Clubhouse, Is It Really That Great? (Part 2)
By Arzo Yusuf, Sexy Boss Babe CEO & Founder
So, for those of you that read the first blog, "Clubhouse, The Hype & Fomo?!? (Part I) thank you for reading it, it went viral!! You all loved the information shared and how thorough the explanation was and I hope you find this one just as helpful. Since I've published that blog, I've spent more time on Clubhouse, building my network/following as well as participating in rooms and hosting my own rooms for interactive discussions. I've learned a lot and I'm going to share with you my experience and some things to look out for especially some red flags that I noticed. Also, a side note, many of you know I interviewed Suze Orman during this season of the Sexy Boss Babe podcast which I can proudly say she endorsed (tune in to hear,) so of course I used one of my 3 special invitations to give to Suze. Please make sure to follow her as well when you get on the app @suzeo I gotta support Suze! Hands down she still gives the best financial advice to women.
WHAT ROOMS ARE LIKE
I have went in and out of plenty of rooms on different topics; topics of personal interest to me, topics I'm curious about or even follow for follow rooms. Each room was different and had it's own agenda or goals it was trying to accomplish. For example I spent time in rooms with legitimate, well known venture capitalists who were moderators and they were allowing people in the room give a 1 minute pitch of their business idea for the chance to get funding from them through their cash app on their profile. The cash app thing is a whole topic on it's own and I'll get into that later.
I listened to multiple people "raise their hand" and pitch while the "sharks" listened, usually to give some advice/feedback, sometimes to offer very expensive memberships to their masterminds or programs for free and other times a straight dollar amount investment directly to their cash app. Many of the pitches were not very good, businesses that had no proof of concept and others that you could tell were faking it for the hope that someone would buy into what they were selling. For anyone that's wondering, it's pretty hard to trick career venture capitalist, they are sharks for a reason. Overall, it was pretty surreal to listen to, peoples lives were being changed.
I was in another room where some guy that apparently many people know, Joe Vargas, also known as "@Hustler," which is his Clubhouse and Instagram name was marathoning for 3 days straight without leaving the room. I admittedly was in the room one night listening until I fell asleep. Hustler is the retired owner of an elite Las Vegas concierge consulting firm. His clients are people like Mark Cuban, Mike Tyson, Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen among others. He currently owns CBD Oil @cbdoil and is a CBD manufacturer and retailer. Hustler is supposedly a multimillionaire and isn't shy about talking about his financial success.
One thing that is pretty apparent in a lot of the "success" rooms are the people that drop their net worth around and very visibly, even though it's audio, make everyone realize where the line is between the haves and the have nots. But, they do share generously of their knowledge which is wonderful, if you can stomach the arrogance of how great they are. I don't think there is anything wrong with success, or talking about it especially in the context of teaching or inspiring others. In an audio app, voice is very telling of who we are, it's something that you can't hide and the the air of arrogance is hard to ignore.
But aside from all that, Hustler doesn't seem to be a bad guy, he even has a charity organization and a cash app on his profile in case anyone feels the urge to make a donation. His room moderators seem to worship him and think he's the greatest guy on earth. That's the other thing about Clubhouse, moderators worship the room founders and are always very honored and feel blessed to be there lol. The first night I was listening there was a lot of talk about a prank that was pretty funny and landed him in Clubhouse jail. I actually just checked the app and I can't seem to find his profile, maybe he got kicked out officially?
You want to know what his prank was? First I have to tell you that something that moderators ask people to do when they are in a room is to change their profile photo temporarily to something uniform to achieve a purpose. For example, I've been in a room where they encourage people to follow you if you have less than 50 followers, all you have to do is change your profile photo to a photo of a green image and everyone in the room sees that so they know you are under 50 and they give you a follow. In other rooms, they ask everyone to change their profile photo to the club logo so the founder can take a screenshot to use for their social media. People do it for different reasons.
The prank was the genius of Hustler and one of his moderators, Paolo Moreno @ceopaolosanto who is an investor and advisor to Logan Paul and companies including Fashion Nova. Fashion Nova is one of the hottest fast fashion companies and usually in trouble for stealing Kim Kardashian's latest Met Gala outfit for making overnight cheap imitations of it and selling it to the masses. They are no joke and make hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Anyways, Paolo created the image and asked everyone to change their profile photo to a picture of a cup of milk, a banana, a blue background and the words "banana milk" written by hand with a sharpie on the photo. I wasn't witness to this as I joined the room after it happened and heard all about it, but what they did was...a flash mob!
Everyone in their room after changing their profile photo to the banana milk one, randomly crashed someone else's hosted room, yes, for shits and giggles. One by one, banana milk profiles were coming into this persons room and before you knew it their room was filled with people with this profile image. The founders of the room thought it was a glitch in Clubhouse or their room was hacked by hackers lol. Not only that, Hustler somehow took over and became a moderator in that room which is scary for the person hosting because if you don't know your moderator or trust them, they have the ability, to kick you out of your own room and take over (a Clubhouse red flag to keep in mind for the future.) It definitely caused a scene but they didn't do anything harmful other than disrupt and be funny. It lightened the mood and once the room founders/moderators realized what was happening, they thought it was funny and everyone enjoyed the joke.
