In 2022, niche coworking spaces were called “the future of coworking” – and we think this trend is here to stay.
Niche coworking spaces take the coworking experience and tailor it to people in a specific demographic, creating a delightfully personable experience that speaks perfectly to their target demographic.
We’ve explored many niches within the coworking world here at Optix, from coworking for parents to the growing trend of co-warehousing.
In this article, we’ll be exploring coworking spaces for people in the creative industry including what they are, the benefits it offers to those in the creative industry, and what you need to know if you want to open your first creative coworking space.
What is a creative coworking space?
A creative coworking space is a coworking space designed to support people in the creative industry including artists, writers, photographers, graphic designers, podcasters, and more.
Freelancing and solopreneurship are popular amongst people in the creative industry. Roughly 35% of people who work in creative roles freelance, compared to 15% of the general population. This creates a strong need for shared workspaces and community.
Like most coworking spaces, creative coworking spaces tend to be most popular in large metropolitan cities or places with a large population of people in the creative industry. However, we’re seeing more and more pop up in rural or suburban neighborhoods as well.
Benefits of coworking spaces for creatives
There are many benefits that creative people can get from working in a coworking space.
Community of like-minded individuals and ample networking opportunities
Community is often lacking for freelancers and those who work for themselves. Coworking spaces offer a flexible, communal working environment that people can come to meet with and connect with other like-minded individuals.
This could be in the form of:
- Coworking events like happy hours, lunch and learns, and keynote speakers
- Using a member Directory in your space to connect members with one another
- Developing a digital coworking community that can be accessed anywhere, anytime
The networking effect of coworking spaces can also be incredibly useful, especially to those just starting out in their freelancing careers. Sharing a physical space can be a great way to mindshare and get career advice from others in the same industry.
Affordable access to art supplies and amenities
Art supplies and amenities can be incredibly expensive, from software licenses to paint supplies to podcasting equipment. It is often not worth the cost for many individuals to buy these supplies themselves if they only need access to it a few times a month.
Coworking spaces can offer these amenities to their members to rent at a fraction of the cost than if members were to buy them for themselves.
Not only is this an opportunity for coworking operators to create additional revenue streams, but it’s also an affordable solution for people who don’t want to spend money on pricey licenses and audio equipment for a handful of uses.
Access to larger studio spaces
Large, professional studio spaces can be hard to come by. These spaces are often used for:
- Creating larger art pieces
- Filming yoga and pilates videos for fitness influencers
- Studio photography
They are usually rented on a monthly basis for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a month, depending on the size of the space and the location.
Coworking spaces often offer large studio space for rent monthly, weekly, daily, or even hourly. Artists can use these spaces on an ad hoc basis, without feeling locked in for an extended period of time.
If you’re a coworking operator looking to create a coworking space tailored to those in the creative industry, you’ll want to ensure you have at least one larger studio space that can be rented on-demand to meet the needs of your members and create additional revenue streams for yourself.
Amenities offered in creative coworking spaces
Opening a coworking space for people in the creative industry will require many of the same amenities as other coworking spaces, from providing enough phone booths to offering complimentary tea and coffee.
However, there are other amenities you may want to offer in your space as well.
- Studio space: as mentioned, access to a large studio space is a great thing to offer to artists and creatives looking for a flex space to use for photography, fine art, and more.
- Business coaching and mentoring: freelancing often requires individuals to run their own businesses. Offering affordable business coaching or mentoring can be a great way to support your members in their careers.
- Access to physical art supplies: having a number of art supplies on hand to rent or for complimentary use may be helpful, especially if your audience is more tailored to fine art.
- Access to digital art supplies: digital art supplies can range from software licenses to computers with processors that can handle running intensive programs, like video editing software. This is a huge expense for freelancers and can be a major selling point, depending on your audience.
- Podcast studio: podcasting is skyrocketing in popularity, and many freelancers and even businesses are looking for studio space. Offering podcasting equipment to rent can be a great way to differentiate yourself from other spaces.
- Green screens and other specialty equipment: artists of all kinds require specialty equipment to do what they need to do for work. Take some time to research what your audience may need, such as a green screen or professional lighting equipment, and consider offering it to rent.
You don’t need to offer every amenity in your space, but you do need to ensure you have a wide range of amenities that serve your audience’s unique needs.
Examples of coworking spaces for creatives
There are many beautiful coworking spaces across the world tailored specifically for those in the creative industry. Below are two examples of Optix clients who are serving their creative members.
Recordical offers fully equipped recording studios for podcasters, songwriters, producers, musicians, and audio creators.
They offer state-of-the-art recording equipment, audio engineers, studio space, and a wide variety of amenities meant to make recording audio easy and accessible for all. Any member can walk into Recordical and get started with professional-grade audio recording in an instant.
“The quest to find high-quality recording space, equipment, community, and resources as a creator is…overwhelming. And if the first steps are daunting, even the most determined person can forget their big 'why.' Recordical is designed to be simple without sacrificing style or quality, giving content creators the tools they need to make audio magic.”Recordical
Speakeasy10562 is a multipurpose coworking space located in Ossining, New York. They take a community-centered approach and support their members by providing them with a thriving community of other like-minded creative individuals.
They also offer virtual memberships that give members access to their digital community so they can stay connected, despite not being in the same physical space.
“As a small, Ossining-owned and run business, everyone involved in Speak Easy is local, running their own business, working FT or PT positions elsewhere, and extremely passionate about Ossining and the local community. “Speakeasy10562
Tips for starting a creative coworking space
If you’re interested in opening a coworking space for creative individuals, here are some things to keep in mind.
Know your audience
Before opening your doors, get involved in the creative community in your area and understand if there is a need for this kind of space. Get to know what their pain points are, what they’re looking for, and what gaps currently exist in the market to meet their needs.
Get a large enough space to account for studio access and specialty equipment
Offering a large studio space, a podcasting room, and a photography studio would make your space stand out. It will also require you to find a big enough space to accommodate all of these specialty and creativity needs. Consider that when doing your buildout and seeking out a commercial space.
Consider ways to support the community outside of just space access
Space is important, but coworking is about more than just space. Think about ways you could support your members outside of just providing physical access. Business mentoring, networking events, and keynote speakers can go a long way in building a community.
Get started on your coworking journey
Whether you’re opening your first coworking space for creatives or looking to expand your existing operation, there is a lot to consider.
At the end of the day, it’s all about putting the needs of your members first and making them the focal point of everything you do.
Looking for the perfect software to help you manage your coworking operations? See how Optix can help.