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What exactly is Clubhouse, and should you try it?

If you have been anywhere near social media in recently, you will likely have seen throes of people begging for an invite to ‘Clubhouse’.

So what is this ‘Clubhouse thing’ that people will seemingly do anything to get onto? Basically, it’s a social media platform that revolves entirely around live audio. Think podcasts, but live.

Imagine a Zoom call filled with top celebrities, big business moguls, multi-billionaires, you and your mate Dave—on audio-only; and you pretty much have yourself a Clubhouse ‘Room’.

I got on it a few days ago after no longer being able to resist my curiosity and thought I’d share my thoughts about it so far….

Here is a video showing you what Clubhouse looks like inside…

Why is everyone so desperate to get Clubhouse?

The founders of Clubhouse—US venture capitalists Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, who had the new social app valued at over $100million whilst still in Beta mode and only a few months old last year—have been insanely smart about their marketing.

They have used a form of ‘reverse marketing’ to make their social app become so sought after that people are literally paying thousands of dollars to get onto it. At the moment, to get into the ‘cool kids club’ you have to receive an invitation from somebody who already has a Clubhouse account. And to add to the scarcity, each person on the app only gets ONE invite to begin with!!

This exclusivity and scarcity—plus the ability for everyday people to connect directly with their biggest idols and ask them questions like,”What colour underpants are you wearing right now”, “If you had to have a dolphin’s blowhole on your head or be a sausage, which one would you be?” or “Tell me your top three strategies to becoming a billionaire” and have them answer you personally in real-time—has made Clubhouse simply irresistible to the masses.

What can you do on Clubhouse?

Anyone can start a ‘room’ about anything. You simply open the app, press ‘start a room’ and you become the host or ‘moderator’ of that room.

If you have any followers, they get notified that you have a live room, and with one click they are in there with you. Once people are in your room, they can ping their followers and invite them to join your room too.

If you make somebody in your room a ‘moderator’, their whole follower’s list gets pinged to join the room too. Opportunity for exposure on this platform… massive.

How to start a ‘Club’ on Clubhouse

You can also start a ‘Club on Clubhouse’, but you can currently only do this by filling in an application form (which you can find in the FAQs section on the app). A Club is basically like a Facebook group. People can join that Club and all get notified when you go ‘live’ in the Club.

Elon Musk speaking on stage.
Elon Musk recently joined a discussion on Clubhouse to speak about Mars and the future of space travel. The site nearly crashed from overuse.
Photo by James Duncan Davidson

How to make money from Clubhouse

Business owners and influencers are flocking to the Clubhouse platform like crazy because the opportunities to commercialise your activity on it are enormous. I was in one room the other night where I watched one guy make over $100k in sales in about five minutes.

The fact that you can invite someone like JT Foxx to your room and then his entire followers get pinged if you make him the moderator, and then promote yourself, your offers in there makes this platform quite the money-spinner right now.

As such, many users are using their time to get as many followers as possible and thus you’ll see social media flooded with ‘follow for follow’ [F4F] trains to get the numbers high enough to make you worthy of being followed by the big wigs.

Just don’t get into Clubhouse ‘Jail’

You’ll hear people in these follow trains saying “I’m in Clubhouse Jail.” This means they have been temporarily banned from following anyone on the app.

I have been asking people who are in ‘Clubhouse jail’ how many people they followed in one hit to get locked up; and at present “around 300” appears to be the number that got them all thrown in follow jail.

If it’s your first time in Jail, you only get locked for about 3 hours or so. The more you get banged up, the longer your sentence gets each time!

Where is Clubhouse going?

I still haven’t personally decided if I LOVE it yet. It has its flaws.

You can’t repurpose the content you share and it’s against Clubhouse Terms of Use to record ANYTHING on the platform.

I have also found that its very poorly regulated and as such, I have seen some pretty horrific rooms that are of some highly colourful and grotesque topics—which I won’t even mention, but they would certainly be banned or blocked on more mature platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc.

It’s also a little bit pretentious in some rooms. The Moderators in some cases are very self-promotional, even ranty in their attempts to show themselves as big and powerful.

Man in a suit, leaning against a wall while looking at his smartphone.
Another time-wasting app, or something more useful?
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Saying that, I have also been in some incredible rooms and got to speak with people that I know would normally charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to appear on a stage in front of me, let alone ask a question to personally.

Better yet, there are rooms hosted by people you have probably never heard of—other everyday business owners like you and me, who are giving valuable guidance, information and personalised advice.

I liken it a bit to those warehouse factory shopping outlets in January sales time—you have to dig through a whole lot of rubbish stuff, but if you do, you might find an absolute steal.

Let’s watch this space!

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