How to Get Clients for Your Coworking Space

A step-by-step guide on how to get clients for your coworking space
By Kelly K
December 7, 2023
How to get clients for your coworking space, fast

We often hear from our clients that the hardest part of opening a coworking space is getting their first few members.

Bringing new clients into your space takes hard work, dedication, and a lot of patience.

In fact, it’s something you should be thinking about before even starting your coworking space.

If you wrote a coworking business plan, then you may already have an idea of how you will market your space to acquire new clients. If not, then this article is for you.

Here’s an easy step-by-step guide on the fundamentals of how to get clients for your coworking space.

How to get clients for your coworking space

The knowledge in this article is based on conversations with many coworking owners and operators, as well as leading marketing experts over the years. The basic steps to get clients for your coworking space are:

  1. Define your ideal client
  2. Get your digital presence in order
  3. Create a great promotion
  4. Tap into your existing network
  5. Host an incredible event

We’ll go through each of these steps in detail below.

1. Define your ideal client profile for your coworking space

Build a digital presence for your coworking space

The golden rule of marketing is, always start with your customer.

The first step to defining your ideal client profile (ICP) is to think about your target audience and define who it is that you want to attract.

  • What are their demographics (age, city they live in, income, occupation)
  • What communities are they currently in, online or offline
  • What do they care about
  • Why do they want a coworking space
  • What amenities are they interested in

These questions are best answered with a bit of intuition and a healthy dose of market research. Figure out everything you can about your ICP before doing anything else.

Pro tip: use online communities, forums, and social media pages like Reddit or Facebook groups to learn more about your ICP. These communities will give you an unfiltered look as to how your clients really think.

Join the We Run Flex Community for Coworking and Flex Space Leaders

2. Build a digital presence for your coworking space

It is essential for every modern coworking space to have a presence online.

Building an online presence before you open your doors will give you a mega head start with acquiring clients. The cost of being present online is low, and when done right, the payoff in brand recognition is absolutely huge.

There are four main components to organizing yourself online:

  • Create a great website
  • Set up and optimize your Google Business Profile
  • Create an account on various social media platforms
  • Set up your email service provider

Create a great website

Create a great website for your coworking space

Your website is the most powerful lead generating and lead capturing tool you have. Think of it as your online store – if people are going to be walking in, you want to make sure they’re engaged and take action.

You need to have a beautiful, compelling, and optimized website. If your space isn’t open yet, this, along with your social media pages, is all people will have to go off of.

Here are our four biggest tips to making your website work to attract potential customers:

Take professional photos of your space (with people in them!): professional photos go a long way when your space isn’t open yet. Lively photos of your space with people in it will allow your potential clients and customers to envision themselves in the space.

Invest in a great website designer: you can get a website up and running by yourself using something like Squarespace or Wix. However, investing in a freelancer to create a custom website that is beautifully designed and well-made is better for SEO and means you truly own your website.

Do SEO right from the beginning: SEO is more than just using the right keyword on your page or writing a blog post. It’s also how your site is structured, how fast your site is, how easy it is to navigate, how many backlinks it has, and so much more. If you want to rank organically in Google for high-intent keywords, an SEO freelancer will be your best friend Otherwise, this Ahrefs blog is a great place to start learning about SEO.

Put a lead generating form on your website: put a form on your website so you can capture emails of people who are interested in your space. Then, send an automated email to them when the space opens, inviting them for a free week. Optix coworking software offers this service as a branded web widget, which helps people schedule tours directly from your website or allows people to make drop-in bookings

The best coworking brands have strong websites. Here is an example of some of our clients with thoughtfully designed and highly optimized websites for inspiration.

Set up and optimize your Google Business Profile

Next to your website, your Google Business Profile (formally known as Google My Business Profile) is the most important thing you have to promote yourself as a coworking space.

Google Business Profiles are the side panels that come up in Google when you search for retail businesses, companies, or local restaurants.

With a Google Business Profile, coworking spaces can:

  • Show off pictures of the space
  • Post hours of operation
  • Provide contact details
  • Include various website details
  • Collect reviews

A well optimized profile can help you bring hundreds of new clients into your space every year.

Below are a few tips for having a stand-out Google Business Profile:

  • Use keywords in your description like “coworking space in [your city], flexible workspace, best coworking space, [your coworking niche], etc.”
  • Use professional photos and use alt-text on these photos that include keywords
  • Ask friends or family to leave positive reviews highlighting the positive aspects of your space – and make sure you reply to all of them as the business owner
  • Ensure all of the information is filled out and is accurate (sounds simple, but many do not do this!)
  • Update something on your profile at least 1x a week – Google loves dynamic content and frequent updating will send signals to Google to show your listing more often

Create your social media accounts

How to get clients for your coworking space, fast

Social media can be really overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with content marketing practices.

The first step is deciding which platforms you want to be active on. We recommend choosing one or two to start and then adding more as you have the resources to expand.

  • TikTok: good for a younger demographic, high organic reach
  • LinkedIn: good for independent professionals and a professional audience
  • Instagram: good for most demographics, lower organic reach unless using Instagram reels
  • YouTube: good for everyone, functions as a video search engine, so don’t neglect YouTube SEO
  • Facebook: good for building and managing a community as a Facebook group or Facebook page

Think about which social media platforms your audience is most likely to be on. Then, think about how you can create really engaging, compelling content that your audience will enjoy.

Even if you’re not sure what to post, the important thing is to start. You will figure out what your audience enjoys and what resonates with them over time. The most important thing is to be consistent, as platforms reward consistency.

Pro Tip: Short-form video content is the most popular content right now. Create Instagram reels and repost content to LinkedIn or YouTube shorts to attract members with the highest organic reach.

