Nowadays, there is seemingly nothing new about social networks. Want a place to speak and bond with your friends and family? You have Facebook. Want to share your photos and visuals? You have Instagram. Need a place to connect with professionals, find new employers, and build business relationships? You have LinkedIn.
Whatever your need, you’re guaranteed to find a social media platform for it.
So what’s the deal with Clubhouse?
You have definitely seen people discuss it or heard about the new app. You may have even tried to download it, found yourself on the waitlist, and ended up feeling even more confused. What is so special about that exclusive platform? What can it give you as a user or a professional? Should you even be adding it to your list of frequently-used apps and platforms?
At Belkins, we have been monitoring all Clubhouse-related news ever since the app was introduced, so we have some insights to share. We hope that this information will shine some light on what Clubhouse is and whether you need it in your life and work.
What is Clubhouse?
Given the hype, you might think that Clubhouse is the product of 2021. In fact, it was launched in March 2020. Its developers, Paul Davison and Ronan Seth came up with the concept after tinkering with social media technology. Since both of them had experience with all kinds of platforms and networks as former Google employees, they looked to create a more human social experience.
Clubhouse is a voice chat app that is exclusive to iPhone. Upon opening it, users can join a large variety of live audio chats or “Rooms'' dedicated to different topics. Unlike casual chat rooms, those rooms don’t have a traditional set of features: Users can’t send text messages, exchange photos, or attach videos.
They can only communicate with other users and the host via audio. Imagine entering a virtual lecture hall or being present at the speaker event. Much like real offline events, Clubhouse conversations can’t be recorded or played back — you must learn and memorize the information right here, right now.
Surprisingly minimalistic design for a modern-day app, isn’t it? How come it caught the attention of celebrities, podcast speakers, and business people? Is it elaborate marketing or is there something more?
To find out, let’s talk about Clubhouse features in greater detail.
What can you do in a Room?
- As a host. By tapping the “Start a Room” tab, you can host a Room. When you do so, you’re also offered to choose whether you want your Room closed, social, or open. Closed Rooms are private and can’t be joined without a special invitation, Social Rooms are available to all followers, and Open Rooms can be accessed by all Clubhouse users.
As a Room host, you can be its moderator, muting and unmuting your guests, removing or inviting speakers, and controlling the flow of the conversation. You can also add moderators who would do all the things mentioned above and keep the Room going even when you have to leave.
- As a guest. Once you follow the invitation and join in, you’re automatically muted in order not to interrupt the speaker with background noises. You can’t unmute yourself — you must inform moderators about your intention by tapping the “Raise Hand” icon. If you want to invite other users, you can tap the “+” icon and add users from the list.
Even if your invited guests aren’t using the app, they’ll be notified on their iPhone. Aside from that and being able to access the list of participants, speakers, and moderators (names and photos included), there is little you can do as an invited guest.
What do you need Clubs for?
Clubs are groups that unite users with common interests and hobbies or users from the same professional fields. As you can imagine, there are Clubs dedicated to TV shows, books, sports, and Clubs that unite various experts keen on exploring a particular field or innovation.
Being a Club member means that you no longer need to dive into your Explore tab to find interesting Rooms because you’ll be receiving Club notifications about ongoing Rooms dedicated to the relevant topic. For example, if you joined a Club about Cold Outreach, you’ll be informed about any Rooms dedicated to outreach techniques and strategies. You’d also get to communicate and connect with people who share your interests and are eager to start a discussion.
How can Clubhouse be useful?
So, with that covered, you now have a clear image of Clubhouse and what it can do for you. Now, let’s talk about the advantages and reasons why B2B professionals are so excited about the app. Also, why is everybody hyping right now? Well, the thing is, Clubhouse used to be a highly exclusive app, marketed to and used by VIPs like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and other celebrities. Even at this exclusive stage, Clubhouse was valued at $100 million. Moreover, in less than a year its pool of users expanded from 600,000 to over 2,000,000 hosts, speakers, and participants.
