8 Ways Coworking Communities Can Make Positive Local Impact

Coworking spaces are nicely positioned to make a positive impact on members. From helping people level up their business to creating communities of mutual support and friendship, coworking can be a game-changer.

Spaces and communities can also make an impact on their broader local community. From supporting local organizations to partnering with neighborhood businesses, here are eight ways your coworking community can make a positive local impact.

NextSpace Coworking San Jose Carebags for the homeless 2019

1. Support Neighborhood Businesses

Get to know your neighbors and find ways to support them.

“Relationships are everything,” says NextSpace San Jose Community Manager Julie Kodama. “It’s so important to be engaged with the community. Whether that’s checking out the new cookie shop or doing group lunches at local restaurants. There’s a reason when the mayor came to speak here all the food was donated from local eateries.”

Kodama explains that when daypassers come into NextSpace, she can recommend places to eat and they’re all places she and the community have been. Kodama then turns to neighboring businesses when she throws an event, needs catering, coffee or anything else in her space.

“If they’re good, and you continue to patronize them, you will build up a relationship.”

2. Be a Connector

The best community managers are excellent connectors. They know which members they should introduce, who is looking for help and who is expanding or seeking new opportunities. They also know of interesting events, opportunities and more.

Extend the natural connecting you do as community managers into your larger community. Look for ways to connect people, organizations, schools, businesses and community leaders.

3. Support Local Organizations

One great way to make a positive impact locally is to support organizations that are already making a positive impact. You can do this by inviting them to come tell your community about their work, hosting an event in your space, offering free or reduced memberships, giving them discounted meeting room space, and mentioning them on social media or in your newsletter.

Tip: All Good Work connects nonprofit social impact organizations with donated workspace. The organization is currently in New York City and Silicon Valley.

Urban community farm, Veggielution, finds donated workspace at NextSpace San Jose
Through the All Good Work Foundation, urban community farm, Veggielution, finds donated workspace at NextSpace San Jose.

4. Participate in Food and Clothing Drives

During the holiday season, local food banks, shelters and other organizations do food drives, clothing drives, toy drives etc. These drives are easy ways to give back as a community and make a positive impact on someone’s life.

Look for ways throughout the year to participate in drives. For instance, does your community host book drives, or back-to-school drives, or drives to send local high schoolers to prom? Do a little research to find out. You may be able, as a community, to do some off-season good work.

5. Get Involved with Mentor Programs

Presumably your coworking space is full of programmers, writers, designers, photographers, financial planners, developers, artists, attorneys, etc. Can you help pair these folks up with local young people looking for mentorship opportunities?

Find existing mentor organizations to partner with to bring a mentoring program into your space. If necessary or preferable, start one of your own.

6. Create Local Partnerships

Beyond simply supporting neighborhood businesses, find ways to partner with these businesses. Doing so has the potential to help both of you.

When the NextSpace San Jose kitchen was out of commission, a local coffee shop sold them big pourers of coffee at a huge discount because we had a good relationship with them.

“When someone wants to grab a fancy coffee,” says Kodama, “of course I send them there.”

7. Support Local Initiatives

NextSpace San Jose fills Care Bags for local homeless. The bags are filled with everyday essentials, such as socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste, snack bars and hygiene items. What local initiatives could your members easily participate in? Ask around and get creative.

NextSpace Coworking San Jose Care bags for the homeless member event

8. Provide a Platform for Community Discussions

Coworking spaces are home to a variety of professions, opinions, cultures, backgrounds and perspectives. Your space can be a place to further community discussions and dialogue in a supportive, respectful environment.

For instance, the mayor of San Jose has visited NextSpace San Jose numerous times for events and conversations. The goal was to have conversations about issues that affect all local residents.

NextSpace Coworking San Jose Event Mayor Sam Liccardo group discussion
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo in a group discussion at NextSpace Coworking San Jose.

Beyond being a place to support your members, your space can be a place to make a positive impact in your larger community. What do you do to make an impact? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.


6 Telltale Signs It’s Time to Update Your Coworking Space Website

As the workspace industry continues its remarkable growth, potential members have an increasing number of spaces to choose from. So it’s essential that your website catch—and keep—the attention of people browsing for coworking space, meeting rooms, a virtual office, mail services, event space etc.

CloudVO Blog 6 signs you need to update your coworking website

If potential members encounter a website that is slow, sluggish, non-intuitive, confusing to navigate or lacking essential functionality, they will leave and move on to another one.

It’s easy to set-it-and-forget-it when it comes to your workspace website, but it’s important to revisit and update it regularly to turn casual web searchers into leads, customers and members. Here are six telltale signs that it’s time to update your workspace website.

1. Pages Load Slowly

You have a few seconds to catch peoples’ attention with your website. Searchers have lots of options and will take any excuse to click away from your site.

If your pages take more than three seconds to load then your website speed is an issue. As CloudVO Marketing Manager Kim Seipel explains, “Users expect fast loading times when it comes to websites. If your pages take too long to load, it creates a poor user experience and a bad first impression for your brand.”

Seipel adds, “Most users will simply give up, move on to the next site, and probably never come back.”

In July of 2018, Google’s algorithm changed so that slow-loading mobile sites would suffer the consequences. It was a call for action for quite some time before last year, however, Google officially decided to use loading speed as a metric for mobile search result rankings last summer.

2. Your Site Isn’t Mobile Friendly

It’s no longer acceptable to have a website that renders well on a desktop or laptop, but falls apart (or becomes a user nightmare) on mobile. Many people use mobile devices to research, shop and purchase workspace offerings, so your website has to serve them.

CloudVO Blog 6 signs you need to update your coworking website and make mobile friendly

Make sure your site is mobile responsive, meaning that it will detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.

“A mobile responsive site will look just as good on a smartphone as it does on a desktop,” says Seipel. “People need to be able to use their fingers to scroll, move from page to page, and easily access buttons, links and calls-to-action from their mobile device. Google also now indexes the mobile version of any website and uses those metrics to rank your site, so it’s a must.”

Google suggests the following steps:

1. Visit Google’s guide to mobile-friendly sites. This page offers several ways to make your site more mobile-friendly, such as using software or a third-party developer.

2. Take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how optimized your website is for mobile viewing. You can test a single page on your site or several landing pages and see exactly how Googlebot views the pages when determining search results.

3. Use Webmaster Tools to generate a Mobile Usability Report, which helps identify any issues with your website when viewed on a mobile device.

3. Your Website Lacks Visual Appeal

Website first impressions should be high priority. Visitors to your website are making snap judgements about your space and brand from what they see on your site.

Photos and images of your space and community should be high-resolution and reflect your workspace brand. Include a variety of images and be sure to include people in them. Visitors to your website want to see the space in use to see if it’s the right place for them.

Use images to break up large amounts of website copy, and make sure your text is easy to read and your site navigation intuitive. Site visitors should easily be able to identify all the services you offer without too many clicks. For instance, if you offer coworking memberships, virtual office plans, meeting rooms, and private office space, have separate areas on your home page for each service, with buttons that allow the user to quickly access the information they’re looking for.

