You'll first and foremost need to choose a membership package I believe they were 3 mths 6 mths 12 mths etc with different benefits to each such as £128 lead credit per year with the 12mth package.
I'm only using these figures as examples you will need to look at the most current data and offers they are currently running.
After this you will need to do your prof profile and upload any insurance you have 'H & S' ( health and safety) chemical usage proof such as 'coshh' etc and attach your website etc any photos of before and after anything to show potential customers what you do and what you offer and most importantly WHY they should pick you.
Then you will choose the relevant leads you require to be shown to you, within the area you want to cover, then once your account is verified and up and running you can purchase leads. The higher the lead budget the higher price you will pay for the lead. Then vat will be added if you purchase the lead so remember it's showing you the cost before vat.
Massively VIP is to contact the customer asap and introduce yourself explaining the relevant info. Sell yourself and offer competitive quotes, you may need to arrange a visit to see the job site prior to giving a final quote, this is only fair and most if not all will agree to this if it's a serious offer of work.
Note. Always. Check the status of the lead such as its status - planning & budgeting tells you they're not ready to buy yet but want quotes. I usually only go for those ready to go ahead and state the time they want it done in. Always read the full lead prior to purchasing.
Once purchased the details of he customer will be forwarded to your email and number and a copy of your ratedpeople profile will be sent to the customer do they can view it. This is where they will see the other ratings and reviews about your services will be available to them. Getting successful leads that you've done the job for need chasing up after works complete to ask the customer to rate you 1-5 stars and to put a review. These are the vital ingredients to having a powerful and successful profile that sells you on reviews and ratings alone. I've been with them for years and my overall rating is 5 stars so you see that goes massively in your favour as it's word of mouth.
Again you can dip in and out for work as and when you need it.
Alternately checkatrade charge £690 per year up front membership but then there's never any charge for job leads they offer you. But again your profile needs to build to do you justice.
I prefer this method although we are considering Checkatrade.
My Job quote are another site similar to this.
Altogether this is a fantastic tool to use so long as you use it correctly.