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jford1995
01-11-2012, 10:40 PM
okay so ive seen all kinds of guys talking about how craigslist helped them land all kinds of jobs and is the best advertisement because its FREE. free advertisment is great advertisment! but i dont see how craigslist works. can someone please fill me in on craigslist works and how to do it right to make it affective? thanks- jeremy

Hedgemaster
01-11-2012, 11:53 PM
1. Place ad.

2. Answer phone.

3. Bid job.

4. Do job.

5. Get paid.



Lather, rinse, repeat.


:)





i dont see how craigslist works

Can you elaborate? I can read that a few different ways.

jymie
01-12-2012, 01:45 AM
The most important thing that you want to remember is to make your ad appealing to the eye. Some guys go with strictly text ads, some go with display ads. Text ads to me don't really get the proper response that you might be looking for. Now display ads on the other hand their very eye catchy. The thing to remember If you do a display ad, That you have to include some text somewhere in the ad for your keywords or your ad will never be found when somebody searches for your services. The best keywords would be, the towns you service and the zipcodes, plus list the services that you offer all in text. Because the display ad by itself is not going to be searchable. In order to do a display ad in a Craigslist ad, you first have to host your display ad on an external site that hosts pictures.

Here is some simple directions on how to post a display ad on Craigslist.

Instructions

1 Visit the Craigslist to which you want to post your ad. Try to be as specific as possible ** Craigslist is often divided by cities, and in rural areas, regions.

2 Click "Post to Classifieds" on the top-left of the website. Select the type of service you are offering or looking for under "What Type of Posting is This?," and click "Continue."

3 Choose a category for your listing. If you are buying or selling an item, choose the type of item. If you're looking for romance or hoping to find a person, select the correct category under "Relationship."

4 Type your "Posting Title" in the text area. This is what a Craigslist user will see on the main page, so make it eye catching and original. Add a "Posting Description" which highlights your display ad ** the features, price, or conditions. If you are looking for a personal connection, write a brief description of yourself or what you're looking for.

5 Add your contact information. Type your e-mail address in the "Reply to" box, and click "Add Images" if you want to include a picture with your advertisement, then click "Continue."

6 Wait for the Craigslist confirmation email. After confirming the post, the ad will display on Craigslist. Hang on to the email because it is the only way to delete or edit the Craigslist advertisement.

If you wish to do your ad with a display ad that you made like a flyer of some kind, once you have made the flyer, save it as a jpg. Then go to any photo-host site such as photobucket or imagecoast and save it there. Then copy the address of the flyer so you can paste it into the craiglist listing.

In the area that you type the ad, use the following code:

< img src="replace this text with the url location of your flyer">

in order for the code to work, remove the space I put between the < and img at the beginning of the code. There cannot be a space there or it will not work. Also make sure that the quotations are around the location of your flyer. For example "www.myflyer.com">



You can also make the display ad clickable, meaning if someone clicks on it, they can get to your website.

To do that use the following code:

< a href="replace this text with the URL of your website">< img src="replace this text with the url location of your flyer">

Again, for this code to work, remove the space between < and a href, make sure the space between a and href remains. Also remove the space before img. Also be sure to keep all the quotations intact.

I hope this helps you, good luck!

dpld
01-12-2012, 08:18 AM
maybe it varies from state to state but where i live in new jersey craigslist is a waste of time and you end up getting hooked up with all kinds of spammers and deadbeats.

99 times out of a hundred every business that advertises there probably just started their business that week and 99% of the customers are looking to get something done for nothing or screw someone out of something.

craigslist is good for selling stuff and even buying stuff but its the last place i would look for a contractor or a job.

most employers advertise there because it is free and usually offer low paying crappy jobs that are always listed day after day because they can not seem to find anyone who will stay, i wonder why?.

i know everyone has to start somewhere and i am not knocking anyone for that all i am saying is when people start a business that the first concern is drumming up work and starting a name for themselves and in that proccess you try anything and everything to the point of you are leaving yourself open for trouble.

craigslist has been around a while but it really took off when this economy failed a few years back and there are a lot of savvy theives, scammers and dead beats on that site that prey off of a newbie.

being in a business is to some degree like prostitution, you are always pushing yourself on others and always looking to score. the big difference between most conventional ways to promote a business and craigslist is like the difference between a legitimate escort service thats in the phone book and a street walker standing on the corner and craig is your pimp.

like i said i am not knocking anyone, just adding my two cents as well as throwing in how it is in my area and i do fully understand it varies from state to state and i am sure there are much better places then the nnj board on craigslist.

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-12-2012, 01:31 PM
It might vary from state to state.

I found it useful my first year when I was green on bidding and were willing to deal with hagglers. Once I was established I seen it as a headache. I had people that wanted biweekly mowings ask for quotes on 3-4 different services that they werent even shopping for. I would give a discount for multiservices and they would say they wanted this that and this and when I show up its ohh just cut the grass.

