I can scarcely believe it, but this is my 80th post! 20 more and I’ll reach 100, and that, dear readers, is a real milestone. By my calculations, I should reach that milestone in about 4 weeks.
Anyway, the question I answered earlier this week–about how new home care agencies can go about getting those first clients–got me thinking. What are some ways to advertise for free? One of the best ways is Craigslist.
Craigslist has been given a bad rap recently; every time it appears in the news, it’s in conjunction with something sleazy or gruesome. But keep in mind that those instances are but a few amid millions. In other words, don’t let the media hype scare you away from something that can potentially bring in clients, and that doesn’t cost you any money.
For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume you know nothing about Craiglist–feel free to skip ahead. When you first log in to Craigslist, you’ll see a list of cities. The first thing to do is select yours. Now you’ll want to create an account. (Don’t worry, it’s free.) Click on “my account”, which will take you to a login page. You’ll see a link that says, “Don’t have an account? Sign up.” Click that, follow the steps, and you’ll be all set with your account.
Where to Post
You’ll need to post your ad in either Household Services or Small Biz Ads. I’ve seen postings for home care in both. (You’ll want to stay away from therapeutic. That’s full of masssage therapists–some who are legit and some who are questionable, hypnotists and psychic palm readers. Plus, Craiglist charges you to post there now.)
The most important thing to remember is be specific. If your ad isn’t clear about what it is you’re offering, you won’t get many inquiries. List the services you provide. Use bullet points. Define terms–remember, your potential clients might not be familiar with terms we use every day. So, if you say you offer palliative care, you’d want to say something like “We offer palliative care (pain and stress reduction)”. Include a link to your website, and a phone number where users can reach you. Be upfront about payments. If you don’t take MA or EW, say so. Conversely, if you accept payments on a sliding scale, let people know! Lastly, a catchy title for your ad can generate more views and increase the calls you’ll get.