Make the most out of Craigslist
It seems like there are people out there having no luck on Craigslist. I find this hard to believe since mid season, I have had over 20 calls in under two weeks. The lowest cut has been $25 for a mow blow go on a bit bigger than a postage stamp lawn. I picked up 4 more within a mile of the house, so it has really worked out well. I want to share what I am doing so it may help you or someone in a similar situation. If you are an established business who doesn't do anything for under $50 a cut, you will still have some success, but will have some weeding out to do. If you have a very tight schedule, you might not want to try this, because some will sign up weekly, but a lot want their yards beautified that day, even if they do become weeklys.
The first thing you need to do is make an ad. I have found that people love pictures, and if you don't have one, you are going to be a last resort. The picture needs to be easily readable, have your mission statement in it, as well as a name and contact number.
Your mission statement is somewhat your niche. I am a local college student, you are a certified, trained, professional who does the best job money can buy. This is what determines who calls you. When people see my ad, they see cheap labor, when they see yours, they see money well spent. The higher end folks will drift to yours, however, even I still get a few.
Your name and contact information also needs to be up front. They want to know who they are calling and searching all over an ad for a hardly readable name and number is going to have them finding another ad.
Most people already know this, but you need to have the areas you service in the ad. This will keep people from calling you who are out of your area. If you don't mind the extra time on the phone in case it is a big account, then just list your county or be a little more vague. I would recommend having "lawn" or "lawn care" in your title to make it easier to find when people search for your service.
Where you post on Craigslist is possibly one of the most important things to consider. If your ad is spammed in the wrong section, your phone might never ring. I try to keep 5 ads up in fairly different sections of Craigslist:
Farm and Garden by owner
General for sale
Small biz ads
Skilled trade services
Farm and garden services
The first two are not where your ad belongs and you need to understand that. Your postings should be very limited there because you don't want to clog up that area and have all your ads flagged. If they do get flagged, quit posting there.
What you do need to do, is post one ad in each one of those sections UNDER YOUR ACCOUNT. When you do this, you can renew them in one click through your account every 3 days. This will bump them back up to the top without having an obnoxious presence. It just screams unprofessional when you click on a section and you see a wall of one person's ads that are strictly text for $20 cuts.
Finally, tags. These are basically keywords listed at the bottom of your post. You want to keep them limited, if you even use them at all. Ones you might want to include are: lawn, lawn care, lawncare, lawn service, lawn maintenance. Those are just terms someone might search for that are otherwise not listed in your ad.
These are just some tips that will hopefully help someone. Please excuse misspellings and the lack of pictures because this is all being done from my phone.
Last edited by Ormond32176; 08-07-2013 at 10:33 AM.