8 Tips on Writing Marketing Strategies for Your Coworking Space
Freelancer, remote worker, and budding entrepreneur. These demographics are growing. In fact, a 2017 study by MBO Partners showed that, in the U.S. alone, the number of self-employed workers stood at 40.9 million, about 31 percent of the total American workforce. And their prediction is that, by 2022, half of the U.S. workforce will be working independently.
These figures did not include workers employed by a company but working remotely.
The bottom line? There are a lot of people out there who are working somewhere that is not a traditional office. Many in their homes, some in libraries and coffee shops, and many as digital nomads, traveling the globe.
The New Gig That Has Now Emerged
Every new phenomenon brings with it other opportunities. And the gig economy is no different. The great opportunity here is known as a coworking space.
All over the world, smart entrepreneurs are busy acquiring physical spaces for independent workers to use as their remote “offices.” They have seen the demand and they will provide the supply.
Consider the many reasons why independents find coworking spaces so attractive:
- Their homes may be busy, noisy places, filled with distractions.
- Coworking spaces can offer the technology they cannot afford—like video and audio recording studios, for example.
- Coworking offers a solution to the isolation that independents often feel as they work. It provides a more social atmosphere, along with opportunities to collaborate and network.
Veronica Wright, CEO of ResumesCentre has this to say about the needs of independent workforces: “Our company employs professionals from all geographic locations. They work in all sorts of physical environments. But I have found that those who are most productive have taken advantage of coworking spaces. They seem happier, more content, and certainly more mentally alert.”
Marketing a Coworking Space
With any new business comes the need to market products or services to target audiences, and, in the case of coworking space, the audience is highly specialized.
The basic principles of marketing apply, of course. You will need to determine where your target audience is, what their needs are, and then explain how you will meet those needs.
Marketing a coworking space is far more than simply placing ads stating you have office space for rent. You have to develop a content marketing strategy, which appeals to the needs, some of which were listed above. Further, you want to show that there is value in what you offer, that you are trustworthy, and that you have a sincere concern for their needs.
You do this by creating content—content that fosters relationships, trust and demonstrates uniqueness in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Tips for an Effective Marketing Strategy
1. Design a Great Website
Don’t “cheap Charley” this. You need a sleek site that provides engaging content and amazing visuals. It may need to be professionally designed.
Obviously, you should also have testimonials from current and/or past renters. These need to be genuine. Providing references with contact information is ideal, if you can get them.
2. A Blog is a Must-Have
Independent workers have problems to solve; they want to feel like they’re part of a community facing the same challenges and they want information and inspiration. This is the purpose of your blog. There are many topics of interest to this community—business growth ideas, new technology, networking, etc.
But if you have a blog, it must be well-maintained. This means that you will spend a lot of time generating topic ideas and crafting engaging articles that your audience will want to read and share.
If you feel that a blog is too challenging, then contract it out. There are freelance writers as well as writing agencies that have expert copywriting departments. Here’s a few you can try:
- Fiverr: This is an online marketplace for freelance services. The company provides a platform for freelancers to offer services to customers worldwide.
- FlashEssay: This company began as an academic writing service but then expanded into all sorts of business writing, including the maintenance of blogs.
- Freelancer: This is a huge website featuring freelancers from every niche, including copywriting. You can research those with great ratings, contact them directly and discuss your needs.
- GetGoodGrade: Another writing service with an experience in all types of copywriting services. They also design websites, create social media profiles, and maintain businesses’ postings.
- Upwork: Another huge website of freelancers, especially content writers. Try a few out by giving them the same topic for a blog post and see who you like best.
Both your website and blog should be optimized for search engines. Be sure to conduct come research and identify the best keywords/phrases for coworking. Get them into your site and blog content naturally. There are lots of dynamics involved with search engine optimization. If you are not familiar with SEO strategies, find someone who is.
You need a strong presence on as many platforms as possible, especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use as many visuals and videos as possible in your posts. You can also follow related niches and begin to network and engage people in those areas who will mention and/or refer you.
Use targeted Facebook ads, localized for where your workplace is.
Post as many pictures on Instagram as possible. Feature your space, your “members,” and take advantage of hashtags. Purchase sponsored Instagram posts, too.
4. Perks and Benefits
One of the ways to get a competitive edge and to spread your marketing efforts is to offer special perks and benefits to both new and current members. One really successful perk is to offer rent/membership fee discounts for referrals.
Another proven perk is to offer free days once or twice per month. This gets potential members in to experience your space. Hold open house every so often, with a happy hour event. People will always respond to free food and drinks.
5. Offer Extended Hours and Advertise Them
Freelancers work odd hours, usually by choice. But some who have international clients may have to work in the middle of the night. If you can manage 24/7 operations, you will become valuable to more prospects.
6. Consider Additional Value-Added options
Offering things like day care and a group insurance plan are big draws. If you do offer any of these “extras,” be sure that you are promoting them everywhere. These can solve some big issues for potential members.
Christopher K. Mercer, CEO of Citatior, has only remote working staff. He speaks to the importance of benefits this way: “We try to help our staff find coworking spaces. We look first for standard resources, like a good physical environment, reliable and fast Internet, plenty of equipment (faxes, printers, phones, media studios, etc.) Next, we look for the extras—these are the things that can tip a coworking facility over the edge for us.”
7. Promote Your Members
One thing that will set you apart from your competition is to feature members on your social media platforms. This helps to promote their businesses and fosters a sense of community within the workplace. And you are promoting your space at the same time.
8. Use Traditional Local Advertising
Set up reciprocal advertising with local businesses; using posters, fliers, etc., especially with restaurants, coffee shops, and book stores.
This list of eight strategies should get you started. Above all, remember this: You’re offering a valuable service. If you can make it more valuable than your local competition, you will fill up and stay full.
Author Bio: James Scott is an independent blogger and a marketing consultant to small businesses. He is especially passionate about team building and management, having run his own company for a number of years. His key to a successful team? Delivering the best possible working experience and environment.