However, as I've described Hustler, do you think he would let jail keep him out of Clubhouse? No. He's Hustler and hustlers find a way or a loophole to get what they need to get done, accomplished. So, because he was put in jail while still moderating his own room, he wasn't banned from the app...well at that time. He was scared if he left his room, then he would be dealing with his 3 day ban so he thought if he just stayed in this room and marathoned through the 3 days, it would protect him and he would "serve his time" and outsmart the app. I checked today and I don't see him in Clubhouse so I think he was banned though I don't know for how long.
I joined his room after the stunt and heard all about it. I raised my hand to speak so I could ask questions because I was totally confused as to what was going on. Hustler and moderators explained what happened and he was already in the room non-stop for 2 days at that point hoping to avoid the ban. During that time, we had conversation and discussion about various features of Clubhouse, his room was called "How Do You Like Clubhouse So Far, What's Good or Bad?" Me along with others chimed in asking questions, sharing of our experiences and giving one another clarity why certain things happen in CH. Even I, being so new, had insights to share with these veterans because, like I said, the app is still in beta and all of this is still somewhat of an experiment and some things unclear.
For one, the whole cash app thing was a topic we talked about. I'd heard people give money to one another via cash app on Facebook but I didn't know what it was, assumed it was like a venmo situation. However on Clubhouse, it's like a "thing." Lots of people have their cash app on their profile. I thought it was a little weird why you'd ask people for money on the app. Then I remembered how nowadays all the young people have their cash apps on their Instagram profile to request money and usually it's young beautiful women accepting the funds in exchange for provocative photos and more from what I've heard. If you are a parent reading this, keep an eye on your kids' social media. If you are a young girl in that situation, it hurts my soul to know my beautiful women are devaluing themselves on social media to get money from strangers like that. I have some level of understanding for it as these are difficult times, but I also have heard many that do it for sport. It's a hard time in the world with regards to values.
Anyways, I noticed the same trend on Clubhouse but didn't really know why until I was in the venture capital pitch rooms. They asked everyone pitching to have their cash app on their profiles in case they chose your business to invest in, the funds would be delivered through the cash app and if you wanted to pitch and avoid marathoning in the room for 2 weeks (yes I said two weeks) until they got to everyone, you could pay them $250 via cash app to cut the line. In many cases, the money they asked for went to a non-profit organization they ran. I didn't verify anyones non-profit, so I'm just assuming based on what they said and what was on their profiles. As a note to anyone giving money to anyone on Clubhouse, please, please, always do your due diligence, you never know who anyone is and it's easy to trust people.
RED FLAGS & FAKERS
This brings me to my next point about red flags. There are a lot of "experts" hosting rooms but are anything but experts. There are rooms on "how to be a millionaire" by founders and moderators that aren't millionaires hahahah!! I'm dying laughing as I'm writing this lol! But people fall for it ALL DAY LONG!!! There are big marketer rooms trying to sell people on the idea of following xyz steps to being a millionaire or making 6 figures or whatever and people eat it up. When will we ever learn? There is no magic permanent diet pill and there is no magical short cut to becoming a millionaire. Hard work is the answer, you do the work, you get results, the end. Unfortunately, there's a huge market of dreamers who are looking for short cuts in life and they always fall prey to these scams and lose their money. We all have our path in life and some people just have to learn the hard way.
There are a lot of fakers, fluffers, wannabes and what not. Many even speak well and as a public speaker, I can tell you that speaking is an art form and in the wrong hands it can be used as a tool to manipulate people. I'm not saying everyone on Clubhouse is this way, certainly not. There are a lot of great rooms/clubs, great people, up and coming people that offer incredible value. Just, always be aware and always keep in mind that social media and life mirror one another...there are crooks and thieves everywhere and scammers are always looking for unsuspecting targets. Protect your wallet, protect your cash app and take the time to get to know people before you commit in a deeper way.
HOW TO VET PEOPLE
So, how can you best vet people? I'll tell you my method. If I'm in a room, I stick around for a few minutes to get the room vibe, if it's "salesey" or inauthentic, I'm out. If I like the room, I'll follow the founder and moderators. Moderators tend to be trusted by the room founders so I tend to follow them on CH. Typically, if you follow someone, they follow you back and it's a great way to build your network.
Those that have been part of CH since inception around May 2020 have quite a following (to CH standards since it's so new.) A Tiffany Haddish has a 6 figure following, a Gary Vee has a 5 figure following and the rest of the influencers we follow on Instagram with 100k-1M probably have around 5k followers on CH and some only 5 followers because they just joined. So, people that have been on CH since May, it's not surprising if they have a 2k, 5k or 8k following.