CloudVO Blog How Coworking Spaces Can Redefine Marketing Strategy Partner YourOffice

4. Your Website is Not Optimized for SEO

If you’re not thinking about SEO in your website copy, start today. Google (and other search engines) can be powerful traffic drivers and vehicles to amplify your brand messaging.

SEO includes on-page target keyword usage and optimization, metadata, page names, URLs, content headlines, alt tags, internal and external links, H1-H6 tags, your calls to action, and a focused and distinct messages on each landing page.

This is all done in an effort to help search engines understand what your site is about and what services you offer so they can serve up the most relevant results to user queries. Create clear, focused, compelling, helpful content and website copy, and you’ll be well on your way to an optimized site.

SEO tools can be helpful in determining target keyword phrases and developing your SEO strategy. However, having a clear understanding of your target market and their challenges and goals is equally important. As CloudVO Marketing Director Karina Patel explains:

“There are many extensions you can integrate into your website that will audit the on-page SEO items before you publish the pages. For example, Yoast SEO is fantastic. It’s a WordPress plugin that makes it very easy to complete all of the on-page SEO components that Google loves. SEMrush is another great tool. With any tool or plugin, you take the recommendations with a grain of salt.”

5. No Clear Next Step for Site Visitors

Once someone is on your website looking at your offerings and services, it’s essential that you provide a way for them to take the next step. For instance, can site visitors book a tour of your space through your website? This call to action is a powerful, yet low-commitment, way to get people into your space.

“We highly recommend you offer this functionality,” says Seipel. “There are a ton of scheduling software platforms, such as Calendly, which let visitors schedule tours of your space without having to send an email or call. With Calendly, you can pre-set blocks of availability so when a user books a tour, they can easily see open time slots available and schedule straightaway.”


CloudVO Blog Platforms and Tools Calendly for booking workspace tours

Giving people an easy way to book tours saves time for space operators, improves the customer experience, and allows you to capture user information. As Seipel says, “Your website visitor just became a qualified lead since they booked a tour online.”

6. Your Website Lacks E-commerce Capabilities

If your current workspace website does not allow users to purchase coworking memberships, meeting room time or virtual office plans, then it’s time to upgrade. Online shopping is growing at a tremendous pace and people want instant gratification. If someone shopping for your services sees something they like or need, they want to be able to purchase it immediately. An effective website gives them an easy way to do so.

“If your website is effective at educating users on the different types of memberships you offer, they should be able to buy what they need and checkout,” says Seipel. E-commerce allows you to sell coworking memberships to a global audience 24x7x365.”

Using Day Passes to Generate Leads Pacific Workplaces Coworking Membership Plans
Coworking Memberships for CloudVO Partner, Pacific Workplaces

Seipel adds that cross-selling or upselling is automated as you can provide suggestions or recommended add-ons for the buyer to consider once they are in the shopping cart.  You can also leverage your e-commerce to gather data on your overall sales effectiveness, which then can be used to personalize future promotions or other service offerings.”

A bonus to automating your e-commerce is that you save your community managers and other coworking staff members time.

“They can spend less time manually processing coworking or virtual office membership purchases,” says Seipel, “and focus on the important things like community building and member programming.”

Enjoy more free resources specifically for workspace operators when you partner with us. Listing is free and you automatically become a part of a larger network of 700 shared workspaces around the globe. Go to   www.CloudVO.com   to learn more.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.


8 Types of Content to Post on Instagram: a Guide for Coworking Space Operators

Instagram is hot right now. A reported one billion people use the platform every month, with 38% of people using it several times per day.

As a coworking space operator, you’d be wise to leverage the popularity and reach of Instagram. But coming up with original content to share, day after day, week after week, isn’t always easy. If you’re overly promotional, Instagram users tune you out, but if you’re not promotional enough, you may not get the marketing impact you desire.

The CloudVO marketing team rounded up our favorite types of content to post on Instagram, specifically with coworking space operators in mind. Here are our top eight.

CloudVO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on IG

  1. Highlight Community Members (and Their Brands)
    When you highlight your members, their companies, their projects and their brands, you support them in growing their business. You also establish your space as a place and resource for other business owners and can showcase your brand values and vision.

A couple of things to keep in mind when highlighting members:

  • How long have they been a member?
  • What are some fun facts about them and/or their brand?

Quick win:
Create a member profile email template—say five questions—that you can easily send out to members. This is the basis of your content. Ask them to stop by the front reception or connect with the community manager so a team member can take a photo of them using the space. This way, you can control the colors and composition of the photo, as opposed to them sending in a headshot. Then schedule the content into your calendar. It’s an easy way to create content without having to do much work.

Suggested hashtag: #featurefridays

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Member Highlight

 

  1. Spotlight Team Members
    Team members are an integral part of your workspace. They quietly do a lot behind the scenes and, without them, things in your space would quickly fall apart. Put a face to your community and brand by spotlighting the people running your workspace. This way, your external community knows who to contact when they have questions about space rental, membership, events, etc., and you let your new and existing community members know who runs the space and who to turn to with questions.

Suggested hashtag: #teamtuesdays.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Team Members

  1. External Events in Your Local Community
    One of the smartest things a coworking space operator can do is to connect with—and support—other organizations and businesses in your community, especially those that are aligned with your space, community and target market.

By promoting, sharing and mentioning events and news from your extended community, you show members, potential members and neighbors that your space is not just for members—that it’s a resource for the local community.

Create Instagram posts about events that benefit the entire community. Include the topics, speakers, panelists, venue, etc and tag them all. Tagging local partners and businesses is key to boosting engagement and reach.

  1. Showcase Guests and Members Utilizing the Space
    Do you feel like you have nothing to post on Instagram?  You have the best content right in front of you: your members working in your space.

Time and time again, we find that simple posts of members working or collaborating in a coworking space gets, not only a high amount of likes, but great engagement. People want to see themselves working in your space, so Instagram posts that reflect your members working and your community in action are great go-tos.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Members Working and Member Community

  1. Awesome Reviews
    Customer reviews are an important piece of marketing your coworking space, so leverage your great reviews into Instagram content.

Third-party review sites like Trustpilot make things easy with built-in Image Generator tools that allow you to pick quotes from specific reviews and choose a background image. The Image Generator will also size your graphic for the specific social media platform you intend to use. Once you have the quote and preferred graphic, you can simply download and share.

Reviews serve as testimonials that strengthen members’ bond with your space and community, and demonstrate social proof to people who may be interested in learning more about becoming a member. People put a lot of weight on reviews. One great review can drive far more attention, interest and word-of-mouth marketing than you talking about the benefits and features of your space.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Awesome Reviews

  1. Share Space Refreshes
    Keeping your coworking space interesting, useful and visually fresh shows that you take pride in it and are constantly maintaining it.

Sharing space refreshes on Instagram gives people an insider’s look at what it’s like in your space. Whether it’s something small like a new coffee maker, or something large, like a space remodel, keep people in-the-loop about changes, improvements and enhancements in the space.

