It may be intimidating to walk into a coworking space that has it’s own established community. When you’re busy building up your own business, it can be overwhelming to take on the task of networking. Here are some tips that will help you network like a rockstar.
Join Community Events
Most coworking spaces have monthly if not weekly events for their members. For instance, Capital Factory has monthly happy hours for their new members and companies. You’ll have to do a bit of research to find the right space for you. Some coworking spaces are only for those who want an area to work and are less community driven. If you’re looking mainly to network, make sure to do your research for the coworking spaces with strong communities.
You can get your foot in the door quickly by attending several of their events. This allows for relationships building as well as quick intros to everyone. Most people are looking to get work done during work hours so it’ll be an easy way to not be too pushy when you first come in.
Meet Your Community Director
For those of you who are more introverted or couldn’t imagine jumping head first into a community event, schedule a one on one with the community director. These people are the pros at networking and connecting people. They’ll be able to quickly find the right people for you to meet and make that warm intro. Treat these people well as they’re a valuable resource in a coworking community.
Work In the Common Areas
It may make sense to get a dedicated desk if you have a lot of equipment that you don’t want to lug around with you all day but it also pays off to move around. A lot of my relationships I made early on were made in the kitchen of the coworking space. As I mentioned before, most people are there to work so it’s more appropriate to strike up a conversation with them during non work hours. It’s a lot easier to make small talk and almost expected. This is your first step in networking and eventually getting those meetings and referrals that you need.
Promote At Your Coworking Space
Nobody likes shameless self promotion which is why it’s wonderful when there’s a dedicated space for it! Many coworking spaces will have a place for you to put your card, company logo, flyers etc. If you’re a creator or maker, you can visit The Refinery to show off your goods in their display space. It attracts people window shopping in downtown as well as other members there.
Things to Avoid
It can be frustrating when you’re trying to turn in a project and you have your neighbor at work telling you about what happened last night. Knowing when to talk to people and when not to is a learned skill. It’s also a surefire way to get excluded from conversations if you get it wrong. Sometimes we aren’t sensitive to other people space in coworking areas which results in unwanted conversations. It can come off as too pushy or as a time suck to engage in conversation that people start to avoid you. Make sure to stick with recreational times like mentioned earlier or keeping your conversations brief if you can tell they’re in a rush.