So, if you have a coworking space, or are looking to create a coworking space and/or ways you can monetize those empty chairs – look no further, below we will cover the essentials on what you will need to do to increase your workspace visibility.
In this article, we will cover strategies that we have used to personally fill our own coworking spaces, along with some creative ways to advertise your space to your local community.
1. Differentiation is Key
There is no question that the coworking space industry is becoming more and more popular. One of the important elements is how will you differentiate your space from the rest? Prior to moving forward with a coworking marketing strategy, you first have to identify why people should consider using your space over others.
What are the benefits your coworking space has over your competitors? Is it your space’s amenities, community, services, or industry niche? By looking at what makes your space different, you can increase your chances of success. You need to get more granular than just aesthetics or having a “beautiful space”. The goal is to market something that cannot easily be replicated. Your members or potential members are looking for something that is uniquely individualized when they are considering your space. Maybe it’s a sense of community, networking opportunities, or simply wanting to learn more about how to run their business.
Take the time to listen to your members and provide value rather than just “space amenities”.
2. Create a Website
Once you have developed what your niche is, you will need to ensure that you are constantly letting customers know why you are different and the value you can provide to them. Your message should be reflected in all of your marketing strategies.
This means creating a professional website for your coworking space. Yes, your business is real-estate and, yes, your customers can walk into your space – but your site is a representation of your brand and usually a customer’s first impression of your workspace. Do not underestimate the impact your website can have as part of your sales strategy for your coworking space. First impressions are everything!
Platforms You Can Use To Create A Coworking Space Website:
3. Coworking Space SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Getting your website up and running is half of the battle. You need to make sure you invest the proper care and consideration when optimizing your website for the search engines. If your website performs poorly, loads slowly, or is not mobile optimized, you are going to have trouble showing up on the search engines. I have outlined a brief checklist of the essentials below:
- SSL Certification On My Website
- Implement the correct Title Tags, Metadata, Url and Target keywords on your site
- Upload your website property to Google Search Console
- Create your .xml sitemap
- Add Google Analytics to your website
- Ensure images and content are compressed and being properly cached on your website
- Make sure your website page speed is on point
- Check to see how mobile optimized your website is
Need a more comprehensive breakdown? Check out our complete guide on Coworking SEO
4. Start Local
Ok, so you completed your messaging and you have created a great user experience on your website. Now, it’s time to start your coworking space marketing plan. I have posted some of the most important websites that will start driving customers to your coworking space, straight from the get-go.
Google My Business
Did you know that 90% of the searches in the United States are done on Google? Did you know that by simply listing and verifying your spaces with Google My Business you can greatly enhance your visibility for FREE? Google automatically shows your local workspace to customers looking for your services, specifically in your area. What could be better than that?
Coworking Listing Websites
Besides Google my Business, you should take advantage of relevant directories that will enhance the visibility of your coworking space. Not only are these local citations important, but they help increase your reach.
- Yellow Pages
- Liquid Space
Check out our complete guide on the top 50 places to list your coworking space.
5. Social Proof & Reputation Management
It’s important to gain social proof of your concept. This means asking users to rate your space on Google, social media, directories like yellow pages, and yelp.
Social proof is a powerful phenomenon because potential leads will see your space working for like-minded people, thus they will be more likely to try out your space. It also shows that you truly care about your concept and your customers.
After all, your members ARE your target demographic and your biggest advocates. Your ratings also help rank you on the local results.
6. Content Marketing For Your Coworking Space
Although it seems tedious, starting a blog for your coworking space can greatly enhance your ability to attract members. Why is that? In today’s digital marketing age, we get most of our answers by asking mobile assistants and search engines for answers to our questions, for example, what is a coworking space?.
If our blog article topic, keywords and user intent match what users are typing, we appear on the SERPS. Don’t just write about “salesy topics” users won’t read or share that content.
The goal is to develop link worthy content, allowing your space to gain exposure and rank for keywords.
Research your local news outlets (both digital and physical) for potential opportunities to get featured. Create a pitch template and reach out to journalists that are likely to write about your space.
Do some research on the journalist to make sure they are familiar with coworking, real-estate, and technology. The last thing journalists want and need is to get spam emails that are not relevant to their niche. In the future, I will create another article that focuses more in-depth on how to craft your pitch and conduct outreach.
There are a ton of platforms out there that can help you like:
Platforms you should consider:
Check out our guide on conducting outreach.