Members appreciate when the space is well-kept, and they are inclined to take more photos within the space and post. Encourage user generated content and people sharing that they are working from your space by liking, engaging, commenting and sharing their posts. And remember, anytime you update or add something cool or new to your space, share it.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Space Refresh

  1. Promote Blog Posts
    Each time you publish a new blog post you should promote it on Instagram (as well as the other social platforms). Social media is a great way to drive people to your blog content. If you have a featured image you use for a specific blog article, just take that same image and post to Instagram with a caption that draws people to want to read your blog.

ProTip: Make sure the link to your latest article is in your bio. The less work people have to do to get to your post (or website), the more likely they are to actually click through to it.

  1. Show Decor and Workspace Set-up
    Each coworking community has members who “nest” or take the time to make their workspace their own. Capture some of these fun and interesting workspace areas and share them.

Whether it involves someone working amongst plants, flowers, artwork, or gizmos and gadgets, snap a photo of someone’s work set-up for the day and share it around. These types of posts are very humanizing and relatable—they let people see what it’s like to work a day in your space.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Workspace Setup

Bonus: Popular Instagram Daily Hashtags
Find ways to incorporate Instagram daily hashtags into your post. Remember to also keep an eye out for hashtags around holidays, theme months or seasons, news, events and more. Here are some of the most popular daily hashtags on Instagram:

MONDAY
#mondaymotivation

TUESDAY
#teamtuesday

WEDNESDAY
#wednesdaywisdom

THURSDAY
#throwbackthursday
#tbt

FRIDAY
#flashbackfriday
#fbf
#featurefriday

Cat Johnson is a content strategist and storyteller for the coworking movement.

Want more resources geared specifically for workspace operators?  Join 700 shared workspaces around the world and partner with us. Go to   www.CloudVO.com    to list your location for free.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

How Coworking Operators can Create A Positive Work-Culture for their Employees

There’s  interesting data  about how coworking makes members happier, more social, and more successful.

But what about the people who run coworking spaces?

Their jobs are fast-paced and require a skill set that ranges from being tech savvy, responsive and organized, to having high emotional intelligence. Space operators and community managers have to handle a lot on a day-to-day basis, and they have to do it while running a space, making sure members have what they need, and staying calm.

It’s not an easy job.

As workspace owners and operators, it’s important to create a positive work culture for the people running your space and business. Coworking is an exciting field to work in, but it has small profit margins and requires flexibility, both personal and professional.

As Tracy Wilson, managing partner at Pacific Workplaces  explains, “Our business is not a high paying business. No one will get rich, and there aren’t a lot of layers when it comes to climbing a career ladder.”

For Wilson and the Pacific Workplaces team, creating a positive culture is vital to attracting and retaining talented, engaged people.

“The culture does matter,” Wilson says. “It’s worth something, and that’s one of the things we can provide.”

positive work environment and support

She offers the following tips on creating a positive culture for workspace teams of all sizes.

Be of Service to Your Team

Perhaps the most important thing for a workspace owner or operator is to be of service to your team. It goes hand-in-hand with running a sustainable business. This is something that is woven into the cultural fabric of Pacific Workplace and CloudVO.

“Our management and employment style is to be of service to our employees,” says Wilson. “We’re here to hopefully make their day-to-day job as happy as it can be, within the context of work. When issues come up, we do everything we can to accommodate and to help them. We are here to help them do a better job.”

Train People to Go On to Bigger and Better

Challenge people to bring their best to work, both intellectually and emotionally. And give them your best so they can go on to bigger and better things.

team decisions at a meeting

“I believe the best thing is to give people whatever skills we can give them while tuning into their passions, and helping them build a repertoire to leave us,” says Wilson. “We like it when people stay, but it’s always a little bit happy when they go, because they always go onto something bigger, and, hopefully, better.”

She adds, “We do have people leave and come back though.”

Establish Caring as a Company Value

One of the sayings at Pacific Workplaces is, “We care.” The leadership team sets a tone that the company cares for its clients, its investors, its vendors but, as Wilson says, “Mostly we care for each other.”

She stresses that the ownership group is “very tight around this topic” saying that it’s probably the only thing they’ve never had a disagreement about. Whatever is going on in the company and in individual spaces, a sense of caring and mitigating frustrations and challenges is always top-of-mind for the team.

Be Accessible

At Pacific Workplaces and CloudVO, any employee is free to go to the top with questions, challenges or concerns.

Wilson explains that the top “isn’t very high in our small company,” but says if anybody in the company wants to talk to her or COO Scott Chambers, or managing partner Keith Warner, or CEO Laurent Dhollande, it’s just a matter of sending an email.

Team Gatherings

It’s important for members of a team to meet in real life and get to know each other—even when that team is distributed across cities or regions. Plan regular in-person gatherings that go beyond business meetings.

pac day 2018 - east bay team

Create fun opportunities for your team to connect, get some work done, and celebrate together.

“It’s important,” says Wilson, “to give people the one-on-one experience of getting to know one another.”

Be Human

When someone makes a mistake, acknowledge the humanness of imperfection, whenever possible, and find the best solution. This approach to problem-solving is contagious and can be found throughout a workspace once the tone is established.

Empower Community Managers to Empower their Members

Find ways where members can help themselves and take a load off of your team. For instance, empower members to install their own print drivers and to make coffee when they take the last of it.

As Wilson explains, “We’re here to help, but we don’t need to do everything. Having the technology and norms to take some things off their to-do list is important.”

Give All Employees Ownership of the Space

Support team members in the day-to-day running of the workspace. If something needs to be done, find ways for people to help, regardless of what their role in the company is.

“There is no job that an owner is too big to do,” says Wilson. “If you walk into a center and there’s a copier jam, and it requires being on the floor finding the problem, that’s what’s required. Or there’s no coffee, or the sink is full, you deal with it. It’s everybody’s job to help with whatever needs to be done.”

She adds that, “It’s all hand on deck, so these jobs don’t always fall on one person.”

Get to Know Your Team (and Their Goals)

Take the time to get to know your team members. This includes having a Q2 QMM Photo Strip at NSBEclear understanding of their career goals. For instance, if a team member plans to be a CPA when they finish school, find finance-related jobs for them to do.

As Wilson advises, “Help them start building a repertoire of skills they’ll use later on.”

For instance, Pacific Workplaces has one staffer who wants to be a corporate health and wellness professional, so Wilson gave her a regular column in the company newsletter called “Health Corner.”

“By the time she goes into job interviews,” says Wilson, “she can show them this column as an example of what she did in her last job.”

It’s not always possible to align people’s passions and work goals with their job duties, but be creative about finding ways to engage peoples whole selves. One Pacific Workplaces team member is a horse lover. She and Wilson are looking for ways to potentially align these seemingly disparate interests.

“I asked her to help me identify how to bring her passion into the office,” says Wilson. “Maybe we do a fundraiser. We make a concerted effort. It doesn’t always work. If it really is just horses, I might not be able to, but I’d like to try.”

The Benefit of a Positive Work Culture on the Bottom Line

In addition to providing an enjoyable workspace experience, positive work culture is also good for business.

