By Michael Davies, Owner of Davies Media Design
Coworking is the modern take on the traditional office space. It allows professionals from various backgrounds the opportunity to work in a shared space, keeping costs down and idea sharing up while avoiding the monotony of being in a traditional office. It is in these spaces where you’ll find an eclectic group of business owners, entrepreneurs, and remotely working employees for larger entities.
This being said, coworking spaces are a great place to set up your start-up or small business and provide countless opportunities to help you with your marketing efforts. Here are my top 6 ways that coworking helps your business improve its marketing:
1. There are networking opportunities abound
Living in a place like Denver, you will quickly discover that each coworking space has its own advantages for the businesses that occupy them. Green Spaces, for example, provides a more environmentally friendly workspace by employing dozens of solar panels on its roof to offset energy use, as well as zeroing out waste through a recycling and composting program. Other coworking spaces may offer perks like free beer, an onsite gym and/or shower (for those that commute via bike or run on their lunch break), or accessibility to larger companies and investors for collaborations.
At the end of the day, pretty much all coworking spaces have one feature in common – they host networking events on a regular basis. As you very well know, networking is a great opportunity to talk to like-minded business people or connect with businesses/entrepreneurs that have a need for your services. An active coworking space can be a hive of activity every day, encouraging you to get your face out there and market your business to fellow members.
Even if your coworking space doesn’t have a calendar packed with upcoming events, the unique layout of the space still encourages B2B interactions on a daily basis. This means you’re practically networking just by being at the office! According to a 2015 Huffington Post infographic, 91% of people that work in a coworking space said they “have better interactions with others after working in a coworking space.” These increased interactions mean you’ll be in a better position to gain referrals or collaborate with others on different projects.
2. Coworking spaces usually offer to promote you or your brand as part of your membership
Marketing your company or your brand can start to become expensive as you try to increase your exposure to potential clients or customers beyond your organic (unpaid) reach. Coworking spaces provide you with the opportunity to extend your reach, usually as part of their membership package. For example, they usually list your business name, a description of your services, and a link to your website on their website’s member directory.
They may also have a cork board or video screen where you can post announcements about your company or display your logo and info. Additionally, they usually offer a place for you to share your business card so that visitors or members perusing the space can get more information about your company and contact you.
3. You’ll get a physical address for your company
It’s great to not work out of your house and be able to have a place to meet with clients face to face. It’s also a requirement to have a physical address for certain marketing strategies, including improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for a better online presence or conducting promotions like Groupon discounts.
Part of SEO is listing your business on Google My Business and getting onto Google Maps. Without a physical address, Google won’t be able to verify your Google My Business account and therefor you won’t show up in local search results or on the Google map when someone is looking for local businesses in your industry. You could potentially use your home address instead, but then you run into the problem of random people showing up to your house after getting directions for your business from Google Maps.
On the other hand, your company may want to set up a promotion through a vendor like Groupon to reach more people. The problem, however, is that usually when you try to set up a Groupon promotion, a representative from the company will call you to double check if you have an actual physical location or if you’re using a home address. If you give them the latter answer they will inform you that you cannot conduct a Groupon promotion. For quality control and safety purposes, Groupon only allows companies with a physical address to use its platform. This policy is likely in place for other platforms as well.
Coworking grants you the privilege of having a physical address without having to pay a fortune for a traditional office location. Although the amount you pay will depend on which coworking space you set up shop at and what kind of membership you purchase (i.e. floating membership, dedicated desk space, or private office).
4. You may be able to host or speak at events held in your space
If your coworking space hosts events for members (and possibly the general public), they will usually give members the opportunity to speak at or hosts these events. For example, Green Spaces hosts at least one event per month and allows qualified members to speak on topics relevant to their business.
Being a speaker at an event has multiple marketing benefits for your company. For one, the coworking space will be promoting you and your company via their own marketing efforts to get fellow members and the general public to attend their event. It’ll also give you something to promote to your own community or through advertising to increase attendance and brand awareness. If all goes well, a third party may even pick the event up and put it on their event calendars giving you and your business more free exposure.
As a speaker, you’re able to showcase your expertise on the topic chosen for your presentation. This helps build trust with potential clientele or customers that are in the audience and could generate more intrigue into your business. It is not uncommon to be approached after a presentation by someone who either wants to discuss your topic further or wants to talk business. Plus, all of the photo ops and social media exposure during and after the event will help get you and your logo in front of a larger audience without spending ad dollars.
5. Your marketing projects will gain a boost in creativity
There are numerous studies out there supporting the fact that coworking spaces improve performance and bolster creativity. Let’s face it – the more bored or irritated you are, the less likely you are to produce a creative marketing campaign. And boredom doesn’t just occur at a stingy office – it can also strike you while at home and isolated from other members of the professional community.
According to an article by Fast Company, 71% of participants in a coworking survey said they saw a boost in creativity “since joining a coworking space”. With all the new found inspiration, you’ll be able to conjure up fresh new marketing ideas. You’ll also be more likely to complete those ideas within your deadlines since 64% of coworkers are better able to complete tasks on time.
6. Your desk neighbor probably owns a marketing company
If you’re not looking to do your own marketing, you can always find a fellow member that owns a marketing company (like Davies Media Design) to do your marketing for you. Coworking spaces are great resources for finding people that do what your company needs, and do it well. Plus, you don’t need to drive anywhere to conduct a formal meeting with them. You can sit down with them in your coworking space and chat with them about your needs and how they can help you satisfy them.
Then, if you decide to hire your neighbor for their marketing services, you’ll have peace of mind knowing they are only a few steps away should you have questions. They may also purchase your services later on down the road, or offer to exchange services for a mutually beneficial relationship.
Coworking is essentially every small business’s best friend as it provides low-cost solutions to get off the ground and offers more marketing opportunities than the average working environment. It helps keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive, while creating a better bond between your company and your community.
About the Author
Michael Davies is a Green Spacer and owns the digital marketing company Davies Media Design. The company primarily helps small businesses and start-ups improve their online presence and generate more online traffic, leads and sales. He has a YouTube channel under the same name that teaches graphic design tutorials, which will hit 1,000,000 views by the end of 2016. He earned his BSBA in Marketing from the University of Central Florida. He is also the host of “SEO 101,” a Green Spaces event held on March 16th. Sign up for the event here.