Jeannine Van der Linden runs Kamer52, a coworking space located in Oosterhout, in The Netherlands.
A few days ago, on the Coworking Google Group, Mike Nguyen, from New Haven, was looking for some inspiration to promote is coworking space. Among others, Jeaninne gave a very insightful answer we are happy to share on this blog. Here it is :
I don’t know how it is Stateside these days but in the
Netherlands it seems that half the nation is a coach — somebody made a joke in my presence last week that coach is just another word for unemployed. So the competition is fierce.
I happen to know a coach, he really is a coach. His name is Roland Wijnen. He just put up a page on his website called “About You”. Right next to the tab for “About me” which everybody has. And on that
page he describes his client. Here’s the webpage:
I thought it was a great idea, and nicely done. I also think something like this could help your space very much, both online and offline. Define the person/business you want to attract, define what
makes you different, and hammer that.
Be inviting to those people. People need to hear something seven times on average before they remember it. When they hear coworking in your area they probably do think about the other space and figure you are more or less like
that. So your best move is to talk about the ways in which you are not like that while talking about what you actually are [...]
[...] There is a parable about shoe stores in Dutch, which amounts to this: one shoe store in a town cannot make any money. Two shoe stores in a town can do well. With three shoe stores, people start coming to your town from other towns to buy shoes and everybody is making money.
In my experience this is profoundly true, and if the shoe stores can work together at all, the effect is multiplied.