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The new Clubhouse app is where it’s at right now…

But what is it?

Who is the app for?

How do you get started?

Why do you need to be on the app?

And how can it help you build your online business?

So many questions, right?

Well here are the answers!

what is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is a drop-in audio social media app. You can think of it as a “live” podcast or “fireside chat” with people of like interests.

While other platforms focus on visual and written media (such as captions, images, and videos), Clubhouse is an audio-only format that levels the playing field. There are no cute pictures to hide behind, no carefully curated videos, just your voice, and your expertise.

It’s a great way to build on-demand connections by curating rooms that bring like-minded people together.

Clubhouse = connection and collaboration.

how to join Clubhouse.

What really makes Clubhouse exciting is its exclusivity.  Right now, Clubhouse is invite-only and only available on the App Store for iPhone. If you are an Android user but have an iPad you can use that to engage on Clubhouse. Because invitations are limited, this has caused a frenzy among entrepreneurs and influencers.

As of now, there are only two ways you can join Clubhouse. 

  1. Personal Invite: When someone joins Clubhouse, they’re automatically given one invitation they can send to someone they think could contribute to the app. You can invite someone from your phone’s contact list which means you are more apt to send an invite to someone you have a close connection to.
  2. Waitlist: When you visit Clubhouse’s website, joinclubhouse.com, you can download the app from the App Store so you can reserve your username.

Once you are in the app, the more you use, contribute and spend time moderating rooms and speaking from the stage, it activates the algorithm and awards you more invites.

Every so often Clubhouse will send you a notification letting you know that someone you are connected to is currently on the waitlist and would like to join the app. When this happens, you have the option to welcome or walk them into Clubhouse even if you didn’t send them an official invitation yourself. If you choose this option, you will not lose any of the invites you already have!

When you invite someone to join Clubhouse, they’ll receive a text message letting them know you’ve invited them and the phone number to use when they accept the invitation.

As with any other social media network, the algorithm is always watching, so you want to be selective with who you invite, who you follow on the app, and who follows you because this is going to shape what type of content you see in your Clubhouse Hallway and from whom. It will also influence who Clubhouse suggests you follow and who they suggest follow you. So, be intentional about how you interact on Clubhouse from the very beginning, because it will influence your experience on the app.

should you join Clubhouse?

With all the other social media networks out there, how do you know if Clubhouse is right for you and your business?

Created in 2016, Clubhouse is still in beta which means you have a unique opportunity to build your brand as an early adopter. So, if you missed the Facebook, Instagram or Tik-Tok wave, here is your chance to get in, build your authority, and grow your following on a social app from the ground floor!

What I love about Clubhouse is that it’s an app where your voice is your power and it gives you a chance to share your expertise, coach, gather market research, build relationships, and create community.

So, let’s dive into different ways you can use the app:

Clubhouse For Online Coaches + Course Creators

While you may not be able to pull your entire community or Facebook group into the app with you, once the app opens up to the public, Clubhouse will become a new way to engage and connect with them. Additionally, as you network and meet other Clubhouse members, you’ll find they’ll naturally follow you over to your other channels and communities.

Clubhouse For Content Creators

You CAN NOT record conversations that take place inside of Clubhouse rooms without every participant’s permission and doing so is strictly against the platform’s Terms of Use.

But as you see in the example above, you CAN start a new room and add a notice or “disclaimer” in the room’s public title and description. Then you can use a room to ask questions, interview other members, and put together content your audience will love.

Once you start a new room on Clubhouse, you can’t go back and edit or change the room’s title or description. Now, with that said, decide if you plan to record BEFORE you start your room so you can add the appropriate notices for people.

Clubhouse For Companies

Want to create a room just for your team or for a group of partners? You can create a room and choose the privacy setting – “Open” is where anyone can join; “Social” is only visible to the people you follow; and “Closed” is only visible to people you choose. Anyone can start a private or “closed” room on Clubhouse so it’s a great place to have private conversations that promote networking and collaboration opportunities. And once the room is closed, there is nothing that’s saved, which makes the conversations private and protected.

