7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
I have to admit, I was first skeptical about the new drop-in audio chat app Clubhouse, which, after only one year in beta mode, already has over 10 million users.
With so many recent complaints about vanity metrics and the feeling of invisibility that creators and entrepreneurs have shared about other platforms, it was hard for me to feel excited about what might be yet another FOMO-driven app.
But I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt. After all, I don’t believe that you have to be a big name to make a big impact.
I believe that anyone can be a small giant.
Before Clubhouse, I’ve found that most social platforms are not conducive to advocating deserving, but often overlooked talents. Within a couple of months of using the app, I was pleasantly surprised to have been proven wrong.
From co-founder of Constant Contact, Alec Stern, all the way to musician and Clubhouse app icon, Axel Mansoor, it almost seems like everyone has access to just about everyone else on the app.
On my podcast, Mansoor shared how he recently met Grammy-winner John Mayer on the app, where Mayer himself dropped in unexpectedly one night to serenade Lullaby Club, a club that Mansoor started.
The real question is, can anyone, even smaller names, promote themselves on Clubhouse and build meaningful relationships, especially if they have less than 1,000 followers?
There are hidden ways that this is possible.
Here are a few of those ways.
1. Find and support like-minded individuals first
The interesting part about the app is that when you find people who share similar interests and value, and you follow them, it starts to show rooms of people and clubs that you follow, and therefore, ways for you to continue to connect, support, and work with them.
If you have a small following, be thoughtful about which clubs you’d like to participate in or which people you’d like to follow, because that’s also where you will grow your following.
Stay away from the toxic follow-for-follow behavior. It’s a disservice to you and your valuable time. If you want to be successful on Clubhouse, thankfully, that is not the way to grow. Get with people with whom you align with.
The app recommends following at least twenty-five people so as to confirm that you are not a bot. But more importantly, these people you follow will curate the type of hallway you have and the room topics you have access to.
I’ve found that it took following about one hundred people who I align with, for me to start seeing rooms that resonate most with my interest and values.
2. Break walls by asking questions or sharing comments as if in-person
When you don’t have a lot of contacts, high-touch interactions are much more valuable for getting momentum, or even your following, up, not that that should be the primary focus.
When you raise your hand to go up on stage to ask a question or share your thoughts, never forget the most important element of your time there: humanity.
You can use this Comment-to-Question format to engage with the speakers and audience:
“Hi, [Name of speaker(s)]. Thanks so much for that prompt/question. [Share your brief comment. For example:] I like what you said about [Topic X]. [Then follow it with a question, like:] I am curious to hear what you think about [Topic Y]?”
This helps anyone with a small following to immediately stand-out in a meaningful way.
3. Optimize acquaintances you made off-platform immediately
One of the biggest challenges people face in connecting with others is often in the follow up.
Ideally within a day or two after you talked on the app, you can send them a short direct message on whichever social media platform they’ve connected to their Clubhouse profile.
Be sure to mention the room, club, or the room topic where you met to refresh their memory.
Most high-value people are running multiple rooms every week. So it can be difficult for them to remember where they’ve met you.
Be specific about how you met and briefly share how you connected.
You can say the following in your follow up.
“Hi [Name], I really enjoyed listening/speaking with you in the Clubhouse room about [Topic X], where you shared [specific things that stood out to you, like “Point A/B/C”]. Thanks so much for your insight. [Ask a relevant question, like:] Will you be having more rooms on this topic?”
More importantly, stay away from pitching them right away.
Nothing kills a relationship faster than a misplaced unsolicited pitch.
The more personal the note, within reason, of course, the better.
4. Initiate a meeting of the minds on quality topics regularly
If not many people know you just yet, it can be difficult for anyone to remember you or your value. Help them in this with these steps:
- Create a regular room with a schedule that fits you
Nothing is worse than committing to showing up to your audience and then disappearing. Take a look at what you’re willing to do first. And then show up with purpose.
- Put the room schedule in your bio
This helps people know what to expect if they follow you, and for them to schedule showing up in your rooms on a regular basis. As an example, putting something as simple as, “Tuesdays at 5:00 PM US EST: The Psychology of Getting Visibility,” can help you grow an organic and authentic audience.
- Schedule the room on Clubhouse’s Event Calendar
When you create a room, be sure to schedule it on the event calendar, first. This helps people who are interested to save the event on their Google Calendar or copy the event link and share it with others.
- Think quality, not quantity
I encourage anyone to invite people they know to get the room started. But don’t feel discouraged if some rooms are smaller than others. Even some of the biggest Clubhouse hosts have days where people have schedule conflicts and the room turns out smaller than expected. It’s usually the quality of the conversation and the impact on others that keep them coming back.
- Panelists over Keynote.
Some of the most successful rooms involve multiple moderators and take on a more conversational format. In that way, Clubhouse encourages the panel-format rather than the keynote format.
There are only a few cases where having just one moderator on stage makes for a successful room. So invite a friend or two, or someone you’ve recently met on Clubhouse, to co-moderate before you schedule the event.
The more you proactively take ownership of how you’d like to spend your time on Clubhouse, the more successful you will be.
Together is definitely better on Clubhouse, especially if you have less than 1,000 followers.