Most of us tend to have slightly different persona’s in the different groups we meet in. I’m not talking Jeckel and Hyde here, more that you can let your hair down a bit more with friends or at home than you might at a networking event or convention. And that’s fine.

What is super important though, when it comes to networking and also in life in general, is that you be yourself.

There’s an old adage, ‘people buy people’, and it’s certainly true when it comes to networking meetings. Of course the service that follows needs to be good to build a strong working relationship, but a large reason people buy from others is because they like them or what they stand for.

If you try to be someone that you aren’t, you will always be caught out in the end. I’m not suggesting that you can’t have a little bit of ‘fake it til you make it’ going on, we all need a bit of that at times, but don’t be afraid to let your own personality shine through.

Of course there are limits… rude jokes and swearing is never appropriate in a meeting, but if that’s your bag then I’m sure you’ll find time for it after the meeting with other of the same persuasion.

Networking is about making new contacts and nurturing them into fruitful business relationships (and friendships too!). So be proud, be you and watch as your network grows and develops over time. It’s a glorious thing.

As always I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts on this so please join in the conversation below…