“We’re in a tight job market,” says Wilson. “For all the workspace operators, their employees have a lot of other options right now. There is certainly a practical reason for being the employer of choice. And, even in not-so-tight job markets, being the employer of choice in our industry gives you all sorts of advantages.”

Wilson says that a positive work culture should “always be what you strive for, for practical business reasons.” In addition to that, she adds that “there’s more joy when you’re surrounded by people who are happy, and you can contribute to their happiness. That’s a reason in and of itself to keep coming to work and keep doing what you’re doing.”

She adds, “If you’re somebody who is motivated by a large paycheck, then you’re probably not for us. But, if a pleasant place to work, with a lot of unique people and a lot of different things to do, and no day being the same, and having part of your job being chatting and getting to know people is your thing, then we’re for you.”

by Cat Johnson, storyteller and content strategist for the coworking movement.


About CloudVO

CloudVO  is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

 

How to Reinvent Your Marketing Strategy: 9 Tips for Coworking Space Operators

When was the last time you revisited your marketing strategy? Or your website, for that matter?

We get it. As coworking space operators, you have a lot on your plate. But if your marketing is not working, you’re leaving leads, members and money on the table.

The CloudVO marketing team sees first-hand how partner spaces present and market themselves online. Some have a streamlined strategy and others, not so much. The good news is that you can always improve, and doing so doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking.

CloudVO Blog Reinvent Your Coworking Space Marketing Strategy

I spoke with Karina Patel, Director of Marketing at CloudVO, about simple things coworking space operators can do to improve their digital presence and marketing.

I also spoke with David Middleton, Vice President at YourOffice, who turned to the CloudVO team when the company needed to update their marketing approach.

As Middleton explains, they weren’t getting the results they wanted from commercial real estate brokers and their “overall strategy was to increase conversions from inbound channels.” As he puts it, Patel “brought us into the new world and made sure we’re where we need to be.”

This meant strengthening SEO across their seven workspace locations, getting up-to-speed with social media trends, investing in pay-per-click marketing, focusing on content creation and revisiting their website copy.

Here are nine marketing tips for workspace operators, taken from our conversations.

1. Audit Your Website

Is your website up-to-date? Does your copy reflect keyword phrases you’re currently targeting? Is your site mobile responsive? These are all common issues with websites in the workspace world and beyond.

Be open to changes as Middleton of YourOffice was and take an honest look at your site, including images, videos, copy and layout. You may be using phrasing that’s outdated and missing opportunities to boost your SEO. Consider enlisting a few people to help with this (including a member), as their perspective and observations may be different from yours.

CloudVO Blog How Coworking Spaces Can Redefine Marketing Strategy Partner YourOffice

 

2. Make Check-out Easy

When someone visits your site, it’s because they need something. How easy is it for them to get the information they need and take the next step, whether that’s purchasing a membership, a meeting room rental, a virtual office or digital mail services?

As Patel explains, you want to provide instant gratification for the user.

“If a lead comes to the website, what is it they’re looking for,” she says. “How many clicks does it take them to get to it?”

Here are questions to ask yourself about the user experience on your site:

● Can people checkout on your website? If so, what is that process? Do they have to fill out a long form or is it easy?
● How easy is it for someone to navigate to what they need?
● How many clicks does it take to go from information to checkout?
● Do you have a call to action on each page to invite users to take the next step?
● Is your e-commerce integrated with your website?
● How easy is it for a casual browser to get a day pass, virtual mail membership or book a meeting room?

CloudVO Blog Reinvent Your Coworking Space Marketing Strategy Online Meeting Room Bookings

ProTip: Utilize analytics to glean valuable information. The CloudVO team found in their own analytics that a lot of people were reserving meeting rooms, coworking daypasses and virtual office services in the evening, after business hours. If reservations required filling out a form and waiting until the next day for a response, people would be more likely to keep browsing. It’s important to give people a way to book and pay immediately.

3. Refresh Your Images

An easy way to keep your website fresh and relevant is to update your photos regularly.

“You can immediately freshen up your website by updating the pictures,” says Patel. “Especially if you’ve renovated, added new furniture or painted. If the first thing I see is an office space with fluorescent lighting and bulky wood furniture, it looks like an office from the 90’s or 80’s. That’s the first thing an end-user would be turned off by.”

If you have photos of people using your conference room, those should be on your website. If you have photos of people working in an open coworking area, those should be on your home page.

CloudVO Blog 6 Tips on Integrating Virtual Offices into Coworking Spaces Meeting Rooms

CloudVO Blog Coworking and World Mental Health Day Expand Social Networks

“Take photos all the time and replace the ones on your site regularly,” Patel advises, adding that event photos can be particularly valuable in differentiating your space from those around you. But even if you don’t host events, photos are key to user engagement.

“If your space isn’t an event space, and you may not be exposing it to people who aren’t community members, you have to compete a little bit more,” she says. “An easy way to do that is with photos.”

4. Get Access to Your Website

It’s nice to have a web developer you can call when you need to make a change to your website. But, if you’re completely dependent on them to make changes, you may be less likely to actually make changes to photos and copy.

Many websites are built on WordPress, Squarespace or other platforms that have a built-in content management systems (CMS). These give you easy access to make changes. And, bonus, they’re designed to host content, so you’ll have a good foundation for your content marketing.

“You don’t want to have to rely on a developer to update your images or copy, because how often will you really do that?”, says Patel.

5. Step Up Your Social Media

Social media platforms are marketing powerhouses—especially Facebook and Instagram. Take a close look at your social media strategy and find ways to strengthen and improve it, including posting more consistently.

“When I look at a company’s social media, I’m not looking at the number of followers,” says Patel. “I’m looking at their consistency. How often are you posting?”

Patel advises the following to improve your social media strategy, consistency and quality:

● Clarify your products and services: What do you offer people?
● Clarify your message: What are you trying to tell people?
● When people are using your space, take photos
● When you have an event, take photos
● Highlight your team members
● Highlight your community members
● Feature things going on in your community
● Feature local tech events
● Feature local organizations aligned with your space
● Feature guests who visit or work in your space
● Share posts about how people use your space
● Share motivational posts
● To avoid social media overwhelm, take one day a week to create and schedule your social media content
● Actively engage in social media, including in groups. This is a great way to teach people about your brand.
● You don’t have to post every day

“It doesn’t always have to be a picture of your conference room,” Patel says. “Only one in every few posts should be promotional. People want to understand you. Especially with Instagram, you’re telling a story of your brand, the people in your space and your community.”

She adds, “What’s unique about your space? That’s what people want to see.”

Cloud Blog Reinvent Your Marketing Strategy Social Media Branding

Middleton points out that it’s important to have someone on your team who is dedicated to social media. This is the approach they took for YourOffice.

“If you don’t have someone on your team who can do that, then align yourself with the resources that can provide that service,” he says. “They are out there.”

6. Utilize Google My Business

When auditing your coworking website, one of the first things to look at is your presence on Google. This includes organic SEO as well as Google My Business. To get started with Google My Business, claim your business, add images, add your services and hours. Google makes it quick and easy so there’s no reason not to claim your business today.