Clubhouse For Collaborators

One of the best things about Clubhouse is it gives its members the ability to collaborate with some amazing people. Clubhouse is buzzing with people from all types of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. You can learn and share the stage with anyone – from celebrities to artist to million-dollar coaches to beauty pageant queens. Clubhouse has built a platform that makes it possible to share a stage and connect with anyone in real-time.

setting up your Clubhouse bio!

As with any other social media profile, you want to make sure your Clubhouse bio is complete!

When you first join CH you want to choose a username that is aligned with your business and brand. If possible you want it to match the name you use for Clubhouse with your other social media sites.

For your profile photo, you can choose a photo from your camera roll or use your camera to take a new photo. Whichever method you choose, choose a photo that:

  1. Stands out. Whether it’s with color, the style of photography or the pose make sure your profile pic is clear and memorable.
  2. Is inviting. Smile for the camera, make sure your personality shines through and you come off as approachable.
  3. Is framed well and cropped properly. Don’t crop off too much of your face or have a photo that makes it hard for people to see your face.

What I love about Clubhouse is that it gives you lots of room to write a complete bio. The first three lines of your bio (roughly 125 characters) are the most important because that is what people see first when they tap on your profile pic. 

The Clubhouse editor is a plain-text editor, meaning you can not add any hyperlinks, special formatting or HTML code.

You can make your bio searchable by using emojis, choosing CH interests, and utilizing niche-specific keywords to get found on the app. Because formatting in the plain-text editor is limited, I suggest writing out your bio in a Google doc first, then paste it into the Clubhouse editor.

The key to a great bio is to make sure the Clubhouse community knows how you can add value.

You want to invite people to follow you and list topics you are interested in so members know your expertise and preferred talking points.

Also, make sure to connect your CH account to your Twitter and Instagram accounts so people can DM you if they want to reach out. At the moment, Clubhouse does not have in-app messaging (though it is in the works!)

You will also be able to join Clubs that align with your interests and be alerted when members of the club start a room. The clubs you follow are listed at the bottom of your profile page.

navigating your Clubhouse hallway.

When you open up Clubhouse, you land on the main feed, which is called your hallway.

At the top, you’ll see the main menu which spans the top of your hallway. From here, you can:

  • Search for a member or club using a name or keyword.
  • Check your Invites and add new contacts to join Clubhouse.
  • View the Clubhouse calendar for scheduled or upcoming events.
  • Check your notifications.
  • View or edit your personal profile.

Your hallway is also where you’ll find upcoming rooms, where you can join active rooms, and where you can start your own room.  If you’ve joined any Clubhouse clubs or followed any scheduled rooms, some of those events will be listed at the top of your hallway.

As you scroll down your hallways you can explore all of the open or “live” rooms. To join a room, simply tap on the white box or title and you will be added. Within the white box, you will see the club name (if a room is being hosted underneath a specific club), you will see the title of the room, the number of moderators, and the number of listeners in the audience. 

How to Find Someone on Clubhouse: Member Search

To find someone on the app, you can use the Member Search feature. Tap the search icon to navigate the ‘Explore” page. This is also where you can search Clubs, find people to follow, and curate your hallways by letting Clubhouse know which conversations and topics you want to be notified about. 

Every member’s profile is public (there is currently no way to mark your profile as private) so if someone is on the app, they can be found. The search pulls results from the member’s name, username, and bio.

How to See Scheduled Rooms on Clubhouse: Calendar

The Clubhouse calendar shows you a list of upcoming rooms. Anyone can add a new room or event to the calendar and when you schedule a room, it will notify anyone who follows you or the club you choose to open up your room or event under.

To open the calendar, tap the calendar icon to navigate the “Upcoming Events” page.

You can click the bell 🔔 to follow the club host or speakers to ensure you get notified when the conversation begins!

To join the room in progress, share the event, tweet it, copy the link or add an event to your calendar you can click the title of a room and you will see the prompts to do so.

