Using Craigslist to Market Your Business

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CraigslistFrom e-commerce websites to furniture wholesalers, small businesses are discovering the marketing capability of Craigslist.org.

If you provide a service or sell wholesale or resale products, Craigslist is a tool to add to your marketing arsenal.  On Craigslist, users know they will find what they are looking for nearby, so they don’t get stuck sifting through ads for service providers that are located on the other side of the country.

Posting on Craigslist does require that you follow their rules.  The site has some general policies as well as specific ones that vary based on the category of your ad.  Failure to follow these will cause your ad to be flagged and removed from view.

Excessive flags could lead your account being closed permanently, so stay up to date on any changes in policy that may occur from time to time.

It is possible to adhere to the rules and still get plenty of engagement with prospective buyers or clients.

If you’ve never considered using Craigslist for marketing, this information may help you decide.

Identify Your Market

The first thing you’ll need to do is determine where you want your ads to be posted. Not all areas are city specific.  A good way to find your target areas is to start by choosing the State you reside in.

When you select a State, you will be given a list of all the Craigslist sites that are in that State.

For example, if you select Florida you will see a list that includes Orlando and Tallahassee but also shows the Treasure Coast, North Central FL, and South Florida with a notation that this option includes separate sections for Miami/Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.

From there you can determine which area or areas you want to target.

Build Your Ad

Once you’ve found your target areas, you want to develop a posting schedule for each one and create ads that are area specific.

Once upon a time, you could create an entire HTML and CSS coded ad from scratch that coordinated with your Branding. However, the site decided it wanted to focus on keeping a user-friendly option for everyone, not just the tech savvy or paid post designers.

Fortunately, they did improve the design of the basic ad layout, the biggest improvement being room for additional photos.  Where you used to be limited to 6 and then 12 photos, you are now able to include up to 24.  This is a huge advantage if you are selling a product.

Even though Craigslist is designed for the “common man” to easily post ads for sale, as a professional you want to make sure your ad looks as polished as possible.

Here are some easy ways to make sure you look like a business and not someone trying to clean out their garage:

Use High-Quality Photos

This means hiring a photographer or investing in a good camera and not just using the one that came with your smart phone.  Make sure photos are well lit and most importantly, STRAIGHT.

If you choose to take the photos yourself, it would be a good idea to have access to photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, or creating an account with one of the online photo editors like PicMonkey.com.

Try to Use Headers and Bulleted or Numbered Lists

This makes the ad easier to read and less likely to be skipped by the user.

Since there isn’t a text editor available for posts, you can make headers stand out by capitalizing each word or making them all caps.  To create a bullet list, you’ll need to use a symbol available on your keyboard like the asterisk found over the 8 or a dash.

Now you know that Craigslist is not just for people getting ready to move or looking for romance in the personal ads. If used properly, it can bring in new traffic and leads, introducing you to clients spanning a wide variety of interests and businesses.

For more information and to get up to date guidelines visit Craigslist.org and get started today.

Monitoring the social media marketing landscape is vital to your success. If you’d like to have access

to even more powerful marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready Internet marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

 

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The Three-Legged Step Stool of Maintaining a Lasting Relationship with Your Customers

There are three different but equally important aspects of any good relationship and must be the foundation for the rest of the relationship to be built on. Whether it’s a business relationship or a personal one.

 

Long-term customers can be a great source of repeat business and quality referrals to more potential clients.

If even one of these aspects is missing or weak, it’s unlikely that the other two will be able to support the relationship on their own. They are RESPECT, COMMUNICATION, and TRUST

RESPECT

You may have a flood of customers coming through your door, but if you don’t respect them, they won’t become the long-term clients that lead to long-term success. The best ways to let your customers know you respect them are through your actions.  Show them that you appreciate their business, care about their issues and try to make them feel special.

COMMUNICATION

As with personal relationships, communication is another key component to a good business relationship.  It is amazing how often I am talking to someone, or overhearing someone talk, about problems with their relationship and it comes out that all the issues they have with the other party they are talking about to everyone else BUT the other party.

Contrary to apparent popular belief, a serious relationship does not cause a sudden onset of telepathy.  In a business relationship, the easiest way to find out how you’re doing, or if you may need to adjust some of your practices, is to ask your customers.

Just as a significant other can’t fix something if they don’t know its broken, you won’t be able to either unless they tell you.

Once you’ve established a line of communication, make sure you actually listen to what they are telling you.  Be willing to compromise and adapt your practices to the customer’s needs.  While you may not be able to please everyone, you will be able to improve on your current business model and learn what works best.

TRUST

People screw up, sometimes in a small way, sometimes spectacularly. Some mistakes cannot be forgiven. Most can be IF the work is put in on both sides.

When maintaining a level of trust in business, it isn’t just important to do what you say you are going to, but, if something goes wrong, make sure you handle it in a way that will keep your customers loyalty.

Be honest, this is the fastest way to build a trusting relationship with your customers and to rebuild one if something goes wrong.

If you make a mistake be prepared to explain how and why it happened and the steps you are going to take to fix it. Don’t delay in taking action, the more quickly you address the issue, the sooner it can be resolved. Be sure to be respectful and apologize, your customer will probably be frustrated or angry.  However, a truly loyal customer will understand in the long run that you’re human and these things happen.

A good way to show you are trustworthy is to be yourself. Being genuine makes you more approachable. Whether you are a little eccentric or straight-laced, you can show your customers who you really are as long as you maintain a professional distance and respect their personality as well.

The Step Stool That Keeps Your Relationships Up

So, like a three-legged step stool, each of these primary aspects of a relationship with your customers is equally important. If just one of them fails, the whole relationship can topple over.

Monitoring the social media marketing landscape is vital to your success. If you’d like to have access

to even more powerful marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready Internet marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

 

Photo by Reynermedia