People often talk about growth hacking in the context of software, mobile apps, platforms, and anything tech. But the mixture of business, marketing, and engineering techniques for quickly raising awareness and growing customers base can be and should be, applied to other domains outside of the tech world. One good example is the world of coworking spaces.
With this post, I’m breaking rule number one of growth hacking by the highly regarded expert in these matters—Vincent Dignan:
1. You do not talk about growth hacking.
That’s great but now let’s talk about the coworking space and more precisely—how to manage and improve it so that you have a thriving community and growing business.
Let’s start with the Wikipedia definition of growth hacking:
A marketing technique initially employed in tech startups that uses creativity, social metrics and analytical thinking as well as tools to sell products and gain exposure.
Usually, growth hacking is part of the online marketing ecosystem and involves activities such as search engine optimization (SEO), website analytics, content marketing, and A/B testing.
It is a smart and creative way to put more people into the sales funnel. The more people you have on top of the funnel the more your chances you have to sell. Growth hacking is about maximizing your brand awareness on a tight budget. It originates from the tech startups back in the days when they weren’t hugely funded with zillion dollars marketing budgets. When your budget is limited you have to be creative and smart to reach out to your audience.
It’s all about Awareness
Every coworking space has to build awareness usually with small or no marketing budget at all. That’s why adopting growth hacking techniques can be very beneficial in the long turn.
There is no difference if you are operating as a non-profit organization or you’re developing coworking space as a business. In any case, you need awesome and thriving community and money to pay the bills.
The power and the greatness of your community is a function of its size and quality.
So you need something special in order to attract community’s minimum critical mass as well as keeping it growing and thriving.
Disciplined community growth
Before talking about growing your community with some hacking involved, you need to understand some basic business, marketing, and sales concepts. Although the coworking space is this awesome place that is managed and run by the community for the community, you as a manager better be disciplined and run it properly. The more effort and creativity you put into good management, the better your space and the bigger your community will be.
Here is an overview of the topics that we’re about to cover in the next posts:
- Business Development
- Identify your message – start with the message before going viral.
- Build persona profile – the very first step is to identify your target members and then tailor the message for them.
- Speak to your persona – ask them if your message is meaningful for them.
- Build core – your target persona is the core of your community. This is also known as beachhead market.
- Identify your value proposition – coworking is not just about office space or desks. It is the value that you add on top of it.
- Satisfy your members – provide the basic services your target persona (member) needs.
- Build high-quality space – focus on your members’ wellbeing, health and productivity.
- Have your own personality – Be different, online and offline. Make sure your members will remember your space.
- Marketing and Growth Hacking
- Build awareness – make your coworking brand stand out.
- Lead generation – identify your channels, set goals and be creative.
- Social media and Social news – grow your community using smart online presence.
- Content – provide meaningful online and offline content. This could be your awesome events too.
- Listing websites – find your way into the listing and office broker websites.
- Website and SEO – the old school growth path that is so relevant today too.
- Don’t hack yourself – try to avoid some very common mistakes when running coworking space.
- Don’t over hack – it’s the community that should drive growth too.
- Sales Hacking
- Be a ‘Challenger’ – you have to understand your members and challenge them when persuading them.
- Teach, tailor and take control – it is all about your members and how you can help them succeed in your space.
- Operations Excellence
- Manage. Measure. Improve – constantly innovate and improve your coworking space.
- Set S.M.A.R.T. goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based.
- Management and Measurement tools – “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Use technology to automate the boring stuff so you can focus on community engineering.
Stay tuned for the upcoming posts and don’t forget to be smart, creative, different and awesome. Find your way to stand out and provide true value to your coworkers. But also don’t forget to be disciplined. Constantly measure and improve your space.
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