Everything You Need to Know About Getting Started on ClubhouseJan 03, 2021
As the new invite-only social media app, Clubhouse is causing FOMO. At first, it was frustrating to see my friends sharing the Clubhouse events they were part of and the topics they are speaking on, not because I envied my friends' ability to connect with an audience, but because it feels like an exclusive conference (with a big party vibe) that I hadn't been invited to yet.
After I moved beyond envy, I felt smug as an outsider. It is clearly a time suck. At least I wasn't wasting time on another social media app when I could be focused on building business and connecting with customers.
And then... I got my Golden Ticket (see my friend, Suzanne Proksa's podcast on this topic). Within 5 minutes of receiving my invitation to join, I was in a room listening to some of the biggest names in social media marketing talk. And I immediately understood why anyone who is an online business leader is hooked.
The vibe on Clubhouse is different from what we find on other social networks, and even in the business world. In my experience so far, there's a spirit of collaboration; people are kind and genuinely willing to help; and the energy communicates, "Let's join hands and rise together." (I've spent most of my time on the platform in events run by women. The energy may be different in other areas of the platform.)
So, what IS Clubhouse?
Clubhouse has only been around since June of 2020, and its growth has been intentionally slow. It's like joining an old school chat room, except it's voice-only. A moderator hosts "a room," and can invite others to "the stage" for an opportunity to speak or ask questions. With all the bells and whistles we've become accustomed to, and the expectation that every post on social media needs slick production values, at first it's hard to wrap your head around how this platform provides value.
The platform is 100% voice. There are no images other than profile pictures and no links for connecting inside the app (other than a link to the user's Twitter and Instagram accounts).
Once the conversation is over, it's gone. There are no recordings, and no one is repurposing the content on other platforms. This contributes to the FOMO because, like attending a party, it's about the experience. If you weren't there, you missed out on the action. You can hear about it later, but you missed out on the food, the drinks, the atmosphere of the real party.
Clubhouse isn't just for sales and marketing experts. Users can participate in events related to wellness, travel, parenting, faith, the arts, sports and entertainment, and more.
It's the App We Didn't Know We Needed But Were Hungry For
The timing on Clubhouse was perfect. It's the app we didn't know we needed, but it is perfect for the times. We're hungry for authentic connection. We want to have real conversations. We want to share ideas without being pitched. In my short time on the app, I've heard this sentiment over and over. People are ready to "get together" to just laugh, and talk, and connect.
The entire premise is creating connections and sharing knowledge without all the fanfare and overly-produced spectacles. People want real again.
Is it Too inclusive?
Clubhouse started with only two employees. Because they started small, they've been intentionally growing slowly. (I heard in a Clubhouse room this week that they now have 14 employees. But there's reason for the slow growth: the Clubhouse universe went crazy this week when the system crashed, closing rooms and dumping people from multiple events into the same room. Suddenly new rooms popped up asking questions like: "Is your business Clubhouse proof?"). While it feels exclusive, it's not their intention to keep people out. I started my day in a room with female entrepreneurs from the UK, and as I browse the app for conversations taking place as I write this, I see the following rooms:
- Make Time to Pray Before You Start Your Day
- Self Love Sunday
- Black Women over 50: Improve Nutrition and Boost Productivity
- Women are the Changemakers of the New Economy
As the team at Clubhouse can handle more capacity, they will open up more invitations. The app may be exclusive currently, but based on my interactions so far, it appears to be diverse in its demographic and geographic representation.
What's Up With the Invitations?
Right now, you need to be invited to join, and once you're in, you get one invitation to share with a friend. You can earn additional invitations for participating in conversations and hosting rooms, but you won't be able to invite your whole crew to the party on the first day.
As of now, Clubhouse is not available on Android. I've heard people say they've bought iPads so team members who have android phones can get in on the action.
If you think you want to check out Clubhouse, you can download the app and reserve your user name. Your phone number needs to be in your friend/colleague's phone as a contact for them to be able to send your invitation.
What Happens Once I'm In?
Now that you know what Clubhouse is, you're ready to learn how to make the best first impression.
You can join Clubhouse and be a fly on the wall. It's exciting to listen to "big names" talk and feel like you're part of the party. But, you'll get the most value once you gain the courage to raise your hand and speak up. (In the bottom right corner of the screen, there's a hand you click on to show the moderator you would like to speak. They bring you to the stage where you can ask a question or contribute to the conversation.)
