I get paid to consult and advise coworking spaces on their marketing. And over the years, I’ve gotten reasonably good at it!
But whether I’m advising on or running the marketing for a coworking space, there’s always one universal truth that needs to be known.
The truth is that the best marketer in the company will never be me. It will always the founder(s).
Sure, I might be the most technical marketer and have the skills necessary to do the job, but my role is almost always to amplify the founder’s vision in a way that members will care about.
When you start a coworking space, it usually begins with a kernel of an idea. The idea flourishes into a vision that drives your business.
Inside that vision is usually a belief that there’s a better way of doing something than what exists currently.
Maybe it’s your interior design taste, the locations you choose, a philosophy about how a community should be run, or a belief about how people could be more productive at work. Maybe it’s a combination of all of it.
Either way, that vision is unique to you, the founder, and becomes your competitive advantage.
As a founder, your vision usually becomes validated every time you sign up a new member (and then even more so as you keep them over time).
Or, your idea is proven wrong when the market tells you that your competitive advantage is not so unique or valuable to them, and therefore not an advantage at all.
Once you have validated your vision for a better way (through hypothesis, trial, error, and refinement), the founder’s vision becomes the highest leverage piece of marketing in the company.
This might sound overly-simplified. Maybe you plan to create just another coworking space on the market because demand is so high.
I would argue that even then, you still have some underlying vision for how things could be done better or differently. If not, competition will eventually eat your lunch.
People buy based on differences. Those differences stem from the founder’s vision mapped to the members’ needs and desires.
If you’re a founder reading this, ask yourself how public you are, and how distinct and clear your vision is.
What do you stand for? What do you stand against?
If you’re hiding, or you depend solely on marketing consultants and agencies to get you success, you’re not going to get the best possible results.
Instead, get yourself a bio on the website, be interviewed, create thought leadership, and share it all on your website and social media relentlessly.
Show people you care. Show people the buck stops with you. Show people the way.