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Hedgemaster
04-01-2011, 09:14 PM
I thought I'd post up what I came up with for my first piece of real advertising.
(Aside from business cards and hand-out flyers)

I'm not 100% thrilled with the layout, but I need to get something posted quickly. The grass is starting to grow here, but the weather has been cold, rainy, and even snowy, so next week when the temps return to normal and people start to wander outside, they will see that it's time to get some things taken care of! I want to be ready for that.

I'm glad I posted this here before listing my ad on Craigslist, because the image is being displayed much smaller than it should be. :(
It should be 792 pixels wide (11"). Perhaps the resolution is where I screwed up? (It's 72 ppi)
Not exactly sure... I'm not experienced with converting things to web viewable images. The original Photoshop jpg looks fine on my monitor, but the same file uploaded to Photobucket is displaying at a much smaller size.
Any thoughts? I'd like to get this listed soon.


http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Promotional%20Items/Craigslist%20Ad%20Spring%202011/Craigslist-Spring-2011.jpg

My plan is to have the graphic listed in my Craigslist ad, then below it, I may add a little more info, followed by a bunch of keywords.
My hope is that by doing it this way (and not typing my phone & email address in the ad copy), I can avoid the notorious SPAM that is associated with posting on Craigslist, as the bots won't "see" my email.


Lemme know if you see any typos!

SpokaneSRC
04-01-2011, 11:46 PM
Sorry charlie, i don't know about the resolution, didn't find any typos, and that is a great looking ad.
Good luck with it, should definitely set you apart from others.

Hedgemaster
04-02-2011, 12:05 AM
Sorry charlie, i don't know about the resolution, didn't find any typos, and that is a great looking ad.
Good luck with it, should definitely set you apart from others.

Thank you, sir.

I looked, and only a few places locally include an "image" as their Craigslist ad, so yes, it will certainly set me apart from the pack.

Part of me worries that it will prevent some of the people from calling for fear that my services will be priced "higher" than someone with a "I mow grass" text ad.
That said, it may also weed out the people who don't give a crap about quality, and are only looking for the cheapest price to have their lawn mowed.

Who knows.

I found a website with instructions (http://activerain.com/blogsview/1794585/how-to-post-graphic-ads-to-active-rain-craigslist-and-others-) on how to insert an image like this and make it "clickable" to link to a website. I'm not finished with my website yet, so I'll hold off on that.

Hedgemaster
04-02-2011, 12:20 AM
Let's try again with use.com image hosting...


http://media.use.com/images/s_2/3b6c41ea169cf90956bf.jpg (http://www.use.com/Craigslist_Spring_Ad_3b6c41ea169cf90956bf)



Sigh...


I don't know why it won't display at full size.
If I click on the image, it takes me to my "Use" page, where I can click on it to see it at full size, but why won't it display HERE?

I don't want to list my ad on Craigslist like that - you can't even read it at that size.

cruzgardening
04-02-2011, 01:19 AM
Let's try again with use.com image hosting...


http://media.use.com/images/s_2/3b6c41ea169cf90956bf.jpg (http://www.use.com/Craigslist_Spring_Ad_3b6c41ea169cf90956bf)



Sigh...


I don't know why it won't display at full size.
If I click on the image, it takes me to my "Use" page, where I can click on it to see it at full size, but why won't it display HERE?

I don't want to list my ad on Craigslist like that - you can't even read it at that size.
i can solve one of your problems lets say you want to send people who click on your link to your website, you should look at the code and take away the first Web Address and replace it with the address you want people to see when they click on now about the size it might be the settings steve has on this site let me try it on craigslist brb

cruzgardening
04-02-2011, 01:23 AM
i can solve one of your problems lets say you want to send people who click on your link to your website, you should look at the code and take away the first Web Address and replace it with the address you want people to see when they click on now about the size it might be the settings steve has on this site let me try it on craigslist brb

http://media.use.com/images/s_2/daa9624475ac73b04079.jpg (http://wix.com/cruzgardening/cruzgardening)


sorry i forgot clik on that one :)

Hedgemaster
04-02-2011, 02:13 AM
http://media.use.com/images/s_2/daa9624475ac73b04079.jpg (http://wix.com/cruzgardening/cruzgardening)


sorry i forgot clik on that one :)


Whatever that links to (your website?), I can't view it - I get an error message.
Some crap about "Flash"... I don't think I can upgrade to the current version.


