Regardless of who you are, you can become the leader of a fun, exciting social circle. I’m going to share how in seven simple steps. But first,why? Why start a social circle?
The benefits are bountiful. Besides connecting with likeminded people and enjoying their company, staying regularly connected to others powerfully impacts happiness and health, as multiple studies show. Starting and leading a social circle also offers you lots of new social invites, dating opportunities if you’re single, and potential business, too.
Why not start and lead a social circle? Even if you’ve spent the last year alone, copped up inside, you can become a more popular guy in your hometown. What follows are the 7-steps for getting started.
Step 1: Get Involved with Three Social Events
Before you build your own social circle, you’re wise to get involved in social events that are already up and running strong. Why? To meet likeminded people! Start by thinking your interests. Then, find groups, activities, or events that align with your passions. Rather it’s business, yoga, meditation, personal development, or chugging beer in the bar that tickles your fancy, I’m certain there’s already groups of people doing each of these things in your community.
But how do you find these groups of people? You can use meetup.com. Or, go the old school route. Reach out to your existing personal and professional network and ask around regarding groups that involve your passions. Unless you live deep in a cave, you’ll find three existing social groups that interested you. Once you’ve found those three awesome nearby social events, you’ve completed step one.
Step 2: Attend These Three Events Every Week
This is where the fun begins. You’ve already found three events that include like minded people with similar interests as you. Now, you get to meet these fun, awesome people. But, if you’ve been cooped up for a bit, you may be thinking… “What will I talk to all of these strangers about?”
My invitation: figure it out on the fly! Start with, “Hi, I’m ____, nice to meet you.” Then, just share openly. Why you’re here. What you’re into. How you heard of the group. Share why you’re excited about meeting up with like minded people. Then, learn more about others by asking questions you’re genuinely curious to know more about.
Keep it fun, remain positive, and don’t overthink it. You’ll find most people are warm and quickly accepting of somebody who’s interested in similar topics and who brings a positive disposition.
Step 3: Go to Each Event for Several Months
Remember, the goal here is for you to ultimately build your own social circle. But before you can do that, you want to really get to know lots of fun, like minded people. Consistency here is key. You want to be that familiar face. Show up every week with a smile and an eye for making new friends.
Here, you’ll begin forming deeper relationships with lots of new people. You’ll make friends in your yoga group. You’ll connect with the awesome people from the business networking event. And by continuing to attend the exercise group each week with a smile, you’ll meet someone new every week there, too. By now, you’ll get introduced to lots of new people, as well. You’ll quickly find you have more new friends than ever before.
Step 4: Shortlist Your Favorite People
After several months of socializing in these three groups, take some time and consider who your favorite people are. Write their names down. You’re friendly to everyone, sure, but that doesn’t mean you get along with everybody equally. That’s fair. Here, you want to write down 10+ people from your new social networks who you’d really like to spend more time with. These will soon be the first members of your new social circle.
PS – Choose wisely here. For a social circle to be successful, you want similar, like minded people who all enjoy each others company. Stay clear of those who bring drama and trouble. Aim for people with awesome attitudes and who share values you honor.
Step 5: Invite these Shortlisted Champs to Your First Event
Now, you want to reach out to each person you shortlisted, ideally, in person. Let each person know that you’ve enjoyed getting to know them. Then, follow by sharing you’re getting a group of people together to do whatever it is you’ve planned. Make sure your first social event is awesome, fun, and aligns with the interests of the groups you’ve been going to!
When you invite each person, explicitly share who else he/she will know at the event, and, make sure the person realizes why the event is going to be a blast! You really do want to ensure each person you ask to join your new group realizes how awesome this is! Make each person feel special by sharing that not just anybody is invited, but rather, the group was hand picked. Starting with a handpicked group lets you choose amazing people who mesh well, giving your group a tight knit bond and a special connection.
Step 6: Hold an Awesome Social Event
You can’t lead a social circle if you don’t lead fun social events! What you choose to do will depend on what your interests are. Luckily, since you joined groups of people who have similar interests to you, what you enjoy doing aligns with what the people you invited enjoy!
The most important rule for your first event is to be sure to bring amazing energy! Make it fun. Everybody loves having an awesome time. Nothing matters as much as much as if everybody had fun. Check in with each person during the event and make sure he/she is having an awesome time. This is what leading a social circle is all about: bringing an epic experience to everyone you invite.
Step 7: Keep it Going (and Growing)
From here, keep inviting your social circle to new events. You have lots of options as to how you continue your social circle. You can keep the events small and exclusive, or you can encourage people to invite friends. You can hold events weekly, you can make them monthly, or you can switch it up. Equally, you can either get people out to do the same activity, or, you can switch up what you all do! The choice is totally yours.
The key is ensuring it’s something you get excited about: as your excitement is contagious and ensures others remain excited about your new social group. Starting a social circle is worth it. Not only will you benefit, but your community will as well.
Photo credit: Getty Images