How Clubhouse Is Opening New Doors for Black Entrepreneurs
Launched in early 2020, Clubhouse is an audio-only social network that allows users to start conversations with people they follow or join public rooms.
This story originally appeared on Black Enterprise
Just when you think there are no more social media apps to add to your arsenal, along comes another app that is revolutionizing the way people connect and network. Yes, that's right, a new social media app has made its debut, and it's making waves.
Clubhouse, which launched in early 2020, is a new audio-only social network. The app allows users to start conversations with people they follow or join public rooms, where they can listen in or participate in discussions.
Related: 5 Ways to Network on the Clubhouse App
According to mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, Clubhouse has already garnered over eight million downloads. The app's massive appeal is an ode to the audio and podcasting trend that has been steadily growing over the last few years, coupled with the massive lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced many people to find new ways to connect.
Opportunities to Connect
The rise of the app has led to new opportunities for entrepreneurs and creatives to network, connect, and market their businesses. Similar to a live and interactive podcast, Clubhouse is an app that gives a voice to the voiceless. It allows users to connect with others without worrying about how they look. In the right rooms, users have the freedom to express themselves, engage in meaningful conversations, and authentically market their businesses.
The app, which is still in beta testing, has attracted many high-profile celebrities, venture capitalists, creatives, and entrepreneurs who use it to host discussions and forums. While you may not be able to hang out or network with Tiffany Haddish or Kevin Hart in real life, you have the opportunity to connect with them through the app by joining their rooms and conversations.
New Opportunities for Entrepreneurs
Leah Johnson, the creator of Black Girls Do, a coalition celebrating Black women in action, launched her own club on the app. She also hosts events like "Black Girls Do: Small Business Saturday," where members can pitch their businesses and services and connect with other like-minded individuals.
"I realized that entrepreneurs as small business owners needed a day to just promote without stating this is a shameless plug, so that is why Black Girls Do: Small Business Saturday was created. One day specifically for services and one day specifically for products," Johnson told Black Enterprise.
Many other moderators host clubs and rooms where entrepreneurs have a chance to pitch their business to investors and venture capitalists. Sometimes it's a high-stakes environment where members of the audience have the opportunity to vote on the best pitch and receive funding for their businesses. Other times it provides a great forum for entrepreneurs to get feedback to improve their pitch, promote their products and services, or learn if their story resonates with audiences.
"Clubhouse has allowed entrepreneurs to give their "why' a voice and allows others to connect the story with the brand," added Johnson.
Learning and Growth
Many subject matter experts and thought-leaders are using the platform to share their knowledge and experiences with others to encourage learning and growth. Bjorn Hendricks, the founder of the Business Builder Academy, uses it as a platform to share his knowledge and experience of launching several successful businesses.
Other entrepreneurs have been able to use the app to create a positive impact on their business's bottom line through client referrals, consultations, and sales of their products and services.
"Clubhouse has provided so many amazing opportunities to network and build with like-minded entrepreneurs. While running rooms on Clubhouse I've been able to promote and sell my ebook. I've also done paid consultations and I've seen a huge increase in social media engagement," shared Desjaun Jackson, owner of Detroit Vending.
Overall, the app is creating an authentic space for people to connect in real-time. Unlike other social media apps driven by likes, comments, and follows, Clubhouse creates real-time interactions. You don't have to post a video or picture and wait for feedback. You can start a room and start real-life conversations around topics that are important to you.
While the app is only available on iOs devices and is invitation-only at the moment, the founders of the app are working to make the app more widely available. In the meantime, if you want to try Clubhouse for yourself, download the app from the Apple App Store to get on the waitlist, and don't be afraid to ask if anyone in your network has extra invites they would like to share. That's how I joined, and I haven't looked back since.