Imagine the wonderful experience of people watching but in audio!

Welcome to Clubhouse.

I’ve been clubbing! And no, not the clubbing I used to do quite some time ago. It comes to us all.

I got my invite to Clubhouse on 7th January and it is already part of my daily life. It sits alongside my social media apps ready for the daily 6.30am check in.

So far it has been a fascinating experience and it has inspired me to write this blog. I have seen a few written about Clubhouse already, but in true Jules White style I have to write it from the human perspective and sprinkle a little connection to sales in for good measure.

It’s about my thoughts on what magic this platform could hold, but of course with magic comes challenges!

Before we start, all opinions are my own, but I would love to know your thoughts too!

What is Clubhouse?

It’s a social media platform in the format of an app on iPhone. Yes, you read that correctly because currently if you have Android you are not invited! I’ll talk more about that in a moment.

Within this app you have a profile very much like all social media platforms. You can have two links on your bio that are clickable – Twitter and Instagram. I also put my link on my profile, but that would need cutting and pasting to open – it is not hyperlinked.

There is space for a lovely picture, what date you joined and who invited you. It also shows followers and who you are following. This feels a bit Instagram/Twitter too – but we are told many times, do not play the vanity numbers game because you get put in Clubhouse jail!

Please don’t ask me about this – I have no idea for how long or whether you even come out again! I suspect, as with the other platforms, you do your penance for a few days before returning.

The idea is you follow who interests you, because those people are the ones whose events and activities you will see first. You can enter any room from your hallway – this is your main feed.

If you like the title of a room, you can go in and you’ll be part of the audience. You initially can’t speak and won’t be made to. You can only speak if you are running the room, moderating in the room, or on the stage. A moderator can be someone you choose to join the room to support you, and they can bring people to the stage and help you to keep the flow of conversation going.

The best description I can give you is that it’s like a live conference call. Just like in the old days, if you remember those! The added bonus is that you can see everyone in the room, and have the ability to tap on their profile to find out more about them. This adds a very visual element to an audio platform. Clever stuff!

Similar to Zoom, if you’re on stage you have a mute button, which people have discovered challenging to operate. However, it’s an important feature as background noise can be distracting.

And of course Clubhouse currently has an exclusivity – there is no other platform like this out there at the moment – but there will be!

Who can join?

I promised I’d come back to the subject of the lovely Android users out there. You could say this was smart, and by making it invite only and for Apple users only, the creators have achieved huge FOMO. Which of course goes one way or another. The people who won’t care, and the people who will be queuing to get in first when they finally get invited.

We are already seeing pleas for invites on posts and comments on other platforms, and the green eyed monster is definitely working his magic on this particular launch.

Yes, scarcity in marketing works, of course it does, but create scarcity and you better have something pretty amazing on the other side. Our audience are all powerful in creating a craze, but also in killing one.

The idea of only having one invite when you start is also clever. You are then selective about who you invite. Add to this the fact that if someone you invite gets banned, so do you – or so rumour has it! Now that could be harsh, but it will make you consider who you invite.

This will be very interesting to see evolve.

Celebrities are using Clubhouse!

The big names jumped on quick – Gary V, Oprah Winfrey and Ashton Kurcher, and many more people that have huge followings. Their rooms are full of hundreds of people when they are running an event. People feel like they can almost touch them because they are in a live room with them and if they get on stage, they can speak to them!

There is the total ‘star struck’ element of Clubhouse right there. The stories we will be able to tell…

‘I shared a stage with Gary V’

‘I had a lady from Eastenders in the audience right next to me’

Imagine that the closest way you may ever get to your heroes is now Clubhouse!

How are people using Clubhouse?

Well now we get to the interesting part. This is where the ‘people watching’ (in audio) becomes fascinating. I thought I would categorise the different things I have seen so far within the last 8 days of being in Clubhouse.

😎 The egos

Let’s start with this one. The general definition of ego is ‘a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.’ For the psychologists reading, you guys know how complicated ego really is, but generally we recognise it as something negative. Your ego can be what prevents you from hearing critical but necessary feedback from others.

