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Why Landlords and Property Managers can Benefit from the Coworking Trend

Coworking is the new “normal”, and it’s not only attracting freelancers and entrepreneurs, but also corporates and property managers. What started off as a trend ten years ago is now revolutionizing the way people think about the workplace and about space in general.

Today’s world is powered by experience; the ability of spaces to offer to individuals a balance of work, life, and play. It’s why mix-use buildings are gaining popularity and why concepts such as co-living are attracting investors across the globe.

Landlords and property managers are now aware of the added value that a coworking space can give to their building. Coworking and shared workspaces are increasingly focusing on the hospitality aspect of their service. To be successful in this industry, operators need to offer unique services and amenities to their members to attract and retain them.

Offering these types of perks increases the value of the space, and therefore the building. People are willing to pay more to get a better experience; this could be anything from certified spaces, to top-notch connectivity, to access to unique events. And while coworking operators are the ones running the show, property owners have now realized how they can monetize and benefit from the trend.

For one, by working with a coworking operator, landlords take away the hassle of looking for tenants and it gives them more freedom to repurpose and redesign the space to fit their particular needs at a specific time.  Secondly, if a coworking member outgrows the coworking space and they’ve had a good experience with the building, chances are they will look for space within the building, just on a different floor–this circles back to our first point.

Thirdly, it allows landlords to stay updated on current trends on workplace design, technology, and management best practices. Fourth, landlords have found coworking operators to be great partners when it comes to running and managing a building. This is what operators are there for, to deal with all the nitty-gritty so that the end-user will have the best experience ever; this focus makes them the best partner out there to manage a building and do so in an advantageous way.

Finally, it allows property owners to tap into a formerly untapped market–like the younger generation, retired professionals, or growing companies. Where before their market was a small one, there now lays a new opportunity to redefine what their space should be like, and whom it will cater to.

In the end, it all boils down to one thing: added value. Landlords and property owners alike are embracing the coworking trend because it is increasing their building and property’s value–both monetary and in terms of perception from the end-user. And the opportunity goes beyond partnering with an existing coworking brand; in fact, some property owners are now running and operating their own brand of coworking or shared workspaces.

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5 Tips for Creating Your Own Coworking Space

Coworking spaces have flourished across the globe, as entrepreneurs, freelancers, and companies of all sizes embrace this new type of working environment. These types of workspaces are known for driving collaboration, innovation, and productivity and for having a strong sense of community.

Many are now aware of the benefits of coworking spaces, and demand for them is set to increase in the upcoming years. And while large companies are taking over large cities like New York, London, Melbourne, and Hong Kong; there is a big opportunity for new players to enter the industry, especially at a local level.

When it comes to coworking, urban areas and tier 2 cities are underserved, creating a business opportunity for local professionals. Yet, there’s more to coworking than just bringing people together to work, and for a space to be successful, various things need to be thought-out and planned.

1. Know your community (market)

If you are hoping to open a coworking space in your town or neighborhood, make sure you understand the needs and likes of the market. Coworking spaces are all about community, and to nurture and build a strong community within your space, you need to have a good understanding of the people who will be a part of your community; what their lines of business are, what their working hours look like, and how they like to work.

2. Find the right location

The adage of “location, location, location” exists for a reason. A successful coworking space is located in a strategic area, one that people can easily reach either by bike, train, car, or public transportation. Aim to be located near other commercial areas, such as restaurants and stores, in order to bring more life to your overall neighborhood community; this will add value to your space and also to your members, who will have access to other necessities without having to commute more.

3. Focus on your services

Location is key, but so are your services. Coworking spaces aim to make a professional’s work life easier, by providing and taking care of all the little things. This means going beyond providing fast WIFI; think about the overall design, from furniture to power outlets, and also think about what additional perks and amenities your members need, anything from printing services, dry cleaning, catered meals, to access to meeting rooms and mail reception and handling services.

