How to Strategically Build Relationships in Co-working Spaces
Created on 4 August, 2022 • Co Working • 5 minutes read
Co-working spaces enable you to build meaningful relationships that open the floodgate of business opportunities
It's ok if you feel like a stranger the first time you walk into your coworking space. It's bound to happen if you spend most of your life working from home; the walls of a semi-corporate world will always be a struggle.
Sometimes, initiating a conversation might be difficult, rubbing shoulders with other members might be uncomfortable, and asking for help might seem like desperation. If this continues, you might feel left out when you see others taking advantage of the diversified ecosystem of a coworking space to grow their network and land gigs while you isolate yourself in one corner.
Every Coworking space is bound to have social birds and smooth talkers that can start a conversation with just anyone. Such traits are necessary for entrepreneurs to thrive, but bonding with members of coworking spaces isn't rocket science. It's about knowing what to do and strategically doing it in a way that sends floods of business and earning opportunities your way.
Here are some advanced tips that will help you do so…
10 Strategic Ways to Build Relationships in a Coworking space
Know the Members
The target audience here is not necessarily those that need your service. These are the few in your workspace that bears the traits of those you can collaborate with to share ideas and resources.
So, just as it is in business, you must define your audience and avoid speaking to every Tom and Harry about your business idea. This will make it easier for you to focus your energy on doing things that can get you noticed by your target audience.
Lead with Value
Think about that stranger who helped you out just when you needed it. Isn't it easier to trust and relate with that person than the stranger who appeared from nowhere and tried to sell you on an offer?
Helping others, especially your target audience, is the easiest way to stitch your importance in their hearts. You must intentionally find opportunities to help. It could be as simple as:
Whipping coffee or sharing valuable materials.
Answering questions in community groups when the manager isn't quick to respond.
Or offering to help them create an excel sheet to save time (If it's something you're good at).
Such a simple act of kindness makes people see you as someone who can add value to their lives. And this can naturally draw them to you without asking.
Keep in touch on social media
Social media is one of the most effective ways to subtly get yourself noticed by the shared space members you wish to build relationships. You can find these members easily through your community Facebook or Twitter group. And then proceed to send a friend request or follow them as the case may be.
Don't badge into their DM like some stalker. Start by genuinely engaging with their posts. You can use that as a leveled ground to approach them physically in the coworking space when they've noticed you. At this point, you can pitch them your collaboration ideas.
Make the Right Impression
Just as you're looking to find the best fit for your circle, others are also doing the same. Keeping your desk clean and eliminating clutter can help you make the right first impression in your workspace.
Ensure you come along with all the necessary tools to avoid lending people's items which can cause them to have a wrong impression about you.
Wear a smile
Frowning can repel people away from you. But a smile makes you look approachable and welcoming. It makes them feel comfortable around you and listen to your ideas or pitch you a mind-blowing concept.
Be quick to compliment
How do you feel when people pass you a compliment? Good right?
When you compliment others, you can't tell what size of their heart you'll win, especially when it's about something that means a lot to them.
Get into the habit of seeing the good side of those you're targeting and complementing their small wins. This has to be done subtly; you might be presumed to fake if you go overboard.
Attend Community Events.
Don't be a loner. When your coworking space organizes an event, seize the opportunity to network. People are more carefree and more likely to let you in on their personal life during such events. After all, this time, the heir is no tight deadlines to meet, and neither do they have a toxic boss breathing down their neck.
Other areas to start conversations include the kitchen, chat room, snooker board, and rooftops. You will be surprised to know that members you thought were snubs are actually friendly people you can benefit a lot from.
Share Educational Resources
Besides sharing resources provided by the coworking space, you can collaborate to share paid tools utilized by experts in your industry.
If you find shared space members that use the same software as you (like Grammarly and canvas) to get their jobs done, rather than bearing the cost alone, you can save cost by splitting subscription fees.
If you're concerned about password safety, you can use a tool like SQR to embed sensitive data such as into a QR code that when scanned, grants instant access.
Lend Advice to a Start-up
Most successful businesses today are co-founded. If you want to join this train, there's no better place to find serious-minded people willing to go into a long-term partnership with you.
And on the other hand, you can lend your expertise to young startup founders just getting started in their respective fields.
Share Job openings
There is a high possibility of finding people in your coworking space with the right skill that can become a part of your team. The same thing applies if you're looking for a job or gig. You can strike a connection with someone likely to hire you for a long-term gig.
It feels good to build relationships with new people, but it's of no use if you can't steer it to the path of conversion. If you've taken the pain to nurture a relationship, sometimes, all you need to unlock the opportunities they come with is by — telling them that you're available to collaborate.
If you have an idea for collaboration, pitch it to them. If you don't, let them know your areas of strength so that you're the first to come to mind when they have a task that aligns with your present skill.