- Why Is Community Building Important For Your Coworking Space
- These Components of Community Will Guide Your Community Building Drive
- How Do You Identify Your Target Community For Your Space?
- What Strategies Are Important For Building Community In Your Coworking Space?
- Why You Need To Get A Community Manager
- Keep Your Community in Knowledge Through Effective Communication/ Newsletters, blogs, etc
- You Can Never Go Wrong With Networking Events
- Create Coworking Events That Reflect The Culture of Your Coworking Space
- Foster A Give-back Drive For Your Community
- You Can Create Accountability Groups
- What Does A Community Manager Do For Your Coworking Space?
- Using The Community Building Models Will Help You Grow Your Coworking Space Community
Starting a Coworking space is not the problem. It is a noble feat that enables people to have a great opportunity to work at their own pace, and reasonable comfort. The main issue is building a community for the members of your coworking space.
You see, it is no longer news that Coworking spaces are the next 'in-thing'. Research says more than 3 million people use coworking spaces in over 14 thousand coworking spaces worldwide. This shows the acceptability of coworking spaces.
Having established that these are important, one major hurdle you must cross, as a coworking space owner, is building a community for your coworking space.
People say communities are the very soul of coworking spaces. This means it may be a tad difficult to build a viable community as identifying, attracting, serving and retaining community members is a very deliberate feat.
If you follow these guides, they will help you record great success in no long time.
Read more: What Is Shared Office Space?
Why Is Community Building Important For Your Coworking Space
There can be no coworking space without a community. Because community drives the force of every coworking space, it is important to understand why this is necessary for the growth of your coworking space.
There's something called coworking culture. This focuses on the collaboration and integration of like-minded people who would go on to benefit mutually from each other. This benefit runs from ideas, thoughts, experiences and shared productivity.
Having a coworking space means that you're dealing with people and people make up the coworking culture. There can be no space without people. The people are the community who go on to make the coworking space habitable for all members. They form the community. This is why community is said to be the heart and soul of coworking spaces.
Working from home comes with its very boring routines. It can also be greatly distracting and gives very little motivation. With a coworking space, members have a community where they can find zeal, zest and motivation, share ideas and meet up with deadlines without struggling with crippling loneliness.
It is that simple. For your coworking space to thrive, there must be a mutually beneficial community that makes members of the coworking space look forward to resuming work daily, weekly or at intervals.
These Components of Community Will Guide Your Community Building Drive
To build a strong community, let's quickly check out the following pointers:
Focus on quality members by getting the right target audience that aligns with your mission and vision.
Always remember why you started.
Have a clear goal from the onset.
Be open about the culture of your coworking space
Interact with the target community greatly.
Create the necessary boundaries for your space.
How Do You Identify Your Target Community For Your Space?
We already talked about why it is important to have a community for your coworking space. To build a community for your coworking space, you must identify your target audience.
Simply put, a target audience is the group of people for who your product or service are meant. In your case as a coworking space owner, your audience is the members who subscribe to your coworking space. These people become the target audience through which you build your community.
Importantly, you should note that your coworking space may have more than one target audience and it is important that you identify all target audiences and properly tag them. Identifying them helps you understand the best ways to serve them and help grow your business.
The very popular audiences for a coworking business include:
Office teams and groups
Work-from-home professionals (remote workers)
The hybrid workers
The Digital nomads and freelancers
Students and interns
Having listed out the very popular target audiences, do note that in choosing the right team for your coworking space, you must come up with specific solutions that fit these teams as generic ones won't make them happy.
If your solutions do not align with their work values and overall business output, your solutions might not resonate with them and their business interests. You know what this means; unhappy and unsatisfied residents will not renew their memberships, neither will they be loyal or get more add-ons and services.
This means that your coworking business may as well be amongst the 57% of coworking businesses that are not profitable, according to the Global Coworking Survey.
They will neither recommend their friends nor colleagues to your workspace.
This is why you need to trulyfigure out your coworking space economyas you set out to build your community.
Many professionals say the right time to build your community is right before you launch your space. As you make your market research, you're able to identify your brand positioning. This is important for your final audience.
But then, we know not everyone will have their T's crossed and their I's, dotted whilst building a coworking space.
If you couldn't get these sorted out before starting out, you are in the right place. We'll show you exactly how to build the right community for your coworking space.
Are you ready for the lessons?
What Strategies Are Important For Building Community In Your Coworking Space?
Every business needs a strategy to grow and these strategies vary. They need to be properly looked into, studied and understood before launching out, so the business owner does not make very costly mistakes.
For your coworking space, you need to be able tocurate your community using models that are effective.
There is no perfect model. You just need to consider your peculiarities and flow with the tide.
These steps include:
Curating and attracting your community.
Retaining your community.
Growing your community.
Let's explore in full, the strategies you need to build and maintain your coworking space community:
Why You Need To Get A Community Manager
The community manager is a very important person if you consider the growth of your community as key to your success.
A community manager is a go-to person who manages and handles everything concerning the community for your coworking space. This means that the community manager is responsible for curating, attracting, retaining, growing and sustaining the community in your coworking space. They are very useful to the progress of your community and key consideration should be deplored before appointing one as a community manager.