4. Design various membership plans

Based on your market research, consider offering different membership options for users. Some might just need a space a few days a month, others a few days a week, and others most days. Similarly, some people might just be looking for a meeting room a couple times a month, so consider offering your meeting rooms to members and non-members. Once you have the memberships established, find a pricing plan that is competitive in the local market and will also allow you to break even and grow.

5. Consult industry experts

Though it might still seem like a new concept, modern-day coworking has been around for about 13 years, and because it is a community-focused industry, people are willing to help one another out. If you have doubts about membership plans, the best layout and design, whether you should offer private offices or not, or which services should be complementary and which charged for, consider reaching out to other coworking founders or industry experts, as they are likely to share their knowledge with you and point you in the right direction.

In the end, you want to create a space that is tailored to your community, that inspires your members, and makes their work lives easier. Once you’re up and running, always check up on your members, ask them for feedback, and host special events for them; this will help you build and strengthen your workspace and local community.

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Why Coworking Operators Should Look to The Suburbs for Growth

“There are three main sources of net population growth for a city: foreign immigration, net domestic urban migration when people move from one city to another, and old-fashioned urbanization—people moving from the country to the city or from a small city to bigger city. When you look at the current population flows—and more importantly the longer-term trends, all three sources are pointed at the fast-growth mid-markets and suburbs around major metros.” – Jayson White, Urban Affairs Expert, for Allwork.Space

While big brand coworking operators like WeWork, Industrious, and Mindspace look to big cities to expand their portfolio, an entire arena is left untapped: the suburbs and mid-sized cities.

WalletHub’s late 2017 research found that the fastest-growing cities in the US are in fact mid-sized cities, including Frisco, TX; Kent, WA; Lehigh Acres, FL; Midland, TX; and McKinney, TX. Coworking and serviced workspace operators looking to grow their brand and their business should, therefore, look suburban markets, as that’s where the most growth is taking place.

By opening a serviced workspace in these areas, operators are creating an entirely new value proposition for the city or town. Given that there aren’t many, or any, flexible workspaces available in the metros and suburbs, the value proposition of coworking spaces is substantially higher than it would be in a Tier 1 city.

With economic growth being higher in mid-sized markets than it is in larger cities, it’s clear that there are individuals with ideas that need a space to work. Some of these individuals might currently be commuting back and forth from the suburbs to the city, others might be easily working from the local cafe. Truth be told, it doesn’t really matter where they are working from; it matters that there is an entire market that isn’t yet being catered to.

These people need a space where they can connect and be surrounded by like-minded people with an entrepreneurial spirit. Others might simply need a place to work from once or twice a week, when going into the central office isn’t necessary.

Large coworking operators are not looking to cater to these markets; they’re concerned with big, cosmopolitan cities. The opportunity for small, independent operators is there. It’s these operators the ones that will be best capable of filling the void, especially as individuals living in mid-sized markets are more community-driven, so coworking operators with a strong focus on community and hospitality will be the ones to best fit in.

The opportunity is there, it’s just a matter of how best to take advantage for it. This means that as an operator, you need to research and understand the community and neighborhood you will be catering to. You’ll need to figure out the types of services that people in that suburb need and the prices that they are willing to pay for them. Office Suite Strategies can help workspace operators grow their brand in the suburbs by doing market research and developing a business strategy unique to each operator and location.

For more information, click here.

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4 Essentials That Persuade Companies You’re the Expert They Should Hire

According to USA Today, consulting full time can pay as much as $175,000 a year. Now, before you set out to sell your services, you need to truly know and understand what it is companies are looking for in a consultant.

Once you have that clear, then you’ll know what to do and say in order to get hired. Yet, getting hired is not just about having a good sales pitch, it’s also about trust. In order for a company to trust you as a consultant, you need credibility. Credibility, for its part, can be established and proved in several ways–though when it comes to the consulting business, there are 4 key ways in which you can present yourself as the consultant a company hopes for.

