On Day 2 of GCUC, participants broke into groups to discuss tactics they have used to attract new members.
The group recommended one on ones with business owners first. If you solidify a relationship with them, they become a sales person because they tell others about what you are doing. When pursuing these types of relationships, it is more beneficial when you can share your passions. It is hard to blow off personal stories.
During the recruitment process, create a diverse advisory board that will challenge you and bring different perspectives to the table. They will be your main advocates so do make sure these people will contribute positively.
Another good tactic that a group participant mentioned was that her space goes to coffee shops to advertise their coworking space. However, depending on the store, you might need to check with the shop beforehand to avoid any unnecessary disagreements. Another participant said her space made customized cards for the coffee shops they went to. They made cards for Starbucks saying, “Starbucks has your coffee, we have your community”. You can work with local coffee shops for mutually beneficial partnerships. They can promote your space and your space can promote their coffee by providing it. Coffee shops can also set up coworking meetups in which people can come in and learn about coworking.
When trying to educate people about coworking, talk about the concept rather than the word. Help them envision where the coworking industry is headed. Make them feel as though they have something to gain from taking part in it. Help them understand how diverse and customizable these spaces are so that they can see that a space can fit any of the needs.
One way to attract people that multiple participants in the group mentioned was collaborating with other spaces to put on events. These can bring in new people. Collaborating with other coworking spaces rather than competing with tham can also create an alliance. With an alliance, your space can offer a Coworking VISA and hopper pass that allows members to go to any of the spaces under the alliance and find out where they fit best. It also would allow members to use spaces in other locations for business when needed.