Maybe you can explain what I'm supposed to be seeing.

I DO know what you mean about linking to my website, but as I stated, my site isn't ready, so I don't want to do that yet - I just want to post that image on Craigslist (to be viewed at it's original size).

Maybe I'll try it tomorrow (on CL) and just see what happens. Too tired to mess with it now.

CHEESE2009
04-02-2011, 06:46 AM
When you upload a file to Photobucket, it reduces the quality and size of the image. You have to become a paying member to avoid that nonsense.


Your ad is beautiful, I shall take it's hand in marriage and have many babies.

As for Craigslist spam, no matter if I block my email address... Showing it in a picture - I still get spam sent to me. I think real people actually go through the postings and take note of the email in the picture.










Wix.com is a flash based web hosting service. If you have flash disabled on you're computer, you won't see the site.
You're computer should automatically prompt you to download the most recent version of flash if you do not have it.

jymie
04-02-2011, 09:32 AM
I host my images on IMAGECOAST (http://www.imagecoast.com/login.php) and it allows me to save the pics in what ever size I need. Your picture ad is showing 206 x 450 pxls. If you can save it at 412 x 900 that would double your size.

bruces
04-02-2011, 10:09 AM
thats a very nice add .nuff said.

Hedgemaster
04-02-2011, 10:34 AM
I host my images on IMAGECOAST (http://www.imagecoast.com/login.php) and it allows me to save the pics in what ever size I need. Your picture ad is showing 206 x 450 pxls. If you can save it at 412 x 900 that would double your size.

You must have the paid membership, because the free one has size limits of 800x600.
See here (http://www.imagecoast.com/index.php)

You say my picture is showing as 206x450... which one are you referring to?
The one in the first post, or the one I posted later on from Use.com?
Doubling the second one won't really help much.


I haven't had a chance to test it on Craigslist - have some things to do first.
Anyone know if I can delete my listing if it doesn't turn out right?
I have only posted to CL once, and it was a few years ago, so I can't recall how it all works.

Hedgemaster
04-02-2011, 10:35 AM
thats a very nice add .nuff said.

Thank you.

jymie
04-02-2011, 01:53 PM
Your 1st picture is 469 x 1023, that should be sufficient on craigslist I would think. I must have clicked on one of the quoted pics. Yes you can delete it through your account management. You can also view it before you post it, then cancel out before posting.

Hedgemaster
04-02-2011, 09:41 PM
GOT IT!!!


I started thinking... "Hey! I have a website with all this hosting space - maybe I can put the full size image THERE instead of a free hosting site?"

I called up bluehost.com, explained that I'm a webtard, and told them what I wanted to do. He was nice enough to walk me through what I needed to do to upload the file. Then I had to figure out how to insert it since all the "tutorials" I was seeing, used a hosting site as an example. It took a bit of Googling, but I finally found a really simple explanation of what I needed to do.

Finally...


My first Craigslist ad!

http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/fgs/2302067713.html


:)

cruzgardening
04-03-2011, 01:19 AM
GOT IT!!!


I started thinking... "Hey! I have a website with all this hosting space - maybe I can put the full size image THERE instead of a free hosting site?"

I called up bluehost.com, explained that I'm a webtard, and told them what I wanted to do. He was nice enough to walk me through what I needed to do to upload the file. Then I had to figure out how to insert it since all the "tutorials" I was seeing, used a hosting site as an example. It took a bit of Googling, but I finally found a really simple explanation of what I needed to do.

Finally...


My first Craigslist ad!

http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/fgs/2302067713.html


:)

Awesome you got it it looks amazing what was the solution?

jymie
04-03-2011, 05:07 AM
Looks perfect, nice job! Hope it gets tons of business for you.

Steve
04-03-2011, 01:06 PM
It looks great!

You should consider testing it with another design that has some offer at the top if the customer signs up for an annual contract.

Hedgemaster
04-03-2011, 04:53 PM
Awesome you got it it looks amazing what was the solution?

Thank you.

The "solution" was in the post you quoted. I hosted the image on my "webspace" at it's full size.
The free image hosting sites seem to have limits on the image size, and they automatically size it down to their specs when you upload. 90% of the time that wouldn't be a problem, but I had already designed this to a specific size and had too much time into it to redo it to a smaller set of dimensions.

