How to use Craigslist

One of the easiest marketing tools for small businesses (which potential customers and clients actually use) is Craigslist.  It's really one of the best free alternatives to get serious local interest in your business.  It's really perfect for small businesses on an uber small budget, but really any company of any size can use this avenue to generate some hits.

A good Craigslist advertisement for goods or services is concise, clear and somewhat informal.  I've been using Craigslist for years, and a trend I've noticed with my successful campaigns is that brevity, clarity and persistence are the main forces that make Craigslist an effective tool.  I don't have means to prove this, but polished and long winded ads seem to drive away Craigslist readers.  There are many ads on Craigslist should almost be like text messages to the world--short blurbs.  Impressive (but not too impressive) pictures can help too.

And I've often heard that really brief ads for small businesses, like 
  • "I'm good at fixing refrigerators, call me if yours is acting up" or 
  • "Worked for FRANCHISE for years, just starting my own business in ______.  Give me a call".
are particularly effective at getting clicks (linking to a website is certainly not required).  Have a Craigslist posting direct traffic to a funnel, and you're golden.  Potential customers, picked right out of the blue.

It's easy, just create an account by going to your local Craigslist.  Verify it by phone--don't worry--they walk you through it.  And you'll get access to a neat dashboard for your advertisements.  Now, find the place where you want to post your ad.  Post your ad, and administer it. (click and you can see in the image below).

craigslist management console

BONUS STEP (which is almost as important as the previous!)  

Renew, renew, renew.  Let me say it again.  Renew, renew, renew.  After two days of your ad running, you'll get an option to renew it.  Renew it.  Renewing moves your ad to the top of the list, translating into more traffic!  

You can write a generic ad once, and renew it until you want to change it.  I'd highly recommend renewing an ad that you've had success with before because it takes only one click and little thinking.  Also, renew the ad at a time when web traffic is at its highest (posting after lunch isn't a bad time).

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