7. SEO

To determine where your workspace brand ranks in Google, do a search for coworking (or whatever services you’re targeting) in your area. If your space isn’t listed on the first page, you need to dedicate some time to SEO.

SEO is a big topic, but it includes getting your website architecture and copy right, including your target keyword phrases on pages, and creating content that supports your marketing efforts, and drives traffic and inbound links to your site.

There are plenty of great SEO tools, including SEMRush and Moz, but, as Patel advises, “Take what they give you with a grain of salt. Don’t get too into the weeds with SEO. Just focus on your keywords and strengthening website copy and content.”

For Middleton, that meant revisiting the phrasing they were using. For instance, they ranked high for terms such as “executive office space,” but few people were searching for that phrase.

“It might make us feel good that we were in the top five,” he says, “but that’s not what people were looking for.”

To remedy the situation, they implemented “coworking,” and “shared office” into their copy and created a content marketing strategy with those keywords in them.

8. Think Local

For Middleton, an important shift was to start thinking about inbound marketing for each of their seven locations across the Southeast, Denver and Philadelphia. The team is increasingly focused on marketing each space with local keyword phrases and content, rather than the company as a whole.

“We’re going to end up having more localized sites that will link back into the main YourOffice site,” says Middleton.

9. Get Started

To do a refresh of your marketing, determine where you need to make improvements, whether with your website, e-commerce, social media or SEO. Then lay out the next steps you need to take.

Cloud Blog Reinvent Your Marketing Strategy action plan

“Make an assessment,” says Patel, “based on what your strengths are, and what your weaknesses are. Where do you need help? Determine that and spend some time working on it.”

Want more resources like this? Join our global network of 700 locations.   Visit us at   www.CloudVO.com    to list your location for free.


About CloudVO

CloudVO  is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

14 Ways Coworking Spaces Can Build Community Over the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, in our homes and in our workplaces. If the traditional office holiday party elicits a been-there-done-that sort of feeling, we encourage our CloudVO partners and friends to shake things up with events and projects that build community both inside and outside of your space. CloudVO 14 Ways to promote community over the holidays Here are 14 tips for spreading holiday cheer and giving back to your community inspired by the community managers from our sister company, Pacific Workplaces (PAC). 1. Potluck Lunch Keep things low-key with a potluck lunch. Invite employees and members to join and have each person bring something. This is a great addition to any of the other events, drives, or contests you’re planning to hold in your space. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring members together to enjoy food and chat. Themes can be around a specific holiday or just to celebrate your community.
Pacific Workplaces Oakland Holiday Potluck Event
2. Charitable Drive This holiday season, several PAC locations are hosting charitable drives for clothing, food, coats and jackets, sleeping bags, blankets, toys, monetary donations, socks and more. The East Bay spaces have a competition to see who can collect the most food donations for the local food bank, the San Mateo location is holding a relief drive for those affected by the California wildfires, and Greenhaven is doing a blood drive.
Pacific Workplaces Oakland Food Bank Drive Holidays 2018
The Sacramento Capitol location is doing a donation drive for My Sister’s House, an organization that helps women and children impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking by providing a safe haven, job training, and community services.
Pacific Workplaces Sacramento My Sisters House Dontation Drive Holidays 2018
3. Celebrate Member Strides PAC Sunnyvale is hosting a New Year’s Social and “champagne day” to celebrate members whose businesses have made great strides during 2018. Members of the space have published books, had multiple FDA approvals and landed major accounts, so the community wants to celebrate with them. 4. Workspace Decorating Contest Bring holiday cheer to your shared workspace by holding a decorating contest. Encourage members to decorate their dedicated desk, meeting room, or office in an effort to win best décor. Winners can be voted on by community managers and the award ceremony can take place during a holiday activity. 5. Gift Wrapping Stations One of the simple joys of the holiday season is wrapping presents in cheerful paper and ribbons. Make it easy for members to wrap their gifts (and keep them secret) with an in-house wrapping area. Pleasant Hill and Palo Alto PAC teams create gift wrapping stations or rooms for members. PAC provides the wrapping paper, bows, gift tags, tape, hot cider, snacks and holiday music. 6. New Year’s Wish Board A wish board is a great way for members to participate in something and have it displayed for everyone to see. In preparation for the new year, have members fill out a paper star, snowflake or other design with their 2019 resolutions and anything they’re looking forward to in the next year.
Pacific Workplaces Greenhaven Wish Board for Holidays
7. Ugly Holiday Sweater Day Spark fun and laughter all day long with an ugly holiday sweater day. This is also the perfect opportunity to snap some pics for social media.
Pacific Workplaces Ugly Sweater Party Holiday Member Event
8. Care Bags Holiday traditions at NextSpace San Jose include making care bags for the homeless. These bags are filled with everyday essentials, such as socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste, snack bars and hygiene items.
NextSpace Coworking San Jose Care bags for the homeless member event
9. Secret Santa A Secret Santa is a fun way to spread holiday cheer. The Bakersfield team makes Secret Santa gift buying easier on members by displaying a poster in the lounge showing all the Secret Santa participants’ names and “Things I Like” underneath each name.
Pacific Workplaces Bakersfield Secret Santa Display Holiday 2018
If you want to add a new twist to your workspace Secret Santa, try doing a “modern” secret Santa where members exchange e-gift cards. No one has to worry about running around and shopping for something. Plus, who doesn’t love Target or Amazon? Tip: You can still draw names the old-fashioned way. 10. Holiday Tree In Palo Alto, PAC members participate in a group tree decoration and lighting event, complete with popcorn strings, ornaments, tinsel and lights. 11. Gratitude Projects You may have heard of a gratitude jar, where people write down things they’re grateful for and put them in a jar to be read later. Pacific Workplaces San Mateo is putting a twist on the practice with a Thankful Tree, where members can write what they are thankful for and display as little notes on the tree.
Pacific Workplaces San Mateo Thankful Tree Holidays 2018
12. Cocktail Classes In San Francisco, PAC VO member company SF Mixology does various cocktail-based events for the space’s annual holiday party. This year, they’re teaching a cocktail class for members. 13. Giving Tree The San Mateo PAC team has an annual Giving Tree to helps kids in need. The tree has a list of children’s names and what they need (basketball, toothbrush, backpack, etc.). Members can choose a name and supply the requested items. 14. Here Comes Santa PAC Capitol in Sacramento invites Santa to make an appearance in the space. They have a member who volunteered for Santa duties and they invite parents to bring a small pre-wrapped, pre-labeled gift before the event for Santa to give to their child(ren). It’s a great photo-op and a good way to spread the holiday cheer to members and their families. However you celebrate the holidays in your workspace and home, be safe and may your days be cheery and bright. Happy Holidays from all of us at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces.
Ways Coworking Spaces Can Build Community Over the Holidays
Written by   Cat Johnson  and Sasha Bonar.