First you'll want to set up your bio. Clubhouse allows for quite the lengthy bio, but only the first few lines are visible on the preview, and the first few lines are all the moderator sees when they invite you to stage--so it's likely they'll use whatever you have listed there to introduce you when it's your turn to speak on the stage. Much like the text that appears under your name on LinkedIn, you'll want to make sure the first few lines of your bio tell people who you are, what you do, or how you help.
At the bottom of your bio, there's a space to link to your Twitter and Instagram accounts. And, in the middle of your bio, you'll add information about your business and your offers--with an emphasis on helping. There is no room for sleazy or pushy sales tactics on Clubhouse, so include the URLs, but don't think this is a place where you'll get away with any old-school, sneaky sales plays.
Because your bio is searchable, include keywords that someone on the platform might search to find like-minded people. While Clubhouse has a place for you to select your interests, it doesn't go super deep, so some people have included their own "my interests" section in their bio so they can share more about their personal and professional interests and make it easier for people to find them.
You can totally jump into a room before you have your bio set up, but if you're outgoing, you might find you have something to say right away. And once you're on that stage, people start clicking on your bio like crazy. Like I said earlier, everyone is eager to connect, but they are less likely to connect with an empty bio (unless what you say completely blows them away... but then they still need your social links to connect off the app). So make setting up your bio an early priority.
Follow people and join clubs. When you join, the app will suggest friends. You can accept all or some of these suggestions, or skip over this step and find your own. I've watched friends post about Clubhouse on social for months, so I already had a few people I knew I wanted to look up.
If you have podcasters or thought leaders you follow on other platforms, look for them on Clubhouse. At the bottom of each profile is a link to the person who invited that user into Clubhouse. I also click on their profile, thinking that people I know and trust are friends with other people who I might also like.
Also along the bottom of each profile is a list of the clubs that person has joined. Clicking on the club icons is a quick way to tap into content that might align with your interests.
The search feature is another way to find clubs and people whose interests are similar to yours.
Swap out your headshot and first two lines. Some people are customizing their profile picture and the first few lines of their bio to match the type of room they are joining. This isn't something you need to do, but it could be helpful if you want to draw attention to a certain aspect of your business. Or if you're multi-passionate and you want the audience focused on a certain aspect of your bio. (For example, using your podcast cover art when joining a group about podcasting). The photos are SMALL though, so you decide if this is worth your time.
Do you struggle to create video and graphic content for your business? Ask how we can help!
Make your headshot pop. Once you're on the platform, you'll notice that that your profile picture while in a room is very small. You want people to discover you and click on your profile while you're in that sea of faces in a room. You can make your photo more noticeable by using Canva to remove the background from your headshot and then placing your photo on a solid color background. I've also noticed that the headshots with a smile and a confident pose are the most eye-catching.
Prepare Ahead So You're Ready for Your Moment to Shine
Clubhouse is pretty casual. It's supposed to feel like party conversation or the Q&A portion of a conference speech. It's interactive. And, right now, people are super forgiving of anyone who stumbles because we are all new, and everyone is trying to figure it out.
Once you've started jumping from room to room, you might start to feel a bit of imposter syndrome set in. Everyone sounds so smart and professional... and suddenly you're forgetting that you have your own incredible experience and expertise that others will find valuable.
Here are some things that will help you stand out:
Know your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is your 30 second speech about who you are and what you do. When you get invited to a stage, you have just a few seconds to tell people who you are before you start speaking or ask your question. Practice introducing yourself succinctly. Pique their curiosity so you immediately have their attention.
Know your talking points. Be confident that you'll always have something valuable to contribute by planning a few talking points related to your business. This tip can be helpful for introverts who need a bit more prep before jumping into a conversation, and it's also a good practice for anyone who is on podcasts, speaks from a stage, or is interviewed by the media.
Start by selecting two or three topics you address often with customers, on social media, or in content you create. Then build out each topic with a short outline. Include an opening statement and three main points for each. Now you have multiple topics you can talk about with little prep, so you'll always have something to say when you're in a room that's related to your expertise.
Be authentic. It's easy to spot the people who are only there to hear themselves talk. Don't talk for the sake of showing off, and if you don't know something, be honest and say so. I've heard several women say that the energy on Clubhouse feels very feminine. It's about connection and collaboration--and if you swarm in like a vulture you won't make many friends.
