Clubhouse is a new platform and lots of people are very excited about it and are spending a lot of time on it.
The Clubhouse social media platform was founded in May 2020. Created by Paul Davison (Silicon Valley entrepreneur) and Rohan Seth (a former Googler and founder) it is funded by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Initially finding popularity with the Silicon Valley crowd it was valued at about $100 million (£73m) back in May.
Seven months later in December 2020, Clubhouse had 3,500 members around the world. That crowd includes key celebrity users such as Oprah, Ashton Kutcher, Drake, and Jared Leto. Currently, it has 600,000 registered users around the globe. It is soaring in popularity and set to surpass it’s first million users within the coming weeks.
What makes it so popular?
How does it compare to the other social media platforms? Well, Twitter is focused on text and words, Instagram on images and video and Facebook is all about profiles and faces. Clubhouse is different. It has found a gap in the social media market. It brings a key factor that other platforms have overlooked and that is the power of pure audio.
While other platforms focus on plenty of visual and written media (such as captions, images, and videos), Clubhouse shifts the focus to an audio-only format. No need for you to sit there staring at your screen and having your Zoom room ready. Or the need to get your best selfies face on! All you need is your ears and if you want to participate, your ability to talk and share.
Rooms with plenty of views!
Clubhouse is a series of user-created rooms. These rooms are areas where you can talk with others, some of whom are speakers and others who are there simply to listen.
People can move freely between conversations. If you like the conversation in a particular room, you can ‘raise’ your hand and volunteer to get onto the ‘stage’. Get ‘picked’ from the audience and you will join the main speakers and join in the discussion with the hosts. But if being on stage is not your thing, then you can take a backseat as a listener and simply enjoy the vibe or learn from some well-respected speakers.
The aim of Clubhouse is to be a safe space where celebrities and regular people can answer questions, lecture, showcase talent and share stories without having recordings lingering on other social platforms. A big pull is the sheer variety of topics discussed throughout and available 24/7.
Clubs, Halls and Rooms
Once inside you will be in a hall where you can see ‘rooms’ which you can hop in or out of at any time. You can also follow your favourite speakers and be notified when they are planning a talk. Conversations can’t be saved or recorded through the app, so part of its appeal is the freedom with which people – particularly high-profile celebrities – can talk openly. You can connect directly to top influencers from a diverse crowd of musicians, authors, actors, and media type celebs. So, once you’re inside a room, you can eavesdrop or join in with conversations that are happening. One feature is the ‘leave quietly’ button. It means you are free to come and go as you wish.
You can even create your own room where you will be responsible for curating discussions around your chosen topics. As a Room host it’s impossible to know who’s really listening. There are no official recordings or replays, everything is in the moment and live. That’s not to say that conversations could theoretically be recorded using additional devices. So as always it is wise to remember you are on a public forum.
You can start up your very own Club. However, there are just 60 clubs in total. Given its global reach that’s not a huge amount and from what I’ve seen it’s not that easy to get Club status. One of the key factors in getting a ‘Club’ is to prove its popularity with its audience. To see how much pulling power Clubhouse has you only need to look at what happened when Elon Musk’s hosted a 90-minute on 1st February. Elon’s appearance was a major coup for Clubhouse. His Q&A session quickly drew more than the site’s usual 5,000 room limit. It generated huge demand that several overflow rooms were needed. It proved so popular fans streamed the interview on YouTube as Mr. Musk’s appearance attracted unprecedented attention.
The real joy of Clubhouse is that it’s a bit like dropping into the live recording of a podcast. But unlike a podcast, you can interact with the hosts.
Getting Started in Clubhouse?
The very first step is to download the App from the Apple App store which means at present it is IOS only. There are plans to have Android access this coming Summer.
Clubhouse has used the form of peer-to-peer invite-only. The creators have used the classic ‘FOMO’ principle. A clever marketing technique based on the Fear of Missing Out. This has caused the classic response to offer an ‘exclusive’ item and led to a flurry of social media activity.
As it states it’s a ‘Club’, it is by invite only and this has people talking about how they can get access to this newest shiny thing! It’s a bit like the buzz of queuing up for the latest nightclub and being one of the first to experience it. Remember those days and the excitement it brought?
Just a note to save you some time, when looking for Clubhouse do not get confused with Clubhouse.io which is a software tool out there for collaboration and project management. Once inside Clubhouse you will find all sorts of help on the knowledge page. You should also view the Clubhouse community guidelines and rules for users to follow.
As I offer social media management, I’m naturally curious about all social media platforms and new trends. I have been keeping a very keen eye on this new phenomenon. Like a lot of people, I wanted to know what the buzz was all about. I wanted to see how this new shiny thing worked! So, when I got an invite I was like ‘BOOM!’ I’m in!
