Nextdoor is a social networking site that allows you to get recommendations for local service providers and find lost pets
Expected pay: NA
Commissions & fees: None (Unless you buy an advertisement)
Nextdoor is a social media site that allows neighbors to chat with other neighbors for both commercial and purely social purposes. The site encourages users to invite their friends and post local information about everything from lost dogs to crime.
Consumers can use the site to organize a group or remind each other about community events, such as city council meetings and crop swaps, too.
However, what makes Nextdoor stand out for people looking for side work is that it has become a great source of word-of-mouth recommendations for everything from babysitters to plumbers.
If you need something, like a good dry cleaner or an appliance repair person, you’re likely to post that query to your neighbors. Most likely, you’ll get back a host of recommendations, often with locations and phone numbers. People who provide the service that you’re looking for can also respond.
While word-of-mouth advertising is priceless, it’s also completely free on Nextdoor. It’s also free for college kids to post that they’re looking for side hustles over the summer. And for coaches and tutors and builders to say that they’ve got open slots in their schedules, if anyone needs their help.
Listing an item for sale is also free.
However you can also advertise on the site. And, because ads are going to a relatively small geographic area, they’re generally affordable.
One small business owner, who sharpens knives for a living, says 90% of his business comes from a combination of word-of-mouth recommendations and paid advertisements he posts on Nextdoor.
How it works
If you have a local business you want to advertise, Nextdoor suggests you create a business page. From there, the site provides step-by-step instructions on how to create an advertisement, set a budget and get started with neighborhood ads.
Generally, speaking, your ads will only be posted to a 30-mile radius around your business. So, this is an effective tool for retailers, contractors and restaurants. But, it’s not the right site for a business that’s looking for a national audience.
Rates vary based on the geographic area you’re in and how widely you want to post. However, these ads appear to be far more effective and less costly than using “lead referral” services, such as HomeAdvisor and Thumbtack.
The biggest complaints about the site involve neighborhood “leads,” who are given authority to monitor and delete conversations. These leads can sometimes be arbitrary about what they allow users to post. And the site’s guidelines about what’s acceptable are somewhat vague. The site discourages posts that are overtly political, and bans anything that’s threatening, abusive or discriminatory. But otherwise leaves what’s okay and not up to the leads.
Some leads have used that broad mandate to cut off conversations that they don’t like, including free commercial posts like those mentioned above. On the bright side, neighborhood leads that get too many complaints can be booted. And, in most communities, leads are pretty forgiving about allowing people to post freely.
We think this is a great place to find household service work. Contractors, plumbers, electricians, babysitters, cleaners and gardeners would be wise to join and post their availability for work, when appropriate. You can also encourage your neighbors/former clients to provide references here.