“Where can I get a Clubhouse invite?”
That’s the tip of the Clubhouse ask-iceberg this month, so let’s crack on and answer some of these questions, to help you stay one step ahead of your clients.
For those of you unfamiliar with this series, my name is Joe Moring and I’m the Senior Social & Content guy at SHARE Creative. I’ve spent the last two weeks test-driving Clubhouse, the ‘new’ invite-only audio-based social media platform to help you anticipate what your client could ask you about it this month.
More importantly I want to help you figure out how it could fit into your plans both personally and from a brand perspective in 2021.
Anyway, enough waffle… iceberg, right ahead!
Q1. “What’s Clubhouse?”
Clubhouse’s official line (open up a job description) is that it’s an…
‘audio-based social media app that allows people everywhere to talk, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships, and meet new people around the world.’
After 14 days playing around with the app, I think it’s like a 24/7 industry conference, packed full of specialists in your field, talking to other specialists in your industry, about a common topic. Plus, you can literally join in the conversation.
In reality, my response is totally subjective.
You might be a new mother looking for tips on how to get your baby to bed from other mums, a TikTok creator who wants millions of views or maybe you’re just bored and looking for people who are discussing the presidential inauguration.
So have a play around and come to your own conclusions. We’d love to hear how you would answer this question, so send us a DM and we’ll share your synopsis via our Instagram Stories.
Q2. “How does Clubhouse work?”
In a nutshell, you open the app and search for ‘rooms’ that you’re interested in listening to, just like searching for a podcast. Except these rooms are live and you can participate in them, by virtually raising your hand and asking a question. When you get more advanced and in tune with the app, you can experiment with hosting your own talks as a moderator / speaker.
Now I could talk to you for days about the complexities of how the app works, but I just want to give you a couple of knowledge nuggets to get the conversation going…
Creating a bio
This is where you clarify who you are, your area of expertise and what you want to talk about. Make it super concise (here’s a useful bio builder), because the first two lines appear in the explore channel under your name when people are looking for who to follow.
For example, I want to talk to people in the social media industry about how mixed realities are changing our landscape…
Who to follow
This part is really important.
Use the explore function to find people and ‘clubs’ to follow that have similar interests to you. This helps the algorithm serve you ‘rooms’ that are tailored to your interests.
We’re getting to rooms and clubs shortly, have no fear…
People talk to each other in rooms.
You can create a…
- social room (this room can only be joined by people who follow you)
- private room (this room can only be joined by a mutual follower)
or join one of the many…
- open rooms (these are established by a club or a collection of people)
In an open room you’ll find speakers, listeners and moderators. A moderator starts the chat and can give a moderator badge to anyone else of their choice. Moderators can decide who has freedom to talk at all times in the room.
You only see someone’s avatar when you’re participating in the room, a bit like a camera-free Zoom chat. These rooms are audio only and disappear forever once the chat has finished.
The club bit
*Pro Tip* A club can only be established when you’ve created a room for three consecutive weeks in a row.
For example, I would need to invite a mutual follower to a room, on three consecutive Mondays, with a similar room title ‘Social Media Chat’ before I could apply for a club called ‘Social Media Industry Chat’.
When you’ve established a club, you can add members (invite only) and gain followers. These people will be notified whenever you host a club room.
When you host, you enter the ‘stage’, which is the name given to the area at the top of the room (see the green moderator icons next to images).
People can then join your room and enter the ‘audience’ when they see your room in their feed.
Joining an open room
If you’re in the audience, your mic is turned off at all times and you’re just listening. If you raise your hand in the room, or you’re invited on stage, you can unmute your mic and ask a question and chat back and forth with the speaker/s and moderators.
Like I said, there’s much more to go through, like scheduling rooms, the hallway, an awesome tip for your @handle. But you’ll find my contact details at the end of this post if you want to chat some more about it!
Q3. “Where can I get a Clubhouse invite?”
