Building A Community

Hello, all! I’ve recently begun the journey to open up a coworking space in my city. After reading through various postings, books, websites etc…it seems that many owners stress the importance of building a coworking community BEFORE opening a space. What are some key recommendations on how to build this community. Very curious to hear what worked/didn’t work.

Thank you!

Hey.

It all depends on the size of your coworking

I started with anticafe (room in 60 sq.m.), it’s easier to attract people. And gradually grew to two floors of space (almost 700 sq. M.) And still growing further.

···

четверг, 27 сентября 2018 г., 23:17:47 UTC+3 пользователь Michael Jon написал:

Hello, all! I’ve recently begun the journey to open up a coworking space in my city. After reading through various postings, books, websites etc…it seems that many owners stress the importance of building a coworking community BEFORE opening a space. What are some key recommendations on how to build this community. Very curious to hear what worked/didn’t work.

Thank you!

I wrote a step by step book on how to do this. Find it at https://diycoworking.com.

Angel

···

On Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 2:17:47 PM UTC-6, Michael Jon wrote:

Hello, all! I’ve recently begun the journey to open up a coworking space in my city. After reading through various postings, books, websites etc…it seems that many owners stress the importance of building a coworking community BEFORE opening a space. What are some key recommendations on how to build this community. Very curious to hear what worked/didn’t work.

Thank you!

Hey Michael,

My coworking space is completely virtual, so we’re almost entirely community.

What’s worked:

  • Personal introductions and taking the time to get to know everyone in the space

  • Exclusivity: stressing this is for “people like us” and having some common thread that connects your members. In my case, it’s solopreneurs with online businesses. For other coworking spaces, it could be that you all live in XYZ city or are trying to raise venture capital.

  • Having a forum for members to meet each other
    What hasn’t worked:

  • Oversharing articles or business opportunities - There is NOTHING that will kill community quicker than interactions like, “Hey Guys! Will you share this post I wrote! Thanks!!!” You want to push for substantive conversations that build relationships instead of creating transactional ones.
    That’s not to say our members don’t do business with one another, they do. But it comes up organically. And it’s sprinkled in between adding genuine value to each other.

We use slack for most of this. And Zoom.

Hope this helps!

  • M
···

Margo Aaron

That Seems Important

Want smart people to bounce ideas off of? I have some.

Thanks, Margo. This does help. I did end up creating a “meetup” group that has grown to about 40 members within several days. What would you recommend as our first “meetup?”

I truly believe a coworking space will be successful in my area and I do have a building that I have my eye on, however, I am trying very hard not to put the cart ahead of the horse.

···

On Monday, October 1, 2018 at 1:41:56 PM UTC-4, Margo Aaron wrote:

Hey Michael,

My coworking space is completely virtual, so we’re almost entirely community.

What’s worked:

  • Personal introductions and taking the time to get to know everyone in the space
  • Exclusivity: stressing this is for “people like us” and having some common thread that connects your members. In my case, it’s solopreneurs with online businesses. For other coworking spaces, it could be that you all live in XYZ city or are trying to raise venture capital.
  • Having a forum for members to meet each other
    What hasn’t worked:
  • Oversharing articles or business opportunities - There is NOTHING that will kill community quicker than interactions like, “Hey Guys! Will you share this post I wrote! Thanks!!!” You want to push for substantive conversations that build relationships instead of creating transactional ones.
    That’s not to say our members don’t do business with one another, they do. But it comes up organically. And it’s sprinkled in between adding genuine value to each other.

We use slack for most of this. And Zoom.

Hope this helps!

  • M

On Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 12:14 PM Angel Kwiatkowski [email protected] wrote:

I wrote a step by step book on how to do this. Find it at https://diycoworking.com.

Angel

On Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 2:17:47 PM UTC-6, Michael Jon wrote:

Hello, all! I’ve recently begun the journey to open up a coworking space in my city. After reading through various postings, books, websites etc…it seems that many owners stress the importance of building a coworking community BEFORE opening a space. What are some key recommendations on how to build this community. Very curious to hear what worked/didn’t work.

