What’s your first ever memory of going to the theatre?
I can remember mine, well at least I can remember a memory of the memory. I would have been 4 or 5 and I was wearing my best dress, and mum had put on makeup and high heels which was very unusual.
The foyer was bright and festive and there was a buzz like nothing I’d ever experienced before. Everyone was in a great mood. You kind of remember these feelings as a kid.
We were off the the panto.
I can’t remember which show it was nor what happened on the stage that night, but I can remember knowing that I wanted to come back again and again, and luckily I would get to do just that.
Sylvie was my Aunt’s Aunt (not a blood relative really but someone I am eternally grateful to) and was Personal Assistant to Philip Headley the then Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Stratford East…which even until today is my local Theatre.
Every year she would give my mum some complimentary tickets to the panto, a luxury my mum couldn’t always afford, especially once all of my siblings had arrived.
It was the highlight of my year throughout my childhood, especially as I wanted to be a dancer, wanted to be on the stage.
When I was 16 years and 3 months old I applied for a job as an usher, without Sylvie knowing. I didn’t want her getting me the job. I wanted to get it on my own merit and I did.
I would go onto work as an usher for around 3 years, until the theatre went dark for a while for refurbishment.
Those years were transformative for me.
They were the happiest of my life.
With free access to a range of different genres of theatre, which was by now my passion, and what I was studying at college, and about to head off to university to to a degree in.
I got to meet so many cool people, the late Barbara Windsor, most of the cast of Eastenders ha ha, and even the occasional Hollywood star.
It wasn’t just the productions or the celebrities I was studying though…it was the ordinary people too, the audiences, it astounded me how one building could attract with their programming, so many diverse people into its fold.
One week it would be a laugh till you wet yourself comedy show filled to the rafters with Londons black community, and the next it would be a straight play about the troubles in Ireland where you could literally hear a pin drop.
This is why when it came to choosing what I wanted to focus my research on a few years later…I chose to write my dissertation on cultural diversity, community and the arts….with a specific focus on young people and how they use street dance to express themselves.
So what the heck has this all got to do with clubhouse?
Clubhouse is the new audio based social media platform taking the world by storm…some would say it is elitist…like the Oprah or the Ballet…because currently it is invite only, and only available for people with Apple phones.
The way the app works is that you can host rooms, be a moderator or a speaker, or an audience member. And each room is different in its vibe, etiquette, culture, and format. Some rooms go on for days, some and short and to the point. Some are inclusive and without hierarchy and some are all about the people on the stage.
Or as I have found myself saying of late,
“There are rooms that are good for business, rooms that are good for the soul and rooms that are good for nothing”
To be fair the app is still in its infancy, and lots of us are still just working it all out. I have been on there for around 6 weeks and have been playing around hosting different types of rooms and working out the best return on investment for my time…not just in terms of money but in terms of connection, and relationships and fun.
There are 100% things you can do to strategise and leverage this app, and my best piece of advice would be after spending a bit of time observing, start to be intentional and focus on your personal objectives for being on the platform.
So a few tips
As a room host
Think about your room like a show. Think about how it starts, the moments of ritual and drama, and the way you bring things to a close, a resolution. Are you encouraging audience interaction or is there a fourth wall…you know like those plays where the actors don’t even acknowledge the existence of the audience.
Think about the energy of your room…is it a comedy, or a tragedy, immersive or a one woman show…thats how you build a regular audience, unless it’s more variety, or improv, where you don’t know what you are getting.
Let folks know the parameters of the show, think of this like your programme. Who are the main characters, what is the format, the running time, is there an interval…let the audience know where they can leave a review.
It is your job as the host to remind people of the etiquette and the culture of your room, so don’t be afraid to reset the room as often as you need, and maintain your boundaries as you see fit.
As a guest speaker
Remember the director (or host/moderator) will have a vision for the room. Their room their rules, so check in with them about their expectations and any ground rules. Try and listen in on one of their shows before hand to get the vibe.
Be helpful. Be a good egg. Big up the host and the other mods. Be respectful.
Don’t hog the stage. Even if you think you are better informed or more of an expert than the hosts. I mean imagine if Sir Ian McKellen jumped up on the stage and did his version of a monologue every time he saw someone doing a mediocre job.
