How To Build An Offline IRL Girl Boss Tribe

If you're anything like me, blogging takes up a tremendous chunk of your time and your life. In all honesty, it can be a pretty lonely and introverted lifestyle if you don't pop outside of your computer bubble once in awhile.

Sunday night was a prime example. I spent four hours in a row writing this post and creating the accompanying graphics since I was under my own self-imposed deadline. Somehow the night and the hours ticked by and before I knew it, it was 10:30 pm, I had hit the 'schedule' button, and I was more ready than ever for a hot shower and the opportunity to crawl under the covers!

The truth is, none of that play-by-play bothers me, because when I'm in my groove and in the zone, I love absolutely every second of it. It's the kind of work that doesn't feel like work. I'm also equally unphased at the fact that I ate dinner at my desk that night. Hey, it happens!

Outside of Twitter chat buddies, Facebook groups, and the gratification of hearts, likes, and the occasional comment, most of my real-life inner circle doesn't have a blog.

My fiance doesn't get the online world and is more of an observer rather than a contributor. My parents are on social media, but are super private about what they share. I have friends who read blogs on the regular and are some of my biggest cheerleaders. Thankfully, they all are great listeners and are happy to lend an ear when I feel like sharing a win or opening up about the latest project I'm working on. But the conversation can only go so far.

So how do you find your people? The ones who do what you do, that can add fuel and fire to your life, who can hold you accountable to your goals and banter back and forth with you on pageviews, podcasts, and the next post you're thinking about writing?

If you have a hobby of any kind, it's incredibly rewarding to share in that passion with others.

In building my own offline tribe, I found support, collaboration, new friendships, and a connected community. This is not to say that online networking doesn't serve its purpose, because it totally does. But it's fun to mix things up!

These are some of the quickest and most effective ways to cultivate your own offline tribe:

You don't want to miss a beat, right?

In following the conversations of other locals, you can easily identify upcoming events, new blog posts, and discussions you can jump into. Twitter is pointless as a platform if you don't use it to engage. I liken it to a cocktail party. Don't talk to yourself!

Creating a list requires a little bit of detective work and effort on your part, but it's a key step to divvy out your stream from all the other noise.

Start out by adding some of your favorite local bloggers and creatives to the list, and then find more to add by searching their friends, or using a tool like Follower Wonk to search bios and profiles that include your city or metropolitan area.

Here's my San Diego Twitter list, with over 300 accounts I added to it.

It's amazing how many events fly under the radar because they aren't promoted well or they're not reaching any channels you follow.

When I say research, I really mean research! Seek out networking events, workshops related to your niche, marketing, blogging, and social media gatherings. Check all of these sites and more:

- EventBrite
- Brown Paper Tickets
- Yelp
- Facebook (click the Events tab and scroll down to view Events Popular In Your Network, and Events Related To Your Events History)
- Meetup
- Twitter (use Keywords to search 'Chicago Event' or 'RSVP Chicago', for example).
- Local Community Websites
- Local Blogging Communities

Building a tribe can feel a little bit like online dating. When I'm at a networking event, 10 times out of 10 I'd rather have three long conversations rather than 20 quick hi/bye interactions. I like to feel like I'm really getting to know the person.

Does your city already have a blogging community? There's no quicker way to connect with other bloggers, writers, and creatives than to go to a blogging meetup.

Create your own if there isn't one! Or develop a community centered around your niche. For example, Chicago has a Food Bloggers group, and San Diego has a group for Style Bloggers.

Often times, blogger gatherings are designed for casual conversation or they involve an interactive activity, like the night I drank wine and painted a canvas with 30 other San Diego bloggers.

Bring business cards and see who you hit it off with! You can order cards on the cheap from Moo and TinyPrints (two companies I recommend!)

After the event, it's important to unleash a follow up strategy. Whether it's sending a nice note to the organizers, or following some of the people you met on social media. You could also take a peek at their latest blog posts, or write a recap of the event you just attended!

You never know who you'll cross paths with, and I'm so happy I met Kylie Burnside Anfin. We were working long hours at a financial services conference, and for most of the few days, I didn't even know who she was.

One day, we ended up sitting at the same table together at lunch, and she mentioned in conversation that she was a fitness blogger. Instantly, I perked up and asked her more questions about what she was working on.

Like a total creeper, I found her website later that night, and once the event wrapped, I sent her an email. That email led to more emails, which led to us connecting at nearby coffee shops every month where we gabbed about the ups and downs of running our own businesses. Since we met, she re-branded her website and even launched a podcast!

Masterminds are one of the quickest ways to cultivate strong relationships, hold yourself accountable to your goals, and dig deep into business and blog 'real talk.'

What's a mastermind, you ask? It's basically a set group of people (usually 4-6 on average) who come together and have regularly scheduled meetings (either in person, over the phone, or through Skype/Google Hangout).

The meetings take the form of sharing wins and achievements, providing advice and support, and setting killer goals for the following week.

It's a safe space to get no-holds-barred feedback on your newest logo. It's where you can jump for joy over the new client you booked, or have a complete meltdown of overwhelm.

I'm obsessed with masterminds because they really are like having your own mini-tribe of awesome bosses in your corner. It can easily be the most valuable thing you'll ever do for your blog and/or business.

Test the waters by reaching out to a couple of trusted connections, and see if they're interested in committing to one.

Let's Chat: How do you cultivate connections offline and in your local community?

Cover Photo by D.A. Studios
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