The new buzzword for social media is Clubhouse. It has been in existence since early 2020 but recently blasted its way into the mainstream after Elon Musk (the richest man in the world at the time of writing) co-hosted an audio chat on the app. It is currently an invitation-only app on iOS systems but I understand it will be coming to Android very soon.
So what actually is Clubhouse? In simple terms it is audio-chat social networking app. There is no video-calling, no direct messaging and no recording of conversation so once the room is closed then it's gone forever. Users are encouraged to add their Twitter and Instagram profile links to their bio/about page so that the main connections can be made off-platform. It is heavily used for business and networking (think : LinkedIn or TEDx on speed) but if you dig a little past the first few automated recommendations, you'll find a wide variety of clubs and virtual rooms with discussions on diverse topics, talk shows, music, networking, dating, performances, political discussions, and... literally anything.
It's important to find your crowd on Clubhouse. The reason I'm saying this so early on in this guide is because recommended rooms will depend on who you follow. You will receive a notification each time someone you follow starts a discussion and there is also the option to 'ping' a notification to people you follow if you would like to recommend a room you are listening to.
How is a Clubhouse room set up? When you enter the room the speakers will be on the "stage" which is the section at the top of your screen. The person who created the room will be in the top left hand corner. Anyone who has a green asterisk next to their name is a moderator in that room. The next section is the group of people who are followed by the speakers and the final section is people who have joined the room from a recommendation or notification.
The moderators have the ability to control the amount of speakers on the stage, to mute and unmute speaker microphones, and to boot/block people from the room if necessary. The audience have the facility to 'raise a hand' to ask to be invited to the stage if they feel they can add to the conversation.
And then you just listen or chat. It's as simple as that.
If you need to exit the room there is a 'Leave Quietly' option.
Hints & Tips. I always include a section with recommended actions and I'll add to this over the next few weeks.
- Fill out your bio. This is your elevator pitch and a huge part of being a member of Clubhouse. Use relevant information so that the right people follow you. You have plenty of space so don't be afraid to use it. Connect your Twitter and/or Instagram account too.
- When hosting a room, add a moderator. This ensures that if you lose your connection or have to exit the room for whatever reason, your room will stay open.
- As a host or moderator, keep your room on track. Also, once your conversation is finished, don't forget to 'end the room' or you will not get credit for the moderation (this is important if you are trying to build an official group - you have to have hosted a room at least three times before you an apply to open a group).
- If you are on stage in a large room, please mute your microphone until it is your turn to speak.
- When speaking, be respectful of the room and its topics and don't deviate too much from what is being said. Only ask to speak in a large room if you think you can add value to the conversation.
- As a speaker, if you want to show appreciation for what someone is saying then press your microphone button a few times to make it flash.
- Scroll through the speakers and audience, read their bios, follow people of interest and build your own network. Use their social media links to connect off-app. Clicking any Twitter or Instagram link opens within the app so you don't leave the room you are listening to (this is a genius facility!).
- Mix up your rooms. Sit in on a large room and see how other moderators manage their stage. Alternatively, jump in on a small room and make immediate connections.
- Learn to recognise the funnel selling, i.e. "I make 6 figures a year telling people how to make 6 figures a year". There's a lot of this
disguised as biz talk and <spoiler alert> it centres around building a newsletter or subscriber list and selling your product(s) to it.
- Don't get FOMO. Leave the room when you want to. Some room discussions can continue for hours with moderators relaying to keep it open. Don't get sucked in to something you don't need to.
- Have a look through this great set of Clubhouse tools curated by Matt Navara.
Are you a member of Clubhouse? What are your thoughts? If you want an invitation for the app, just let me know.