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Conversations rule on Clubhouse


Sunday, February 28, 2021 | Melbourne, Australia


Greetings friends!

I hosted my first Clubhouse room this week alongside my good friend, brand strategist Kate Ware.

It came after after spending many weeks dipping in and out of the social audio platform, and very much in line with my attitude of "just jump in and have a crack" when it comes to social media.

Luckily our room was pretty empty - pheww, there's a quick learning curve if you want to master the moderating role on Clubhouse, and just like public speaking, it's better to earn your stripes by starting small!

But I like what I see! To me, Clubhouse feels like early Twitter (2009-11) when it was a more civil place than it is currently, and emphasis was on having conversations with like-minded people.

Brian Fanzo, digital futurist at iSocialFanz and a bit of a test-crash dummy when it comes to new social platforms, says the voice-only app is a unique platform that could create a type of dialogue never seen before on social media.

"Clubhouse has transformed the importance of authenticity, intimacy and vulnerability within social media," Fanzo says in this Social Pros podcast interview.

"You can't mail it in (on Clubhouse) ... you can't fake it."

Should you be on Clubhouse? I address this question in more detail below.


Twitter continues to evolve

Shifting gears now but keeping to the theme of social media developments.

On Friday morning, my mate Heath Evans shared a story from The Verge announcing that Twitter announces paid Super Follows to let you charge for tweets.  

According to The Verge: Twitter announced a pair of big upcoming features today: the ability for users to charge their followers for access to additional content, and the ability to create and join groups based around specific interests. They’re two of the more substantial changes to Twitter in a while, but they also fit snugly into models that have been popular and successful on other social platforms.

Twitter’s mockup of its Super Follows feature. Image: Twitter


Knowing I was interested in such things, Heath asked my view on these new developments. Here's my reply on LinkedIn:

These developments are certainly in-line with a couple of trends.

Private communities have been gathering steam for a while now as more and more people escape to smaller online enclaves where they can chat more freely with like-minded folks, versus 'out in the wild' on a more public feed. That makes perfect sense and it should prove popular.

The 'Super Follows' concept adds weight to the trend of content creators charging fans micro-amounts for more direct access and additional perks and content. OnlyFans and Patreon have been among the vanguard here, but in recent times we've seen the likes of SubStack and Revue do the same thing with email newsletters, plus the growth of Mighty Networks and Circle.so (paid membership sites) that allow creators to house extra content within a 'walled garden' is potentially a sign of things to come.

Interesting that Twitter recently acquired Revue, so maybe that's a sign as to where things are headed: integration of a social network with a newsletter and online community where, for a few dollars, fans and followers can go a bit deeper.

And let's not forget the role of owned media: podcasts, blogs, YouTube. These are the platforms where creators build their brand.

Yes folks, the #CreatorEconomy is well and truly with us, and it continues to build (exhibit A your honour: How MrBeast Makes $720,000/Month Dropshipping Burgers)

This is a theme I started exploring back in 2013 with my book microDOMINATION: How to leverage social media and content marketing to build a mini-business empire around your personal brand; in those days, the creators tended to be marketers, educators and personal development experts. Today, as technology improves and the number of 'micro-mavens' (as I call them in the book) explodes, what was a small pocket of the economy is becoming significantly-sized and super-influential.

I'm currently sketching out a follow-up book (ahem, a 'book-end' to microDOMINATION) - tentatively titled Content Punks: How to make it big in the creator economy.

What do you think of the title?


Should you be on Clubhouse?

Firstly, what is Clubhouse?

In short, Clubhouse is a free audio-based iOS app whereby participants enter public (some are invite-only) 'rooms' where hosts moderate discussion around a particular topic.

Think of it as a virtual conference that you can attend in your underwear! 

As a member of the audience, you can put up your virtual hand and the host may invite you up to the 'stage' to speak to the audience. Obviously, in large rooms (some are extremely well-attended and continue on for hours, if not days!), you might have your hand up for a while and never get invited up to speak. But hey, at least your arm won't get tired!

