How to Start a Conversation At a Social Event

How to Start a Conversation At a Social Event

Starting a conversation to get to know another person or breaking an awkward silence can be stressful.  Generally, introverts have difficulty conversing with other people. They are quiet and often have nothing to say. Even extroverts who enjoy socializing will eventually run out of things to say. And during these times, there is this strange awkward moment of silence.

We are somehow pressured to say something. But the pressure creates mental blocks and prevents us from choosing interesting and appropriate topics to talk about. Why does this happen? Why does it have to be so awkward? Why do I have to suffer through all these?

These things are just part of getting to know a person. We often don’t run out of things to say when we are conversing with close friends and family. But if you’re talking with someone that you’ve just met, then expect some long awkward silences during your interactions.

It’s hard to talk with a stranger since you have to establish a common ground. You might not know what interests them, what they dislike, what offends them. And because of this we often try to play it safe and say nothing at all.

How to Talk to People And Never Run Out of Things to Say

You need a few tricks up your sleeve to hold a conversation with a complete stranger. By knowing how to talk to people you can improve your social status and create the foundations of a wonderful friendship. This knowledge will also help you create a network of professional connections.

The trick to talk with people is to:

Talk to Them Normally Like You Would a Close Friend

It’s very simple but very true. Most people try to be interesting and talk about all kinds of exotic and extravagant things. They believe that they have to win people over by making jokes or by talking about interesting things.  I hate to say it, but you’re not building a connection with them this way, you’re actually building walls and keeping them away.

Talk about the weather, about the place, about current events. It doesn’t matter what you talk about. What matters is the interaction between you and the other person. People often forget the topics in their conversations but they often remember how they felt during the conversation. So just be yourself and treat them like a close friend, they’ll eventually come around.

Get to Know Them by Asking Questions

The most basic trick in holding a conversation with a stranger is by asking them about their favorite topic.  And what is everyone’s favorite topic? Simple, it’s me! Me! Me!

People like talking about themselves, it’s a topic that they’re very familiar with. When you ask people about themselves they tend to get a good impression of you since you’ve taken an interest in their lives.

That’s why if you run out of things to say, then go for the safe and sure option of asking questions about the person you’re conversing with.

Ask open-ended questions

Which one is better?

This one.

You: Hi, do you like it here?

Stranger: Yes….*awkward pause*…. Do you like it here?

You:  Yes…*awkward pause*… See ya then.

Or this one?

You: Hey! I like your shirt. Where in the world did you get such an awesome looking shirt?

Stranger: You like it? Well I was out shopping one day where I saw this …..*blah blah blah*

The second conversation is obviously the better choice. The reason is that you used an open-ended question. Questions that can be answered by a yes or a no often in awkward silence. It’s hard for the person to continue answering when it can be answered by one or two words.

What you need is to ask questions that let their mind think and allows them to continue talking without holding anything back. Ask them about their day or how they managed to do this and that. The possibilities are endless.

Talk About Food

Talking about food is a universal topic, it is extremely helpful if both of you are at a party or if both of you are having dinner somewhere.

Some people are ignorant about the latest iPhones, tablets, and gadgets. While others are experts at medicine, programming and other topics. It’s hard to find a common ground if both of you have such a gap in knowledge. However, everyone eats food and it is a topic that most of us are knowledgeable about.

You can simply comment on how delicious the food at the restaurant is or you can talk about how the food in your country is prepared. It doesn’t matter, just say something to keep the conversation going.

Rephrase what they said if you have nothing to add

Stranger:  I’ve put a lot of work making that necklace and what did she do? She sold it! That girl sold it!

You: So you’ve spent all this time and effort on the necklace and she didn’t even care?

Stranger: Yeah, and….*blah blah blah*

If you have nothing to add or aren’t knowledgeable about the topic, then you can simply rephrase their previous statement to keep the conversation going. This shows the other person that you are listening to what they’re saying as well pointing out that you are interested in the conversation.

By repeating what they’ve said you’re creating rapport and you’re making the person trust you more. This will make them happy enough to continue conversing with you and they will share more about their life.

