How To Market A Coworking Space Right From Scratch

In the last few weeks, I’ve had a deep few conversations with people who are ‘picking my brains’, on marketing their coworking space. 

It seems like a lot of people are about to start a coworking space from scratch in the coming months. 

Then I ended up emailing them these answers. So in real “They Ask You Answer” style here are the subsequently copied and pasted emails, edited of course. 

What do you think is the most prominent problem people have when it comes to getting their act together for their coworking space?

I don’t have time to market my coworking space.

The one I hear is time. 

How to find the time to market your coworking business?

You have to find the time. 

Stop doing something else and start marketing your coworking business. 

I’ve been listening out for it this week. And without me even instigating it in a conversation, people said they couldn’t find the time.

So what do you have time for in your day? 

I never have enough time, and I’ve read so many books about productivity and time management. I’m sure I’ve lost brain cells.

Of course, this is tough, because we all have enough time and to be able to find the time for that lucky combination of what we need to do and what we want to do is a never-ending balancing act.

Look, I know you are short on time, you probably have not got time to read this article, let alone read a book on time, so let us get into it.

But first, let me take a selfie.

ACT ONE – How do I know all of this?

Every weekday I am talking with coworking space owners and managers in London and Europe. I’ve been at this for nearly a decade chipping away and listening.

I’m also picking apart things with marketing groups I’m a paid member of, so I am always learning and finding out what works. 

Check out this post about the communities where I’m an active member.  

ACT TWO – No One Is Coming To Save You

No one is coming to save you. Not one book, blog post, podcast, or advert is going to turn your marketing around.

It is all compound effect and connection.

All you need is this: 

  1. A website with a blog – use WordPress. 
  2. An Email List – just get going with Mailchimp, you can change later.
  3. An Instagram account
  4. A Google My Business Page

You have to have a website – no excuses.

What You Need For A Coworking Space Website

Get a website. Take a look at my mate’s Jammy Digital website for the complete no bollox guide on how to work this one out.

How you can start a website

I use WP Engine here and people way smarter than I, swear by it. The hosting is bulletproof, the support is 100%, I pay $36 a month, including a couple of extras and sleep at night and don’t get charged hidden fees.

Also, at least once a year WP Engine GETS CHEAPER — Mas they scale they pass the saving onto customers!!

Read the post here about the WordPress plugins we use on my site.

Oh, and why does my site not look like me theme look here – that is the one everyone gets done with when setting up a WordPress blog.

To get going, you ONLY need a website, with a blog section, email list and contact page.

That’s it! Once you get that set up you can and all the other shit, not that you need much of it,

It is crucial to get a Homebase set up; people google places on the website; they don’t look at Facebook pages.

If you are Nas Daily, of course, you can use Facebook, but if you are reading this, you are probably a coworking space operator wondering how to get bums in seats.

So Why Do I Need A Website Again?

Oh, not this website thing again?

Websites are what people expect to find when looking up a business, especially one with a physical address.

Websites show up in search a million times better if you google your name all your social profiles will come up.

If you google the title of an article or ‘coworking space near me’ websites come up.

The more articles you put on your website over time, the more ‘authority’ you will have with google or said another way, the more Google trusts you and will direct people to your site to buy what you have.

SEO, which means Search Engine Optimisation – or how well you get found when people type words into google, bing, yahoo and other search engines.

FACT: the best thing you can do every week for SEO is to put an article on your website.

FFS All This Website Stuff Makes Me Want to Lie Down

You only need to get the website made, then after that, you can work on content, as in articles.

And to begin with, those articles will be around events.

It is enormous; everything you don’t know about is considerable.

But think of it like this, if you had to give a talk next week to five thousand people about your coworking business and how you could help them how much time would you spend on that talk?

You’d watch TED talks, make slides, get someone to design them for you get the whole space involved and pump it up.

You’d do practice talks, knowing they’d b crap and get you to the space you want to be.

Then you give the talk about even if only five hundred of those people were the right match for your space, it would be worth it.

Out of those Five Hundred, if only 50 joined, you’d be jumping for joy.

Why would you invest more in giving this talk than making your website?

Potentially everyone on the planet with an internet connection can see your website if you are a London coworking business and need fifty people you have 8 million people who might pop by.

You keep the entrance to your space clean as it is the first thing people see, how much time and effort does that get in comparison to your site?

