You’ve likely heard some buzz about Clubhouse, a new social media app that’s invitation-only and designed for real time connection. But did you know it currently has 10 million users? Ten million users…for an app that’s currently only available for iOS. Ten million users for an app that isn’t even open for everyone. That’s right. You have to have an invitation to use Clubhouse. In fact, when I wrote this article, there were 2,794 listings on Etsy for Clubhouse invites for sale (which, by the way, you probably shouldn’t buy).
So what is Clubhouse, and what can it do for your business?
Clubhouse is a live audio app that’s a delightfully strange combination of something that sounds like it could be terribly boring but is in fact absolutely fascinating. It’s kind of like a podcast, and it’s kind of like being allowed to listen in on someone else’s phone call. Basically, Clubhouse lets users create rooms and clubs within the virtual space. Each room is an event — an audio-only discussion among users. These discussions can be scheduled or might pop up unannounced. Discussions can engage just a few people — like in an interview format, where other users simply listen in — or the discussions can involve many users. These rooms and clubs are based on searchable themes and keywords that let users know what unites a group or event. And there’s one more important feature of Clubhouse: The conversations aren’t recorded by the app. So a difference between Clubhouse and a podcast is that you must listen live, as the discussions aren’t archived.
Let’s look at some examples of popular groups and events to understand how Clubhouse works, and then we’ll look at some ways in which you can use Clubhouse to grow your business.
Daymond John, of Shark Tank fame, runs a popular Clubhouse club called “If You Want to Be Rich, Think Like This!!!” The club holds events with titles like “Failures that have Fueled Success.” Katherine Lynn, who founded the job application platform NextSteps, heads the Women Founders Club, which has roughly 70,000 members and hosts guests who discuss topics of interest to women entrepreneurs. Basically, whatever your interest, whatever your industry, you can find clubs and events with conversations that can inform, inspire,and connect you to others in your field.
As the Clubhouse membership continues to grow, what are some ways you can capitalize on this new platform to grow your business?
The most obvious benefit of Clubhouse is connecting with more people in your industry. Insider insight is valuable in countless ways – spotting and discussing trends, broadening perspectives,and benefiting from shared wisdom. By listening to and participating in events, you’ll expand your network.
Positioning yourself as an industry expert
A big component of growing your brand is establishing you and your company as category leaders. The potential for gaining greater exposure via Clubhouse is virtually limitless. Sharing your experience and insight with others in your industry can help build your reputation as a thought leader.
Holding virtual events
In addition to B2B networking, you can also use the Clubhouse platform to engage with potential customers by conducting virtual events. Your retail specialty shoe store could promote a live conversation with the designer of a new athletic shoe, in which customers could get answers and insight into the shoe designing process. Your accounting business could host an event about little-known tax deductions that can save clients money. An online seed vendor could have a weekly Q&A with a master gardener. Remember: Your industry contacts are consumers, too. The potential for customer engagement is absolutely enormous.
Finding (or becoming) a mentor
Not every entrepreneur is lucky enough to have a mentor they meet and connect with in person. Clubhouse offers a great platform for connecting with people who will challenge you, inspire you and hold you accountable. The ability to get expert advice is a huge asset when you’re growing a business, and sharing your expertise with others can give even seasoned business owners fresh perspectives. Mentoring benefits both parties, and Clubhouse is a great way to connect with people and establish mentoring relationships.
Getting live feedback
Most entrepreneurs I know are constantly generating new ideas. Some of these ideas are great. Others are terrible. Most are somewhere in between. One of the great benefits of Clubhouse is that you’ll have a network with whom you can kick around ideas. Having people in your industry provide instant input can help you refine your ideas in real-time.
Running a business costs money, and not everyone gets a spot on Shark Tank. Clubhouse is one more way you can connect with potential investors, perfect your pitch and possibly even close the deal.
Start asking around. Find a contact who’s an early Clubhouse adopter and ask for an invitation to join. Once you’re a member, get involved. Drop into rooms, listen to conversations, ask questions and share your experiences. Find ways to connect your business and your brand with other folks in your industry and potential clients. Remember, though, the app isn’t really about making sales. It’s about listening and contributing to important conversations in your field. The networking and brand-building are great opportunities that happen to come along with the connections you’ll make and the knowledge you’ll acquire as you experience Clubhouse.
Related: How to Get Invited to Clubhouse