If you’re a business owner or an expert, you’ve probably heard about the Clubhouse app. The Clubhouse app is an invite-only, audio-based iPhone app, that’s essentially a social network where instead of posting, or tweeting, you’re chatting. So, people go on, they enter rooms and then they chat with people about that room’s topic.
The benefits of Clubhouse is that you can drop in and listen to all kinds of experts talking about all kinds of topics. You don’t have to be dressed or presentable because there are no images and no video. And when you have something to add, you raise your hand and are invited up ‘on stage’ to have a chat. You can think about Clubhouse as a little bit like a conference. Except instead of sitting in hotel meeting rooms, you’re sitting in your own office, maybe even in your pyjamas. And there are ‘break out’ rooms where you can drop in and listen to people and connect, albeit virtually, just as you would at an in-person conference.
Clubhouse has been highly intriguing to many people in our community. I know one lady in our Facebook group who was saying that she loves Clubhouse so much that she spent over four hours in one day chatting. This led me to ask, how many leads did that get you?
The Problems with Clubhouse for Lead Generation
The problem with the way the Clubhouse app works is that it takes up a lot of time, and while it’s proving to be really good for positioning, there isn’t any obvious lead generation. You can’t connect directly with people. Instead, you have to go through Instagram or Twitter (the only methods to connect).
But like anything, you can commercialise Clubhouse. Here’s how.
How to Commercialise Clubhouse
Step 1 – Define Your Purpose or Goal
The first step to commercialising Clubhouse is to define your purpose or goal. Is your goal leads? Or is it positioning? Or perhaps your goal is two-fold and includes both.
Step 2 – Optimise Your Profile
Your next step is to ensure that your profile is well written and optimised. Regardless of your goal, your profile must read well, but how you optimise it depends on your goals. If your goal leads, then you need to ensure that your profile reflects that. If your goal is positioning, then your profile needs to reflect that.
Step 3 – Find Your Clubs and Rooms
Once you’ve got your profile optimised, it’s time to consider what rooms and clubs to join. Again this depends on your goals. If you’re looking for leads, you’ll need to think about what rooms and clubs your ideal client is hanging out in. Once you figure that out, you’ll need to request to join, and follow the clubs, go into the rooms, and start going through the profiles and working out which users are your ideal clients and which aren’t.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to grow your positioning, then your task is to create your own club and moderate your own rooms. You’ll want to actively grow your followers and provide value that inspires people to follow you and engage with your rooms.
Step 4 – Connect
For both those seeking positioning and leads, your next step is to connect. But if you are looking to generate leads, you need to take the users you’ve identified as your ideal clients and connect to them on Instagram or Twitter. Once you connect you can use your opt-in to move them from a connection onto your list.
On the other hand, if you’re seeking positioning, you will want to be inviting and engaging with your current clients and your followers to get them into your rooms and clubs. Then you can use this to increase your standing and thought leadership in your industry. At the end of the session, you’ll still want to let your group know what you want them to do next. This might be your CTA, such as ‘if you need more help, get in touch’ or it might be referring them to your next Clubhouse room.
Problems Connecting on Clubhouse
One of the in-built risks of the Clubhouse app is that people drop in and drop out of your rooms constantly. This means that you might not always have a good chance to connect. To connect, you need to follow people and they come on, and you need to get enough people into the groups in order to raise awareness and bring more people in.
At the end of the day, it is a lot of work. You can’t just sit back in the audience. You must be the moderator or the speaker and prepared to ask questions and contribute. This will help you build enough positioning so you might be invited to other people’s rooms – or to moderate with them. This is a bit like being on other people’s podcasts, and while it won’t generate leads necessarily, it will lead to exposure.
Future of Clubhouse
It’s still early days on Clubhouse, and we’ll likely see a lot of changes in the way it operates over the next year or two, and beyond.
As a Direct Source of Revenue
At the moment, there are no costs to participate in Clubhouse and, as far as I’m aware, people aren’t charging to ‘drop-in’ to your room. At the moment you can try to bring influencers into your rooms to generate interest and share value with your community. And they’ll do it for their own positioning. But this is likely to change in the future, and influencers will likely start to charge to do ‘appearances’.
But the good news is if you get yourself enough positioning, then, in the long run, you might be the speaker asked to contribute to a room or a club. And this could be an additional revenue stream. Grant Cardone charges $250,000 for a keynote. Even if he charged a fraction of that to appear in your Clubhouse room for 15 minutes, he’d still be doing very well.
Clubhouse has already experienced exponential growth. In January 2021, they increased their user base by three times their December numbers. In May 2020 they had 1,500 users, 600,000 in December 2020, 2 million in January 2021 and 6 million in February 2021.
This mirrors the general growth in audio platforms that we see elsewhere in the world. Deloitte predicts a 25% growth in audiobooks and a 30% increase in the podcasting market (to over $1 billion USD for the first time).
For better and for worse, Clubhouse is inherently personal. There’s no way to outsource, automate or shortcut a platform that is based on your own voice. This means it’s more difficult to generate leads, but it also means that it’s a truly authentic space that won’t become flooded with automation tools (such as LinkedIn).
I jumped into a room the other day, thinking I’d just listen in. The moderator was someone that I respected and I wanted to hear what they had to say. But as soon as I got into the room, they said, ‘Oh look, Jane is here. Come on the stage Jane and tell us your thoughts’. If I’d had my assistant just jump on there to log some ‘Clubhouse time’ or to try to make connections for me, I’d have been outed immediately.
Brené Brown says, ‘Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen’.
It’s a Shiny, New Object
You have a choice of all different platforms and all different ways to get leads. You have to make conscious choices about what is going to work best for you. It’s not about finding the shiny new object. The Clubhouse app might be perfect for you, or it might not. But when figuring it out, it’s important to remember that you’re building a business, not a hobby.
Consider whether you’re just chasing the shiny new object. And be careful spending multiple hours a day doing something that doesn’t give you any leads. You’ll end up spreading yourself too thin and even, perhaps, putting your business at risk.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about commercialising the Clubhouse app…
Jane Anderson is a strategic communications expert, speaker and the author of seven books including the upcoming Catalyst Content. With over 20 years of experience helping people to communicate confidently, she is obsessed with authentic influence and human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. She delivers Content Creation Bootcamps (Virtual and Face to Face), Coaching and Keynotes. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.