But also, be yourself. Show your character. Anything goes. You don’t need to put on any falsities, airs not graces…your style, your vibe, your specific take on your topic is what will create a wonderful blend of viewpoints in any rooms…so show people who you are.
As an audience member
Be open, be inquisitive and support the shows, I mean rooms, that you love. Feed back on social media, tell your friends and give the hosts a shout out from time to time.
Depending on the format of the show, get involved from time to time if you can. Be brave. But also give others a chance. If you are a natural and enthusiastic speaker, learn to be a good audience member too.
One of the greatest opportunities as an audience member in clubhouse is to hear different view points to your own, and to broaden your circle. So use the search function to find new rooms, maybe rooms on topics you are slightly interested in, ones outside of your business area.
And remember SIZE MATTERS, some of the most profound theatre I have seen in my life has been the one mans shows, or the experimental in the round productions…rather than the big Andres Lloyd Webber extravaganza.
Variety is the spice of life and the trick to not getting bored or overwhelmed by clubhouse.
This app couldn’t have come at a better time. We are desperate for connection, desperate to be entertained and have something to get excited by. As a business owner this app has so much opportunity, but where the real opportunity lies is in our ability as humans to simply engage and see what we learn about ourselves.
Look out next week for part two of this blog which will be all about the baddies and the villains of the clubhouse world.
Julie Creffield is a community engagement strategist and creative business mentor from East London. She has worked for more than 20 years helping bring people together to create change with movements that matter.
Starting her career as a drama and dance practitioner working with hard to reach young people, she went on to write policy for the London 2012 Games Maker programmes, founded a global plus-size fitness movement, and through her work has inspired millions of people to think, feel or do things differently.
She now works with solopreneurs to help them grow and leverage their communities for more influence, impact and income…and she runs a regular morning business show on clubhouse called “Breakfast Minus the Bullshit” which runs Mon-Fri 7.30am-9am
Come give her a follow and get involved @juliecreffieldor check out her new juliecreffield.club mini site
I am sure there were more, but those are the ones I remembered.
Books change us.
The books that we are gifted do too.
So why not switch off your screens this weekend and curl up with a good book…the old fashioned way.
Do join us on Breakfast Minus the Bullshit over on clubhouse every week day morning from 7-9am, you can find me @juliecreffield and if you haven’t got your head around how to leverage clubhouse yet here is my pop up guide
I will be looking for guest moderators and topic ideas for future shows, so come and get involved.
Oh and finally on the topic of books…why not add my one to your pile, Leading from the Back, how to grow a profitable online business without burning out, selling out or behaving like a dick.
I have been blown away by the feedback I have got about this book. A book which I headed off to Greece for 8 weeks to write in September last year.
PS. The books above are all affiliate links (I mean why not right??) It’s called Leveraging your audience.
And on that note, I am launching something new on the 1st March and am looking for 25 small business owners who are interested in working with me on how to increase their influence, impact, and income via the vehicle of community building. Drop me an email to email@example.com to find out more.
So its been 30 days since my life changed FOREVER!!!
Only kidding, but it does feel a little bit like that.
The date was 30th December, I was in that blur between Christmas and New Year and slowly losing the will to live.
A client of mine texted me an invite to a new social media channel and I was like
“WTF another one?”
And because she is one of those annoying young, gorgeous and talented millennials I had these sense of doom in my gut that read
“GREAT another social media platform that I’m not cool enough to leverage”
But how wrong was I?
So quickly…clubhouse is a new audio-only app, that baasically allows you to host your own topic based rooms, collaborate with others on rooms, ask questions/give opinions in rooms…or simply be an audience member.
The first week was a it of a blur.
I jumped straight in, had a bit of a nose, ended up on various stages talking mostly about clubhouse but with a little bit about audience building.
It didn’t take long before I was being pinged into rooms, being asked to comoderate, being asked about the app, outside of the app…like,
And this pop up product illustrated just how cool this platform could be for converting followers into paying clients.
You can come and find me on the platform @juliecreffield
So, anyway 30 days on what have been my lessons?
1. Don’t over think it
There are lots of people talking strategy, but bloody hell, most folks in the UK have been on the platform less than 6 weeks, and there is not just one way to leverage the platform. So don’t worry about the right way…rather worry about getting in your own way.
