As an online business owner, who happens to be location independent, I find myself working from home quite often. Most days, I enjoy being alone and not having the pressure to interact with coworkers, managers, or have the “watercooler” small talk! But, there are also plenty of days where I feel very lonely working from home, only having online conversations, and not having someone to share lunch with.
When I feel lonely and miss the companionship of bouncing around ideas with other people – I turn to coworking spaces. I’ve worked in cafés all over Washington, DC, Madrid, and other areas I’ve visited, to be surrounded by people. While in Buenos Aires, with Job Trippin’, we were part of a local coworking space that provided some great opportunities for networking!
Although cafés are great to work from and provide the cute and comfortable working space, a coworking space is definitely more ideal than bouncing around. Especially when you get “kicked out” from a café (that’s a funny story I’ll have to explain for later)!
Coworking spaces have the advantage of providing a community feel for their workers, unlike cafés. Here are 3 ways coworking spaces can build community using branding:
3 Ways Coworking Spaces Can Build Community Using Branding
What are remote workers, digital nomads, or freelancers looking for in a working space? What do people who work from home want?
It all depends on who your ideal client is, but most of the time, they’re looking for the freedom of having an office space that they can come to when they want, have reliable WiFi, and feel like they’re part of a specific community – even if they don’t have “coworkers”. They’re looking for events to expand their professional network, grow their business, and meet a few new people who are in similar situations as they are – right?
What does that have to do with your website copy?
That’s the FIRST thing someone looks for when deciding to join a coworking community.
Many times, I see coworking spaces talk about what they are, what they do, and about their spaces – which is important, but that doesn’t necessarily set you apart from another coworking space in the city. Although I think having that information is necessary on a website, the website copy has to do something else. It has to transmit the community feeling that your clients want when they join, because if not, what’s the difference between joining a coworking space that doesn’t provide community and sitting at home working alone? There isn’t any!
What NOT to do in your website copy:
- Only talk about what you offer – that’s great, but can you SHOW us through testimonials, videos, photos, etc?
- Be rigid with your services – of course boundaries are important, but is it coming off cold to potential clients?
- Share TOO much information to have a “community feel” – you could be confusing clients on what you actually offer and if this is going to be overwhelming for them.
What you can do instead:
- Use testimonials, videos, and photos strategically in your website copy – showing us your space, how people enjoy your events, and their experiences in your coworking space.
- Make sure that your services are communicated clearly in an inviting and welcoming tone – so clients know exactly what best fits them and what they’re looking for.
- Share about your business values and message and what you strive to do – sharing about the community feeling and what your community values are based on!
Does your content share with your coworkers and potential clients, the type of community you have in the coworking space?
I’m not JUST talking about:
- or Blog post
Are you showcasing the types of events that you host for your community? This can be events like:
- Breakfasts for coworking members
- Networking opportunities
- Presentations and workshops
Using a clear content strategy to portray your community aspect is one of the easiest ways to showcase current and future coworkers exactly what your space is based on and what people can expect when joining. There are a few factors I look for when deciding the type of coworking space I’d like to join. Usually, I will look through a coworking space’s content for posts and information about the types of events they organize for their community, what learning opportunities there are, and how they interact with their clients and potential clients who have questions.
What NOT to do in your content:
- Ignore the comments, questions, and feedback from leads and clients! You’re losing the opportunity to really create a connection with them.
- Focus too much on bringing in clients and forgetting about the community you already have. It’s obvious when someone forgets about who they already have in their circle – and that always makes me so sad!
- No clear call-to-action (CTA) on what to do to JOIN THE COMMUNITY. Whether that’s subscribing to your newsletter, following on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter to learn more about updates and open events for coworkers who want to see what the space is about, or a CTA to purchase a pass or come in and see the space!
What you can do instead:
- REPLY TO YOUR COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, AND FEEDBACK! Create the relationship with your community and get to know their names!
- Feature the coworkers that are already part of your community online, via Facebook, through your newsletter, etc! This is a great way to share about the work your clients are doing in YOUR space!
- Include a call-to-action in all of your content. This can vary depending on the platform that you’re using, but make sure that you’re leading your potential clients to SOMETHING so that they can slowly start to feel like they’re part of your community!
Your Brand Voice (offline)
Ah, this is the BIGGEST one. Does your brand voice translate offline?
Firstly, does your coworking space HAVE a brand voice? What does it sound like when talking to new members, to old members, to guests, etc? How does it translate offline and in a real-life community setting?
There have been some amazing coworking spaces that I’ve visited and others that I feel don’t transmit what they’ve promised online to an offline experience. Are you clearly communicating your brand voice to your real-life community and setting the tone for how other coworkers interact with each other?
What NOT to do with your brand voice offline:
- Use language that doesn’t match what your website copy says – disconnecting the brand experience for future clients and current coworkers.
- Forgetting to set brand and community values for staff members and coworkers to embody – leaving you to “clean up” moments and situations that may hurt your brand voice and brand experience in person.
- Neglect introducing your new coworkers to coworkers who have been working in your space for a long time – like we mentioned in the beginning of the post, most people who join a coworking space want to feel a sense of community.
What you can do instead:
- Make sure that everyone who works at the coworking space communicates with language that embodies the brand and brand values.
- Setting brand and community values early on so that staff members and coworkers understand exactly how the community works and how to collaborate with one another.
- Introduce people who may be interested in connecting with each other! There will be coworkers who are more extroverted than others and
3 Ways Coworking Spaces Can Use Branding
To recap, these are 3 ways coworking spaces can use branding to build a community:
- Through their website copy –> using a clear message and taking advantage of testimonials and case studies from their current coworkers!
- Content –> creating the first initial contact with potential coworkers through your content strategy and showcasing the type of community you have in your coworking space
- Your Brand Voice (offline) –> outlining clear brand and business values and making sure that your staff and coworkers know how your community works, what’s tolerated, and where the boundaries are
Branding isn’t only how you present yourself online but how your community connects with your brand offline, especially for hospitality-related businesses who offer a specific locale. Coworking spaces can use branding to showcase the community feel and the connections that can be built through their business. First things first, start with the message and brand values and work from there!
While with Job Trippin’, we’ve been part of a community coworking space called, La Maquinita Co. They are one of the largest coworking spaces in Argentina, offering spaces all over the city of Buenos Aires! Some great points I’ve noticed in their branding when it comes to their community is:
- Having an online community for people to share ideas, ask for help, etc. on Facebook!
- Signs all over the coworking space sharing one of their core business values: “We work together for our space” (or something along those lines in Spanish!) It sets the tone for the staff and co-workers to always take care of their space and clean up after themselves.
- Community events are posted throughout the walls in the coworking space, in their online Facebook group, and shared by email! They offer breakfast on Mondays, “after work” happy hours, and networking events that highlight their members!
La Maquinita Co. SoHo is a neat area that is always buzzing with energy and community events that makes settling in and finding your place easy and fun!
What are ways coworking spaces can build community in their branding?
Share with us in the comments below!
*This post was sponsored by Job Trippin’ but all information, opinions, and educational nuggets are my own! Thanks for supporting The Quirky Pineapple Studio!
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