Hedgemaster
04-03-2011, 04:55 PM
Looks perfect, nice job! Hope it gets tons of business for you.

Thank you! I hope so too!!!

I'm also going to rework it into a flyer I can hang on a bulletin board.

Hedgemaster
04-03-2011, 05:06 PM
It looks great!

You should consider testing it with another design that has some offer at the top if the customer signs up for an annual contract.


Thank you, sir.
It really is handy being your own art department. :)


You know, if I HAD a contract, I'd do something like that.
That's one of those final details I haven't worked out yet. I wish I had "office" software so I could open the documents posted here and elsewhere to get a better handle on how I need to word a contract.

I'm still doing the "pen and paper" thing for all of my record keeping. Almost bought the Gopher software, but the funds are gone after the "winter of little work".




Side note:
The "Multi-Quote" button does not work for me on this forum, otherwise I wouldn't have replied to each person individually like some pathetic post-whore. :D

Steve
04-04-2011, 11:15 AM
I wish I had "office" software so I could open the documents posted here and elsewhere to get a better handle on how I need to word a contract.

Why not download www.openoffice.org ? It's free and can open doc files.

Hedgemaster
04-04-2011, 12:51 PM
Why not download www.openoffice.org ? It's free and can open doc files.

Sigh.

I was excited when I read that it's Mac compatible. Clicked "Download" and got an error message. Did some digging...

System Requirements:
Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or higher

I haz OS 10.3.9 and it can't be upgraded any higher.

Thanks for the suggestion though!
(Maybe I can use my wife's PC)

jklawncare
04-04-2011, 05:00 PM
I was excited when I read that it's Mac compatible. Clicked "Download" and got an error message.

I was excited when I read that it's Mac compatible. Clicked "Download" and got an error message./QUOTE]

Ewwww mac :P

Hedgemaster
04-04-2011, 05:10 PM
I was excited when I read that it's Mac compatible. Clicked "Download" and got an error message./QUOTE]

Ewwww mac :P


Ewwww... PCs... rhymes with "feces".


:D


I'm probably going to be forced to buy a PC at some point just for "business", as I may find that I can't use all the software I want/need on a Mac.
Probably get a laptop so I can take it in the field with me.

For now, I need to limp along with my perfectly functional, but outdated Mac.
Looking to replace this G4 with a Mac Mini though.

cruzgardening
04-05-2011, 12:42 AM
Ewwww... PCs... rhymes with "feces".


:D


I'm probably going to be forced to buy a PC at some point just for "business", as I may find that I can't use all the software I want/need on a Mac.
Probably get a laptop so I can take it in the field with me.

For now, I need to limp along with my perfectly functional, but outdated Mac.
Looking to replace this G4 with a Mac Mini though.

why not get a Desktop and install both mac and PC software its cheaper then buying 2 computers :) if you don't know how to do this just look online there are tons and tons of information on making your computer dual system my friend has linux i think tiger and windows 7 on his desktop computer :) good luck on this and ur new advertising campaing hope u already saw some results


P.S.

take a look at my craigslist ad (http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/fgs/2304823497.html) its prety simple and with this ad i get at least 4 calls a day about the services mentioned ill show you how to do this just send me a pm

Hedgemaster
04-05-2011, 02:48 AM
why not get a Desktop and install both mac and PC software its cheaper then buying 2 computers :) if you don't know how to do this just look online there are tons and tons of information on making your computer dual system my friend has linux i think tiger and windows 7 on his desktop computer :) good luck on this and ur new advertising campaing hope u already saw some results


P.S.

take a look at my craigslist ad (http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/fgs/2304823497.html) its prety simple and with this ad i get at least 4 calls a day about the services mentioned ill show you how to do this just send me a pm

I considered that as well. There's software for Mac that allows you to run PC stuff. Time and money will tell.

Your ad is nice. Clean and effective.
Haven't seen that type before (with the clickable stuff) - interesting. I'll keep that in mind!

Hedgemaster
04-05-2011, 02:54 AM
Oh, and here's part of the "beyond" that I mentioned in the thread title...

I took the Craigslist ad and worked the elements into an 8.5"x11" "tear-off" flyer to post at a local grocery store.
I may even laminate it, leaving the "tear-off" portion exposed. It will stand out more, and make tearing them off easier.