Seeing this success, the developers proceeded to make this experience accessible to all users. After the initial stage, they’re gradually introducing Clubhouse to all audiences. But what can those audiences get from Clubhouse?
We’ll start from the most obvious pros:
- Natural communication. Once it’s on the Internet, it’s there forever — this was the common knowledge for all generations using the World Wide Web.Indeed, people paid the price for the accessibility of information and content — they feel that their every word is documented and archived, ready to get used against them in a distant future.
That led to online conversations becoming more stiff, artificial, and generic, with users losing any motivation to actually communicate or discuss subjects.Clubhouse, however, makes sure that everything said in the Room never leaves its digital premises. Since conversations aren’t saved or recorded, the users don’t have to worry about being under surveillance and therefore are free to express themselves, explain their points of view, or even share personal experiences.
No wonder so many celebrities support Clubhouse: They don’t have to worry that someone will take their phrase out of context and make a headline out of it!
- Versatility. Clubhouse rooms can be used both for chill conversations and discussing business topics. Whether you want to talk about the latest episode of your favorite TV show with fellow fans or make a big interactive podcast about B2B innovations, you only have to create a room, and you’re good to go.
At least, that's how Clubhouse developers see it, once the app becomes more available. Right now, only invited users can join your Room — every invited user gets to send invites in return, making sure that your Room gathers only those who are actually interested in what you have to say.
- Control. In spite of coming off as an app with rather ephemeral behavior guidelines and rules, Clubhouse is completely chaos-free. After all, there is a reason why Elon Musk decided to give the platform a shot. All conversations are overseen by a moderator, who greenlights joining guests and kicks out all troublemakers.
This level of security ensures that you can discuss matters without worrying about being interrupted by a random griefer. So, it’s the level of controlled conversation that could be previously achieved only in offline spaces.
To cut a long story short, in the times when COVID-19 made us rely on virtual meetings, Clubhouse delivered a refreshing experience of an offline conversation. No recording, no overcomplicated menus and interfaces, just people who gathered to talk about things that matter. A simple, yet brilliant concept.
But what does it mean for businesses and brands? We didn’t mention it being “better than LinkedIn” just for an outrageous headline.
First of all, we should mention that Clubhouse still has a long way to go. Some time ago it used to be limited to elite circles only. It was used by celebrities and top people in the industry, i.e., users who could afford paid invitations.
Right now, it’s becoming more accessible, but we’re not talking about a wide range of audiences. Additionally, productive conversations need well-trained speakers who know how not to get overwhelmed by sudden freedom and keep their cool regardless of the questions they’re asked.
In spite of these facts, Clubhouse demonstrates that high promise in the following marketing directions:
- Creating new and informative content for customers and partners. Sure, Clubhouse doesn’t provide content-making tools, but its creativity is only limited by your imagination. The simplicity of its layout provides you with many opportunities for experimentation and interaction with your audience.
You’re allowed to be less formal; you can take creative risks and try something new. At this point, your audience is sick and tired of Zoom meetings and Skype calls. They crave entertainment and seek knowledge. Some speakers prefer to combine their reports with performance, others offer the participants to take part in screenplay reading or launch contests.
There is nothing you can’t do within an audio event. As long as you’re vivacious, imaginative, and motivated, you can turn your Room discussions into an amazing experience for your audience.
- Strengthening relationships with prospects and building credibility. As years go by, people trust corporations less and less. The latest events and force majeure have shown that big-name organizations are as prone to errors and incompetence as any other entities.
Therefore, loud slogans and posh advertising no longer inspire people to follow brands and interact with their services. Modern customers are inquisitive and cautious. They want you to speak, to express yourself, to prove your humanity. Facebook or LinkedIn posts can be edited.
Sometimes even streams are scripted. But Clubhouse offers some real, unfabricated experience that persuades your potential buyers better than a thousand ads. When you enter an uncensored, unmonitored space, you remain professional and genuine. You talk to your prospects and hear them out in return. Such conversations nurture the best relationships.
