Is Clubhouse worth it for Pet Professionals?

by Nancy Hassel, American Pet Professionals

Is Clubhouse worth it for Pet Professionals?

Ok, so if you’re reading this and you have not yet heard about the new invite only and audio only social media platform, Clubhouse, don’t worry – it is very new and gaining immense popularity as I type this.   (Up to a million users a day, but currently still in beta mode and only for iPhones as of publishing time of this article). 

Clubhouse is still very new – remember how you wish you got into IG when it was easier to grow an audience? Well, right now is the time to get into Clubhouse.

And if you’re thinking, “What?  More social media, I can’t add another thing to my plate or ask our marketing team to add this now too!” as you’re still figuring out TikTok and IG…you may think otherwise once you’re inside this new phenomenon.

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is by their definition a drop-in audio only app that you use your phone to participate.  Think about it in terms of a breakout room or panel session in terms of a conference; there are speakers and moderators on the ‘stage,’ and an audience listening in, asking questions in the live audio room.  

As a listener, you can pop in (drop-in) and out of rooms to listen to what topic may interest you. If the moderator puts the ‘hand raise’ icon up – and you click on it, they can invite you to the ‘stage’ to ask the panel a live question.

So if you think of it in terms of let’s say, your favorite business guru or podcaster at a conference, you can be on stage with them by asking a direct question live in the room.  Perhaps you want to ask Shark Tank’s Daymond John a question in one of the rooms he is in, you may just very well get that chance.   (He’s active on the app).

Think about that for a minute.  

Business advice is being giving away – business advice from many different industries that you may normally have to pay big bucks for if you were attending a conference OR hiring someone as a business consultant.   Or someone you would never get the opportunity to speak to over the phone, for free. 

It’s quite interesting and alluring at the same time.

Clubhouse, in my opinion, is very Periscope-esque when Periscope first started.

What do I mean by that – Periscope was a live streaming video app where you could go live, (way before Facebook, Instagram and all the others had live video capabilities), where youwere the live talking head, people could pop in and listen ask questions in the chat (very similar to an IG live).   

Periscope’s live videos, in the beginning, would disappear after you ended the live video, so if you were not there to watch it, you missed it.  I personally LOVED that sense of urgency for people to be there.  I hosted about 150 live periscopes, talking about the pet industry of course, and met people from around the country and world in the pet industry – who I am still connected to today. 

Then Periscope’s videos would last 24 hours.   Still the sense of urgency but not quite as urgent, and I believe you could download the videos to your camera roll after a while too if I remember correctly.

Then they kept your videos to remain on the platform…and that my friends is where I completely lost interest.   I know the power of the replay of video on YouTube, and all the other social platforms now – is incredibly important. But I was not using Periscope for the replays at all.   The authentic meeting of people while you were live was lost, once the replay was left available when Periscope kept your videos available to your audience.  

With Clubhouse – that sense of urgency is back, and even better in my opinion – since you are connecting with just your voice, almost like a conference call but 100x better!  As of right now there is no replay within the app.   (I hope they keep it that way!)

So why would this app be good for a pet professional?

There are many reasons, but initially it is amazing for networking and meeting new connections in the industry.  I have been on clubhouse since the New Year began, 18 days at the time of this post, and have already connected with a few hundred people I did not know before.  We have had over 100 new subscribers to our email – directly from Clubhouse, (without doing anything aside from dropping in a lead magnet in my bio description), and have gained many new followers on both Instagram and in Clubhouse.

While that is all really well and good, what is way more important to me, is the authentic connections I have been making on the app, and seeing so many people having that same experience.  To quote a social media friend and influencer, Brian Fanzo, “It’s about conversations, not content.”  I mean how refreshing is that?  Conversations and connections could be their logo!

AND the incredible amount of SUPPORT everyone is giving to each other – whether it is business related or a question about dog training or nutrition.  It literally makes me smile so much seeing so many incredible things happening on this app.   People really want to be there for each other, learn about each other, their aspirations, goals – I honestly feel like it is like no other platform out there.   The know, like and trust factor, without video, on Clubhouse is truly remarkable.

To get into the nitty-gritty of how the app works, how to sign up, I am linking a very well done article at the bottom of this, no need to re-create the wheel.  But in the meantime, here are some do’s and do’s (and a couple of don’ts) that applies to pet business owners in how you can really grow your network on this incredible, timely and so needed app during this time.

Do:

Attend rooms that interest you, whether pet or non-pet related.  

If you have a question and the moderators open up the hand raise icon, click on that and ask a question on stage!  

If you do get on stage, mute your mic until they call on you to ask your question. 

Once you are asked to ask your question, don’t lollygag on about your business, or promote the bleep out of your business, WHY?  Well one it’s annoying and not professional imo, AND also, another beauty of this app, is because people can click on your icon as you are speaking and check out your bio, follow you on IG (if their interested).  