2. Get stuck in
The best way to learn and test is to just jump in. Nothing is recorded…so it doesn’t matter. Listen to a range of rooms, ask questions, host your own rooms…everyone is kind of figuring it out. You don’t need to know what you are doing before getting cracking.
3. Optimise your bio
Think about what you want people to think, feel and do when they come across you (there is more about the tactics of this in my clubhouse guide) and make sure you hook up to either Instagram or Twitter.
4. Think about what you want to be known as.
This is an AUTHORITY piece. Be known for just one thing, make it easy for people to get you, to want to bring you on their stages, to want to come to your rooms.
This is not the place to fake it until you make it, but also don’t short change yourself. Be confident, clear and credible in your bio and in the way you show up on stages…but also don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and real.
5. Embed clubhouse into your wider marketing ecosystem
Where does it fit in to what else you are doing? For me it’s not about replacing anything, but instead, it is complimenting what I am already doing. By default because it links to my instagram…my instagram game has been ramped up somewhat. And this strategy piece is evolving for sure.
And the results?
Everyone wants to know whether I am getting a ROI from the time I am spending on the platform….which is probably around 10-12 hours a week.
So firstly I would say, I am still testing and exploring, and I don’t have an aggressive strategy like some folks do. There are lots of stories about BIG COACHES making millions…I mean some of them appear to be on their 24 hours a day…so they must think its worth it.
For me I have settled down in terms of the amount of time I am on there.
My regular shows.
I am the creator of Breakfast Minus the Bullshit which I cohost with Helen Pritchard and Gemma Went….it’s a bit like Loose Women or GMTV…just about business…and of course more brilliant ha ha.
It is every weekday morning from 7am-9am….and I LOVE IT.
I usually jump on my peloton, or schedule my social media for the week, or sometimes just stay in bed…so it’s not like I have to be up and fully functioning every day…and let me tell you, to get to my desk for 9.30am having been in front of 100-200 of my ideal customers or potential collaborators each day is an absolute no brainer for me.
This for me feels like the most aligned way of showing up…its also great to be collaborating, so I’m not having to think it all through myself. We are getting so much positive feedback both live from audience members and in the DMs…folks are super grateful for the tone, and the quality of the room, a room which we are carefully moderating and being super intentional about.
The other regular rooms I run each week are
Monday 9am-10am Practical Audience Building with different topics each week
Wednesday 9am-10am Live Bio Surgery…where I critique peoples bios live each week
And I tend to run 1-3 other rooms throughout the week, depending on my time commitments and energy.
So let’s talk numbers.
I have gained just short of 4000 followers on clubhouse
I have increased my instagram by around 800 followers…and I had been completely stuck before joining clubhouse
I have added around 600 new people to my email list (haven’t tracked if this was all from clubhouse)
I had a successful launch of my Tribe Builder programme…and I know that at least 5 of those new clients found me via clubhouse…this has given me my first ever £30K month, and £100,000 launch (although clearly not all from clubhouse)
I’ve secured two 121 clients directly from the platform
I’ve sold around £1000 of passive income products
I have spoken on 2 podcasts, and been invited to speak on many more
But the thing which is slightly immeasurable is how much my profile, authority and credibility has increased in the last 30 days….and this is what completely lights me up.
Look, my thing is audience building so of course this is going to work for me….and I don’t even think I’ve been pushing with this yet.
But I have also been supporting my clients to leverage it too…and they are feeding back that they are building their list, getting leads and making sales…which lets face it is the lifeblood of any business.
This platform can work for you no matter what your niche, your field, your business model, and its also a fantastic place for folks not in business who have a cause or a mission they are committed to.
Basically, ut is a great place to meet your peeps.
I am sure to feed back in future months my evolving strategy as the year progresses.
If you would like to pick my brains on how to make Clubhouse work for you, get in touch. I am doing a limited number of 45-minute strategy calls in February to help folks get started.
However, if you’d like to work with me in a more strategic way to understand how to grow your audience and increase your income and impact in 2021…I have just 2 more places available for my Tribe Growth Accelerator 121 Service for this quarter.
Julie Creffield is a community engagement strategist and creative business mentor, she specialises in helping solopreneurs on a mission to change the world (and their worlds) to build influence, impact and income from their business.
