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Clubhouse, what is it and do I need to be on it?

It seems everyone is talking about the new social media platform Clubhouse, but what is it and do you really need another social media platform in your life?

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an audio-only social media platform. Think of it as live podcasts where you can actually jump in and ask questions. The thing that makes Clubhouse so appealing is partly because at the moment it's in beta phase so it's invitation-only, but that's not all that makes it so appealing. The fact that it allows you access to insights from plenty of industry experts is great and people are giving away their time and advice on there for free. The idea is that you join "rooms" where conversations are happening and listen (and participate if you want) to live conversations with other people on the platform.

How do I get on Clubhouse?

At the moment as it's in beta phase, it's only available for iPhone users (sorry Android users). The only way you can get on there is if you are invited by someone who is already on the platform. If they have you as a saved contact on their phone they can invite you. As a new user, you are given one invite to share once you join. From there on invites are given out based on your activity on the app, and the activity of those you invite.

What do I do once I join Clubhouse?

Once you are in Clubhouse you'll need to create a profile for yourself which consists of your name, username, bio, and profile picture. Like many other social media platforms, you can start following people. As a new user to the Clubhouse app you'll have a party hat emoji, this will disappear after 7 days, it's just so people know you're new to Clubhouse.

Now you can start to join "rooms". Rooms are the places where the conversations happen. They have a title so that you know what's being talked about in the room. Each room will have moderators which are the people that have set up the room. Anyone can start up a room. It's probably best when you first join to listen in to some rooms rather than jumping in and starting your own room straight away.

There are 4 types of rooms:

1) Open Rooms - These are for anyone to join in on

2) Social Rooms - These are with people you follow.

3) Closed Rooms - Allow you to select the people who can join.

4) Club Rooms - Where you connect with people who are in a club.

Once in a room, you can ‘ping' someone to suggest they join.

Rooms are live audio-only. There is no replay so if you miss out on a room, that's it, it's gone. The thing that I find a bit tricky at the moment is that you don't know when a room started on when it's ending. There are some rooms that have been going for hours and hours, even days! The problem with not knowing when they have started is that when you jump into a room, you are not sure how far along the conversation has got. It can be like joining in on a conversation when the majority of the conversation has already happened!

When you are in the room there are three sections. The people that are speakers so are on the "stage", people that are followed by the speakers and then everyone else in the room. If you want to speak or ask a question you can use the "raise hand" function and the speakers/moderators can invite you up onto the stage.

Is it worthwhile being on Clubhouse?

Now, this all depends on what you want to get out of it. I have found it's a great way to have conversations with people that you will never get to chat with in real life. I was in a room with Gary Vaynerchuk and Paris Hilton recently. I never asked a question but I did get to hear their point of view on a topic. There are also lots of great people there giving their time and advice away for free. I also think as a small business owner it's a great way to increase your visibility. Talking in rooms on social media has definitely got more people connecting with me on social media. It does take up some of your time though so it's all about balance. Be warned though it can be a bit addictive!

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