Use Craigslist to get clients?

by wb_man
33 replies
Anyone here use Craigslist to get clients?

I think there's two ways to do it:
1) post ads offering your services
or
2) find businesses with ads on craigslist and contact them.



Are Craigslist clients cheap and hard to deal with?
How to write your ads to get noticed?
#clients #craigslist
  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    Not in my experience. They have been very friendly, easy to talk to, willing to pay a fair price..but seeking a bargain. Frequently they have been burned once or twice and are a bit cautious.

    I'll leave the "writing" part up to someone else...except to say, study your competitors and see who looks successful and that you would be tempted to call. That should give you a clue what to write.
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    Barry,
    Are you posting locally or across the USA? What sections are you having the best results posting in?
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    I only focus on two cities, both where I have physical addresses.

    Every time I have attempted to go too broad, my accounts get ghosted.

    I could use a combination of browsers, clearing cache, VPN's, PVA's, and post more widely, but for now, I'm not.

    I am definitely NOT the resource for learning how to do mass postings to Craigslist.
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    • Profile picture of the author wb_man
      willing to pay a fair price..but seeking a bargain.
      how much are they willing to pay for a website?

      i know their ads say no unsolicited services so emailing them is probably not a good idea. should i call them instead and pretend like i found them on google/yellowpages/manta?

      can i post ads in other cities in my state? or do i have to post within certain miles of my ip address if i dont want to get ghosted?
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    Post ads slowly. Wait hours between posting. You'll have better luck doing it that way.

    I usually don't post more than once per day in my area.

    I'm not using Craigslist to scrape leads. I have called people that are actively advertising they want a website or other service.

    I advertise on Craigslist and get calls from potential clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      This was working in 2012 and is being posted on Craigslist 4 days ago...

      http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...5k-2-days.html

      "Quote on comment 21...

      "Ewen, I'm using this title and the ad we created in dozens of Craigslist posts each week...the results are mind blowing."

      See comment about buying a yacht on post 35.

      Best,
      Doctor E. Vile
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  • Profile picture of the author PriyaN12
    I have to try this , I have very less knowledge about Craiglist .
    great to be here .
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  • Profile picture of the author themebounce
    I used to get really good response from just looking for people that need web work done. Replying to their ads but also posting my own ads. The main thing is to try to work as locally as possible because many of them have been burned. And make sure to weed out the tire kickers. You'll quickly figure out how to do that.
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    • Profile picture of the author Unique marketing
      Banned
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      • Profile picture of the author craigsposterpro
        Same as with Google, you really need to drill down and do competitive analysis.

        o Make sure you match the posting/marketing efforts of your main competitors. Delve into their ads and be very clear about what your business edge will be and how to properly convey that.

        o Do not use verbose or lengthy ad text as that will lead to an increased risk of flagging. Try to cap your ad text to 5 - 10 one-line bullet items since the only mission of your ad is to provide enough teaser information to trigger a response.

        o Have a wide diversity of ad text, ad titles, images and even phone numbers.

        o Try to avoid leaving campaign footprints like common dollar figures in your ads, common email addresses or URLs

        By the way, you really can't generalize that all Craigslist clients are cheap. We know divorce attorneys that have built their entire practice off of Craigslist marketing. You will get the same full range of client types as any other marketing platform.


        Hope this helps
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  • Profile picture of the author JaySG
    Here is a way to get local clients with craigslist. Go to Google Alerts and create an alert like this

    site:craigslist.org "i need a logo"

    That is an example. You are going to receive emails from people looking for logos in this case, you can outsource the logo at Fiverr and use it as a foot in the door service and then upsell SEO or another high price premium service.

    Think about a service that is foot in the door service that can be cheap and the prospects you want are looking in craigslist and create a Google Alert to find them for you and sell them the cheap service and then upsell them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
      Originally Posted by JaySG View Post

      Here is a way to get local clients with craigslist. Go to Google Alerts and create an alert like this

      site:craigslist.org "i need a logo"

      That is an example. You are going to receive emails from people looking for logos in this case, you can outsource the logo at Fiverr and use it as a foot in the door service and then upsell SEO or another high price premium service.

