A photographer’s guide to Clubhouse – the audio-only social media app

Clubhouse = a buzzword that’s likely caught your attention this week.

So, what exactly is Clubhouse?

You might be asking: Why should I join? What is the etiquette? How can my photography business benefit? How do I get invited?

Clubhouse – the audio social-media platform; an intro for professional photographers.

Clubhouse is an audio-only social media platform that allows people from around the world to connect and talk. And before you say, “ugh not another social media app”, we promise you – this is not TikTok.

Think of it as an interactive, live podcast where the topics are endless.

Seriously! Topics or interests range from photography, business, advertising – all the way to – dating, crypto, AI, and even Burning Man.

We wouldn’t typically hop on a digital space like this so eagerly, but the value is so inherently obvious – we are certain, Clubhouse will be a gamechanger.

Clubhouse is an audio-only social media platform that allows people from around the world to connect and talk.

(Thanks to Ellie McKinney for showing us the hype behind the app; it is real!)


The one thing that makes Clubhouse different

Simple – it’s all about the audio!

  1. There’s no need for a lot of equipment (or advanced equipment),
  2. It removes the pressure of video (allowing “speakers” and “listeners” to be flexible in location, appearance, etc.) and,
  3. Allows users the choice to consume passively or actively.

Think of it as listening to your favorite podcast or watching a TedTalk with a highly reputable speaker. Now imagine being able to interact with these speakers – to ask questions, share your expertise, and of course, network – all from the convenience of your own home…

These are just some of the elements of what makes Clubhouse so compelling.

It can range from an entire panel of educators, creators, celebrities in a “public room” bouncing off ideas, sharing their stories, exchanging experiences – to – individuals, teams, collaborators meeting in a “private room” for 1-on-1 ‘s, workshops, and coaching.

This is Clubhouse.
High-value conversations, in real-time.


Clubhouse FAQ for Photographers

Why should you join Clubhouse?

As a business owner, entrepreneur, and creator – there is simply no second-guessing, you need to be here.

A foundational principle that Sprout Studio has always emphasized in all of its educational resources is building relationships. This is by far the most important aspect of your photography business (or any business for that matter). Real growth is found when you nurture connections with clients, colleagues, industry leaders, and even yourself. This is the essence of Clubhouse.

How do you get invited?

Firstly, it’s only available as an app for iPhone users.

Secondly, you can only join via an “invite“. Once you receive an invite, you get to give one invite to whomever you chose – thus continuing the cycle.

But, what if you don’t know anyone with an invite or invite left to share!?

Don’t worry!


There are a few ways we recommend going about this:

  1. Hop on their waitlist when you download their app and reserve your username.
  2. By reserving your spot, you might be able to sneak through the “side-door“… Depending on how many of your friends are already using Clubhouse, they may receive a notification letting them know that you’re waiting for access. When this happens, they get the option to wave you through even if they don’t have an official invitation to send (and it doesn’t use one of their invitations if they haven’t already used it yet)!!
  3. If you’ve been asked by a colleague/collaborator to guest host a room (as a “speaker“) but don’t have access to the app yet – that colleague/collaborator can submit a request application for a time-sensitive invite.
  4. More invites can be given out to members who contribute to the Clubhouse community—so just keep checking in with your current networks (such as asking in Facebook groups or reaching out to well-known educators like @bcapphoto who we know will be creating educational rooms on-the-regular). Contributions can include: hosting great conversations, joining the discussion, and inviting other great contributors to the “stage“.
  5. Clubhouse intends to go public soon. The app is not meant to be exclusive and soon enough, you’ll be in! They’ve done this because they’re technically still in beta – they want to grow the audience slowly, ensuring nothing breaks, while building the features that will be able to handle the masses (plus, they’re only a small company of two fulltime employees)! Thus, if you gotta wait it out – we suggest learning the etiquette in the meantime… (below ).

Be in-the-know

Learn the Clubhouse “lingo” and “etiquette”

Clubhouse is simple and easy to understand. You’ll be acquainted in no time!

Even “etiquette” seems too formal for the causal nature of Clubhouse – let’s go with good manners!

Get familiar with the app’s lingo and good-manners:

Hallway: is what a user will see when they first log in. It displays all the rooms (curated based on your interest and connections), as well as a top menu bar, upcoming scheduled events, and the button to start a room of your own.

Explore: the page where you can discover more public rooms outside your interests and current connections (you can also search for users here).

Room: is where the magic happens – the ✨high-value conversations✨. Topics are set by the room “Moderator”. Rooms can be scheduled, reoccurring, or completely serendipitious with no topic set at all!

Room Options: “Leave” this will take you out of the room. “+ – ” this allows you to ‘ping’ or invite someone who follows you into the room. “Hand Raise” this allows you to let the moderators know you would like to come up to speak.

