I did it! I scored an elusive invite to Clubhouse, downloaded the app and….yikes. I promptly exited, pulled up Instagram, and scrolled through some home organizing before/after shots to chill out for a minute.
Let’s be honest: the idea of learning a new social media platform truly is daunting. Maybe, like me, you finally got the hang of algorithms, learned the difference between a post and a story, maybe you even dabble in reels or TikTok (to be clear: not me). You've built a following and engage regularly with your community. You’ve mastered your list of hashtags. You’ve even created a poll and figured out how to share others’ posts to your stories.
Now Clubhouse appears…and it’s poised to eclipse all other platforms, experts predict. So what’s a mom entrepreneur (with 27 things already on her plate) to do? At Pepperlane, we do things together because we know that having the support of our community just makes everything better (especially when trying something new). I contacted my friend and Pepperlane member, Daraja Asili – founder of Happy Trees Entertainment and a popular speaker / connector on Clubhouse – to give me the lowdown on how to get started.
From our conversation, I pulled the top 10 tips from a Clubhouse insider you want to know even if you don’t have the time right now to dig deep:
Clubhouse is invitation only (and solely for Apple/iOS users right now)
Invitations are a hot commodity right now (according to Daraja, there are even people making bank by selling them)! Pepperlane members are generous with their invitations – search our Pepperlane Facebook community for Clubhouse threads and you will likely be able to snag one. (Hot tip: set up your username now (mine is @dianemeehan) - you can “save” your name until you have an invitation.)
Have an invite, but no Apple products? You’re out of luck for now - it’s still in beta testing, technically. But sit tight, they say it will open up soon...although I’m sure the exclusivity isn’t hurting the brand. 😉
It’s all talk
CH is all based on talk – no posts, direct messaging, or visuals. You can be a moderator/speaker and lead the discussion, or you can join a room as a member and “raise your hand” to be added to the conversation. (Hot tip: you can change your profile picture if you want to show someone a specific image.) Daraja says she no longer listens to podcasts – she has replaced it with Clubhouse.
Your bio is important
The first three lines of your bio are searchable and viewed with your name in other users’ “Follower” list. You’ll want to make sure you put your title and most desirable search words there. Use the rest of your bio to highlight your experience, interests, and anything else you might want potential followers to know. (Hot tip: the only clickable links are Twitter and Instagram, so make sure to add those if you have them, but also list your website so people can look it up.)
Be selective with who you follow
Don’t follow everyone – you don’t want your “hallway” (the listing of upcoming events) or notifications to be cluttered so that you miss topics or speakers that most interest you. “Your hallway is curated by who you follow,” explains Daraja. (Hot tip: when you see rooms in your hallway that aren’t of interest, swipe right and hide them to train the algorithm.)
Anyone can start a room
Literally, anyone. You can open a room and start talking about a topic. The very first time you do it, you may want to test it with a closed room and invite a friend. You don’t need to have a “club” (we’ll chat about that another time). Also, the room doesn’t need to be scheduled in advance – if you find yourself with 30 minutes free, create an open room, “ping” some of your followers to let them know it’s happening, and start talking! (Hot tip: label your room to target your ideal listeners, like "Boston Moms debating Dunkin vs. Starbucks".)
The algorithm is different than other SM platforms
Unlike Instagram, the number of people you follow vs. the number of followers you have does not impact your ranking, or likelihood of showing up in someone’s hallway. However, engagement matters significantly. When you have a lively room with many speakers, THEIR followers are notified that they are speaking; those followers may also join the room…and if you offer something of value in the room, maybe they will become your followers too.
The tea on muting
When you enter a room, you are a listener and automatically muted. When you are added as a speaker or moderator, your microphone is live. The proper etiquette is to mute yourself until you’re called on, and then mute again afterwards. You’ll be a speaker until the moderator moves you back to listener status or until you tap your profile picture and choose to return to the audience. (Hot tip: don’t hesitate to join a room - there isn’t a big announcement that you have entered. If it’s not a good fit, you can hit “leave quietly” at the bottom.)
Set your notifications
If you are following someone with whom you’d really like to connect, set your notifications (the alarm bell) to “Always” for that person, and when they are speaking you’ll get a notification. (Hot tip: if you are the first member to arrive in a room, it increases the chance of having a direct exchange with the speaker/moderator.)
Be thoughtful with your invitations
You’ll receive invitations to give to others - whee! You are tied to your invitees for their lifetime, so make sure that you’re familiar with the person to whom you extend an invite. CH is ruthless with trolls, so you want to make sure that your invitees are a real person. (Thanks to member Deborah Knight for providing mine!)
Be careful who you allow to moderate your room
Daraja calls the little green moderator badge the “trust button” – she only allows people she knows to be moderators in her room. She wants to make sure that the other moderator isn’t going to suddenly close the room or try to manipulate the speakers in a negative way. (Hot tip: you'll hear moderators say they are going to "reset the room" - that means they will reintroduce the topic & moderators to those who've newly arrived. Also pull down on your screen periodically to refresh and see changes.)
Bonus tip: Sync your photo across your SM channels
Since you can add your Twitter and Instagram accounts on your Clubhouse profile, it’s useful to sync your profile picture on those accounts so people will recognize you when they connect with you on across channels. (Hot tip: when someone says to DM them, they mean on Twitter or IG - there is no direct messaging right on Clubhouse.)
Figure out if Clubhouse is right for you, and how it might be useful. If you are a coach who has built a course with the ultimate goal of reaching 10,000 clients, Clubhouse could be a helpful platform to reach new followers. If you are a provider with a geo-local focus and the goal of 20 long-term clients per year, Clubhouse might not be the best marketing fit. If you are using it as a platform to learn (new marketing strategies, for example), be thoughtful in the rooms you choose and laser-focused with the questions you ask - advice based on an entrepreneur's goals will (and should!) be very different. (Pepperlane will be creating a club for mom entrepreneurs shortly where you can bring your whole self - stay tuned. 😊)
Find me on Clubhouse @dianemeehan – let’s do this, together!