Competition is ever-present in the market. And each day, new ideas and new companies are being launched.
Promoting your flexible workspace to acquire new members can be a daunting prospect and expensive at the same time.
Fortunately, you do not need to be a marketing guru or run million-dollar campaigns to turn your co-working members into brand advocates.
There are plenty of low-cost marketing strategies that you can use to grow and successfully promote your coworking space:
Incorporating a referral program is a great way to strengthen your existing members' loyalty and win over new ones.
Operating a flexible workspace isn't exempt from this method. By asking for referrals from other people, you'll instantly provide credibility for your business.
To simplify your referral program, make it simple for people to refer their friends. It can be in the form of links in your social media pages and profiles. Reach out to some of your best clients. These are people who've stuck with you and have already ingrained themselves in your community.
Then, encourage these people to lend their support. Now, by asking these people for a referral, you're asking them to prove their loyalty to you.
Even if these people are doing it for incentives, they're still putting their name on the line, which means a lot. They're also associating part of themselves with you and your brand.
These people can eventually become loyal brand evangelists. Meaning, they can bring in more prospects who can become dedicated coworking members in the long run.
Like I mentioned earlier, to quickly bring in these referrals, you need to offer a couple of incentives. You can use it as a way to reward loyal members for their efforts and their willingness to become brand advocates.
Things like gifts, discounts, and coupons are a great way to encourage word of mouth. Another is rewarding both your existing member and his referral.
You don't always have to offer them a free month of using the workspace. If you don't have the funds, consider offering a buddy discount.
For instance, a member can bring in a recruit in exchange for a free week. While you are giving away a week of workspace usage, you can still earn it through the new member.
Word-of-mouth marketing has now evolved in the digital world, and that's the form of positive online reviews.
While it isn't viable to wait for 5-star reviews to pop out of nowhere, you can make your current members become brand advocates. It is just a matter of encouraging them to leave an online review of your shared workspace.
Don't make it too complicated for them — the important thing is to make the online review highly accessible. Many people will look at online reviews nowadays before availing of a particular service or buying a specific product.
So, if possible, make the most of the opportunity that you have.
See that you take the time to review your profile and significant websites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook. After the reviews come in, take the time to thank people if they provide you with positive feedback. Meanwhile, if someone has a bad experience, take the time to make amends as well.
Keep in mind that 82% of people read online reviews of local businesses. So, never neglect digital feedback as part of your word of mouth marketing strategy.
As you spend your time collecting customer feedback, it would be best to leverage them for your workspace's advantage.
Use member feedback to learn more about what they love about your coworking space. Look out for suggestions and act upon it if it's something that you can do immediately. Otherwise, let them know that you are considering their feedback.
Using that feedback, make sure that you improve your services and show people that you're doing your best to improve.
Also, see to it that you keep your members' satisfaction as a priority. Build a space where every member can come as individuals and then leave as a coworker.
You might also recommend members or introduce them to one another. Not only this helps them widen their network, but it widens yours, as well.
Connected with the previous point, you should always strive to improve, or else you'll be left behind.
Always remember that you work with a changing audience.
As Gen Z becomes part of the workforce, they would want a fun, supportive, and productive office environment. This can include a quiet space where they can concentrate and a communal space to hang out with their colleagues.
Coworking spaces that offer flexible working environments and open 24/7 are highly sought after, too.
You should also take advantage of and make the most out of social media platforms.
For instance, you can advertise with Facebook ads and see to it that you have built a social media page that is dedicated to your co-working space. You can also gain many members and foot traffic from Facebook, so make sure that you make the most of the platform.
Keep in mind that when doing Facebook ads, it should target local areas. That's because it is highly likely that those people will be the ones using your coworking area.
You can also use Instagram to show off the interiors of your space. Another way to use IG is to feature some of your staff, long-time coworkers, and the events you will be hosting.
Just make sure that you will use high-quality interesting photos and use relevant hashtags to find your content.
People will likely want to become members of your coworking community if they know that there'll be perks waiting for them.
Consider giving out discounted rates or exciting incentives for every successful referral.
Also, at least once or twice a month, allow members and non-members to come work in your space for free. That might include free WiFi as well.
Just make sure that you keep these limited to ensure that you're still bringing in a profit. This tactic will help you bring in new members as well as continue keeping your old ones.
Also, have some "happy hour" where little snacks and drinks will be served for free. It is an effective coworking strategy that rarely fails to bring in people as there is food.
In the same way, you might also offer a bartering system. Meaning, you'll be waiving the rent in exchange for the person's skills or talents.
For instance, you have a member who is a graphic designer. You might ask him to create a couple of posters for you for marketing in exchange for a week's rent.
Another way to enhance sharing on social media is to come up with unique and shareable content.
Make use of stunning visuals, inspiring quotes, group photos, or pictures of your space that will be highly shared by others.
If you're consistent with this, you'll be able to build better connections with your members.
A lot of us will want to be called and remembered by our names. Although it doesn't create a significant impact on your company, it helps build trust and shows how much you value your members.
It also makes them feel that they're part of a broader community to which they belong. Apart from that, it also shows people that you value them as a person. Just keep it as natural as possible without going overboard.
Your members will notice whether you're trying to be genuine or trying too hard.
Another great coworking tactic is to partner with local brands. You can partner with a local coffee supplier or brand to provide coffee to your coworking members.
Similarly, you might partner with a movie theatre to host a special screening of films related to your member's interest or niche. Work with a restaurant to cater to an event. Better yet, host local events in your space.
Apart from your customers, it would be best if you also rewarded employees for becoming advocates for your brand.
You can encourage them to talk more about their jobs and experiences. Offer incentives to employees who share their work online or manage to bring in new members.
You might also want to involve your employees in the creative planning process. The more they are affected, the more that they'll speak good things about your flexible workspace.
The tips listed above can help convert your members into brand advocates.
Just ensure that they love what you are offering and make it easy for them to share it with others. Provide opportunities for your coworkers to have fun and connect with other members.
Over time, if their experience with your space is worthwhile and productive, they will share it with other people, too.
Need more coworking space marketing tips? Find them here: Coworking Space Marketing — 9 Simple Tips Making Lasting Effect.
The article was written by Kevin Urrutia, the founder of Voy Media Advertising Agency NYC. He helps businesses maximize the benefits of Facebook Advertising, leading to a dramatic improvement in sales while pushing down costs. Voy Media thoroughly studies each client and comes up with tailor-fit solutions to bring about the best results.