4 Ways to Establish Credibility and Land Consulting Clients

Prove that you’re an expert

This means you can’t just say you’re an expert, you need to look good on paper as well (or more accurately, you need to look good online).

Your website, your social media, your LinkedIn profile–they must all transmit the same message: you know your stuff and you know how to share that knowledge. This means that you need to position yourself as a thought-leader in your area of expertise; this can be done via eBooks, white papers, videos, blogs, podcasts, etc. What these mediums show is that you are able of transmitting knowledge.

Think about a good professor. A good professor isn’t necessarily the best and brightest in a specific area or subject; it’s the person who is able to successfully share and transmit what they’ve learned throughout the years. Having an online presence that confirms what you’re able to do and that at the same times gives an example of how you do it can be a true deal maker.

The power of publishing

Thought-leadership. That’s what it boils down to. Company decision-makers are always looking for new ways to gain knowledge, to improve their business, and to learn. This means that they are looking for content online and offline, content that can help them create a better business model, content that can help them innovate, content that can help them develop better strategies, you get the idea.

Depending on your target audience, you need to research where they search for this type of content. Once you’ve established the right channel, you need to start contributing there to become a trusted source of knowledge in your line of business.

Publishing content, especially in channels that are respected by the industry, will give you credibility and make you a more attractive hire.

Put yourself out there

Publishing content is one way to establish yourself as an expert. Another way to do this is to be interviewed or featured in a podcast, webinar, or video. Being interviewed or featured by someone else is a strong way to obtain social proof, as it demonstrates that influential individuals respect you and are interested in hearing what you have to say about your subject of expertise.

Give a sneak-peek

The best way to convince someone to hire you is to show them what you’re capable of doing and how you do it. Record yourself on video and upload the videos to your website and social media. Giving potential clients the opportunity to see you working without much compromise is likely to play in your favor. Videos are a great way to show transparency and to showcase your capabilities.

For your consulting business to be lucrative, you need to understand what clients are searching for, you need to find the best way to transmit that knowledge and how you can help them, and you need to establish credibility and trust.

Here at OSS we’ve established our credibility by publishing blogs, publishing in third-party channels, and hosting webinars with strategic partners; all this with the goal to share our insights openly. In the end, it boils down to obtaining the social proof that will make the decision that much easier for future clients.

 

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5 Coworking Space Marketing Tips to Drive More Members

We know the benefits of coworking spaces. We know you, as a coworking space owner or manager also know the benefits of a coworking space. But, does your local community know and truly understand the benefits?

Over the past several years coworking has proved itself to be a successful and sustainable business model. However, as with many other lines of business, it needs to be strategically planned and executed–including a marketing strategy.

While coworking is a hot word today, many people remain confused about what exactly it is and the various advantages it provides to businesses of all sizes. In lieu of this, it’s important that coworking operators have a marketing strategy that will help them educate and attract new members.

Here are five ways you can do it.

1. Spotlight your members

What better way for others to learn about the benefits of a coworking space than hearing it directly from those who have benefitted the most? Give your current members a shout out, it will help you attract new members and it will help build loyalty among your current ones.

Highlight what they do, their accomplishments, and how your coworking space has helped them grow and succeed. There are various formats to spotlighting members–from social media posts, to weekly newsletters, and even short introduction videos.

2. Send out newsletter

This can also help with attracting and retaining members. Use newsletters to spotlight your members, to send out promotions, updates, and invite people to visit your space or attend events.

Newsletters are a great way to build an online community and inform your local community about your space, the activities you organize, and the various uses of coworking spaces. You can even share some of your blog posts (if you have one, though we strongly recommend you do) or send out pricing information and the various types of membership options you offer.

P.s. Make it visually appealing and easy to read in desktop and mobile. We also suggest using a newsletter platform that can help you track who is opening and reading your newsletters.

