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Clubhouse: Getting started with the drop-in audio app

If you haven’t heard of the Clubhouse app yet, where have you been?

It’s still invite and iPhone only, but Clubhouse is raising the kind of chatter that TikTok did in late 2019.

Silicon Valley darling Clubhouse has been bubbling below the surface for a few months and is now becoming mainstream.

What is Clubhouse?

We all know just how loud social media can be. However, when we say the word “loud” we’re not usually being quite as literal as we are when we talk about the new social media app Clubhouse.

In Clubhouse’s own words, “Clubhouse is a new type of social network based on voice—where people around the world come together to talk, listen and learn from each other in real-time.”

But what does that really mean? To put it simply, Clubhouse is an audio-based social media app. Think of the app as an interactive podcast that anyone can contribute to. Well, not everyone …

How to Join Clubhouse

If Clubhouse sounds like something you’d enjoy, and you’re ready to sign up, you might have to wait a while. Currently, Clubhouse is an invite-only app that’s exclusive to iPhone users. So, unless you’re BFFs with the likes of Oprah, Drake, and Ashton Kutcher, you could be waiting a little longer to join in the conversation.

Clubhouse Invites

When someone joins Clubhouse they are granted a limited number of invitations they can send someone using their phone number. The more impact you have on Clubhouse the more invites you can earn.

Alternatively, you can get in through the side door by reserving your username. If you haven’t gotten an invite yet, go ahead and download the app, signup and wait for someone in your network to let you in. Depending on how many of your friends are using the app, they will get a notification that you’re waiting and can let you without using an invite.

While you may feel dismayed about having to wait for an invite, it does look like Clubhouse will become available to the general public … eventually. According to the app’s website, “We are building Clubhouse for everyone and working to make it available to the world as quickly as possible.”

How to Write a Bio on Clubhouse

Meg Coffey's Clubhouse App Bio

You can search Clubhouse by keywords and emojis, so this is your chance to have a bit of fun and really tell your story. There’s no character limit for your bio. However, only the first three lines are shown, so you want to make sure they are impactful.

Twitter and Instagram are the only clickable links in your bio, but if you have a short link that’s easy to remember, you can drop it in your bio as well.

The Clubhouse text editor is relatively simple, so it’s a good idea to write your bio outside of the app and copy and paste it into your bio.

Clubhouse is great for being a fly on the wall to some seriously interesting conversations, but it’s also an incredibly powerful networking tool. For that reason, make sure your Clubhouse bio and profile picture is consistent with your other social media apps.

How to Connect with Others

As you can imagine, connecting with other users on Clubhouse is a simple process. You can search for users by name, with the member search function pulling results from member names, usernames, and bios.

Note: currently, there is no way to set your profile to private, which means that all Clubhouse users can be discovered through the search function.

When networking on Clubhouse, you want to put your best foot forward. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be yourself.
  • Follow people with similar interests and they are likely to follow you back.
  • Don’t be afraid to start your own rooms.
  • When invited to be a speaker, make sure you introduce yourself. Identifying yourself is an important step in ensuring people know how to find you later.

Navigating Clubhouse Rooms

Clubhouse App Hallway

The Clubhouse Hallway is the main feed where you’ll find active rooms and ongoing chats. If you’ve followed any scheduled rooms they will be listed at top.

Your hallway is similar to your Instagram homepage or Twitter timeline.

Hierarchy of Rooms

What is a Clubhouse App Stage?

After you join a room, you should see the room owner, room moderators, and speakers at the top of the room. This area is known as the stage, and the stage is shared by the room’s speaker who all take turns speaking. Think of it like a digital version of a live panel discussion.

Next, you should notice an area labelled “Followed by the speakers.” This area is filled with room members who have already built some kind of relationship with the room’s current speakers.

Below the “Followed by the speakers” section is the rest of the audience. Unless you’re a speaker, moderator, or in the previous area, this is where you will be.

What is a Clubhouse App Listener?

From the outside, you might think Clubhouse sounds like a bunch of strangers talking over the top of each other, and it certainly has the potential to do just that. However, the app isn’t quite the free-for-all you might think.

When you first enter a Clubhouse room, you enter as a “listener”. What does this mean? Well, it simply means that you don’t have the ability to speak right away. Think of it like muting and unmuting your microphone during a Zoom call.

Once you have a feel for the conversation, and you’re ready to join in, tap on the small hand at the bottom-right corner of your screen to raise your hand.

What is a Clubhouse App Speaker?

This might sound silly, but a “speaker” is just the opposite of a “listener”. It is important to note, however, that you have to be given permission to speak by a room’s moderator before you can become a speaker. Every room is different, and every moderator will run things in their own way.

Once you become a speaker in a room, you will have the ability to mute and unmute your own microphone.

What is a Clubhouse App Moderator?

When it comes to room moderation, Clubhouse isn’t really re-inventing the wheel here. The app functions in a similar way to how Facebook manages group admins and members. If you want to moderare a room, you have two options:

  • Open a new room yourself.
  • Be promoted from speaker to moderator by the current moderator of an existing room.

Once you become a moderator, you’ll have a host of new features available to you, including:

  • The ability to promote other people to the role of moderator.
  • The ability to invite room listeners to become speakers.
  • Turn on/off the ability for room members to raise their hands.
  • Invite audience members to speak.
  • Send speakers to the audience.
  • Accept requests from the audience to speak.
  • Mute speakers.

Being a moderator gives you quite a bit of power. However, with power comes great responsibility. As moderator, you’re responsible for, well, moderating. Being moderator allows you to set the tone for the room, influence conversations, and control the energy of your room.

Upcoming Rooms on Clubhouse

How to see a schedule of Rooms

Similar to checking your events on Facebook, Clubhouse features a calendar. Your Clubhouse calendar shows you all your scheduled rooms. If you have followed any scheduled rooms or joined any Clubhouse clubs, some of these will be shown at the top of your hallway. Simply click on the calendar icon to see what rooms are coming up soon.

What are Clubhouse Clubs?

Clubhouse clubs are used to create communities within the platform. Club Rooms can be private for members only or open to the public.

There are four types of membership within Clubhouse Clubs:

  • Founder
  • Admin
  • Member
  • Follower

Using Clubhouse for Business

Look, Clubhouse isn’t going to be for everyone. And as long as it’s iPhone only (and invite only) it might be hard to get your community onto the platform. But with everything in social media, those who start early often find the greatest success.

Here’s some use cases for Clubhouse for business:

  • Networking with experts in other industries.
  • Community building for coaches and trainers.
  • Position yourself as a thought leader.

If you’ve managed to grab yourself an invite, here’s my shameless plug for a follow – you can find me at @megcoffey

What do you think of the Clubhouse app? Tell us in the comments how you’ve been using it.

Clubhouse: Getting started with the drop-in audio app