21 What is Clubhouse?

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is a social media voice chatroom available as an app through Apple.

Microphone with sound wavesWhy Do I Need an Invite?

I cringe when I see posts on Facebook or Instagram that boast ‘they’ve finally made it’ because they got their invite to Clubhouse.

It is NOT an exclusive club where only those with thousands of followers are allowed in. The creators of Clubhouse have set it up as an invite only platform while in it’s beta stage to ensure major bugs and kinks are worked out. They thought it was better to start small, test, add features, test, grow a bit, test, add more features…you get the picture. By limiting the invites, the creators can control the growth and make important adjustments, investments, and remove elements that aren’t working.

What Will I Find Once Inside?

Your profile

Choose a headshot that will help you stand out – a scalloped edge, a bright shirt or bright colored background. Whatever you do, make sure it reflects your brand.

Clubhouse will provide you with the opportunity link to your Twitter and Instagram accounts so when people check out your profile, they will link directly there.

No other links are available.

Check out other profiles in your industry and online space. What elements are the including and what elements are missing? Stay true to your brand and remember, you have about five seconds to capture the attention of those who are looking at your profile so make it count.

The Hallway

You will find your feed, much like all the social media platforms, your feed is built on your interests. When you first arrive on Clubhouse, you’ll be able to choose your interests and hopefully start seeing some of those interests in your feed.

Your feed is called the hallway and you can scroll until your heart’s content. I just peeked at my feed (it’s a Sunday afternoon) and here is what I found:

  • Humble Boss Women Sharing Knowledge & Dropping Gems
  • Make Money Shopify 101
  • How to Create High-Ticket Coaching Programs That Sell
  • Entrepreneurs who Self Sabotage
  • Find Your Passion in Podcasting
  • Daily Habits of High Performers
  • Stocks You Haven’t Heard About But Should Learn

I’ve seen tons of other topics as well and your feed will be based on the interests you select, the people you follow, and the clubs you join.

The Room

As soon as you join, you are muted. No need to worry about the baby crying, the shower going, or horns honking. You join as a listener in the audience.

The section above the audience is for those whom the moderators follow. This makes it easy for them to see who they might want to bring on stage to add to the conversation based on their specific expertise.

The section above that is the stage. This is the top of the room and includes moderators (as denoted by a little green star on their profile) and people who have raised their hands. There is a hand at the bottom of the screen and if the moderator has that turned on and you have a question or want to contribute to the topic, you tap on the hand and wait to get invited to the stage. As soon as you are on stage, you must mute, because even though you enter the room on mute, you enter the stage live.

I’ll talk a little bit more about clubhouse etiquette here in a bit.

When you’re in the room, you can click on the plus sign and then choose people you want to invite to the room. This is called a “ping.”

The room also has a “leave quietly” button, so if you get into a room and you find out quickly it’s not your thing, you simply click on Leave Quietly and that’s it. No one shames you and there’s no FOMO…you just leave, and it’s cool because moderators are all about engagement.

I once spoke at the Illinois Society for Human Resources Management State Conference. The speaker across the hall from my room was pulling people who were heading to my room into his room and chucking promises of prizes at them. While I was incredulous that an adult would behave this way, I was actually okay with it. I wasn’t there to say I had hundreds of people at my seminar…I was there to teach on a very specific topic and had tremendously engaging conversation with people who really want to learn what I taught. His room was kind of like Instagram and mine reflects what a clubhouse room is all about. And it’s not to toot my own horn, but this is a place to learn and laugh and connect with people, vs. chasing a follow for follow trail with all the rules and craziness you see on other social media.

You’ll Find the Search Tool

In the search too, I can type in names of people I want to follow or clubs I want to join. For example, if I wanted to find clubs related to St. Louis or Chicago or Indy, I’d type that in the search and toggle over to clubs. Same for people search.

A Mailbox

Your mailbox will let you know how many invites you have. In order to invite someone to the Clubhouse, you have to have them in your contacts – name and phone number. Again, the idea being to keep the beta team close knit. You get ONE invite when you join, so use it wisely. You can get additional invites by moderating a room.

Your Calendar

While many rooms are randomly created, there are lots of rooms that are scheduled in advance. These are usually set up by moderators who have specific topics, anecdotes, or messaging. It’s cool because you can add these topics to your calendar, and it makes finding the topic later on much easier.

The calendar feature is also set up to show you “Upcoming for You,” which displays scheduled rooms of people and clubs you follow, “All upcoming,” which features all scheduled rooms, and “My Events,” which is obviously the events you have scheduled.

Notifications

The notifications alerts you when someone or a club in your follow schedules a room. You will also get notifications when someone “pings” you from a room. In other words, they are in a room they think you’ll like so they “ping” you to say, “Hey, join us!”