About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

The Importance of Customer Reviews to Market Your Coworking Space

If you’re not focused on getting customer reviews for your coworking space, you’re missing out on a golden marketing opportunity. Reviews for your workspace can be found on Yelp, Google, Facebook and more. Potential members pay attention to these reviews and you should, as well. Forbes reports that online reviews are the best thing that ever happened to small businesses, explaining that “97% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses and three in four people who use their smartphones to search for something nearby end up visiting a local business within a day.”
The Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces
When people search online for a coworking space in your town, reviews can attract them to you if they’re positive, or keep them scrolling if they’re negative or if you don’t have any.

Customer Reviews and Social Proof

We rely heavily on social proof, including customer reviews, when making decisions about where to shop, eat, visit and work. We tend to search for these things when we actually need the product—meaning that people searching online for a local coworking space are likely to need a space right now. “When a consumer uses a review platform like Yelp or Google My Business, the decision and urgency to buy are exactly what prompted the person’s search,” the Forbes article points out. “If traditional advertising is a megaphone that enables businesses to shout and see who’s listening, review sites are tractor beams that pull consumers toward local businesses precisely when they’re actively looking to spend money. That’s an invaluable opportunity for small businesses with tight — or non-existent — marketing budgets.”
Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces NextSpace San Jose Yelp Reviews

The Importance of Reviews for a Coworking Space

Karina Patel, Director of Marketing at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces explains that customer reviews are important for workspace operators because they:
  • Help provide a baseline for prospective members because customers rely on reviews from peers more than they trust the taglines of a brand.
  • Boost local listings for SEO. The more reviews, the more likely your local listing appears in search results, including, Yelp and Google. These local listings are integrated into organic search, paid ads, and map views.
  • Search engines see that you are an active brand when you receive a steady stream of reviews.
Customer reviews can also help strengthen your brand and, as Patel points out, “Brand reputation is everything.” Here are four ways customer reviews can help with your branding and marketing, from Patel and Kim Seipel, Marketing Manager at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces:
  1. Reviews establish brand authority and trust. Reading what others have to say about your space and services will move prospects further down the sales funnel.
  2. Having a healthy mixture of ratings allows customers to trust that you aren’t soliciting reviews or incentivizing for 5-star reviews. If a brand only has 5-star reviews, customers are less likely to trust that brand.
  3. With coworking spaces becoming increasingly popular, prospects have more options to choose from. A solid establishment of reviews can differentiate your space from another.
  4. Customers trust online reviews as much as they value personal recommendations. They look to reviews in helping them make their final purchasing decision.
Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces CloudVO Trustpilot Review

Using Third-Party Review Products

The CloudVO team recently started testing Trust Pilot, a reputation service that enables companies to automate the review collection process for online purchases. Trust Pilot users can add rich snippet widgets to webpages, which optimize those pages in an organic search by displaying a Google Seller Rating (GSR). Google gathers ratings about your business from licensed review sites, including Trust Pilot. Strong seller ratings not only speaks to the validity of your business, but also helps the performance of your Google Ad Campaigns. As Seipel explains, “There are 32 Google licensed third-party review sites, and after research we decided Trust Pilot would serve our particular needs best. Pricing and features vary between all the review sites, so it’s best to compare several and choose the platform which is aligned with your business goals.” Benefits of using a third-party review platform for a coworking space include:
  • Automating the collection process saves time
  • Space operators don’t need to remember to follow up with all new purchases and incoming members on a daily basis
  • Space operators can trigger invites for new purchases by sending people a customized invite several days after a purchase, with at least one reminder if they haven’t submitted a review. “The invite template is easy,” says Patel. “You just select the star rating and add a comment if you wish.”
Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces CloudVO Trustpilot invite
Soliciting Customer Reviews for Your Coworking Space When soliciting reviews, make it easy for customers. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:
  • Be consistent with how you ask, and when you ask, for reviews. Creating a process will also allow you to keep track of members you have asked per time frame (month or quarter)
  • Do not set a precedent with incentives for reviews. Members will expect a reward for submitting a review.
  • Use templates for your community managers to send out with customized information, links, do’s and don’ts.
  • Handle negative reviews with patience and understanding. Responding to a negative review is a potential opportunity to mend a relationship, demonstrate your brand values, and express your calm, cool handling of an uncomfortable situation. You can use a template for this, as well, but be sure to personalize your response to address—and fix when possible—the complaints of your unhappy customer.

Turning Casual Searches into Marketing Leads

Customer reviews can (and should) be part of the strategy for marketing your coworking space. Reviews help showcase your space and community, they provide social proof to people looking for a workspace, they provide a glimpse into your brand values, and they’re a powerful tool for turning casual web searchers into marketing leads. How do you use customer reviews to market your workspace? Contact us and let us know. We’d love to hear from you. by Cat Johnson, storyteller and content strategist for the coworking movement.

About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the  CloudMeetingRooms.com  and  CloudVirtualOffice.com  e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

Coworking Supports Mental Wellness, But We Can Do More

Mental illness used to be talked about in hushed voices behind closed doors. It was stigmatized and relegated to fringe conversations. The alarming rise in mental health issues has brought the topic of mental health and overall wellness from the fringes into the mainstream. But we still have work to do around destigmatizing it.

Nearly one in five U.S. adults (44.7 million people) lives with a mental illness. Of those, an estimated 56% don’t receive treatment. People who suffer from mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, often try to manage alone.

CloudVO Blog Coworking and World Mental Health Day Working alone is isolating

Coworking and Wellness
The coworking movement, at large, is making remarkable strides in supporting wellness and connection. Shared workspaces around the world prioritize well-being for members, through fitness programs, on-site yoga, meditation rooms, nap pods, wellness challenges, work-life balance programming and more. Steve King from Emergent Research argues that reducing loneliness is the new value proposition of coworking.

Workplace Wellness Emerges as a Core Theme NextSpace Coworking San Jose Wednesday Walkabout
NextSpace Coworking San Jose members walk to a local lunch spot together each week during their Wednesday Walkabout.
Workplace Wellness Emerges as a Core Theme in Coworking Spaces Treadmill EcosystmSF
Treadmills in coworking spaces to promote wellness in the workplace 

Mental Wellness in Shared Workspaces
There’s a growing notion in our industry that coworking spaces should contribute to our well-being—not just give us a place to work. Coworking is already ahead of traditional workplaces when it comes to member happiness and well-being.

Surveys of coworking space members found that 83% of respondents are less lonely since joining a coworking space; 89% report that they are happier since joining a coworking space; and 79% said coworking has expanded their social networks.

CloudVO Blog Coworking and World Mental Health Day Expand Social Networks
CloudVO Blog World Mental Health Day Coworking Reduces Loneliness

The Power of the Global Workspace Network
We are, as an industry, working to dismantle loneliness, and the growing wellness trend is heartening. The global coworking network is uniquely positioned to respond to member needs. What would it look like if we put the power of our network behind addressing mental well-being? We could do something truly remarkable.