I've had a casual eye on the social audio space for a while now - there have been numerous apps that have worked on social media i.e. VoiceByte, which allows people to record an audio riff and post to Twitter. But none that I've seen are standalone real-time 'drop-in' chat apps, which is essentially what Clubhouse is.

Synchronous platform

VoiceByte and other social audio apps (Riffr, Chirp etc) are asynchronous, which means people can check in on them any time. Clubhouse, on the other hand, is a synchronous platform, so you have to be on the app to catch all the action.

What a room looks like on Clubhouse


There is no recording, everything takes place in real-time. Of course, this causes FOMO (fear of missing out), which in turn increases buzz for the app.

Should you be on Clubhouse?

While I generally advise my clients to concentrate on one social media channel (80% of effort), with a secondary network in your back pocket to have some fun on (20%) - I'm also a believer in getting out of your comfort zone and experimenting on social media, especially those channels that help you explore a new medium, in this case, audio.


Because I think it's important to keep up with developments in the digital space. Firstly, it keeps you fresh and relevant. Secondly, if you want to be seen as a progressive thought leader who shares valuable ideas with the world, then how you extend the reach of your voice and distribute your thoughts matters.

The best thing about building your personal brand on Clubhouse is that it's very authentic and organic. No selling, no pitching. Turn up and add value. Do it in a genuine way. Respect the audience. Get involved! This is 'old school' social media, and it can be very powerful.

Personally, I think Clubhouse is worth testing out, if only so you can start getting your head around how audio is being used on social. If the medium gets bigger - and it looks like it will - then you will be well-placed to take things up a notch if this is something you want to do.

If you'd like to give it a shot but need an invitation to join, let me know - I have a few invites to share.

More than Clubhouse

Worth noting: social audio is way more than Clubhouse. Sure, Clubhouse might be commanding all the attention (for now), but there are dozens of social audio companies lurking in the wings.

Digital thought leader, Jeremiah Owyang, describes social audio as the “Goldilocks” medium for the 2020s: "Text is not enough, and video is too much; social audio is just right". He might be on to something there! 

Want to delve deeper?


Twitter Spaces

Interestingly, on the day I take Clubhouse a bit more seriously, I start seeing some people on Twitter using Spaces - a social voice chat room that was announced some time back but only now looks like it's being rolled out.

The Spaces functionality has similarities to Clubhouse, but it's too early to tell how well it will be adopted by Twitter folk. 

Personally, I think Spaces has the potential to disrupt Clubhouse because of the massive user base that Twitter already has in place, but at the moment, Clubhouse is the place to be. Spaces is probably better suited to 'in the moment' riffs on topical issues, while Clubhouse is good for longer planned events. 


Write a business book in 90 days?

In the current episode of the REPUTATION REVOLUTION podcast, I chat with business journalist and book coach, Kath Walters, about how she helps her thought leader clients write a book ready for editing in just 90 days.

If you've just started thinking about writing a book to support your personal brand, or you've been thinking about it for a while, listening to this episode could be just what you need to get cracking!

You can listen to the full interview here. The audio quality is a bit sketchy due to poor internet connection, sorry about that :)


50 of the best social media tools selected by top marketers

Wow! This is one heck of a meaty list on the Content marketing Institute blog - check it out!


This quote got my attention

"Delegate everything, except your genius" - Cameron Herold (referring to entrepreneurs and thought leaders who are trying to grow a business)


Hit “reply”

I'm excited to be writing to you in this format. Let’s keep it personal!  I encourage you to hit “reply” and let me know what’s on your mind:

  • Got any thoughts regarding the content I’ve just sent you? Let me hear it!
  • Have a question? Ping it through!
  • Got a recommendation for an article, podcast, video or person-to-follow that you’d like to share, bring it on :)

Thanks for reading! Until next time ...




Get on the tweets!


Trevor Young | PR Warrior | Level 22 / 120 Spencer Street, Melbourne
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