Our new normal, to my community

Yes, this is our new normal. And yet, to my community, now is an extraordinary time to pause and think of some creative solutions.

Think of ways to strengthen your community while acknowledging our new reality with sensitivity. These are anxious times and promoting “free coworking” can be tone deaf promotion during this time of social distancing and self-quarantine.

It may be time next week to break up the isolation and cabin fever I expect we’ll feel. (if we aren’t there already!)

Speed virtual networking: Can you create small and brief introductory calls between members? A group of 3-5 on a 20-minute call to connect and learn more about one another. This reminds us that we are not alone.

The best thing about the new normal: What has been revealed about us, our families, our friends and the world? This allows us to step outside the anxiety and potentially create new habits and traditions.

Member storytelling via webinar: Shift conversations to how members of your community overcame previous obstacles and challenges. This reminds us all that we are resilient and strong.

The world will remember 2020 as a time when we were confronted to see things in a new way. May this shift in our perspective make way for creative solutions benefiting us all.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. YES! We’ve Launched!

Exceptional. The team that came together to reposition our brand was simply that.

As we launch the new logo and website we have several contributors to acknowledge: Our friends at Smart Search Media who developed the site and SEO, Josh Campbell, designer extraordinaire who created our logo and visual theme, Erica Jellerson of The Eason Collective managing how we appear on social media. Our Communications professional, Lindley White, instilled our messaging with power and Maralyn Bellin has been the key to this entire transformation.

The inimitable partners of Nancy Brown, Danielle Galmore and Lori Hamilton contribute in ways that will take up too many words in this brief post. As I have said many times, “More brains are better”. My gratitude to each of you is boundless.

My list of thanks would be sorely lacking if I didn’t give an enormous shout out to my big family (go Team Spreen/Robinson/Iveson) and the support of many friends who questioned, challenged and encouraged the product you view today.

Now, we’ve got work to do!

A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Coworking (v. 3)

 

When developing coworking spaces in partnership with our clients, we come across the most amazing (and frequently refreshing) perspectives on how to market and operate coworking spaces.

To be sure, we love working with entrepreneurs – whether first timers or veterans. We ALWAYS learn something from each project we manage. Lifelong learning energizes us and keeps us in grounded in reality.

Still, this quick list features marketing strategies that caused us to internalize a “huh, that’s interesting”:

  • A new coworking space in the CBD of a major market with many competitors (traditional shared space and coworking alike) put no money into a marketing budget, believing a strong strategy was to have a college student stand in front of the building wearing a sandwich board, handing out flyers about the new space

 

  • New coworking space in another major market that relied solely on social media to drive traffic to and awareness of the space. Ownership was operating the space as a secondary business and was too busy to build a community from Meetups and outbound networking events. Expected “if we build it, they will come”

 

  • Established space that pivoted to featuring only non-members as speakers and panelists at lunch and learns and after-hours networking events

 

  • Spaces that reject all corporate users (corporate users is a growing population). Context is key but worth reconsidering

 

  • Constant use of shock and awe language (as in something “sucks” or equivalent) in marketing tools. Over time it becomes ineffective and narrows your target demographic options

We have worked with each of the above clients and have been successful at coaching a few into alternate directions. In our experience, clients that did not move from their marketing position above are no longer in operation.

2016 – A Big Year for Coworking Podcasts for us (part 4)

Here is our third and final podcast about coworking space development with Brittanie Campbell-Turner of Constructrr.com 

This episode is an interview with Wendy Spreenberg who is great resource for her expertise in workspace as a service.

We discuss in this 3 part series, the most important things that I thought would be useful to the any one who is trying to start a co-working community.

In this last part of the series, Wendy and I talk about the making sure the business model is sustainable to ensure the business owner’s success.

Find the previous episodes of this Co-Working series at constructrr.com/11 and constructrr.com/12

2016 – A Big Year for Coworking Podcasts for us (part 3)

 

Part 2 of our coworking podcast series with Brittanie Campbell-Turner of Constructrr.com 

This episode is an interview with Wendy Spreenberg who is great resource for her expertise in workspace as a service.

We discuss in this 3 part series, the most important things that I thought would be useful to the any one who is trying to start a coworking community.
 
In this the 2nd part, we discuss how does understanding the community translate into the necessary design/architectural elements.
 
If you want to know the answers to these questions – this episode is for you!
  1. To Coffee or Not to Coffee? and how?

  2. Do you need to do any renovation in your space to make it usable as a co-working space?

  3. If so, what did you do in order to get the space ready?

  4. What kind of furniture do you need?

Find the next episode of this Coworking series at constructrr.com/13

2016 – A Big Year for Coworking Podcasts for us (part 2)

Our humble thanks to Brittanie Campbell-Turner for featuring us in 2016 on her Constructrr Podcast. We focus our discussion on coworking.

As described by Brittanie, “This episode is an interview with Wendy Spreenberg who is great resource for her expertise in workspace as a service.

We discuss in this 3 part series, the most important things that I thought would be useful to the any one who is trying to start a co-working community.
 
The first part is about what characteristics a co-working host have, and how a host should think about impacting their community.
 
If you want to know the answers to these questions – this episode is for you!
  1. If you are a co-working host already, what were the benefits you desired when you first thought to do it?
  2. What did you decide your revenue model to be? Monthly, daily, hourly?
    Do you provide meeting spaces, or desk space only? What other amenities do you provide?
  3. Who do you market to?
  4. What are the challenges you find from being a host in a co-working space?

Find the next episode of this Co-Working series at constructrr.com/12