How to Check Your Clubhouse Activity: Notifications

When you tap on the notifications bell icon at the top of your hallway, you’ll see the following:

  • When someone has followed you
  • When someone you know just signed up and a prompt to welcome them in.
  • When someone you know (or a club you follow) has scheduled, started, or is speaking in a room you might be interested in
  • When someone you know “pings you” or invites you into a room they think you might be interested in

Take care of your Clubhouse hallway like you would take care of your house! Watch who you let, clean up anything that doesn’t belong (i.e. hide content you are not interested in), and don’t bring home any friends or followers that are not aligned with your values, purpose or goals.

starting your first Clubhouse room?

Clubhouse rooms are where all the action on Clubhouse is at!! Imagine being a part of a large “fireside chat” or “having intimate conversations around the water cooler at work. This is the exact experience the Clubhouse app wants you to have.

Clubhouse rooms shown in the hallway are public and anyone can hop into them at any time. You can also start your own private room with one or more of your connections and have a private chat.

You can create your own room by clicking and holding down the big green “Start a new room” button. You can select guests for your rooms among your followers and Clubs that you’re part of, and add a topic (optional). When you create a room, it will notify people who follow you and have notifications activated for you.

You can choose the privacy level for your rooms between “Open”, where anyone can join; “Social”, which is only visible to the people you follow; and “Closed”, which is only visible to people you select. Club Rooms which are listed below the 3 room types is how you can create a room hosted by a club outside of the events calendar. It can be open or closed to the ‘public’.

If you started a ‘closed’ room, you can open it up by clicking the lock / 3 dots in the top right corner of the room display.

If you want to ping people into your rooms or find out who else is online and available to chat, all you have to do is swipe left in the hallway and Clubhouse will show you a list of everyone available, whether they’re currently online, and which room they’re in.

So, there are three (3) ways you can engage, make connections and begin to build your Clubhouse community or clique:

  1. As a Passive Listener: you can use CH in”audio-only mode” where you listen!
  2. As an Active Audience Member: you can raise your hand and come to the stage to contribute to the conversation or ask the mod a question
  3. As a Moderator: you host the room, share value and field questions

Let’s breakdown how the room is laid out and how to get the best out of your Clubhouse experience:

As a Passive Listener: 

When you first join a Clubhouse room, you join as a listener. You enter the room and your mic is automatically muted. You cannot unmute your mic, but you can sit quietly and listen to the conversation.

If you are new to a room, it’s a good idea to sit in the audience until you get a feel for the conversation taking place. Many times the Moderator will “Reset The Room” to explain to new listeners what the room is about, where they are in the conversation, and any rules that may apply in regards to how the room is being run.

As you listen, you can tap on the speakers’ profile pic or other audience members to open up their bio and learn more about them. While you’re in the audience, you can also tap on the “All Rooms” link at the top of the screen to scroll back through your hallway to see what other rooms have started without muting or leaving the conversation you were listening to.

A unique feature Clubhouse has, is the fact that you can minimize the app to check into other apps without losing your place in the room. So you can be working on a blog post, checking your email, open up another app, or check your DMs over on a different channel without missing a word of the conversation.

As an Active Audience Member or Speaker:

By default, the person who starts the room is both the moderator and speaker. Everyone else joins in the audience as a listener and must be invited up to the stage to speak. 

If and when you’re ready to jump into the conversation all you have to do is tap on the ✋🏽 “raised hand” icon to notify the moderators that you want to contribute to the conversation and they will bring you onto the stage.

When you’re brought up to the stage as a speaker, you’ll have the ability to mute and unmute your microphone. Get into the habit of muting yourself so you do not interrupt whoever is speaking.  Speakers will also keep their microphones muted while someone else is speaking to minimize background noise.

When you’re done speaking, wait for a second or two before you mute your microphone. This helps ensure you don’t accidentally cut yourself off at the end when there’s a lag between your speaking and others’ phones. You can choose to hang out on the stage the moderator does not move you down to the audience or you can move yourself off the stage by tapping on your own photo. 

