A coworking space can have the coolest decor, the most amazing website, and the best free coffee in town.
But as any coworking space owner is likely to know well from experience, sometimes those factors aren’t enough to keep a stream of new members walking through your doors.
Your members are the lifeblood of any coworking space. Smart coworking space owners and managers will develop a solid strategy to attract the right people and make a great impression on them.
This starts with getting a better idea of who you want to reach with your marketing efforts. Then, you can design a solid brand identity, membership options, and perks just for ideal members. Finally, you must get the word out about your space through things like special events and strategic partnerships.
Clarify your marketing strategy
Not too long ago, coworking was a completely new market. Yours might have been the very first coworking space in your city. You would have had very little in the way of competition (but plenty of work cut out for you in the way of education).
However, as the number of remote workers has grown and the popularity of coworking spaces has skyrocketed, it has become more important to distinguish your space in the market.
As we wrote in our ebook How To Implement A Visitor Management System At Your Coworking Space, the first step in impressing potential members should always be to embrace what makes your space different from the others.
It helps to think in clear terms about what kind of member you want to attract.
Are you specializing in offering space for startups and entrepreneurs, or for creative freelancers, for example? How many hours each week do these people typically need to use your space, and what kind of working environment would they prefer?
For example, programmers and writers may prioritize the need for quiet spaces where they won’t be interrupted during focus time. (For more on that topic, read Why to Include Quiet Spaces in Your Office or Coworking Space.) But solopreneurs might be more interested in making sure there’s a vibrant community for them to connect with in the coworking space.
The needs of your ideal clients should inform everything from your space’s interior style and layout to the membership structure and benefits, as we’ll discuss next.
Rethink your pricing and membership structure
All coworking spaces need the basics: Fast internet, office equipment, and clean and impressive workspaces.
However, you can adjust plenty of factors when it comes to membership benefits and pricing. Experiment with the following factors to see what appeals the most to your ideal members.
- Price points – If you want to focus on recruiting members who have full-time remote jobs, you can drop some of the lower-priced options. If your goal is a varied and diverse group of members, though, you can offer a variety of day passes and flexible options.
- Operating hours – Some members who work internationally might have to work late in the evening to accommodate clients in other time zones. Opening up some evening hours or giving members the ability to come and go as they please could be a huge draw for them.
- Scheduling requirements – Some coworking members may need to pop into the space with little notice required, and others will want to be able to rely on certain resources (such as phone booths and meeting rooms) regularly without advanced notice. If you can provide these things, make sure to note them in your membership descriptions.
- Other special perks – Reconsider which perks and benefits to offer at each level of membership. A group insurance plan might be a huge draw for solopreneurs, but won’t appeal to remote full-time employees. If you’re targeting new parents of young children, you can consider providing child care for them. If you’re targeting new startups, you could start up a formal mentoring program to help them get their businesses up and running. Of course, not all of your members will need or appreciate all of these perks. That’s why you want to focus on choosing the ones that will appeal to the specific group of members you’re trying to attract.
Once you decide on the benefits of the membership packages, make sure that those benefits are represented well to your members on your website and in any materials you give them as they consider your space.
Open your space up for community events and partnerships
Most coworking spaces make great event spaces, too.
Opening your doors to the community for events can be an effective way of letting the community know your space exists. As you promote the event for specific events and list it as a venue, it will be seen in more places online and in social media.
Hosting events also gets visitors feeling comfortable in your space, which can make them feel more confident in asking about a membership.
If events have the potential to be disruptive to your coworking members’ work, host them in the evenings or weekends. However, it can also be a good idea to host events during the workday so current members can attend them easily, too.
Here are a few ideas of events that can help to promote your coworking space.
- Live music or small concerts
- Nonprofit fundraisers or partnered events (you might even work out promotional trade agreements with these organizations)
- Speed networking events, possibly specific to an industry niche relevant to potential members
- Singles events
- Educational events (including those hosted by your members)
- Private rentals (depending on the vibe of your space, people might want to rent individual rooms or the entire venue out for things like birthday parties, holiday parties, or even baby showers)
Offer free memberships to key influencers
We all ask for referrals, advice, and social proof when we’re making a big decision — and choosing where we’re going to work each day qualifies as one of those. That’s why it’s such a good idea to get local influencers on board with your coworking space.
In this post, owner Liz Elam shares how she used just that strategy when she opened her coworking space:
“When I opened Link Coworking I gave memberships to some icons of the Austin entrepreneurship world. They received a free membership at Link and held all their meetings there. It was a win-win for both of us. They got a great place to meet people and space to work, and it instantly gave us street cred and traffic.”
There’s no reason this strategy shouldn’t also work for your space and your industry niche.
In the end, coworking spaces are no different than other small businesses when it comes to the need for marketing. In fact, marketing for coworking spaces requires even more education and time because potential members usually don’t have an urgent need for the service, and they aren’t often fully aware of all of the potential benefits.Potential coworking members don’t often have a sense of urgency to join your space. Plan your marketing efforts accordingly. #receptionistapp Click To Tweet
That’s why coworking owners and managers should pay attention to each stage of their sales pipeline, keeping it as full as possible.
Finally, if you’re looking for another way to make a great impression on new and potential members, pay attention to your visitor management system. The way people sign in and out of your space says a lot about your coworking space’s commitment to technology and convenience.
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