Room Privacy: allows you to set the level – “Open” where anyone can join; “Social” only visible to the people you follow; and “Closed” – only visible to people you select, otherwise known as “Private”.

Moderator (Mods): is the user who starts a room in Clubhouse. This means you are a “Speaker” with the special power to add, mute, and remove other speakers. You can access these tools by tapping on the photo of any user in the room. “Mods” guide the conversation and have a strong influence on the content and style of conversation.

Speaker: are the people in a room who have the ability to talk. By default, the person who starts the room (“Mod”) is a speaker and so is the first person to join them on “Stage”. Everyone else joins in the audience as a “Listener”.

Listeners: This is also known as the “Audience”. When you join a room, by default, you’re in the audience. You are automatically muted the entire time unless brought to the stage by a “Speaker” or “Mod”. You can also raise your hand to notify the moderator that you want to speak. (Pro tip: If you hold down the ✋ , you can customize to your skin tone).

Stage: This is the top half of a “Room” – separated by a line to distinguish the “Speaker(s)” or “Mod” from the “Audience”.

Other neat terms to know…

  • PTR: stands for “pull to refresh (hold down on the screen, drag your finger down, then let go). When in a room, this will refresh the screen so that you’ll see profile pictures that have changed, whether speakers have rearranged on stage, etc.
  • Leave quietly✌ button: closes the room and it doesn’t notify the speakers that you left!
  • Irish goodbye: happens in a bigger room, which is basically just leaving.
  • Re-Rooming: when a room becomes too big/chaotic – you might want to continue the previous discussion… Thus, either tap on someone’s profile picture and click on “Start a new room together” or just start a new room and pinging people to join you with the “+” button.
  • Tucking someone in: when “Mods” tap on “Speakers” profile photos and move them down to the audience or out of the room – typically this happens because people stay awake so late on Clubhouse, that they fall asleep in a room…
  • Hedge Against Snoozing: making someone else a “Mod” so they can move you to an audience if you fall asleep (we guess late-night conversations are fun)!
  • The  emoji: next to your profile picture means you are a newbie! For the next week or so, you will have this symbol which means people will be extra nice and welcoming to you. Take advantage of that and use your first days to explore as many rooms and meet as many people as possible. (Psst – The founders do their onboarding on Wednesdays each week so expect to be invited and welcomed by them).
  • “Member of” badges: can be found on some Clubhouse users’ profiles. They’ve created a Club around common interests, a shared identity, or anything their members want to gather around. While membership in a Club is determined by its admins (aka the users who created the Club), anyone can follow a Club to be notified of its gatherings. Want to create a club? Fill this out!

Getting started

The 1-2-3 of getting started on Clubhouse as a photographer

  1. Set a profile picture – one that will pop! The UX/UI design of Clubhouse has pretty muted tones, we suggest using a colorful photo to help you stand out against the crowd! Remember, this should be a high-quality headshot – but you’re a photographer, you already knew that!
  2. Write a compelling bio – the first 3 lines, roughly 125 characters, is essential – this shows as a preview to others when in a room. Keep in mind, your bio is in only plaintext – there are no clickable links except for your “connected accounts”. Lastly, your bio is also his is searchable!!! Use keywords!! ie. Ontario Wedding Photographer – you never know how many soon-to-be brides are on this app!
  3. Connect your accounts – currently, Instagram and Twitter are only available at this time. There are no DMs in Clubhouse, thus, connecting these social is crucial for continuing the conversation!

The possibilities of Clubhouse seem limitless! Are you already thinking of the all opportunities you could have with future clients, collaborators, and experts?? We know we are! DM us on Instagram if you ever want to host a room with Sprout – we’d love to hang out!

You can find the Sprout Team on Clubhouse: 
Bryan Caporicci @bcaporicci
Karly Ruesen @karlyruesen
Drew Thompson @drewthompson
Let’s connect!

Helpful docs:
All About Invites
The Basics of Clubhouse
Clubhouse FAQ
From the Clubhouse Creators
Social Examiner: Clubhouse Set-Up

Hero image via Unsplash by @nordwood
Written by <br>Karly Ruesen
Written by
Karly Ruesen

Karly Ruesen is a Film Production (BFA) and Marketing (BA) graduate from York University in Toronto, Ontario. Karly was a classically trained portrait artist for 7 years and enjoys bringing a creative approach to business strategies. Karly is also the Director of Brand at Sprout Studio.

Written by <br>Karly Ruesen
Written by
Karly Ruesen

Karly Ruesen is a Film Production (BFA) and Marketing (BA) graduate from York University in Toronto, Ontario. Karly was a classically trained portrait artist for 7 years and enjoys bringing a creative approach to business strategies. Karly is also the Director of Brand at Sprout Studio.

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