- Building your influencer image. It’s hard to become a thought leader on such popular platforms as Facebook and Instagram. They’re teeming with competitors who already have a massive following and won’t give up the crown that easily.LinkedIn, too, became increasingly popular among B2B influencers, complicating the task of achieving thought leadership.
However, Clubhouse is a brand-new platform that is picking up the speed. Very soon, it will be used by all kinds of influencers, non-profit organizations, creative groups, and companies. Spearheading this direction will let you stand out from the crowd and be the first to deliver innovation to your partners, colleagues, and prospects.
Starting Rooms allows you to launch webinars, share tips, discuss the latest changes in the industry and start AMAs — make sure to explore these opportunities before your competition does.
- Encouraging personal connections. At Belkins, we have always emphasized the importance of a human-to-human approach instead of a client-to-company approach. Times get more complicated, issues emerge and pile up. Formalities and dry official tone no longer signify great expertise — on the contrary, they demonstrate attempts to hide incompetence.
The modern business language combines experience and humanity. You must reach out to your prospects with tact and understanding, speak genuinely and knowingly. With Clubhouse, you can do just that while encouraging people to communicate, connect, and avoid screen fatigue — since that app is available on iPhone, you can start conversations from anywhere and keep things dynamic.
To sum it all up, is Clubhouse better than LinkedIn?
Yes and no. In the course of our work in B2B marketing and influencer marketing, we came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as the only Right Tool. Every platform serves its purpose. What you must do to make the most out of it is to know how to combine tools in your arsenal and use them to the full extent.
In that regard, Clubhouse is an amazing asset, capable of giving you the edge in your LinkedIn marketing and showcasing your brand from an entirely new perspective. Since Belkins has been launching podcasts and webinars for a while, we fully intend to explore Clubhouse and its benefits — and we’d be happy to welcome you in a Room of our own.
We hope this post helped you make up your mind regarding Clubhouse. In case you consider giving it a try, we’d like to close this piece with a list of tips that may come in handy.
Make the most out of your Clubhouse presence
So, you’re a registered Clubhouse user and you want to be recognized as a speaker. As always, the devil is in the details. The more details you add to your profile, the more visible you will be to your potential followers. The more comfortable and accessible your Rooms are, the more people will join in. While the official toolset of Clubhouse doesn’t provide much, great and capable people have already created a ton of instruments that will help you build a solid presence.
- User icon. You can’t get started without a proper visual ID. Of course, if you plan to host Rooms dedicated to B2B subjects, you must use your real photo. However, nothing stops you from making it more stylish and memorable. For example, you can use this tool to make a framed user icon. Additionally, there is an option to make a glowy framed icon or even choose a distinctive color scheme for your frame.
- Bio. Say more about yourself by outlining and designing a desktop bio and adding it to your Clubhouse profile. It’s a good way to stand out and give your brand some extra recognizability.
- Profile fonts. This tool allows you to expand your current font set and make your user profile a bit more memorable.
- Room poster. Offline events get a poster. Why should your Room event be different? Take your time to make a creative poster for the upcoming speaking event to build up the hype and make people anticipate the discussion.
- Event links. To make sure that your followers are always aware of upcoming events or help prospects join your Open Rooms, you can generate links for Instagram and Facebook with this tool.
- Customized links. Share short customized links and spread notes between your Club members to build up communication.
- Sound board. Inject some fun into your presentation by adding music, sounds, and jingles. The Internet always provides them.
- Landing page. A landing page containing all links, upcoming events announcements, comment sections and place for feedback is a great supportive platform for regular Clubhouse users. It allows you to stay in touch with your audience and build your loyal community faster. You can also create an event page that only informs users about the upcoming presentation in your Room.
- Text chat. For users who can’t do without one, there is a tool that lets you implement a chat feature and help your participants communicate and discuss your speech. Additionally, there is a tool for gathering questions from users, so you won’t miss a single one!
- Room customization. Monitor your productivity, stay informed about the best Rooms and Clubs, make instant calendar reminders, record your Room presentation — there is everything you need to stay in control of your performance and identify areas for improvement.
If you want to know more about becoming an influencer, feel free to explore our website or ask us for a consultation!