Australian business can jump on the Clubhouse bandwagon now and do three things straight away that will be of benefit to their business:
- Reserve their business’ brand as a username
- Create clubs based on their brand, location or purpose
- Put their best people forward on the platform as thought leaders
For those who don’t quite know what Clubhouse is, think of it as an app that replicates talkback radio, but you have the following a whole lot of different “clubs” which are kind of like radio stations, and then you can listen to, or be called up to speak in a room, which is the equivalent of a show on a radio station. However, unlike talkback radio, you can start your own club (or station) and your own room (or show.)
Now that you have a basic understanding of what it is, let’s take a look at how you get your business involved.
Listen, Learn, Explore
Before you start putting yourself out there, it’s important to understand how the platform works, the etiquette in place and how to grow a following.
First, it’s important to connect yourself with others on the platform. This is done either by inviting your phone contacts to download the app, reserve their username and wait for an invitation. You will have three invitations to give out when you first join, but don’t worry, as you do more on the platform, you’ll be given more. Those contacts already on Clubhouse will come up as suggested contacts for you on Clubhouse, so you can follow what they’re doing easily. But the most important way to connect with people is to follow others who are of interest to you, or who you believe would be of strategic interest to follow.
As the platform is still quite new and friendly, there tends to be more of a follow for follow culture, especially where there are common interests and topic areas. And one area that can make or break your following, is in your profile text.
Your profile text has a LOT of room to add details about who you are, who you work for, what your business is about and your interests, topic areas and almost a resume, of sorts. Take a look around the bios of the influential people on the platform and you’ll notice certain patterns, such as the way they use emojis to break up the text, and what information they include on there. Your bio is your introduction to this world and can be the difference between invitations to speak and having a very quiet listening experience on Clubhouse.
Reserve your business username
An important part of the onboarding to the app is the selection of a username. While you don’t have to get it right straight, you only get one chance to change your username after this, so be wise with your choice.
Most people go with a variant of their actual name, so Dante St James is dantestjames. Your display name will be your real name as listed in your profile though, so in my case, I show up as Dante. But recently, I changed my username from dantestjames to digitaldante. The reason for this is that I want to show up in searches on Clubhouse that start with the word “digital.” While I don’t expect this to be a great number of searches or even a lot of extra followers, having the word digital in my username also helps to brand me as someone who works or is a thought-leaders in the digital world.
You may choose something closer to your work such as trainerpaul or beautybykate. Just bear in mind there’s only 15 characters to work with here, so you’ll be limited from going too deep down a username rabbit hole.
Create your Clubs
Even if you’re not ready to go with creating, promoting or starting rooms in a club yet, it’s important to reserve your real estate on Clubhouse.
Once you’re in the app, you have the chance to create, at least at the moment, two clubs per month. I expect this to be slowed down considerably once the app opens up beyond just iPhone users. However, this is your chance to create clubs around your business name, brand position, what you do, or what your niche is.
Of course, all the most generic club names are already gone. Content Marketing, Social Media, Personal Trainers, Australian Business, etc, they’ve already been snapped up. But your business name, your town, variations around your town, your industry within Australia, they all are ripe for the picking.
And while there’s not a huge number of Aussies on Clubhouse yet, there’s plenty of chances to grab something within your realm that mentions your town, state or even Australia in it.
Participate as a thought leader
And despite there not being a tonne of Aussie voices on the app, you will hear us on Clubhouse throughout the biggest rooms and most influential conversations. That means that if you have credentials, a track record, have any kind of off-Clubhouse following, or have been published, you can be noticed and asked to speak on some of the larger stages. For example, just for participating in a few rooms, speaking when asked to speak, and having some good topics to speak on, I was recently noticed by the organisers of the first Clubhouse Summit, and was included in their speaker list for a 2-day online conference on Clubhouse where my session had over 300 people in attendance. I’ve since been asked back to a Content Marketing Summit that is expecting similar numbers. It pays to speak up in your area of expertise.
And that’s where a business can really do well on Clubhouse. Speaking and offering advice within your area of expertise. It doesn’t pay to be politely quiet on Clubhouse. And it certainly doesn’t pay to not participate in conversation when you’ve been asked “to the stage” or promoted as a speaker in a room.
Once you’ve got a following, you can even start your own rooms with your own choice of topic. Just my initial attempts to do this have attracted between 5 and 57 others into a room to listen and participate in the topic.
Just be aware of what times seem to work best for your target attendees. Time zones can be your worst enemy. Even if you’re only really interested in reaching Australians, just be aware that there’s often three hours between Sydney and Perth at daylight saving time, so bear it in mind when scheduling morning rooms that you may be alienating western listeners.
There is enough momentum now with some 35 million people on the app. This app will never be a Facebook, but it has grabbed a niche that wasn’t served before. And while live video with talking heads on Facebook, Instagram and other networks has plateaued, this new realm of audio only (well, it’s only new if you’ve never heard a radio before…) is only set to grow, be copied and integrated into other networks.
The biggest takeaway: get a head start while you can.