The only time I have agreed with David Cameron was during the 2015 Conservative Party Conference when he declared, “Britain and Twitter are not the same things.”
Coworking and Twitter are not the same things.
When you Google or Twitter “coworking” everyone who shows up has white teeth, wooden floors and a beer tap.
I have seen this first hand as I have been doing a tour of duty in London coworking spaces in since 2010.
They all have something bad about them.
In reality, coworking spaces are not always the pictures of sunlit rooms with people being nice to each other.
They fail to show pictures of stressed co-founders about to jump out the window because it has dawned on them that spending all their money on craft beer and a PR stunt did not pay off like they thought.
So what has this got to do with a weekly newsletter?
Recently, I got Fancy Hands our VA to sign me up for 25 email newsletters for coworking spaces in the UK.
It should be noted that I hate email.
I hate email newsletters as most of them are self-serving bollox – even my own one.
I waited, then I waited and then I waited.
After 4 months ONLY one of the 25 sent an email on a regular basis and they are so cool I was ready to drop everything and move to Wakefield.
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What Happened Next?
So we shipped double down on our newsletter and went from nudging every fortnight to punching every week.
This is actually easier to do.
It keeps better momentum and a stronger feedback loop, we can’t copy and paste it is like doing SNL and keeping the material fresh.
Every week HAS to be useful and not pitchy, to reflect the values of @Work Hubs so people who come get into their step quicker and spend less time working the place out.
Is it a quick win?
Having lots of people come through the door because of an offer is very different to having people come through the door and stay because they are in tune with what you stand for.
I was tempted to post quotes about creativity and hustle over a picture of me lying on the bonnet of a Lamborghini with a cup of Costa coffee but that has been done to death, we are not a ‘me too’ place here we are an ‘us’ place.
Our harsh reality is we’re a group of concerned citizens on the wrong side of 30 who are working to keep a business, project or freelance practice going.
So here is the Plan
Each section header is taken from a theme that runs through OuiShare and a topic we talk about, this does mean we know about it. It means we are learning more about it and inviting people in that do.
We are slowly putting the bits of the puzzle together, for instance how to use Blockchain, coworking and freelancing in combination.
We evaluated what is the case for and against basic income, how will that affect the freelancer landscape, and of course you can’t have a blog without putting the words ‘the future of work’ in it!
A few years ago we ran a couple of networking breakfasts and OuiShare breakfasts at the hub and have taken all the best elements of those to make a fortnightly sharing breakfast. We are going to use a London-based app called Olio to connect with food in the local area.
This is certainly a ‘beta thing’ and will mean the breakfast is brought and share. Of course, this will only work with a small number of people, and if you are worried come along anyway – you can always go next door and get a bacon sandwich.
Of course, this will only work with a small number of people, and if you are worried come along anyway – you can always pop across to Speedy’s for a bacon sandwhich.
Our Reinvented Newsletter Outcome
People unsubscribed and that is great. I don’t want to be annoying people who are not interested in what we do. I firmly believe that 50 people who open every week are way better than 500 people who never open. After all, we only have 50 seats @Work Hubs so we are not trying to ‘get bums on seats’ we are building a self-selecting and self-organising community.
Below is this week’s edition of our @Work Hubs email – Stories by Francessca Pick on OuiShare, Rich Preece on Tech City News, Cat Johnson, on Shareable, Amanda Gray on Coworking Europe, Tom Streithorst on Evonomics and Kate Brandall on Process Street