The best community managers are known for organising fun social events like happy hour, yoga and encouraging the community to fully participate. They also bring in influencers and other professionals who bring educational spice to the community.
They are also known for providing advice to young professionals and collecting feedback from the community for further improvement.
Keep Your Community in Knowledge Through Effective Communication/ Newsletters, blogs, etc
Things go awry for lack of communication. Relationships go sour because communication ceased.
For your coworking business, you need to ensure that there is an active blog or newsletter that is sent out periodically to your coworking space community. This ensures that they are in sync with happenings in the community.
You can use this to pass across messages, send periodic reminders and general newsletters to your community.
Doing this, we know, is no mean task. This is why you need a goodcoworking property management systemlike Booking Ninjas PMS that has great features and addons which cater to the communication needs of your community. These features include membership
You can include interviews from members of the community, industry news, games and a whole lot more. It should include both formal and informal articles and should be very creative to have them looking forward to the periodic newsletters.
You Can Never Go Wrong With Networking Events
We are still exploring strategies you can deploy to build your coworking space community and one very important way to achieve this, is through networking.
When the community manager organises several networking events, he creates an avenue to help members of the community to bond well. Several events can be hosted at regular intervals-making it become a culture- with the aim of solidifying the community.
Having busy professionals participate in the events can not just lead to the growth of the community, but also self-improvement for members of the community. You can also bring in different creative activities to boost the participation of members.
This is why you need a good community manager with the foresight to take into cognizance, the peculiar needs of your community members and plan programmes and networking events that cater to each target audience. Do you see why you need to define the right audience for your community? This will make the job of your manager very easy.
Create Coworking Events That Reflect The Culture of Your Coworking Space
There are several ways to build coworking events that can reflect and build on the culture of your coworking space. This is in addition to newsletters, blogs and some networking events listed above.
These other coworking events also foster networking in the coworking space but come with different dimensions.
Having happy hours
Giving members a say in decision making
Creating a member wall
Ensuring communication is seamless in the group
Having accountability groups
Promoting sharing culture
Foster A Give-back Drive For Your Community
Your community is a subset of the larger community and it is very important to imbibe a sense of give-back to the other communities in your neighbourhoods.
You can make your coworking community visible at other communities like the night markets or even look for opportunities to sponsor some local events. You could organise a food drive, book drive or some extracurricular events that schools in the community can benefit from.
This way, you foster the act of volunteerism amongst your coworking space community members and also get to bring your community together to achieve a common goal.
This also shows people a different side to your business-helping them understand how authentic and people-centric you are and that your coworking space business is ideal for startups as well as other members of the business.
You Can Create Accountability Groups
Accountability groups are one great way of fostering community in your coworking space. Have groups in your community made up of two or three people who are accountable to each other in the community.
This can help with their journey, help them share ideas and collaborate on tasks. By doing this, they get to bond and grow.
What Does A Community Manager Do For Your Coworking Space?
We earlier talked about having a community manager and how this person is saddled with various responsibilities. Paramount among them are:
Creating an online community for your coworking space.
Managing the community.
Communicating with members; both prospective and active members.
Organizing events that foster the peace and bond of the community.
Increasing the networking options in the community.
Exploring options to retain the community.
Building trust with existing and prospective members of the community.
Exploring new options for the community.
A community manager also determines-to a large extent-the vibe that emanates from a coworking space. They set the tone and go the extra mile in creating a good ambience for the space.
Perhaps, one of their greatest roles isserving as a connectorto grow your business. They constantly answer the question: 'who do I know that could help you grow your business?
In doing, they help members of the coworking space thrive in their businesses and by extension, help the coworking space grow.
Using The Community Building Models Will Help You Grow Your Coworking Space Community
You've gained insights on the best strategies to deploy while building your coworking space.
We've also examined the benefits of a community manager and identified the viable target markets you could focus on, whilst building your community. Now, we need to focus on the models you could deploy to grow your coworking community.
There are basically two models.
Space first, the community next
Community first, space next
Space First, The Community Next Model
This model uses the after-approach. This means the coworking space is first opened before the community is gradually targeted, attracted, curated and grown. This model sees the space first, as the top priority before any other thing before the community is grown.
Growing the community via this model means the property owner works with marketing and advertising strategies. It also uses different membership packages to grow its community by offering various enticing offers that suit the targeted audience. These offers come with both premium and basic packages, including add-ons and other services.
How To Manage Your Coworking Space Community
To manage and grow the bussing community, the property owner would need the service of credible andtested property management softwarethat can help support your business.
The Booking Ninjas PMS is a modernized coworking system that connects to a single network. You need a PMS that makes it easy to monitor and manage your space from any location in a single dashboard.
You need to be organized to grow your business and community members.
