How I'm Making Friends in 2020

Austin, TX Sep 04, 2020

I moved to Austin, TX on August 1st! 🎉

Yay! Time to go out and meet peop- oh. It's 2020. Right. No meetup.com events, no group sports or exercise class connections, no volunteer events with others. Hell, I can't even be that lonely bitch at a bar hoping someone takes pity on her and asks why she's downing so many Mexican martinis while simultaneously crying, "SO ALONEEEE. SOOO ALLONEEE."

I saw the solitary months ahead of staring at walls and talking to stick-figure drawings of friends, and knew I had to do something. If I could make just one good friend in my first month, it would make me dramatically happier in my new city. So I set a goal for 5 coffee-outings with potential friends. At the end of the month, I'd hung out with 24 people! I have three friends that I see regularly, and four more whom I've hung out with more than once.

I thought I'd share my methods in case it's helpful for you, too!

Where I found my potential friends

  • Referrals from friends
  • Folks who came over to my place (I live with a roomie)
  • Serendipity- chance encounters that turned into coffee
  • Twitter
  • Co-workers who live in Austin

Which friend-source had the best friends for me?

I put everyone I met in August into an excel spreadsheet, along with how I found them (lead source) and how good of a fit they were (lead score).

Yes, assigning a score to my friends was super uncomfortable!

The chart below shows the average friendship score (from 1-10, with 10 being the best) per area where I found the friends.

As you can see, Twitter brought me the highest-quality friends, and random chance brought the lowest quality potential friends.

Let's dive into why each friend-source is ranked the way it is.

Twitter

I have a following of about 1,300 people on Twitter- I've never bought a subscriber or tweeted things that weren't aligned with my core, so they're pretty much all people whom I'd get along with in real life.

To get them out of the screen and into IRL, I did just two things:

  • an intro post saying, "I moved to Austin!" with a clear 'please be friends' CTA. I kept this really short and upbeat, and only asked for ONE SIMPLE thing- let me know who you know!
  • I wrote a piece of content that would add value to my target friends.

    Why'd I choose to write a guide to home buying in Austin?
    1. It was likely to find new transplants looking to buy in ATX who don't have set friends-groups yet
    2. I couldn't easily find this info anywhere; not online nor through realtors, so it would really help ATX peeps looking to buy a home
    3. I'm looking to buy a house and was already compiling this info for personal use anyway

I gave it a catch hook (info the realtors won't tell me), People DMed me, we met up right away, and good fun was had by all!


HEY YOU, YES YOU, AUGUST MIGHT BE OVER BUT FUN FRIENDS ARE TIMELESS- If you live in Austin and you think we'd get along, hit me upppp, let's grab taccosss!!!


Coworkers

Every time I meet another Auth0 employee it reminds me of why I'm so happy to work there; the people are just awesome!

The main issue with coworker friends was distance. A lot of them live more than 30 minutes away by car, and it's just logistically difficult to see them on a regular basis.

Referrals from Friends

There were two different kinds of referral situations.

Situation 1: A friend from outside of Austin knows someone in Austin I just have to meet (usually turned out not being a good match). I think these people want to look helpful. If I don't like the person they recommend, there's no major repercussions.

Situation 2: A new in-person Austin friend tells me to meet their other friends (usually turned out being awesome.) These people have a vested interest in setting me up with cool folks; they want to meet the cool people I know while also building a long-term friendship with me. This = better quality intros.

Friends who visited my home

I live with a roommate who is pretty established in Austin already. This meant that every weekend there would be new, smart, interesting people over to have a beer with and get to know.

These people are all very solid folks who would make excellent friends. The reason this category is rated so low is not because they sucked, but because I know that once I move out, I'll never see them again. My roommate and I get along quite nicely but are very different people, and his friends are a good fit for him, not necessarily me.

This could be a great way to make friends if I chose to live with someone who had the qualities of a really good friendship match for me. Then it could perhaps be a built in friendship source without having to do any effort to find them!

Serendipity

I probably shouldn't have even put this one in here because in my case, these people who approached me for coffee turned out to be just guys who thought I was cute.

But I think it could still be a valid way to meet friends. If I got more serious about meeting friends this way, I would go to outdoor coffee shops (I met a previous roommate this way actually!), outdoor breweries, and go for walks around the river and just look super friendly and see what happened.

What have I learned?

Twitter  may be a great place to find friends if you have a modest or larger following. It worked for me!

From here on out, I'll be putting more efforts into my Twitter friendship game, as well as getting more friendship referrals from existing friends in Austin (and returning the favor by matching quality friends to others whom I think they'd enjoy).


PS- I think you're cool! Or, I would if we knew each other! DM yo' girl and let's grab topo chicos in person and complain about the heat together yayyy!

Madison Taskett

I'm a tech growth marketer and indie maker in Austin, TX 🌮. This blog is a daily look into my mind. It's raw, honest, and reflective, and I try to post daily.