Thank you!

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


Margo Aaron

That Seems Important

Want smart people to bounce ideas off of? I have some.

Yeah, I mean there’s definitely something if you’re already getting people together and cultivating community.

The only thing I’d caution is there’s a big difference between getting people to come together and getting people to PAY for something. Use your meetups as market research - listen to what people are complaining about and what they need help with. Is there demand for a coworking space?

Definitely a good place to start. Keep us posted on how it goes!

···

Margo Aaron

That Seems Important

Want smart people to bounce ideas off of? I have some.

Michael,

So great to hear you’ve already gotten some response on Meetup!

While I think a social gathering is valuable as a starting point, I think it helps if you can zero straight in on the kinds of folks you want to be spending time with—those who want to cowork.

For that, organizing a regular gathering in an existing space (like a great cafe in town) is tried and true.

Just asking people to show up to work in a cafe on its own, however, isn’t all that compelling—adding a simple layer of intention and programming to the mix makes the whole thing far more compelling.

The best format I’ve seen for this is one I call a Work Sprint.

It’s designed to give everyone a way to do a better job focusing on their work, which is something everyone can relate to now.

By having people introduce themselves, set priorities, and then commit to staying focused for set periods of time, you can create a strong sense of cohesion and help people be more productive at the same time.

That way, you start delivering real value, right now, long before a physical space is even part of the conversation.

It’s a great way to get people emotionally invested in the story of the group you are bringing together.

I wrote more about Work Sprints and how to run them here:

https://nwc.co/3/work-sprints-super-productive-social-jam-sessions/

I’ll also add: whatever you do, make sure to eventually do it regularly! People need that sense of consistency.

Best of luck and please report back on how it goes!

Tony Bacigalupo

···

On Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 5:23 PM, Margo Aaron [email protected] wrote:

Yeah, I mean there’s definitely something if you’re already getting people together and cultivating community.

The only thing I’d caution is there’s a big difference between getting people to come together and getting people to PAY for something. Use your meetups as market research - listen to what people are complaining about and what they need help with. Is there demand for a coworking space?

Definitely a good place to start. Keep us posted on how it goes!

On Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 5:01 PM Michael Jon [email protected] wrote:

Thanks, Margo. This does help. I did end up creating a “meetup” group that has grown to about 40 members within several days. What would you recommend as our first “meetup?”

I truly believe a coworking space will be successful in my area and I do have a building that I have my eye on, however, I am trying very hard not to put the cart ahead of the horse.

On Monday, October 1, 2018 at 1:41:56 PM UTC-4, Margo Aaron wrote:

Hey Michael,

My coworking space is completely virtual, so we’re almost entirely community.

What’s worked:

  • Personal introductions and taking the time to get to know everyone in the space
  • Exclusivity: stressing this is for “people like us” and having some common thread that connects your members. In my case, it’s solopreneurs with online businesses. For other coworking spaces, it could be that you all live in XYZ city or are trying to raise venture capital.
  • Having a forum for members to meet each other
    What hasn’t worked:
  • Oversharing articles or business opportunities - There is NOTHING that will kill community quicker than interactions like, “Hey Guys! Will you share this post I wrote! Thanks!!!” You want to push for substantive conversations that build relationships instead of creating transactional ones.
    That’s not to say our members don’t do business with one another, they do. But it comes up organically. And it’s sprinkled in between adding genuine value to each other.

We use slack for most of this. And Zoom.

Hope this helps!

  • M

On Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 12:14 PM Angel Kwiatkowski fcc[email protected] wrote:

I wrote a step by step book on how to do this. Find it at https://diycoworking.com.

Angel

On Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 2:17:47 PM UTC-6, Michael Jon wrote:

Hello, all! I’ve recently begun the journey to open up a coworking space in my city. After reading through various postings, books, websites etc…it seems that many owners stress the importance of building a coworking community BEFORE opening a space. What are some key recommendations on how to build this community. Very curious to hear what worked/didn’t work.

Thank you!

