A lot of people will agree with the fact that 2020 has drastically changed our lives, from both a personal and professional perspective. Entrepreneurs are not an exception and since most events are online now, they constantly look for ways where to find an investor/ VC for the startup, how to improve their communication with customers etc.
Since the beginning of 2021, plenty of online sources started writing about Clubhouse, a new audio-based social media network created last year by Paul Davison and Rohan Sethm software developers of Alpha Exploration Co. The main idea of this app is to let people use specific topic-based voice chat rooms together and join any type of conversation anytime.
So far, not everyone can join the platform, it’s invite-only and works only for iOS. If you are an iPhone user, you can reserve a spot by creating a username in the virtual waiting list. From the latest news, the Clubhouse Team is working on an Android version so once it’ll be released it’ll bring new members and probably the platform will become public. Until the official public launch, you can have a look at your social circle to see if someone has membership in this (for now) private club.
The company started as a niche app for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs but the whole hype around it quickly grew a loyal audience and probably by the end of this year we can call it a mainstream platform.
In 2004 Gmail was one of the first who used invite-only strategy and after switching to the public mode it didn’t lose popularity. This use case proves that this strategy works and Clubhouse might stay with us for longer.
So far, some well-known celebrities have registered on the platform: Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg etc. As a result, their participation in the Clubhouse increased the interest in it.
In May of 2020, Clubhouse had 1,500 users and valued at $100M. In February an app appeared to be over 6 MILLION users, and with a reported additional investment from VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, the valuation now stands at $1B.
Let’s have a quick look at the features of the app and see what’s the phenomenon of it.
The main feature of the platform is that you see rooms of people you follow, so you can join the talk and invite your friends to join it. Moreover, you can create your own room and once you do it, your followers receive a notification about it and once they join, their followers will receive a notification too. As a result, from 5 people conversation, it can increase to an enormous number of listeners.
Another feature is, you can’t record an audio meeting, the platform blocks all types of screen & video recording apps. Why? Because it gives you a feeling of exclusiveness and knowledge in real-time. It stimulates viewers to look for speeches of the same speaker in other rooms.
The app has a feature “raise the hand” so once the moderator accepts your request you can freely speak with the audience. If you won’t be accepted to speak, you’ll be still able to listen to the conversation. Another feature is “leave quietly”, so once you click a button you can leave a room and no one will receive a notification that you left.
Who can use it?
The Clubhouse is a new powerful tool that has the potential to grow. Right now, you can find lots of interesting people from different areas: VC, investors, startups, coaches, marketers, journalists and so on.
The power of networking always worked well, but Clubhouse can speed up this process, especially during pandemic times when offline events are still not allowed in many countries.
It’s not mandatory to create your own rooms and be a speaker, you can just be a listener, however, it’s a right tactic in case if you want to get some followers.
How to build your personal brand in the Clubhouse?
- Start from making your Bio VERY attractive
The eye-catching description is a must. By joining a room, people can view other listener’s portfolios. There is a big chance people will look at yours and it can be someone who might be interested to work/collaborate with you.
- Create searchable profiles with SEO keywords
Include important details in a few lines and make sure it sounds intriguing to the reader. Write your job title, company name, social media channels and other important information that can assure that you’re an expert in your area.
- Define, what do you exactly want to achieve by joining the Clubhouse
For example: are you an entrepreneur working on machine learning? You can create your own room about this topic and attract people from the same industry. As a result, you can have some new ideas on how to improve your own business.
Another example: you’re having a platform for the online workout. Let your customers know more about trainers, organise some audio online meditation sessions or launch a room explaining some tips on how to improve physical and mental health.
Clubhouse is a great tool to receive feedback. Involve your customers to share their opinion on how to improve your platform.
- Start collaboration with other experts, organise common session & have a Q&A with listeners
By testing a platform current users noticed that round table discussions are more effective than. It can allow you to gain more following compared to chat rooms with solo moderators.
Panel chats are a crucial thing to increase the loyalty of the audience and improve stronger relationships with people.
- Explore different Clubhouse rooms
Get inspiration from other speakers and moderators by exploring different rooms related to topics you’re interested in. Learn the way they plan their agenda, how they communicate with the audience and what kind of topics are the most interesting for people from your area.
Will Clubhouse destroy the Podcasting industry?
So far, the Clubhouse has different purposes because it is positioned as “social audio”. If you want to provide a room in real-time, talk with the audience, and receive feedback, this app is a better choice.
But if you prefer to make better quality audio with some sound effects, possibility to edit audio and let access to it to anyone, then it’s better to do podcasting.
Will this app stay with us for a long time?
It’s difficult to predict, but maybe Facebook will decide to buy it and then an app will change due to monetization. I think that for at least another three months we’ll hear about this platform everywhere because the audience is rapidly growing. In my opinion, the critical moment would be when the early majority will replace the early adopters and there will be too many users. It’s interesting to see what happened then.
Is it worth jumping into the Clubhouse?
It has some good opportunities for entrepreneurs. Once you’ll align app usage with your goals and define a strategy for your personal brand it’s better to start working right away because the earlier you start the easiest would be to build an audience.
It’s up to you, do you want to use it or not, but it’s important to get familiar with it first to make conclusions on how you can adapt apps possibilities into bringing your business a good value.
Author: Liliya Pislar, Marketing Specialist at FundingBox
Follow me on Clubhouse at @lilypislar