Clubhouse. Have you heard of it? It’s a new(ish) social media platform that is invite-only and iPhone-only as of the publishing of this article. How to explain Clubhouse? It is a live-audio only social media platform. Meaning, the only way to communicate with people is via talking – like on the phone – in what it calls rooms. You can join rooms and start your own. There is no DMing or messaging people and no chatting while you’re listening to speakers in a room like Zoom.
Should you be on Clubhouse? My answer is yes. Why? Since it’s a new platform, you’ll have “access” to people that you might have a hard time hearing from or connecting with on other crowded platforms like Twitter or Instagram. It’s sort of like a 24-hour conference, with sessions happening on all sorts of topics. Every single industry is represented in some way.
So, what do you need to know to network professionally using Clubhouse? Let’s dive in.
Set Up Your Profile
Just like any social media platform, before you start engaging, set up your bio. When you’re in a room, people will only see your first name. When people click your profile icon, they will get a preview of your bio, so make sure the most important stuff is first (keep cute creative stuff at the end). There seems to be almost an unlimited amount of character space, so don’t be shy about what you include. You can also link to your Instagram or Twitter profile. This is highly recommended because you can’t direct message people through Clubhouse. Oftentimes, people will connect outside of the app on Twitter or Instagram after meeting or engaging on Clubhouse.
Since people can only see your first name when you’re in rooms, consider using the same profile photo on Clubhouse that you use on other public professional social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter, so that people have more of a chance of “recognizing” you from other platforms.
Examples of Clubhouse profiles
Follow Your Current Network & Industry People
Once you join Clubhouse, it will show you the people you already know (via your phone contacts) who are on the platform. As new contacts join, it will suggest them to you as well. Start there. Then, look out for people in your network or industry that you follow on other channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to see who is also on Clubhouse, and follow them. Once you start following relevant people, the “rooms” that show on your feed will include rooms that have people in them that you follow.
Follow Clubs Related to Your Industry & Interests
Search keywords like advertising, marketing, photographic, and eCommerce, and you’ll find related “clubs.” Clubs are like groups, you can follow and join them, and be notified when people in the club are hosting “rooms” – which are essentially events. The main thing to do on Clubhouse is to go to “rooms.”
Attend “Rooms” – Which Are Basically Events
Rooms are events where there are speakers, moderators, and listeners. You find these rooms through people and clubs you follow. Clubhouse will also suggest rooms it thinks are relevant to you based on your connections and activities but don’t rely on that alone (it’s not that good yet).
You can only listen and speak. There is no chat function or message function.
Take it from Jessica Gramuglia (awkwardly_jess on Clubhouse), Music Supervisor at Condé Nast Entertainment & Awkwardly Naked, “I believe Clubhouse is successful because of the simplicity. All you can do is listen or speak; it removes the uncomfortable aspects of networking. You don’t have to worry about how you look, who you know, or show up alone… you don’t even have to wear pants!”
“Clubhouse gave us a really unique way to fill a space in the sync community. We wanted to create something peer-led that connected the artist directly to the gatekeepers. We’ve seen so many amazing opportunities come from this. I’ve never seen another platform so easily create that much access and value,”says Jared “Deraj” Wells, Co-Founder of CTRL Camp, one of the fastest-growing sync licensing communities on Clubhouse.
What a Clubhouse “room” looks like
Attend Rooms, Listen, & Connect
Once you find rooms to attend – attend! Listen from the comfort of anywhere. Click around during the event on the profiles of other attendees. If it’s a smaller event, you might click on all profiles. For a larger event, you might only check out the profiles of the people who are followed by the speakers, which show up first before all other attendees. Right after the event, message people on IG or Twitter if those profiles are connected in their Clubhouse profile. You can also connect with people by searching them on LinkedIn and sending a custom message that you heard them speak at or saw they attended whatever the name of the room/event was.
Take screenshots from the room and use that for social media posts on other platforms and tag the speakers to thank them for sharing their insights.
Eric Campbell, Co-Founder of CTRL Camp explains, “The link between Clubhouse and social media is particularly helpful. Almost every new follower I get on CH also follows me on Instagram or Twitter. That makes my networking efforts on Clubhouse doubly rewarding.”
From Gramuglia, “The best way to follow up with speakers from a room is to do as they ask. They usually specify how they’d like to be contacted. If there aren’t directions, the important thing to remember is that there is a human behind the job title. Remove the transactional conversation from your dialogue. You can’t build a relationship off of the ‘I want something from you’ foundation. Invest your time in patiently crafting genuine relationships so they will trust you to do business in the future.”
Raise Your Hand & Ask Questions
In any room, you have the ability to raise your hand. That means a moderator can let you on-stage as a speaker. Why should you raise your hand? For the same reason, it’s good to ask a question during a real-life event. It’s a great way to network with the speakers. If a moderator brings you on-stage, you’ll want to mute yourself right away until they tell you to ask your question or make your comment. By default, your mic will be on.
Note, in large rooms sometimes the moderators will turn this off if they are done taking questions.
Photographer and student at Fashion Institute of Technology, Mariana Agostini, found a freelance job by being active on Clubhouse. “I introduced myself in a room of photographers and asked if there were any NYC photographers and if any were open to connecting with me to get experience. Two of them said to send them a DM through Instagram. One of them got back to me about a month later asking if I wanted to be a PA/Assistant for his shoot. I also connected with both people through LinkedIn and stayed active by engaging with their social media posts. Clubhouse has been an amazing networking tool, especially as a student.”
Explore, Learn, & Repeat!
Nancy Nystrom, Senior Art Director at HUGE and FindSpark alum, definitely recommends taking the connections you make on Clubhouse out of the app. “I found a room discussing the recent attacks on Asian-Americans. Everyone was very motivated to help in any way possible right that minute. One moderator stepped up and suggested we make a site that acts as a hub for information since mainstream media wasn’t covering a lot of it. Everyone started jumping in with other ideas. She then called out to anyone in the room to DM her on Instagram, which was linked on her Clubhouse profile page. I immediately DM’d her and within an hour was in a group chat with a few other women discussing who can help with the site. Less than a few hours later, the site was live: StopAsianHate.Info. It really is incredible what you can do when you’re with motivated people and a common goal.”
Explore and decide for yourself if it’s a platform that’s interesting to you and worth your time. It’s certainly a great option for people who prefer to listen and speak since that’s all you can do on the platform, much different and a great alternative to other platforms that rely on writing and visuals. Just like any new platform, Clubhouse takes some time to learn and to navigate, so be patient. And as always, have fun.
Have you had any great experiences on Clubhouse? Please comment with stories and tips!