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


Margo Aaron

That Seems Important

Want smart people to bounce ideas off of? I have some.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


Margo Aaron

That Seems Important

Want smart people to bounce ideas off of? I have some.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Thanks, Tony! I was thinking our first “meet” up can be introductions, discussing what we would like to get out of coworking and brainstorming concepts and ideas to help us meet out goals. The work sprint concept is something that I will definitely bring up - it’s a great concept!

···

On Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 6:23:21 PM UTC-4, Tony Bacigalupo wrote:

Michael,

So great to hear you’ve already gotten some response on Meetup!

While I think a social gathering is valuable as a starting point, I think it helps if you can zero straight in on the kinds of folks you want to be spending time with—those who want to cowork.

For that, organizing a regular gathering in an existing space (like a great cafe in town) is tried and true.

Just asking people to show up to work in a cafe on its own, however, isn’t all that compelling—adding a simple layer of intention and programming to the mix makes the whole thing far more compelling.

The best format I’ve seen for this is one I call a Work Sprint.

It’s designed to give everyone a way to do a better job focusing on their work, which is something everyone can relate to now.

By having people introduce themselves, set priorities, and then commit to staying focused for set periods of time, you can create a strong sense of cohesion and help people be more productive at the same time.

That way, you start delivering real value, right now, long before a physical space is even part of the conversation.

It’s a great way to get people emotionally invested in the story of the group you are bringing together.

I wrote more about Work Sprints and how to run them here:

https://nwc.co/3/work-sprints-super-productive-social-jam-sessions/

I’ll also add: whatever you do, make sure to eventually do it regularly! People need that sense of consistency.

Best of luck and please report back on how it goes!

Tony Bacigalupo

**

New Work CitiesCoworking.org

On Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 5:23 PM, Margo Aaron [email protected] wrote:

Yeah, I mean there’s definitely something if you’re already getting people together and cultivating community.

The only thing I’d caution is there’s a big difference between getting people to come together and getting people to PAY for something. Use your meetups as market research - listen to what people are complaining about and what they need help with. Is there demand for a coworking space?

Definitely a good place to start. Keep us posted on how it goes!

On Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 5:01 PM Michael Jon [email protected] wrote:

Thanks, Margo. This does help. I did end up creating a “meetup” group that has grown to about 40 members within several days. What would you recommend as our first “meetup?”

I truly believe a coworking space will be successful in my area and I do have a building that I have my eye on, however, I am trying very hard not to put the cart ahead of the horse.

On Monday, October 1, 2018 at 1:41:56 PM UTC-4, Margo Aaron wrote:

Hey Michael,

My coworking space is completely virtual, so we’re almost entirely community.

What’s worked:

  • Personal introductions and taking the time to get to know everyone in the space
  • Exclusivity: stressing this is for “people like us” and having some common thread that connects your members. In my case, it’s solopreneurs with online businesses. For other coworking spaces, it could be that you all live in XYZ city or are trying to raise venture capital.
  • Having a forum for members to meet each other
    What hasn’t worked:
  • Oversharing articles or business opportunities - There is NOTHING that will kill community quicker than interactions like, “Hey Guys! Will you share this post I wrote! Thanks!!!” You want to push for substantive conversations that build relationships instead of creating transactional ones.
    That’s not to say our members don’t do business with one another, they do. But it comes up organically. And it’s sprinkled in between adding genuine value to each other.

We use slack for most of this. And Zoom.

Hope this helps!

  • M

On Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 12:14 PM Angel Kwiatkowski [email protected] wrote:

I wrote a step by step book on how to do this. Find it at https://diycoworking.com.

Angel

On Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 2:17:47 PM UTC-6, Michael Jon wrote:

Hello, all! I’ve recently begun the journey to open up a coworking space in my city. After reading through various postings, books, websites etc…it seems that many owners stress the importance of building a coworking community BEFORE opening a space. What are some key recommendations on how to build this community. Very curious to hear what worked/didn’t work.

Thank you!