Use social media

Social media is a powerful marketing tool and it can greatly help coworking operators showcase their space, their community, and their events. Use images, graphics, video, and plain text; however, choose your social platforms carefully and don’t sign up to all of them. Choose the ones that you believe will help you the most and make sure you have a strategy and that the content on all of your platforms is unique, yet always aligned to a common goal. And always remember, social media is mostly about being social, so make sure you interact with your followers and answers comments and questions.

Host events

Ever heard “see it to believe it”? It applies in business, as in life and sometimes people want to try something out first before committing to it. Coworking tours can help greatly, but oftentimes these don’t allow for people to experience the community. This is where hosting events for members and non-members can greatly help, as it allows people to visit your space and get a taste of the community that’s a part of it.

It doesn’t need to be a huge event; you can host yoga classes, marketing workshops, brown-bag lunches, or host a local art event.

Embrace video

Make a video of your space, of your members, of your local events…make short videos about “A Day in [Your Space] Coworking”. It’s about telling a story and demonstrating to people that your coworking space is not just a physical space where people can work from, but that rather it’s an experience.

Oftentimes images fall short on conveying the ‘flow and life’ of a space and its people. Video is great solution that can be easily integrated to other marketing efforts. However, don’t go making long videos; keep them short and sweet, and share them often.

Remember that marketing is not just about sharing content, you have to have a strategy, a purpose, and a holistic approach in order for the efforts to be fruitful. If you need help coming up with a marketing strategy or deciding which approaches will work best for your space, reach out to us.

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Positioning Your Coworking & Shared Space for Success in 2018

2017 is quickly coming to an end, and believe it or not, this is a good time to start thinking and planning for 2018. After all, it’s always better to start early than to have to catch up late.

January can be a slow month for coworking and shared workspace operators, especially as many are getting back in from vacation, others focus on getting back on their work routine, while still others focus on getting their kids back on school mode. In addition to this, it often happens that will all the festivities and celebrations, many try to budget more during the first months of the year.

So, what can you do to make sure that you position your space from early on in the year to set the right pace for the duration of 2018?

Check and update your website

We know, you updated your website about 6 months ago…but, that’s not enough. Think of it as the “New Year, New You” of your business. Browse around your website, read your copy, analyze the images: does it paint an accurate picture of what your workspace is like, of what your community is like, of the advantages of your space?

Once you’ve established your website is user-friendly, visually appealing, and provides visitors with all the necessary info to get them to visit your space, or you’ve updated it so it meets these requirements, consider other ways you can use your website to market and position yourself.

People oftentimes start the year with small changes, apply the same logic to your workspace and use your website to brag about it. Whether it’s a new coffee maker, new chairs, new decorations, or a new service, make sure current and prospect members can easily find and access the information.

In any case, remember that websites are the new ‘window-shopping’. If it doesn’t stand out, then neither will your workspace.

Showcase your community and members

What better way to show the value of your workspace than by showing why other people value it? This is a strategy that will help you retain current members, as well as help you attract new ones. Whether it’s on social media, on your website, or via email newsletters, give a shout out to your members, show their success, and let the world know how your shared workspace helped them become successful.

This is an authentic, organic way to build and grow your community. Here’s the extra kick: we all need a bit of a push and motivation at the beginning of the year to get the wheels going again, sometimes just hearing the stories of others can be enough to get us back at it.

Host an event for members and non-members

Either rent out your space for an event, or host it yourself. Host a start of the year conference, invite local artists to share their work, host a workshop for business planning, or simply invite the community for a happy networking hour.

Sometimes people need to see and experience something for themselves prior to making a decision. Hosting events is a great way to position your workspace within the local community and to show everyone that your doors are open and ready to welcome anyone who wishes to join. What’s more, current members often greatly benefit from these events, as it provides them with a unique opportunity to expand their network and forge new relationships.

If you need help organizing an event, revamping your website, or coming up with unique ideas on how to showcase your members, let us know. At Office Suite Strategies we offer various consulting services that can help workspace operators position their brand and build a strong business strategy.

