Professional Services
Small Business
Success Stories

Atlanta Local Business Booms with Nextdoor

With a passion for the environment and nearly 15 years of professional experience in electronics, Atlanta resident Coco Hankerson found a huge opportunity in the middle of the pandemic. When COVID-19 prompted mandatory stay-at-home orders, Coco leaned into the fact that people were staying home, wanting to declutter, and were posting more on Nextdoor. 

Those factors combined opened the door for Coco The Geek - a free, e-waste recycling service where Coco picks up unwanted electronics, small appliances, and scrap metal from neighbors in her community. She restores, sells, and donates what she can and safely discards what she can’t. 

“The pandemic created a need for updated electronics… [People] have to get rid of the old stuff to make room for the new… But electronic recycling is not something people know exists. So by posting on Nextdoor, it opened up a way for me to help people to get rid of their stuff.”


Leveraging Nextdoor’s Business Tools

98% of Coco’s clients come from Nextdoor. She shared her approach to finding success on Nextdoor was through posting and using Local Deals to get the word out in specific neighborhoods. This kind of hyper-local targeting is what Coco says sets Nextdoor apart.

“If I had to choose only one [marketing channel], it would be Nextdoor. On others, you have to spend so much money to be seen and it’s not going to the right audience. On Nextdoor, its people who are looking specifically for you.


So how did she grow her business through Nextdoor? Coco shared some of her best tips for reaching more clients.

  • Be clear about what products and services you’re offering
    Coco found that when she listed out the specific items she’d be willing to collect, neighbors were more responsive. No matter what you offer, be specific in your marketing. 

  • Respond with comments when possible
    Coco says, “When someone responds to your ad or post, don’t just like it. Respond to them.” Opening a line of communication is important if you want to show that you are a reliable person to work with and it helps build your credibility.

  • Use names in your conversations
    In your interactions with potential and existing clients, always use their names. “I’ve found that when you call someone by their name, they’re more likely to look at you than if you just say, ‘hey!’” This is still true in the digital space. Using names also helps you build relationships with your clients and fosters word-of-mouth buzz.

    In fact, building relationships with her clients is what helped Coco land her first commercial client. A previous client who had found Coco on Nextdoor had such a good experience working with her that she referred Coco to the IT supervisor at Zoo Atlanta. Talk about a big win!
  • Don’t neglect direct messages in your inbox (DMs)
    Treat the reactions or comments to your post like they’re a [customer] lead. Don’t just respond to your post, follow up with a private message - a DM. This makes your interaction more personal and won’t make your original post look “spammy.” 

  • Collect e-mail addresses when you can so you can follow up 
    If you’re already interacting with a potential client, make it a point to collect their emails. That way, you can follow up after the service and ask them to leave you a review or to recommend you on Nextdoor

Keeping the neighborhood and the environment clean

With e-waste accounting for 70% of the overall toxic waste in the U.S., Coco sees her pick-up service as more than just a business. It’s a means to help make the neighborhood - and the world - a cleaner and healthier place to be.

“Recycling is the best thing. If I can do my part and keep this stuff out of the landfill, it makes the whole neighborhood better.”

For Coco, there’s no better way to start spreading the word about cleaning up the neighborhood than reaching her neighbors through Nextdoor.