In high school, many of us had a clique consisting of the “popular kids”. Often they were the ones who had families with money and were good at sports. The fact is these kids weren’t actually popular. They were just dominant.
Society has a tendency to confuse dominance with popularity. To be popular, one must be well liked. Once you realize this you can be freed from the pressures of status and simply focus on what makes people like you. Luckily, this isn’t a secret.
You just have to be warmhearted, which translates to being kind and seeming trustworthy.