Snippet: This post is aimed at entrepreneurs who are running or aiming to start a coworking business. We offer you tips to drive engagements within your shared office space.
The Coworking Industry Today
The shared office theme is not new, this has been in the professional realm for quite a while. It is only now that we have given it fancy names such as ‘Coworking’.
This model of allowing entrepreneurs and business teams work out of a shared spaces to build to a community has worked wonders to boost local economies in many countries.
To understand where the coworking industry stands today, when compared to many years ago, and also to understand its true future potential – read this in depth article we wrote last month.
How Coworking is Different to Traditional Office Spaces
Traditional office spaces are confined to workers from a single company. The entire workforce represents one brand and one kind of work ethic. Chances are that we might see workers talk the same, dress the same and behave the same – mainly due to cultural protocols. This is not a bad thing – but in today’s world, it seems extremely one dimensional.
Shared office spaces are purely community driven. These coworking spaces offer open desks, cafeterias, meeting rooms and other resources. Not that traditional offices aren’t equipped with the same. The clinching factor is disrupting the so called ‘sameness’ is when workers from different industries sit next to each other. The entire outlook towards work changes due to this effect
Tips to Drive Community Engagement
The aim of a perfectly run coworking business is to pay attention, take care of, and engage its asset, people. Here are five tips to drive engagement.
#1 Their accomplishments are your accomplishments
The working culture, dreams, targets, and goals move at a phenomenal pace at coworking spaces. A coworking space is a healthy mixture of small startups, individual entrepreneurs and large teams from established brands such as Microsoft or Orange (in France).
Accomplishments such as a new app launch, a business getting funded or acquired, reaching milestones etc. are to be shared with and highlighted. The more, you – as a coworking business care and encourage your assets, the more members you will retain and drive new ones too
Mediums such as weekly newsletters and social media act as the perfect platform to share news within the community, as well as your prospects. You can even generate good content via blog interviews and short videos.
The idea is to show the world that your coworking community is made of hardworking winners. The more content you publish and circulate, you uplift your brand image.
People love attention – especially professional attention and recognition. Any content you produce becomes immediately shareable, your community members would love to share their own success stories published on your blog or social media sites. Thereby increasing relevant traffic to your website.
#2 Promote your community members as industry experts
The interesting aspect about people who work out of shared office spaces is that most of them are really accomplished and good at what they do. As a business, you can project or promote them as industry experts. The similar theme of creating blog posts and short video interviews can work wonders to showcase and highlight your community
Prepare a list of questions which matter to your prospects. Such as – tips on raising funds, launching an IPO, preparing an investor pitch deck etc. These are the factors which help you reach the right audience to generate future business – and also retain your existing clients
#3 Let the community speak about you
Reach out to premium members who have accomplished great things with their business, working out of your set up. Create a list of topics and ask them to write about it in the form of a blog post. This is a complete win-win situation. As you get to recognize top talent and also giving them an influential platform such as your website or blog to grow their network.
#4 Take your community to the world
By now we have put a lot of emphasis on the power of content – especially shared and guest content. Guest posts and video interviews are just the beginning. This highlights just one person’s or team’s story. Another great way to generate interesting content is through round table meet ups.
Gather a few top performing or influential members from your community. It is better if you make this is a frequent (monthly) thing. The idea of this round up is to ask questions about how these people conduct their day-to-day tasks and tackle challenges.
You can even create book club – where your community members suggest the best books or articles they have read. This can be collected and shared on your blog. Such content is share-worthy. It immediately boosts your business’s social currency.
#5 Share your community knowledge and skills
Startups and individual entrepreneurs develop remarkable skills to get things done on the cheap and quickly. As in a dynamic business world, time is considered money.
Hand pick some members from your community and offer them to teach a webinar or an in-class workshop about topics which matter to your members. Research and make a list of topics such as digital marketing, pitching, investor relations, preparing presentations, business lingo, financial planning etc. This is what matters to your clients, give them what they need, and they will love you back a million times.
Create a calendar and invite members for such workshops. This way you get the best out of each event. Create a frequent list of such workshops, and they will drive a lot of traffic to your site and most importantly – it will help you retain members. Show that you care.
We are sure that there are more than 5 ways to drive community engagement. What else do you think can be done? Do you have innovative ideas? Do share them in the comments section below.
Managing a Coworking Business can be Simplified with the Right Software
Managing a coworking business which is diversified in culture as well as service variety is a challenging task. Did you know that many aspects of a coworking business can be managed, administered and automated with the right software application.
Flagship coworking brands such as WeWork have mastered this service delivery. Visitors can easily check in on the phone. All updates within the community is delivered through their flagship app. Members can book resources on the go etc.
Isn’t building a website, a mobile app and integrating them both via cloud services an expensive effort? Well, no, to be honest.
Have you used Airbnb.com? Or its mobile app? Aren’t their platforms so easy to use? So, here’s the deal. We have cloned the Airbnb platforms (web and mobile) and have redesigned in a way to suit the nature of a coworking business. Think of it as an Airbnb for your coworking business. We call it RentCowork.
Not only that, we offer round the clock tech support and free software upgrades (web and mobile) for life. The best thing about RentCowork is that it is 100% customizable. Put your own logo, color scheme, fonts etc. It is your platform, mould it the way you want it.