I Don’t Have The Budget For A Website.

I’m going to tread gently here, but you do have the budget, you can find it.

I’ve been in and around websites for over a decade now; I worked one my first on in 2006.

I have sat by so many business owners who:

Buy £250 Paul Smith Lamps every desk in their workspace but won’t buy a website.

Go out for gourmet burgers every week instead of paying for a website.

Read everything about content marketing but don’t pay for a website.

Snort a ton of drugs but won’t pay for a website.

Spend time and money chasing awards but won’t pay for a website

Take their whole team out to watch Coldplay live and for dinner but won’t pay for a website.

Throw money at everything else in their business to get it to work but not their website.

I’m the same, I get excited about new website theme or project and go guns blazing into whatever version of we are on, and then I get bored, stuck, distracted and it all goes to shit.

The times over the last decade when I’ve been posting articles, podcasts and email newsletters every week I get more people asking me ‘can I hire you?’ #Justsaying

If you opened a coworking space in London more than five years ago and you’d written a five hundred word article about events, freelancing, future of work, your local area and coworking anything your SEO would be bulletproof now.

Please don’t be one of those businesses that pay a company for SEO but never puts any fresh content on your site. 

The Main Reason You Don’t Have The Budget For Website.

You don’t have the budget because you don’t understand how it works and can’t see where the money goes.

It feels like a significant mystery expense and is too much to learn about.

It’s like a coworking space, all those bloody people working in coffee shops would be so much better off if they’d come to you.

What is wrong with them?

To them, a coworking space looks like on office, or it looks like a coffee shop with a substantial monthly price tag.

They spend £10 a day in a coffee shop every weekday, which is only a little less than a desk in your space.

Really what is wrong with them?

You read a lot of marketing stuff, and someone said websites are dead.

Think of it like not taking a holiday because Elon Musk will be making trips to Mars soon.

At some point in the next fifty years the role of the website as we know it will change, but for at least the next five years you’d be wise to invest in your website.

That is why I made a point of only dealing with web site strategy, email marketing and content production.

Other Social Gimmicks

I’m always learning about all the other social media, adverts and other’ thing of the moment’ marketing strategy. But I’ve gone in-depth on making a website work to grow a coworking business.

How To Use Instagram For Your Coworking Business

Only Instagram?

I’m going with this because I love Instagram, but there are other more robust reasons too.

  1. There is always someone running an Instagram workshop – my go-to is Brighton UK based Miss Instaboss for no-bullshit one to one stuff. 
  2. And if you give her money and it’s shit, I’ll refund what you spent. That’s how confident I am in her work.
  3. Real daily photos are the number one way in the world to convey how you see your space and what you’d show others.
  4. When you post, others will too.
  5. I post nearly every day from the Mainyard Studios in Bow Road London because I love taking photos and I love people who are in Mainyard with me.
  6. I pay for my studio like everyone else, ok it is THE SMALLEST studio in the building, and I don’t get a kickback for posting on Instagram.

This type of feeling is there for everyone in places like:

ARC Club Hackney


Good Space

Workers League

Impact Brixton

Creative Works

Platform 9

These folks post on Instagram, and they don’t make me want to stick a fork in my eye. 

If I am going to give you between £250 to £400 a desk, an honest Instagram feed is where I’ll look.

What I won’t look for there are crappy offers and adverts. I’ll want to see what matters to you. 

People in coworking seem to blow thousands of pounds on videos that are so slick they look suspicious and then can’t afford to do anything else.

What I have been on Instagram over nine years now, and I’m there because I love photos and the connection I have with around 100 people. 

  1. You’ll get better and better.
  2. Post a few times every day, and you discover things in you that you never knew were there.
  3. FFS Don’t post quotes or hustle shite
  4. I know you think HUSTLE is cool, but it is bland, boring and you are hiding the real you.
  5. People don’t read a Simon Sinek or Helen Keller quote and get all pumped up and book a trial day – they think Fu<k me, another quote.
  6. The only way to stand out is being you, and you can be you every day for fifteen minutes,
  7. Unfair Advantage book by deals with Hustle topic 
  8. Talking about Hustle is harmless in the same way as referring to women as ‘birds’ is harmless; of course, it’s not.
  9. Down load this free iPhone app from Creative Live – it’s a free daily lesson on photography. Click here.
  10. Follow the #coworkinglondon – especially if you are an independent!
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