One of my clients
A few months ago, I was certified to apply eyelash extensions. I've done a few clients since then, but not enough to cover the costs of becoming certified, and not nearly as much as I had hoped. I'm stumped when it comes to advertising for this sort of thing. It's not like a blog where your location doesn't matter. All that matters with blogging is what you say.
I tried Craigslist with no luck. Every time I'd list an ad, three people would list a better deal. I can only lower my prices so much before I'm losing money. Also, jerks would spam Craigslist and post ten identical ads in a row, all using my ad content word for word, but with better prices.
I considered making flyers and postcards and sending them to various neighborhoods. The post office lets you just pick a route and they'll send them for you. You don't need to address your stuff or anything. Just pay and send. Except it costs about $100 to have the postcards made, and I'd only get 80. There's also not a very high guarantee that I'd get a good return on my investment.
I even looked into our city's local Clipper magazine that has coupons and ads for lots of local businesses. The people who run the company can't seem to give me a straight answer when it comes to price. They've even asked for lots of personal info without giving me any information on the advertisements. Which seems super scammy to me.
So I thought I'd turn to you, oh mighty readers. If you have a locally based service business, how do you advertise? How do you gain customers? It has to be local, since I obviously can't apply eyelashes if I'm in San Diego and you're in New York. Or even two hours away. Services are pesky because you have to be physically nearby in order to deliver.
My goal is to have 1-2 clients per week, which isn't even that much, but finding unique customers is harder than it looks!
So what's your advice? Where and how should I advertise? What's a fairly priced method with a good return?