Good ol’ Craigslist. There have always been opportunities to make money on Craigslist, but ever since they started charging $5 for service and gig postings, the opportunities have grown even larger. Essentially, what this charge helped to do was stop spammers. Another result that it had was that it discouraged posts from business owners who are not willing to invest in their businesses. We can tell you that currently it’s possible to get several new clients every day from the site. This holds true though only if things are done correctly. Otherwise, you may just find yourself frustrated and not finding many new clients. Below, you will find exactly what you need to do.
Why Are We Qualified?
We offer a Craigslist advertising service that uses the formula we are about to reveal to you to generate 1–6 leads per day for our clients with effective Craigslist ads. We have tested all kinds of things, and have come up with a few simple tactics that work.
We have seen people run ads on there that are absolutely shameful. So what Craigslist advertising tips can we provide as professional lead generators? Well, generating leads from Craigslist is a lot simpler than you may think. You don’t need a fancy website, or a super in-depth ad. To start to understand how to good Craigslist ads, you have to start by understanding some of the reasons people use the platform.
Why Do People Go on Craigslist?
In general we think that people go to Craigslist over platforms like Google or Yelp for a few main reasons including:
People looking on Craigslist are generally looking to reach a smaller business that may not have all of the overhead of a larger business, so that they can be offered a good deal. This is good and bad for those who advertise on Craigslist because you get price shoppers. But if you have prices on the lower end of the competition, you’re in good shape.
Find Someone Local
Craigslist has been a community platform since it started, and with all of the massive franchises out there, we believe people turn to Craigslist to have a more personable experience with the company or service person they hire.
That is probably one of the reasons we see that people respond better to smaller service companies just looking for work on Craigslist rather than larger companies.
The concept of classified ads has been alive long before the internet was popular. Google was like the yellow pages and the newspaper classified section was like Craigslist. It makes sense to older people to use this platform.
Those Native to the Platform
There are people who make their living off of Craigslist, and we see that these people are also more likely to look for services on the platform because they are already familiar with it, and have a certain amount of trust in it.
Now that we understand the main reasons why people use Craigslist over other platforms, we can start to shape our ads to cater to this.
1. Craft Catchy Titles/Headlines for Craigslist
If you want to learn how to write a good craigslist ad for services, A catchy title is a good place to start. The title should be simple and include at least one of your main keywords. For example, we used a similar title to the one below for some handyman advertising we ran:
“Joe’s Local Handyman Services — FREE ESTIMATES”
Let’s break this down…
In this case the “Joe’s Local” here indicates that Joe is a local guy looking for work.
“Handyman Services” is our main keyword in this case, and it also shows to the public exactly what we provide without them clicking on it.
“FREE ESTIMATES” appeals to the people looking for a deal on Craigslist, but this can be a double edged sword. we would suggest only using this in your title if your services are affordably priced compared to the competition. If they are not, we would recommend replacing that with something like “LICENSED AND INSURED”. This part is essentially a special offer or something that makes us stand out so people are more likely to click on our ad instead of the competition. Notice this is the only part of the ad that is in all caps, because we want it to stand out.
If you have a photo of yourself or your marketing client on the job, this is going to help you stand out, appeal to people looking for someone local, and possibly make people more comfortable allowing you or your marketing client in their house.
That being said, it is not required to do this to be successful on Craigslist. We have gotten a fair amount of calls just by posting photos of jobs. Make sure the resolution on the photos are high and that they properly showcases your work.
3. Handyman Advertising Example Body
We like to keep the body simple and to the point. Again we are trying to appeal to the main concepts we mentioned before.
Here is a handyman ad body example:
Hi, my name is Joe and I am a jack of almost all trades. I pride myself on doing quality and affordable work for my clients.
Some of my services include:
- Tree work
Call me today for a free estimate!
Let’s break this down now…
- Appealing to being a local guy who is affordable once again
- A very clear breakdown of our main services so people know what we do
- Clearly stating the phone number with a call to action
- A special offer “free estimate”
Using HTML on Craigslist to Help Your Ad Stand Out
Craigslist accepts certain HTML tags in their postings, so you should utilize them to help make your Craigslist ads stand out . A simple tag you can use to format your Craigslist posts is the <big> tag. Simply put this tag at the start of your ad and put </big> at the bottom of your ad to close the tag. Another decent one that we use sometimes is <u>. This will underline whatever you put it on, and a good place to use it is on your phone number and/or your call to action.
4. How to Put Keywords in Your Craigslist Ads (Important)
There is an old saying that SEOs say: it doesn’t matter how good your ad looks if nobody sees it. We don’t see much of the competition doing this properly, so it creates a good opportunity.
You can put your main keywords into Ubersuggest and export a list of related keywords. You should take the ones with the best metrics, and those that best match your services, then put them in a comma separated list at the bottom of your post. See the YouTube video below to learn how to do this.
Note: try not to use too many keywords or do this in a spammy way because you may get banned from Craigslist.
5. When to Post
The good news is that now that the ads are paid, you won’t have to post 6 times a day like you had to in the past. Pay attention to the call volume, and if it drops off at all, simply repost the ad. We find that it’s good to do this every 2–6 days or so, and weekends tend to be a good time to post because people often look on Craigslist then.
6. Keep in Touch with the Clients
When you or your marketing clients do a job, collect the customers information along with their email address. You can use this to stay in touch with them by sending them emails on things like their birthday and holidays, and special promotions (every once in awhile). This will keep you or your marketing client at the top of their minds, so that they may hire you for new work.
7. Offer a Referral Program
If you do good work, chances are people will probably refer you to a certain extent even without a referral program, but having one can incentivize them to do it more. The other benefit is that you can connect with other businesses that can refer you also.
Simply let people know you have a referral program, and it can be as simple as 6% of the cost of the job, or $50 in cash or gift cards.
Now that you have learned how to write a good craigslist ad for services, you should be able to generate 1–6 leads per day like us. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or ask us in our Facebook group. Happy posting!