Generating a consistent flow of leads is a challenge for many coworking businesses.
To help you out, we’ve gathered 14 marketing strategies for attracting more members to your space, based on our experience of working with 2000+ flexible spaces over the last seven years.
We’ve separated these into two categories:
- 7 face-to-face marketing strategies, including live events, partnerships with local businesses, free coworking days, and more.
- 7 digital marketing strategies, including local SEO, Facebook and Google ads, content repurposing, and more
But before diving into the specific tips, let’s lay the groundwork for success by adopting a customer-centric mindset.
Who Are Your Ideal Customers And Why Should They Choose You?
Before implementing any marketing strategy, consider the type of customers you want to attract.
A strategy aimed at law firms and accounting companies might not work for technology startups and vice versa.
You don’t have to know who’s your ideal customer down to every last detail. But having at least some idea of who you want to work with forces you to adopt a customer-centric mindset in your marketing.
As a result, you start thinking about the advantages your space offers to those potential customers. These could be your location, amenities, community, partner network, or several other things, which become the focal points of your messaging.
Additionally, having an ideal customer profile helps you prioritize marketing efforts. This is essential, as you likely won’t have the time and resources to test each idea that you come across. Knowing who your potential customers are and where they hang out (online and offline) helps you choose which ideas to try first.
7 Face-to-face Marketing Strategies For Coworking Spaces
Most of the ideas in this section require knowledge of your local scene — popular hangout spots, events, service providers, and so on.
On that note, we’ve already discussed the importance of networking and building mutually beneficial relationships, so if you’re interested, check out our article on pre-selling your coworking space.
#1 Promote Your Business In Coffee Shops, Restaurants, And Other Popular Hangout Spots
This first tip is pretty simple — find out where people hang out and display your brand there.
For example, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars often have dedicated spaces for advertising. That’s an easy way to get eyeballs on your business. You can also sponsor events in these places, like happy hours, wine tastings, or charity events.
Again, if you take the time to research your local scene and build mutually beneficial relationships, you should have no problem here.
#2 Host (or organize) Training Courses, Lectures, And Hackathons
Having training courses in your space ensures you get a steady stream of people walking through your doors. Plus, it’s also a great way to add another revenue stream.
Here are two ways to go about this:
- Find trainers, coaches, and other course providers and offer them a place to host their courses at a reasonable price.
- Organize courses yourself. This will require more work on your end — researching potential industries, finding qualified teachers, scheduling the sessions, etc. — but it can help establish your space as the spot to learn about a specific topic.
#3 Try Popup Coworking
A few years back when Common Desk was being renovated, they rented a nearby space and held a pop-up coworking week. This experiment turned out great, as it gave members a change of pace and helped bolster the space’s presence in the neighborhood.
Now, remember that this strategy requires a bit more brand recognition and organizational skills. However, if you can pull it off, it can provide a unique experience for your members, while also getting more people to recognize your brand.
#4 Organize Live Entertainment Events
Coworking spaces can be about more than just work.
If you’ve got the space, consider asking a local band, artist, or even a standup comedian to do a show. This is a great way to build mutually beneficial relationships with local artists — they get a chance to perform, and you get more visitors through the doors.
#5 Negotiate Member Discounts For Local Services
Many prospective members of a coworking space need access to services like:
- Legal advice
- Public transportation
- Consultations on specific matters (taxes, HR, etc.)
Again, if you know your local scene and partner with key service providers, you can probably negotiate discounts for your members. Having a large network of partners increases the value of your space and is a powerful advantage to highlight in your marketing.
#6 Have Regular Free Coworking Days
Want to get more people through the door?7
Consider opening up the communal areas of your coworking space once every few months to prospective members. Everyone likes free, so you can’t really go wrong here.
Just make sure to give enough notice to your regular members and ensure their day-to-day operations aren’t affected.
#7 Create And Distribute Business Cards, Flyers, And Signs
These last few ideas are classics for a good reason — they work and are relatively easy to implement.
Here are three specific things you can do:
- Print out flyers and hand them out near airports, bus stations, and other public transportation areas. Many people who travel are looking for a place to work for a day or two, so this strategy can produce some quick and easy wins.
- Print out business cards and distribute them among your partners and popular locations in your area, like restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and gyms. Remember to include your website and telephone number on your cards, so potential customers know how to reach you.
- Create signs and place them outside of your building where they can be easily seen.
7 Digital Marketing Strategies For Coworking Spaces
Before we dive into the digital marketing strategies, let’s get the most important tip out of the way:
Build a high-quality, modern, and secure website as early as you can.
As we said in our article on pre-selling your coworking space, launching a website should be done as early as possible, even before your space is open. This ensures you have plenty of time to build and test the website for bugs.
Plus, you’ll have a chance to prepare relevant content for visitors, like landing pages, blog posts, and promo videos way in advance, so you don’t have to stress about it just before opening day.
#1 Optimize For Local SEO
Outside of creating a website, the most important thing for establishing your online presence is to create a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). This allows customers to leave reviews on Google and lets your space appear in Maps for relevant searches.