Share Something About Yourself

It isn’t just a one-way conversation. If you’re going to keep asking about other people’s lives then you’re eventually going to have to reveal something about yourself as well.  You can try to play it mysterious by giving vague answers, but being mysterious won’t help you form meaningful connections.

You don’t need to tell them your deepest darkest secret, you just need them tell them small minute things about yourself. This may come unnatural to introverts, but if you’re going to build rapport, then you need to learn how to open up and share details of your life.

Don’t Be a Know-It-All

You know whose fun at parties? That laid back guy who knows how to have a good time.

You know who isn’t fun at parties? That obnoxious know-it-all who thinks they’re better than everyone because they’ve read an entire encyclopedia in the span of 2 hours.

Don’t be the know it all, they’re hard to converse with and some people can be turned off by that “I’m better than you because I know more” attitude. If someone makes a mistake about a certain topic, don’t brush them off and correct them harshly, be subtle in correcting them. It’s even better if you don’t correct them at all.

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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8 Best Places to Visit for LA Vintage Shopping

8 Best Places to Visit for LA Vintage Shopping

It’s no secret that you can satisfy your craving for vintage fashion if you’re in LA. But where exactly do you go? While there’s no shortage of shops that offer vintage wares, here are the places you should visit first:

1. Scout

If you’ve got the budget for high-end vintage fashion, then Scout has the goods you’re looking for. Scout is the ultimate trendsetter, as its pieces influence the influencers in fashion.

Location: 8021 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

2. Rose Bowl Flea Market

You need to be in LA at the right time to enjoy the Rose Bowl Flea Market. But if you can find a way to be at the Rose Bowl Stadium on the second Sunday of the month, then you’re in for a treat. You can visit the best flea market in the entire west coast with more than 2,500 vendors offering you vintage treats for a bargain.

Location: 1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena, CA 91103

3. Melrose Trading Post

On any given Sunday, you can visit the Melrose Trading Post for unbelievable flea market bargains. Here you can find vintage clothes and antique jewelry and furniture from up to 200 vendors every week.

Location: 7850 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

4. FIDM Museum

While you can’t actually buy everything you see here, this place will give you an idea of just what kind of vintage clothes are available here in the epicenter of cinema. This museum is located on the ground floor of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising’s downtown LA campus.

Location: 919 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90015

5. Paper Moon Vintage

You know a place is into vintage when its motto is “the older the better”. Here, the places are so vintage that pieces from the 1960s are unavailable—they’re too new to be considered! But if you’re looking for some 1920s flapper pizzazz or an outfit to match your Victorian tastes, here’s the place to visit.

Location: 4516 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

6. Tavin

This is where you head on out to if you’re looking for the 1960s and 70s fashion, but it’s also a place where Victorian threads are available as well. This is the hub of gypsy fashion in LA. It’s a surreal and dreamy shop, but you can lose yourself in the dream very easily here.

Location: 1543 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026

7. Foxhole

What if you’re really into vintage denim? If that’s the case, then it’s a cardinal sin for you to overlook the Foxhole. Here, they really “dream in denim” as denim goes well beyond jeans and jackets. You can find vintage denim ponchos, purses, and even pillows. Try out their vintage denim jackets first, as they’re the first rate. The owners of the place can even stitch your initials on your items if you ask nicely.

Location: 3318 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

8. Avalon Vintage

The collection is quite diverse, coming from periods ranging from the turn of the century 1900s to the alternative grunge of the 1990s. whether you’re looking for sweaters from the 1980s or trying for silk jammies from the 1930s, you’ll get your fill of vintage style. In fact, even old music is available here with more than 6,000 records from bygone years.

Location: 106 N Ave 56, Los Angeles, CA 90042

These places just scratch the surface of the LA vintage shopping scene. What’s more, new places open constantly so don’t forget to visit LA regularly to satisfy your urge for vintage!

