In the photography industry, having a "studio" or "meeting space" translates to success in most client's eyes. The thing is, typical photographers would rather spend their cash on gear, than a studio they would probably only use once a month. Recently there's been an abundance of places for people to meet with clients as well as have their own out of home office. They're called coworking spaces and have been popping up around the country.
Quite honestly fronting the cash to rent a space, paying for utilities and extra insurance is a hassle. It takes months of figuring out if the overhead is worth it. Coworking spaces give you a perfect option in a way that you won't be breaking the bank. There are a multitude of places, such as WeWork that exist in 27 locations all over the United States. They're expanding day by day with more locations to fill the gaps.
These coworking spaces offer different types of office space for you to rent. So if you are looking for anything from a full office space to a boardroom for meetings, they can offer it. The thing about WeWork is that you have a the ability to become member at different levels so you can either be an entry-level membership where you can basically just pay to have a an address. Which is great for freelancers if you don't use your home address for your business. They will assign you an address at their location nearest you for you to have mail sent.
The great thing about these coworking places are the fact that it allows you to get out of your house! I'm fairly positive the sanity of not sitting next to your goldfish named Freddie Prinze Jr. and singing tupac to the point your neighbors might think you're crazy is worth it. The spaces allow you to go from 8 hours, to unlimited packages. If you want a certain number of hours to work outside the home just for client consults it's fabulous. To be able to tell clients "I am always in my office on Tuesdays, so if you need anything just give me a ring and you can drop by, " gives your clients a sense of you no longer being this mythological being that took a $2,000 wedding deposit and they don't really know you exist. WeWork also gives 24 hour access with some of their packages, for those of us who have undiagnosed cases of insomnia.
These spaces offer a level of professionalism at a discount rate. Which, to freelancers, means everything. Instead of having a home-office where you are delivering photos or scheduling proofing sessions with clients, coworking spaces give you your privacy back. There's nothing worse than if you have kids and in the middle of a proofing session, your three year old runs in and yells "mommy I went poop on the potty!" or your spouse yelling down the hall asking what is for dinner.
The last thing, is the one thing that we sort of don't really pay attention to as freelancers. Human interaction. Working from home pretty much guarantees that 75% of our work is alone. Granted were getting this from our clients when we are working with them on shoots or weddings. By being in the office space you basically are building a relationship with your fellow coworkers even though you might not be actually in the same business. This allows you to head into the main room and hang out while you work on your laptop. Most coworking spaces have kitchens that offer free coffee and at WeWork, you even get free beer! Being in these offices basically allow you to network without even putting in an effort. If you have a sign up in your office, people that are working in the adjoining spaces can see what company you run. This allows that you're constantly having a place to market yourself without physically being there.
Here's a list of spaces you can check out!
Minnesota: Minneapolis, St. Paul & Uptown- CoCo
New York: Greenspaces
Texas: Austin- Link Coworking
California, London, Massachusetts, New York, Washington DC, Chicago- WeWork
If you're part of a coworking space we'd love to know! Since i'm located in DC and San Diego, I really only know of a few!