(I might put this post under the category of either “obvious” or “doh!” Either way, I kinda slapped myself in the forehead after realizing what I’ve been doing.)
I’ve been trying, rather unsuccessfully to recruit band members. I just discovered my problem. The headline to my ads were wrong. I just changed the headline and immediately got three hits from musicians.
For the headline, include what instrument you play in addition to what instruments you are looking for.
I changed my headline from “Shiplosion seeking guitarist and drummer” to “Bassist seeking guitarist and drummer.” Boom, 3 hits whereas I was getting barely any before.
The Ad Format To Use:
<your instrument(s)> seeking <needed instrument(s)> [optional: genre]
Example: “Guitarist and Bassist seeking Drummer. (funk)”
I’m guessing why this works so well is musicians do searches for specific instruments. I’ve been searching specifically for guitar, guitarist, and drummer. If those three items are not in the headline, I will not see the ad. So me listing what I wanted without also listing what I do was pointless. No one is doing a search for “Shiplosion”.
So even if you already have an established band, I would recommend the above format for better results. Hell, it’s Craigslist. Try more than one format to see which hits better.
Unfortunately, this format will also get hits from bands that really need a particular instrument, but might not be the style or level of band you want. To me, that drawback is worth it.