Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post about why sharing your existing members’ stories can help bring you new members. I’d said how every coworking space has walls, desks, and amenities, but what really makes yours stand out is your members and the community you build within those walls.
This also got me thinking about all the many ways storytelling can help you bring in and convert new leads.
Specifically, how sharing your story and articulating your space’s purpose can be key drivers of turning prospects into paying members.
See, even before you have a single member, there are two important factors that will contribute to getting the members you want into your space: your story and your higher purpose.
People choose to do business with companies that align with their values. And the same applies to coworking spaces.
They can easily find a dozen coworking spaces nearby. But they’re going to sign up with the one they personally connect with.
So, by sharing your space’s story and purpose–the why rather than just the what (shout out to Simon Sinek)–you give your prospective members the ability to connect with your space in a deeper way than the fact that you’ve got free coffee and nice amenities.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to talk about those things too. But you have to give more. After all, most of your competitors offer those things too.
Maybe it’s my Public Relations background, but I love working with clients to craft compelling narratives and to tell stories that connect deeply with their customers.
There’s an art to it, IMHO (but that’s neither here nor there).
Ultimately there’s something rewarding about helping clients find their true points of differentiation–and articulate them clearly and meaningfully.
And I’ve had the opportunity to do this with a number of coworking spaces.
I helped craft a unique identity for a boutique Toronto-based coworking space
I worked with one coworking space owner where the goal was to position their space as a boutique workspace for the creative class.
The space’s purpose was to be a hub for Toronto’s creative professionals.
And to achieve this, we identified and articulated their core beliefs:
- Being a no-judgment zone
- Making work fun
- Embracing imperfections
And we told the founder’s story:
- Growing up trying to fit in with the “cool crowd”
- Realizing he’d rather make his own cool and find people who felt the same way
- Studying film
- Opening a coffee shop
- Finally transitioning into starting a coworking space
All of these elements helped create something for members to connect with–something bigger than just the four walls, desks, and amenities. We crafted an image of being a workspace built for creatives, by creatives. A place where people could bring their own personalities and fit in seamlessly.
Sharing the owner’s story and the space’s purpose helped craft a brand narrative that spoke directly to its target audience–the non-corporate creative professional looking for a place where they’d feel at home.
I helped position an Ohio-based coworking space as a hyperlocal, unique, and experience-driven professional hub
On the other hand, I also got the chance to work with a coworking space that was all about supporting the success of its members and its local community by offering a professional, unique, and elegant workspace.
Our mission was to tell the space’s story:
- It was founded by local entrepreneurs who were deeply passionate about their community
- It was built on a foundation of commercial real estate expertise and a deep understanding of what makes a great workspace
And to convey its higher purpose:
- Supporting and inspiring the success of local businesses by offering a unique and elegant workspace paired with personalized service and a strong professional community
- Making a positive impact in the local community
We created brand pillars that were focused on:
- The space’s incredible design
- The unparalleled and personalized experience its members would receive
- The idea that businesses have a responsibility to give back to their community and be drivers of impactful change
While both of these coworking spaces had a similar core offering, they were night-and-day different from one another and were pursuing a completely different target member.
In fairness, these spaces weren’t even in the same country. But I’ll use this theoretical scenario to illustrate my point:
With all things being equal–location and core service offering–the things that would differentiate these coworking spaces in the mind of prospective members are their unique stories, their higher purposes, and their ability to use these two factors to form deep connections with their target audience.
So, when you’re looking to promote your coworking space, don’t focus solely on the what–focus on the why.
Because what’s going to get members in your door probably won’t come down to just your amenities.
Articulating what your space is all about will help members choose you over the competition.
I work with coworking operators from across North America to bring in leads by telling their stories and articulating their purpose. If you’d like to learn more about the process, or if you’re interested in bringing on some help to hone in on your space’s identity, get in touch with me today.
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