I’ve been on the app for a few weeks now and I must admit that at first, I was a little overwhelmed. But I found an incredibly good introductory room which gave a great overview of what Clubhouse is all about and how to use it.
So much choice. Who to follow, what topics are happening, which rooms should I invest my time in? To understand better I dropped in at different times and different rooms. I soon became more selective on who to follow and choosing who to get notifications from. Usefully you can adjust notifications and even totally mute them for a while. After the first couple of weeks, I spent time dipping in and out of rooms and found the whole experience a real joy.
Its Free for Now……
My view is that given the millions of dollars that have been invested, inevitably monetisation will come into play. What that entails exactly we will have to wait and see. There may well be the introduction of paid-for services and offers including subscriptions and ticket sales. There is always the possibility of a bigger player such as Facebook for instance coming into the fore as a potential purchaser. Who knows how it will all unfold?
It’s a completely different experience from the current assortment of social media. It has people around the world talking to other people on a live platform. They are there telling stories, asking questions, debating, learning, and having impromptu conversations on thousands of different topics.
I think one of the great benefits of Clubhouse is that you can take it with you wherever you choose. Just put on your headphones and take it with you. It lets you multitask while you listen so just like podcasts, you can listen while you take a walk, work out, or in the background as your ‘radio’. I’ve found it a real breath of fresh air.
For now, and headphones to hand, I will simply continue to just enjoy the wide array of audio opportunities on this exciting new social media app.
Free Clubhouse User Guide
If you want to find out more I’ve created a guide which you can download for free:
So, 2020 is ending and many people will be pleased to see it go! It surely has been one of the most turbulent years. A torrid year for many businesses with dramatic impact on both our personal and business life.
Whilst it has been traumatic, it has also been surprisingly inspiring. As a freelance marketing consultant, I found it fascinating looking at how businesses have changed in such a rapidly changing environment. Small businesses have kept agile and adapted. In some cases pivoting several times to adjust to changing pandemic rules and expectations. We have seen:
Commercial airlines swap out from passenger flights to offer cargo flights
Restaurants change from eat-in only to delivery
Gin distilleries switch to make hand sanitiser
Grocery stores transform from walk-ins to ‘dark store’ fulfilment centres
Yoga classes move to online workouts.
This has taken a tremendous amount of energy, drive, and determination. With the aid of digital technology, we have seen our teams adapt to working from home.
Is the Honeymoon over with Remote Working?
Some people took to the challenge of working from home with relish. Others had a shaky start and some absolutely loathe it. But it is now established and very much a part of our working life. It is here to stay and will not be going away.
Strive and Survive
As a freelance marketing consultant with 30 years of marketing experience, I have grown a diverse business network of trusted connections and collaborators. I’m used to adapting and pivoting. It is my job to keep engage with new digital trends. It’s one of the key reason’s I love my job as it enables me to bring a wealth of complementary services to help SME businesses. Now, as we plan for 2021, whatever that may bring, it will be the businesses that embrace these digital platforms that have the best chance of moving forward to survive and thrive.
One of the challenges I frequently hear from small business owners is ‘How can I keep my team motivated when working remotely?’ To help answer this I’ve tapped into my network and invited Jill Leake, a specialist people development consultant to give you some top tips for managing remote teams.
Guest Expert – Jill Leake
Jill Leake is the founder of JL Communications Consulting. Working as a People Development Consultant Jill has over 20 years’ experience in transforming people managers into people leaders. Jill is based in Solihull, West Midlands and uses the practical application of emotional intelligence to strengthen purpose, engagement, and productivity in employees.
Why you need to hire a freelancer for your business
Have you thought about hiring a marketing freelancer but you’re not quite sure if it is the right thing for your business? Maybe you’re not sure of how to go about it. Or unsure of what a freelancer can do for you. You’re not alone but outsourcing your marketing can make perfect business sense!
Since the easing of lockdown businesses are now reviewing their plans. After months of dealing with essential day to day operational issues such as working safely, furlough arrangements and cash-flow issues they are now looking at a restart. It is of little surprise that during this period marketing has taken a back seat and been put on pause.
We are all busy trying to embrace the new workplace norm. As we restart, we ask where now and where should my business focus? Well, this is probably the best time to engage a marketing freelancer and hire-in some complimentary marketing support to help you refocus.
Hiring a freelance marketer can bring many benefits to your organisation. Why – well freelancers are experienced in picking up the slack and are there to do the work you can’t. They can work for anyone, from anywhere, at any time.
What exactly is a freelancer?