8. Advertise Your Coworking Space Using PPC Advertising (Pay-Per-Click)
If you are working on SEO campaigns, why do you need to pay for advertising? Unfortunately, SEO takes time and coworking terms are very competitive, so as you are building your authority and keyword rankings, you should implement an advertising strategy (with a reasonable budget) that targets the keywords that have the most “transactional” value to your space.
Check out our complete guide on PPC Marketing For Coworking Spaces.
9. Create Social Media Accounts For Your Coworking Space
A simple but often underutilized step. Social media is a great way to get in touch with your target customers. Whether its member engagement, announcements, or even marketing. You can rapidly extend your reach for free, by connecting with these relevant communities.
Channels you should consider:
Develop A Social Media Calendar
There are a number of ways social media can be leveraged to advertise your space to your target audience. Make sure your accounts are always up to date and used on a weekly basis. My recommendation would be to develop a social calendar where you can post a few times per week.
- Coworking Space Events
- Community Updates
Tip #1 : Sounds like a lot of work? Try to use some tools like Hootsuite and Buffer. These tools allow you to link multiple social media accounts and automate the postings.
Tip #2 : For all of you out there that are artistically challenged (like me). I would suggest using tools like Canva to handle your infographics, social post designs and more.
10. Develop Buyer Personas
If you cater to a specific niche or are looking for other ways to generate leads, survey your current members and create demographic profiles of the companies and users of your space. For example:
- Users within a 5-mile radius of your space
- Marketing, software, professional, and creative industries
- Companies that are between 1-50 employees
- Young families, social, looking to network
The above gives you a good starting point on what channels and methods you can use to reach out to your potential customer personas.
10. Lead Generation & Prospecting
Once you have a good understanding of users who are an ideal fit for your space, your next step is to FIND THESE USERS. So, what are the best ways to do this?
Using Google Search
Step 1. Type in a “service” + “your city/town” (for example, Lawyers in Manhattan)
Step 2. Use the maps of GMB to create an excel spreadsheet of the local businesses in your area.
Step 3. Let these companies and users know about your space with a special promotion.
*Do not spam email businesses as you will lose credibility*
Using Linkedin Sales Navigator
Step 1. Sign up for Linkedin Sales Navigator ($64.99/mo.)
Step 2. Visit the advanced search and enter your customer personas you developed in section 9.
Connect, message and develop relationships with these local companies.
11. Host Events for Your Coworking Space
Nothing is better than having the local coworking community experience what your coworking space has to offer. It’s not just about work – it’s about how you can become the community center of your area.
- Organize new member orientation days so members can meet and introduce themselves.
- Connect members who can work collaboratively with one another or enhance one another’s business.
- Create a services board where members can be free to post about what they are looking for and other members can answerGet involved with your town or cities chamber of commerce.
- Host charity and nonprofit events to enhance local impact.
- Bring in industry influencers who can teach workshops and spread valuable knowledge to help local businesses.
- Support local vendors by ordering coffee, teas, and cross-promoting products.
- Host events where restaurants and coffee shops can bring in tastings for members.
- Partner with an incubator or create your own to help companies afford space when starting out.
- Organize community outings to send business to local merchants and vendors.
Tip# 4: Use platforms like Meetup and Eventbrite to attract new members and increase the turnout of your events.
So far we have only touched upon the digital ways to market your coworking space. For those not as comfortable with Google and technology, it’s important to explore every avenue possible. Do not underestimate the value of physical marketing.
Physical Material Checklist:
- Signs that are visible from outside your space
- Handouts that potential customers can take with them
- Business cards with call to actions
- Postcard/mailers for local UPS EDDM
Once you have your physical materials, where should you place them for maximum exposure?
Physical Material Checklist:
- Near transportation hubs, bus and train stations
- Local vendor storefronts
- Community centers/recreation areas
13. Engage Your Community
It may seem obvious but having discussions with those in your community is imperative to your space’s success. I’m not talking about actively selling coworking memberships. Focus on those who are not actively looking for an office (or know about coworking). By focusing on activity based communities who share similar interests, you can build trust, value, and community.
Creative ways to engage community:
- Host interesting events (doesn’t just have to be business related)
- Offer deal to local community influencers
- Share value and people will naturally join
- Let potential customers know that there is a better way to work
- Be non-profit friendly and help where possible
14. Constant Communication
It is imperative that you frequently communicate with leads and members. This can range from space feedback to event ideas, services and more. If your members feel like they have a say and are actively a part of your space, you will increase member retention.