Not all Clubhouse rooms are run the same. Depending on the topic or the moderator’s style, you will find the flow to be different from room to room.

Some rooms are more audience-focused, while other rooms are more moderator driven, where they are taught like a masterclass or webinar and the host speaks while the audience listens and learns.

In larger rooms, moderators will often bring a limited number of people they bring up to the stage and ask them to limit their questions, contributions, or answers so they can get to everyone in a timely manner.

In smaller rooms, you may see the moderators invite everyone up onto the stage at the same time to share in an open conversation. If you enter a room and are asked to come to the stage, don’t panic, you can always choose not to come to the stage by hitting the “not now, maybe later?” button to let the moderator you are not ready yet to speak yet.

As a Moderator:

Speakers with the ✳️ emoji are the moderators of the room and they control the flow and who comes to the stage from the audience.  

There are two ways to become a moderator in a Clubhouse room:

  • Open a new room.
  • Have a current moderator in the room you’re in promote you from speaker to moderator.

As a moderator, there are several new superpowers available. You can now:

  • Turn on/off the ability for audience members to raise their hands.
  • Invite people from the audience up to speak.
  • Accept requests from the audience to speak.
  • Promote other speakers to also moderate.
  • Mute other speakers.
  • Send other speakers back to the audience.
  • Shut down  room (top right three dots)

You can access these tools by tapping on the photo of any user in the room.

The moderators, who are also called “Mods” have a strong influence on the content and style of conversation. The best moderators will carefully curate the speakers on the stage and make sure they engage the audience, while actively managing the conversation.

Moderators set the tone and energy of the room and to ensure it’s a pleasant experience for everyone, if you are moderating a room with other speakers, you’ll want to set some guidelines and best practices on the best way to structure or format the conversation, and have a contingency plan in place so everyone knows what to do in case something goes wrong.

It’s the moderator’s role to keep the room open, breath energy into the room when things get stagnant, invite questions, and encourage others to share in a way that makes the audience feel comfortable.

coming to the Clubhouse stage.

The “Stage” section

When you enter a room, the first thing you’ll see is the room owner located on the top left-hand corner. You will also see the moderators and speakers organized near the top of the room. This area is called the stage. Every speaker in the room shares the stage, (or lounge as some people would like to call it) and people on the stage can take turns speaking.

If you are a speaker on the stage and would like to move back to the audience, you can tap on your profile picture and click on “Move to audience” and you’ll drop back down to the audience.

The “Followed by the speakers” section

This section is right below the stage, underneath the mods and active speakers. The members of the room that land in this section are members of Clubhouse who are connected with the speakers and moderators currently on the stage.

The “Others in the room” section

This is the section where you can sit in the audience in “audio-only mode” as a listener! Want to go on stage? Raise your hand!

how to start a Clubhouse club.

Clubhouse clubs are the future of Clubhouse and used to create micro-communities within the platform. Think of them as Facebook Groups on steroids that are managed by one overarching hub. Rooms started under a club can be private and reserved for club members only. You can also open up the room to the public to help introduce the club to other Clubhouse members.

Right now setting up clubs is a ‘manual’ process that requires you to submit an application. To get approved for a new club, Clubhouse is prioritizing clubs for people who have hosted a weekly show 3 times.  Once you have hosted three recurring rooms over the course of 3 weeks you can visit this link to fill out the “Request a Clubhouse Club” form on Airtable.

To request a club, go to your profile and tap the ‘Gear’ icon.

Then, ‘FAQ / Contact Us’.

Scroll to ‘How can I start a club?’ and tap on the arrow.

Fill out the AirTable form and submit.

Keep in mind that while you can change your club’s description, icon, and rules after you create it, you CANNOT change the name of the club so be selective and be 100% sure about your club name.