A freelancer is a self-employed, independent person who offers their skills and services to several clients on a flexible basis. They’re not directly employed by a single company or committed to one specific customer.
For instance, a freelance marketing consultant is likely to have a wealth of experience working for a variety of organisations in the past. They will provide their services on their own but most likely have a wide network of other contacts built up over the years. Freelancing is not a lifestyle that suits everyone but it is definitely on the rise. Industry figures from July 2020 show there are over 2 million freelancers operating in the UK alone. source: microbizmag
How can freelancers benefit my business?
Given the size and popularity of the freelancing market all of this, are you curious about how your business can benefit from using a freelancer? Don’t get me wrong this type of partnership is not for everyone but working in this way can bring great rewards. The trick is to get the right fit and understanding how it. Here are a few reasons why you might consider them as an option:
Providing greater value
If you hire the right freelancer you can reduce your marketing costs, receive better service andget a higher return.
This is because a high percentage of the people in freelancing are ones with a track record of achieving results. They are self-starters who have their own business. However, as with any type of hiring, it’s important to do your homework to find the right one for your business needs.
Note the use of “value”. Yes, using freelancers can be cheaper than using an agency or employing someone in-house. You also have access to package options to give you the resource you need when you need it.
Day/hour rate: A set rate of pay for each day or hour you work for the client.
Project fee: With this approach, you agree a set fee to deliver a project
Retainer: A retainer is a set amount you’re paid monthly for completing ongoing work
A freelancer only charges you for the time they’re actually working on your projects, so you won’t be billed for holidays, sickness, pensions, National Insurance, training or coffee breaks!
Agility to match your needs
No doubt work has changed. The complete working landscape has changed and alongside that, people’s expectations have changed. It has happened much quicker than anyone could have ever predicted.
Every business needs to look at how it can be more agile. Freelancers understand this perfectly. It is one of the key reasons they get hired. Working within less traditional structures and hours is one of the biggest reasons that employees chose to go down the freelance route in the first place. They also realise that if a client comes to them, they need results and need them quick. So working out of office hours and on a short-term basis is quite the norm.
Overall freelancers are a lower financial risk. They work on-site or at your location to fit around your local needs and offer a variety of work options:
Day/hour rate: a set rate of pay for each day or hour you work for the client.
Project fee: this is where you agree to a set fee with your client to deliver a project.
Retainer: here you agree a set amount paid monthly for completing ongoing work.
The upshot is you have control to add resources and skills when you need them. If you know what type of marketing support you are looking for then hiring a freelancer is easy and quick.
Most freelancers have usually worked in several companies before deciding to become a freelancer. Many are well-rounded professionals. This gives them a broader perspective when it comes to marketing and the way they look at the business world. So, when it comes to your business they can jump in and act on the gaps in your marketing.
As business owners themselves, freelancers are totally invested in customer service and their reputation. They will have spent many years building up their credibility. Many will have spent time in various companies building up a great deal of experience and an extensive network of suppliers and other freelancers. That’s instant access to a network of skills and resources to dip in and out of. There is a huge pool of talent available.
Work with me
I’m Ann, an independent Marketing Consultant with over 25 years of experience in business to business digital and traditional marketing.
I’m the owner of Acclaimed Marketing and I live in Birmingham in the UK. I set up my freelance marketing consultancy in November 2018 to help businesses grow. Work with me to grow your business.
New social distancing rules mean our working environments will change. Some who have already returned have seen huge changes.
For office staff, there will be new concepts in dealing with their health and safety after lockdown. Honestly, the thought of working in this type of segregated ‘cells’ seems very oppressive. Other solutions with transparent screens are more open and but even these ‘better’ designs will take some adjusting to.
What about the ‘water-cooler’ and kitchens? I miss those fun conversations and social catch-ups. These will certainly be change!
As a self employed marketing consultant I work from home, so sticking to social distancing is not a problem there. I’m now the very best of friends with my coffee machine and I believe our relationship has gone to another level!
But I also used to hot-desk and co-worker spaces. It’s a great way of connecting with people. As was business networking, absolutely key to new business and I’ve met great people at these events. Online meetings are a great tool. I have been an advocate for a long time. But you really can’t beat face to face meetings, a more engaging and fuller experience.
It will be interesting to see how our environments and habits evolve. Safety is key but there are changes and everyone will need to adapt.
For the past 14 months, I have been working from home as a freelance marketing consultant. I have had plenty of time to adapt to home working. Even before that, I spent several years moving around numerous offices and departments. Hot-desking in various organisations as they continually evolved and changed. I have learned to travel light and to adapt quickly! So, in the face of this Coronavirus pandemic and with all this experience you would think it would be second nature for me to maintain a routine of remote working and social distancing?
