Just when you’d gotten the hang of using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to market your dispensary, along came Clubhouse to throw everyone for a loop. As we’ve reported previously, Clubhouse is the audio-only social media app that allows users to chat, network and generally bounce ideas off of each other, all in real time.
Clubhouse is already kind of a big deal. The brainchild of two ex-Google staffers, Paul Davison and Rohan Seth. When the app quietly launched in early 2020, it boasted only a handful of beta users. By the start of this year, it was hosting 10 million active users a week and was valued at a cool $1 billion.
While there’s no end of communities that have flocked to Clubhouse, the legal cannabis industry has taken to the platform with a special fervor. Why? Unlike most social media apps, Clubhouse doesn’t impose any content restrictions. And with its untold numbers of live, virtual conferences—also known as “Rooms” or “Clubs”— dedicated to single themes or topics, it’s a tailor-made opportunity for cannabis brands to participate, share, network and learn.
If you haven’t created your dispensary Clubhouse account yet, it’s time. And if you have—but you’re not sure how to leverage it—this article’s for you.
How to Use Your Dispensary Clubhouse Account: Listen and Learn
If you’re just getting the hang of your dispensary Clubhouse account, devote the first few weeks to learning the lay of the land. Begin by creating a compelling profile for your account, one that showcases your brand identity, strengths, and goals. While you’re free to make your description as long as you want, it’s better to think of this space as an elevator pitch for your dispensary or brand, not a full-length biography.
Next, do some research, both within the app and on other platforms such as Instagram or LinkedIn. One of Clubhouse’s greatest strengths is that—rather than being about personal presentation or appearances—its voice-only nature tends to level the playing field. Quoted in a recent article in Forbes, Martine Francis Pierre of Cannulation says: “I genuinely believe drop-in audio is the next wave of social media this decade.” According to him, this makes opportunities to network here “much more meaningful and impactful than most social media platforms.”
What does this mean for a Clubhouse newbie? Instead of jumping in and hosting a Club, focus instead on gaining insights from knowledgeable and reputable industry leaders. Who are the kinds of figures you want to learn from and connect with? Some of them will naturally be presenting in invite-only Clubs, while others will make themselves more accessible. So long as you demonstrate you’re respectful and there to listen—Clubhouse uses a “Raise your hand” icon for those who want to ask questions of presenters—you can find yourself rubbing virtual elbows with some of the most exciting names in the industry.
Once you feel like you’ve got the feel of the app down, start working your way towards the Clubs you want to participate in and show up for. You can search for cannabis-themed Clubs from the app’s homepage, and set reminders for special events you don’t want to miss. Get in the practice of raising your hand, but only if you have something truly useful or on-point to ask. Speaking just to hear yourself speak isn’t the way to get ahead in Clubhouse (or—arguably—in life).
Most importantly, it’s wise to keep your eyes on the prize. Why are you here? Is it to network? To promote your dispensary or brand? Or to build authority as an expert on the industry? Whichever it is, make sure your profile—and your actions—all support that overarching goal.
Choose Your Topic
Because Clubhouse works in real-time, you can’t be everywhere at once. Instead, focus on those Clubs that best match your interests, your strengths, and your goals. Some examples:
- “Cannabis and Coffee”: Hosted by Gina Gault of Green Thumb Industries, this weekly club is a place for veterans and newcomers alike to talk about the impact cannabis and its myriad forms has on them. The conversation can be as granular as shares about personal experience with the plant, higher-level thoughts on how brands can leverage recommendations and referrals from trusted sources, and above all an ongoing exploration of the medical cannabis community.
- “How to Get Into the Cannabis Industry”: With presentations that run the gamut from freeform and casual to structured and results-driven, this club draws together a diverse and wide-ranging pool of new industry figures. You may not meet Steve DeAngelo or Jane West there, but it’s a great place to meet your colleagues and peers while getting a birds-eye forecast of where the industry is headed.
- “Cannabis Science & Medicine”: As you’d expect, this club is for those with medical and science backgrounds to present on their research, findings, and perspectives. Often feeling like a long-form podcast, it’s a chance for those with the passion to learn, connect, and bounce ideas off one another.
Of course, this is a tiny sampling of the vast cannabis universe contained within Clubhouse. Use these as a launching point for your own voyage of discovery. Once you feel fluent and confident in the app, it’s time for the most challenging—but ultimately most rewarding—part of the process: Hosting your own Club.
How to Use Your Dispensary Clubhouse Account: Hosting a Club
For many Clubhouse users, this is the end goal. And trust us: It’s well within your reach. You don’t have to have a “made for radio” voice or a seamless presentation. Think in terms of content creation, offering a perspective that’s genuine, educational, and delivers real value to others. This might take the form of:
- Real-life insights: It’s not about sharing your biography or life story, but about your experiences in the industry that shaped your decision-making process and actions. What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?
- Action-oriented content: How did you get from knowing nothing about the industry to a place where you can confidently talk about your brand at length? What are the crucial steps on the path to gaining a working knowledge of the cannabis industry, including the pitfalls and real-life stories? What are the specific books and other sources you consulted; what impact did they have on you? As much as imparting an education, think of it in terms of sharing how to educate yourself.
- Invite your colleagues and peers: This is where Clubhouse’s inclusive and democratic nature really shines. If someone else’s presentation or question resonated with you, let them know, and—better yet—invite them to co-present in your Club with you. You’ll pick up tips and tricks from them, and building up a diverse panel of presenters will help you grow your network, your reach, and your audience, all at once.
- Keep your focus: Given the opportunity, many presenters will begin to stray off-topic. Don’t be that person. While it’s not essential to give a hyper-focused, graduate-level dissertation, it’s good practice to remember your goals—try keeping a bullet-point list of topics close at hand as you speak—and try to impart something of value to your listeners. And remember: Almost no one knocks it out of the park the first time. Keep at it, hone your delivery, and soon you’ll have an audience of your own tuning in.
Clubhouse isn’t for everyone. If your concern is attracting new customers, then social media, which is all about brand building, may not be the most appropriate channel. If you’d like to reach more new customers and increase your revenue, contact us to discuss your digital advertising options.