy the businesses looking for leads. When consumers lack confidence due to economic downturns, they post less jobs and businesses battle to secure work. Thus, lead sites function best in robust financial circumstances but not when the economy is constricted.

How does NoCowboys differ from a leads site?

NoCowboys markets reputations – and all that that means is bridging the gap between a business and customers using the dominant factor in consumers’ searches online – reviews.

Think of it like this. Every decent business believes they have good word of mouth – NoCowboys is online word of mouth. This takes a practice that has a circle of tens of people and puts it online where hundreds of thousands see it, and use it to frame their decisions.  90% of consumers make their purchasing decisions online and practically all of them rely on reviews before even considering a business.

The vast majority of the visitors to our site and those who come to NoCowboys after seeing NoCowboys businesses on search engines, contact businesses directly, in contrast to the practice of job sites. Consumers contact businesses, by phone, email or text – motivated and eager, armed with the knowledge they seek most – reviews.

But job sites sometimes have reviews too?

Yes, some do but they are not solely for work done, unlike NoCowboys, and can awarded be for quoting or punctuality when arriving to quote – thus, the number of reviews does not accurately reflect the work that a business undertakes.

Importantly – when you search a business by name in search engines, the reviews and gold stars of registered NoCowboys businesses are visible right away – this is not the case at all with jobs leads sites. Some of them also project misleading numbers that are the total number of reviews for the actual site, not the business. This is misleading and disingenuous, at best.

But there are lots of jobs lead sites, so they must be popular?

In New Zealand there are a number of job boards and they compete against each other, attempting to satisfy consumers, while businesses contend against each other for work. There are also a number of overseas sites, that try to gain traction in New Zealand as well – all charging businesses for every job they may get, without any reward for the time and effort they put into quoting for jobs that they don’t.

Reviews continue to dominate consumer motivations and grow in importance, year in, year out. You can never go wrong by marketing a reputation and a lot of businesses do not utlise that most important asset.

How does a NoCowboys registration fee work?

Businesses registered with us pay a flat fee – either annual or monthly  – there are no hidden fees – meaning that no matter how many customers engage a business, there are no other costs.

How else do jobs platforms differ from NoCowboys?

We don’t only market businesses through authenticated and verified reviews. Registered businesses get a multi-functional and customised profile that markets their products and services through text, video, images – and links to their social media platforms – as well as displaying their affiliations to professional bodies and associations.

A NoCowboys profile has the facility to boost SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) a feature missing for businesses signed up to jobs platforms.

Because reviews are the constant for consumers, businesses that take advantage of marketing their reputations fare much better than those that do not through the boom and bust of economic cycles.