“Can we talk about this Clubhouse addiction thing that’s happening?”
In a recent Clubhouse room I joined titled “Podcast After Dark” in the club Real Talk Podcasting, several users discussed everything from their favorite transcription services to why they can’t seem to get off Clubhouse (the latter of which remains a mystery, but most agreed it’s become part of their daily lives).
The audio-only social media app, which still hasn’t dropped its invitation requirement, seems to be alive and well among certain groups, despite some early haters who thought its popularity would dramatically wane as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions loosen and people begin to emerge from their houses.
Just from a quick browse of the platform, it’s apparent that Clubhouse is most popular for hobbyists and/or career-focused individuals who want to discuss specific interests from sports and entertainment to the latest trends in tech and entrepreneurship. This is why the app remains relevant for podcasters: there are tons of audio lovers on the platform who want to geek out about show notes, monetization and everything else podcasters care about.
So, let’s dive into the latest on Clubhouse — and what you can still get out of it as a podcaster.
Is Clubhouse still a thing?
The short answer is yes.
In March, the New York Times broke the news that Facebook is creating its own version (if Mark Zuckerberg sees it as enough of a threat to copy it, we deem it at least fairly popular) and on May 9, the formerly iPhone-only app announced that Clubhouse now has an Android app, provided you live in the United States.
Twitter already rolled out its version, Spaces, to users with 600 or more followers, but it’s too new to gauge how popular the feature will be.
Keep in mind, however, that popularity is subjective.
According to a May 3 Gizmodo article, “In April, the app reached a grand total of 922,000 downloads, new research found, a sharp downturn after bringing in millions of new users just a month earlier.” These numbers come from analytics firm SensorTower, which has reported a downward trend in downloads for the past several months.
This data offers one perspective on Clubhouse, but joining the app itself offers a different point of view. Those who are already on the app seem to be continually engaging with it — jump into a few rooms and at least one of the speakers is bound to make a joke about remaining on Clubhouse for hours on end before realizing it.
There are currently 51 Clubhouse rooms with the word “Podcasting” in the title, including several niched rooms such as “Podcasting En Español” and “Podcasting for Introverts.” Some of these rooms are quite small and have few to no followers, but their mere existence means there’s a space for these conversations to be had.
So if you’re looking to connect with likeminded audio fanatics and learn something new about podcasting, Clubhouse could be the place to do it.
How to cultivate conversations on Clubhouse as a podcaster
Writer Lindsay Harris Friel described the app perfectly in her recent article for The Podcast Host titled “Clubhouse for Podcasters: Inside the Voice-Chat App.”
She said “Clubhouse feels like listening in on a phone conversation,” which is obviously perfect for chatty podcast hosts. But she also points out how, if you’re not careful, what starts as a friendly open discussion can quickly devolve into a hostile environment of people pushing their own agenda (which usually involves people trying to get more followers and/or visibility for their brand).
Starting a discussion (aka starting a room) on Clubhouse is the best way to connect with fellow podcasters and listeners. But before you start your first one, Lindsay recommends leaving your ego at the door. After attending a Clubhouse chat on room moderation, she picked up the following useful tips:
👂 Set the intention of the discussion
By stating expectations for the room at the beginning — and again a few times throughout, because new users will pop in sporadically — you’re letting everyone know what the plan is. This way, people are more likely to stay on topic and hold one another accountable. (I’m biased because I’m Type A, but I think it’s fair to say going into any new situation with a plan is usually better than going in without one.)
👂 Keep users updated on where you’re at
Just like nobody appreciates being hung up on, it would be incredibly awkward to just end your room without giving users at least a couple minutes’ warning. “For example, if you’re coming to the end of your time slot,” Lindsay says, “it’s good to say, ‘I’m going to close the hand-raising,’ before accepting the last few questions or comments. This way, your audience knows you’re wrapping up.”
👂 Welcome newbies
New people will constantly jump into your discussion, often in the middle, so it’s important to acknowledge them. Even though you can’t completely catch them up, it’s still helpful to say something along the lines of “And for those of you who are just joining us, welcome! We’re talking about XYZ.”
How to increase engagement and grow your podcast audience through Clubhouse
In a recent YouTube video “How to Use Clubhouse, 3 Ways Podcasters Should Be Using It,” podcaster Krystal Proffitt offers three tactics that are specific to podcasters trying to utilize Clubhouse professionally.
1. Schedule a room with a previous podcast guest
Clubhouse is a great platform for continuing a conversation with an old guest, Krystal says, especially if that original conversation had to be heavily edited for time purposes. Clubhouse is (for the most part) spontaneous, so all you have to do is ask that guest to get on at a specific time so you can either pick up where you left off on the episode or allow yourself to dive deeper into topics you already addressed. The scheduling tool is also super helpful because if you schedule the chat in advance, you can promote it in your bio and in your club’s page so more people will tune in.
2. Collaborate with industry peers
Gathering fellow podcasters is powerful. It exposes you to other audiences that you may not have otherwise, Krystal says, and it also notifies a lot more people that the discussion is taking place because by starting a room with several others in the industry, you’re essentially temporarily combining your followers. Once you’re in the room, you can encourage those listening to “ping,” aka alert, fellow Clubhouse users who might be interested in the topic at hand and grow your audience even more.
A little ~networking~ goes a long way.
3. Open up a general Q&A for the audience
The day after your weekly episode airs, alert all your listeners via social media that you’re starting a Clubhouse room and let them know that you’ll be opening it up to questions. Listeners love to engage in an informal way, and the casual nature of Clubhouse encourages people to hit that “raise your hand” button and ask things they’ve always been curious about after listening to your show.
Insider Tip: Clubhouse will kick you out of a room if you get a call, and the only way to avoid this from potentially happening is to keep your phone on “do not disturb” when you’re using the app.
More Clubhouse advice and resources for podcasters
Looking for more podcasters you can follow and podcast-specific rooms and clubs you can join on Clubhouse? Give these a shot:
- Tune into SquadCast’s weekly chat (at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST every Thursday) on Clubhouse. You’ll learn all about remote recording and get insight from some top podcasters.
- Find Pay Flynn, founder of SPI Media, on the app at @patflynn and follow his advice on growing your business via mediums such as podcasts and YouTube.
- Search for Amy Woods, founder of Content 10x, on the app at @amywoods and follow her expert advice on content repurposing.
Clubhouse isn’t something that you’re going to ~get~ right away. Practice makes perfect, and it’s OK to make some mistakes along the way (just, for the love of God, don’t forget to mute yourself when you’re “on stage”). Remember that even if its popularity decreases, many of the people already on the app are engaged and ready to learn from you, so push past those nerves and start that first room.
One day we’ll get a handle on this bizarre, ever-evolving realm of audio-based social networking.
Recording a remote podcast? Download our free podcast recording checklistto help you prepare.
Niki Kottmann is a writer, editor and occasional photographer based in Cheyenne, WY. She received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri in 2016, where she emphasized in magazine writing. This content was produced collaboratively with PodReacher.