Life’s busy. So busy, in fact, that you might not be thrilled to discover there’s a new social media platform to keep track of.

But, if you’re a healthcare professional keen to grow your business, you should be excited about Clubhouse. It’s likely to become a business-to-business platform that will rival LinkedIn, offer great professional development opportunities and be the space where industry events are hosted.

Here’s what you need to know about Clubhouse and how you can leverage it to build your practice and your reputation.

1. It’s had an impressive first year

Clubhouse began right around the time COVID-19 hit and gained popularity as various celebrities and thought leaders like Bill Gates and Elon Musk joined. In December 2020, it had 600,000 active weekly users. By late February 2021, it had 10 million!

The app enables you to create a room on a specific topic with a speaker (usually you!). Anyone can join as an audience member, raising a virtual hand if they want to speak at any point.

It’s now among the top 10 social networking apps in the App Store. So far, it’s only been available to Apple users but the Android app is due in a couple of months and usage will no doubt skyrocket then.

Clubhouse was worth $100 million in May 2020 and is now valued at $1 billion, making it a Unicorn startup that’s joining the likes of Uber and Airbnb.

2. You need an invitation to join

Clubhouse trades on exclusivity. It mirrors the old-fashioned private members’ clubs like the Athenaeum where membership can only be achieved if you’re invited by an existing member.

Each person who accepts an invitation is given two invitations immediately and earns more as they become more active on the platform and invite more people to join.

That means it shouldn’t be too hard to score an invitation. Badger your friends, colleagues and family members until they give you one! Or, send an email to our founder, Ellie, and she can invite you in.

Just downloading the app may be enough to get an invitation since Clubhouse immediately scans your phone contacts to see if you know anyone who’s already a member. If you do, they’ll be told you want to join and have the opportunity to invite you. If that doesn’t work, you can also join an invitation waitlist.

Once you’re in, it’s worth watching this 15-minute video from social media expert Michael Stelzner to learn about how to use the platform well.

Give your own invitations away often but judiciously. When someone accepts your invitation and creates their profile, it’ll forever show that you nominated them to join. That’s a good way of growing your following.

3. Clubhouse is an audio-only platform

Clubhouse takes you back to good old-fashioned voice-only communication meaning you’re not on display. It’s actually quite lovely to listen to a great conversation on a  fascinating topic without needing to stay in your seat and look engaged. If you’re speaking, you can be on the podium in your pyjamas if you like because people are there to listen to your expertise and can’t judge your appearance since they can’t see you.

That means that belonging to Clubhouse feels less like being in yet another Zoom meeting and more like listening to a podcast (I wonder how long those will last now?). You can listen while you drive, run or snuggle under the doona. Nobody knows.

4. You can learn just about anything here

There’s so much to choose from! Business growth, professional development, horizon scanning, marketing, management – no matter how obscure your interest, you’re likely to find something here.

When you write your profile, fill it with relevant keywords about your experience and professional interests, just as you would on LinkedIn. That helps Clubhouse’s algorithms to recommend clubs and rooms that are likely to interest you, enabling you to customise the platform to suit your particular reasons for being there.

5. There’s a no-obligation feel to it

Because no-one can see you, it’s easy to leave a room whenever you like if the topic isn’t engaging. You don’t need to stay there until the end of a discussion to avoid being rude. You just hit the ‘peace out’ icon and leave whenever you like to make good use of your time elsewhere.

6. It delivers next-level authenticity

Clubhouse feels real. More real than someone’s carefully curated Instagram page or their scripted YouTube content. There’s a focus on high-value conversations not perfectly coiffed content.

Clubhouse lets you listen in on a live conversation among the leaders in your field. Much like a panel discussion at a conference, you get to hear unscripted thoughts, insights and different perspectives as people build on one another’s ideas or offer another way of looking at a topic.

Often you can put your hand up too if you want to contribute to the discussion by asking a question or offering a comment.

7. Nothing is recorded

We’ve become accustomed to content being recorded and archived so we can access it whenever we like. But Clubhouse is a counter-cultural social media phenomenon. Nothing is recorded here. You listen to it as it’s happening or you miss it altogether.

This is probably one of the reasons for the high level of authenticity. Speakers can be brave, vulnerable and honest. They don’t need to weigh each word carefully in case it’s used against them later. They can talk freely in a relatively safe space.

The lack of recording also increases motivation to join in now since you can’t join in later. Clubhouse harnesses that FOMO quite well and lets you set reminders for upcoming conversations so you can be there from the beginning.

8. How can healthcare professionals benefit from Clubhouse?

Clubhouse has a lot to offer healthcare professionals in private practice. You can learn about growing a practice, developing a business mindset, boosting cash flow, managing staff, building a brand and succeeding on social media among a long list of other topics of interest to entrepreneurs.

That advice is coming from genuine leaders in these fields. You’re getting direct access to some of the world’s best talent in your industry, probably the kind of people you could never call in real life but can talk to on Clubhouse. That’s pretty amazing.

Again, nothing is recorded. That makes it feel safer to ask a potentially silly question,  admit to struggles or discuss medical topics without worrying about the platform’s security.

Clubhouse also offers a new avenue for patient education. A good number of those 10 million users will be living with chronic conditions, trying to lose weight or dealing with anxiety. According to Clubhouse, each week, parents of children with genetic diseases gather there to discuss medical developments with doctors, researchers and other parents. It’s a valuable forum to bring together multidisciplinary teams and patient groups to increase understanding and hopefully facilitate breakthroughs.

What next?

I hope you’re now ready to try Clubhouse.
Fill out the form below if you’d like an invite from me and once you’re in, let’s connect and get you in some of our upcoming sessions on growing your healthcare practice.