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Tue Apr 24, 2012, 06:51 PM

 

Craigslist was a waste of my advertising time.

I have a B2B service business and thought I would try advertising in the Craigslist financial services area. I decided to pull my advertisement today.

In the three months I ran my ad I gained a grand total of two clients and neither of them were quality clients. For some reason BOTH of them have been time wasters and in contrast to clients from other sources the difference is like night and day. Now I admit it is my fault for agreeing to work with them as there were indications they might be trouble.

The primary reason I pulled my ad was the incredible amount of time I wasted talking to business owners that felt they could hire expertise at the same hourly rate they pay entry level employees. Essentially they think a person they hire to fix problems caused by their entry level workers. In my business you have to spend time to get the details in order to quote a realistic price.

Another peculiar trait I noticed from Craigslist people is they will ALWAYS ask my hourly rate and then the next words out of their mouth is "How long will it take" and this is even AFTER I quote a fixed fee. I had one guy who, after I quoted my usual fee (one that is in line with all rate survey's I have seen for the service) asked me how long it would take which I estimated six hours. His response was "I will pay you 70 dollars" (I had quoted 260). Most NORMAL people would have just declined to hire me- this dude had some nerve. (I wished him well and hung up)

Another instance was a guy setting up a temporary service- he wanted me to set him up and train his staff in using the program. We talked for a while about what was involved and then he comes out and says "I will hire you as one of my temps at 13 dollars an hour". ???

Anyways- Craigslist seems to be filled with bottom feeders and people looking for a deal. I felt I needed to rant a little bit and maybe warn people considering using Craigslist. Unless you can get to pricing right away (better yet IN YOUR AD) it might be that you find it a waste of time like I did.

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Craigslist was a waste of my advertising time. (Original post)
Cronkite Apr 2012 OP
Phentex Apr 2012 #1
Broderick May 2012 #2
Cronkite May 2012 #3
Broderick May 2012 #4
Cronkite May 2012 #5
Broderick May 2012 #6
Cronkite Jun 2012 #7
Auggie Jun 2012 #8
Cronkite Jun 2012 #9
ccinamon Jul 2012 #10
2Design Aug 2012 #11
Phentex Aug 2012 #12
skiptaylor Oct 2012 #13
grantcart Feb 2013 #14
charleslee08 Mar 2013 #15
Munificence May 2013 #16

Response to Cronkite (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:41 PM

1. Agree. It's good for selling crap or giving stuff away

but I wouldn't necessarily look for jobs there or offer services. My niece found quite a few bait and switch job offers back when she was job hunting. I looked at some and many can be downright hostile!

Sorry you found the duds.

I just remembered years ago I used CL to find one of those junk removal crews. I chose this particular one because it claimed to be eco friendly. They were supposed to sort and recycle items. The price was supposed to be based on the amount of stuff which was hard for me to estimate over the phone but the guy said he would give me an estimate before he started. When he came, he did not want to do that. Instead he wanted to fill up the truck and then tell me the cost. He also backed out of recycling certain things, told me which things required an added removal fee, etc. I felt he was tacking on all sorts of things not mentioned before. When *I* said never mind, he was irritated at having come out in the first place. I gave him my bottom line fee which I still felt was higher than what it should have been based on the ad, and he agreed to haul the stuff off. He groused the whole time and had ME sort stuff. When all was said and done, it didn't take up as much room in the truck as he thought and did not take him very much time to load, so he got a good price.

I don't look at their ads any more.

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Response to Cronkite (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 03:52 PM

2. I have tried to get employees through craigslist

Oh my, what a freaking mistake that was.

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Response to Broderick (Reply #2)

Fri May 25, 2012, 09:03 AM

3. I ran an ad for help and it was interesting.

 

I did find the help I needed but it took a lot of time weeding out the unqualified responses. I didn't want to be like a lot of other job posters and just "not respond" so I have to send a lot of "thank you but...." e-mails.

One thing I noticed is a lot of the people who WERE qualified never responded to my requests to talk to them. They put all that effort into responding and then went silent.

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Response to Cronkite (Reply #3)

Fri May 25, 2012, 10:35 AM

4. Similar experience

Tried to sell a vehicle on there too. Crackpots everywhere on there.

But, on the employment front, I got so many unqualified people calling and crank calls. Don't put a number out there. LOL. Resumes came from left and right from other states, head hunters, ect. It was quite an experience. I wasn't as nice as you though.

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Response to Broderick (Reply #4)

Fri May 25, 2012, 02:06 PM

5. I just used my craigslist contact- no way I was giving out more info.

 

I had a lot of people who didn't indicate ANY experience or knowledge of the work I was looking for.

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Response to Cronkite (Reply #5)

Fri May 25, 2012, 02:21 PM

6. Serial applicants most definitely

apply to any employment post. Generically.

I learned the hard way. I even had one guy call drunk several times a day for a week just to harass us. Too funny really.

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Response to Cronkite (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 01:16 PM

7. I did another Ad to test my theory....

 

I posted a "general" type of advertisement and posted my web address. I am using Google analytics and can track where people are visiting from. In the three weeks the add has run it has produced two visits to my website.

I don't see anything wrong with my ad copy- Very simple and clear what I do. I just think Craigslist doesn't get the traffic from people looking for what I can do.

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Response to Cronkite (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 06:10 PM

8. I'm in advertising, so I'll offer an suggestion ...

forget advertising. For the moment.

