Is craigslist helpful for lawn care businesses?

Craigslist has one great benefit for the new start up mowing businesses, it’s free. So with no barrier of entry, the amount of people using it to promote all sorts of things can sky-rocket, depending on your area. So with that said, is it worthwhile for you to post an ad on there? Is there a special way to do it to maximize response? Let’s hear from some members of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum to see what has worked for them.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I started my business from the ground up and my main source of jobs in the beginning was craigslist. I would normally get 10+ jobs a week from their site by advertising my services on there.

This year (my second year in business) I am experiencing a big difference though. Although I haven’t advertised much this year on craigslist, when I do, I am getting a lot less calls. Has anyone else gone through or noticed this same thing happening to them? I think it may be due to the overwhelming and increasing number of scams and spam on craigslist! I’m just about done with using their site because every time I post an ad, I probably receive 10+ scams or spam emails per day and it gets frustrating!”

A second lawn care business owner said “I get tons of spam too. I have at least 10 scam emails a day as well.

I get some work from CL but not enough to deal with reposting ads and redoing them when someone reports them as spam. I’m one of the few on there with a legitimate business, insurance, and licenses. I always put my ad in the service section not in general, barter, or farm and garden. Somehow my ads get pulled just for posting them frequently.

The other reason I am having problems with is that CL seems to be full of bargain hunters. I had a guy tell me I was the 4th to bid on his lawn mowing job and he has 2 more coming. We’re talking a 1/4 acre job here. What the hell are you saving? $3 bucks? The other part is they will ask for bids on 4 different services, even though they are only looking for 1.”

A third shared “I would have gotten nowhere without Craigslist.

I get ZERO spam. The fear of being spammed to death and attracting cheap clients was what kept me from using CL initially, but ultimately, I have gotten some really awesome clients through CL - people of all backgrounds, ethnicity, and income levels.

I solved the spam issue by making my ad a graphic. (an image) I designed my ad and placed it on CL with some additional text below it including keywords to help people find my ad. Since my email and phone number are in the IMAGE and not in the text, the spambots that seek out that info can not harvest my info. Ta-da! No spam.

I also believe that your success with CL advertising varies depending on your location and the amount of local competition you have advertising on it.”

A fourth added “my experience has been that if you post a higher quality ad, you get calls from a better clientele. The number of calls you get from Craiglist seem to have more to do with how often you post an ad and when you post it (time of day) more than anything else.”

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