I guess one of the first things that struck me when I went on to clubhouse – the new audio only social media – was the following question, “How could anyone make any money out of this?”
I may not be the same as every other communications or marketing individual as I’ve also had a life in sales. For me, understanding where you can make money out of spending your time doing a marketing activity is essential because there are a limitless number of marketing and PR activities, comms activities and events activities that we could do. So we need to prioritise those that are most likely to give us the kind of profitable growth that we want.
Now, as it turns out, Clubhouse is quickly evolving into a platform in which people are able to make deeper and more profound connections with other individuals, and there’s talk of major deals having been pulled off as a result of being on the platform. For starters, it removes the limitations of having to read everything. The opportunity on Clubhouse is to to genuinely interact with other humans hear their tone and inflection to understand where they’re coming from, hear their civility, hear their humanity, hear their expertise.
That’s leading it to be a different kind of social media platform, perhaps, unlike Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, which all seek to some extent to try and supplant each other. Clubhouse’s role is actually to put the social back into social media to allow us to connect with people in a way that Liam mentioned in his post yesterday. At the end of the day, we all want to be connected.
So, a bit like using zoom, or Otter, which is what I’m dictating this blog post on, or any other form of technology, Clubhouse could well be a tool, through which we achieve other ends, something that supplements what we’re doing elsewhere already. If we are on LinkedIn and spending time there, then perhaps inviting people to come and join us on clubhouse is a natural extension. Well, until LinkedIn gets its act together and invites us to all have LinkedIn live.
Clubhouse works as follows: anyone can host a room – a bit like an audio Zoom. The speakers are on stage and can invite people up from the audience to speak (remember to mute yourself as you go on stage). Then, anyone followed by any of the speakers sits in the front row, and others sit in the cheap seats at the back.
The content has been a mixture of gold dust and, well, the opposite of that. But the norms are being established and poor content will soon be rewarded with nobody coming into the room for your event.
The formats are also either: speaker format (for genuine experts), ask me anything (which is great for professionals) or round table (which has the potential for chaos, but also for new thinking).
There’s a danger that a platform like this will end up like some amateur radio show, of course, and my sense is that we’re going to see a lot of experts hit the platform over the next few weeks. Inevitably, the first on the platform are loads of coaches, ‘make a million in 24 hours’ experts and the like. It was ever thus.
But my wish for Clubhouse is to have real deep expertise turn up and soon. And so for the people that I’ve been hanging out with a few days, we’re considering how often, we’d try and host something on the platform, how often, we’d be able to make time in our busy lives with children work and partners and loads of other things to think about. To make sure that event gets our full attention, our full focus and be able to bring our best selves to the conversation each time. It’s not viable to be on there every day if you have a day job to deliver on a client base to serve as well.
It’s a great way of marketers from law firms to take the stage and showcase their expertise and have lawyers sit in the audience and join the stage to ask questions.
Beyond Marketing, I’d like to see lawyers, accountants, doctors, planners, authors and visionaries on there really talking about the technical details as to how to do various elements of their role. I’m hoping in due course to interview some of these people on the stage.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to interview an intellectual property lawyer to get them to share their views that would be for the benefit of everyone who’s on the platform, who runs their own business or comes into touch with copyright trademarks, or other forms of intellectual property?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could interview an employment lawyer who gave us an understanding of the natural tension between employees’ rights and employers’ obligations, and how to navigate those choppy waters?
Wouldn’t be wonderful if we had people who came on to explain how we could go about financing our business our growth or acquisitions?
For me, that’s when this lovely friendly unique platform is going to really hit its stride. When the early days of pioneers slightly over, but the next people to come along and hit the platform, are forewarned and forearmed and ready to make a huge difference to those who are willing to listen and engage with them ask them questions and tell their stories and provide their expertise.
There is a fear in many professional services that by doing something like this, we will give away too much, that our competitors can copy what we do. And if the modern world has taught us anything, it’s that that simply doesn’t happen.
Everything we do pretty much is written down somewhere or other. It’s how we do it. Who we do it for and the deep level of expertise that we bring to a situation that marks us out from our competitors and Clubhouse is a great place to showcase that.
If you get an opportunity to join, I’d really warmly recommend it. I have some invitations if you’d like one.
I’d love to see you on there. Look out for me, I’ll be up the front.