Clubhouse is a simple concept: audio-based group chat.
It’s easy to listen: You can participate while you wash the dishes. It’s easy to participate: Moderators can “pick you” from the crowd and bring you onto the “stage.” And it’s easy to get started: If you’re lucky enough to get an invite, you can simply listen to user instructions as soon as you join.
But Clubhouse is a lot like talk radio: You can’t fast-forward a rambling speaker. And while you’ll definitely hear some pearls of wisdom from great speakers, you have to get familiar with rooms that fit your style and speakers that you like. It’s much like choosing your favorite podcasts to follow.
We were invited to Clubhouse in December 2020. That’s late for an early adopter but early for the rest. It’s already clear: Some people are making money on Clubhouse. Can gym owners do the same?
What Is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is still in beta, so you need an invitation to join.
Inside the app, you can join “rooms” in which people have conversations on a certain topic. You can also start your own rooms, which might be valuable when more users join the platform and you’re trying to reach people near your gym. Finally, you can start clubs, which are private communities on the platform. Your club can host private rooms, or make the rooms public—just like Facebook groups.
Oprah, Chris Rock and Kevin Hart have all been spotted on Clubhouse. When Elon Musk announced he’d show up on Clubhouse one night at 10:30 p.m., the app crashed. But these are impromptu visits—there’s no schedule or agenda, and nothing is recorded for asynchronous listeners. Will the listeners keep showing up?
How to Join Clubhouse
Clubhouse is currently only supported by iOS and Apple products, so if you are an Android user, you are currently out of luck. And for now, you need an invitation to join the app.
You can apply by downloading the app, opening it, reserving your user name and adding your name to the waitlist.
Reserving your user name is a great “hook” to get people to download the app. Many will download and save their names “just in case” the app explodes.
When you request to join, friends who are already on Clubhouse will get a notification that you’re waiting. If they have any invitations to share, they can choose to spend one on you—or not. Invitations are hard to get while the app is still in beta.
How to Start a Club on Clubhouse
Because Clubhouse is still new and ripe for the hate speech that has other social media platforms spinning right now, every new club gets reviewed by admins before it’s launched. That can take a while. But in the meantime, here are the details:
Before you can launch your own club, you must have hosted a room at least three times.
Once you’ve done this, open the Clubhouse app and go to your profile, then select the gear icon to open your settings. Next, click FAQ/Contact Us, where you will then be taken to a web link displaying options.
Click the arrow for “How can I start a club?” and scroll through the rules. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see a “here” link that will take you to the “Clubs Request” form. Fill out the form and then wait for approval, which can take days.
You can also go straight to the club application here.
When the club is approved, you will be the club’s Founder. Clubs have three types of users within them: founder/administrator, member and follower.
You can set your club’s rules:
Using Clubhouse to Generate Leads
Clubhouse is a social-media platform. And, as with Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, your No. 1 job on social media is to get people off social media and onto your website.
Because Clubhouse doesn’t have a native way to have a private conversation (a DM or messenger function), most users share their Instagram and Twitter profiles. When they take the stage, they’ve learned to say, “If you want to chat later, just DM me on Instagram.”
When setting up your profile, ensure that one of these accounts is active and managed because it will be the most likely spot to start a conversation: “DM me on Instagram if you’d like more information.”
Note: Clubhouse is recording your rooms and conversations in Instagram. Here’s how to shut it off: Go to your profile > click 3 lines next to plus > settings > security > apps and websites > active > remove.
If you are going to allocate resources to Clubhouse, you’ll want to do lead nurture and follow-up through DM on Instagram or Twitter. The ultimate goals are to collect contact information, add people to your email list and drive them to your website. This process can be scripted and repetitive, but it needs to be quick and consistent: contact > follow up > information capture > add to lead list.
Currently, there is no character limit in building your profile, so you can include all your information. Some things to think about: You have a “short profile,” which only shows the first three lines of your text, so you want to make sure your opening lines are engaging and interesting. Your goal is to get the viewer to click through to your “full profile” and learn more about you and what you do.
You can put all your information in the “full profile,” so be sure to include your website, email address, clubs you’ve created, etc. We’ve even seen people including their personal cell numbers and telling people to text them (Two-Brain Business does not recommend this).
A better idea that’s rapidly growing in popularity: Send people to a domain off Clubhouse that’s easy to remember. There’s a huge surge in registrations of .club domains right now, as Clubhouse influencers say things like:
- “Want to suggest a topic? Just go to name.club and fill out our form!”
- “Want to speak in our club? Pitch your idea by filling out the form on fitnessbusiness.club!”
- “Want to give us some critical feedback? Don’t start a hate club: go to catalyst.club and let us know how you feel!”
Yes, “hate clubs” are real. When people dislike a host, they sometimes start clubs to share their views with others.
Where Should You Invest Your Money?
Clubhouse is free—for now. It’s also ad-free—for now. Eventually, the model will reach a critical number of users and it will pivot to make its founders some money.
Where Should You Invest Your Time?
Clubhouse is built to capitalize on “fear of missing out”—FOMO.
Nothing is saved on Clubhouse. No one up-votes a great post. If you’re not on the platform, no one is hearing from you.
Some tech experts we know are now spending 12-14 hours per day on Clubhouse because they’re scared to be left out of the conversation. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, which are asynchronous platforms, Clubhouse conversations happen in real time. At the time of writing, a notification appeared: “Gary Vaynerchuk is live now, talking about … .” It’s hard to resist.
Similarly, microphones are addictive. People hate to give them up once they have them, and as soon as they hand them over they want them back. Clubhouse had 400,000 users in December, so you didn’t have to wait long for your turn to speak. But that number has already doubled, leaving users waiting for “their turn” for a very long time.
And because conversations are unmoderated, you have no idea when your turn will come around. You can easily listen to a “business coach” in Vegas ramble for six minutes before realizing her or she is only getting started and doesn’t have a point.
The Key: Where Is Your Audience?
Successful business means delivering your amazing service to a waiting audience. Clubhouse is an exploding audience.
But does it serve your audience?
Are your gym members on Clubhouse—or is it mostly full of other entrepreneurs?
If your business serves local clients at a bricks-and-mortar location, use Clubhouse as a learning platform occasionally and wait before you invest real time in it. Stick to the platforms your clients use most. Even if you don’t personally like Facebook, you should put your message where your clients are already spending their time. That’s probably not Clubhouse—yet.
No matter which platform you choose, sales of your service is your No. 1 priority. While an audience of 10,000 followers on Instagram is impressive, it’s irrelevant if none of those people buy from you. Social media is a lure to bring fish to your boat.
The bottom line: Clubhouse is seeing some early success in B2B sales.
If you produce a lot of media elsewhere, your primary job on Clubhouse is to get people off Clubhouse and onto the media that converts best for you.
If you don’t produce media anywhere else and you’re selling to other businesses, Clubhouse will probably get you some quick wins. You can even stream your Zoom webinars straight to Clubhouse (audio only, of course).
If you’re selling to consumers (i.e., you own a gym or a personal training practice), Clubhouse probably isn’t right for you—yet. An hour could be better spent creating content that will convert clients for you instead of shouting into the ether.
Remember: Your most valuable asset is time. While you should be building media, the best media is the kind that sticks around.