The idea of building a network seems long, time-consuming, and incredibly draining. After all, not many people have the time to go to coffee meeting after coffee meeting or attend industry conferences on top of a full workload.

The good news, though, is that networking can be quicker and easier than you’re making it out to be. Growing your network only takes a little bit of extra effort during the week. If you need some help getting started, check out these suggestions.

  1. Do an introduction swap: In exchange for connecting a friend to one of your contacts, your friend will do the same with one of his or hers. (Forbes)
  2. Building on the idea of the introduction swap, never underestimate the power of doing smaller favors for other people. It’s a quick way to build a reputation and (ultimately) a network. (Lifehacker)
  3. Finding common ground with new connections can be daunting. One group that might be easier (and faster) to approach? Alumni. (LinkedIn)
  4. You might feel like you know everyone on LinkedIn, but with just a few short messages and a couple of clicks, you can start working on those valuable second degree connections. (Job Jenny)
  5. If you prefer to meet people virtually (or just feel way too drained to go to an in-person networking event), hit up a Twitter chat and start connecting with like-minded people. (Buffer)
  6. Social media is a great way to connect with people, and even Instagram can make for an awesome networking tool. (The Huffington Post)
  7. Nourishing and growing your network starts in your own office. Go to lunch with co-workers and make sure you get to know them well, too. (Examiner)
  8. This tip takes a little bit more planning, but it’s definitely worth it: Attend a speed networking event! (Fast Company)
  9. One of our writers increased her LinkedIn profile views by 425% just by writing a couple of insightful comments on groups. How’s that for simple? (The Daily Muse)


Photo of watering can courtesy of Shutterstock.