Guide to promoting your artist project on the exclusive new audio-chat app Clubhouse.
Written by amuse
Disclaimer: written in February 2021.
Tune in to the hot new audio-chat app Clubhouse and you’ll likely find yourself in a room with the likes of Scooter Braun, will.i.am and Meek Mill debating the future of rights & royalties in the music industry, or a LoFi artist performing lullaby beats live to help members drift off to sleep.
Further down the newsfeed, you might stop by a digital speakeasy called the Cotton Club, hosted by Bomani X, or a room with Azelia Banks previewing new music. Back in November, an up-and-coming hip-hop producer and artist Loudy Luna played through her catalog of beats, when suddenly Drake and 21 Savage showed up to listen.
If you’re an independent artist and keen to learn how you can use Clubhouse to grow your artist project, keep reading. We share ideas for promoting your music, building your community and developing real-world connections with your fans.
What is Clubhouse?
Let's start with the basics: for those who haven’t heard of Clubhouse yet, it’s an audio chat app that lets you join conversations with other people in real time. It’s just like tuning into a podcast but live. Simply create a “room”, invite friends and start talking.
Right now, Clubhouse is invite-only, meaning you need an invitation from someone already on the app. When you join, you select topics of interest, like business, health, tech, or music. The app will then suggest different rooms or clubs for you to join, and you’ll be notified when someone you know joins the app so you can follow them.
Why is Clubhouse important for artists?
Clubhouse delivers a social experience very similar to an audio-only virtual event on a massive scale, think of it like a covid-friendly way to be in a room or live show with your fans again. The platform provides a heap of opportunities to share your artist story, connect with your listeners, get real-time feedback on your tracks, run impromptu studio sessions, and drum up some hype around new releases.
How do I get a Clubhouse invite?
To join Clubhouse, an existing member needs to send you an invite from their app giving you access to set up an account. If you are invited, you’ll get a text message with a link to sign-up in the app. Clubhouse users can’t just send an invite to anyone whenever they want, they have to wait until more invites show up in their account. Ask around and let people know you’re keen to get on Clubhouse, so you’re top of mind whenever someone gets a new invite.
How to grow your Clubhouse following
Blowing up your following on Clubhouse is kinda easy, you just gotta be active. Instead of trying to get “on stage” in a room with 5000 people (where the chance of being noticed is slim), focus on being active in smaller rooms, with 10-50 people.
Be sure to enter rooms that are relevant to your artist project, and spend time building relationships with the people who run or frequent them. You can’t send other user’s a direct message on the platform yet, but you can hit them up on Instagram or Twitter and introduce yourself. The more you’re on stage, the more followers you’ll attract on the app.
When you’re invited up on stage to speak, focus on delivering value. Don’t use your time to tell people about who you are, what music you’ve released, and so on. Instead, provide value to the topic and conversation at hand — what advice, learnings or experiences as an independent artist can you share? The more interesting and valuable your conversation, the more people will click on your profile to learn more about you and follow you.
Every time you open your own room or join as a speaker on another stage, the people who follow you will get a notification that you’re live. Suddenly you’ve built a strong community.
Premiering new music
Stick around on Clubhouse long enough and you’ll witness things like Lil Yachty rapping a new verse he had just written or behind-the-scenes studio banter from some of the most successful producers in the world. The platform has become one of the best places for up-and-coming producers to get a shot at making connections and breaking into the industry.
Ideas for premiering new music on Clubhouse:
Host a meet & greet
“You can have a VIP meet and greet every single day with your fans, if you want to,” says Phil Quist, a music agent at CAA, who signed the Chain Smokers. “Obviously every artist isn’t going to do that, but artists who want to can create a real connection with fans.”
Hosting a meet & greet on Clubhouse is an easy way to nurture the relationships with your fans while IRL gigs and in-person meet ups are on pause. It’s a way to let your fans say hi and ask direct questions. Create the event in advance with a set time and date, and promo it from your other social channels.
When you host a meet & greet, be sure you’re not the only one “on stage”. Partner with people in your crew, like your manager or producer, and invite them to join as a speaker. Not only does it provide a more engaging experience for your fans, but when your guests come on stage, their followers get a notification and are likely to jump into the room and listen / follow you as well. Some artists have been attracting 500+ new followers a day using this strategy.
Live streaming your studio sessions on Clubhouse is a solid promo tool in the arsenal of any independent artist on their way up — it’s an easy way to engage your audience in your artist project, show off new material and get real-time feedback from fans.
Unlike Instagram Live or YouTube, you don’t need to hook up a bunch of equipment (like cameras or external mics), you just need your phone and an internet connection. But, if you want to give your studio session streams a pro edge, invest in a smartphone-compatible external microphone. There are a heap of external mics available for both iPhone and Android, but you can narrow down some of the best in this list.
A Clubhouse listening party is a good way to build a long-term relationship with your fans, as interaction is key to any successful music marketing campaign. A listening party can be for a new track, EP or even a music video.
Aside from playing your new music, be sure to include a few other “storylines” to the event, like a merch giveaway or Q&A. Have your listening party as close to the release date as possible, even hosting it a few days before the track is released to position it as a special treat for your fans.
Want more ideas for promoting your upcoming release? Read "Our Top Five Tips on Promoting Your Music".