Then I had people tell me I was the third quote and he had two more coming. 5 quotes for mowing? I had people slam doors in my face saying the other guy did it for $20 and so on. I had people sign up for weekly mowings, just to call every week and say it doesnt need to be cut this week. When I told them its a different price for weekly and biweekly they were irate. Even though thats how I bid it in the first place.

Just recently I gave a estimate on a driveway seasonal and per push. The guy wanted the seasonal but for one month. I told him thats not how it works. You would have to be per push.

If I was looking for a lawyer I wouldnt go to craigslist. If I was looking for a accountant I wouldnt go to craigslist. Craigslist and professional service just doesnt connect for me.

jford1995
01-12-2012, 10:23 PM
jymie.. thank you so much instructions is what i was looking for! the other guys.. as i am 17 ive been mowing for 5 years on my own. my dad and grandpa would carry me around to my clients till i turned 16. when i was 16 i had i believe about 13 clients. i see where yal are coming from and i dont want all that trouble. what other ways do yall suggest to score new customers?

cruzgardening
01-13-2012, 01:09 AM
jymie.. thank you so much instructions is what i was looking for! the other guys.. as i am 17 ive been mowing for 5 years on my own. my dad and grandpa would carry me around to my clients till i turned 16. when i was 16 i had i believe about 13 clients. i see where yal are coming from and i dont want all that trouble. what other ways do yall suggest to score new customers?

Hey how are you? well craigslist is an amazing service despite what anyone tells you. It has real legitimate services and yes you encounter lots of cheap people looking for the cheapest service but it is up to you to service them or not. This is going to be my second year on my own and i can tell you craigslist has given me a lot of business specially during the warm months, from Feb-oct here in Southern California, i am hoping to get up to 100 accounts this year i started with little over 25 accounts when i bought my route around May, I am at 65 right now i lost some and gained lots more, just make sure you add lots of keywords and like they arleady told you make ur add catchy simple and to the point.

once you got enough client advertise elsewhere and pass out flyers Best of luck!

dpld
01-13-2012, 10:01 AM
Hey how are you? well craigslist is an amazing service despite what anyone tells you. It has real legitimate services and yes you encounter lots of cheap people looking for the cheapest service but it is up to you to service them or not. This is going to be my second year on my own and i can tell you craigslist has given me a lot of business specially during the warm months, from Feb-oct here in Southern California, i am hoping to get up to 100 accounts this year i started with little over 25 accounts when i bought my route around May, I am at 65 right now i lost some and gained lots more, just make sure you add lots of keywords and like they arleady told you make ur add catchy simple and to the point.

once you got enough client advertise elsewhere and pass out flyers Best of luck!

from day one you need to properly advertise to get your business the right customers for your business.
just any customer is not what a business needs to grow, well, maybe if you got a corner store but in the landscape industry you need specific types of consumers to prosper and i know it varies from state to state with CL but one thing is certain the consumers i am talking about don't exist on CL in any state.

i would not want to be the owner of a business full of CL customers because most of these people allready know what it is gonna cost and then they turn to CL to see if they can find some hard up sap to do it even cheaper.
if you think small thats all you will ever be small and if all you are looking to do is replace a paycheck from a old job and say you are your own boss then you might as well go back and get your old job back because it will be a lot less of a hassle and probably more profitable.

as the old saying goes nothing good in life is free or easy.

Hedgemaster
01-13-2012, 11:03 AM
Craigslist is working for me.

I hesitated for the longest time - fears of spammers and cheap-assed tire-kickers. Eventually, I discovered a way to eliminate the spam and have gotten a really nice group of clients who never complain and pay on time.

I thought I would get nothing but calls from "poor people", but it's been a mix of young, old, wealthy, and poor - black, white, and other.

I think that by using an actual advertisement (image/display ad) as described by Jymie above you can set yourself apart from the dozens of "line ads" that are filled with misspelled words and things that scare away the "good" clients.
That's what I did and I had a lot of clients comment that it was what made them call ME over "Joe's grass cutting".

That said, your ad needs to be a good one - not a glorified version of a classified ad.


Like most things - it's not "black and white". Craigslist can (and surely does) "work" just fine under the right circumstances.
Also, as money starts coming in, start to expand - don't just advertise in one place.

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-13-2012, 12:04 PM
I use image ads with a typed description. I leave the email blank and still get spam. I know about keywords my site ranks first under several search terms. A good site with seo will out perform CL any day. The largest companies out here never advertise on CL. I see them working everyday with a dozen trucks. There doing this off of reputation.

