Digital Marketing for Flexible Workspace: One Operator’s Trials and Triumphs (Part 2)

This article is part of our Digital Marketing for Workspace series

Last week we heard from Stephen Furnari, founder of Law Firm Suites, on how he successfully markets his business centers.

We discovered that content marketing is the backbone of their digital marketing strategy but, despite the huge amount of time and effort it takes to produce high quality marketing content, Stephen still prefers to keep these processes in-house than outsource to a marketing agency.

In the second and final part of our interview with Stephen, he explains how he stays on top of SEO and Google’s frequently changing algorithms, the opportunities that come with operating a niche industry workspace, and the marketing trends he has spotted in 2017.

“Honestly, we don’t worry about constantly changing algorithms,” says Stephen.

“Google has been very clear that it simply wants great content that is relevant to what searchers are looking for. We strive to produce great content that our target market will find useful, and that will support what it is that they are searching for.”

Stephen and his team are careful to follow SEO best practices by subscribing to a number of digital marketing blogs that keep the team up-to-date. They also monitor their organic performance closely.

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Like many operators, one of the biggest challenges facing Stephen and his team is ‘information overload’, which he believes “will just continue to get worse” as the flexible workspace industry continues to grow.

But for Law Firm Suites, one particular advantage lies in their ability to market to prospects within a specific industry.

“We feel that targeting clients in the legal industry gives us a significant edge over our competition within that market segment,” says Stephen. “We are able to better understand our target clients’ very unique needs, wants and challenges.”

Industry-specific workspace

Law Firm Suites was launched in 2007 when Stephen was practicing law full time. He rented an office that was bigger than strictly necessary, with the anticipation that his firm would grow into the space, or vacant space could be sub-let to other attorneys.

“Because I was busy with my law practice, I didn’t want to be constantly looking for subtenants. So I branded my legal suite and developed a community system that got my subtenants enough referrals to pay their rent (and then some). That made it really hard for them to leave. In fact, 57% of our clients have rented for us for more than 5 years!

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“Attorneys liked the concept, and we kept growing organically. I ended up in the coworking/shared office space industry by happenstance. It was never really was my plan, but now I do it full time.”

Of course this scenario returned positive results in more ways than one. In addition to developing a successful brand out of a side business and fulfilling a need for practicing law firms, Stephen is able to narrow the field by marketing his workspace to a specific industry.

“Specializing allows us to market much deeper into the industry vertical than marketing to multiple professionals. It also allows us to create marketing content that is very authentic.”

“Do more with less”

Another benefit is cost. Rather than competing against the entire business center industry for expensive generic keywords, Law Firm Suites focuses on specific key phrases, enabling them to lower their marketing cost and “do more with less.”

However, Stephen is quick to point out that multi-professional business centers can still market to a highly defined niche.

“For example, our company is opening a multi-professional coworking space in a small beach town in Northeast Florida. Professionals who choose this town for their home do so to live a beachside lifestyle. Think: lawyers and architects who surf on their lunch break.

“Our digital marketing appeals to people who’ve made that lifestyle choice, and the unique professional challenges they face.

“Fundamentally, we’re not operating our business differently from any other well-run coworking space, we’re just telling our story in a way that appeals to the local market. This strategy can be done anywhere.”

As for the future, Stephen is now seeking to expand the Law Firm Suites community into new cities.

“It’s great for our partners because they become the leading provider in their city for office space and virtual office services for the highly coveted legal segment. It’s great for small firm lawyers, who practice more profitably and efficiently as part of our community; and it helps provide greater access to justice for the community at large.

“We’re pretty proud of that!”

Read Part 1 of our interview with Stephen, here.