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Grow Member Engagement with these 5 Tips

Engaging your workspace members shouldn’t be a source of anxiety, but it’s not rocket science, either. While you might have to experiment a little to find out what makes your client base tick, think of it as a fun social exercise that can add value to your member relationships and engage your on-site management in high-value community-building activities.

Building your workspace community foundations does not have to be stressful. Simply follow these five steps to help grow your member engagement:

1. Appoint an Ambassador

Having an advocate for member activities and events is key. With someone on your team acting as the point person, members will always know where to go when they need to connect or want to find out more about what’s going on in the member community. If you don’t have someone on your team to fill the roll, then look for a member that can fill the roll. The best person for the job should be easy to choose: simply look for the person who is actively tweeting, sharing, posting, starting conversations or coming up with ideas. For a person like this, being the community manager is something they come by naturally. You’ll just be making it official.

2. Plumb your imagination

Ideas, ideas. What makes your community tick? Finding out is easy: circulate a little survey amongst the membership. Do a little casual eavesdropping around the water cooler. Take what others are saying and turn it into something to rally around. Wine tasting, anyone? Sports? Golf? Book club? Host a networking event to get to know everybody and solicit ideas for future get-togethers. Change the theme each time and turn it into something that they’ll look forward to attending every month. The better your members get to know each other, the more it fosters collaboration and community.

3. Ask for opinions

Don’t just take your own word for it, take it to the people: ask your members what they really think about the workspace and encourage them to be candid. If you are able to make changes based on these suggestions, you will always have their respect and admiration. This could be as simple as flowers in the reception area or connecting with a local artist to provide visual appeal. Not all ideas are going to be great or viable, but you might be surprised at what comes out of it.

4. Use digital tools to connect

Give your members a digital forum from which to share ideas, connect and collaborate. This will give your busy members an opportunity to tune in on their own time to share their insights, photos, celebrate wins and connect with other like-minded professionals in a socially collaborative way.

5. Keep in mind

Digital communication works very well, but there is no substitute for honest-to-goodness face time (not the iOS kind). Connecting in the virtual realm should be an extension of your real-world conversations, providing value that goes beyond the in-person relationship. It can deliver a sense of connectedness to members who are only occasionally in the house, but your personal connections should be where it all begins.

Office Suites Strategies is the Coworking and Shared Space management and consulting company in the United States. Connecting your real estate with ideas and out-of-the-box approaches to help you grow, they are committed to excellence in development and passionate about connecting.

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Critical Marketing Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Make

These days, business moves at the speed of sound. Statistically, however, the businesses that fail each year far exceed the ones that launch – a sobering metric for any entrepreneur, no matter what industry or niche they are in. Of the ones that survive their first year, half will fail in their first five years. Many more will fade away over time.

When you’re just starting a venture, optimism is on high. The initial excitement may make it seem like you’re invincible, but you can’t build a lasting legacy on enthusiasm alone.

Marketing may be the one thing that can carry you through the good times and the bad, but there are several commonly made marketing mistakes that can lead to a premature demise.

Forewarned is forearmed: marketing mistakes to avoid

Let’s look at the top five marketing mistakes that even the smartest entrepreneurs make:

1. Ignoring your existing customers

You can’t just assume that your existing customers are going to stick with you no matter what. There is a lot of competition out there, and unless you’re related to them, or truly doing something nobody else is doing, they will tend to go where they find the most value. The truth is, you have a far better chance of selling to an existing customer than you do to a new one, so you should put an effort into making sure the ones you have are and will remain happy with your service. Loyal customers will also deliver value back to your brand through referrals. It’s a win-win.

2. Not knowing your target audience

If you don’t know who you’re selling to, how can you market it to them? If you’re not targeting your online advertising, you may not be reaching people who care about what you have to offer. Define your audience and craft your brand message around their values. Developing customer profiles is a good way to predict what your ideal (and not so ideal) customer is or isn’t.