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


Margo Aaron

That Seems Important

Want smart people to bounce ideas off of? I have some.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


Margo Aaron

That Seems Important

Want smart people to bounce ideas off of? I have some.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Hi Margo,

I have my first get together coming up and I would like to introduce Slack as a tool we can use to compliment our ongoing coworking get togethers. How would you suggest implementing this virtual coworking space/slack to a small group of people new to coworking? What can I do to get people interested in joining and staying active? Are there some virtual exercises that you have found successful?

Thank you!

···

On Monday, October 1, 2018 at 1:41:56 PM UTC-4, Margo Aaron wrote:

Hey Michael,

My coworking space is completely virtual, so we’re almost entirely community.

What’s worked:

  • Personal introductions and taking the time to get to know everyone in the space
  • Exclusivity: stressing this is for “people like us” and having some common thread that connects your members. In my case, it’s solopreneurs with online businesses. For other coworking spaces, it could be that you all live in XYZ city or are trying to raise venture capital.
  • Having a forum for members to meet each other
    What hasn’t worked:
  • Oversharing articles or business opportunities - There is NOTHING that will kill community quicker than interactions like, “Hey Guys! Will you share this post I wrote! Thanks!!!” You want to push for substantive conversations that build relationships instead of creating transactional ones.
    That’s not to say our members don’t do business with one another, they do. But it comes up organically. And it’s sprinkled in between adding genuine value to each other.

We use slack for most of this. And Zoom.

Hope this helps!

  • M

On Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 12:14 PM Angel Kwiatkowski [email protected] wrote:

I wrote a step by step book on how to do this. Find it at https://diycoworking.com.

Angel

On Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 2:17:47 PM UTC-6, Michael Jon wrote:

Hello, all! I’ve recently begun the journey to open up a coworking space in my city. After reading through various postings, books, websites etc…it seems that many owners stress the importance of building a coworking community BEFORE opening a space. What are some key recommendations on how to build this community. Very curious to hear what worked/didn’t work.

Thank you!

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


Margo Aaron

That Seems Important

Want smart people to bounce ideas off of? I have some.

Hi Michael,

YES! Lots of ways to integrate Slack (keeping this on the main thread as I think it could be useful to others). Namely, by watching what doesn’t work - we’ve all been part of those FB and Slack groups that are just…crickets. Or worse, they’re overly promotional.

In order to avoid that, here’s what I did:

(1) **Limit Channels: **This gives people direction and a “beautiful constraint.” When you have 600 channels you get decision fatigue. Limit your channels (5-10 max)

(2) Give your channels VERY OBVIOUS names. If people dont know what the channel is for, they won’t use it. I have fun with naming but it’s still clear what its’ for (like #treatyoself is a channel, that’s where we talk about self care)

(3) Tag people: Don’t awkwardly ambush people, but if someone asks a question about instagram and you know one of your members knows instagram, tag them in the thread like this, “@jon do you know anything about this?” or “@jon might be able to help, he’s way better than me at instagram” <— You want to be careful not to obligate them, just engage them.

(4) Set Rules for Engagement: You dont have to state them explicitly, but you do have to enforce them publically. For example, if you post “Hey guys! I just published this would be great if you shared!” I will shame you bc that is a terrible and self-serving post. You have to lead by example and teach people how you want them to engage AND show them it’s safe to be real. The example above is when your communication is transactional and not real.

(5) **Moderate: **I will comment directly on threads and say, “Give us context, WHY do you want us to read this?” My tribe feels protected, like someone is looking out for them. Because I am. I want the conversation to have depth. There’s a place to recommend your stuff but we have a thread for that. So you need to moderate until people understand what the rules are for engagement.

(6) Most activity happens in the DMs. At least, that’s been our experience, which is great news. It’s annoying bc sometimes main channels can be quiet and you freak out that no one is getting value - but slack will send you activity data each week so you’ll see if people are DMing (it’s great news because that means your members are connecting!)

Curious to know what others have done that’s worked.

  • Margo
···

Margo Aaron

That Seems Important

Want smart people to bounce ideas off of? I have some.