Speaking of Following

This is not Facebook or Instagram. You do not have to ‘follow for follow.’ In fact, Clubhouse discourages rooms that are created only to follow for follow.  The spirit and intent of clubhouse is for *anyone* to start or join a room about *nearly any* topic and have deep, meaning conversation about the topic.

Two ways (but certainly not the only two) you can think of this:

Increase Your Following Because You Moderate

If you plan to moderate a room for the purpose of building your brand awareness, and you don’t have many followers, you are going to want to co-moderate. People who join a room to learn want to hear from experts and one of the only ways strangers can discern an expert from John Doe-with-a-good-profile is the number of followers you have. It can be hard to get followers until you moderate a room, so you best bet is to co-moderate with colleagues.

You can also increase your following by going up on stage

Typically the moderator will ask the audience to follow the moderators or other people on stage who contributed. They are careful to mention, however to follow those you resonate with. Again, you will get the richest experience by those influencers and contributors that most closely match your Mission, Vision, and Values. If you get stuck in the numbers game, you’re likely to end up in analysis paralysis, trying to incorporate everything you’ve learned without ever launching or promoting. Learning is a great thing, but at some point, you have to make revenue.

What is a Club?

Once a moderator has led rooms and participating in other rooms, they can apply for a “Club.” For example, I moderated the Small Business Confidants room three times in a row and can now apply for it to be an official club. People can follow that club and anyone I set up as a moderator in the club will now appear on the member’s schedule.

One watch out. I joined a pretty cool club, but because they have so many moderators, it is basically the only thing I see when I open my calendar.

Clubhouse Etiquette

Be wise about the rooms you join

Depending on how you use Clubhouse, it may feel like everyone inside is a bazillionaire trying to make you a millionaire overnight. It’s okay, if that’s not your thing, keep scrolling.

There are rooms for each side of the fence. For example, I’ve been in rooms where the moderators were very clear we all had something to add and that anyone can create a room. I’ve also been in rooms where influencers with tens of thousands of Instagram followers encourage people who are not at that level to think very carefully about how they stage their rooms. Since the “Create Room” button is at the bottom of everyone’s screen, anyone can create a room about anything.

Be Concise While On Stage

I can’t tell you how often a moderator will say, very quickly tell me who you are, what you do and what your question is and the person rambles on for two or three minutes trying to explain what their business is about and then continues to provide three minutes of backstory describing the problems they’re having in their business. Though moderators will tell you it is a safe space for you to come ask about your business, there is also a professional courtesy we extend by having our elevator pitch ready and our question asked with clarity.

Clap

When you are onstage, you now have the power to mute and unmute, and when you do it repeatedly, on and off, on and off, you are clapping. You are encouraging the speaker in what they’re saying.

Otherwise, there is really no avenue as an audience member or a cast member (I’ve heard some discuss those on stage without the moderation symbol as a cast member) to like or comment. It’s brilliant, really. While it’s a social media platform, all the social is verbal….no checking for likes and comments to respond to, no disappointment if your topic doesn’t do well…just conversation, learning, and fun.

Unmute to Talk

If you are on stage as a contributor or co-moderator and you want to chime in, you should unmute your mic, but remain silent. The unmuting lets the other moderators know you want to speak and then they can call on you. Not all rooms work this way and it can be difficult for rooms with 15+ moderators to structure their rooms this way, but those who do, run a really good discussion where as many people as possible get to speak.

Leave the Sales Vibe at the Door

As of the publication of this episode (January 2021), it is still considered bad etiquette to start or join a room just to sell your course, product, service, or anything. Clubhouse is trying to keep it a discussion platform. You CAN, however, mention a course or say your website once if you are moderating a room, but anything more than that, may be considered salesy.

For example, when I moderated a room on Hiring, I mentioned at the end that I had a link to hiring that may help some people and I gave that link. And I felt like that was pushing it.

Clubhouse audience members are there to learn and soak up knowledge and wisdom on specific topics and if you have knowledge or wisdom to share, you can create a room for the purpose of sharing it – without expecting a sale or like or comment in return. Club house is about conversation, discussion, break-through moments, two-minute coaching session, and the like. GROWTH truly comes from providing mind-blowing content and answering people’s questions. In turn, they check out your profile and, if you really resonated with them, send you a DM asking for more info.

Don’t Ping Everyone to Every Room

Periodically, you will be in a room and think, “Susie would LOVE this room, let me invite her.” So, you ping her and she gets the invite. No Big deal. But don’t ping everyone on your list every time you’re in a room. It’s a good way to get unfollowed by people who resonated with you and put their trust in you.

Was that helpful?

I hope so, especially for those thinking of joining Clubhouse or who have just joined. I’d love to know what additional information or helpful tips you’d add to help our fellow clubbers out.

Don’t forget to checkout clubhouseguide.com to read their guide to getting started.

Thanks for listening or reading and until next week, I’m here for you.

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kassfogle@gmail.com

kassfogle@gmail.com

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