      Think about a service that is foot in the door service that can be cheap and the prospects you want are looking in craigslist and create a Google Alert to find them for you and sell them the cheap service and then upsell them.
      What? "outsource them to fiverr">>> Oh please...I am getting so sick of this lame idea

      Every lazy no skill person has this idea that they will "outsource"...place free ads, then convince people to pay good prices and then run over to fiverr and find some guy in India to make it for 5 bucks

      Is this what you are doing for seo?? Unreal..much of that seo they offer is worthless and can really harm your clients
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      • Profile picture of the author JaySG
        Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999 View Post

        What? "outsource them to fiverr">>> Oh please...I am getting so sick of this lame idea

        Every lazy no skill person has this idea that they will "outsource"...place free ads, then convince people to pay good prices and then run over to fiverr and find some guy in India to make it for 5 bucks

        Is this what you are doing for seo?? Unreal..much of that seo they offer is worthless and can really harm your clients
        It can be any outsourcer. The core idea is not selling logos is offering a loss leader service to get a foot in the door. Build trust with the business owner and then upsell a premium service. This concept can be a little bit surprising for those who are not that marketing savvy, but every successful marketer does this.
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  • Profile picture of the author wb_man
    I've had no luck posting ads on CL. No one has called or emailed me.

    Maybe my ads suck or I'm dealing with too much competition?
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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    Yeah...build trust with a business when you give them a low resolution logo in mostly unusable format

    then a month later if revisions are needed you can't find the guy who made it LOL

    way to get your foot in the door and your butt kicked out
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    • Profile picture of the author JaySG
      Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999 View Post

      Yeah...build trust with a business when you give them a low resolution logo in mostly unusable format

      then a month later if revisions are needed you can't find the guy who made it LOL

      way to get your foot in the door and your butt kicked out
      You are generalizing on your bad experience on Fiverr, there is great talent there if you look hard. My tip to you is this: try 5 different designers at the same time, choose the best one and pay them more and you'll get a very good piece of work.

      One bad experience with one bad strategy doesn't mean it doesn't work, it means you have to tweak your strategy for the next time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    Ummm....I don't use fiverr... I am talking about client's who have

    also - you apparently don't have a lot of experience in dealing with real world clients...they will come back to you and want something added or changed....while I don't offer unlimited revisions, they do want to know that YOU are doing the work. They also want to see who else you did work for - a portfolio from Thailand or India or etc won't fly where I live

    You are full of advice but what backs up that advice? I don't go to engineering forums or forums about dental implants and shove my opinion at professional people. I do not claim to be the guru here, nor do I sell anything. I do try to offer practical real world advice based upon the fact this is what I do for a living, full time.
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    • Profile picture of the author JaySG
      Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999 View Post

      Ummm....I don't use fiverr... I am talking about client's who have

      also - you apparently don't have a lot of experience in dealing with real world clients...they will come back to you and want something added or changed....while I don't offer unlimited revisions, they do want to know that YOU are doing the work. They also want to see who else you did work for - a portfolio from Thailand or India or etc won't fly where I live

      You are full of advice but what backs up that advice? I don't go to engineering forums or forums about dental implants and shove my opinion at professional people. I do not claim to be the guru here, nor do I sell anything. I do try to offer practical real world advice based upon the fact this is what I do for a living, full time.
      Congrats. PM me with your one-to-one coaching rates.
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  • Profile picture of the author SahaayNisha
    Yes definitely ... Craiglist is the best to get traffic as well as business enquiry.
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  • Profile picture of the author ATevan22
    Craigslist can be hit or miss. You are dealing with people from all walks of life and all income levels. That being said, CL is just another tool in your marketing arsenal.
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  • I agree that CL is hit or miss....I've seen everything from Bargain seekers to business owners wanting to hire for big projects. Just gotta keep posting ads over time to see what you come up with.
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  • Profile picture of the author moneymagneto
    Craigslist works for selling physical items. There are tricks you can use to get clients from Craigslist. You have to be smart about it. However answering a plain classified Ad 99% you will get rejected.
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  • Profile picture of the author wb_man
    1) post ads offering your services
    or
    2) find businesses with ads on craigslist and contact them.
    Ok, so my first method isn't working. no luck posting ads on Craigslist. No one has contacted me...yet. Maybe my ads suck or I'm dealing with too much competition.

    However, I've generated ~8 interested leads via cold calling YellowPages businesses. So I guess I have to contact them, and not wait for them to contact me.

    Should I try cold calling businesses who post ads on Craigslist? I'm not sure if they have money to pay me...
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  • Profile picture of the author blisonickid
    It depends on which location you are in , for big cities craiglist works and it also depends on category of your products and ads
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  • Profile picture of the author sbishop
    I have been doing commissioned based sales for a local kitchen cabinet maker for a year and a half. I have built a website, a facebook page. posted ads in the local weekly classified paper, bought leads from Home advisor, and posted on craigslist.

    I would say by far I have had more success on craigslist that any of the others. Speaking from my own experience, the key for me boosting responses was adding tons of pics. most of the other cabinet guys had 1 or 2 pics. Sometimes they were just their business card or a stock photo. I added at least 12 photos of actual kitchens we have remodeled. I try to get photos of each new project and keep adding new photos always making it the featured pic.