When we see those numbers we think, influencer status! So then, after reading their long profile filled with accolades of who they are and their status, I'll scroll down their profile and see their Instagram handle listed and I look them up. So far what I've found is a Clubhouse following of 1k or 2k etc. has a very low Instagram following, maybe even a couple hundred people. Also, the content on their IG doesn't reflect very well the image portrayed on CH. It's apparent it's someone new to social media and much of the posts are low quality marketing posts. So, point being, someone on Clubhouse may look like an influencer, thought leader or even a professional, but chances are they are not. The reason I'm pointing this out is to be discerning of who you interact with or decide to give your money to or do business with. You have to look at their digital footprint and then decide, don't just get wooed by a CH profile.
Now please don't get me wrong, this isn't to down anyone that has a small IG following. Personally, I only have close to a 1.5k following which if I'm lucky, it would be considered micro influencer status. I'm also still learning social media and believe in organic growth as opposed to buying followers to look cooler than I am. But, I am who I say I am and all my social media and my interactions reflects that. I may not post ten times a day but I put time into my content, it's quality, I'm not trying to trick you into buying something from me. I try to provide value to you and I want to get to know you and for you to get to know me and hopefully through being a genuine person, over time, you can trust me and we can establish some kind of social media relationship in an authentic way. So the point of this is, that those that seem to be somebody on CH, once you look them up on Instagram, you will quickly find that they are marketers or even just fake.
There's also nothing wrong with being a social media marketer, but the whole special part about social media is that we all want to connect in a meaningful way with real people, not get products and services shoved down our throats. That era is long gone. So to say that yes, I get a little disappointed when I end up looking up a lot of these people from CH on IG and all that's happening is getting pushed to purchase bitcoin from some random girl who is scantily clad lol, no thank you, I'll pass. But, I also want to point out, that I've enjoyed connecting with people with 200 IG followers with authentic content who also might be selling a product or service, but they are being genuine and real. Yes, there's a difference and I hope you are able to decipher that too.
IS CLUBHOUSE REALLY THAT GREAT?
So, is Clubhouse really that great? Yes, yes it is. Plus, it just got it's billion dollar valuation so I don't see it going away. After all I've experienced and all I've shared, I still think it's a social media platform like none other. Especially if you are careful, discerning and learn how to use it that can best suit you. You can really get a lot out of it. I also want to share how CH was there for me in a personal way. I haven't kept it a secret that I get sleep anxiety, basically, I'm scared of the dark, hey we all have our fears lol. Last week I watched a serial killer documentary on Netflix called "Nigh Stalker," about the famous serial killer in Los Angeles in the 80s. If you don't remember it, your parents definitely do and even though I was a small child back then, I always knew about the Night Stalker. In all my years that I've lived in Los Angeles, it's the single reason I always slept with the bedroom windows closed for fear of a copycat.
Anyways, I was home alone recently and it was late and all I could think about was the Night Stalker. It was just too late to call a friend and so I opened up Clubhouse and Hustler's room was still going so I joined in. Since I already spent time in his room I felt like I knew everyone, it made me feel safe. So, I just kept the app open and listened in until I eventually fell asleep. So I guess I also had my first over night Clubhouse marathon too and it was all thanks to Hustler and his prank which caused him to go to CH jail. Hustler, you don't know it, but you helped this lady out that night...thank you!
I'm still excited about this app and really like the audio aspect of the platform. It truly is a new way to connect on social media that creates a real life, community feel. It's the voice aspect, voice is very intimate and it lends to creating connections with others. However this is still a new app, still in beta, meaning they are testing and we are sort of like guinea pigs. It's not necessarily a bad thing, at all, and quite the contrary in my opinion...we are on the ground floor of the hottest new social media app! With that said, it doesn't come without it's costs. You can't be fake here, it's the perfect place for those of us with real messages to speak up and get heard by real people. Even if you don't have a big IG following but you are a good person with a real message, this is the app for you and you will do great!
I've met some nice people already through Clubhouse, I plan on sticking around to meet more people, make friends, create more brand awareness for Sexy Boss Babe in a fun and meaningful way. My Clubhouse handle is @thearzoyusuf (same as IG) I also host a room on Tuesday nights at 6pm PST / 9pm EST and I do a giveaway every week in my room. Tuesday 2/2/21 we'll be talking about this blog and all things Clubhouse, I do hope to see you there!
*If you liked reading this blog and learned something helpful, please consider supporting our brand by purchasing some Sexy Boss Babe Quick Nails! If you create a free account with us, we give you 50% off your first order and free shipping. Sexy Boss Babe is a woman of color owned brand, and a portion of proceeds are donated to foster youth and sex trafficking survivors.
Arzo Yusuf founded Sexy Boss Babe, a women empowerment, social impact beauty brand that supports foster youth & sex trafficking survivors. She’s executive producer and host of the related podcast, Sexy Boss Babe about female centric topics. She is also a public speaker giving keynotes, hosting events, facilitating workshops and speaking on various topics including social entrepreneurship, networking, leadership, women empowerment, confidence, body positivity, self esteem etc. She truly wants women to realize their self worth and says it's what holds them back from everything they want in life. She believes that once women learn how to connect to their inner power they can lead lives that are happier and more fulfilled. To connect with Arzo visit:
www.arzoyusuf.com IG: @thearzoyusuf Twitter: @ArzoYusuf CH: @thearzoyusuf