Angel Kwiatkowski, Cat Johnson, Iris Kavanagh - Exhibiting The Power Of Being Vulnerable In A Group | Women Who Cowork
Angel Kwiatkowski, Cat Johnson, Iris Kavanagh – Exhibiting The Power Of Being Vulnerable In A Group | Women Who Cowork

Moves are being made in that direction, with increased focus on wellness at industry conferences, breakout sessions, small industry events and in-space conversations. Space operators are taking mental health first-aid courses, the CheckYoMate movement reminds us to check in on one another, and there’s a growing awareness around destigmatizing mental illness in coworking spaces as part of our movement to dismantle loneliness. But we could be doing more.

World Mental Health Day
October 10 is World Mental Health Day. The objective for the day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

As the website explains, World Mental Health Day “provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.”

CloudVO Blog World Mental Health Day Coworking Creates Collaboration

So let’s talk about it. How do you address mental health in your space? How could members of the global coworking movement better harness the power of our network to bring more mental wellness to coworking? What mental health resources would you like to see, both in your own space and from the global coworking community? Contact us and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

by Cat Johnson, storyteller and content strategist for the coworking movement.

Join our network of 700 locations around the globe. Visit us at   www.CloudVO.com    to list your location for free.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the  CloudMeetingRooms.com  and  CloudVirtualOffice.com  e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

Marketing a Coworking Space: 5 Things Operators Can Do Right Now

Marketing a coworking space is an exercise in multi-tasking. Between content creation, social media, working with channel partners, staying up on reviews and doing paid advertising, a workspace marketer’s work is never finished. We’ve rounded up some of the CloudVO team’s go-to marketing strategies for coworking spaces. Here are five of our favorite.

1. Learn to Love Social Media Marketing

Let’s start with the big one: Social media is an essential part of marketing a coworking space. People are scrolling Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn right now looking for content that speaks to them. It’s important that they see you.

As CloudVO Marketing Manager Kim Seipel says about social media, “Sorry, you have to do it—not because it’s the in-thing, but because that’s where your future coworking members are.”

Express your unique community, workspace offerings and brand on social media, and follow best practices for each different platform. Social media is oftentimes the first impression people get from your brand, and it gives you an opportunity to engage people and invite them to explore more of your content and offerings.

Marketing A Coworking Space and Social Media

Keeping up with social media trends takes time and effort, but the payoffs for staying in front of your target audience can be big. Here are some tips for using social media:

Post regularly: For Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, aim to post at least once a day on those platforms.  On Twitter you can post numerous times throughout the day, but if you need to streamline things to start out, Instagram and Facebook can be your primary focus, especially at the local level.

Keep your social media content fresh: Post about different things in your social media feeds, and post different things on each platform. If someone follows you everywhere, you don’t want to serve them up the same content over and over. Post about recent content, industry news, events in your space or community, etc.

Leverage trending hashtags: Keep an eye on trending hashtags and creatively work them into your own social media. One note about this: Make sure the hashtag has relevance to your space, town or community. Otherwise, you may see a traffic bump, but no engagement because you didn’t hit your target market.

Create hashtags: You can create your own hashtags for your space, as well as for specific campaigns. Monitor the performance of the hashtags to measure interest and to gauge what resonates with your target audience.

Use scheduling tools: There are a growing number of social media scheduling tools available. These tools help you set it and forget it, so you don’t have to constantly interrupt other work to create social media posts. Popular scheduling tools include Hootsuite, Meet Edgar and Buffer.

2. Solicit Reviews from Your Community

If you depend on Google and Yelp for leads, then solicit reviews from your existing community. The platforms prioritize businesses with good reviews because they want to serve up the most relevant, useful results to searchers.

Potential members of your space—and even people just looking for a place to work for a day—depend on reviews to get a sense of the space, amenities, vibe and community. Make sure you’re listed on both Yelp and Google My Business, and encourage people to add reviews and their own photos. Note: Facebook also enables people to leave reviews.

Marketing A Coworking Space and Google Reviews

3. Get on Google My Business

As a follow-up to the above tip, make sure your space is on Google My Business. It’s great for local SEO; it increases your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder and Google Maps; it helps strengthen your brand; and it can drive traffic and leads.

Marketing A Coworking Space and Google My Business

It’s free to claim and verify your Google My Business profile. Make sure your profile is complete with description of services and pictures. Add new images to your profile regularly and properly tag and label photos with relevant keywords.

4. Publish Blog Posts

Publishing regularly to your blog is a powerful way to drive traffic, establish your brand, share your company values and showcase your community. Demonstrate your expertise by publishing content that offers audiences insights into specific shared workspace topics and incorporates how your space and brand offers a unique solution to the subject matter.  Blogs on current trends such as The Rise of Women-Focused Coworking Spaces   are also good content since they speak to your credibility by highlighting you as an industry expert, and can help attract your target audience.

Post content regularly and hire a content writer if necessary (yes, it’s worth it!). Research keywords and utilize them in your posts to help with SEO and driving traffic to your website. Cross promote blog posts through your social media channels.

Marketing A Coworking Space Cross Promote Blog Posts on Social Media


5. Paid Advertising

The task of setting up Google Ads and paid advertising campaigns can be a bit complicated. But paid advertising strategies can be effective, so they’re worth considering.

With Google Ads, you pay to show up in search results. Depending on your market and target search phrase, it can be expensive, so set a reasonable budget limit and track results. Google provides a library of helpful videos and tutorials on how to get started. The beauty of paid ads is that they allow you to increase the amount of people reached and stand out within specific search results.

You can also pay to advertise your space on Facebook and Yelp. As with Google, set a reasonable budget, track results, and test different ads to see which ones give you the best ROI.

As with all marketing, test a strategy, track results and course-correct to optimize your efforts. Consistency is key to a successful marketing campaign and overall strategy, so start with a simple and sustainable plan and stick with it.

by Cat Johnson, storyteller and content strategist for the coworking movement.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the  CloudMeetingRooms.com  and  CloudVirtualOffice.com  e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

How to Create Community Norms in Your Coworking Space (and Why You Should)

Community norms are an essential element of a coworking community. They set expectations and values and give new members a guide to what is, and isn’t, acceptable in the workspace.

NextSpace Senior Community Manager Maya Delano is a wealth of information and experience around creating community norms and keeping them in place. Here are some of her best tips and insights.

Creating Community Norms in your Coworking Space

Create Community Norms Early
Member norms are created out of necessity. You want everyone in the space to be very clear about what they can and can’t do, as well as what they can expect from their fellow coworkers. Create member norms early and involve the community members in creating them.

“Creating member norms early-on is key because it gets member buy-in,” says Delano. “Before you have a community, you can’t make up your rules—it’s just not going to work that way. You do the heavy lifting beforehand.”

Create Community Norms with Your Members
Delano advises hosting a town-hall-style event to co-create norms together with members.

“Create community norms by gathering a group of members and you, as a group, come up with the norms,” she says. “Then people have a voice around what the community norms are, so they’re going to have more ownership of them and, as a community manager, you’re going to have a much smoother experience.”

Let People Know Why Norms are In-place.
“Community norms are all about setting expectations,” says Delano. “That’s what member policies and community norms are: setting everyone’s expectations.”