Author Details
Editor-In-Chief
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

john@lastartups.com
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Editor-In-Chief
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

john@lastartups.com

Top 10 Best Kept Secrets of the Régime des Fleurs Cult Perfume Brand

Top 10 Best Kept Secrets of the Régime des Fleurs Cult Perfume Brand

What is a cult brand? A cult brand is a brand that may not be very well known in general circles, but it inspires a devoted customer base. Such is the case with Régime des Fleurs, which is so low key that very few people know about it. Those who do know about, however, include some of the most knowledgeable experts in the fashion industry as well as the most fanatical artistic types in the niche of fragrances.

So let’s shed a spotlight into one of the most secrets yet sought-after brands in scents:

  1. Régime des Fleurs was actually founded in 2014. But they operated only in cyberspace, with cofounders Alia Raza and Ezra Woods communicating with customers only through their computers and through Instagram.
  2. For the most part, they relied on Internet word of mouth to spread the word of their perfumes. That meant they had to produce something that people would actually want to talk about, and they succeeded without a doubt. They used seductive notes like Earl Grey vapor and white ambergris to separate themselves from the rest of the crowd. Their fragrances were also blended by hand, which gave them an artisanal quality.
  3. Even their bottles were designed to catch attention. These were all custom-painted. They used unusual hues and shades, including lustrous peacock colors and luminous orange. These bottles also sported a small gold crest with the brand’s initials, and it looked supremely regal.
  4. The founders operated Régime des Fleurs for nearly 4 years in this way. They only recently opened a storefront atelier in LA, and they did so quietly without any bombastic fanfare.
  5. The location of their storefront was carefully chosen, as it was in Mid-City. It was right there in the middle of a neighborhood which has gradually been transformed by the arrival of various spaces dedicated to fashion and art.
  6. Right in front of the atelier, Régime des Fleurs offers its full lineup of products, with also includes formerly limited edition collaborations. These eclectic items include vinyl records from a project with Chloë Sevigny and Michel Gaubert along with candles hand-painted by noted textile artist George Venson of Voutsa.
  7. The Fait Main line is in the production area behind a white curtain, and this is the original collection of esoteric fragrances. This area also acts as the shipping hub for the online business.
  8. Customers have encouraged Alia Raza and Ezra Woods to run the place like an art gallery. Régime des Fleurs has a deep connection with its devoted fan base, and so they have catered to their customers’ preferences. They’ve featured dreamlike stylized oil paintings and artworks cast in lead crystal and blown glass. Featured artists include Max Jansons, Dylan Palmer, Samantha Thomas, and Kathy Klein.
  9. In a recent opening party, Kathy Klein set up psychedelic designs with flower petals on the floor.
  10. Out back, the flowers continue to emphasize the brand’s connection with botanical nature, with a parking lot filled with gorgeous flowering vines like passionflowers, morning glories, jasmine, and bougainvillea.

Get them here: 3305 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
×
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

15 Hacks to Get More Instagram Followers

15 Hacks to Get More Instagram Followers

Discover how easy it is to increase the number of your Instagram followers.

As of June 2018, Instagram has 1 billion active users per month. That’s obviously a lot, and many companies are quite salivating over the prospect of marketing and advertising to that many people. If you can increase your Instagram followers, you can then foster a stronger community for your brand, boost the number of views on your blog and website, and increase your sales.

But how do you get more Instagram followers in the first place? You can start with these 13 effective ways. They’re super easy, but they’re sure to work!

1. Start with Liking Other People’s Pictures in Your Niche

You need to get your name out there, and this starts with liking other people’s photos. Each night finds some accounts in your niche and like at least 5 photos. You can check hashtags and check out the profiles of the followers of the most famous Instagram accounts in your niche.You can also send a real (non-fake) comment and you can give them a follow. This ought to let other Instagram users discover your account.

2. Ask Your Followers in Other Social Platforms to Follow You in Instagram

If you’re using Instagram, chances are that you’re also using other social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Don’t assume that they’re following you on Instagram too. So when you post on Facebook or put out a quick tweet, you can sometimes just encourage your followers on those platforms to follow you on Instagram too.

