4/22/2019

How to Improve Diversity in Your Coworking Space

If you’ve followed CoworkingResources for any length of time you know by now that we’re dedicated to covering all aspects of planning, setting up, and operating a coworking space. We scour social media groups and forums and recently, we stumbled on a topic that we actually haven’t completely exhausted: diversity. We noticed that there are a growing number of coworking managers and leaders looking to increase diversity among their members. Unfortunately, it’s an issue that a lot of companies are trying to reconcile as minority-owned businesses continue to become a powerful economic force. Here are a few concrete steps you can take to increase the diversity in your space:

Host a Diversity Day or Mixer

Since coworking spaces are so enthusiastic about connecting with local businesses, why not seek out minority-owned businesses in the area and invite them to a networking event dedicated to them, even if they aren’t members yet. It would be a great way to advertise your space, obviously good PR (few local newspapers would ignore an event like that if it’s big enough and well-advertised), and it will spread the word among minority communities that your space is progressive and a viable option for their business. In a small or mid-size town word travels fast, which could be a great advantage!

Perhaps one of the main barriers for underrepresented communities is that they won’t risk buying into a new concept unless they know it is…friendly (or at least open-minded). So dedicating a few events per year to celebrating minority-owned businesses and freelancers is a great way to let them know your doors are open.

Get Immersed in Your Target Minority Groups

Unfortunately, gender and color bias is simply part of human nature and it’s reflected in how we interact with others. If you see that your space is predominantly white, it’s probably because you’re located in a predominantly white neighborhood, and you advertise and partner with businesses that have a — you guessed it — predominantly white customer base.

So when we say “immerse yourself” we mean to advertise your space where there is a concentrated diverse community and don’t be afraid to go where your target community is. This is where profiling your target customer might be a good thing! Find minority communities of artists, freelancers, LGBTI-led businesses, etc… (they have their own forums and Facebook groups). So go to their events, do the research on what matters to the people in these minority groups and find ways to understand and empathize with their experiences. Give them your brochure or present your concept in their space first, don’t expect them to come to you. If you come from a place of deeper understanding, it’ll be easier to start conversations and make presentations that are truly relevant to a minority focus group.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to do a photo shoot to add at least one person of color in your marketing materials. Don’t underestimate this point. It’s been proven that, whether it’s unconsciously or intentionally done, a lack of representation (in any kind of advertising) alienates minority groups from your business. No matter what color your skin is, people naturally gravitate toward ads and media with people that look like them, and by extension the products and services they use. So to be more inclusive, you need to make a conscious effort to represent diversity in your ads, social media posts, and brochures.

Educate Them About Your Membership Plans

Another reason you may not be seeing a lot of leads from minority groups is a lack of understanding about prices. They simply might not know all the benefits of a coworking space or the fact that it can be cheaper and less stressful than a traditional office lease. Perhaps you could host an open forum or design marketing materials that break down the savings they could achieve by moving to your space. But first be very self-aware about your pricing in the first place. If you’ve priced yourself into a narrow demographic already, you might want to revisit that and do more research on what your target community of minority business owners can afford.

We hope these few tips help coworking owners and managers looking to diversify their community of members. Diversity is a major problem in almost every industry, so it’s no surprise that coworking is no different; however, it’s encouraging to see that leaders in the coworking movement are passionate enough about community building to make conscious efforts toward greater diversity in the industry!

If you’ve found more successful ways to diversify your space, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to contact content@coworkingresources.com and share your story.

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3. Benefits of Tagging Others

Social data also describes the interaction between social media users. While comments, likes, and shares are the most obvious forms of interaction on social media, tags are another form of communication between social media users. 

Tagging is one of the most effective tips for coworking on social media. When it comes to promoting your coworking space, tags do an amazing job at increasing your visibility. On Facebook, for instance, your post will have more reaches if you tag others:

Image credit: CENTRL Office

If you often organize events at your coworking space, you can tag the participants. If you have some special offers, tag someone who helps you promote them. Any tag conveys social data, as it transfers information from one user to another. It’s a great way to become more visible online and attract potential clients. 

In Conclusion

Like any other big data, social data has limitations, as not every social media user shares information. Nevertheless, social data is still very effective for marketing purposes, as it can help your coworking space become more recognizable. 

Using the above-mentioned social data techniques together will help you increase visibility, as they will help others find your coworking space more easily. In general, these techniques are aimed at targeting large numbers of people and help them easily navigate the space of social media to find the best coworking spaces. 

Platform

Location

Croissant

International

Included.co

International

Hubble

London

Coworker

International

Instant Offices

International

Pickspace

International

Share Desk

International

Happy Desk

International

DesksNear.me

International

DeskTime

International

Coworking London

London

Desk Pass

International

Copass

International

Coworking Wiki

International

Desk Surfing

International

Near Desk

US

Liquid Space

International

GoCoWo

International

Find Workspaces

US

Sneed

India

Ofixu

International

Meetings Booker

International

Qdesq

India

eWorky

International

Share your office

US

Spacelist

US and Canada

42 Floors

US

Office List

US and Canada

Coffices

International

Breather

US, Canada, Europe

Setting

Berlin

Key to Office

International

Peerspace

US and Europe

Bizly

US

Spacewhiz

India

Beewake

US and Europe

Awfis

India

Allofficecenters

Germany

Splacer

US

Lexc

International

Desk Camping

International

Worksnug

International

Seats 2 Meet

US

Coworking.Coffee

International

Commercial Cafe

US

Preferred Office Network

US

Heydesk

International

Office Freedom

International

Flexas

International

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