In this article, we are going to discuss common marketing mistakes a lot of coworking operators make when promoting their businesses. It's really tempting to exaggerate the facts a bit to make your promotional messages more attractive to a wider audience.
Though, the strategy proves to be false in the long run. Even if you manage to seal some impulsive deals, newly signed up members will drop off soon when they find out that reality does not meet their expectations.
Would you like to know how to craft honest marketing messages that match your brand values, convey yourunique positioning, and attract the right audience? Then, we are starting.
In this section, I am going to review some common workspace benefits traditionally used in the promotional campaigns and especially liable to inaccuracy and manipulation.
Let's start with the benefit almost every workspace claims. How often do you see slogans like this on the coworking websites?
We have the fastest WiFi!
Very often! But is it really a benefit for a coworking space? Fast internet is something that members expect to find at your center by default, something that they come for.
Though, if you are running a workspace for chefs or hairstylists, you will hardly impress them with super-fast internet because they value other amenities (such as professional equipment.) So, if your target audience is interested in other specific facilities, just focus on them instead of internet speed.
But what if your workspace is intended for techs and developers? Internet speed is crucial for them. I recommend you to feature accurate numbers in order not to sound slurred. How fast is your WiFi? What average upload/download speed will your members enjoy?
In case you suddenly find out that the numbers are not outstanding at all, you can fix it to meet the highest standards. If this is impossible, stating real internet speed will do you good anyway. Members will not feel misguided on their first day, which would be the worst start of the relationship.
Community is one of the main reasons why entrepreneurs come to coworking spaces. Community is the essence and the greatest value of a coworking space. If your coworking brand is really focused on building a dynamic community, you will not find it hard to tell prospects more about it.
Join our active community!
By just reading the fact that you have a community a person can't understand if he/she is a perfect match. Appealing the "right" members thirsty for a happy, flourishing community is the same important for your coworking space as a "poor match" is unlikely to become a loyal customer.
So, how can you express your community spirit? This is really easy with current media technologies. Use videos, photos, interviews, audio records, testimonials, social media posts, etc.
When you declare that members of your community collaborate, prospective customers expect that they will get help with their project, be it a startup, nonprofit, art, or something else.
If they come to your workspace and see the usual picture: your members come and get to work with occasional breaks for coffee or snacks, and small talks at the community kitchen, they will be disappointed that other members have no time to delve into their business.
Collaborate with other members.
Unfortunately, real collaboration between community members doesn't happen in every coworking space. So, if you are lucky enough to have such examples, provide credible evidence.
You can write case studies or shoot video interviews with members that actively collaborate. Let entrepreneurs describe their projects, publish their stories on your blog, and display them on your website.
If you have a proof of collaboration, you can link to the material to make your marketing message sound trustworthy. If prospective customers can find out more about the examples of collaboration, they will probably want to visit your center and maybe even sign up.
A lot of coworking centers claim to be member-centric. But the slogans about the best member experience sound boring and ungrounded.
We make your life happier!
If you are really member-focused, the best proof is to reconsider the whole process of acquiring information about membership perks, sign up, onboarding, etc. Smart coworking brands follow best practices of workspace digitalization. So, ideally, the path of your customer should look like this:
If the path of your lead looks similar to this, you don't need to tell them how much you care about clients' comfort as they are already experiencing your care.
There are many articles, researches, and statistics showing that freelancers become more productive and creative at the coworking spaces.
89% of coworkers report that they are happier since joining a coworking space.
But the truth is that you can't guarantee that productivity/creativity increase. Some members do get more efficient, yet a lot of them don't. Creativity and productivity are relative. They depend on many factors — the space, atmosphere, vibe, community, individual preferences, etc.
To be more productive and creative, an entrepreneur needs to be tolerant of distractions (visual and audial) available at a coworking hub. This is especially common for open-space plans.
So, if you say that your workspace helps to be more productive and creative, tell how you manage this. Maybe your members feel more accountable having a supportive community around... Maybe your space provides hideaways and semi-private spots for those who need some solitude and concentration... Maybe your members get more inspired being among the community of other creatives...
Oftentimes, to look more solid and authoritative, coworking centers boast impressive partnerships and promise mentorships for startups.
Remember, you can't claim to be a partner of local government if you only organized some event with it. Or if you are signed up to some of Google's affiliate programs giving your members nice perks such as free ad credits. If those partnerships are not stated legally and those authorities are not involved in your space, you are misleading your customers and risk your reputation.
Why not showcasing some real partnerships with local businesses? I understand that a local restaurant that caters food to your members will hardly produce a jaw-dropping effect but this is an honest way to do business without cheating and falsifying the facts.
The same goes for mentorship. Such a program includes regular meetings with experienced businessmen that share their knowledge with startups. If you really have such people, congrats, you are a business accelerator space. But if you mean that members can ask each other for advice, this is not mentorship. You can call it friendship, community spirit, belonging, whatever, not to disappoint members that signed up for your services because you position yourself as a business incubator.
We live in a world of hype. All sorts of exaggerated claims are heard here and there. Seems like the only way to be noticed among the competitors is to be even brighter and louder.
I hope after reading this article you have rethought this approach. Indeed, sometimes to draw public attention you need to say something in a stage-whisper instead of shout.
I also advise you to keep as far away as you can from inaccuracy, misleading, exaggeration, and falsification to sell another membership. You'd better be ruthlessly honest to set yourself apart from the competitors and attract the right audience. With all this fluff in the background, your marketing will look refreshing and perform excellently as experienced consumers are tired of fables.
And the last thing. Remember that photos and videos are much more convincing, so I encourage you to use their power.