    I do not claim to be a marketing expert, but I am having success by making my ads different than the rest. I am sure that all the gurus on here would laugh at my ad copy, but at least i'm out there trying something.

    I just sold a granite counter top today. left a quote yesterday, and I have an appointment first thing Monday morning, all from craigslist. Oh, by the way, My largest contract to date was $32k new construction kitchen and baths with granite through out. Where did the lead come from?? Craigslist!! Now that was a nice commission!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author moneymagneto
    Craigslist is not for people selling things that are not absolutely in demand. People there seem to like Movers, Construction, Garbage/Debris Removal, Man with a Van, etc. But other services are harder to sell there. Web Marketing forget about it. Sucks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lee M
    I've had success REPLYING to ads from specific types of businesses and pitching them on my services.

    I've automated the process somewhat using IFTTT platform.

    Once in the platform you set up what are called ... "recipes" .... which run automatically and can send you potential leads. For example, say you were pitching services related to Word Press ... you would set up a recipe (keyword trigger) for "Word Press" .. and anytime an ad said something like .... "Word Press Website Designer Needed..." ... you would receive a copy of the ad so you can then reply.

    Of course that's the easy part so to speak ... closing sales is another story. You have to test many, many different approaches (your e-mail replies to the potential customer) to find a winner. For example, I've found that BRIEF emails work best when first replying. If they can't answer while on their mobile phone ... you need to SHORTEN your message. Basically, you're just looking for initial interest here. Once you establish that ... THEN ... you can advance the conversation via a longer email or even a phone conversation.

    Also, the services you have to offer MUST be tightly aligned with ads being placed. Meaning, you may be an expert at ... "Electrical Engineering CAD Software Design" ... but there are NO ads being placed saying ... "CAD Software Designer Needed."

    Lee
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  • Profile picture of the author ttados
    I built a web scraper that looks through over 400 cities on craigslist. I have it set up to filter and display the most recent adds with web development related keywords in the gigs section. For example, something like, "I need a new wordpress website".

    I have sent probably about 15 personalized emails and haven't even had one response. My guess is that most people only want to pay the equivalent of $15 an hour, which is an insult to US based developers.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      Or that you need to change your message, or that only 1 in 16 is interested.

      15 is just too low of a number to make decisions on.

      I've sent the same email message to groups of people in different cities. In some cities, 0 opens, in others 32%. In some cities 32% opens and nothing else. Others 2% opens and 1 go ahead, let's do it.

      The groups were 8-25.

      Emails were sent at the same hour but on different days.

      Send more emails and see if you get some responses...

      By the way, if they opened but did not contact you, what do you do then?

      What do you do with the ones that you know didn't open?

      Originally Posted by ttados View Post

      I built a web scraper that looks through over 400 cities on craigslist. I have it set up to filter and display the most recent adds with web development related keywords in the gigs section. For example, something like, "I need a new wordpress website".

      I have sent probably about 15 personalized emails and haven't even had one response. My guess is that most people only want to pay the equivalent of $15 an hour, which is an insult to US based developers.
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      • Profile picture of the author ttados
        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        Or that you need to change your message, or that only 1 in 16 is interested.

        15 is just too low of a number to make decisions on.

        I've sent the same email message to groups of people in different cities. In some cities, 0 opens, in others 32%. In some cities 32% opens and nothing else. Others 2% opens and 1 go ahead, let's do it.

        The groups were 8-25.

        Emails were sent at the same hour but on different days.

        Send more emails and see if you get some responses...

        By the way, if they opened but did not contact you, what do you do then?

        What do you do with the ones that you know didn't open?

        I actually don't have anything tracking open rate. Any free suggestions? And yeah, I do agree, 15 is a pretty low number. Just out of curiosity, do you email your prices?
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        • Profile picture of the author DABK
          I don't email prices in the beginning. They have no way to judge what I do yet.

          I send my email through mailchimp, if I send bunches at once.

          Originally Posted by ttados View Post

          I actually don't have anything tracking open rate. Any free suggestions? And yeah, I do agree, 15 is a pretty low number. Just out of curiosity, do you email your prices?
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  • Profile picture of the author craigsposterpro
    Yesware is a great and free email tracking tool that integrates with Gmail very well.
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    • Profile picture of the author charlesgalofre
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      Originally Posted by craigsposterpro View Post

      Yesware is a great and free email tracking tool that integrates with Gmail very well.
      you know I actually thought of that, that's a massive idea, I wonder if it works though. that would be massive? like a cookie email reader notifier
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Iannotti
    Craigslist is a fantastic source for new leads.
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