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Marketing

How essential are yellow page listings to a small business?

I do freelance web design on the side and I've been gaining most of my clients through Craigslist. I'm starting to get a lack of response and I need more work to stay busy, so I've considered placing an upgraded ad in the online yellow pages but I'm not sure how well this investment is known to pay off.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Yellow pages are a service directory for customers who don't have a preferred provider in the category of service they're seeking. If your business is retail, put your money somewhere other than the yellow pages. Few, if any, customers consult the Yellow Pages when looking for clothes, food, furniture, etc. But as a service provider you may want to consider it. They key to a Yellow Page ad, like any other ad, is what you SAY in it. Speak directly to the felt need of the customer. Talk like they do. Use their words, not your own industry jargon. Active verbs are essential to response. "See samples." "Take a look" "Waiting for your call." "Delivered on time and under budget." Good luck to you.