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Promotional%20Items/Kuhns%20Tear%20Off%20Flyer%20Spring%202011/SpringKUHNSFlyer.jpg

Hedgemaster
04-11-2011, 04:13 PM
UPDATE!!!


10 days now and ZERO replies to the Craigslist ad.
(listed every two days per CL rules)

:(



Today I ran the following text ad just to see if I get a response from it...

Did you hear all the mowers running this weekend? The grass is GROWING!


Affordable...

MOWING
CLEAN UPS
BED EDGING
MULCH APPLICATION
HEDGE & SHRUB TRIMMING
SMALL TREE REMOVAL
and MORE!

INSURED and registered with the state. (HIC# PA075269)

Located in Penn Hills near the borders of Churchill and Wilkinsburg - service area includes the eastern side of the city of Pittsburgh,
and eastern suburbs including Forest Hills, Monroeville, Verona, Oakmont, Murrysville, and Plum, just to name a few.

I take the time to complete your job with the attention it deserves - not “in and out, and on to the next job”, as is so common these days.

NOW ACCEPTING NEW MOWING CLIENTS! (Free Estimates)

Kirk
412-894-6944

(or reply by email at the link provided at the top of the page)

Thank you for viewing my listing. Have a great day!!!

Maybe people are intimidated by the original ad and think my prices are going to be too high? Who knows.

I'm starting to feel like the Maytag repair man...

PhivestarLawnCare
04-11-2011, 11:18 PM
Whatever that links to (your website?), I can't view it - I get an error message.
Some crap about "Flash"... I don't think I can upgrade to the current version.


Maybe you can explain what I'm supposed to be seeing.

I DO know what you mean about linking to my website, but as I stated, my site isn't ready, so I don't want to do that yet - I just want to post that image on Craigslist (to be viewed at it's original size).

Maybe I'll try it tomorrow (on CL) and just see what happens. Too tired to mess with it now.

i clicked on your ad there and it took me your wix website. the website looks great. im not even that good with any designs lol looks good

Steve
04-12-2011, 01:13 PM
Could you experiment with the ad design and alter it to have some kind of 'special offer' for craigslist users? Maybe see if that pulls any response?

Hedgemaster
04-12-2011, 09:50 PM
Could you experiment with the ad design and alter it to have some kind of 'special offer' for craigslist users? Maybe see if that pulls any response?

I dunno... I can design the ads well enough, but "marketing" is a whole other animal.

As mentioned, I don't have contracts for people to sign up with me, so I can't really say "Free something with contract".

Seems to me that you can't offer the "freebie" up front, or there is no incentive for them to continue to use your services.
That said, since I'm a noob, a "cheap first cut" would get me in the door, AND give me a feel for how much time it actually takes to do a specific property. (I still have a hard time eyeballing and knowing how long it will take to mow) From there, I can determine an accurate price quote for potential future work.

Maybe something like:

FIRST MOW FOR TEN!

The FIRST TEN Craigslist readers to call/email will get their FIRST cut for $10.00*
No contract required, but if weekly/bi-weekly service is requested, special consideration will be given on pricing as an additional "thank you".
*Lawn size, mileage, and other restrictions may apply.
Offer expires one week from posting, or when ten person limit is reached, whichever comes first.




What do you think?

At 10mpg, $10 will at least cover my gas within a 10-15 mile round trip.

What about the number of "$10 offers"?
Too low, too high? Just right?
I can't afford to work for "nothing" for TOO many people. Hell, if I got ten calls, I'd be thrilled since I've gotten ZERO to date.

I need to have a "backup offer" for those who miss out... "I'm sorry, you are the thirteenth caller. To show my appreciation for your interest, I would be happy to offer a free estimate and give you $10 off your second cut of the season."

My one concern is the "FIRST" cut may be 1 foot tall grass!
I've already cut MY grass, but some people may wait another week or two.

cruzgardening
04-13-2011, 04:15 AM
I dunno... I can design the ads well enough, but "marketing" is a whole other animal.

As mentioned, I don't have contracts for people to sign up with me, so I can't really say "Free something with contract".

Seems to me that you can't offer the "freebie" up front, or there is no incentive for them to continue to use your services.
That said, since I'm a noob, a "cheap first cut" would get me in the door, AND give me a feel for how much time it actually takes to do a specific property. (I still have a hard time eyeballing and knowing how long it will take to mow) From there, I can determine an accurate price quote for potential future work.

