In our last article, Zehnya explained why “safety” and “security” are the two most important things that your ad should beam with and some best practices on making your ad get notices.. People are afraid of Craigslist and especially meeting strangers from the internet.
But you know it , and I know it – if they are on Craigslist – they are ready to take that risk. All your ad needs to be is a little bit better than that of your competitor. This is where tiny details can make a big difference.
Unfortunately, Craigslist made it extremely difficult to stand out from other ads. “Difficult” is not “impossible,” and that is why you need some real “Craigslist master’s techniques.”
Make a “Huge Difference” in your Craigslist Ads
Right now you will learn how to make a “huge difference” rather than a “big” one.
If you’ve been posting on Craigslist, you know that you have an option of attaching a couple images to your ad. When someone clicks on your ad, an attached image will be hanging at the top occupying limited space. The area with your ad’s copy will follow.
Many small business owners simply ignore that option of adding images. They assume, since they don’t sell products – they don’t need to post any images.
You MUST Add Images to Your Post – Even if you don’t sell products!
With Craigslist’s limited possibilities, you must take advantage of every little tool that is offered. And images? OF COURSE!
Adding great images to all of my ads is the best thing that I learned after running different campaigns, because it makes such a big difference in the way your ad looks and feels!
Imagine a billboard on a highway, where instead of a graphically rich image, there is a white background with copy presented in a black “Times New Roman” font. Actually, you WOULD pay attention and read that ad.
Because it’s different from all the other billboards out there.
The same applies to Craigslist medium. Be different and people will read your ads.
What kind of images should you add?
Let’s say that you sell services. What kind of images should you add?
1.Work you’ve done.
An image of a great haircut, amazing pedicure, or a beautifully painted house – all of them will speak to a potential client of yours and deliver one simple message: “buy from me and you will get the same, if not better!”
Already being predisposed to buy, your future customer will have a relaxing feeling that he found what he was looking for, and he doesn’t want to proceed and click on all the other hundreds of ad titles (just a look at a Craigslist’s search results page intimidates people).
2. Your Business Logo.
Does your business have a logo? No? Stop reading this and go get yourself a logo for $5. There is absolutely no excuse for not having one.
By attaching an image with your business logo, you show a high level of professionalism. Most people on Craigslist are amateurs and it is extremely easy to differentiate yourself from them by being one step ahead.
A business logo also adds a feeling that there is an established organization behind an ad, with many departments and people working in them. People aren’t aware of that since it occurs as a “gut feeling.”
3. Yours or your employees’ personal photo.
Are you the one who will be delivering your service? Take the “creepy” worries out of a potential customer’s mind. Let him see with whom he’s going to interact.
If he doesn’t like you, that’s okay. He is not your customer so don’t spend a minute wasting your time on him. If he likes you, great. He might become your loyal customer to whom you will be able to sell many times.
Personal photos: +1 to transparency of your business.
4. Photos of the place where you will provide your service.
Once a customer buys from you, where are you going to deliver your services? When building my cell phone repair business, I was fixing iPhones in my bedroom. So, I attached an image of my desk with all the tools on it.
To leave room for a customer’s imagination, I didn’t say that it was in my bedroom. Together with a business logo and great copy writing many probably assumed that it was an actual office. Also, images showing where on the street you are located help to find you.
5. Any other visual information that you would like to share.
Every person is different, every market is different; try to find something that will help you earn your customer’s trust and business.
How to Create Images for Your Craigslist Ad
Creating images for your Craigslist ad takes several steps.
1) Choose the Image
First, decide what would be on an image based on the five points listed above. Grab your camera and start taking pictures. (By the way, your smartphone’s camera is good enough for this job, but a decent DSLR camera will work better)
2) Decide on Additional Info
Second, decide what additional information you would like to see on your image.
This is something that I haven’t mentioned yet, but your end image should look like a billboard – some image and some information or call to action.
Craigslist doesn’t give you an option of styling your copywriting in the ad’s body, so feel free to experiment on your image.
The type of information to add on your images is also important. Because some details should be on the image and other things are perfectly fine in the ad’s body in a plain text.
On page 38, of “Craigslist for Small Businesses” I listed what information you should share on your images.
3) Make a Professional Photo
Third, hire a graphic designer to combine your photos with information about your business. Let’s face it, you are probably not a master of Photoshop to create a good looking graphically rich image. And everything about your ad should imply professionalism. Therefore, hire a freelance graphic designer to craft your image ad. It can be as low as $5.
Supply him with all necessary information, images of your customers, company employees, etc. You will use that image hundreds of times and it will pay for itself.
This might sound intimidating.
In reality it is easy. So, fight your fear or procrastination or whatever is holding you back, go on Fiverr.com and hire someone for $60 to do your graphic design. Done.
Don’t forget that you still can and should have copy along your images.
It is possible to fit your whole offer on images, but NOT having your copywriting in the ad’s body is an absolute deal-breaker if your customer is browsing Craigslist from his mobile device.