There are three ways to make popular friends.
First, you can meet them before they’re popular. This isn’t exactly obvious. You could be strategic about it (being in high a high growth industry or something), that might get kind of douchey.
Second, you can meet them in exclusive places. The limited guest list means they feel like you’re on their level. Then you can have a regular conversation to them to prove how down-to-Earth you are despite your popularity/influence.
The third and final way to make popular is to do something awesome. This is the hardest way, because you have to find something awesome to do, but when you do it, influential/popular people may want to talk to you. (Be careful about this though, because people will get jealous and wonder why they don’t have popular/influential friends.)
This post inspired by a bunch of talk going on recently that I don’t want to give more attention to.