- Now more than ever, flexible workspace operators are looking for budget-friendly lead generation strategies that work.
- The best lead generation strategies have the potential to bring in valuable leads time and time again.
- Cat Johnson’s latest Coworking Convo explored the best tried-and-tested lead generation strategies for coworking and flexible workspace operators.
Now more than ever, flexible workspace operators are looking for budget-friendly lead generation strategies that work.
This is especially important as people begin heading back into the workplace. But the best strategies work not just once, at this unprecedented moment in time, but every time — and it could have the potential to bring in valuable new leads time and time again.
With that in mind, coworking marketing expert Cat Johnson recently held an online Convo exploring the best tried-and-tested lead generation strategies that coworking brands are using.
Here are our top takeaways from the event:
1. Content is Still King
“You can’t outspend the big players, but you can outperform them with relevant, targeted content” — that’s the message from Cat, who explained that content is one of the most consistent and reliable ways to bring in new leads.
Once those leads are on your site, your content has the ability to educate, inspire, and convert those leads into paying members.
2. Know Your Members and Market to Them
“Really know who your market is. We can’t serve everybody who needs a shared workspace. Really get snug into your market and help them find you.”
Craig Baute advised operators to get focused and ensure this is reflected in their marketing efforts.
For instance, use your own authentic images that reflect your community – not just the type of businesses, which may be freelancers or small independents (as opposed to corporate teams), but also your activities, such as opportunities to collaborate, socialize, and learn.
He explained that he has recently shifted his online language and images away from ‘social distancing’ and is now using photos of people coming together.
“It’s what people have been missing while they’ve been working from home.”
3. Personal Outreach
Craig has found huge success in personally reaching out to both former members and current members (who haven’t yet returned to the space). The message is friendly yet targeted: “Give them an excuse to come back,” said Craig. His space has been offering Friday lunches, outside events, and volunteer events such as trash pickups.
It’s not a sales pitch — it’s a friendly invitation to “hang out”. Yet according to Craig, over 80% of former members who came to one of these events signed up to the space in the following weeks.
Why? He says it helps members regain their routine, and feel comfortable easing back into the workplace community.
4. Talk Your Members’ Language
While analysing search terms, Jerome Chang noted that the term ‘WeWork’ is currently beating the term ‘coworking’ around 10-1. “It has become the Walkman of the 80s.”
People will often ask, ‘are you like WeWork?’ — and even if you don’t like the association, if it’s what people understand or can relate to, Jerome advises operators to run with it. Use it as a starting point for a conversation.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Go Against the Grain
According to Jerome, some of his revenue streams were initially considered a little “taboo” in the coworking world. These included meeting room bookings from lawyers for depositions, and selling Virtual Office contracts.
“For years, I’ve been telling people to sell Virtual Offices. It will save you,” he said.
During the pandemic, Virtual Offices grew in popularity because businesses needed a location rather than an office. They also needed mail forwarding, which was allowed to continue as an essential service even during shelter-in-place orders.
He urged operators to consider these opportunities even if it feels like they are going against the grain. “Go ahead and embrace it.”
- Don’t use stock photos. Use your own photos – they feel more authentic and better reflect your community.
- Acknowledge b2c and b2b differences. Coworking performs better in platforms such as Yelp, Google and social media. If you have a community-focused coworking space, try using consumer-friendly platforms rather than a business focused space.
- Ask your members what they want. Whether it’s a keg of sparkling water, or a monitor, or a standing desk… when you provide it, they get used to it and realise they can’t get it at home, which is one more reason to keep coming back.
Tune in to Cat Johnson’s next Coworking Convo on Friday July 30th, when she’ll be joined by a panel of experts to explore how to create a great member experience post-Covid.