Start with the Basics
When you’re creating community norms with your members, start with the basics, including kitchen norms (Who makes the coffee? What do you do with dirty dishes? How long can you leave things in the fridge?), and noise levels (Can you use a headset for your phone in the common area? What about speakerphone or videos? Are there any quiet areas where there is no talking allowed?)

Coworking Space Community Norms Kitchen Norms

“I let people know during orientation that if they have an opera voice, I’m going to let them know,” says Delano. “I do it in a fun way because most people don’t want to annoy others, they just have no idea their voice level goes up—it’s natural for people’s voice to go up when they’re on a headset.”

Respect the Humans Behind the Norms
Once you set community norms, your job as community manager is just beginning. As Delano explains, the “community norms are the standard, but there’s a lot of humanness in them.”

She advises leaving wiggle room in them and letting members know that, as the space grows and evolves, the norms will, as well.

“Community norms are there to set markers, but you can’t be black and white when it comes to community,” says Delano. “If you have a community manager who is rule-binding, they are not in the right business. It’s all about the psychology of the human experience—there has to be a lot of grey matter.”

Community Norms are not black and white

Get New Members On-board with Norms Immediately
Make sure new members read and sign the community norms when they sign up. Delano advises making the norms a simple, one-page, paper document they can see and sign during onboarding.  “It’s setting your members up for success,” she explains.

Go with the Positive
When creating community norms, try to stay positive. For instance, rather than saying, “Don’t leave your mug in the sink,” say, “Yes, do your own dishes.”

“It’s really important for your community norms to be positive,” says Delano. “If you’re having a hard time figuring out how to do that, write all the no’s down on one side of a paper, then, on the other side of the page, write down what all the yes’s would be.”

Keep it Simple Sweetheart
A lot of the community norms at NextSpace are, as Delano puts it, “the things that you learned in kindergarten, like being kind to others.” Don’t overthink the norms. What you’re trying to do is create the best possible work environment for all your members.

Remember, Community Norms Help Everyone
Norms are in-place to make it easy to know how to behave in a workspace. They help new members, existing members, visitors and community managers. A lot of people are still not familiar with coworking and working in a shared space, so community norms help them comfortably find their way.

NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Community Norms Kitchen Guidelines

“Member norms help everybody sort through this wild world of coworking, which is still so new to so many people,” says Delano. “If you’ve never walked in a community space and you’re overwhelmed, you want to know the rules—you want to know what you can and can’t do.”

Norms are also a powerful tool for community managers who are tasked with the sometimes difficult task of enforcing the norms. Having them formalized and accessible to everyone means community managers can point to them when an issue comes up.

Norms also give members behavior guidelines in advance so they don’t need to figure out the rules as they go along.

“It’s not trial by fire,” says Delano. “No one wants to be told that they can’t use a speakerphone. It’s a lot easier on a tour, or when you onboarding somebody, to let them know they’ll need to use a headset. Then, if someone is using the speakerphone in the space, it’s a simple, ‘Hey, just a reminder of our community norms. Thank you so much. Let me know if you have any questions.’” Having the norms to point to takes the personal out of this aspect of community management.

“It’s something they agreed to when they walked in the space and you’re just reminding them of that,” says Delano. “It’s a lot easier to refer people to something official.”

Member Norms will Evolve
As your space grows and community evolves, your member norms will, as well. In the early days of NextSpace Santa Cruz, the team didn’t anticipate members trying to market to other members in the space. Once they realized what was happening, a new norm was created.

“We didn’t know, when we first started, that we would have people marketing, face-to-face, in the space, to our members, and trying to schmooze and hustle their wares, when people were just trying to get to work,” says Delano. “People want to market to our members, so now, we let them sponsor a happy hour—they get to pay to play. If you bring tacos or ice cream, we’ll listen to you.”

Using Day Passes to Generate Leads NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Happy Hour

Now, one of the community norms in the space is that members don’t blatantly sell themselves in the space.

“Of course, natural conversations are going to come about,” says Delano, “but you can tell when someone’s selling—you know the difference.”

Know Your Space and Community
Community norms will be different in every space. Kitchen expectations, noise levels, rules around guests in the space, norms around meeting room use and a variety of other things should all be created around your unique space and community.

Your space, and how it’s set up, is going to determine what kind of members policies you need to implement. In a small, open space, noise will be more of an issue than in a space with an abundance of closed door offices. At NextSpace Santa Cruz, the open space is generally bustling with activity and a fairly steady buzz of voices. Because the open space is busy, members have access to a quiet area dubbed Library Row, and four different meeting and conference rooms.

With the addition of more meeting rooms came a new member norm: “We ask people not to squat in the meeting room,” says Delano. “We have a community norm of going into the meeting room on time and leaving one minute before your scheduled time is up.”

NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Manresa Conference Room

What About the Dogs?
An ongoing conversation in coworking is whether spaces should be dog-friendly or not. At NextSpace Santa Cruz, dogs are allowed, but there are member norms—or doggie norms—around them being in the space.

“We don’t allow dogs in our open coworking space,” says Delano. “We’re very cozy and it would not work to have a distraction of dogs. There are not too many places to go.”

Dogs are allowed in enclosed offices once members sign off on the “pooch policy.” But, the dogs have to prove themselves before they’re officially welcomed into the community.

“They get one week to prove themselves,” says Delano. “They can’t bark in the space or pee on the carpet. If they’re quiet as a mouse, then they’re good coworking dogs.”

NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Community Norms and dog policies

Addressing Sensitive Issues
When you come upon serious member issues, it needs to be clear what is acceptable and what is not. One of the community norms at NextSpace is not sleeping in the space overnight. It has only come up a few times over 10 years, but it’s a sensitive issue because the community manager is accusing someone of doing something.

“Situations like this call for a face-to-face, off-to-the-side conversation,” says Delano. “Tell the member you need to talk with them about something that’s important and that, to keep our community norms, you cannot have them spending the night—or whatever it may be. You’re just reminding them of the community norms.”

Delano advises listening to the members to find out if they’re struggling with personal issues, or if there’s a way the community can support them, but staying firm.

“Give them a warning,” she says, “but by the second time, they’re out. If the person doesn’t listen to me the first time, I don’t put up with that. You can’t. You have to set the standards that this is not okay.”

Delano explains, however, that napping in the space is part of the NextSpace Santa Cruz culture.

“Napping during the day is totally okay and encouraged at NextSpace,” she says. “If I got rid of our sleeping couch, all hell would break loose. I’m not allowed to get rid of that couch.”

Don’t Send Blanket Emails
When addressing violations of community norms, go right to the source to deal with the issue, says Delano. You can’t email all the members and tell them not to put their dish in the sink. It just won’t work.

Talk to the person face-to-face so you can see their reaction and really listen to them. When you have community norms to fall back on, it removes the responsibility of being a rule-maker from the community manager. Instead, you’re pointing to community norms that the member has already agreed to.

“It sure is nice to have community norms to fall back on,” says Delano, “so I don’t have to make up rules and scold people as we go along.”

View and download the Community Norms Document for NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz below.

Written by  our awesome  content strategist,  Cat Johnson.

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