I have about 2000 sq ft of space in downtown Vancouver from an old start up that failed. I'd like to turn it into a co-working space but I'm not sure what sort of marketing channels I could use to make this a reality. Already have a website and tables. I have used Craigslist but it has not proven to be very effective.
Hello! Co-working spaces are places that people enjoy going to, especially mini startups, sole proprietors, developers, designers, etc. So at least you know there can be a market.
Now, to figure out exactly which is your target market, you can do so by literally "asking" people... (not like you're used to).
What I would do in your position is to run Facebook Ads in the area immediately surrounding the space (this can be done quite easily). The interesting part comes when choosing the audience:
Instead of "throwing" your ads to everyone, you can specify individual interests (like certain tools, software programs, niche magazines, etc) and behaviors (small business owners, Facebook page admins, etc).
Once you've segmented your audience, you can create a tailored ad that "speaks" specifically to their person. That way they will fell identified and most likely click on it.
You would then send them to a landing page that talks about your space and what it will solve for them.
If the space itself is still not ready, you can take advantage of this and simply use the landing page to capture interested people's names and emails. That way, you'll gain two things:
1. A prospect (lead) list that you can contact once it is ready
2. Knowledge of which market segment most responded to your ads and landing pages
You will then use all this to continuously grow your business. :)
Need help figuring out how to do this exactly? Let me know and we can either teach you or your staff or do it for you.
Stop thinking about channels.
Decide exactly who you want there. Not just "people who can pay" but the exact types of people YOU decide should be there.
The quality and compatibility of your clients will determine how much the other clients like being there and how long they will stay. (this is important).
Once you know the right client-type THEN you can start looking at channels.
Your target market determines the channels you use to reach them, not the other way around.
Marketing your co-working space is no different than marketing any other product or service. You need to communicate the value of the space to your target demographic.
A general marketing principle is to give people a taste of the product or service that makes them want to come back to buy the whole thing. What does that look like for your co-working space? Getting people in the door.
WeWork (a chain of co-working space valuations, whose valuation is now $10B) came up with a brilliant answer to getting people into their co-working spaces. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, is allowed to use WeWork spaces to host an event for FREE, as long as they thank WeWork for hosting the event. This sounds absurd, but it gets people in the space. Every single person who attends these events sees the beautiful co-working space and all of its benefits. They can imagine themselves working there.
Hope this helps! Happy to help you brainstorm other marketing hacks to get your space off the ground.
I am not trying to sell you on calling me. Really, I am pretty busy with my businesses and consulting. However, I need more info before I could have a greater impact in helping you.
Ask, Ask, Ask, then Ask again.
Here is $10,000 worth of information for free and in a nutshell.
Concentrate on the 3 M's. There are actually 7, but 3 will do for now. These are Market, Message, and Media. They come in that order.
Who is your target market (customer, clients, buyers, users, etc.)?
Tailor your laser focused message for this target market.
What is the best media mix to get your message to that market?
Here's what you do...first, make it an offer that is so incredible that they cannot resist. Secondly, do all the work for them. Make it so easy to make the purchase now that they can do it virtually without effort. Thirdly, give them an incentive to act right now. Fourthly, offer an almost unbelievable guarantee. Fifth, offer a bonus for acting now. There are many other incredible steps, but these steps should help the novice to the professional sell anything.
Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, you have to focus on selling to only one person. You can actually sell to one person at a time while selling to millions at a time. They are one and the same. Don't get off track, what we call digital marketing selling is just selling in print. And that has not changed since Cluade Hopkins wrote "Scientific Advertising." Really long before he wrote the book.
The secret to success: I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with some of the biggest names in business, celebrities, actors, entrepreneurs, business people, and companies from startup to billion dollar operations. The number one reason for their success is doing what they know and love while doing it in new, creative, and innovative ways.
Ask, Ask, Ask. Have thick skin and learn from each "mistake." In a short while, the market will tell you what you need to do and who and what you need to ask. But get started now even if that just means asking a contact on LinkedIn.
While you are thinking, think big and think of something at least 1% better, newer, or different. And being cheaper is not a winning strategy.
Make decisions quickly and change decisions slowly..unless you are actually going off a cliff.
Remember these two 11 letter words...persistence and consistency. They are two of the most important tools ever invented.
Treat everybody you talk to and everybody you meet (including yourself) like each is your number one million dollar customer.
Bootstrap when possible and reasonable. Read "How To Get Rich" by Felix Dennis. Or better yet just remember the camel's nose in the tent story.
However, sometimes you just need to make a deal.
Listen, in any business you have to take some chances and some risks. Make sure you don't need a license and go for it. Remember, timid business people have skinny kids. Paraphrased from Zig Ziglar.
Best of luck,
Take massive action and never give up.
Michael Irvin, MBA, RN