When I say “online marketing genius,” I just don’t think he knows it.

A couple months ago a hurricane ripped though various parts of Florida (ok, most of it).

We were lucky compared to many other places (and people), but we did end up with some water damage in my office.

Although not catastrophic, it meant having to tear up the hardwood floors and replace some drywall.

Tearing up hardwood is not a very difficult task. So, I decided to do it myself.

Once I tore it all up, I threw all the moldy hardwood in a pile to be hauled away. When the pile was complete I hit Craigslist to find someone to haul away the goods.

That is when I met Jerry.

To say that I went with Jerry because he was the ‘low bidder’ would be correct. Matter of fact, here is his listing on Craigslist…

Jerry's Hurricane Clean Up Craigslist Ad

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always go with the lowest bidder for a variety of reasons, but, in this case, I was pretty sure you can’t screw up taking my garbage to the dump.

Jerry showed up on time and loaded his van.

Admittedly, there was a key component to Jerry’s advertisement that I never really picked up on that will make much more sense in a minute.

Jerry proceeded to tell me “he wasn’t really in the ‘hauling’ business.”

Could have fooled me…I mean, there was all my crud in the back of his van at this point.

No, Jerry was a painter.

Jerry only hauled away garbage for leads on future painting jobs.

Let’s go back and look at his advertisement…

Jerry's Hurricane Clean Up Craigslist Ad

Not only did he make sure that he was hauling stuff relevant to what ‘could’ be a paint job, he excluded stuff that would waste his time.

Hauling tree limbs probably doesn’t amount to a whole lot of painting opportunities unless someone is building a tree house.

Omitting ‘tree limbs’ from his list of hauling items kept him efficiently focusing on those hauling jobs that could indeed generate a painting job.

And Jerry’s ‘conversion’ rate?

Just over 50%

More than half of all the people he hauls stuff for hire him for a painting job. Jerry is an online marketing genius. Not an online funnel, but an offline one!

Well played Jerry, well played.

So, what about you?

What can you do…outside the box*, that can generate more business?

*Side Note: I really hate the term ‘outside the box.’ The vary nature of the phrase implies there are set rules and set ways to break them. Can’t you do really cool things inside the box? I suspect you can.