Coworking spaces are an in-demand business in many parts of the world right now, as more and more freelancers and companies, especially those that are just starting, are realizing their advantages over traditional offices.
Industry insiders expect that in 2022, there will be more than 6 million people—nearly double the number posted in 2019—who would be working in 49,500 coworking spaces across the globe. That puts the global market value of coworking spaces at $26 billion.
The Coworking Space Business
There is a clear demand for flexible workspaces, which is why a lot of property owners and landlords are turning a part of or their entire property into a coworking location. Many believe that if they build it, “they” would come, meaning those startups and freelancers that need to have a legitimate office for their day-to-day operations and transactions with clients without the accompanying overhead that a traditional office entails.
Unfortunately, this is simply not the case.
Just like any other business, a coworking space needs a lot of work just to become stable, and much more to succeed. And even if you can offer the best services and amenities, that is still no guarantee that people would line up to be a member of your coworking community.
What you also need is an effective coworking space marketing strategy that would effectively tell the whole world how great your coworking location is and why it’s worth it to become a member.
Coworking Space Trends
Before you can devise a good coworking space marketing plan, you need to be certain of what’s going on in your market, or to be more precise, what that market needs not just today but especially in the future. As Steve Jobs succinctly put it, “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”
It’s called future-proofing your business, and fortunately, there are indicators that should guide you in making yours adaptable to the developments that may happen. Here are some trends in coworking spaces that you should take note of:
The market is on the lookout for extras
With coworking spaces mushrooming all over the place and offering basically the same thing, having a bonus such as free parking or regular social activities or any other perk that most don’t have can sweeten the deal. Your coworking space marketing plan should include promoting these extras.
The market is ready to move on from WFH
While a work-from-home setup is ideal for a lot of reasons — no need to wake up early, dress up, and commute to and from the office, among other things — especially during the lockdowns, it has caused a different kind of fatigue as the line between work and home has been blurred. People now would like to go out from time to time instead of being cooped up all day in the house.
The market will still be concerned for their health and safety
Remember that COVID-19 is still very much around. People would like to work some days out of the house, and they will do so gladly if the place they’ll be going to can assure them that it’s safe there. So, make sure to include the safety precautions you implement in your coworking space marketing materials.
While these trends may seem obvious, they can get missed or forgotten in the excitement of creating a marketing plan. But you’ll discover that they do play an important part in your strategy as they serve as the framework on which your plans are hinged and help you cope better with the challenges of the business.
The Biggest Challenges of Coworking Spaces
They say the best way to deal with problems is to solve them before they happen. Doing so could save you from tons of headaches later on.
You might be able to entice people to become members of your coworking community, but if they find the environment at your place less than ideal because of issues that crop up, they might not stay long or renew their contract. Worse, they can be negative campaigners to your business, scaring away possible new members.
Here then are the biggest issues in a coworking space that you can plan on to prevent them from happening:
This is something that is actually normal in a coworking environment, with different people (from different companies) sharing the same space mostly at the same time. While it promotes collaboration and networking, it can get distracting too, especially when people would like to concentrate on the tasks at hand. One effective solution is to provide “quiet rooms” where people can work in peace when they need to.
Related to item #1. This is a real challenge, with other people literally being able to peek over the shoulder of someone else and look at what they’re doing. Quiet rooms can also solve this problem although a better alternative is a separate room that functions as a full-fledged office where employees can work privately.
Of course, this can’t be helped if you have limited space for your coworking business. You can only accommodate so much at a given time, and if it so happens that the companies that have leased your place often have to do phone calls (inbound and outbound), then there could be bedlam that will surely affect people’s productivity. Solving this might call for proper scheduling of members or keeping a limit to the number of users of the place at a time.
Not enough equipment
This could be as simple as power outlets or comfortable chairs or an unreliable internet connection. One reason this tends to become a problem is because of oversight during the planning stage. These are basic needs that should be satisfied and must never, ever be taken for granted.
No chance for personalization
Because coworking spaces are expected to be used for just a short time by a specific company, it usually happens that there is no assigned spot or particular space for members and instead, it becomes a first-come-first-served setup.
While you might think that this should not be a big issue since members can practically use any part of your facility, for many employees, having a spot they can call their own, even for a short period, will help them be more productive and focused because they are settled down.
Once you have the answers to these challenges in place, it’s time to announce to the world why your coworking space is worth a try.
Creating A Coworking Space Marketing Plan
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as that if you want to succeed at effectively introducing your services. You have got to have a strategy for your coworking space marketing plan to work. Here are the steps you need to take:
But how do you go about devising a plan to market your coworking space? Do you just plunge head-on with flyers, PR materials, and even a paid ad on magazines, TV, or online?
Identify who your target market is
Is your target market made up of remote workers, freelancers, small companies, or even corporate clients? Especially when you’re starting small or for the first time, it would be better if you focus on just one or two types of clients first. This way, you can make your message specific and therefore easily understood by your target market.
