Coworking Convos is a monthly virtual event series hosted by Cat Johnson. Each month, a different topic is presented by guests with real experience, who are subject matter experts and walk the walk in the coworking and flex space industry.
Coworks is a sponsor of Coworking Convos, and we have the privilege of sharing these dispatches afterward — spotlighting the juicy tidbits and powerful takeaways shared in the hour-long conversation.
But by no means does this replace the real value of being there! Check out the next Convo and be in the room when it happens.
Make once, use many!
On this month’s episode of Coworking Convos, it’s all about automations. How can coworking spaces use tech to make their work life easier, bring in more members, and keep current members?
As usual, Cat Johnson had a stellar lineup of experts. First up was Garrett Tiche from Hygge Coworking. He’s been doing this for 8 years. But he realized that the operation had a blindspot:
“We were doing a bad job once they come into our space.”
Automation doesn’t have to mean a lack of human connection. Instead, you automate the task creation and reminder that things need to be done. For example, at Hygge, someone fills out a Typeform, then, through Zapier, their CRM preschedules a sequence of emails and touches up to 45 days (the Hail Mary last touch!)
PRO TIP: Hygge added a 10-minute delay after form completion to see if the prospect schedules a tour after filling out the form. And whoever gives the tour, adds notes to the CRM.
Garret said automations are more so lead management than marketing automation for the team.
“Our CRM is our Bible. If it went down, we'd be lost.”
But it wasn’t overnight. Garrett had three locations before he added a CRM. Their intake form captures personal data such as 'favorite places in Charlotte' or special skills, plus 'what do you want out of Hygge.’ That answer then triggers a process to deliver on that desire.
PRO TIP: If you are collecting data, you need to create tasks based on that data. Members need to feel like they're being listened to.
Also, retention is just as important as marketing for new members. “The first three months are your biggest loss of members,” he said. The Hygge team notes that If a member hasn't logged an entry for over three weeks, they automate a check in. “Because if billing hits and they haven't been there in a month, they'll cancel.”
PRO TIP: Map out how you'll interact with someone who might be interested in joining?
Next up was Karina Patel, who works with Cat in the Lab as well as Her First 100K.
PRO TIP: if you do nothing else, use these two automated campaigns: a new member sequence and a prospective member sequence.
First, create a behavior trigger. For example, once a member payment goes from "Pending" to "processed." your system triggers the next communication (invite to Slack, door access, etc). Be sure to personalize it!
And spread things out. Don't overwhelm people. Send short, digestible emails, such as a Community Cheat Sheet"
“They don't know you're not sitting there writing that email!” she noted.
And last was Robert Kropp, Founder and CTO at Syncaroo. He applauded everything the previous two speakers presented. Adding that automation is anything you want to take out of your brain so you can do other things.
Start by asking yourself: why are you doing this in the first place? Are you engaging with people in a valuable way? Can you offload or streamline? And he clarified streamlining vs automating: automation is a way to streamline activities. Automation means you set a sequence of events to happen.
PRO TIP: It doesn't have to be perfect!
When you get started, ask what are you doing TODAY and where do you want to get to? Audit all the activity and find the siloes. Use a tool like Miro or a flow chart to visualize the journey where it is now, and where you can get it to, fixing one thing at a time, not all at once.
And measure! Put analytics on every system you can, then take the time to use the data to learn about your business
PRO TIP: Automate requests for referrals! Ask for them 3 months out, 6 months out. Make the process as easy as possible.
Lastly, the group crowdsourced a list of CRMs used by attendees:
Tune in for next month’s topic: Hospitality as a Service