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My First Advertisement - Craigslist and Beyond

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  • Hedgemaster
    started a topic My First Advertisement - Craigslist and Beyond

    My First Advertisement - Craigslist and Beyond

    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.




    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!
    Attached Files

  • cruzgardening
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Hedgemaster
    replied
    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)

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Hedgemaster
    replied
    Looks good. Whos that guy in the green shirt?? You may want to get him off your ad.
    I dunno, but he looks larger than life, and quite studly.

    Leave a comment:


  • wat5150
    replied
    Looks good. Whos that guy in the green shirt?? You may want to get him off your ad.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hedgemaster
    replied
    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 design and modified the bottom (area under the phone number) to include a few photos.




    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!

    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • Hedgemaster
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Hedgemaster
    replied
    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)

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hedgemaster
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Hedgemaster
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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