January 18, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Shortly before the premiere of Season 2 of Undercover Billionaire, Grant Cardone waded into the waters of the recently launched Clubhouse app. This turned out to be a great choice, both for the show and for his other business ventures.
If you aren’t familiar with this powerful platform, you’re not alone. Many haven’t yet had an opportunity to use it, either because they’re not on an iOS device or because they haven’t received an invite. But I believe that was all part of their marketing strategy to begin with. By cutting out about 55 percent of the U.S. marketplace, they were able to throttle new users with a slow and restrictive invite-only process.
It was a perfect recipe for a viral hit, and it worked. The platform launched in May, and by the end of 2020, it had more than 600,000 registered users.
Clubhouse is, essentially, an interactive audio-based social network. Think of it like your own personal podcast where you can share your thoughts and listeners can ask questions. The platform is organized as rooms started by users, which then disappear once they’re closed down by the host, and the user base is a diverse mix of entrepreneurs, investors, entertainers and artists of all ages, discussing a wide range of topics.
This makes for some interesting conversations, but the dynamic on Clubhouse is completely different from any other social media platform. On Facebook, YouTube, Twitter et al, users share their message, which is often relatively short, and then maybe they’ll engage in some shallow dialogue in the comments before moving on to something else.
On Clubhouse, though, users will often carry on in-depth, engaging conversations for hours — sometimes even more than a full day. And rather than constantly pitching their products or services, most users are freely and transparently sharing their knowledge to help others achieve their goals.
This environment is like a turbocharged incubator for business opportunities that benefits everyone from those just getting started, all the way up to world-famous multi-millionaires like Cardone, Kevin Harrington and Tyrese Gibson.
Cardone first started showing up in various rooms where real estate and business were being discussed and saw that it allowed him to quickly and effectively scale his efforts to connect with more real estate investors. One of those investors was Matt Andrews, who also runs the Real Estate Influencer mastermind group and hosts the Real Estate Influencer podcast. The two hit it off immediately.
Andrews and Cardone went on to co-host a number of rooms on Clubhouse together, including an impromptu live watch party for the Season 2 premiere of Undercover Billionaire, where they and the show’s producer, Aengus James, were joined by more than 1,000 people.
In one of these rooms, Cardone was discussing a potential deal with an entrepreneur that on the surface, didn’t seem viable — until one of the moderators identified a completely new revenue stream that already existed in the business but no one else saw.
While listening to this entrepreneur pitch their business, Trey Taylor, founder of the business consulting group Trinity Blue, noticed that they were collecting valuable data as a result of their core business, but not doing anything with it. He quickly pointed out that this data could be sold to a particular industry, which completely changed the dynamics of the deal, prompting Cardone to declare, “Damn, guys, Trey is the smartest guy in the room!”
Kevin Harrington, co-host of Shark Tank, has also been very active on the platform, and recently hosted an hours-long room with more than 3,000 visitors where he and other investors listened to pitches from entrepreneurs. By the time they finally closed, several entrepreneurs had received funding, and countless others gleaned valuable insight.
But it’s important to point out that it’s the users who create this environment of collaboration over competition. This is unique in the world of social media, but unsurprising considering how they built their userbase — starting with a carefully curated group of entrepreneurs, investors, entertainers and artists and giving them a limited number of invites to bring new members on board. Because they started with the right people who formed the culture of the platform, and then had those people slowly bring on new users who were indoctrinated into this culture, the result was a powerful and nurturing environment in which participants could gain access to contacts and opportunities that were previously far outside their reach.
Clubhouse could massively disrupt the social media ecosystem, especially in light of recent censorship controversies and Department of Justice inquiries swirling around Facebook, Twitter and others. There tends to be a major shakeup every few years that completely changes the power balance, and I think we’re about to see another one.
Right now, Clubhouse represents a virtual land grab, and early adopters have an opportunity to amass a sizable audience — if they can get on the app. Smart entrepreneurs, investors, entertainers and artists should get in on this gold rush as soon as possible and start working hard to build an audience because, in three to six months, it will be exponentially more difficult.
The key to success here can be distilled into a statement made by Tyrese Gibson in a recent Clubhouse room: “It’s not lonely at the top if you help others get there.”
When we all help each other, we are all lifted up, and the world needs a lot more of that right now.