In this article we will share how to use Craigslist to get more clients from your cleaning business and pro tips for growing your cleaning business using Craigslist ads. We’ll also cover the history of Craigslist, including some juicy details you may not have known. Can you guess how long Craigslist has been around? Read on to find out…
WHO IS CRAIG, AND WHY IS HIS LIST SO POPULAR?
If you’ve been living in the western world and using the internet for any amount of time, you’ve heard of Craigslist.
If you’ve ever tried to buy a used car, find a job, buy or rent a home, you must have stumbled upon this massive online directory.
The same goes for any efforts to advertise your services or connect with another human being – Craigslist is an eternal go-to for anyone in the know.
This is for good reason – the simple, clean design hasn’t changed for over a decade. And why should it?
The website has been reported to receive over 9 Billion unique visits per month.
That makes it a rival for marketplace giants such as Zillow and Yelp.
And to think, this beast of a site was launched by a guy in San Francisco with a single mission: to tell his friends what events to go to.
THE HISTORY OF CRAIGSLIST
The popular website was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark.
Craig’s original purpose was to tell his fellow San Francisco natives about events happening in the area.
Since then, the site has steadily expanded into over 450 cities and 50 countries.
Nowadays, Craigslist is ranked as the #19 most popular site in the US as of 2019, according to an Alexa ranking.
The company even started the Craigslist Foundation, a nonprofit which helps other nonprofits grow and establish themselves.
Rather than contributing money directly, the charity throws local events to help charities at the grass-roots level.
Craigslist has come under criticism before, such as when it was pressured to ban ads relating to the sale of dogs and cats.
The platform was accused of promoting reckless breeding, but the claims ended up being unjustified.
In another less public scandal, Craig and his leadership team were accused of diluting eBay’s stock by injecting a ‘poison pill’ into the company.
They were accused of lowering eBay’s stock in the company and also eliminating eBay’s right to appoint a member to the board of directors.
The controversial listing site has even been accused of such heinous things as enabling child pornography.
According to Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, 85% of these types of atrocities were due to listing sites like Craigslist.
A Craigslist spokesperson declined to comment on the incident.
Despite the criticism against Craigslist, the company is still a major source of traffic for small businesses and freelancers around the world.
If you are a small cleaning business owner, you should be using Craigslist.
WHY CRAIGSLIST WORKS SO WELL FOR CLEANING BUSINESSES
Articles have been written about why you shouldn’t hire a cleaning service on Craigslist.
And yet, it is still a great way to generate new business as a house cleaner.
Recently, Craigslist added a $5 fee for posting cleaning services.
This may discourage you from posting, but it’s actually a good thing.
It has cut down on spammers and folks not willing to invest in their business.
For this reason, the amount of posts has drastically decreased, which means you have a better shot at getting quality leads.
HOW TO DOMINATE CRAIGSLIST WITH YOUR CLEANING BIZ
How can you best target your ads to get the most bang for your 5 bucks?
CATER TO PRICE SHOPPERS
One of the reasons folks search Craigslist vs. Google or Yelp is because of price sensitivity.
Consumers know that smaller businesses are advertising on Craigslist, which usually comes with a lower price tag.
If you have lower prices, you can use this to your advantage by pointing this out in your ads.
PUT ‘LICENSED/INSURED’ OR ‘FREE ESTIMATES’ IN YOUR TITLE
This tip should be applied differently, depending on your pricing structure.
If your prices are on the lower end, put ‘FREE ESTIMATES’ to communicate this right away to clients.
If your prices are on the higher end, communicate the value of working with your business by saying ‘LICENSED/INSURED.’
Take care not to use capital letters in your entire title, as that will come across as spammy.
One or two words capitalized is more than enough to capture browser’s attention.
KEEP THE AD SIMPLE
Remember, you’re trying to mimic the simplistic style of Craigslist.
You’re also attempting to separate yourself from the corporate-sounding ads of large businesses.
Here’s a great example of a simple ad:
Hi, my name is Flores and I pride myself on providing affordable, dependable cleaning services for my clients.
My specialties are:
- Deep Cleaning
- Apartment Cleaning
- Move in/ Move out Cleaning
- Recurring Cleaning
Call me today for a free estimate!
You might also want to consider adding some benefits of using your business over the competition:
- You’re licensed and insured
- You’ve been in business for X years
- You have large corporate clients (if applicable)
- Your Satisfaction Guarantee
- You provide Free Quotes
- You provide a discount for first time customers
Make sure you use keywords at the bottom that reflect what folks would be searching for to find your listing.
Just don’t over-do it, or you will come across as spammy.
For example, don’t follow the example below:
Create a ‘flyer’ for your Craigslist ad using this guide, or just use a free image editor to throw one together.
Remember, the most important thing is that your flyer is clean and attention-grabbing.
You don’t have to worry about having the perfect ad or professional photoshop skills.
You might also want to check out Adobe Spark, which you can use for a low monthly fee to create professional-looking graphics.
INCLUDE A CALL TO ACTION
Unfortunately, Craigslist won’t let you put clickable links in your services posting.
So make sure you put a phone number that folks can call if they want to hire you.
Better yet, let folks know they can text you at the phone number you’ve provided.
Pro-Tip: Utilize PocketSuite’s Smart Campaigns to create an auto-reply to any text messages that come in to your number.
Simply use your PocketSuite Premium Business number in your Craigslist ad.
Then create your Smart Campaign in PocketSuite and set the timer to 0 (instant).
Put your PocketSuite Online Booking Link in the auto-reply, which will help folks book your services online.
As soon as folks text your number on Craigslist, they’ll get an automated reply with a link to book your services online, right from their phone or computer.
Using this fully automated system, you can start getting bookings for your cleaning business on autopilot.
So how are you going to utilize Craigslist to get more cleaning clients?
Use every tip from this article, and you’ll be raking in dozens of new clients in no time.
Just don’t forget to stock up on microfiber towels and business cards, because you’ll need them for all of the new clients you’ll be servicing.
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- PocketSuite Smart Campaigns
- PocketSuite Online Booking Widget
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