For those who don't yet know, I rent space over at Saint Louis Coworking. I pay a monthly fee to have my own desk and to have a professional business address (plus, my rental office isn't to keen on the idea of working from home). It's also not the most productive, since my home doesn't have the room for an office. However, I am the only content marketer here, and I think more freelancers and content marketers should come and join me and the coworking movement, whether or not they are writers. Here are five reasons why coworking is good for freelancers:
- It's Easy Networking - Not everyone in the coworking space is the writer, so a shared workspace presents an excellent opportunity to network with other professionals. You never know who you may run into that will need some web content written or a manuscript looked at. Most coworking spaces also host events where members may attend for free, so this is yet another opportunity for you to network with professionals and let people know that you are a writer for hire.
- It's a Chance to Get Out of the House - Working from home may be cheap, and may have everything you could ever want or need, but you certainly don't want to spend all day every day at home. Even if you don't want to rent a desk or office at a coworking space, most do have a drop-in option where you can find a table to work at. It has less distractions than a coffee shop, and you won't have to worry about finding a spot or having an outlet for your laptop. Coworking spaces have plenty of both as well as free coffee. Plus, it's a chance to get outside the house and talk to people face-to-face.
- It's an Opportunity to Work with Other People - Not only does coworking offer a chance to network and to find work, but it's also a chance to work with others and exchange ideas. If you need to come up with a few topic ideas to pitch to a blog, you could possibly ask your coworkers for help. If you're working on a story and you need another source or two, you could find if you're coworkers could help, or know someone who could help. In return, you may be able to offer that marketing consultant a few good ideas, or be the go-to grammar person of the place.
- It Often Has All the Necessary Office Supplies - I understand the benefit in having your own printer, fax machine, and telephone for your home office, but many coworking spaces also provide all that for you as part of the membership fee. That's less money that you have to spend on printer paper, cell phone minutes, and maybe even copying fees. Although that could mean fewer deductions you can add to your taxes, it does mean fewer things that you have to worry about, whether you worry about them now or later. Also, depending on how much stuff you have for your freelancing business, a coworking membership could also mean additional storage space and free office furniture.
- It Has Things That Are Almost Impossible to Have at Home - Even if you do have a professional home office, it can still be a little strange to host a client meeting. Fortunately, most coworking spaces do have at least one conference room or private meeting room for that exact purpose. It would save you the trouble of having to go to a separate location from your office. Saint Louis Coworking, for example, also has a small library and a public library within walking distance, so getting a book isn't a problem either. And, depending on the location of your coworking space, eating out is now a more viable option. Of course, I wouldn't recommend eating out every single day, but sometimes it's nice to grab some Thai food or a few slices of pizza.