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.
As we were happily preparing for the holidays this time last year, no one could have predicted the impact that 2020 would have on business, with one of the biggest being remote working.
At one point over two thirds of the UK were working from home, which brought it’s own challenges; which room to work in, how to use online meeting tools and ways to keep the kids occupied whilst you made that important call. One of the biggest challenges, particularly as the lockdown started to impact on mental health, was (and still is) ‘How do I keep my people engaged and motivated when we’re not working together in the office?’
Reassurance, connection and business direction are essential as people juggle remote working with family and other personal issues. Use the C.O.N.N.E.C.T acronym (and the accompanying infographic), to ensure that your people are engaged with your business.
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Regular two-way communication is an essential part of remote working, particularly when managers and colleagues have been used to working closely together in an office.
It’s so easy to miss that key piece of information that would usually be delivered over a desk, or to pick up on latest news through general office chats.
Tip: Create an exclusive ‘team’ conversation channel for sharing news and asking questions. Transparency is key
Don’t underestimate the power of the water-cooler chat. Your people will be missing this social interaction. How can you replicate that on-line? Perhaps set up a What’s App or Teams group solely for the purpose.
Understanding expectations of your organisation is essential to individuals being able to structure their day and retain accountability for their behaviour and performance.
Tip: Consider a Team Charter
Work with your team to agree a charter outlining how you will work together. This should cover things like:
How you and your team will perform to deliver results
The expectations of working remotely
How you will communicate with each other
The channels you agree to use to communicate and how you will use them
How the team will share each other’s availability
The behaviours you expect from each other and how you will hold each other accountable
How you will support and include each other
Your commitment to making the charter work
Once complete, share the charter with everyone in the team to encourage accountability and consistency.
3. New Ways of Working
From which room to work in, through to how to actually work from home, change can create anxiety for your people.
Do your people have the right equipment to work from home? Is there anything you can do to support? An array of new equipment is now on the market such as standing lap top risers and space saving tools – all designed to help your employees work at home more comfortably.
Tip: Encourage your people to hold ‘end of day’ rituals. Things like walking the dog or simply closing the door on their ‘office’ can support their work-life balance.
4. Nurture and Well-being
It’s more difficult to spot signs of someone who is struggling when working from home.
Tip: Weekly well-being check-ins
Think about weekly check-ins purely focussed on the individual – how are they feeling? How is the family managing or how are they finding working and living on their own. Use this as an opportunity to focus on their health and well-being and to observe warning signals such as tone of voice or disinterest.
Whilst you may be experiencing your own challenges with remote working, put yourself in the shoes of your people and try to understand how they might be feeling.
Tip: Reassure your team that working from home is a learning curve for all of you and share some of your experiences
Be receptive of new ideas and treat any failures as opportunities to learn.
Having check-ins at the start of every meeting where you encourage everyone to share how they are feeling can really aid understanding and support of each other.
Collaboration is vital for remote working both inside the team and within the wider business. You will have processes and platforms available for this such a Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Slack, so familiarise yourself with them to discover whether there is any additional functionality that will benefit your team.
Tip: Encourage your teams to experiment with the virtual platforms with other teams; involve them in your meetings and always tag on agenda time for team ‘gossip’ to share latest news and progress.
It is more important than ever when working remotely to emphasise mutual trust within a team and to embrace flexibility. No one wants to feel that they are being constantly checked up on. Think of an approach as Freedom within a Framework.
Tip: Resist the urge to keep checking up on your people. There is nothing more demotivating than feeling micro-managed. Set out clear goals and objectives and trust them to deliver.
I am delighted to join the respected Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. As an independent marketing consultant, this new membership gives the opportunity to network with more established organisations in the region. Under my new company, Acclaimed Marketing Ltd, I have already booked for the many exciting business events coming up!
I’m really looking forward to working with all those member companies. As a business to business specialist, it provides great networking events. I hope to be very busy connecting with all local small and mediums sized businesses that need traditional and digital marketing support. I am genuinely excited at the prospect of working with them to help them develop and grow their business.
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