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If you’ve ever left a networking event feeling like you’ve made no real connections, you’re not alone. Developing real relationships requires authenticity. But it can be hard to be yourself while still putting your best professional foot forward.

Well, I’ve got you covered with seven resources on how to make that first impression stick, and better yet, turn into an actual, meaningful relationship (beyond just connecting on Linkedin).

  1. I get it: Networking can feel like an icky word. But when you’re doing it right, it’s less about awkward interactions and more about having conversations with another fellow human. If you’re genuine and open-minded, it’ll feel easier immediately.

  2. Want to come off as more likable to other people? The secret is all in the details. Sometimes just saying “Hi” in passing or showing a curiosity in someone’s interests is all it takes to leave a good impression.

  3. Make sure your interactions don’t just happen in a vacuum. Follow up by making your messages feel personal and stay persistent with relationships that matter.

  4. Networking with powerful people isn’t that tough if you do so genuinely. Be generous, do your research, and stay in touch—a natural connection should follow.

  5. And if coffee dates aren’t your thing, there are better techniques to make little points of contact that add up. (Hint: Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn will be your best friend here.)

  6. Just had a great introduction, but don’t know how to keep the ball rolling? At the end of the day, it’s about cultivating kindness and consistency in your relationships more than anything else.

  7. Don’t know how to be genuine in a natural way when you’re hanging out with strangers? Specificity goes a long way in telling your unique story and making that personal connection.