Maybe you found us because you have a little social anxiety; maybe you’re a little introverted and don’t feel comfortable approaching people you don’t know. Here’s our three-step process to enable you to make friends anywhere you are so you can quickly and easily filter for quality people, build a successful social circle, and have a lot of fun in the process.
The way we like to think about building a social circle is as a social sales funnel. You may actually be in sales and are already familiar with a social sales funnel concept.
The idea of the sales funnel is essentially a three-step process: businesses will attract potential customers, qualify them to see if they’re a good fit, and ultimately sell them on the product.
Building a social circle falls into that same pattern. You go out and meet new people, figure out how to filter and find quality people, and ultimately give yourself the opportunity to connect with the relationships you want to pursue.
If you’re putting yourself out there, it’s easy to meet a lot of people. But finding out who you actually want to spend time with and who you want to bring closer into your life — that’s a whole different thing.
The Three-Step Process for Building a Successful Social Circle
Step One: Meet New People
When you’re first getting started, it can be intimidating. One of the first things you need to figure out is getting yourself into a routine that allows you to comfortably meet new people every single week.
Give yourself that opportunity to be social, so you can meet new people. It’s kind of like how you have to make time to get to the gym, or you’re just not going to go. You have to put it on your schedule. Going out and being social is just like working a muscle; it’s just a social muscle. It needs to be scheduled to keep you committed to flexing and building those social skills.
It’s very easy to kick that can all the way down the road. You move to a new town and tell yourself, “I’ll go out next week.” And the next week you tell yourself the same thing, and suddenly, you realize you haven’t been out of your apartment in weeks.
Make sure you’re building activities into your social life with some routine to them, so it gives you the chance to actually meet people and form relationships over time. Some great suggestions are things like clubs or Meetup groups.
If you go to Meetup.com, you’ll find groups for almost any topic in most major cities. If there’s not one in your city, consider starting one. You’d be amazed how many people who have been fans of our show who put themselves out there and started the first in their town. This is a really easy way to meet and connect with like-minded people.
Now’s a good time to pick up a new hobby or take a class to learn a new skill. Maybe try out a cooking class; any kind of team activity is great. Sign up for kickball or softball, or even join a bowling league.
You can also take the opportunity while you’re learning these new skills to share them with the people you meet. One of our coaches here is very politically active, and he’s met a lot of great people just through political activism. Leverage your current interests to start meeting people.
We’ve talked previously about how to walk up to people and have conversations, but the important thing to have in your back pocket is the invite.
Step Two: Invite
The first step is meeting new people, and the second step is inviting them to do something. Consider hosting an event, so when you’re going out and meeting people with a purpose, you can invite them to your event. That invite becomes the key, because it’s going to amplify everything you’re doing.
You’re going to have an opportunity to host people, whether it’s at your place or an outside venue. When you host an event in someone else’s venue, the people are not in your living room and you don’t have to clean up after them. I’m in a band, so I invite people to come see me on stage. We’ve hosted weekend pool parties, had NFL Sunday tickets, and hosted football-watching parties.
If you don’t plan and hold your own events, you’re likely to fall into the trap of constantly wondering, “What should I do next? How do I actually get them interested?” It’s kind of like dating. How many days do you wait to text them? If you’re interested in the person, maybe your next move is finding them on social media.
That may get the ball rolling, but sooooo slowly! Hosting an event is a much more direct way to bring people into your life. The most important part about hosting is that it should showcase your personality. For people to genuinely connect with you, they need to feel comfortable and you need to feel comfortable, so choose something in which you’re interested that you’re confident enough to pursue.
We’ve had guys host ultimate frisbee on a college campus, poker nights with entrepreneurs, and invite people on hikes. There are a lot of trails in L.A., and if you take Bootcamp with us, you’ll get a chance to check some out. Hiking is a great way for you to see the sights and really get a chance to know someone.
There are a lot of different things you can do, but the idea is that you want an event where you are the host. That way, you’re the one controlling the list and the reason everyone’s there.
This tactic has a very powerful impact on your social standing. People will be like, “Wow, you know a lot of people, you throw such great events!” Eventually, you’ll begin to see reciprocity. “I went to your event; I’d love to invite you to this cool event.” That’s what we mean by amplifying your social currency.
Try hosting one event each month. You can make it something simple, like Taco Tuesday at your place the second Tuesday of every month. Grab your friends, bring the tequila, and suddenly you’re making tacos together and having a great time.
Pro Tip: Give the people you invite the opportunity to bring a plus one. This allows them to bring one other person, which helps to extend your social circle. Invite friends you know will show up, then invite some new people and let them bring a friend. Now everyone’s having fun on your watch. This also gives you the chance to see how different people interact, whether they are friendly and outgoing, shy and soft-spoken, difficult, or easy-going, and decide if this is the kind of person you want to hang out with again or not.
Step Three: Connect
The connecting step is a little energy intensive, so you can’t do that with everyone, especially people who offer low value. Watching how people interact at your event, you should be able to filter out the riffraff, so to speak — the people who aren’t a good fit for your life.
If they came to your event and they don’t like football, but you love football and it’s a big part of your personality, you shouldn’t change. You need to look for people who resonate with you and share your same interests.
Now other people will be sending you invites to make a stronger connection with people you’re interested in knowing. Invite them to grab dinner and have a more one-on-one conversation to get to know them better.
It’s in this final step that you can start to share your story. That’s when you talk about who you are, what your values are, and what drives you. Do this with quality people who came to your event, interacted well, and took the time to post a thank you or showed in other ways that they would probably add value to your life.
You would be amazed at how many people are looking for that invite for an opportunity to connect. A lot of people don’t have a clue about how to plan their social life — they’re just looking for the next event and trying to find a friendship. Making friends as adults can be hard for everyone.
If you come armed and ready when you go out to meet people with an event they can look forward to, you’re going to make an impact. They’re going to remember you and you’re setting yourself up for success by building a high-quality, ever-expanding social circle around you.