How to Grow Your Coworking Space through Member Acquisition

By Guest Poster On February 6, 2024 In CoworkingCoworking Trends

This is a guest blog from our partners at Optix. Learn more about Optix coworking software.

Adam Hyman is the Founder of KoWorks, an Australia-based organization on a mission to activate underutilized spaces and turn them into beautiful and vibrant coworking communities. They support their members through wellness initiatives like ice baths and sauna, and by promoting better work-life balance.

Since opening their first space in 2021, Adam has successfully grown to two locations with three more on the way. He’s committed to providing an exceptional experience for his members, and his sophisticated ethos on growth and member acquisition is exactly the reason why the Optix team chose him as our first webinar guest of 2024.

In How to Grow Your Coworking Space in 2024: Acquisition we broke down what the coworking marketing acquisition funnel is, why defining your ICP and differentiated value are key to a successful funnel, the unique tactic Adam used to build awareness for KoWorks, and more.

Here are the key takeaways from our conversation with Adam.

Want to learn more about member acquisition and growth? Watch the webinar replay now.

Survey results from the Optix 2023 Annual Survey showing the top goal for operators is growing their number of members.

1. All good marketing starts with your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Before starting any kind of marketing activity, it’s critical to identify your ideal customer profile (ICP) and differentiated value. These pieces will feed into every part of your coworking marketing acquisition funnel and marketing strategy.

For Adam, this meant getting really clear about who his customers were and where they hang out, in-person and online. What companies do they work for? Where are they spending most of their time? And what exactly does KoWorks have to offer that’s truly special and unique?

Once Adam identified his ICP, he could get really clear about the strategy and tactics he could use to connect with these members.

Insight from Adam: One of the tactics that we did not think would be the most successful, and we still use today, is Facebook groups where our local community is based. We communicate with our target customers through various local community groups and local Facebook groups, to share the awareness of KoWorks.

The coworking marketing acquisition funnel is made up of three key phases: awareness, consideration, and conversion

2. Your split in online and offline marketing activities will depend on your unique business

A common question for coworking operators when it comes to generating brand awareness is, how do you strike the right balance between online and offline marketing activities?

With so many marketing channels to choose from – social media, SEO, events, the list goes on and on – operators are often left scratching their heads as to where to invest their time and energy.

Your breakdown of marketing activities will ultimately come down to the coworking space or business that you’re operating…and your ideal customer profile.

KoWorks are located in regional and coastal regions in and around nature, and their community is receptive to the human touch. For that reason, they over index on in-person events. These in-person activities then complement online activities like organic social media and Facebook groups.

Insight from Adam: We talk about KoWorks being all about sustainability. So we’ve launched a tactic where we’ve got seed packets that we put in cafes and it says, grow with us. So instead of just putting a flier or a brochure in a cafe where our customers are, we’re putting a seed packet that’s more memorable.

The most effective marketing tactics as voted on by coworking owners and operators according to the GWA 2020 Industry Benchmarking Study.

3. Relationships are key to nurturing prospects through the funnel

When it comes to nurturing prospects through the consideration phase of the marketing funnel, building relationships is key. The better you are at building relationships and gathering information from the very first touchpoint, the better you’ll be able to nurture prospects accordingly.

Adam coaches his community managers on what to ask members before they ever book a tour. From this conversation, community managers can gauge who a person is and what it is about KoWorks that they’re most interested in. They can then tailor the tour to their unique needs.

In that way, a tour becomes an effective opportunity to help people visualize becoming a member and spending time in the space. Creating a personalized experience is best enabled by the relationships that are built along the way.

Insight from Adam: We’ve built a set of questions that all of our community managers in all of our spaces will talk to on that first discussion before we’ve even booked that tour. This guides how you tour that member through the space. A really important piece to factor in is, could you see yourself in the space? And does that fit my needs and wants?

According to the DeskMag 2023 Global Coworking Survey, profitable coworking spaces invest in nurturing their prospects through day passes, email newsletters, and free trials and discounts.

4. Having clear differentiated value is the best conversion tool

If you’ve done a successful job in communicating your unique value and what your space has to offer, then by the time a prospective member is touring your space, they’re fully bought in.

KoWorks is all about wellness, and they have a sophisticated wellness offering for members including ice baths, sauna, yoga classes, and more. When someone tours KoWorks, it is likely because they’re already interested in these things.

Adam sees an unusually high number of prospects convert to members because he has a strong differentiated value that he communicates in his marketing. He is able to convert many prospects into members because he is attracting the right kind of people with his services.

Rather than focus on increasing conversions by sending better emails or giving better tours, you’ll get more bang for your buck by focusing on attracting better potential members to your space.

Insight from Adam: We have definitely seen a very high conversion rate for when people walk through the door from inquiry. I think for us, it’s that say-do ratio. You’ve said something around lifestyle. Is it actually what you do when I walk through your space?

Keep track of the reasons why a potential member will tour your space and not join, and see if you can adjust your offer to fit what the market needs.

5. Word of mouth still reigns supreme

When it comes to the most effective way to acquire members, one thing is for sure – member referrals, social proof, and word-of-mouth are still the number one contender.

In every survey we found or audience poll we ran, word of mouth and member referrals consistently came out on top. Of course, garnering organic word of mouth referrals is a challenge that every coworking operator knows well.

Adam sets his North Star Metric for his team as, can someone go to a barbeque and talk about KoWorks unprompted? This does two things. One, it encourages community managers to provide members a delightful and memorable experience, something so special that they feel compelled to tell everyone about it.

And two, it helps community managers remember to educate their members on the differentiated value they provide. It helps them get super clear about who they are and what they offer.

Insight from Adam: The goal that I’ve set for our team and the goal that we said from day one was, can we have someone that is at a weekend barbecue talk about the KoWorks experience to someone and promote KoWorks at a barbecue without having a prompt.

Save this infographic as a reminder of the tactics and KPIs that can support you through the coworking marketing acquisition funnel!

Member acquisition is the first step to growth.

When it comes to growing your coworking space, member acquisition is the first step.

However, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Once you acquire a member, you have to think about how to retain that member and increase the revenue you generate from them.

We’ll be having a series of webinars breaking down everything there is to know about growing a coworking space in 2024.

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