5 Free Coworking Resources You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
Featured Image: Women Who Cowork gathering at GCUC Canada, Vancouver, 2017
Whether you are just starting your coworking space or have been open for a year or two, you may have missed all the incredible free coworking resources that are available.
When I started my coworking space, Cohere, almost eight years ago I only found a volunteer-run wiki and two videos from Alex Hillman to guide me. There were no other coworking spaces in my city, let alone my state, and so I had to claw my way through the internet for help.
I’m thankful to report that those days have changed and now you can’t swing a google search without hitting an article about coworking.
Here are my top five favorite free coworking resources:
New Work Cities is run by coworking veteran Tony Bacigalupo who started the first space in New York City in 2008. Tony’s accessible starter pack gives you some great basics on everything from how to find your community to writing your membership agreement.
If you want to take it up a notch, Tony has an incredible weekly Organizer’s Club call with space catalysts from around the world. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking on one of his calls and his group will supercharge your coworking efforts.
If your role in coworking involves having to write anything that will be published on the internet including social media, the Coworking Content Alliance should be in your bookmarks bar. The content alliance is “a group is for coworking space operators who want to learn more about digital marketing and improve their content strategy.”
Cat Johnson founded this group and it’s just one of the ways she gives back to the global coworking community. What’s incredible about Cat is that she’s a freelance writer who started coworking in Santa Cruz, California and fell in love with it. Now her entire world is about coworking!
Over burgers in Vancouver, Canada I convinced Cat to turn a story from her childhood about trading her hair braid for a tomahawk into a podcast about content marketing. It’s one of my favorite things to listen to.
Started by Laura Shook of Soma Vida and Iris Kavanagh of Coworking With Iris, these two coworking leaders wisely saw a need for a safe space for women to get support and help while starting and managing spaces.
I find the Women Who Cowork group to be especially refreshing if I’m having a challenge in my coworking business. The women in this group are incredibly supportive and have something like 200 years of combined experience in an industry that is only 10-ish years old.
“This group is for entrepreneurial women who are thought-leaders in the coworking movement and/or own a coworking space, or multiple spaces, to come together to connect, share ideas, ask for support and co-inspire one another!”
Women Who Cowork is also hosting its first restful retreat for women coworking founders and managers in Austin, Texas in February 2018.
The Coworking Visa Program might be the single greatest resource independent spaces have BUT NEVER USE.
Did you know that many members of coworking spaces can cowork at 450+ spaces around the world for FREE for three days per trip? What a world!
The Coworking Visa reminds me of days of yore when there wasn’t a sweet app like coworker.com for your every workspace desire. The Visa program is entirely run by volunteers and updated by each space on this wiki.
I highly recommend you add your space today because you have to be willing to host visiting members in order to send your members to other spaces. I’ve had visitors from everywhere in the United States and sent my members to coworking spaces in Berlin, Chile, Florida and Oregon.
Confession: DIY Coworking is my brand but I give a bunch of practical guides away for free so it would be silly to omit it from this list. DIY Coworking focuses on helping coworking founders who are starting smaller, bootstrapped, low-budget coworking communities around the world.
Starting a coworking space is hard and you might feel lost most of the time. Whether you need the right questions to ask when choosing software or want a script for how to hold your first community gatherings, I’ve got you covered. I also offer the first chapter of my latest workbook for free so you can take me for a test drive before you commit.
Even though starting a coworking space can be challenging, using these incredible free resources will help you save money while you do the important work of helping people connect in your community.