Set up your email service provider

An email service provider is a system that allows businesses to send emails to a list of subscribers. Some of the most popular options are Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, and Hubspot.

Before you gain any clients, you’ll want to set up your email service provider and consider how you want to send emails to attract members.

  • Do you want a weekly newsletter for potential clients or current members?
  • Should an email go out every time a person signs up to welcome them and introduce them to your community?
  • Do you want to start an email nurture flow for new signs-ups?
  • What about if someone churns – do you want an email to go out to them too asking for feedback on how you can improve?

You don’t need to know the answer to all of these questions right now. However, you do need to consider who will host your emails and if this will integrate with your coworking software.

Optix integrates with email service providers like Mailchimp, so an email can be automatically sent to new members when they join your community. Learn more about Optix integrations.

Look for tools with these kinds of capabilities when choosing your email service provider.

3. Create a compelling offer for your new coworking space

Create a compelling offer for your new coworking space

You’ve defined your ICP and you’ve gotten your digital house in order. Next is to create a great promotion to get people in the doors of your new coworking space.

Promotional pricing is one of the best ways to acquire new clients, especially when you’re just starting out.

You may not be profitable at this price. However, you should factor this into your marketing budget with the understanding that investing in customer acquisition now and offering exclusive membership packages will pay dividends in the future.

The pricing you choose will depend on the membership plans you offer. Here are some popular promotions we often see:

  • Free trials (day, week, month)
  • 50% off your first month
  • 15% off every month for your first 3 months
  • First 3 months free with an annual private office plan
  • $250 off your annual membership plan
  • Sign up for an annual membership plan, and get a free year of virtual office services
  • First 10 sign ups get a 1 month membership plan for free

Choose something that is going to get people excited. The goal is to bring people into the space, fill it with energy, and begin to prove its value so they are likely to stay.

Once word of mouth spreads and the community builds, you’ll hopefully have more people coming in on their own.

Pro tip: consider including an evergreen promotion for new members, such as a free day of coworking for new members or 10% off your first month with all new membership plans. You may also want to consider setting up referral programs to encourage existing members to bring in more clients.

Advertising your offer

Once you’ve landed on a killer promotion, next is advertising your space everywhere that you can.

This includes tactics like:

  • A banner or pop-up on your website homepage
  • Posting about it on social media and reaching out to your city’s top news outlets to help you spread awareness on social
  • Sending an email to your list, or including the promotion in the first email that gets sent out to your list
  • Using google search ads or paid social ads

Digital advertising is a massive topic. If you’ve never done it before, we highly recommend taking a course or even better, hiring a freelancer to manage your ads for you.

Here are some high-level tips to help get you started:

  • Avoid using Google Display ads: they have a very low click-through-rate and very high cost-per-click. Opt for paid social or Google search ads instead
  • Go for specific, geographic targeting: when setting up paid social ads, make your demographic targeting as specific as possible. For example, instead of showing ads to everyone in Canada, only show your ads to 25-34 year old Canadians in a specific neighbourhood of Vancouver, who have shown an interest in entrepreneurship.
  • Don’t skimp on great creative assets: great creative goes a long way in a digital ad. Instead of a static image of your space, consider using a video of your community manager showing off your space and speaking to the camera candidly. Video content tends to outperform static images and carousels.
  • Start with a small budget and scale slowly: scaling digital ads is not easy. Start with a small budget and only add 20% of your budget max over 3 days to prevent your ads from breaking.

Again, we highly recommend working with a marketing freelancer to manage your ads if possible. This can prevent wasting a lot of money on things that don’t work.

4. Tap into your existing network and local businesses

Tap into your existing network and local businesses for your coworking space

Tapping into your existing network is a powerful way to grow your membership base and get clients quickly.

Spread the word to your personal network that you’re opening a space and looking for new members. Invite friends, family, and friends of friends to try out your coworking space at a discount to help generate word of mouth.

You can also advertise your space in the local business community by networking at events where your ideal customer is likely to be at. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Look for events in your area for tech start-ups, entrepreneurs, or remote workers. Facebook or MeetUp is a good starting point.
  • Attend these events with the purpose of connecting with others and learning about their problems and needs. You should focus on building genuine connections in your community, rather than just advertising your space at these events.

Get to know the people in your community you are most likely to serve by attending regular events. Use this as a way to build connections with others.

5. Host an incredible event for the local community

Host an incredible event for the local coworking community

Finally, one of the best ways to attract members and drum up excitement for your new coworking space is by hosting an incredible promotional event.

We wrote an entire article on creating memorable coworking events to help promote your space and create networking opportunities in your community. Here are some tips for hosting an event that is sure to convert into memberships.

  • Decide what kind of event you would like to hold. Happy hours tend to work well as do open houses and other casual social events.
  • Determine how you will make your event stand out – will you have exclusive membership options available only to those who attend? Will prospective members benefit in a way that is unique only to them in that moment?
  • Leverage your promotional channels and your existing network to build excitement for the event. Aim to partner with local businesses to bring more people into your space.

We wrote an entire article on how to promote your coworking event to help you ensure that your event reaches the right people at the right time.

Getting clients for coworking spaces can be simple

However, it isn’t easy. Get really clear on who it is your business is serving, ensure that your digital presence is in order, and plan an unforgettable opening event to have the best chance of bringing other members to your coworking business.

Together, these tips on how to get clients for coworking space are a great start to getting your first few clients. If you’re looking for more in-depth resources on marketing your space, check out these 20+ ideas to market your coworking space.

Talk to a member of the Optix team to get started with opening your coworking space.