Two years ago I decided to move from Russia to New York City to pursue the American dream. Back then I had to save every dollar that I had because my future was unclear. As a foreign citizen, I also didn’t have a work permit so I couldn’t have a work permit so I couldn’t be officially employed. That being said – there was no use for my degree in economics and finance. Passionate about entrepreneurship ( and having a huge ego ), I refused to take odd jobs or work as a waiter.
But I still had to pay my bills every month. I had to borrow money, month after month, until my debt reached over $5K. I needed to come up with an idea to not just make ends meet but to also get out of that miserable lifestyle.
I recalled how I once fixed the broken screen on my Nokia cell phone. I decided to give it a try and started fixing electronics.
By watching YouTube, I learned how to fix iPhones and iPads and was ready to start helping humanity with their gadgets. The only problem was – where do I get customers?
The competition for electronics repair in NYC is rigorous. It isn’t a new niche and old established companies have been advertising in newspapers, magazines and online for years. How could I possibly compete with their marketing budgets? I had to act smart and apply some guerrilla marketing strategies.
I knew Craigslist as a website where you go if you need to find an apartment or a room to rent or if you want to buy something used but don’t have an eBay account. I tried to search for "IPhone repair" and found many different ads. If there was a supply, then there was a demand.
I posted a couple of ads offering cell phone repair. At that time I was just starting and didn’t know all the ins and outs of Craigslist posting.
All I had was three lines of ad copy and a stock picture of a cracked iPhone. Four ads resulted in 3 customers who weren’t even scared to meet with me on the street and go to my apartment where I fixed their iPhones( of course,I didn’t have money to pay for an office). Just a couple minutes of my time posting those 4 free ads resulted in hard cash. As an entrepreneur , you may be familiar with that feeling of making your first buck. I knew that I was into something big. Craigslist proved itself as a legit source of paying customers.
My first thought was – I need to post more ads on Craigslist. And I’m glad that I committed that mistake. If life hasn’t taught you yet, you should know by now that quality is better than quantity. I was spending my time posting ads and fighting with Craigslist anti-spam protections instead of improving my ads and conversion rate. I remember that I still couldn’t make enough money from my business to even rent a whole room for myself – I was renting a half of a room. On top of that – my $5K debt also didn’t go anywhere.
I started constantly working on my Craigslist ads, refining them, looking for the best techniques and secrets, and developing my own. I encountered many obstacles and issues along the way. But as the old Russian proverb goes: patience and hard work will grind everything ("Терпение и Труд Всё Перетрут"). After 6 months, I,d gotten so good at posting on Craigslist that I had more phone calls than I could handle. That was time to expand – I found a partner,hired my first employee and rented a small office. Want some proof and details? We had 10 to 15 customers coming from Craigslist every day. Our price policy was – at least a $40 profit on each service. For example, the most common service was cell phone screen repair – $25 parts + $40 profit, 5 days a week, 4 weeks per month totaling anywhere from $8000 to $12000 per month in PROFIT, not revenue. Rent was $3K (not the store front, but an office in midtown NYC) $1.5k was my assistants salary, and $500 was for internet, a landline, cleaning and other utilities.
At that point, I came up with a free technique that allowes you to have a so-called "lifetime" of ads, something that will always bring people. Once created – the ads will always work for you even while you are sleeping. You don’t even need to continue posting on Craigslist. But you can’t get to those ads before you pass the first level of business development – acquiring your first 100 customers. Where it is easier to get them? You can guess the answer.
My business went from ideation to not just an established, but a profitable business in 6 months. If that doesn’t impress you, you are wasting your time and mine- this guide is not for you. Go buy yourself a lottery ticket and cross your fingers.
"Craigslist for Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs and Marketers" is a 30, 000 word step-by-step guide with detailed pictures and screenshots on how to advertise a business on the free classifieds website Craigslist.org.
This guide consists of 2 main parts: Introduction and the Blue Print. In the first part you will learn all the necessary information about Craigslist in order to succeed in its competitive environment. This is exactly what you will learn:
In the second part, the Blue Print, you will learn what exactly to do, to set a successful marketing campaign on Craigslist. This is the core of this guide. The second part is stuffed with valuable material, secret tecniques of a professional Craigslister, hacks for better conversion and category domination. You will learn:
The "Craigslist for Small Businesses" is… Read more…