A step-by-step guide to joining & using Clubhouse
Why I Love Clubhouse & You Will, Too
I’ve been active on Clubhouse ever since it became available on Android. I now host two different clubs and three different regular rooms. I also attend a handful of other people’s rooms on the regular and have developed contacts and friendships there. Clubhouse is now - by far - my favorite social network. Clubhouse’s interface makes interaction, engagement, and community building really easy and the structure feeds my passion for group process and group facilitation. In addition, there are some aspects of Clubhouse that I think are really special:
Clubhouse Connects You to the World
Clubhouse is a participatory social media app that allows us to have real time, facilitated conversations about a particular topic - often with people from around the world. The best metaphor for Clubhouse is a huge party at a multi-roomed mansion. In each room, fascinating discussions are underway with the most interesting people. Every door opens on a group of fascinating people, having intelligent conversations. The party goers in every room invites you in because they are curious to hear what you might contribute to the conversation.
Clubhouse is audio only, making it the perfect way to engage for those of us still working from home in our Covid pajamas. It’s also easy to dip in and out of… it doesn’t require the attention of a webinar, nor the commitment of a full podcast. And, of course, the best feature of Clubhouse is the opportunity to ask questions, share your thoughts, and build a community of really smart people from around the world.
The People There Are Real and Complete
Unlike on Instagram, where everybody shows their most beautiful, composed version or Twitter where everyone is works their butts off being their wittiest, snarkiest selves, Clubhouse users and moderators seem to bring their most authentic, complex selves. In the clubs I follow and the rooms I visit, the talk is real, vulnerable and, most of the time, no one is selling anything. Even in rooms focused on entrepreneurship, users of the platform tackle meaningful topics like mental health for strivers, or breaking down stereotypes around gender and race.
Clubhouse Will Break Your Social Media Bubble
Women, people of color, and interesting people from around the world have adopted Clubhouse in droves. My informal Clubhouse circle is, by far, the most diverse set of people I’ve ever met. There’s a man from Kuwait who calls me “brother.” There’s an artist and personal coach from Malaysia who shares her songs with me. I met a barrister from England in another context but our collaboration took off on Clubhouse and now I count her as a friend and important ally.
Get Started Now and Build Your Clubhouse Community
I’ve participated in scores of discussions, heard hundreds of voices I never would have heard, and received ideas, support, and advice from dozens of powerful, caring people; I strongly encourage you to spend some time on Clubhouse. You may even find that it replaces some other social media in your life. I’ve stopped posting and engaging on Instagram and I think Facebook could be next on the chopping block. I just don’t have time for inauthentic personal brand marketing or outrage click bait. Give me a long-form, heart-felt conversation any time!
(Note, this rosy review is based on my experience and on the rooms I’ve chosen… your mileage may vary!)
How to get started
Option 1: Scroll back to the top and just follow the instructions in the Quick Start Guide.
Option 2: Spend some time reading the slightly more detailed guide below. It contains some screenshots to help you navigate and some helpful suggestions about Clubhouse speaking etiquette.
1. Download the app from iTunes or the Play Store
Clubhouse is now available for both iOS and Android phones. It is not yet available on the desktop.
You might still see some websites that talk about requesting or accepting an invite. Ignore that; you no longer have to wait for an invite to join Clubhouse.
2. Set up your profile
Put as much catchy detail as you have time for. You are more likely to be invited to speak if you have a complete, authentic, and intriguing description in your profile. Check some other members’ profiles for a sense of what’s possible.
Don’t worry, you can always go back and add to and edit your profile pic and description.
3. Scroll through the homepage (hallway).
When you first open Clubhouse, you’ll see the “hallway.” It’s called the hallway because all the “rooms” open off it. You can scroll through the hallway to see all the rooms currently active.
Each box represents a room you can go “into” and listen. From the hallway you can see the title of the club the room is associated with (if any). The club is the name in all caps with the green house to the right.
