Updated: Jan 25, 2021
If you're in the #musicindustry, chances are you've heard the buzz about Clubhouse.
You may even be one of the app's invite-only early adopters. Music seems to be a major component of Clubhouse's user acquisition strategy, as evidenced by the app's many and fervent musically-inclined ambassadors who are madly texting around invite links and posting on social media to their colleagues.
As a result, with a quick snoop around the app you might spot hit producers like Murda Beatz and Tommy Brown, super-writers like Derrick Milano, respected executives like Latoya Lee and celebs like Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart.
If you haven't heard about #Clubhouse, its an audio-only #networking app that features various conversation 'rooms' that anyone can pop into. Think 'House Party' but audio - and more professionally-leaning. Some conversations are panel-style, with questions from the crowd, others are 'anything goes'.
I wangled myself an invitation yesterday and nosed around a few rooms to see what all the fuss is about. Ok fine - I spent more hours than I care to admit on this thing since I joined 24 hours ago.
Overall: there is certainly much to be gained from Clubhouse if you're a woman in music, however - there are also some things we could all live without. Here are my takeaways. You can take them or leave them; use your discretion (just as I suggest you do with all the career advice flying around Clubhouse):
There is a solid network of music industry professionals on Clubhouse. It can be a valuable networking tool for young female creatives (if they can manage to finagle an invite) who wouldn’t otherwise have direct access to a certain level of industry professional.
Advice, hacks and gems are being regularly dropped by people who are probably your #careergoals - so have your notepad handy.
It's live and you can't watch it later, so if you miss it, you miss it. Clubhouse relies on the spirit of FOMO to keep people checking in all day, every day. It worked on me.
It's great for industry heavyweights to be able to come together town-hall-meeting style, compare notes and strategize real change, which I've seen happening. Like the house where the Suffragette movement was founded, Clubhouse could easily become the virtual house where a fairer, more equitable music industry is birthed.
It is a time vortex where hours pass in the blink of an eye. Clubhouse is audio-only, so as a listener you can multi-task and do other things - but if you're actively engaging and joining the conversation, it does demand your focus. Monitor how long you're spending on the app, and remember that you have a life outside of Clubhouse that still needs to be lived. And a to-do list that needs to get done (I'm talking to myself, here).
You may stumble into some strange rooms where you will probably get offended, or at the very least, bemused. There doesn't seem to be too much app-official moderation going on, so remember you are being exposed to pure opinion, speculation, bias and some absolute foolery.
There’s a lot of people who love the sound of their own voice.
There’s a lot of ‘those who can’t do, sit on clubhouse & lecture people on theory they’ve never put into practice’ going on. Do your due diligence on the speakers before you invest an hour of your life soaking up every piece of advice they're spouting. Make sure they've got the substance to back it up. A quick search on google, socials or LinkedIn should do the trick.
Conversely, there’s also a lot of people on Clubhouse whose 'free game' is SO fantastic that they could (and should) be monetizing it, especially in an industry environment where the music doesn’t pay us enough (can I get an amen?). Putting your cash app in your bio is probably not going to cover the market value of your speaking / coaching fee. Unless you have an ambassador deal/official partnernship with Clubhouse (or you're an investor), consider how much time you're spending sharing knowledge that could be being packaged and monetized.
Clubhouse is a smorgasbord of information, conversation and opinion, and we're yet to see how that information will be used and what the app's real agenda is. Because of the audio-only element, it feels intimate and personal. People tend to reveal and share, feeling simultaneously emboldened and comforted by invisibility - and the warm fuzziness of authentic connection. Just remember, at the end of the day - it’s an app, and apps are usually about your #data. Clubhouse has raised a lot of money; it is backed by Andreessen Horowitz and already has a nine-figure valuation in its infancy. It didn't get there without a strong monetization model, so ask yourself: how is this app profiting off of your expertise/knowledge/conversations. And more importantly, where’s your cut?!
In closing, like with many other social apps, make sure you're utilizing the platform more than it is utilizing you. Soak up the knowledge, peep the free game, but listen objectively. Use critical thinking, take plenty of grains of salt, and pick and choose what you take on board (and how much time you spend on the app).
See you on Clubhouse - I'm @thealexvickery and I'll be sharing some free game, as soon as I speak to the app's ambassador coordinator!