The image ad I use is a smaller version of what I put in banks. I suggest people get creative with advertising. Theres a cab company that has a ad display on top of the cars. Almost like a pizza delivery thing. I did this for a month and picked up more customers then CL all year.

The bottom line is every region is different. The same way every customer is. Some have great results with newspapers, others direct mail, others door hangers. I think you have to use a mix of all and find out what works in your area.

Steve
01-13-2012, 03:45 PM
Eventually, I discovered a way to eliminate the spam and have gotten a really nice group of clients who never complain and pay on time.

What is your advice on how best to screen the spam you get from the site and find good customers?

dpld
01-13-2012, 04:47 PM
What is your advice on how best to screen the spam you get from the site and find good customers?

i am also curious to that as well because unless you leave absolutely no way to contact you it is never going to happen.

at best, you may be able knock a small percentage off but eliminate is totally false.

if you believe that, i got a nice unicorn for sale if you are interested and i also have a leprechan that knows where the pot of gold is at the end of a rainbow.

i will give you a nice package deal if intrested.

ringahding1
01-13-2012, 05:12 PM
What is your advice on how best to screen the spam you get from the site and find good customers?

On your website have ONE contact page enabled with "Captcha" WordPress is great for this. In the system itself, it provides an add-on or plugin that blocks SPAM, for FREE! That is just one way of controlling spam, now if there were a plugin for your phone that could 100% block spam..lol

dpld
01-13-2012, 05:39 PM
On your website have ONE contact page enabled with "Captcha" WordPress is great for this. In the system itself, it provides an add-on or plugin that blocks SPAM, for FREE! That is just one way of controlling spam, now if there were a plugin for your phone that could 100% block spam..lol

what about CL being a captcha enabled web site? would you be able to do the same for a reply in your ad on CL ?

i have that on my web page but at the same time it does nothing for me if my phone # and email is on the site and only really helps you if they want to contact you directly through your website.

it just seems to make things a hassle for anyone intrested in your service looking to contact you and for a new guy starting out it would seem that he would want to make himself more easily accessible.

even though i am not a fan of CL from a business perspective i still would not knock anyone for using it and if it is working for a particular individual i would say god bless them.
as i said earlier CL varies greatly from state to state and the people i see that think it is the bees knees are in PA, illinois and the west coast and i easily could envision it being a totally different crowd in those area's but if you were in Northern NJ CL you would definitly be singing a different tune.

being close to New York and just in the general tri state area with the population so congested as well as all the scumbag theives seem to congregate here that the probabillity of getting burned is high.

ringahding1
01-13-2012, 05:51 PM
Post your URL and I will take a look for you. As far as the Craigs Ad is concerned, make your ad somewhat OUTSTANDING and then when you get a hit off it, it won't be someone trying to scam you...this is not 100% full proof.

If you're placing pictures of your work like you are on your site, and maybe just str8 out offering a discount, you wont' have to worry about the Cheap customer. Who would say instead of the "10% off" discount is going to try and suggest you give them a 15% instead?

I can't suggest anything about your website if I don't know how you rank in your area or analyze it. I can say this is the only way we're found as we don't need Craigslist or the phonebook, although I will place an CL Ad that looks like it's only for serious clients.

JeffK26
01-13-2012, 06:51 PM
I've had a CL ad running for a few months now and haven't received one piece of spam.

You post an ad with an image advertisement like jymie explained. All contact information is on the "flyer". Keep your contact info as anonymous and keep it on the flyer only.

Spambots can't read fliers so they do not get your email address.

So far 3 of my clients are from CL, I have performed work for each of them and 2 of them have given me a tip for great work. I do understand CL does have people lookin to save a buck, but to say it's a waste of time is silly. It should by no means be your only method, but it's far from a waste of time.

Hedgemaster
01-13-2012, 07:26 PM
i am also curious to that as well because unless you leave absolutely no way to contact you it is never going to happen.

at best, you may be able knock a small percentage off but eliminate is totally false.

if you believe that, i got a nice unicorn for sale if you are interested and i also have a leprechan that knows where the pot of gold is at the end of a rainbow.

i will give you a nice package deal if intrested.


I'm not really interested in the unicorn, but if you can make me a good deal on both, I can sell the unicorn on Craigslist and make a profit.

:D



Seriously. I've not received one spam email, phone call, or singing telegram.

I realize it's hard to believe because some people like to brag, but honestly, not an ounce of spam. I can't believe it myself - it's why I avoided CL like the plague initially. I had placed a listing there a few years ago when I was looking for work in an unrelated field and I received nothing BUT spam.


I did exactly as Saber just mentioned. My phone and email are on the ad, but spambots can't "see" them.
I know people are lazy and would rather "click" a link to a website, but for the sake of preventing spammers, I can accept that I may miss out on a few clients. The "email" contact that people can click on is the CL contact email. If they want to reach me via my normal email, they have to read it and type it.

