Who are your members?

I love the different types of members that we attract in our coworking spaces. There is a world of stories, each unique! One of our members was Carl Sagan’s first grad student. He continues to do amazing work as an astronomer out of Satellite Workplaces. Another developed a famous iconic computer game in the 1980s for Lucas Arts. While working at the Satellite he raised $650K in a month through Kickstarter to do a nostalgic follow-on game 30-odd years later. And it was a wild success! We’ve had some well-known startups begin here. I’m so proud when I see them acquired or funded. 

What’s different about your coworking or flex office space? Why are people choosing to be members there instead of somewhere else? What makes your membership “sticky”?

You want to be sure members are choosing to stay as members of your workspace for as long as possible. In order to make that happen, you need to know who your members are. What is appealing to them and keeping them? The only way to truly get the answer, of course, is to ask them. You might be surprised by the result!

I’ve always been really proud of the fact that we have a broad mix of members, about 50% men and 50% women. And our members range in age from 20 to 80! What do they have in common?

As much as you try, you really can’t be all things to all people. But you can do what you do well, and you can do what’s appropriate for your location and environment. It’s so important to understand and articulate what makes you unique, so you can build on it! 

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you analyze who you’re attracting and what you want to be:

  1. If you’re in a smaller location – rural or suburban – you probably can’t target one type of worker. You’re not going to get enough lawyers to have a legal-focus space or enough writers for a writing focus. Or enough parents for a space that includes childcare and only welcomes parents with small children. If you’re in a rural or suburban area, you’ll need a broad mix of offerings so that you can meet a mix of needs. Think about all the ways people might use a space that won’t conflict with others.
  2. Perhaps you own a small building, but it’s too big for you alone. Would you want to share space with people directly in your field, or in a different field? Your advertising and social media can target just the people you want in your space.
  3. Are you in a big city with a lot of competition? Maybe there’s a high-end space or a more party-focused space. Do you want to target professionals? Younger or older people? Non-profits?
  4. If you’ve been running for a while, survey your members. Survey Monkey is a cheap way to get a lot of information! You can repeat a survey once every six months. Keep it brief, and you’ll get a usable response. Here are some of the questions you might want to ask. Use dropdowns so you can aggregate information, but give people a choice to write in answers if they have something different to say. And don’t limit them to one answer.
    • What do you like best about working at [our space]?
    • How often do you use [our space]? Which space/offering?
    • Why did you choose [our space] in the beginning?
    • What would you like more of? Less of?
    • Do you want more community events? What type?
    • How long do you think you’ll stay a member here?

Six quick questions and you have a wealth of information for targeting your space!

So don’t guess why people are members. Get real data, use it, and share the stories!

Here with you,

Barbara

Barbara Sprenger, CEO and Founder at Deskworks

Barbara Sprenger

Founder & CEO of Deskworks

Coworking Center Best Practices

Coworking Center Best Practices

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