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Welcome to Futureforth

We teach companies how to reach their people.

We are a social media strategy, digital marketing consultancy, and communications company based in Nashville. Our goal is to teach you inbound marketing, social media best practices, and everything you need to succeed with content marketing including your blog, email newsletter, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other favorite social networking platforms.

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The Futureforth Blog

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

Filtering by Tag: education

Why LinkedIn's acquisition of Lynda.com is important

Dave Delaney

LinkedIn pays $1.5B for online educator lynda.com in its biggest acquisition yetIt was hard to miss the news today. LinkedIn has acquired Lynda.com, the online education website. The 1.5 billion dollar purchase is LinkedIn's largest acquisition to date. It's also an important one for the future of the company. Ryan Roslansky, head of content at LinkedIn explained in a blog post, "Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill. Or doing a search on SlideShare to learn about integrated marketing and then to be prompted with a lynda.com course on the same subject."

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, explains that LinkedIn will develop the world's first economic graph. They have already started, you may recall my previous blog post about findings on global recruiting efforts.

Weiner went on to explain that LinkedIn will digitally map the global economy with profiles for every member of the global workforce. They will have a profile for every company in the world and a digital representation of every job and skill needed for those companies.

Now is the time to be sure your company page and executive profiles are to date. Your staff need to know exactly how to use LinkedIn and I will help you with this.

Let's talk.

10 Ways Students Should Use LinkedIn

Dave Delaney

Photo by smi23leAttention college students. Why aren't you on LinkedIn yet? I am often hired to speak at colleges and universities about business networking. When I do, I always conduct an informal poll of the students to see how many have a LinkedIn profile. The result is usually less than a quarter of the attendees. This is troubling to me.

LinkedIn is now over 238,000,000 members strong, with more than 84 million in the United States alone. The professional social network has 30 million students and recent graduates. LinkedIn claims students are the fastest growing demographic, and yet I'm not seeing this as often as I would like. Savvy students are jumping on board, something I recommend you do too.

LinkedIn is often mistaken as a place to look for a job. You may vary well find employment, but it is also a powerful networking tool. One point I reiterate in my book, New Business Networking, is you must build your network before you need it. This is why every adult should have a LinkedIn profile and be actively growing their connections.

10 Ways Students Should Use LinkedIn

1. Use a professional photo. Most students own a smartphone, so it is relatively easy to create a decent headshot. Avoid cropping someone out of the photo. It just looks weird to see a random hand on your shoulder. Keep the goofy photos to Facebook or Instagram. Remember, LinkedIn is for business.

2. Grow your network. Begin by connecting with your friends and family by sending them connection requests. Connect with your classmates, fraternity brothers, sorority sisters, faculty, and guest speakers.

3. Avoid generic connection requests. Remind the person who you are and how you met by writing a custom connection request.

4. Write recommendations. Reward your best group project members by publicly posting how they were great to work with. Consider writing a recommendation for guest speakers and faculty who you most enjoy. Never write a recommendation expecting one in return, but you may just receive one.

5. Claim your custom URL. Just like a dot com or Twitter handle, it is more professional to own your own URL.

6. Use keywords. Think like a search engine user and add keywords and terms to your profile. Focus on your Skills & Expertise section to include your keywords. You want recruiters to be able to find you, right?

7. Find and join Groups. There are more than 2.1 million groups on LinkedIn. Search for groups dedicated to your area of study, join them and participate in the discussions. Don't discredit your education with your perceived lack of professional experience. In many cases, you can become the expert in the group, because you are living and breathing the latest information from your studies.

8. Create a group. If you cannot find a group you wish to join, consider creating your own. Your group can be about a topic of interest from your curriculum, industry, or perhaps it is a group specifically for members of your fraternity. Groups can be public or private, so decide what type best suits your members.

9. Share great content. Find and share interesting articles that pertain to your professional area of focus. Find stories to share using free sites and apps like Flipboard, Feedly, and of course the Tennessean.com.

10. Promote your work. Share your best work on LinkedIn by posting a link to the content. Post your presentations to Slideshare.net and include them on your profile. Why limit your finest assignments and projects to within your classroom? Share your knowledge with the world and your growing LinkedIn professional network.

Using LinkedIn won't guarantee you a job right away. The point is to build your network today, so when you are ready to embark on your career, you will have a network of peers to reach out to. A large, solid network on LinkedIn can open doors for you by providing introductions to people at companies you wish to work with. Be a savvy student and visit university.linkedin.com to learn more about how LinkedIn is focusing on students and why you should join too.

What tip would you add for students using LinkedIn? Leave a comment below.


This article, "LinkedIn can be crucial for students in building network", originally appeared in the Tennessean.

Photo from Flickr by: smi23le

Students Need Blogs

Dave Delaney

Students Need BlogsI stress that students need blogs when I speak at universities and colleges. It's crazy not to blog if you are a student. As a student, you are being fed information around areas that you are interested in for your careers. Blog it! Share it with the world. When you write a paper (after it has been graded), you should consider breaking it into multiple blog posts. Share what you have learned.

I recently wrote about how I created a blog to learn about Nashville's technology and marketing communities before I moved to the city. I considered it a fun research project.

I keep reading how it is harder than ever for graduate students to find jobs. This is a great reason why now is the time to establish yourself, not after you have graduated.

Start a blog. Write about what you learn. Recap interesting notes from classes. Interview fellow students, faculty and professionals. Include your contact information and resume too, so it is available.

What other ways can students market themselves early and build their networks?

Illustration from Flickr by: inju