Maybe something like:

FIRST MOW FOR TEN!

The FIRST TEN Craigslist readers to call/email will get their FIRST cut for $10.00*
No contract required, but if weekly/bi-weekly service is requested, special consideration will be given on pricing as an additional "thank you".
*Lawn size, mileage, and other restrictions may apply.
Offer expires one week from posting, or when ten person limit is reached, whichever comes first.




What do you think?

At 10mpg, $10 will at least cover my gas within a 10-15 mile round trip.

What about the number of "$10 offers"?
Too low, too high? Just right?
I can't afford to work for "nothing" for TOO many people. Hell, if I got ten calls, I'd be thrilled since I've gotten ZERO to date.

I need to have a "backup offer" for those who miss out... "I'm sorry, you are the thirteenth caller. To show my appreciation for your interest, I would be happy to offer a free estimate and give you $10 off your second cut of the season."

My one concern is the "FIRST" cut may be 1 foot tall grass!
I've already cut MY grass, but some people may wait another week or two.


hey man $10 a call to get you started is good but watch out with people who are looking to get their 4 feet lawn mowed you should mention something about how high the lawns should be, also you should really try the strategy i gave u it should work.

Steve
04-13-2011, 12:09 PM
You could also offer something like one free cut and then have the free cut near the end of the season.

Or offer something else free that they would get near the mid or end of the season depending on the value of it.

Hedgemaster
04-13-2011, 12:36 PM
hey man $10 a call to get you started is good but watch out with people who are looking to get their 4 feet lawn mowed you should mention something about how high the lawns should be, also you should really try the strategy i gave u it should work.


Hmmm... "Overgrown/Unkept lawns do not qualify for $10 cut."



As for the keywords, I don't think half of what you sent me is applicable to what I do. I don't do "irrigation", or "tree removal", or much of any of what is listed actually.

Here's what I already have a the bottom of my ad:

keywords: pittsburgh, east, squirrel hill, point breeze, edgewood, forest hills, rt 30, route 30, 376, rt 376, route 376, churchill, penn hills,
15235, pennhills, wilkins, wilkins township, wilkins twp, monroeville, murrysville, plum, verona, oakmont, lawn servce, lawn-care, lawncare,
cut, mower, lawnmower, mow, insured, insurance, licensed, registered, estimate, edge, trim, leaf blower, blow, blowing, sidewalk, driveway,
walkway, mulch, mulching, mulches, spring, fall, clean-up, cleanup, twigs, weeds, branches, trees, recycled, recycling, compost, summer,
winter, rain barrel, weedwack, weed-wack, weedwhacking, weedeat, weed-eat, weedeater, shrubs, shrubbery, bush, hedges, forsythia, trimming,
cutting, pruning, fertilize, organic fertilizer, fertilizing, plant, plants, planting, beds, flowerbed, garden, gardens, raised garden, prune, annuals,
flowers, flower, rake, raking, shovel, digging, sweep, haul, hauling, debris, removal, honest, honesty, integrity, pride, diligent, reliable,
responsible, fair, detail-oriented, affordable, satisfaction

Is there something about this list that is "wrong"?

cruzgardening
04-14-2011, 02:46 AM
Hmmm... "Overgrown/Unkept lawns do not qualify for $10 cut."



As for the keywords, I don't think half of what you sent me is applicable to what I do. I don't do "irrigation", or "tree removal", or much of any of what is listed actually.

Here's what I already have a the bottom of my ad:


Is there something about this list that is "wrong"?

you should add the zip codes you service and the surrounding areas that has helped me :) hope i can be of some help

Hedgemaster
05-17-2011, 10:06 PM
I thought I'd post an update.


Craigslist advertising has been good to me.
I've gotten many calls and many clients as a result of the ad I've been running, and aside from that first "discounted first cut" that I mentioned before, I've not needed to resort to any sort of "promotions" to get the phone to ring. If anything, I'm turning down work I don't have time, or the desire to do.

I've gotten no spam (yet) so it looks like I worried about that for nothing.
It's a bit of a pain having to check two email accounts, but as a whole, my ad on CL is getting me work. (I have one email for my "regular/business" email, and the other (gmail) set up specifically for Craigslist in order to avoid spam in my regular account)

I'm not currently doing any other form of advertising and I'm getting between 2 and 5 calls a day. I've noted that most calls come from areas listed in my posting title. I've only gotten 2 calls that were from well beyond my service area that I had to decline.