3. Thinking your blog doesn’t matter

We know you’re busy. After all, you just launched your company and everything is a whirlwind. Blogging, however, is one of the best ways to attract and engage an audience. It positions you as an expert in your field, and it gives you valuable assets in the form of shareable content that can drive your social media presence and drive traffic back to your website. If you are truly too busy to write your blog yourself, ask one of your associates, or hire a freelance copywriter to do it for you.

4. Thinking your email strategy doesn’t matter

If you’re a millennial, you might think that nobody reads email anymore, but the reality is that email is still the best way to get your voice in front of your audience. When they receive it, it’s probably the only time you will have their absolute, undivided attention. Start to capture emails through strategies such as giving away valuable information or digital assets in exchange for their email, and then tailor your future messaging based on their actions. Studies show that targeted emails yield a more than 200% higher conversion rate than non-targeted emails. Use an email marketing software that allows you to segment and tailor your email messages, making them more personal to the recipient and ultimately winning their business.

5. Going with untested ideas

Testing your marketing strategies ranks pretty high on the importance scale. If you are unsure, or if you just go with what’s working for the next guy, you could land yourself in the middle of nowhere and be out a pile of money in the process. Tracking your efforts through analytics is important: your social platforms provide you with all the tools you need to determine your ROI. Google Analytics will tell you what is going on (or not going on) with your website. Use these free tools to discover where you’re winning and where you’re selling yourself short. Knowing where your customers are coming from will also help you to hone your brand message to razor sharpness. Use every feature at your disposal to know more.

Office Suites Strategies: supporting entrepreneurs with real solutions

Office Suites Strategies provides expert consulting services to clients in all phases of business within the coworking and shared space industry. If you would like to learn more about what we do, or are interested in working with us, get in touch today.

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3 Ways Collaborative Workspaces Inspire Innovation

These days, collaborative workspaces such as coworking spaces are fast growing in popularity. Though many tend to associate collaborative workspaces with freelancers and remote workers, they are also becoming the work environment of choice for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups, as they inspire innovation through direct connection.

It wasn’t long ago that our workspace design was focused primarily on the individual. On the heels of more recent changes in how we communicate and collaborate – both online and via our connected devices – the idea of a conventional office has been diminished in favor of environments that foster collaboration.

According to a study published by industry thought leaders Steelcase, the ability to increase innovative activity is directly related to three main concepts:

1. The workspace should support flexibility

To best support innovation, a collaborative workspace needs to be truly flexible. Moveable furniture groupings, different types of seating, items such as sculpture that breaks up the room, and portable aids such as white boards, easels, and tables or desks that can be adjusted for height. These elements allow users to configure the space as they need it, allowing them to work the way that best suite them, and not having to fit into somebody else’s pre-conceived and potentially awkward office design.

2. Space that is comfortable is also inspirational

Natural lighting, views of outdoor areas, and high ceilings are all elements that stimulate creative thinking. Access to technology, innovative art, and plenty of focal points to engage the visual sense add to the aura of creativity, helping workers to envision a future that looks different. Workspaces that offer moderate ambient noise levels – as opposed to high noise or no noise at all – are optimum for fostering creativity.

Temperature that is neither too warm nor too cold helps also, and although this tends to be a very individual preference for many people, keeping the thermostat hovering in between 70 – 75˚F seems to be a good baseline. Any colder and you will be expending more energy simply keeping warm, taking away the attention and energy needed to come up with newer, greater ideas. Keep in mind, too, that as the temperature goes up, attention tends to drop.

3. Workspace that supports culture supports collaboration

A collaborative culture can be best emphasized and supported through workspace design. If innovation is connected to collaboration, and collaboration is connected to engagement, the workplace itself should be engaging of its culture. For instance, if employees are working in an environment that recalls a company’s past accomplishments and instills a sense of pride in how they have impacted other geographies, it will support the desire to engage in future achievements, and perhaps impel them to take risks. Whether the workspace is dedicated to one single company or accommodating a multitude, high-impact collaborative work environments need to minimize individual work spaces and emphasize easy-to-change environments and open spaces. This allows for a higher degree of experimentation and expressions of individuality, which in turn inspire innovation.

