By Mike Alden
On December 31, 2020 I saw a friend of mine post about this new “social media” platform called Clubhouse. It was an invite only app that features rooms and experiences that are audio/voice only. Knowing that it was invite only I wanted in. The FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) was pretty high. Unfortunately, my friend did not have any invites. So, still feeling the borderline anxiety of missing out I posted on Facebook and asked if anyone had an invite. Fortunately, one of my contacts had an invite and I was in!
My initial reaction was this platform is absolutely amazing. I was immediately hooked. To be able to connect with people all over the world, and to learn from “experts” was thrilling. My first session on the app was six hours. As I continued to learn how the app worked in its early stages I saw the beauty of its early vision. Voice and live audio are truly authentic. Clubhouse’s basic set up has rooms that are formed by users of the app about a particular subject. These rooms have speakers and people who are in the audience. Only the speakers can speak while the audience members listen. If you want to speak you press a button which effectively raises your hand and one of the speakers if properly authorized can bring the audience members “on stage” to speak.
The first time I spoke, I asked a question and I would recommend new users to the same. After getting on stage a few times, and if you have the expertise, offer advice in a very precise manner. Each time you speak, people will decide to follow you or not. The very essence of a platform with live audio in this setting does a great job of weeding out the hucksters and fake it until you make it culture. You either know your stuff or you don’t. It is very difficult to hold yourself out as expert when you are speaking live, when questions are coming your way. Many of the social media influencers that you see who pay for their personal growth are noticeably absent. Why? You can’t edit live audio. Live voice is a beautiful tool that levels the playing field.
As the months went on, I started to find my place. My experience and knowledge both in the book marketing world, the direct response world and in the world of health and wellness has value to others. My own authenticity and candor have always resonated with people. But my desire to learn from others and ability to ask questions also has helped me find my place. I have learned a tremendous amount in less than six months. I have made business advancements and made decisions based on the knowledge I got from others. The FREE knowledge I got from others. Clubhouse became my personal motivational tool, masterclass and mastermind all in one and yes its FREE!!
Let’s talk about the connections and the friendships I’ve developed! I have met people from all over the world that I would have never discovered but for the connection capabilities of Clubhouse. I have met super influencers from the United Kingdom like Natasha Grano to inspirational authors like Donna Campisi in Australia and even reconnected with major influencers like Grant Cardone. I have also connected with and developed meaningful relationships with fellow attorneys and marketers that are rockstars within their own right.
As a marketer, author and attorney…ultimately an entrepreneur, my interests are vast. As a result of my curiosity and thirst for knowledge my connection capital has slowly grown to just under eight thousand people from all over the world. That number does not seem impressive considering the staggering numbers that some influencers have on TikTok and Instagram. However, this small following is very targeted. The people who follow me are truly interested in me and what I do. I have never had this type of engagement on any other platform. As the days and months have gone on my DM”s (direct messages) are many times in the dozens. As a 3X Wall Street and USA Today Best-Selling author who has been on television everyday since 2010 I’ve never seen this type of interaction. Why? It is simple, I’m being who I am. I am “offering value” when I’m able to speak with zero expectation of compensation.
I’ve listened to influential motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar express the philosophy of helping as many people as possible get what they want in order to ultimately get what you want. Honestly, I never really understood this principle. I am a huge fan of Zig, I’ve actually read his books and even had an intimate dinner with him before. But as a young lawyer I didn’t get it. This success principle is not only real but translates just as well on a platform like Clubhouse. I spoke at an event with Harvey McKay years ago and from the stage he said that there is no new technology, no new nutritional regime or anything like it that changes the trajectory of one’s own success, even Clubhouse.
Earlier I put adding value in quotes for a reason. Too many people not just on Clubhouse are not offering value. They are speaking with the goal of trying to extract money from others. Then there are others who do not have the expertise or knowledge to even offer value, but they try to. These people are even more dangerous than the ones who are trying to extract money from others. There are plenty of these types in the world, not just on audio platforms like Clubhouse.
Now, like anything else in the world there are always negatives that come with the positives. However, Clubhouse has more positives than negatives. The connections I have made are for life. In addition to the connections I have made, I’ve also grown a couple of my businesses by six figures. This would never have happened if I did not get on Clubhouse that fateful day.
What’s next you may ask? Well, every other social media platform has been watching, but more importantly listening. Twitter has their version called Spaces which I’ve been on a few times. It is not as easy to use or navigate, so I’m not a huge fan. Spotify, just came out with Greenroom. Now this one is a real contender. Their functionality and user experience is pretty awesome. If has features that Clubhouse does not lie, the ability to also chat via text in the room. It has a dynamic descriptor of the room. Meaning once the room starts with a particular title, the creator of the room can change the title. Many times as the conversations evolve, so does the topic. This is a pretty cool feature. I’ve only been on Greenroom for a few days so its hard for me to give my opinion but it’s definitely going to give Clubhouse a run for their money.
There is lots of chatter from companies like Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok and even newer startups coming into the space. Mark Cuban is behind an app called Fireside seemingly bringing him back to his roots of pioneering audio on the internet. Who will prevail is left to be seen, rather heard. But, as a takeaway, if I were you I would not only pay attention to these platforms but I would invest time and effort. Voice and audio are a beautiful medium and have always resonated with humans. What we are experiencing is just the evolution of voice and audio as a means of communicating, connecting and creating.
You can connect with me on Clubhouse @MikeAlden, Greenroom @MikeAlden and everywhere else @MikeAlden2012