Savour this list of advantages your coworking space benefits from when it gets a modern workspace management software:
A unified members database
Self-service web and mobile apps for members
Billing and remote payment
Guest check-in and digital access
Newsfeed, membership benefits, and value-added services promotion
Automation of administrative tasks
Costs optimization and performance monitoring
Verification of spaces' availability in real-time
Online booking for office spaces, desks, and meeting rooms
To Attract members to your community, you can:
1. Create a website: You can use service providers like Wix and WordPress for this. Have all necessary information for your business included on the site.
2. Deploy Social Media Marketing: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are good social media networks you can use to build your members. You can hire an intern or do it yourself. Also, consider running some Facebook and Instagram ads to boost your membership sales.
Use the following software to help boost your social media campaigns:
MailChimp for email marketing.
Croissant to help you find workspaces in different cities.
Hootsuite for social media management.
Hubspot for marketing
Canva for the design of flyers and other digital campaign tools.
3. Plan Social Events by creating membership plans that attract discounts and coupons for new customers as they come for the events. Also, advertise in common places.
4. Go for content marketing by hiring writers and interns that can blog or generate great copywriting for your sites.
To Retain Members In Your Community, Do The Following:
Start with good membership packages using your Unique Selling Point to prevent your members from leaving to other spaces.
Curate different membership packages that meet the needs of your community members. This should also reflect the very needs they have.
It could be in form of rentals for desks and offices, membership packages for more frequent users of services, amenities and facilities, payment schedules, and other benefits.
Other memberships can include group memberships, shared memberships, social memberships, etc.
These membership packages will help retain your members and you have to find out the best ways to serve them and build trust amongst them.
To Grow Your Community, You Can:
Having seen ways to attract and retain your community, your next interest should be to grow them. Use these steps to achieve this:
Form good partnerships: It is very important to form great relationships as they serve as keys to opening up your space to new members. You can partner with fast food joints, local coffee shops, gyms, yoga centres, spa and massage centres, etc.
You could partner with any of these to help cut the cost of operation and also have new members. For example, partnering with a local coffee shop can help cut the cost of running one in your space. This can also come with discounts for members and serve as a networking opportunity for them.
See ways to add new add-ons: Always be on the lookout for ways to add new amenities to the packages your community subscribes to.
This model ensures the stability of your business and builds confidence in your community.
Community First, Space Next
As the name suggests, this model starts with the community before advancing to building the coworking space. This model ensures that the members are ready-to-move-in once the space is built.
With this model, the main focus is people. People are deployed as members from online and offline communities, their inputs are taken whilst the coworking space is being built and the facilities therein are centred on the direct requests of the members.
This model also ensures that there is a steady and ready network of members once the coworking space business is built. This means the property owner will not struggle to get members and then eventually, build a viable community.
The major goal here is to build trustworthy relationships that transcend the work culture once the space is built.
For this model, your key priority is marketing-both online and offline.
This community is important if you are using this model. From your social media handles to your online platforms, you must frequently update them to communicate with your prospective leads and members.
Using the already discussed ways to form your online community such as blogs, newsletters and others, you can create some buzz around your business and state your aims, goals, vision and mission to your online community. This way, you attract like-minded people to your business.
You can host events and workshops in your space. These could serve as membership packages and bring people to your space.
From workshops to evening events, skill training workshops to counselling sessions, all these could be hosted in your space. The more targeted these are the better chances of attracting the right audience to your space.
This model helps you grow revenue expands your network and helps meet prospective partners, members and even attract the right investors to your business. It also guarantees you a community once you launch your coworking space.
More still, it gives you the opportunity to carefully build a relationship with your community and develop trust, before launching out.
You can build the best coworking space community if you're very intentional about it. By using the strategies, models and ideas shared in this blog, you are on your way to building one of the best resources for your business.
Do not forget that the benefits of building a community for your space are enormous and as such, you need to up your game as you make deliberate efforts toward ensuring that the heart and soul of your coworking space business, thrives.
Level 2 Level: 'The Ultimate Guide for Community Building in Coworking Spaces'. https://level212.in/community-building-for-co-working-spaces-the-ultimate-guide/Accessed January 12, 2022.
Foertsch, Carsten. '2019 Profitability of Coworking Spaces.' SlideShare, 12 September 2019, https://www.slideshare.net/carstenfoertsch/2019-profitability-of-coworking-spaces-171146678. Accessed 11 January 2022.
Moreno, Helga: '3 Top Tips to Improve Coworking Space Economy in 2022'. October 29, 2021. https://www.andcards.com/blog/tips/improve-coworking-space-economy
Accessed Janauary 11, 2022
Level 2 Level: 'The Ultimate Guide for Community Building in Coworking Spaces'. https://level212.in/community-building-for-co-working-spaces-the-ultimate-guide
Accessed January 12, 2022.
Hub Australia: 'Why people Thrive In Coworking Spaces' https://www.hubaustralia.com/business-tips/people-thrive-coworking-spaces/
Accessed January 12, 2022.
Coworking Resources: 'The Role of A Community Manager In A Coworking Space'
April 1, 2021. https://www.coworkingresources.org/blog/community-manager
Accessed January 12, 2022.
Ikeva: '9 Major Ways Of Building A Community In A Coworking Space' July 24, 2018.
Accessed January 12, 2022.