4 Things You Need To Know About Getting Plugged In As Told By A Faux Serial Socialite
I Could Introduce You To The Plug- Rich the Kid
As a child I spent a large amount of time with my grandma. I was the only Black girl both in the neighborhood and my school. It settled her nerves knowing that I was safe sitting under her thumb. She was the president of several organizations, sat on various boards, and always had something to do which meant I always had somewhere to be. From national conferences and galas I was constantly exposed to the world of events and social settings. Also being an only child I was (and still am) naturally shy. My introvertness kept me quiet with a book at most of these social gatherings. I hoped to avoid making eye contact or discussion with the packs of adults around me. Unfortunately that didn’t always work as I was repeatedly forced to make introductions, shake hands and have conversations with people decades ahead of myself.
As I got older I noticed that although my introverted ways still remained constant that my want to go to social events increased. At the time I didn’t understand what my grandma was instilling in me: to not only be able to sit in the rooms, but sit in ones where people might not think I belong. As a child I was sitting in board meetings giving suggestions about dinners, fundraising events, and galas. Now at almost 30 I’m doing still doing the same thing.
A few months ago I had the opportunity to be a guest of one of my favorite chefs, Gabrielle McBay, at The Plug Brunch Workshop. The event was headlined by my personal favorite Girl Boss, Karen Civil. (Fun fact... I share the same birthday as Karen Civil and SZA. November 8th breeds greats. Thanks for attending my Ted Talk.) She gave us tons of gems and insights at brunch but what I was most in awe about was the way she worked and how she was in a small room with just a few people.
After posting this picture on IG more people started asking me how I can do things like this or get invited to various openings and events. To be honest there is not secret and there is nothing that I am doing that isn’t possible for anyone else. I don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers on IG or am super known everywhere but I started small and am still working on my network. From me to you, here are four things I’ve done to get plugged in as well as some #tidbitts from Karen Civil herself.
1) Sometimes we stay in spaces just for the sake of staying.- KC
First and foremost God. I asked him to move doors and open up spaces because it’s what He does. I was just unsure of what spaces they would become hence why my blog even started. If if you asked me a year ago or even six months ago would I take a picture with Karen Civil I probably would say no. Secondly I worked for it. I’ve been doing things for Cosign Magazine on and off for over a year. It was the work I had put in previously that led me to this particular shoot. So your blog, vlog, IG page, etc whatever it is keep working on it and don’t be afraid to experiment and do other things.
2) A lot of the time we fail because we don't even try. We take ourselves out of the game before it even before begins- KC
You have to remove yourself from your comfort space even if that means going by yourself. Don’t wait on anyone to get in the rooms you need to be in nor be afraid of asking to be there.
Also don't wait on getting invites. Put yourself out there. Find the PR company or the Event coordinator for the event via the posting or website and ask if you can attend. Give a valuable reason why you should be there. (this worked for me during Coachella for the Fenty Party so I’ve done it before. 2018 was all about shooting all the shots.) Be respectful and polite when corresponding and don’t take it personal if they so no, it’s their job. You never know who may say yes.
*If you get a yes off this advice I'm your plus one. If you get a no then we never had this convo.
3) Always research where you are trying to fit in and how to get there-KC
Mailing lists…yes, they are annoying. I keep a separate mailbox just for them. I will find event pages, coordinators, etc and ask to be put on their email lists for things coming up. I will send them my social media, blog, etc so that they can align what events would be good for me to attend. Eventbrite and local event pages in your city are a great place to start! If you hate large events stick to smaller more intimate ones. If festivals are your thing then focus your attention there and have useful information.
4) Go to the places where your guidance/advice/services are needed. -KC
I had a similar conversation a few days ago with someone asking me how they get their brand noticed more and make themself known. My feedback was that people only knew him on social media but not in real life. Having an IG following can boost opportunities but you have to make yourself available to make people want you in their space. If that is only online through dope pics you are limiting yourself.
Get out and meet people to actually build that network. Mingle with the people in the crowd because you never know who is there and why.
As always don’t choose between being well-known and worth knowing. Do both. Stay classy my friends.