Now, it's Your Turn to Host
After you've had a bit of time to check things out, you'll want to host a room. Being a moderator gives you the most visibility because you're the expert who has scheduled the talk, and because it's your face along the top line of participants in the room.
You don't need to go it alone. There are lots of people looking to collaborate. This gives each speaker access to the audience and connections the others bring to the talk. Don't be shy! Planning talks alongside a friend (or even someone you just met on the platform!) gives you someone to bounce things off. It means you don't need to carry the entire conversation, and it gives you more people to share expertise while you wait for the "audience" to warm up with questions and conversation.
Schedule your room. You can be spontaneous and start a room on the fly, but you'll get more people there when you schedule the room. This gives people a more complete description of what to expect from the talk, and it adds your even to your connections' "Upcoming for You" calendar view.
Do a little prep offline. Once your room is open, you'll want to hit the ground running. Clubhouse always has something interesting going on, and if you're getting organized with your co-moderators when attendees arrive in the room, they'll leave to join a room where the party is already hopping. If you have logistics to figure out with your presenters, take some time before you're life to touch base about any details. This will help your attendees feel welcome the minute they arrive--and they'll immediately see the value.
Ping people in. Once you're in a room, you can "ping" people into the room. There's a plus sign in the bottom right of the screen, and you can use it to let other contacts know that you're in a room they might also be interested in.
Keep it fun. You don't need all the answers! Clubhouse is a great place to ask questions and listen to your customers' pain points. Open a room and schedule time for a group brainstorm. Ask questions related to your product or services... not for the purpose of selling, but to really listen and learn. Schedule it as a social. Or suggest ice breaker topics people should be prepared to answer. This is YOUR party where you can learn from and interact with people who like the things you do.
Want to learn more about Clubhouse? Check out these videos
How Do You Monetize Clubhouse?
With no active links other than the links to Twitter and Instagram, and no recordings, users are having to get creative when it comes to monetizing--and that is part of the fun!
Make sure your social bios are ready to rock. Since there is no place to interact one-on-one in Clubhouse, most users are sending people to Instagram to connect more personally. If your call to action while in a Clubhouse event was to "DM me on Instagram" or to "Look for the link to my eBook on this topic in my Instagram bio," your Instagram should look engaging.
- Does your bio communicate what you do and how you help?
- Have you included a link where they can get more information (like a LinkTree or a link to an Instagram resources section of your website.)
- Does your bio do any of the following: include hashtags, show the brand personality or include a call-to-action?
- Do your featured stories have covers that match your branding?
- When a potential follower comes to your account, what is their first impression? Can they tell what you do? Does your feed look inviting? Is it clear what they will gain by following your account?
Have a piece of premium content prepared.
When you're on stage in Clubhouse, and it flows naturally in the conversation, be sure to let people know that you have premium content available that's related to the topic at hand. For example, you've answered a question. You could end with, "I'd love to connect more to chat about this offline. You can DM me on Instagram, or grab the eBook I have on this topic via the link in my Instagram bio." This also works well if you're a moderator and it's clear people are eating up what you have to say. You're not using slimy sales tactics if, at the end of your talk, you slide the fact that you have an email series, or video, or eBook that covers the topic you've just covered.
Take notes and direct people to your social accounts to get the notes.
I recently co-hosted an event about tech for time-strapped female entrepreneurs with Suzanne Proksa and Cristin Downs. As we talked, Cristin took notes. Attendees repeatedly mentioned how valuable the information was and lamented that it's too bad it's against the terms of service to record. Cristin let them know that she was taking notes, and if you visited her Instagram account, they would find the notes from our session. Connecting on Clubhouse is all about providing value, and Cristin provided a valuable service by offering the notes--which led to new followers.
Reference some means of getting more information in your Clubhouse bio. Whether you're sending them to Instagram to get the link a download, or you're including a (non-clickable) URL to your lead magnet, you need a way to get them into your universe, so what is one action you could ask them to take so they are part of your lead generation system?
We will keep adding to this page as we continue to learn and as Clubhouse continues to evolve. Join our list to stay updated on all the latest trends and social media marketing tips.
Are you on Clubhouse? What have you learned since you've been on the platform? Follow us on Clubhouse! Search Kim Peek (@kimberlypeek) and Abby Peek (@abbypeek)!
This post was written by Kim Peek. Kim has worked in sales and marketing for 30 years. She's a podcaster, running coach, and theatre-lover.
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