Have you tried Clubhouse yet? Over the past few months, I’ve been trialing this new social media app and finding out whether it can add real value to my marketing. Or is it just another platform for frazzled social media managers to manage and a gimmick that will quickly fade into obscurity? I’ll be taking you through my thoughts in this blog.
What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is an audio app. It’s like a live conference, networking chat, podcast and radio station all rolled into one!
Clubhouse is a great place to have conversations with other business owners and like-minded people. You can use Clubhouse to:
- Deepen your understanding on mutual topics of interest
- Build your brand
- Grow your social media following
- Create a community around shared interests.
Clubhouse attracts business owners, thought leaders, freelancers and entrepreneurs. I’ve found some great sessions for small business owners on everything from pitching your ideas to investors to marketing your services and products. You’ll also hear from influencers on Clubhouse – who often share valuable information (for free).
All the conversations take place in real time – no conversations are recorded. It’s a great place to build your credibility as an expert in your field and make new connections – particularly at a time when fewer face-to-face events are taking place.
The rapid rise of Clubhouse
Clubhouse was first launched in March 2020 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth. It was a relatively slow start until Elon Musk hosted a room on Clubhouse – and the platform’s popularity exploded. Clubhouse began to attract large numbers of followers in the UK, US and even China – until the state government blocked access earlier this year.
Clubhouse now has 10 million weekly active users, up from 600,000 in December 2020. It’s estimated value is $1 billion.
What you need to know about Clubhouse
Until recently, Clubhouse has only been available by invitation only – increasing the FOMO effect. But it’s now available to all.
Nail your profile
Once you’ve signed up, you can add a profile (and a pic) with personal details about you and your interests so that people can follow you. Make your profile as engaging and compelling as possible – with quirky facts about yourself/your interests. Use emojis to bring it to life.
Here are my top tips for your profile:
- Focus on what you, as a business owner, can offer.
- The first three lines are the most important – this is what readers will see when they click on your profile.
- Link to your Twitter and Instagram handles – so that readers can connect with you on social (there is no direct message option on Clubhouse).
- Include a standout, professional photo.
Joining the conversation
When you set up your profile, you will add your interests and start to follow other users. Follow those who share the same interests and business goals – as this will influence what you are served in terms of ‘rooms’ that may be of interest. Rooms are essentially live sessions on Clubhouse.
Once you’ve set up your interests, you can start to search for ‘rooms’ from the hallway. The hallway is like your news feed on social media – you can see all the rooms currently in progress.
Join a virtual room as an audience member and listen in on the conversation. When you enter a room, you’ll automatically be on mute. If you’d like to speak, you can ‘raise your hand’ and one of the moderators can bring you to the stage and ‘unmute you’.
It can be daunting to raise your hand the first time you join a conversation on Clubhouse. But, I would encourage you to do so! This can help raise your profile and attract new followers – you’re likely to see a sudden leap in your follower numbers if you regularly speak in rooms. Just don’t be too shouty. Listen to what others are saying, and don’t hog the conversation.
You can also moderate a room run by others, enabling you to act as a co-host, bring people to the stage, and answer questions.
Run a room
You can also run a room on Clubhouse – either independently or through a club. I would recommend running a room as part of an existing club. Always schedule your upcoming ‘rooms’ (sessions) and promote them in advance on your social media channels.
Joining or starting a club
If you want to find a club in a specific area, you can enter the keywords in the search field.
You can start clubs on Clubhouse – you might want to consider teaming up with other business owners who have related services to yours. If you already have an engaged community on Clubhouse, encourage your followers to take part in your Clubhouse sessions. This can also work well if you already run a regular podcast.
Clubhouse: the perfect antidote to lockdown
For me, Clubhouse is the perfect tonic to our Zoom-fatigued times – an opportunity to take part in business networking and conference chats without having to put your suit or lipstick on! It’s the perfect space for an introvert to network – as you don’t have to appear on screen. People make judgements based on what you are saying rather than what you’re wearing or how you look.
As so many of us are working from home at the current time, it’s great to talk with other business owners on Clubhouse. I’ve taken part in conversations around entrepreneurship, supporting small businesses, marketing, social media and much more. But, you can also join conversations around non-work topics, such as dating and travel. There’s something for everyone on Clubhouse.
You can also meet all kinds of people on the platform – Oprah has been known to dip in and out of rooms.
I like the immediacy of Clubhouse and the fact that it’s audio only. I spend most of my working life writing (which I love) but it’s refreshing to take a break and join a Clubhouse chat. Often, I’ll have Clubhouse running in the background while I’m doing some admin or catching up on some jobs – so it’s great for multitasking.
And I’ve met some quite inspirational people on Clubhouse.
The future for audio social platforms
For the future, Clubhouse is looking at a range of monetisation options, including ticketed events.
But, there’s hot competition already from Twitter – which has recently launched Twitter Spaces. This works in a similar way but, personally, I’ve found Twitter’s audio platform much more glitchy and less user-friendly than Clubhouse.
Facebook and LinkedIn are also launching Clubhouse-style live audio rooms.
Audio social is definitely on the rise. And, if you’re running a business, there are lots of opportunities to raise your profile and get in front of potential customers and partners with these new platforms.