The app is currently in the beta phase and invite only (as of writing this: Feb 2021), but I’ve heard in a few rooms that it’ll launch to the public in March 2021.
If your client asks you for an invite it’s important for them to understand the invite can only be used by an individual at the moment. We’ll discuss the implications for brands in a little bit (skip to Q5. if you like).
Here are your options for getting them onto the app…
- If you’re already on the platform then you get awarded invites based on how much you engage with the app. I started with 2 invites when I joined and after 1.5 weeks I received 3 more invites, so you could offer them one of these.
- If you’re not on it, download the app and register, then ask friends in your industry if they’re on it and if they can invite you. When you’re in, use the invites to get your client onboard.
- When you invite someone to the platform, your name will appear at the base of their profile. If you’re not comfortable with inviting a client to the platform, based on this, then you’ll need to recommend they personally do Step 2.
Failing all of this, do a screen demo and walk them through the platform on Zoom before you pitch to a cold room, or just register and hope that you get waved through from the waiting line (a bit like an actual club, remember those? Nah).
Q4. “Who’s using Clubhouse?”
Get your stat bucket ready.
The nature of the invite system has meant the app has had a reasonably steady US roll out since May 2020, starting with only a dozen or so people joining per day. Incidentally, the app only really became available for people in Europe in October 2020.
Last week Clubhouse raised a Series B funding round at a $1bn valuation led by Andrew Chen and UK/Germany have had the highest number of app downloads outside of the US at 119,548 and 92,659 respectively, according to App Figures 📈.
It’s mainly entrepreneurs (Elon Musk did his first talk on Bitcoin this week), influencers, journalists, VCs, politicians and celebrities using the app at the moment, but you’re starting to see a trickle down effect to ‘trend-hopping industry professionals’ from all fields, particularly the content creation sector.
A typical room has these types of people in it, which is why I went for the ‘industry conference’ analogy…
- Fortune 500 Entrepreneur
- Instagram product team member
- YouTube creator
- Industry author
- Tik Tok influencer
But again, it obviously depends what you’re into.
Q5. “Can you create branded clubs?”
I made it up onto the stage during the testing phase to ask a moderator in a ‘Welcome To Clubhouse: Beginners Guide’ if it was possible for me to create a club for one of the brands I manage, or whether it would be declined by the application process.
This is what one of the moderators said (which I had to write in my notes because it’s against platform guidelines to record audio)…
“The founders are trying to figure out how creators can monetise their skills like tipping, tickets or subscriptions and also where brands might live. But clubs will certainly be the de facto place where a big brand could live, so why not get ahead of the curve and start planning.”
So it sounds like an OnlyFans / Patreon style monetization model is on the way. I’ve also heard rumours that they’re developing a self-serve clubs feature, built into the app, that will allow you to create a club for your brand instantly.
Interestingly a lot of people in Silicon Valley don’t trust the press, so keep an eye on their blog for platform updates, because they completely cut out the press with their latest announcement!
**Pro Tip** Get playing with the app and start thinking how it could fit into your 2021 plans ahead of the launch. If your brand regularly uses LinkedIn, YouTube or podcasts then I think this is a no-brainer.
So that wraps up another ‘Five things your client will ask you about ________ this month’ – I hope you found it helpful. It’s pretty exciting to have a new platform to try out, right?
If you made it this far, then I have a reward for you! We have one invite to the app waiting for the fastest person to follow and DM us.
If you’re not fast enough then don’t worry, follow me on Clubhouse (@virtualreality) and we can start a room or DM me on LinkedIn where we can chat some more about the app and the industry.
I want to leave you with a quote I found that sums up the appeal of the experience…
“Almost all social media requires us to look at a screen, this is the first one where I’m not looking at a screen. I’m involved in social media but I’m sitting by the pool with my kids and as long as I’m muted and not speaking, it’s great.” Bilal Zuberi
Be more Bilal in 2021, is what I say.
If you’d like to get in touch about general enquiries then please email me via firstname.lastname@example.org.