Updated: May 8
If you’re a coworking space owner and you’re not executing at least some sort of content strategy, you should be.
And worse yet, if you’re a coworking space owner who’s considering hitting the killswitch on your content initiatives – or already have – you’re making a huge mistake.
Consider for a moment why your members choose your space.
Your coworking space is more than just a place for people to sit down and work.
As somebody who has been a coworking member and loved it, I can tell you this firsthand.
Solo professionals, small businesses, remote employees, satellite teams, and even staff from established businesses love coworking because it’s…
A professional community
People don’t just go to your coworking space to sit around and isolate themselves. They could do that at home.
They go because they want to be engaged and they want to be part of a community of their professional peers.
A melting pot of networking connections
Anybody who’s ever gone to a coworking space and attended a member mixer knows how diverse of a crowd you’ll find there. It’s probably the most natural place for networking opportunities imaginable.
And since everyone there feels like part of a community, they’re naturally more inclined to support one another if they have the opportunity rather than outsourcing to vendors and service providers outside of that community.
A valuable source of knowledge sharing and learning
You can learn a whole lot about how to better your business just by sitting and chit-chatting with somebody at a coworking space.
Got questions about how to market yourself? It’s a safe bet there’s a marketing expert nearby who wouldn’t mind talking to you over a coffee.
And you can learn even more through facilitated “meet the member” events, expert lunch-and-learns, and training and development seminars.
A great place to socialize and unwind
If you’ve ever hit a wall while working and needed a few minutes to refresh your brain, you probably know that sitting down and chatting with somebody about something unrelated to work can be a breath of fresh air. This is abundantly available in a coworking space.
And if you go to a coworking space that offers wellness initiatives – like yoga or mindfulness seminars – that’s a whole other level of mental benefits for you to reap.
Now, think about the biggest thing people are being deprived of due to COVID-19
Sure, it can be a bummer having to work from home day in and day out. But ultimately, work time is work time.
In the midst of COVID-19 and social/physical distancing, the things that people are really missing are:
Socialization and chit chat
These are all the core fringe benefits of a coworking space. So, when you think of it that way, you have no choice but to ask yourself…
What benefit are you bringing to your members right now if you can’t give them a place to work, a sense of community, some form of connection, a bit of knowledge sharing, or some socialization?
If you can’t answer that question, then that should scare you.
What incentive are you giving them to stick around and stay interested?
With the economy being rocked to its core, how can you feel certain that your members will spend their hard-earned cash to come back once you’re able to reopen your doors?
The time is now to invest in things that will keep your members engaged – with your space and with one another.
With a well-thought out content strategy that provides value to members in new ways
Your coworking space offers a ton of value to your members. With them being temporarily unable to go there, you might want to consider finding new and innovative ways to bring them value using those core things they love so much about working in your space.
I suggest to you that the tools you need to provide value to your members are at your fingertips – or the fingertips of a strategic partner, if you lack the expertise, resources, or bandwidth – with a strong content strategy.
Here’s what you can do:
You can use your blog to create and share articles that cover all kinds of value-adding topics for your members. Consider things like:
Tips for maintaining productivity while working remotely
How to look after their mental health during this pandemic
Marketing tips they can use to position themselves for success post-Coronavirus
Member profiles to help provide additional exposure and facilitate connections
Local resources to help small- and mid-sized businesses
Your blog offers you the opportunity to share knowledge, expertise, or even some much-needed lighthearted content. And your members (and prospects) will appreciate it.
Webinars and virtual gatherings
Here’s some great news: virtual technology, like Zoom and Skype among many others, mean you can create opportunities for socialization, connection, and community, and learning – even when everyone’s in quarantine.
You can use these platforms to do things like:
Virtual happy hours for members – Something as simple as inviting your members to participate in a Zoom call to share a virtual beverage together on a Friday afternoon goes a long way in keeping that sense of community alive
Online expert lunch-and-learns – Learning doesn’t need to stop just because members can’t gather in person, so consider hosting virtual lunch-and-learns and expert seminars
Digital health and wellness seminars – Take your wellness perks online with things like virtually-hosted yoga classes or mindful seminars
Member-hosted seminars – Let your members take the reins with online “meet the member” events, just like you would in your space
Having an ongoing newsletter that you distribute to members during this challenging time is pivotal. You can use it as an opportunity to:
Share new blog content
Provide updates on coworking space closure dates
Share news and current events that impact members
Inform members of when they can pick up mail, packages, or items from their workspaces, as needed
Let members know about new features and virtual events
A little bit of proactive communication goes a long way with people.
When it comes to creating a community, social media doesn’t have to be just promotional. You can use it to keep your members connected with things like:
Community Slack channels – It’s easy to set up a Slack channel for your coworking space and invite your members to join as a place to stay in touch and stay connected
Facebook forums – You can create a Facebook forum where your members can come together to share information, insights, and interesting information, or just to have a sounding board like they would in your coworking space
Now isn’t the time to stop communicating, it’s the time to ramp up communication
As a coworking space owner, this pandemic is not the time to stop communicating with your members or prospective members.
While it might feel like you should be cutting back spending and reducing expenses, your content strategy just isn’t the place to do it.
It’s currently your most direct connection with your members – and can be their most direct connection with one another.
In our current global environment, content might not directly make dollars today – but it absolutely makes sense. Because it will pay you back big time in the longer term.
It’s time to make sure your members feel like they’re still getting value from you. That way, when your doors do reopen, people will feel like you were there for them all along.