Here's the thread I started when I first posted my ad...
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13951&highlight=craigslist

dpld
01-13-2012, 08:55 PM
I'm not really interested in the unicorn, but if you can make me a good deal on both, I can sell the unicorn on Craigslist and make a profit.

:D



Seriously. I've not received one spam email, phone call, or singing telegram.

I realize it's hard to believe because some people like to brag, but honestly, not an ounce of spam. I can't believe it myself - it's why I avoided CL like the plague initially. I had placed a listing there a few years ago when I was looking for work in an unrelated field and I received nothing BUT spam.


I did exactly as Saber just mentioned. My phone and email are on the ad, but spambots can't "see" them.
I know people are lazy and would rather "click" a link to a website, but for the sake of preventing spammers, I can accept that I may miss out on a few clients. The "email" contact that people can click on is the CL contact email. If they want to reach me via my normal email, they have to read it and type it.

Here's the thread I started when I first posted my ad...
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13951&highlight=craigslist


hey i am not knocking it as a whole i am just giving my perspective from my region.
your in pittsburg and one dude is in st louis and another is in minnesota and another is southern california.
i think it is safe to say that the 5 locations includeing mine have absolutely nothing in common with each other from A to Z from food to people even right down to our local economy's.
it's funny, what i do for humor is i will go on CL and go all around the country and visit all the locations and go right to the rants and raves board on each areas board and you can get a good pulse of a region on these boards.

some area's like in cally the people are all mellow and easy going and a typical post will be "RANT: went to tito's burrito's and they are killer".
and you get to the midwest and they are typical civil rants or raves and then you get to the northern nj boards and its full of piss and vinegar and the only boards i have seen as bad as nj's is philidelphia.
it amazes me in how many miserable people there are where i live and call home.
but in a nutshell that is how it is here, people drive a million miles per hour and if you even make someone even twitch for the brake pedal they will want to run you off the road and have a battle royale to the death over it.
you go to the food store and if you stop you will be plowed over.
home owners here within 5 minutes on the phone have 10 landscapers coming over to give them a price on their lawn.
in this state the way people are they will spare no expense and not make one exception to have that 80,000 car in the driveway or that McMansion they live in or the 5 vacations a year.
and the lifestyle they live forces them to have to cut corners and they usually do to the easiest guy in town to beat up, the landscaper.

9 out of 10 home owners watch these home improvement shows and think they know what they are doing or on a construction job they think they are gonna GC the job and they think they are gonna get everything done at a sub contractor rate and it always ends as a nightmare .
and that is who you are gonna get calling you on the nnj CL board and that is why i would never use it myself.


i do all commercial properties and have not done any residential work in 5 years and i don't plan on doing work for home owners any time soon if ever so CL serves me no use as well i was in business before there ever was a internet so fortunately i have never had to rely on the internet too much for work.

the internet is a valuble tool and i have incorporated it into my business over the years but my point is in this day of technology that some of the older tride and true methods that get overseen still work today. some of them in the end build you a better customer base and if you want to get into the big jobs and high dollar customers you need to be more hands on and approach these people more directly and that is something anyone can do whether you are just starting out or been at it a while.

jford1995
01-13-2012, 09:44 PM
i am a teen that loves working hard and loves working in the landscape industry. i do work for some people doing a different job but ive never worked for anyone doing lawn care and i do not want to. i want to make a career out of this and i know cl is not the best source to gain customers. what do you suggest is the best way to grow in the lawn care industry?

from day one you need to properly advertise to get your business the right customers for your business.
just any customer is not what a business needs to grow, well, maybe if you got a corner store but in the landscape industry you need specific types of consumers to prosper and i know it varies from state to state with CL but one thing is certain the consumers i am talking about don't exist on CL in any state.

i would not want to be the owner of a business full of CL customers because most of these people allready know what it is gonna cost and then they turn to CL to see if they can find some hard up sap to do it even cheaper.
if you think small thats all you will ever be small and if all you are looking to do is replace a paycheck from a old job and say you are your own boss then you might as well go back and get your old job back because it will be a lot less of a hassle and probably more profitable.

as the old saying goes nothing good in life is free or easy.

ringahding1
01-14-2012, 03:03 AM
Just messing around on CL tonight, so in response to your thread decided to make an ad for serious customers, so you can view it. Craigslist AD (http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/wsh/fgs/2799167429.html)

Honestly we have probably received and performed roughly 10 requests for services this past year, advertising on CL...I do know what you are talking about though.

jymie
01-15-2012, 03:05 AM
You will want to type in some keywords, for example list all your services below the ad area, that way if someone is searching for something other than snow plowing they will pull that ad up also. I like to also include zipcodes in case some one uses just the zip and a service for the search. I see the html is searchable, that's good.