My Usual Routine?
Well yes and no.
Yes, I have set myself up to digitally work from home and I have an established work-space organised. I have put in place routines and disciplines to help me keep on track with my business. I have read plenty of articles about keeping on top of personal well-being whilst working remotely. On my laptops, I have an abundance of software and apps for any planned webinars and video calls. I have all my work files ‘Cloud-hosted’ ready to go and backed up. But the key thing here is whilst I do work from home, I never planned to be socially isolating. I certainly never planned to be doing it full time. To have flexible working was always a top ambition. Having the ability to work remotely was a great option for me. However, all these things were put in place for when it proved impractical, either due to distance, timing or availability, to meet clients face to face It was there for when it was much more time and cost-efficient to ‘meet’ online.
My aim has always been to meet with customers face to face and my home office was a ‘Plan B’ scenario. But now many people are faced with remote working and somehow this is all different, it is very different indeed and it seems that things may never be the same again.
Not so long ago a normal day for me would see me out and about doing face to face meetings and calls with clients, possibly going to networking events or maybe sitting in a co-working space. This ‘new’ remote working is very far from business as usual. Certainly, social distancing is new territory, even for me as an experienced remote worker.
How Have Things Changed?
Today, like most marketers and non-keyworkers, I am working from home. Something I have done numerous times before.
But today it has a completely different feel. This morning it was eerily quiet, a strange stillness in the air and it reminded me of when I once stood on a deserted beach on the West Coast of Ireland. No-one around. Very little sound and a curious quietness that allowed my thoughts just to wander. I switch my thoughts back to now. For a moment I imagined the great turbulence happening in hospitals and emergency services today and speculate where will this all end?
When Will This End?
The truth is no one knows.
I go back to my project lists to look for some degree of normality. But again, this looks very different, this is not normal. We have no idea of what is normal anymore, or what normal will mean in the future. And then it dawns on me that it’s not just the great outdoors that feels so different, it’s not just my list of projects that feel so different, it’s that the whole world feels different.
Back to my business and I realise that I have little idea of where this will all end up. In terms of my focus there are few new calls, yet fewer meetings and even less rushing to set up for the latest video calls. Businesses are diligently prioritising and rapidly putting their contingency plans into action. People everywhere are being completely disrupted with an unprecedented rate of change in both their social and business life.
The one thing that I do know is that I will continue with my plans.
They may well need adapting but the one thing I am sure of is that we all need to continue collaborating with our customers and each other.
The Key Going Forward
So, whilst businesses continue to battle with the unknown and set up remote working for those employees who need to self-isolate or socially distance themselves, one thing is for certain and that is that communication is more important than ever. I have re-discovered and remembered the importance of all the communities and social groups that I am a part of. As an independent marketing freelancer and a remote worker, I have reflected on how many communities I belong to. Naturally my first port of call is my fantastic family, there’s also my great extended family and then there’s also my wonderful friends. I consider myself to be truly privileged.
We all spend a lot of time at work and suddenly and through my business I realise how many people I connect with every day. The small, medium and large companies, the net-workers; the start-up entrepreneurs; freelancers; marketers; digital gurus; previous colleagues (who have since become friends); agencies and suppliers and the list goes on……… Reflecting on this list I find my thoughts darting back on all the news updates, the people affected by this outbreak and those that yet may be affected in the future.
It’s A Very Difficult Time For Everyone
All this change has created a wealth of media coverage and articles giving helpful advice. Here is a guide that you may wish to have a quick read: Coronavirus: Five ways to work well from home: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51868894. It is a simple guide offering sensible advice. A quick search web search will bring up plenty of other articles too. I have found it useful to draw on different skills and I limit the amount of time I spend on the news sites. This gives time out for other thoughts – and hence this posting. I felt I needed to get some thoughts down on ‘paper ‘and I hope that others facing the same circumstances find it of interest.
So now what is my plan, what action will I be taking in these turbulent times? Like many I will be social distancing and I will be following up on point 4 in the ‘Five ways to work’ article. It’s the “Pick up the phone” action. I will be making sure I stay in touch with all those important groups that are have become an integral part of my everyday life. There is something else which I felt compelled to do. I joined as a volunteer in my local community. It is a local group communicating in WhatsApp and Facebook Chats to support those who are more vulnerable and may need greater support from the community. Whilst my business is vitally important and I should continue with my plans, it also feels that it is a time to look to your local community.
Being part of my family community, being part of the business community, being part of the local community. It’s all about collaborating and communicating. In these unprecedented times keep safe, do the best you can do and most importantly don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
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