ETA: Here's my most recent posting... http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/fgs/2382335097.html

Done Rite Lawn Care
05-17-2011, 10:45 PM
Hey Hedgemaster,

That is a very nice ad. Are you running a full-time operation? How many clients has the Craigslist ad brought you?

Hedgemaster
05-17-2011, 11:01 PM
Hey Hedgemaster,

That is a very nice ad. Are you running a full-time operation? How many clients has the Craigslist ad brought you?

Thanks.

Ummm... This is my only source of income if that's what you mean by "full time operation". lol
Just myself - no helpers.

I'd have to look at my papers, but I've gotten about 15-18 directly from the CL ad (with 3 more clients that I got who are neighbors of the CL clients), and 3 from a flyer I hung at a grocery store.

These are all new - I really just started out this spring.

So far, so good. :)

Done Rite Lawn Care
05-17-2011, 11:17 PM
Glad to see you doing good.

Hedgemaster
05-18-2011, 11:29 PM
I picked up another client today.

Was yanking out some 8' arborvitae with my truck this morning when the phone rang... "Let me step inside my truck and take down your info". :)
Always answer the phone if you can, as it's best to make that first contact without leaving messages.

She wanted an estimate for regular mowing and I was able to stop by after the "tree job" was complete.
"Can you tell us how much to mow weekly and for a one-time hedge trim?"
I measured the hedges, wrote down my price on the back of a business card, and rang the doorbell again.
"OK, let me talk to my husband - I'll be right back".

Two minutes later it was "You can start whenever you'd like". :)

We talked for a while and I asked if she got my name from Craigslist - she did. I was complimented on my advertisement - it's what prompted her to call me over some of the others.

I also learned that they had someone else lined up to do their lawn and they came over once and haven't returned in two weeks. She said that if they come to cut before I do, she will "let them go" at that point, as she doesn't want to deal with people who are no-shows and don't even call.

Their loss, as this one is less than 2 miles from my home.



Also, I may have a "barter deal" happening with a potential client.
I stopped to give an estimate yesterday, and sent my quote via email, as nobody was home when I stopped by.

The first reply I got was "Thanks, but I think I'm going to do it myself now."
No big deal - it was at my maximum range of 10 miles (for reg mowing svc) anyway. I sent him a "Thank you for considering me" email, and mentioned that I saw the info in his signature and I'll be looking at his website.

Turns out he owns a small sportswear/promotions company. Long story short, he further explained that his young son was wanting to mow the lawn for spending money, but if I was interested in a "trade", to let him know what type of things I was interested in, and we could swap services.

I got a price on some yard signs from him and I'm going to look into the price for some shirts. I've been putting it off (shirts/hats/signs) for lack of funds, but this may work out pretty well... I help him - he helps me.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Steve
05-19-2011, 05:26 AM
This sounds like a real interesting opportunity! The way you are going with all this, you are going to need to hire some employees by the end of the season!

Hedgemaster
06-03-2011, 10:58 PM
I was starting to get overwhelmed, so I stopped posting my Craigslist ad about a week and a half ago. I still get a few calls a day which tells me that people do use the "search" feature and not just look at the most current postings.

Without the keywords, my "old" ad would never have shown up.

I have to say that this whole "Craigslist" thing has worked out much better than I had anticipated.

Steve
06-06-2011, 06:11 AM
That is great news. And amazingly enough, many members seem to experiment a little with craigslist and shortly give up after placing an ad or two. Here you are really doing well with it, so a key factor to success may just be sticking with it.

Hedgemaster
06-06-2011, 11:36 PM
That is great news. And amazingly enough, many members seem to experiment a little with craigslist and shortly give up after placing an ad or two. Here you are really doing well with it, so a key factor to success may just be sticking with it.

I'm not sure that there's "one" key factor, but no matter what type of advertising you do it requires repetition. Getting your name in front of people on a regular basis is very important. Anyone who runs one ad and claims it was a waste of money really doesn't have a firm grasp on how advertising works.

I think that part of my success with the Craigslist posting is that my ad isn't a typical "classified ad" - there's an actual advertisement - an image to look at. I appear ten thousand times more professional than anyone else who is posting even though they may have been doing this for decades. I've gotten a lot of "I liked your ad", and "very professional" comments from people when I inquire how they found me and what made them choose "me" when it came time to pick up the phone.