Office Suites Strategies: inspiring innovation

Achieving maximum value from your dedicated office properties requires agility in today’s changing marketplace. Office Suites Strategies delivers insight, strategy, and ideas that drive equity and profitability. Call today to find out more about what we can do for you.

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Revamping Your Business’ Online Presence: a step-by-step guide

In 2017, boosting your online presence is about more than just SEO. Though on-page SEO is still important, organic ranking is the key to attracting the customers you want. With attention to a few key details, you are guaranteed to raise your profile and will be well on your way to better results.

Check your business listings for accuracy

There are numerous business listings which contribute to your online presence, a handful of which are imperatives, such as your Google Business listing. This is the extended content listing that shows up as a sidebar on the right-hand side of your browser, complete with address, map, phone number, reviews and an image. Your business won’t display in this space unless you have a verified Google Business listing.

Depending on what type of business you do, there are likely others as well: Yelp and Trip Advisor are just a couple of examples. Check what comes up when you search your business name online and go through each listing to ensure that all are current and accurate. For small businesses, this is an essential business strategy you won’t want to overlook.

Create fresh, engaging content

Content marketing is a proven way to promote your business. The more fresh, original content you are posting on your site, the higher your organic rank. Create content in the form of blogs, videos, or other sharable media. This will also give you a repository of content to share on your social channels, and ideally, should position you as an expert in your field. The more interesting and informative your content is, the more it will appeal to your existing and potential customers.

Other tips that help you rank higher include:

  • A minimum of 400 words of content per page is a good guideline, but longer always ranks higher
  • Avoid “keyword stuffing”, and focus instead on engagement
  • Post regularly and consistently
  • Outsource your blogs to freelancers if you can’t keep up

Try to keep it topical and don’t focus on sales. Establish trust and authority first – once you accomplish that, the sales will come.

Social proof

Social proof is one of the most important gauges of customer engagement that there is. It’s not always about how many followers you have, it’s more about how responsive you are, and how tuned in you are to what your followers are interested in. It’s about how you interact with your customers, your followers, and your peers, and it’s a gauge of how you stack up to your closest competition.

Social proof is also about activity. For instance, if a potential customer finds you on Facebook, but your last post was made months before, that really sends a message. You don’t have to post incessantly, but being consistent counts for a lot. Share your blog posts across all your channels to drive traffic back to your site, and re-post or curate informative articles that you think your followers would appreciate or enjoy.

Lastly, post irreverent/funny stuff every now and then. People enjoy a good laugh, and you’ll win over new people by showing a sense of humor.

Reviews and ratings

There are myriad ways you can collect reviews and ratings: through Facebook, on your website, Google, Yelp, Yahoo, Trip Advisor, Angie’s List – there are niche ratings sites for just about every industry. Find out which ones are most relevant to you and encourage your customers to rate your products or services. Use the best ones as testimonials on your website.

Remember to be responsive to the ratings you receive as well. Respond to good ratings with a “thank you”, and respond to negative ones with a thoughtful response aimed at solving the problem. While you can’t often have negative comments removed, you can demonstrate that you take their comments to heart, and are working hard to solve the issue.

Update your page meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are the short blurbs that you see just beneath search engine results. Usually about 160 characters or less, it should adequately describe what people will see on the page and can contain keywords, as long as they flow naturally.

Your meta description encourages people to click on your result, so the better it reads, the more effective it will be. Each and every page on your site has space for a meta description. Take some time and create a unique one for each page.

Office Suites Strategies: America’s small business strategists

Office Suites Strategies is a trusted source of information on business strategy and success, and with over 20 years of combined experience in Coworking and shared space and property management, we know what it takes to rise to the top – from site selection to staffing and everything in between. Drop us a line today to find out more.