Spoiler alert: the answer is positive. This article is dedicated to some extent to start-ups and B2B tech start-ups mostly (my clients).
Clubhouse is something more than a trendy new social app. In fact, it can be a very powerful tool, especially for the non-english speaking ecosystem (German-, French-, Dutch-, Russian-speaking), if you move now, and days are counted.
Reminder: what’s a Clubhouse?
A social network based only on audio features. You join discussion rooms to listen or participate. You can create new rooms, of course (the main objective for you). The ambience and atmosphere in there reminds the early times of Internet forums and chats, with a difference that everything is vocal.
As if you were physically at a gathering place (a bar, neighborhood barbecue, or a clubhouse!), except the fact that Elon Musk stops to say hello and chit chat (example voluntarily lurid).
Conversations are not published (at least by the app). You can’t send direct messages to other members. The app is only available on invitation and on iOS, with approximately 2 millions users now.
Clubhouse was born in spring 2020, in the first lockdown, and partially substituted the Zoom video calls in the Silicon Valley networks. Some users are already predicting its quick decline at the end of covid-19 crisis. However, think it’s unlikely.
Clubhouse is launched in the times of a podcast golden age. Though podcasts have existed for over two decades now, it’s only recently that they’re growing exponentially. Two podcasts are created every minute in the world. Above all, their value is now recognised, especially for their audience, with acquisitions of several million dollars, as it was in the case for other kinds of media.
We were so wrong thinking that the video killed the radio stars. The audio format (radio, podcast and live chat now) is used more, and being more mature and dynamic than ever before.
The time is now
Content marketing and expertise validation
Imagine you cross a stargate and land in a world without any podcast or blog about French literature, Internet of things or swedish meatballs. The audience, however, exists and grows. You “just” (I’m aware nothing is plain simple) need to create the content format for this community, podcasts or blogs, in our case, the Clubhouse rooms. And you could be the pioneer.
The controlled growth of the app members and non-existence of room on most tech subjects allows you to comfortably install one yourself, simply being the first. Doing it smartly means taking a genuine content marketing approach. Some examples may be:
- your work in a biodegradable packaging sector: create a room about the last innovation on cleaning the oceans (and gather/lead other actors for this purpose)
- you work on IoT sensors for manufacturing machines: create a room about the industry 4.0 (if you can be the first in your country, like Industry 4.0 Netherlands Dutch-speaking, even better).
Users’ profiles, even if it gets more and more heterogeneous over time (journalists, politics, artists), are still inherited from the creators : entrepreneurs, engineers, VC, investors — all the Valley ecosystem. This tight universe allows you to get in touch with people you would not reach via the classic game of pitching, via incubators or contests, etc.
Why for start-ups and B2B tech in particular?
Clubhouse is an app at the crossroads of content marketing and networking. You gather an engaged community around the value you create, or the values you defend.
First and foremost, we are at the height of Seth Godin’s principles
Tribes (2008, Piatkus editions), quoting Kevin Kelly’s article 1000 fans. You don’t need to sell to 100.000 single consumers when you can create a strong engaged unified community of 1000 true fans. Your role should be to lead your community (of clients, peers, fellows). This is exactly the format and the scale Clubhouse proposes, with spontaneity between the ‘tribe’ members.
This is marketing (2018, Penguin editions):
- the smallest viable market: narrow audience or customers’ base, but actively engaged leads to more profit than a large unreliable customers’ base
- Status, dominance, affiliation: social status is a strong motivation component. To be or not to be invited on the app, then engaged in a selective circle (a clubhouse room) is a social and therefore trusty marker
- People like us do things like this — (more infos) Clubhouse is born in the Valley, backed up by big names (Andreessen Horowitz). You want (for the sake of your project) to be a part of this community.
Clubhouse makes it clear: build an audience around the things you do. It’s not important whether your product exists or not, whether your pitch deck is basil green or pine green, whether you work in a fancy office or from your basement. If you can bring in value and can express clearly your big why, you will gather the community in this yet relatively deserted place which is Clubhouse.
Take a plunge and arrive on a pretty desert island, yet full of people around who can help you — just find a fancy beach of your liking and create your club(house).
About me // French Marketer who specialises in B2B tech and IoT. With the background of lobbying and over 10 years experience as creative director, I help IoT start-ups achieving stable growth, meaningful branding and long-lasting demand generation. More on www.dxm-agency.com