I think a better bet is networking through business groups like your local Chamber of Commerce.

Don't be shy to ask your current customers if they can recommend potential clients too. Most people don't mind helping out with referrals.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 07:49 PM

9. Yes, that's on the menu.

 

The problem is that I generally specialize in troubleshooting/reporting and data transfer work rather than general bookkeeping and accounting services. While networking is good long term I need to find people when they have a need for my work.

I have developed relationships with several CPA's however they don't throw off too much work for me. I guess I will keep plugging away.

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Response to Cronkite (Reply #9)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 08:53 PM

10. I'd skip the Chamber of Commerce

...someone mentioned to me recently that they didn't get any business or referrals from members of the Chamber until they ran for one of the Ambassador positions within the Chamber, and they had been a member of over 5 years! I've not had any luck with the Chamber,,,and neither has my dad. Of course, your experience may be different than mine.

I have had more luck with smaller networking groups. As a female, we have a local networking org geared for women business owners and that has been more successful. Locally, there is a mail-marketing guy who has started monthly 'marketing' lunches where he gives a small presentation on some marketing info....maybe you could do something like that.

Everything I've read and listened to this past year in regards to marketing, they all say pretty much the same thing...it takes about a dozen times of seeing your name before they will think of hiring you, and you need to PROVE you know your stuff.

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Response to ccinamon (Reply #10)

Fri Aug 17, 2012, 09:23 PM

11. Chamber took my money but when they need a service like mine they went with a non member who was a

friend - I stopped renewing - waste of money

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Response to 2Design (Reply #11)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 12:13 PM

12. That stinks!

It's always about who ya know!

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Response to Cronkite (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:44 PM

13. Networking is Overrated

Networking has never worked for me.

I have done pretty good with Craigslist.

Advertising for temp positions.

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Response to Cronkite (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:49 PM

14. I just googled "Advertising on Craigslist is a waste of time"


And this was on the top.

I didn't even know this group existed lol

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Response to Cronkite (Original post)


Response to Cronkite (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2013, 12:32 AM

16. To the OP and others

Marketing on your level in most forms is no-win situation when it comes to ROI. Sure everyone needs a site on the web to offer validity to your services but look at it at that. Websites are mandatory in marketing.

The biggest mistake most make in joining a chamber is that they think they will automatically get business. If you can not work a group or crowd (be a sales person) then you will fail at networking on all levels. You have to learn to be a sales person 1st and then offer your trade and/or services.

A chamber membership if dealing in B2B sales is putting most other business owners within your reach in a public setting (meetings) you have to get up the nerve to go introduce yourself, strike common ground and create a friendship/acquaintance. From here you have to realize that people like helping people... I mean look at how often you have given out names from say someone asking you "do you know a mechanic"..yada, yada, yada. You yourself could have never used their services but you will pass along a name!

If you can not sell or have a product that is in demand then you will not make money, end of story.

Me, I just like meeting people. I can shoot the shit with a bum on the street or with the executive at the country club and neither one of them could not tell I didn't belong. Do you have that trait?

One of my largest customers ever came from a janitor in Corporate America. I was waiting in the lobby for a meeting, janitor and I struck up a conversation and he asked what I did. I explained it to him and he said "My sister-in-law owns a company that subs a lot of that type of work out" I told him to hit her up for me and if I get the services I will give him a 10% commission on the profits. After 6 months he finally looked at me and said "You have treated more than fair and have paid me $15K for basically introducing you to my sister-in-law so I expect nothing else"...I then told him that I would not accept that and that I felt obligated to at least give him another $15K.

Moral of the story? Do not ever discredit anyone or any avenue in getting business, even Craigslist.

Me, I was successful in business but never greedy. I started my business from my garage when I was 29 years old. I worked a full time engineering job and done the business when I could. In 6 months I leased out 3000 sq ft and hired 2 people to help, I still continued working my engineering job for another 3 years.....I slept maybe 3 hr a day. I grew the company by myself from blood sweat and tears (and a compassionate wife) to just over $1.5 million in revenue and 13 FTE's and 5 part time employees. I was offered a fair price for my business by the largest competitor in the area and I sold at the age of 40. I retired. Though not a "rich" person I made enough to enable me to live an "average" life and do nothing but be lazy for the next 30 years. Can't buy a new car every 5 years (more like 12) and can't eat out 3 times a week, but at this point answer to no one, can sleep til noon if I choose and let the rest of the world pass me by and I am 42. Most friends call me the "luckiest person alive" that I was able to quit at 40. But what they fail to see is that from the age of 18 til 40 all I done was put 60 years of work into a 22 year time frame and I was able to sell!

In college I knew I was one day going to be a sales person. I was taking a public speaking class and I missed the mid term speech. My professor approached me and said that I was such a good public speaker and that she would give me a double grade for my final to make up for me missing the mid term speech, but only if I would escort her to a party (Mayor). She paid for the tux and picked me up, had a great time, even for the night cap. From that point on I realized that maybe engineering wasn't my intended profession but instead I should focus on the being a salesman.

Are you a salesman? Do you have the trait to strike up conversation with anyone and are you well enough rounded to hold an extended conversation about "anything"? Do you put on heirs (if so don't). Are you an expert in your field? Ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself, then either go make a living doing your own thing or go find a job working for someone else.












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