Find out how you can reach your target market
Are they frequenting coffee shops? Are they mostly online? Do they have a current place of business where they do most of their work? This will tell you what kind of coworking space marketing campaign you can wage, whether it be flyers, pamphlets, or social media posts.
Make digital marketing a priority
Nowadays when everybody it seems is going online for pretty much anything — shopping, entertainment, even companionship — developing an online presence is a safe bet to get your message across. It could be a website with a dedicated blog, an email blast, or a social media account, anything that will reach your target audience.
Effective Coworking Space Marketing Strategies
So finally, we have reached the part that has attracted you to this article, which is how to effectively sell your coworking space to your target audience. Your main objective is to show that your services are worth it, that you can be trusted, and that you are there to offer solutions to their specific needs.
How to go about this? Let us count the ways:
1. Touch base
This means going out and meeting your target market. Are they in cafes? Other public places, or offices? With more relaxed health restrictions, you can visit them personally to pitch in your ideas about the benefits of coworking space. By making yourself available to their queries, you are sending the signal that you are sincere in providing a solution to their needs.
2. Give out freebies
Not necessarily premium items but something that will be more appreciated, such as a free day in your workspace or a free one-hour seminar about relevant topics (depending on the profession of your target market). This way, you will be able to showcase your services and give them a taste of what they can enjoy fully if they sign up for membership in your community.
3. Offer discounts on membership plans
Who can resist a good deal? Slashing the price for membership for new joiners makes it easier to avail. The idea here is not to make a tidy profit at once but to let the new members find out for themselves the benefits of staying at your place. Hopefully, this would also encourage them to renew their contract and even serve as your unofficial marketing arm when they tell their friends and others how great your coworking space is.
4. Celebrate loyal members
Just like having an Employee of the Month, you can put a spotlight on an existing member for being a regular user of your facilities, awarding them some kind of token of appreciation. You can be sure that they will tell their friends and families about it, giving you positive word of mouth.
5. Let celebrities in for free
We mean well-known names in their specific industries. Offering them free use of your facilities is an investment. Should they take your offer, it’s a big marketing win for you. Let’s face it, celebrities are big market influencers, and if one of them becomes your member, then you can expect their followers to do the same.
6. Establish your online presence
Everyone’s doing it, including your target market, so why shouldn’t you? It’s the reason we mentioned it as an important step in planning your marketing strategy. So, make a website, put out a blog, create your social media accounts, and then post and post and post content that would put a spotlight on your services while giving added value to your customers such as practical tips. (More on this later.)
7. Create videos
Specifically, walk-throughs of your coworking space, highlighting its services, facilities, and amenities. Then post on your website and social media accounts. This will add credibility to your business because people will get a virtual tour of your place and get a better idea of what you are offering.
8. Collaborate with influencers
Aside from celebrities, you can also tap the help of popular vloggers/bloggers and other social media influencers to get your place to go viral. You may have to allot a budget for this but it’s an investment that is worth it. Just make sure you partner with influencers who represent your target market.
9. Hold events
Not just for your community but the general public as well. It could be as formal as a conference on any theme that could be useful for a specific set of audience or as informal as a movie night sponsored by your company. These events will assuredly draw in the crowds and are one of your best ways to put out a word about your business.
10. Do charity work
One way to show that you care for others is by getting involved in nonprofits in their activities. You can tap your members to provide the manpower, which is a good way to bring them together and attract others to join. Not only will you be able to promote your business, but you will also do something good for the community.
5 Tips To Have a Successful Coworking Space
Of course, when everything’s said and done and your coworking space marketing strategy has proven to be quite effective, you will need to follow through and deliver. Drawing in the members is one thing, keeping them and having them as regular clients is another.
Check out these 5 ways to make your coworking space venture a success. Some of them we have already discussed but can’t be emphasized enough, so we are including them here still:
- Identify your market — there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. You simply can’t cater to everyone, especially when you are a mere startup. So, make sure you know what kind of client you want, and then focus on them.
- Set up where needed — another benefit of knowing your market is that you will be able to identify the right place that will be most advantageous to them.
- Make it as comfy as you can — not just in the physical sense but mentally as well. That means an interior design that is comfortable, homey, and conducive to productivity.
- Come up with an engaging name — branding may not be everything, but it sure is important to establish a positive identity. It’s not just in the name of your coworking space itself or the logo that’s based on it but also your website and everything else that helps identify your business. So, make sure it exudes positivity.
- Develop your community — make sure your members get along and even draw inspiration and a positive attitude from each other. This is what separates a mere shared space from a coworking community. And you can achieve that through regular events where all or most members can participate.
Coworking spaces may be the in thing today, but it would still take a lot of effort to succeed if you are entering this business. The reason a lot of them have become successful today is that they have effectively combined a great coworking space marketing strategy with offerings that are simply hard to beat. You can check out Weremote to see what we are talking about.
If you are looking for a great coworking space from which to conduct your business, you can click here.