Guest blog written by Jared Carrizales, founder of Heroic Search, a Dallas-based Digital Marketing agency
As a coworking manager, you’re doing everything in your power to pull in new memberships. Whether it’s something as simple as offering a breakfast promotion like Waffle Wednesdays, or something more in depth like a content marketing campaign designed specifically to bolster night and weekend memberships, you’re most likely running a variety of marketing initiatives for your coworking space… and it isn’t always the easiest thing to do when your demographic is a moving target in an industry that is continually evolving. Marketing your venue can be tough work.
The Heroic Search team have been members of multiple coworking venues over the past three years. In that time, we’ve also been able to visit venues across the U.S. and work on marketing campaigns for some of them. We really enjoy working with coworking spaces in particular because many of them have a similar culture to our agency, allowing us to effectively create marketing campaigns that reflect their tone and personality.
During the past few years we’ve been able to witness some really cool marketing for coworking venues – many of which we can’t even claim credit for (coworking venue founders are creative!). Hopefully you can find some inspiration and ideas from the list below.
In the real world
Your members are active in the real world, when they aren’t in front of their computer, so don’t be afraid to use it as a marketing vessel. The good thing about this is that ideas are limitless.
Teaming up with small businesses in your community is a great place to start. Sponsoring free drinks or free WiFi in a local coffee shop enables you to tap into your target market and the coffee shops get to shuffle off some of their guiltiest “campers” to greener (and more work-conducive) pastures.
You could also look at partnering with a restaurant to cater an event or team up with a local movie theater to host a special screening of a film relevant to your member base. This gets your name out to new audiences and strengthens local ties you can draw on later.
Leverage your members
One thing I’ve learned in every single space I’ve been in, is that the personality of the venue is half defined by the founder/owner(s), and half defined by the personality of the collective members. That’s incredibly valuable and you need to act on it. Activities like hackathons and member-run classes can be a great way to leverage your member’s personality and skill sets, not to mention strengthen the ecosystem of your community.
Member-run classes can go beyond regular ‘Lunch and Learns’. Providing organized training courses for higher-level skills like coding, SEO, or graphic design can not only become a strong marketing asset for your space, but also help you get press, not to mention the added value for your members if they get a discount on the courses.
You can also keep an organized mentor list. I’m currently a mentor at a space, and it’s awesome! Being able to participate in helping people’s businesses get off the ground is very rewarding (not to mention a great way to meet potential clients). Likewise, the businesses/members themselves have direct access to a collective knowledge base that the space has vouched for and helps keep organized through classes and events. Truly a win-win-win.
On the social side
One of the spaces we currently work with decided to target its audience more widely on Twitter to help get more exposure to other spaces across the globe. We opted to create a monthly Twitter chat, with different themes every month.
It’s been great so far, the brand has been able to build new relationships throughout Europe and Asia, not to mention the United States.
It’s certainly not a requirement to start a chat from scratch, but being involved in a Twitter chat in general could help to expose you and your venue to the coworking industry and your member’s industries. There’s Twitter chats about small business, entrepreneurship, startups, etc.
Obviously there are a ton of unique ideas out there to fit the personality and culture of your space. Do you have effective marketing tactics that have worked to help attract new members to your coworking space? Share your advice!
About the ShareDesk Blog Series ‘Coworking Manager’s Guide to…’
‘Coworking Manager’s Guide to…’ is a blog series on running a shared office space. Each month we’ll hone in on a particular topic, pooling knowledge from our venue partners from across the globe into the ultimate guide for fledgling spaces and full-grown brands alike.
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