She went from unemployed single mum to 6 figure business owner with her plus size fitness business Too Fat to Run? And now runs a multiple 6 figure business supporting other business owners to monetise their passions and their expertise.
10 times author, 5 time marathon runner, speaker and media appearances in more than 30 countries worldwide. When it comes to audience building its not the size that matters its the depth of engagement that really counts.
Her latest book Leading from the back is all about how to build a profitable online business without selling out, burning out, or behaving like a dick.
Picture the scene, you are standing backstage, the lights are on, the excitement is building, you are going over your opening line, knowing you need to nail it.
You have been working up to this opportunity for months and it means so much. You got out of your own way to say yes to it in the first place, you worked on overcoming your fear, prioritising this over other things in your life.
This could lead to great things….
And then you walk on to the stage, into the spotlight, look up….
Imagine being a rock star walking onto a huge stage to give the concert of your life, and when you walk on to the stage all pumped you find literally nobody in the stadium….or maybe just a few stewards thinking “Where are all the fans”
Or maybe it’s like footballers who play to an empty stadium (yeah well thats kind of a thing now in 2020 right?)
But you get my drift.
In business…especially online business, that feeling of excitement and anticipation followed by disappointment, that feeling of “this is not what I imagined” can kind of be the same.
You have all of these wonderful skills and qualities, expertise that could really help people, and yet too often you create something cool, or come up with a great idea, and rather than it being met with rapturous applause, instead you get nothing.
It’s soul destroying.
And thats why if you keep mucking about on social media trying to pick up clients, in a scattergun approach instead of actually understanding how to do community building and community engagement well…you are going to burn out, or find yourself doing things in your business that are not aligned to your values OR that you are good at but you don’t enjoy.
And thats not what we went into business to do.
When you nail your niche, get clear on your mission, understand who you are as a leader, and then put in place the mechanics required to build an engaged tribe, you give yourself the best chance of stepping things up and never having to shout out into the void anymore.
The first cohort of Tribe Builder my 3 month incubator closes on Thursday 21st January. Register before midnight Friday to secure the earlybird price and your space in the programme.
Since February 2019 more than 130 small business owners have been through this specific programme. Transforming their businesses, creating movements with global impact, and truly leaning into who they want to be as an online leader.
My goal for 2021 is to support 300 solopreneurs on a mission, to transform their businesses, and step into the spotlight so that their audiences can be transformed by their work….are you one of those?
If you want to learn more about the kind of leader you are, and the most appropriate style of tribe for you to create, why not take my tribe leader quiz. It takes around 3 minutes and you get immediate results.
Julie Creffield is a serial entrepreneur, community enagagement strategist and creative business mentor, with more than 20 years experience of building profitable and engaged communitties, online and off.
Her latest book, Leading from the back, helps you to understand that there isn’t just one way to do business, but there is just one of you, so start there when looking for the answers.
And I got a message on Instagram from someone who said,
“How can you teach people how to get followers if you have only got 950 followers yourself”
Here’s the thing.
THATS VANITY METRICS!!!!
That person wasn’t taking into consideration my background, where my expertise is, what I do for my clients, she was only taking things on face value…and that sadly is the world we live in.
So yes Follower numbers do matter….because many people do want to see that you do what you say you do…and people are impressed with audience figures.
BUT….and as always its a BIG BUT
Follower numbers should never take priority over good quality, deeper relationships…because thats where business is done.
I am passionate about showing people how to grow engaged tribes, buyers and action takers, not just passive followers and browsers. So community building isn’t just about numbers.
You can have a small but mighty tribe.
I’d rather have 100 engaged clients on my email list who love what I do, who buy from me, cheer me on, refer me to their peoples, than 1000 people who never open my emails.
So go grow your audience…
Come find me on Clubhouse, I am hosting a range of rooms this week including a session on Wednesday at 9am on optimising your bio…you can get a notification for it here
Julie Creffield is a community engagement strategist with 20+ years experience of building engaged and impactful tribes, online and offline. She helps purpose driven solopreneurs to build movements that matter to scale their business.
She is the author of Leading from the Back, a book about how to grow a profitable online business without selling out, burning out, or behaving like a dick!!!!