How Clubhouse Made A Decorator Up To $50,000 In Sales
t first, Alison Banholzer, owner of Wear Your Spirit Warehouse (@wysw), started using the new Clubhouse app to connect with and learn from other screen printers and promo product pros. “I was trying to find my community,” Banholzer says.
“But once I learned how to use the platform, I easily connected with people who ended up ordering $50,000 in decorated apparel and other items from my shop.” - Alison Banholzer, owner of Wear Your Spirit Warehouse
It’s a given that using social media is central to reaching new customers. But many business owners feel the two to four platforms they’re already using is enough. That may not be true. Clubhouse, a new social app, is poised to take your social media and selling strategy to the next level.“Think of Clubhouse like talk radio meets podcasts, and they get married and have a kid, “ Banholzer says.
After Banholzer found her printing community on Clubhouse, she joined military-related and veteran rooms and then connected with people. Using Clubhouse’s DM feature, Banholzer established real relationships first. “Like most platforms, you’re social first,” she says. “My conversations naturally led to, ‘What do you do?’ From there, when my connection had a need, the sale became easy. You already have interests in common, you can speak a common language, and you can fill a need.”
Here are two examples of how Wear Your Spirit Wearhouse scored business via the platform:
In a veteran-connected room, Banholzer met a woman veteran in charge of purchasing recruiting merch for her company. “We chatted in the room twice and we connected on Instagram,” she says. “She saw samples of our work on Instagram and ultimately placed a $10,000 order for recruitment promo items.”
Separately, Banholzer met four people in the "Breakfast with Champions" room, and also connected with them on Instagram. Now, Wear Your Spirit Warehouse hosts six online stores between these new contacts. “We’re doing on-demand production for each store, and they’ve grossed more than $15,000 each,” she says.
Let’s take a look at Clubhouse, how to use it, and how this app can help you take networking to the next level.
What can Clubhouse do for your business?
Clubhouse could change how you engage with others, as well as introduce you to a whole new audience of potential buyers.
"Clubhouse provides business owners with an opportunity to position themselves as experts in the decorated-apparel industry, while also allowing them to connect through the power of voice." - Keshia Butler-Thomas, CEO of Purposeful Life, SFLC, LLC (@LifeCoachKesh)
“The last 18 months has limited all of us globally from the interaction we crave naturally as human beings. Clubhouse thrives through creating that community of trusted experts who are available as long as they’re logged on, taking accessibility to another level."
With so many options for social media, what does Clubhouse bring to the table that would make you want to dive in? Here are four compelling stats on the app:
Clubhouse has 10 million downloads globally (as of February 2021).
Clubhouse has 2 million weekly active users.
Users spend a lot of time on the app, averaging 10 to 11 hours a week.
“Like many new social media platforms, Clubhouse isn’t crowded yet with your competitors,” Banholzer says. “Often it’s the early adopters who can capitalize on these new platforms. Get in early and establish yourself as an authority.”
The Clubhouse difference
Clubhouse has one main feature that distinguishes it from the other major social media apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Namely, Clubhouse is audio-based.
While some may go to Facebook or Instagram to watch videos and live feeds from influencers, Clubhouse allows members to listen to what you have to say. This is a place to literally talk with others in an open environment.
While video has exploded in recent years, don’t discount the appeal of audio-based media. Many people can’t commit to video because it requires them to stop, look and listen. Clubhouse is closer to podcasts where you can log in, turn on the audio and listen while you go about other tasks.
Here are five most-asked questions and our answers about Clubhouse.
1. How do I join Clubhouse?
In the past, Clubhouse was a bit exclusive—you could only join if another member invited you. Now, it’s much easier. Just download Clubhouse from your app store and install it on your device or computer. After you open the app and create your account, you’re ready to go.
2. How do I join other members’ rooms?
Once you open the Clubhouse app, you’ll see a series of rooms you can join. Think of these as audio chat rooms, just like the old text-only chats in the internet’s early days.
“We’ve become so accustomed to visual platforms that a strictly audio platform could seem dull or 'old school. That’s why some people overlook this social platform.” - Alison Banholzer, owner of Wear Your Spirit Warehouse
Simply look through the list until you find a room you want to join. Then, click the name and start listening in. You don’t have to worry about your microphone when you first walk into a chatroom; it’s automatically muted until you choose to join the conversation by unmuting it.
Once you join in, you’ll see a few different areas on your screen. At the top, you’ll see a list of the room moderators and speakers. Just below that is an area called “the stage.” (It’s not actually labeled, but that’s what the mods call it, in case you’re wondering.)
