Intensive Offering: Attract the people you want to join your cohousing community

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INT. COHOUSING CONFERENCE ROOM, DAY

Are you starting a cohousing community and want to know where to start? Do you live in an existing community, and want to revisit your mission?

Sign up for the "Telling Your Community Story" half-day intensive workshop by Alan O'Hashi

For startups, some will say tie up the land first, which is true. Some will say have a meeting to get people interested, which is true. Some will say, get an architect, which is true.

For existing communities, you may have had significant member turnover or your members are aging and want to renew your community vision.

We're here to tell you that overlaying the mechanics of cohousing, is a "story." It's about coming up with a good story that grabs the imagination.

This involves telling not just the "how" of cohousing but also the "why" and "who" whether I’m a pro-active senior, young family or single person seeking more community in my life. Why is this lifestyle for me? What benefits will cohousing bring to my life?

As a storytelling case study, we'll use the intentional creative West End Neighborhood in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

We'll start out with a primer in storytelling and writing an "elevator speech" to succinctly tell your story.

Once you have it down, we'll learn some ways to push out your story to a particular audience using social media, to complement the "shot-gun" outreach approach. You're trying to attract 40 or 50 individuals or families, not 1,000 of them.

COHOUSER
(musing with a smirk)
Oh, that's nothing...anyone can write. Why do I need to pay $65 to learn how to write and use facebook?

We all like a good book or movie, but the reason your imaginations are captured and attention paid to the action on the big screen or on the written page is because of the story - there are good ones and not so good ones.

The same holds true when you're attracting people to be interested in joining your cohousing community - what's your catch?

You'll learn how to structure your story - what is the premise; how does your story start in Act I, What happens in Act II, How does your story end in Act III.

All this will be told in 140 characters.

You'll put your pen to pad or your fingers to keyboard and begin outlining your community story - writing it from the inside out.

We'll help you craft your "elevator speech" summarizing your story so it is quickly understandable and then provide you some low / no cost ways you can get your information out there to your targeted market through online media.

Having a compelling online media presence is increasingly important. It’s crucial to outline who you hope to attract to your community, so your message reflects that.

We’ll outline tools and best practices for finding your future neighbors via your website, newsletter, facebook, twitter and Meetup pages, as well as the Cohousing Association of the US resources.

My teaching approach appeal to all learning styles - auditory, visual and hands-on, so there will be plenty of activity and film clips to go along with our talking heads.

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Alan O'Hashi, MPA, resides in Silver Sage Village cohousing in Boulder, CO and is a documentary filmmaker, screenwriter and seasoned storyteller. His latest, "The New Deal Artist Public Art Legacy just aired on Wyoming PBS. He's developing the Lincoln Court Mixed Use Intentional Community in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

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