Stop Marketing Your Coworking Space to Everyone



Who are you marketing your coworking space to?

If your response is “everyone,” we need to have a chat.

Your target market is not everyone.

It’s important to get very clear about who would be a good fit in your space. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time activating your community.

It’s tempting to want to market to “everyone,” because it feels like a larger market of potential members, right?

But let’s look at it from another perspective.

If someone tells you they play music and have a concert this weekend, your response may be, “Cool, I like music.”

But, at this point, you have no idea whether they play classical cello, bass in a dub group, acoustic roots music, pan flute in a Peruvian ensemble, electric guitar in a thrash metal band, or anything else.

If they’re in a thrash metal band, their marketing efforts are wasted on me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate that there are a lot of people who love thrash metal, it’s just that I’m not one of them.

Every second they spend marketing to me is wasted.

If they tell me they play dub bass, or Peruvian pan flute, or classical cello, I’m definitely more interested. I may ask some questions about where they play or where I can learn more about their band.

But they’re still not speaking directly to me.

If, however, they tell me they play acoustic guitar in a roots music band, they’ve got my attention. As a fellow acoustic guitarist and songwriter, I want to know more about them. I already feel a sense of connection and know that I can probably nerd out about music with this person for days on end.

See how trying to market music to everyone doesn’t work? But that marketing to the right person works really well?

This is what you want to do with your coworking space.

The more specific you are about what you offer and who is a good fit for your space, the more your space resonates with the people who will thrive in it.

This is not an exclusion thing, it’s about aligning your target market with your offerings.

Let’s do a quick exercise to illustrate the point. Which is these people would be a good fit for your space:

  • A freelance graphic designer who wants to cowork one day a week
  • An attorney who needs a private office for confidential calls and meetings
  • A web developer who needs 24/7 access because they do their best work at night
  • A small nonprofit who needs a standing meeting room reservation every Wednesday morning
  • A growth-phase startup that will likely need more space in the next few months
  • A recruiter who spends all day making calls
  • A digital creative who hosts a weekly podcast
  • A content strategist who prefers to work in a bustling, open space
  • An editor who needs quiet space where they won’t be interrupted
  • A busy parent who needs to bring their kid to the space occasionally
  • A filmmaker who wants to do a how-to series in your conference room
  • A writer who needs daily access to a phone booth for interviews

See how the specific needs of members determine the type of space they’re looking for?

See how your space likely isn’t a good fit for everyone?

If you’re marketing to an attorney but you don’t have an office from which they can make confidential calls, your space will not work for them.

If you have a lively, bustling space without a quiet zone, it’s not going to be a great fit for an editor who needs to be heads-down and quiet much of the day.

Knowing who you’re marketing to is a foundational piece of your marketing strategy. If you’re throwing your marketing efforts into the wind, hoping they land on someone who cares, you’re wasting time and resources.

The best way to clarify who your target member is is to create a customer persona. A customer persona helps you take your target market from a vague group of people to a specific person who will (and does) thrive in your space.

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