So be sure to have a robust bio on your profile on Clubhouse. 

One very cool feature is that you can be in a room, and also click on other attendees/speakers icons and see their bio, go off app while still being in the app and listening, almost like a like podcast.  

I have been on a few non-pet stages to ask genuine questions about the topic at hand, and said something similar to this, “Hi thank you so much for bringing me up on stage, I am in the pet industry, and my question is…”  Right to the question.  Quick and to the point – not wasting their time and respectful of the moderators, speakers and everyone’s time.   

Now if you’re in a networking room, and everyone is sharing what they do, their business – that is totally different, it is usually expected to share what you do, what your business is etc.  We host weekly Friday Night Fireside Chat at 7pm EST specifically for this purpose to network and learn about everyone in the room – and the networking and connecting has been incredible. 

Don’t:

Also, don’t be overly salesy when you’re in a room.  Insert vomit emjoi here – I have been in a few rooms where some people come up onto the stage JUST to promote their business or have zero interest in the topic, and just try to sell what their business to you.  BLECH!   And then they leave the room – since they got to advertise their business.  Tacky.

Remember you’re on Clubhouse to learn and connect with others, authentically. 

How Pet Professionals Can Utilize Clubhouse for their Business:

Host a room with others who are experts on a similar topic related to your business/rescue or non-profit.  

Interview someone on a topic that you want to know more about. Let them speak! 🙂

Schedule the room/event ahead.  

Promote the room/event ahead (the app gives you a link specific to each room your schedule to promote and can tweet it directly from the schedule app).  You can promote it across all your social. 

Invite people who may be interested in listening and asking questions to the room/event you’re hosting.

Be consistent with hosting rooms.   

Connect with the listeners in your room.  (Take a screen shot so you remember who was in your room if you can connect with them while hosting the room at the same time).  

If you schedule a room for an hour – stick to that 60 minutes to be respectful of the time of your fellow moderators/experts.(With that said, there are rooms that have been going on for days even weeks without stopping – they swap out mods). 

But I am a local pet business how is this going to help me?

Just like any other social, if you’re hosting a room on a topic, lets say one of the most commonly questions your customers ask you, promote it to your current audience on your other social platforms and local surrounding audience too.  There are bound to be people in your area that you don’t know that are on Clubhouse!

Or you can fully be a listener, never ask a question, you are still bound to connect with new people and learn.  But I think being active and participating will be your best bet if you’re going to take the time to be on the app. 

Basics:  

Download the app from the app store (here is the link): https://www.joinclubhouse.com.

Then request your @ name. I am @NancyHassel on Clubhouse.

Using your personal name for your @.  As people do business with people, you can insert your social media business accounts on your bio description for both Twitter and IG – and you can put your URL for your website in your bio (although URL’s within your bio are not hyperlinked at the moment).

Once you’re in, you will be able to edit your profile, add a picture, just like any other social media app.  You will notice a party hat icon on your profile picture, and that will be there for the first week – so others will know you’re new to the platform. 

Once you request and your @ name is approved – you may just get added by one of your contacts if they have invites available.  But you might have to wait too.   

For those people already on the app, invites are giving out the more active you are on the app, the more rooms you host, the more questions you ask in other rooms. 

Attend the Clubhouse Townhalls on Sunday’s at 12 noon PST – where the co-founders will give you updates on what is happening with the app.  They also host a room on Wednesday’s for people are brand new. 

You also have the ability to request to create your own Club on Clubhouse – where you can invite people to be part of your club.  It takes a bit of time after requesting the club, and I believe you have to host a few rooms before the club is granted to you.  We have a brand new club called Pet Professional Entrepreneurs– where we will be hosting all of our rooms – and anyone interested can be in that club!

To find our club, use the magnifying glass on the app, and search the name with clubs highlighted and you will see it!

What to expect:

Expect to go down a bit of a rabbit hole the first week, listening in on many types of rooms, meeting new people, growing your connections and so on.  It is addictive that first week for sure.  But it is a good way to learn the app and feel more comfortable asking questions in rooms, hosting rooms and so on.  

Expect to receive DM’s on your IG – as that is the way people are connecting outside of the app – as there is no messaging right now within the app.    Which can be overwhelming – but important to follow up with those DM’s.  

Take a Clubhouse Break:

Yes, take a break.  Get off the app and take a break from it.  I have been doing that – even with the short amount of time I have been on the app.  It’s important to not get overwhelmed and be strategic in how you are going to use the app.   

For more on how to install the app and very detailed walk through of the app you can click this article here:
https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/clubhouse-app-how-to-get-started/.

And there is a lot of information on this link here:
https://www.notion.so/Clubhouse-Knowledge-Center-342989cefea148ec98b66455a4b6073b


So is Clubhouse worth it for Pet Professionals?  I say yes, but again, how much time you can put into the app and how you plan to utilize it to be worth it for your business will be key.  
Let me know if you’re on CH.  

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