For a lot of my life, I felt like I didn’t really fit in — or I hadn’t found my true ‘peeps’ yet.
You know how it is in school — you’re kinda just thrown together with a bunch of people you’ve never met and somehow you’re meant to find your gang. It can be a really good time and you can find life-long friends in school, but it can also be kinda tough if you feel like a bit of an outcast. The online world is no different.
When I started to dive more into the world of social media, it blew my mind. Here’s this thing that connects people from all over the world in a totally new way.
Instead of being thrown in a room with a bunch of randoms, we can naturally gravitate towards people that inspire us or who we find super interesting. We can chat with other people who also feel like the perpetual outcast. We can finally feel like we’re not alone. It’s pretty amazing, right?
As I started learning more about self-employment as a Graphic Designer (about 4-5 years ago), I knew that my business was going to be heavily based online, so I started blogging and being a lot more active on social media. It was through these platforms that I started meeting some of the coolest people I’ve ever met — many of whom I’m still friends with today.
I also decided I had to get out and meet these people in person, instead of just talking to them through a screen all of the time. So I started going to more meet ups, events and conferences, and it was game-changing!
I know people like to hate on social media a lot these days, but I have to say that I’m so damn grateful for it because it helped me meet and keep in touch with some of my best friends from around the globe. I know so many other people who have had similar experiences meeting soul-sisters online.
If you’re new to meeting digital friends in real life, here’s a few tips to help get you started . . .
- EVENTS: are there meet-ups, conferences or workshops (like The Beyond Gatherings) that you could go to? This way it might not be so intimidating just hanging out with them one-on-one right off the bat.
- COFFEE DATE: if you’ve only just met & you haven’t had the chance to chat a lot, start with a quick coffee. If you commit to something short and sweet, you’re not forced to hang out for hours in the event that you don’t hit it off.
- BRING A FRIEND: if you’re super nervous, take along another friend. If the person you’re meeting up with is okay with it, it can’t hurt to bring someone you know and trust. Sometimes it’s one of those ‘the more the merrier’ type situations, and it can make for a whole lot more fun!
- RELAX AND HAVE FUN: if you’ve found some pals online that you just ‘click’ with, then hanging out with them in person will probably be way more awesome than you can imagine. Sure it can feel weird at first, but once you get to know each other, I bet you’ll find this new-found tribe can be pretty damn awesome (especially in the often lonely world of being a solopreneur).
So, friends, if you have other pals you’ve met through your business or social media that you just click with, can you organize to go meet up with them? I’m curious to hear how it goes. Let us know in the conversation box below how you’ve forged IRL relationships with your online friends!