The stage is where the speakers are located. Just below this area are two lists. One list is called “Followed by Speakers.” This lets you know who the speakers follow on the app, in case you want to check out their connections. There’s also a list called “Others in the Room.” This is a list of all the people in the room who’re just listening.
3. How do I ask questions or add to a speaker’s discussion?
Remember you could be one of the hundreds of people in the room with your hand raised to speak. The moderators can only get to so many people at one time. If you’re approved to speak, stay on topic, ask your question quickly, and don’t overstay your time on the stage.
“When you enter a room, take time to hang out in the listening lounge before getting on stage,” Butler-Thomas says. “That way, you can assess the conversation and see where you can strategically add value in a way that puts you into the conversation, while not monopolizing it.”
Speaking of overstaying, don’t feel like you have to stay in a room until it shuts down. Many of these conversations will go on for hours. It’s the nature of the app to have people pop in and out of rooms, so stay as long as you can and then leave. You can even surf along while you listen and see if there’s another room you’d rather join.
If you’re in a room and you think your friends on the app would love what you’re hearing, press the “+” at the bottom of the room. This allows you to invite others.
4. How do I start my own room?
Now, you’ve got the hang of the Clubhouse app and you’re enjoying its features, you may want to venture out and start your own room. Do this at any point by simply clicking the “Start a Room” button on one of the app screens.
Once you start a room, you’ll input a topic and then pick who can (or can’t) enter the room. Generally, there are three options:
Closed—only people you invite can enter
Social—only your followers can enter
Open—anyone on the app can enter.
You can change these opinions at any time. For instance, you can move it from Closed to Social or back again. However, you can’t change the topic. If you want a room with a different topic, you’ll have to start a new one.
When you start a room, you’re the moderator for that space. This doesn’t mean you have to stay there all the time. If you leave the room and then rejoin, you’ll still have your mod privileges. You can also schedule a room to be placed on the calendar of upcoming events, again with you having full moderator rights and the ability to select who can enter.
5. How do I use Clubs?
One of the best ways to use Clubhouse for networking with other professionals is to use “Clubs.” Clubs are built around a specific topic and are groups of people who are all interested in that field. (If you’re on Facebook or LinkedIn, it’s very close to “Groups.”) Clubs can also set up and host rooms just for club members to let them connect and network.
Search by topic to find a club you may want to join. Once you find a club you’re interested in, select “Follow” and you’ll be included on all of their updates including when special rooms become available. If you’re no longer interested in a club, you can unfollow it the same way.
Tips for Networking on Clubhouse
Now that you know your way around the app, try these six expert tactics for getting to know people on Clubhouse:
1. Connect your profile dots.
Make sure your profile is current, and tells a bit about you and what your shop does. Provide your LinkedIn profile information as well. On your Clubhouse profile, you can link your Instagram account and then direct message people too.
2. Don’t lead with selling.
“You don't want to go in blazing with your sales hat on,” Banholzer says. “Clubhouse is like LinkedIn where you’ll quickly be 'shunned' for pushy selling. Find a room that you either have expertise in the topic or you fit the community. First, connect with the people in the room, and offer helpful tips or information. If they need what you’re selling, that will follow naturally.”
3. Position yourself as a giver.
“There are plenty of people ready to do business right now on Clubhouse,” Butler-Thomas says. “The easiest way to not take advantage is by being a giver. Don’t be the person constantly pitching your shop or presenting paid offers. Instead, be willing to give your knowledge and expertise willingly with the hopes of creating genuine connections that can ultimately lead to sales opportunities.”
4. Be a conversation-starter.
It’s great to go into rooms and add value, but there’s nothing like setting the tone of conversation in a room you start. “Like with anything else, practice makes perfect,” Butler-Thomas says. “You may host a room no one comes to, but don’t give up. Experiment with different room titles and topics until you find the ones that work for your business.”
5. Let your conversations progress naturally.
Remember, relationships take time to nurture, so plan to dedicate time to Clubhouse like you do on other social media platforms. “Once you’ve nurtured the relationship and connected, feel free to move the sale along,” Banholzer says. “Clubhouse is a space to network and provide knowledge—it’s your social proof that you know what you’re doing That helps you take your conversation offline and nurture the sale.”
6. Be open to opposing views.
“We all know there are others in our industries we don’t agree with,” Butler-Thomas says. “Healthy conversation on Clubhouse is necessary! Be open to hearing different opinions or methods and be willing to share your own.”
Check Out Clubhouse Today
Anybody in sales will tell you they’re looking for that next “big thing” to give them a leg up on the competition. For printers and promo products professionals, that could be Clubhouse. The ability to network with others in your target audiences will give you the advantage you've been looking for and a reach you may have never had before.