As part of the launch of the Coworking Community Challenge I asked a few coworking space operators to make a video with their top tips for community management. Jeannine sent this great video with what matters the most to her and that I think is extremely useful. She is the founder and operator of De Kamer and also my successor as President of the European Coworking Assembly, among many other coworking related activities.
Full transcript below the video. Highlighting is mine for the tl;dr readers out there :)
My name is Jeannine van der Linden. I run a network of co-working spaces in the Netherlands known as De Kamer. We have eight locations.
I’ve been asked by Ramon to talk about the most important parts of coworking community management.
I think probably after thinking about it for a while the most important thing about coworking community management is know who you are and know who you are for. I mean, it sounds sort of abstract…
When I first started out I engaged in a marketing exercise which was write about your business as if it were a character a character in a book or a play, and I thought it was stupid but I did it anyway.
And truth is, what I’ve discovered in the last eight-nine years of running coworking communities is, it’s really important to know who you are as a coworking community and and who you’re for. You need to be prepared to not be all things to all people.
I think when we start we all want to be all things to all people. No one can, and really it’s not worth the effort to try. You can be for freelancers, you can be for digital nomads, you can be for small businesses, you can be for people who start up businesses on the side but who have a job during the day (there are a lot of those now)…
The number of people using coworking, interested in coworking, who can be benefited by coworking is enormous, and this isn’t pokemon: you don’t gotta catch them all.
Spend some time deciding who you are and who you’re for. Communicate that clearly in your marketing, communicate it clearly to your coworkers and you’ll find a lot of decisions become a lot easier to make. Community management becomes in many ways self-evident. A lot of very difficult problems become very simple.
Figure out who you are and who you’re for. It’s really important