One of the most important things you do as a flexible office space manager is to get out the good word about the benefits of your property to local businesses and entrepreneurs. After all, a steady flow of reliable members translates into the cash flow you need to run and grow your business. A coworking marketing plan is an essential element of ensuring strong, consistent messaging and effective outreach to your ideal members.
You may think that it’s easier to implement marketing on an ad hoc basis, whenever you have an open space or a special offer. However, waiting until you need to bring in members means that you’re constantly playing catch up. Instead, develop a strategic approach that gets people out of the coffee shop and into your space.
Define Your Target Audience
Any marketing plan worth its salt starts with a well-defined audience. You need to know who you’re talking to in order to make your message as effective as possible.
Remote Workers / Freelancers
These may be the first customers most people think of as heavy users of coworking spaces. The rise of the gig economy and the popularity of entrepreneurship among working age adults creates high demand for shared or dedicated workspaces or small offices.
Small Companies / Teams
This is a growing segment of the co-working landscape, with an increasing number of small businesses -- including real estate teams, partnerships and support personnel, and other configurations -- seeking out space for collaboration as well as individual workspaces.
With the ever-growing demand for work-from-home and flexible scheduling positions, many corporations are turning to flexible office spaces for an easy way to create a structured work environment for remote employees.
Examine Your Existing Sources of Leads
As you begin to create your coworking space marketing plan, start by taking an inventory of your existing lead gen platforms. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll also want to begin gathering data on how your current members found you in the first place.
An attractive, speedy, and functional website is a must for helping potential members find you and learn more about the spaces and services you offer. If your current website is out of date, poorly designed, or bare bones, it may be time to look at a revamp.
In many coworking operations, you’ll find that events are an essential part of helping local businesses and entrepreneurs learn more about your space. Offer conference rooms or event spaces for local Chamber of Commerce meetings, the area Board of Realtors Young Professionals (YP) Group, or invite local business leaders to conduct workshops for entrepreneurs and freelancers in your area.
Many coworking space operators have a presence on social media but struggle to post consistently. If you find yourself falling behind, it may be time to streamline your social media plan or outsource management to a freelancer.
You may have worked with a commercial real estate broker to help direct local businesses to your coworking space. Depending on your coworking market size, there may be a variety of such spaces and brokers may or may not already be working with other operators in your area. Alternatively, some brokers may have property management services in-house that operate competing flexible office spaces.
Additionally, you may have listed your coworking space with an online broker who serves as a clearinghouse for individuals and businesses that are looking for flexible office spaces. These brokers may or may not offer you the visibility that you are looking for or may already promote competing office spaces in your area.
Develop Digital Marketing for Coworking
One of the most cost-effective strategies for marketing a coworking space is a digital marketing strategy designed for coworking operators. While you may have some of these components, a well-integrated and responsive digital marketing strategy will pay dividends in both time and new business.
Again, while you may have a website, it may not be doing everything you need. Ensure that you have plenty of high-quality, organic content, attractive design elements, and convenient integrations like an online scheduler or virtual property tour in order to help your coworking space stand out.
Build your email list and send out value-added content regularly, both to current members and to prospective members. Develop automations that can quickly respond to initial inquiries and keep you top of mind after that initial contact.
Whether you go all-in on one or two platforms or maintain a presence across as many as possible, ensure that you are updating your accounts consistently with exciting, value-added content. Right now, video is the winner when it comes to engagement, so work on developing high quality video content to get more eyes on your business.
While pay-per-click advertising is no longer the powerhouse platform that it once was, it can help people who are searching in your local market find you more easily. In addition, it will give you the opportunity to show up in searches well above larger competitors with a more prominent online presence.
The best way to ensure great SEO is to optimize your website content properly and continue to add new content on a regular basis. A well-designed blog can help you reach your coworking space target market and keep people coming back regularly for new, value-added content.
Ensure Consistent Execution
It is essential to work your marketing plan on a consistent basis in order to ensure a steady stream of interest in your flexible office space. This will also help you develop a network of engaged followers so that you are always able to find enthusiastic members as needed.
Consistent Traffic Throughout the Year
Forget taking summers or holidays off from your content creation. The more consistent your engagement across your digital marketing platforms, the better your SEO and page rank and the more you will make people aware of your business.
Plan for Slow Seasons
Continue innovating and engaging with your network in order to ensure that you can reach out and find new members during slow times. In addition, remember that your existing members can be a powerful recruitment resource. Incentivize them to bring in new members when you have unexpected openings.
Plan Extra Marketing for New Space Openings
If you are expanding or revamping your space, ensure that everyone knows about it. Feature the build up to your opening on your social media platforms and through email blasts, as well as on your video channel or blog. In addition, reach out to local media for coverage and ask your members to share with their networks, as well.
Plan Extra Marketing for Large Suites
Teams and small businesses are the next major source of growth for flexible workspaces, so plan your layout accordingly. Differentiate yourself from other coworking spaces by featuring your large suites, conference rooms, and event spaces. Make sure that part of your digital marketing is focused on these potential membership categories in order to optimize your marketing strategy.