Clubhouse sees many people with egos taking the stages. You could argue that without a little ego you wouldn’t be able to get on a stage let alone speak!  However, I think we recognise the kind of person who just gives off that feeling of ‘look at me’, ‘I’m so great’ and ‘I know everything’.

It’s a fine balance between being passionate about your beliefs and expressing that, and being dominant and so self-absorbed, so much so that you don’t actually hear anyone else.

In the Clubhouse – you will see every range of ego you can imagine.

💬 The opinions

You could say these are related to ego, but my goodness we can learn so much from opinions. We may totally disagree, and that’s ok, but we may also just hear something that makes us understand like we never have before. How amazing if this app could maximise how you learn and how you apply that in a smart way to your business.

🤑 The salespeople

You knew I would have to mention this. When you are speaking in a room you will often be asked to tell people what you do, and that’s great. We should never be afraid to enter a conversation with our short elevator pitch. People need to know what your area of expertise is and maybe a quirky tale that makes you interesting – a short one. Keep it short…very short!

Yes, you guessed it, the sales people are showing up in force on Clubhouse, but what makes it worse is the way their pitch doesn’t actually answer the questions being asked in the room. A great example was yesterday…

The room was called ‘What’s your WHY for being on Clubhouse?’

Great room title – so in I went. On stage comes someone who is asked that question. His answer was a full run down of what he does, the programmes he sells, how his customers have benefited from what he does, and how we can all connect with him.

I was left wondering what his why was, but then realised – it was to SPAM!

Yes, a fabulous platform with such a clever set up and marketing appeal has let the SPAMMERS in. So beware!

👂The listeners

These are the smart ‘clubsters’ as my dear “Android’ friend Ginny has fondly called us. She is waiting to get in and see what this is all about.

These guys lurk (in a very clever and good way). They are listening. They don’t want to jump on a stage, yet, if at all. They want to take time to find out what this is all about and listen. They could be assumed to be the introverts as they are known to be far better listeners, but we should never assume anything.

I am as extrovert as they come, and whilst yes I’ve hosted a couple of rooms and been on stage quite a few times, I have also fully participated in being a listener. (Here is a great podcast all about the power of listening)

🗣 The people who don’t listen!

And I am sad to say, but not surprised that there are lots of these in Clubhouse. Actually if I was going to make this blog bring home a really key message it would be inspired by these guys and I will tell you more at the end about that.

These clubsters do not answer the question – much like your average politician! They go off on a tangent because they didn’t follow the conversation. They don’t include anyone else because they didn’t notice what had been said before, and where that could have been a valuable contribution to the conversation.

They are without doubt a little frustrating to listen to.

The clever bits

The clever bits are the way the ‘clubsters’ are the ones growing the platform through their selection of who they invite, their participation, and the trending effect that this new app has. Clubhouse has huge FOMO, and that equals great interest, fuelled by the clubsters.

We are already seeing blogs like this educating and informing people about Clubhouse – this is their PR and marketing. When you arrive they ask if you are free to ‘walk someone in’. The clubsters train the clubsters. I must add that the founders are also super active updating everyone on progress and training too. Would you believe Clubhouse is still in Beta and rumoured to have over £1 million users already! (Figure at time of writing this blog 18/1/21)

Maybe it will become a way to make revenue by having paid rooms, and premium clubhouse status, and of course adverts are sure to come into play.

Here’s the bad news…

I worry that already some of the rooms are very controversial. Arguments are happening in rooms, and some of the extreme egos are seeing Clubhouse as a way to take over the world. I’m not sure how they will police that. The room subjects are really diverse and I am left wondering what they wanted the platform to actually be.

I feel safe in the more intimate rooms with the titles I select because they are of interest to me, and I haven’t experienced anything unpleasant myself, but I see this could be a time bomb just waiting to go off, and they are only currently in Beta.

To end on a positive note

If Clubhouse survives it could be wonderful at teaching us two things.

  1. How to truly listen.
  1. How to have the best live human conversations.

Two of the key improvement areas that sales needs today.

Two key elements of your UHP® – Unique Human Proposition.

I’m staying for now to see how it all works out, but will be listening and adding value wherever I can.

Hope to meet you in the Clubhouse! I am clubster @livelovesellit – come and follow me…but only if you have an iPhone!