It can be difficult to keep up with social media trends, with new apps and platforms popping up overnight and a “next big thing” always on the horizon. A recently released app called Clubhouse is getting a lot of interest and excitement, especially in many business and professional circles.
Just like a country club, the Clubhouse app operates on exclusivity—perhaps further fueling interest from various industries. If you’re looking for ways to get your law firm more involved online, consider using Clubhouse as a way to represent the voice of your law firm. In fact, you may come across Silicon Valley think tanks, business moguls, celebrities, and even star lawyers on the platform.
So, if you’ve heard of Clubhouse but don’t know what it is or how it could benefit you as a lawyer, here’s everything you need to know.
Clubhouse is an invite-only app that allows users of the platform to chat in real-time, share points of view, stories, collaborate, and use each other as a sounding board — all this via voice chat alone. This eliminates the need for much equipment, if any. In the Clubhouse app, the different chat rooms are, as mentioned, audio-only, and once the chat is completed, the rooms disappear.
But what sets this platform apart right now is its exclusivity. A platform’s success is measured by the number of active users it has on a daily basis and Clubhouse has become a significant hotspot of engagement amongst Silicon Valley’s elite. Though the app’s main goal is to foster meaningful conversations and encourage human connections, it’s kicked off as being known as the watering hole for the “who’s who” in the business and personality worlds.
Clubhouse works in a similar fashion to online chatrooms of the ‘90s and ‘00s. Popular instant messaging apps back then like Yahoo, Hotmail, ICQ, and AOL (to name a few examples) would carry chat room functions that allowed users to start conversations with other users from different parts of the world.
Clubhouse operates on almost the same premise where “rooms” are hosted by moderators. Each room has three sections:
Like traditional chat rooms, users can easily move around to different rooms and check out a variety of topics. Because of its real-time podcast setup, it is easy to find a room with a discussion that would pique your interest. You can join in on the discussion by sharing conversations or simply listen in to keynote speakers.
Since the clubhouse app is designed to simulate real-life interactions, there are conversations in podcast style, panel discussions, chat rooms, networking opportunities, and even multiple room use.
The multiple room use is perfect for locked-in and private conversations. It can be used as an exclusive place for lawyers looking to discuss sensitive legal matters with their peers or even just to chat with current or potential clients. The primary rule when using the application is that audio is never recorded. What happens in Clubhouse, stays in Clubhouse. There is no way to save conversations, you cannot document them, and any recording or transcribing is strictly prohibited.
As previously mentioned, the app offers a private and intimate setting where lawyers can host events, deliver talks, or open discussions to share insights and thought leadership. Q&A sessions are so far the most anticipated and used of all the formats. Lawyers always need to be careful about disclosing that what they say should not be construed as legal advice and the discussion does not constitute an attorney/client relationship.
As a lawyer, you can set up a room allowing people to talk to lawyers about, well, why they might need lawyers. For example, you can create an “Ask The Lawyer” session where moderators lead experts through a series of topics that may feature the most common legal dilemmas. It is always advised for a lawyer to team up with a client, who has used the attorney and firm in the past. The floor can also be opened so that audience members can ask additional questions related to the subject matter.
Clubhouse also provides lawyers with a place to collaborate with other professionals, network with industry experts, and find opportunities in a setting that feels more like a cocktail party than your average chat room. Users can even learn from and connect with other individuals from different industries since the platform affords and encourages learning from others’ failures and successes.
At the moment, it seems fairly unlikely for the Clubhouse app to replace any of the existing and extremely popular social media platforms. For the most part, where Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc., gain traction is through written and visual content. As you may know, this is on a different playing field than the auditory experience that Clubhouse provides.
If anything, Clubhouse can complement these sites, and, as a professional, it would be highly beneficial to include it in your personal career strategy. Think about it. Have you ever wanted to discuss a topic and hear others’ opinions about it while having an audience listen in? All without having to set up an elaborate event? With this app, you can dive right into the topics by creating a room in a matter of seconds. It’s just like LinkedIn Live but with a more private and exclusive attendance.
There are currently two ways to join Clubhouse. Because the app is still in its beta testing, those who are interested in being a part of this exclusive community can do so by:
In both options, getting in relies mostly on whether you already have contacts who are Clubhouse users. If your friend or coworker is a member, they can send you a direct invite. When you sign up, any connections you have who are already using the app can “wave you in” or grant you access.
Whether you are seriously thinking of being a part of your law firm Clubhouse, or are simply curious, you must be aware of its impact on today’s professionals and social media users. Clubhouse is the platform where you, your firm, or your personal brand can generate more user engagement. You can provide better transparency to your practices while learning from what your audience has to say. Not to mention you will get a boost to your company image considering you have to be invited into this exclusive online community. It is exciting to see what the future has in store for Clubhouse, given the fresh take on engagement it has afforded a lot of industry professionals.