3. Link to Your Instagram Account on Other Platforms

It does help to have your followers on other social networking platforms to follow you on Instagram if you make it easier for them to do so. So don’t forget to put in your Instagram username in the profile section of your other social accounts. You can also just include a handy link to your Instagram account as well. That ought to work.

4. Create a Theme for Your Instagram

With the first 3 tips, you should have a fair number of people checking out your Instagram account. So your account must be good enough to hold their attention. It helps if you set up your account with a nice theme. You should have an interesting bio section as well as a neatly organized page of photos linked to a particular subject matter. Your theme should, of course, be related to your business, so that your company can grow and profit with the growth of your Instagram account followers.

5. Be More Sociable

You’ve already learned about posting genuine comments for the photos on other accounts, so that these people may notice your own account. At some point, they may visit your account and post comments on your own photos as well. When that happens, try to respond to the comments you receive. Be more sociable and authentic, instead of just posting “Thanks” for their comments. This fosters a more engaging relationship

6. Don’t Forget Your Hashtags

Lots of Instagram leaders have long known that using hashtags is one of the surest ways to gain followers. You can use up to 30 of them in your photo description, so get to it. It does help when the hashtags you choose are actually relevant to your niche, and they get a lot of interest every day. Most users tend to search photos based on the hashtags, so they’re crucial in getting your photos discovered. With lots of hashtags, you get lots of opportunities to attract attention, and you can get more likes. This can rank your photos even higher.

7. Come Up with a Unique Hashtag

While a popular hashtag is always great, a unique hashtag has its own benefits. It should have a specific purpose, and then you can ask other people to use it. This helps you build your community. Also, you can repost the photos using that unique hashtag while giving proper credit, and that means you can easily get new content for your Instagram account.

8. Brand Your Images with Your Account Username

It’s great if your followers repost your images, but it will help you a lot of these photos also feature your account username somewhere in the small text. This can entice others who see the photos to check out your account when they really like your photo.

9. Suggest Actions for Your Followers to Generate Engagements

If it’s not clear yet, when you’re in social media you should make clear what you would like your followers to do. So ask them to “like” your photo if they appreciate it. You can also ask your followers to tag a friend.

One technique for holiday goers on Instagram is to post where they are currently, and then they ask their Instagram followers to tag a specific friend that they would like to share their vacation with if they’re where you are. This can elicit lots of comments, and the tagged friends can come in and become followers on your account.

10. Geotag Your Photos

This again helps when you’re posting photos of exotic locations in your travels. Geotag those photos, and the people who use the same geotag can then see your photos. They may follow you if they have something in common with you or your location. They may have been there too, or they may be planning an upcoming visit.

11. Keep Posting What Your Followers Like Most

You need to tweak your content so that you mostly post photos they like. You can find out which of these photos are simply checking which ones have generated the most comments, likes, and tagging of friends.

12. Partner Up with Influencers in Your Niche

You can reach out to a well-known Instagram account and work together on contests and giveaways with your followers. You can also just post a photo from each other’s account so that the followers of one can learn about the other.

13. Use Paid Posting in Top Niche Accounts

Of course, for the really big guns, you can’t work with them for free. You may have to pay for them to post a photo for you in their Instagram accounts. These people tend to ask people to email them if they have “business inquiries”, and they generally mean paid to post.

Check out these 13 tips and discover why they’re so effective. They’re actually easy, but with these, you can grow your Instagram followers from a handful to a teeming horde!

14. Don’t oversell your product or service

A visual comparison is: when you date someone, you need to generate interest in the other person before ‘converting’. Same happens in social media: Customers might take a while to trust your brand in order to end up converting. For this reason, generate great engaging content and be strategic on how often you post what we call ‘aggressive call to action posts.

15. Track your performance and pivot to your best engaging practices

Instagram gives you basic reports, but growth hackers have tools to get even more out of it. Get an expert (e.g. Go Global Agency) to help you extract valuable reports from your account. Measure results and pivot if necessary. There are many variables that can be measured: engagement, audience demographics, best performing hashtags, etc.

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
×
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.