Another part is lack of competition. Don't get me wrong - there are a LOT of listings in Pittsburgh, but not a lot in my specific area. I started out advertising a very broad area - "the East", but as I started picking up more clients in one particular area, I decided I wanted to get more clients in that area rather than driving further than I needed to, and began using that area in my posting title. Lots of postings for the "East", but only one other guy posting ads specific to the general area that I'm targeting now.
(I've also noted that he's "improved" his ad since I started posting. ;) )

One other factor is likely "location". Surely some areas get better results from CL advertising than others. I was convinced that I would get nothing more than cheap bastards looking to get work done for nothing, but the people who use CL to seek services come from all walks of life.

I dunno... I had no money to advertise using traditional methods, so I turned to Craigslist. It worked for me. And amazingly, no SPAM! (knocks on wood)

JeffK26
10-10-2011, 10:23 AM
I don't know much about clickable pics or if it's only on this forum, but the clickable pic on post #7 takes me to a Cruz lawn care...

probably not a big deal on this forum but thought i'd let ya know!

Hedgemaster
10-10-2011, 10:23 PM
I don't know much about clickable pics or if it's only on this forum, but the clickable pic on post #7 takes me to a Cruz lawn care...

probably not a big deal on this forum but thought i'd let ya know!

It's been a while, but I think he was just showing me an example of how you make the ad take the potential client directly to a website by clicking on it.

Hedgemaster
03-18-2013, 02:52 PM
UPDATE: 3/18/13
Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I'd just add to this existing one.


I've gotten a few calls this season from Angie's List and figured I'd toss up an ad on Craigslist as well since the first one worked out pretty well for me.

I was going to simply use the same one seen previously in this thread, but the headline says "EVERYTHING is TURNING GREEN!" and at the moment NOTHING is "turning green". LOL! There's actually some snow on the ground that we got overnight. I needed something else.

I took my existing yard sign (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=14452&highlight=bartering) design and modified the bottom (area under the phone number) to include a few photos.

http://i1144.photobucket.com/albums/o483/OakLeafLawnService/Promotional/Craigslist%202013/CraigslistBasic_zps949706a1.jpg


I posted it around 2:30am and have had 2 calls today so far - one a commercial job at a vacant car wash that needs maintenance.

I did not include an email, website, or phone in the text portion of the CL ad.
If a human is viewing, they can see the phone number as seen above. If a spambot is viewing, not so much.

In 2011 I posted on CL and I got a lot of good clients.
In 2012 I got more cheap people calling and since I had a mostly full schedule, I didn't run the ad a lot.
I guess I'll find out how it goes in 2013!

:)

wat5150
03-18-2013, 03:08 PM
Looks good. Whos that guy in the green shirt?? You may want to get him off your ad. :D

Hedgemaster
03-18-2013, 03:17 PM
Looks good. Whos that guy in the green shirt?? You may want to get him off your ad. :D

I dunno, but he looks larger than life, and quite studly.

:cool: :D

Steve
03-19-2013, 11:21 AM
Very nice work.

What is your view on using the 'Taking new customers' headline versus potentially others you could use. What do you like about that one?

Hedgemaster
03-19-2013, 12:02 PM
Very nice work.

What is your view on using the 'Taking new customers' headline versus potentially others you could use. What do you like about that one?

You mean aside from the fact that the words were already there? ;)

I didn't put a whole lot of time/thought into this one - it's a CL ad. I just used the yard sign design already on hand since I wanted to get it listed quickly.

I added the "2013 Season" text though to make it "current" and perhaps that combined with "Taking New Clients" will help weed out people looking for one-time cuts? (In the text portion of the CL ad I mentioned "WEEKLY" as well, to weed out the people looking for bi-weekly)

Steve
03-20-2013, 12:54 PM
In the text portion of the CL ad I mentioned "WEEKLY" as well, to weed out the people looking for bi-weekly

That is a very good point to keep in mind!

cruzgardening
03-21-2013, 03:09 AM
It's been a while, but I think he was just showing me an example of how you make the ad take the potential client directly to a website by clicking on it.

hey there yeah i was showing u how to send u directly to a site hope it worked hows busines going so far?