Next, optimizing your website for local SEO is also a must if you want to rank near the top when people search for “coworking space in [city/state/area]”. This includes activities like keyword research, content creation (e.g., website pages and blog posts), backlink acquisitions, and more.
We don’t want to turn this into a full-blown SEO guide, so check out Ahrefs’ great guide to local SEO for more details.
#2 Promote Your Members On Social Media
Featuring your clients’ stories on social media is one of the easiest things you can do to promote your business. It’s a win-win for both sides, because:
- You get content to share and social proof to display (more on that in a bit).
- Your customers get free exposure on your channels.
3 Get Social Proof And Display It Prominently
Social proof is crucial for getting people to buy anything, especially if it’s a new product or service. That’s why collecting positive feedback and displaying it prominently should be a constant goal.
Here are two simple ideas:
- Get satisfied customers to leave reviews on your Facebook page or Google profile. This helps demonstrate that you’re a tried-and-tested, reputable business.
- Use client logos and quotes on your website and in your ads.
Both of these activities instantly make your business look more trustworthy while being relatively easy to implement.
#4 Get Your Space Included In Coworking Listing Websites
Many websites aggregate different coworking and flex spaces all over the world to make it easier for people to find a space. Getting listed on these websites will put your space in front of people who have serious buying intent.
As a start, check out the following websites:
#5 Create And Repurpose Content About Your Coworking Space
One of the biggest problems with marketing activities is the amount of time they take.
As a result, most small spaces typically don’t have time to keep their website updated, post on all social media channels, and test new marketing strategies.
One way to overcome this problem and still generate consistent content is repurposing.
For example, say you shot a 20-minute, detailed video walkthrough of your coworking space. You can (and should) feature that video on your website.
However, there’s so much more you can get out of that video. You can break it down into multiple videos spanning from a few seconds to a few minutes. These can act as short teasers, which are ideal for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Just like that, one initial video produces months’ worth of shareable content.
Check out the useful video below that shows genuine ways to repurpose content for social media.
This goes for pretty much all of your content efforts. Just did an interview with a client? Use a few snippets from it as social proof on your site and social media. Just published a bunch of blog posts? Bundle them together in a new eBook.
Of course, repurposing still takes work, but it’s much less difficult and time-consuming than starting everything from scratch. In that sense, repurposing is about working smarter, not harder.
For more ideas, check out these 12 content repurposing examples by HubSpot.
Quick note: Tools like Canva make repurposing much easier, as they have tons of templates and let you create beautiful visuals without needing a professional designer.
#6 Try Meta (Facebook) And Google Ads
When it comes to online advertising, you can’t beat Meta and Google’s reach. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, as well as Google’s products, are used by billions of people, most likely including your target audience.
Meta offers ways to target locally, so you can focus your budget on advertising to people in your area. Google, on the other hand, lets you target specific queries, like “coworking space in area/city/country”, so you place your brand directly in front of people looking for what you offer.
As with SEO, there are tons of best practices you can follow, so check out the resources below:
Lastly, it’s worth noting that since Meta and Google are the two most popular online ad networks, the competition is fierce. This has resulted in ads getting more expensive over time. On that note, alternative channels like Twitter and Reddit can sometimes produce good results at a better cost.
#7 Engage In Twitter And Reddit Chats
While Meta and Google are by far the most popular social platforms for promotion, Twitter and Reddit remain grossly underrated. They let you participate in relevant discussions and potentially — get clients through your doors without spending tons of money on ads.
You can find various subreddits that may be relevant to your business. For example, r/digitalnomad has over 1.7 million members. The “Workspaces” community, where you can post cool workspace setups, has 115k subscribers. You can even join your local city’s subreddit and help people looking for a place to work.
Quick note: Remember that Twitter and Reddit aren’t the best places for self-promotion. You have to contribute to the community and its conversations before promoting your products.
Final Thoughts: Don’t Be Afraid To Test
So, you have a list of marketing strategies and best practices. Now comes the difficult part — actually putting them into practice.
This can be a bit scary and overwhelming, so here are two more practical tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t be afraid to test marketing strategies and channels. Many of your early marketing activities may fail or produce mediocre results. Tough to accept but it’s true. However, pretty much all businesses (not just coworking and flex spaces) go through a phase of experimenting before their marketing really starts clicking. So, test vigorously and don’t get discouraged if things don’t work out immediately — it’s part of the game.
- Double down on what works. When you find the tactics and channels that produce results, focus most of your efforts on them. If you don’t have a dedicated marketing expert or team, constantly testing new things will get overwhelming. So, once you find what works for you — whether it’s Facebook ads, live events, or SEO — divert resources from the things that don’t work into it. After you master that channel or tactic (which will likely be way down the line), revert back to the previous tip and start experimenting again.
This article appeared courtesy of OfficeRnD. Read the original article here.
FLEXIBLE WORKSPACE AUSTRALIA
Flexible Workspace Australia is the peak body for coworking and flexible workspace providers and partners across all cities and regions of Australia.