If you haven’t followed the whole Clubhouse mania, this article is a good introduction to it. In short, here’s what you need to know: Clubhouse is a new social medium, invite-only, and exclusive to iOS device-users, which fosters audio-only discussion on pretty much any topic.
You can join rooms (think audio panels) as a listener, and if you have a question or want to speak, you “raise your hand.” This kind of mirrors the good old radio experience, where you’d call in to tell your funny anecdote or ask a question.
You can also schedule and host your own session (a “room”), follow other users, or even create a “club” if you plan on regularly hosting sessions.
I myself joined around a month ago, and have joined several rooms around publishing and book marketing, where I’ve often been invited to speak. like the audio-only experience, which also allows you to be productive and do things on the side (cooking, cleaning, walking, etc).
But the thing that makes Clubhouse particularly enjoyable right now is that it’s still very much a new social medium. The early adopter sweet spot If you experienced the early days of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you probably remember those fondly. When a new social medium gains traction, it gets to a sweet spot where there are enough people on it to make discussions and interaction interesting — but not so much that you get swamped or lost in a sea of noise.
That’s the sweet spot where Clubhouse currently is. You may start a room as a completely unknown person and still get dozens or even hundreds of listeners in — just because there aren’t that many rooms yet competing for attention.
If you write non-fiction on a specific, niche topic, you could create (or join) the first Clubhouse club on that topic, regularly organize or participate in rooms, and quickly establish yourself as a “Clubhouse influencer” on that topic. Such is the advantage that early adopters of any new social media enjoy.
Is this going to last? Probably not. As it grows, it’ll become more and more difficult to get any attention there, as most topics will already have several established clubs (did you see how many clubs I’m already mentioning above for indie authors?)
So should you join Clubhouse while it’s time? Well, that depends…
Is Clubhouse for you? First, if your goal is to leverage Clubhouse as a way to reach readers, you may want to rethink that.
So far from what I’ve seen, Clubhouse has been great for exchanging information, more so than art. I don’t doubt that numerous book clubs will emerge on Clubhouse (if they haven’t already), but those will be created and moderated by readers directly — there’s not much you can do there as an author (unless they invite you to come speak, of course).
That said, Clubhouse is currently an unparalleled opportunity to network with fellow authors (indie or traditional), or even reach agents and publishers (who often host rooms about querying and submitting).
But the question is not whether authors should be on Clubhouse right now — it’s about whether you should be. And the answer is simple: it depends on whether you enjoy it.
And that’s the main point I want to make today: you should not force yourself to be active on any social medium if you don’t genuinely enjoy it. It will be a waste of both time and creative energy.
Remember, you can’t build a following on a social medium if you don't interact with other users and share the kind of genuine content that works on that specific platform. Believe me, this isn’t something you can fake. People will see right through it — more importantly, you'll get bored after a few days, because you won't feel comfortable on the platform.
So my advice for Clubhouse — and for any new social medium that will emerge in the future — is to:
If you figure out that it’s not for you, forget about it (and ignore the people who try to force you on it).
If you are interested in connecting with me, here is my clubhouse profile: https://clubber.one/@ricardofayet. I'll be looking forward to meeting you on Clubhouse one day.
This article was written by Richardo Fayet, Reedsy Co-Founder by day. By night: book marketing consultant specializing in promoting commercial fiction series through Facebook. Amazon, and Clubhouse.