Well I've always tried to have a relationship with the species. I practice bioregional animism and semi-totemism, meaning I personally feel having interactions with the animal/plant/fungi/landform is important. So my current totems, the magpie and fly agaric mushroom, are thing I honor when I go about in the woods of my area. I observe their behaviors and study.
The second method is going into the spirit world/other world/astral realms. There you can seek out a archetypal spirit to be a totem. That one I can give you tips on as well, such as downloading shamanic drumming, and learning to go into trance. Learning astral projection is another route. The important thing is to know what you want to do, and practice often until you get it down. These things take time, and I know people who have spent over a year practicing before finally astral projecting (or any other form of projection).
I have some other tips too.
Remember, your totem may completely surprise you. It may not be some big 'amazingly cool' animal, like a bear, wolf, eagle raven, or other 'popular' animals. It could be the mouse. It could be the bee. It may not even be an animal. It could be a fungus or plant. Even a landform (like a river, ocean, mountain, forest, desert, even a cityscape).
Which leads me to my next reminder. Your totem is a two-way relationship. It's there because you can offer it something. And it can offer you something. It could turn into a friendship. Wisdom is earned, not freely given.
And finally, you can have any number of totems to learn from and help. And they are privy to change over time occasionally, unless you have a strong kin-ship with one or two in particular. Many clans and tribes have origin stories of a kinship with certain animals and plants.