You’ll also see the title of the room, and a list of participants who are in the room. At the bottom, you’ll see the number of listeners and speakers.
4. Use the “Explore” page to find more users, clubs, and rooms.
Click the compass icon in the upper left of the hallway and Clubhouse will give you a bunch of suggested people and clubs to follow.
When you “follow” a person or club, you’ll be more likely to see their room or get notified when they are actively speaking.
5. Join clubs
When you see a club you’re curious about in the Explorer, click it to join it. If you see a club in the hallway you want to join, click the club title. You can also join a club from within the room if you like what you’re hearing.
6. Enter a room
To enter a Clubhouse room, simply click on it in the hallway. When you enter, you’ll automatically be placed in the “audience” and you’ll be able to listen to whomever is “on stage.” Your microphone won’t be active so you can just listen as if you were listening to a radio broadcast or podcast.
If you choose rooms you’re interested in, you might learn all kinds of new things and hear new perspectives. You might even hear some pretty impressive people speak. I dropped in on a sustainable climate action room and heard a top official from the UN talk about preparing for the COP26! Pretty cool.
7. Request to speak
As awesome as listening is, participation is Clubhouse’s magic ingredient.
If you have a question or something relevant to add, click on the raised hand icon at the bottom right of your screen. If the room organizer (or moderator) is allowing new speakers, you’ll be “brought up on stage.” You won’t likely be asked to speak right away, so be sure your mic is muted. Moderators usually have a plan and will cue you verbally when it’s your turn to speak.
When you get cued, you won’t go wrong if you follow this standard format:
“Hi, this is [your name] speaking. Thank you for bringing me up.”
[speak your piece.]
“This is [your name] and I’m done speaking.”
These little formal repetitions of your name make it easier for a person with a visual impairment to follow what’s going on. The “I’m done speaking” phrase lets the moderator know he or she has the mic back.
TIPS for speaking on Clubhouse:
8. Add friends to a room
If you are enjoying a room, you can invite others from your network (unless the room is private, which is rare). Sharing a room with others in your network is one of the best ways to add value to a room and help the moderators reach more people.
Click the + sign at the bottom of your screen. This action will bring up a list of all the people you follow on Clubhouse. Simply clicking their icon will send them an invitation to join the room.
Now, use the icons at the bottom to share a notification to your social media followers. If you’ve linked your Twitter account to your Clubhouse profile you can send a very quick tweet inviting others to join the room.
9. Use the “back channel”
If you want to communicate with someone in the room but don’t want the whole room to hear, you can tap the “paper airplane” icon towards the bottom right and use the search function to find your recipient and send them a text message. The back channel is a great way to ask a moderator a question, compliment someone else on their comment, or share an idea that you’re too shy (or busy) to share on audio. DO NOT use the back channel to spam or annoy another person. It is OK to ask a person if they'd like to connect with you on another platform.
You can also use the back channel to contact people not currently in a room or even when you’re not in a room. In this way, the back channel can function like Facebook Messenger or Twitter DM’s.
10. Leave a room
When you’ve heard enough or find that you’re not a good match for the room, you can simply tap the “Leave Quietly” button on the bottom. Your audio of the room will be cut off and your icon will disappear from the room. Not drama, no problem.
What I’m leaving out of this Guide
There is, of course, much more to Clubhouse and getting the most out of the app. But, to keep this guide to a digestible length, I’ve left out:
Call to Action
Join me on Clubhouse. You can follow me by searching for my name or my Twitter handle (matheus_charles).
Please also join my two clubs:
Let’s get more smart, interesting, active global thinkers and feelers on the app. Although Clubhouse no longer requires an invitation to join, go ahead and reach out to your network and encourage them to engage. Share this guide with them, if you like. You can use the blue Tweet button below.
See you in a room there!
Charles Matheus grew up in an old mining town in Arizona. He managed to graduate from an Ivy League University and knows that you won't hold that against him.