How Do I Get More Members?
The inevitable question that comes up every time a coworking manager asks for advice is, “how do I get more members?”
Really? This is your question?
You might as well ask, “how do I get food?” The answers to such a broad question are too many to count. You could rummage through the fridge for a ready-to-eat snack, you could cook a five-course meal, you could walk down the street to get a slice of pizza, or you could travel all the way to France for some homemade crepes. The possibilities are endless and so they are with the question, “how do I get more members?”
We need to narrow the question further. Similar to how somebody might reply to your “how do I get food” question with, “well, what kind of food do you want? What’s your budget?” we need to ask ourselves some questions.
What kind of people to I want to attract?
What do they like to do for fun?
Why would they want to hang out here?
Where do these people hang out now?
What type of work do they do?
And possibly the best question of all: am I one of them?
If you’re going to be managing or working for a coworking space or any community space in any capacity, you’d better belong there. You actually better be one of your best community members. This will solve nearly all your problems because you already know what you like to do for fun and why you like your space and where you like to hang out when you’re not at the space. If you’re really building a community, you are the most integral part of starting that community. Don’t pretend to be somebody you’re not and don’t try to build a community of people that you don’t relate to. It’s really hard (if not impossible) and you’ll hate doing it.
Reserve a significant amount of your work time to participate in the community instead of run it. Have fun with it. Instead of recruiting new members at networking events, go out and have a good time meeting more people just like your badass self. It helps relieve the social anxiety if you bring some friends.