There are four membership levels within a Clubhouse club:

Before we get too deep into how clubs work, we need to cover the 3 levels of permissions given to people involved with a club:

  • Founder: The club owner is the top-level member of the Club. A founder can change the club’s description, update the rules and invite members to join the club without having to request or wait for the approval. They can also remove and delete members and open both public and private rooms hosted by the club.
  • Admin: Appointed by the founder or other admins. An admin can approve or remove members and open private or public rooms.
  • Members: An approved participant within the club. A member can create private rooms for the club but not public rooms. They can also see and participate in both private and public rooms and nominate other Clubhouse members to join the club. Only Admins and Members can see private club rooms.
  • Follower: Not an official member of the club. A follower can follow public club activities but they are not able to create rooms for the club, and will only see public club rooms. Followers will be notified whenever a member or admin of the club schedules a public room.

Clubs are going to be the way to leverage your Clubhouse community to the fullest and currently, members can only launch two clubs at a time to avoid being spread too thin or creating a club that then goes dormant.

Clubhouse is working on an automated process for applying for clubs but right not now it’s a manual application process. The wait time for setting up a new club is around 2 months, so if you want one, go ahead and apply for one as soon as you can.

Clubhouse lingo!

There are a few terms you’ll want to get familiarize yourself with when using Clubhouse!

  • Quick Change: To change your profile picture quickly, you can press and hold your photo on the top right corner and it will open up the photo gallery on your phone. Sometimes speakers or moderators want to switch up their profile pictures to show another picture or chart that illustrates a point or something important to the room.
  • PTR:  Short for “Pull To Refresh,” PTR is a term used when you want to refresh your page. simply pull down on the screen to refresh the room and you’ll see those new profile photos as well as the correct order in which people have entered the room.  When you change your profile picture or want to see the updated attendance in the room you can touch the white space on the page and swipe down. This will refresh the page. People are coming in and out of rooms OR moving from the audience to the stage and the stage to the audience, so every once in a while you’ll want to refresh the page or tell your audience to refresh the page.
  • Clapping: If you want to clap or let a speaker know that you agree or like what they are saying, you can tap the mute button – muting and unmuting fast which is equivalent to clapping 👏
  • Backchannels: There are no DMs or text messaging on Clubhouse (YET! ) so people are using Twitter and Instagram as a backchannel to further connect with people on the app. Make sure you connect your Twitter and Instagram accounts so they’re linked on your profile. This is a way moderators are communicating with each other while hosting rooms and it’s a way to pull people off the app to continue building relationships.
  • One mic: If everyone speaks at once, you will normally hear a moderator say “one mic,” which is your cue to be quiet and let the mod reset the room.
  • Reset The Room: Many times the Moderator will “Reset The Room” to explain to new listeners what the room is about, where they are in the conversation, and any rules that may apply in regards to how the room is being run.
  • The “Leave quietly”  button is the way you exit the room. No one gets a notification when you or anyone else leaves, none of the moderators or audience members are disrupted, and it’s just the way to close the room and return to your hallway.
  • Re-rooming: You’ll be surprised by how big some of these rooms can get and even the best moderators can have trouble controlling the stage. So, if you find a room spiraling out of control, you can move the discussion to another room or start a new one in a more private setting. This is called this “re-rooming”, and you can do that by either tapping on someone’s profile picture and clicking on “Start a new room together” or just starting a new room and pinging people to join you with the “+” button.
  • Ping: Clubhouse rooms can have upwards of 5,000 people. The more followers you ping into a room, the bigger your audience. You can ping someone into the room by selecting the plus button and sending a notification to your followers.
  • Don’t cut yourself short: Once you have finished talking, give yourself a few seconds before going back on mute so that you don’t get cut off mid-sentence. There is a bit of a lag time and you want to make sure you don’t get cut off.

will you be joining Clubhouse?

Here’s what to do:

  1. create your account
  2. complete your bio
  3. connect your Instagram + Twitter
  4. learn how to navigate the app
  5. create + host your first room
  6. give tons of value
  7. bring people to the stage to deepen the conversations
  8. direct them to your bio and invite them to take the next step with you where you can continue to serve them.

Want to learn more about the #clubhouseapp?

Learn more at clubhouseguide.com, join my new Facebook Group – Clubhouse Members: Connect + Collaborate and let’s connect on Clubhouse @andreabolder.

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