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Helpful tips and articles about social media strategy, content marketing, and business networking. 

Filtering by Tag: coffee

How I Used Coffee to Network My Way to a Job

Dave Delaney

Dave Coffee
Dave Coffee

Did you know a cup of coffee can get you a job or a new client? It’s true.

When I was a student in Toronto, I worked diligently at networking so that I could jumpstart my career in marketing. I would look on websites and read marketing trade publications to try to determine who I needed to speak with. I would then cold call the companies and ask to speak with the person who I hoped would hire me. It wasn’t easy, but I was persistent. Today it is easier.

In Toronto, I met a great person who offered me an un-paid internship, which I couldn’t afford to take. Years later at a different company and in a more senior position, he reached out again and hired me.

10 Steps to Using a Coffee to Get a Job

  1. Research the companies you want to work for in your city. Then visit their LinkedIn page or site to determine who the person is you need to meet. For me, it was CMOs and Presidents of companies, but it depends on what type of position you are looking for. Be sure to check their social profiles, so you can learn more about the individual.
  1. Rehearse your honest story. Who are you? Why are you calling? Perhaps you are a student interested in the industry, or maybe you are new to the city. Regardless, you are calling to schedule an in-person, casual chat.  You are not asking for a job. You want to learn more about the industry.
  1. Call the company, and ask to speak with the person. Chances are likely that you will end up speaking with his or her assistant (or a receptionist). Be nice. They are the ones who will decide whether to connect you or not. The assistant’s job is to vet the calls, so be courteous and polite.
  1. Don’t be too persistent, but do your best to follow up if you haven’t heard back. Also know when to give up if the person won’t give you the time. They aren’t worth working for anyway.
  1. Set up the meeting. Promise two things about the meeting: 1. You won’t take more than 15 minutes of their time. 2. You will bring them a coffee.
  1. The meeting: Bring them the coffee, and don’t forget the creamers and sugar. They will remember you, because you actually brought them the coffee. Have questions prepared about the industry you are interested in. Ask them questions about how they got started at their company, where they are from, etc. You will discover that 15 minutes can easily become an hour. People like to talk about themselves, it’s human nature. Listen carefully.
  1. Thank them for their time. Be sure to thank the assistant if he or she is nearby as you leave.
  1. Send a Thank You email (a card works well too). In the email, ask them who else they recommend you speak with in the industry. They will likely offer to introduce you. You can also politely ask them to let you know of any open positions please.
  1. Send them a request to connect on LinkedIn. Don’t send them the generic invite. Write something original.
  1. Follow up. Once you land on your feet with a new job, be sure to write them to let them know. Don’t forget to thank them again for their time and assistance.

Bonus: A little later down the road, invite the person for a coffee, or offer to bring them one again. Nobody will keep the same job they have today for their entire career, so keep connected to your network as you grow it.  

This post originally appeared in Venture Beat

How a Cup of Coffee Can Land You Your Next Job (or client)

Dave Delaney

I have received great feedback from readers of my recent article in Venture Beat, How a cup of coffee can land you your next job (or client). If you missed the article, I encourage you to visit Venture Beat and give it a read. If you enjoy it, please share it with your friends and colleagues. Thank you.

Has coffee helped you with your business? Leave a comment, I would love to hear about it.

How a cup of coffee can land you your next job or client

Triple Non-fat Latte with a Side of Community

Dave Delaney

Christina HugGuest post by Christina Hug (probably the best last name ever), Marketing and Community at YouNoodle. I adore networking. There, I said it. Meeting new people, facilitating connections within my network, and building communities makes my heart sing. Luckily for me, living in San Francisco means there is no shortage of networking events, mixers, launch parties, and happy hours to attend on any given day; and as the Director of Community at YouNoodle - the online network for entrepreneurs - I end up going to a lot of them.

But I’ll tell you a secret; my favorite form of networking is not your typical event offering an opportunity to mingle over crudités and cocktails. It’s the informational coffee. Perhaps not regarded as the most efficient tactic, I love them for their ability to facilitate genuine connections – I’ve never been a fan of simply collecting business cards. Since these meetings are purely informational, they take away the pressure to pitch and allow you to truly focus on building a real relationship.

Just Coffee

I have been scheduling informational coffees since I was a sophomore in college, when I was positive that I wanted to work in New York for an ad agency. Every couple of months I would hop a plane from Ottawa, Canada to New York City to meet with everyone from Account Executives to Senior Partners to learn what it takes to make it in the big leagues. These meetings were invaluable for giving me an inside look at what it’s like to work for an agency and, even though they eventually led me to realize that advertising wasn’t the right direction for me, I was officially hooked on the discovery experience.

Fast forward to present day where every time I travel, I make sure I find a few key people in that city who are doing something cool and I ask them to go for a coffee. The goal of these meetings is typically to hear the story of how they got to where they are, how they achieved a specific milestone in their career, or what the entrepreneurial ecosystem is like in their community. I have met many dear friends, mentors and, in some cases, business partners from what started out as “just coffee.”

You might think it’s counterintuitive for someone who manages an online network to be encouraging offline connections, but in an industry that often describes your co-founder relationship as a marriage and your early-stage startup team as your family, it’s important to recognize that developing relationships of this magnitude simply can’t be done solely from behind the veil of technology.

Be Authentic

I can see how this may seem a little daunting. Now, on top of building a business and all the pressures that go along with it, you are expected to go out and lasso your entrepreneurial soul mates?! Don’t panic, it can start from something very simple. For instance, at YouNoodle we ask our members for four basic data points: their Next Step as an entrepreneur, the Role they play in a startup, the Industry they work in and their Location. Powered by these answers alone, we are making it easier for our users to narrow down the who part of the equation while providing just enough information to write that initial email and set up a coffee to learn more.

When it comes down to it, everyone has different networking styles from card collector to coffee drinker, but whichever one you are – the key is to be authentic. Seek out connections with people who you are genuinely interested in getting to know and don’t forget that it’s okay, heck - even recommended, to expand beyond your own backyard and learn from entrepreneurs in other parts of the world as well. By starting with a basic amount of common ground, you are building the foundation for your own community.