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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.

Don't have the time to produce content? We can help with that too.

The Futureforth Blog

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

Filtering by Tag: employment

Help The Unemployed Back On Their Feet

Dave Delaney

It is hard to miss the unfortunate stories in the news about jobs being cut. According to global outplacement consultancy, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., 50,000 jobs were cut in October alone. This is why it is important to find ways to help your friends get back on their feet.

Friends and acquaintances often email me when they are going through a transition. They write to ask me if I know of any open positions in their field. Since I don't work in recruiting or human resources, open jobs don't come to my mind right away. Most days my head is filled with thoughts on priorities for Futureforth clients and family duties. It's not easy to think of opportunities right away, but I have found a solution.

In addition to the emails about losing work, I also get messages about open positions. In the past, I would get these, but I would forget who was looking for a job. Taking the time to dig back through my emails to find the job seekers was too time consuming. To be honest, sometimes I would forget altogether.

I have come up with a simple process to help connect those seeking work with those who are hiring. You can do this too and help your network. In New Business Networking, I wrote about how networking is all about providing value and helping others before ever asking for anything in return. Helping a friend find a job is a great example of providing such value.

Here is my process for connecting those looking for a job with those seeking to fill a position.

When somebody contacts me who is seeking a job, I reply using the words "I'll keep my eyes open". A reply may read, "I'm sorry to hear you were laid off, Mary. Please know that I will keep my eyes open for opportunities for you."

I always reply using the term "eyes open". I use Gmail, all other email services also have a search function. Regardless of your email service, you can do this too. Whenever I get a message from someone who is hiring, I search "eyes open" in my messages. The results include all emails from people I know who are seeking work. I review them quickly and make the introductions when there is a good fit. This makes remembering who needs a job much faster.

I'll keep my eyes open.

One other thing I do in my initial reply is ask which companies they want to work for. When they reply, I review my LinkedIn connections to see if I know people at the companies. This only takes seconds. If I do, I provide an introduction.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5.5 million job openings in the U.S. (as of the last day of August). New jobs are available and unfilled positions are waiting for the right person. I bet you get similar emails from friends who are hiring and those seeking work. Why not keep your "eyes open" to get friends back on their feet? 

Do you have any techniques for helping your network find employment? Any tips? Leave a comment, please. 


Recruiting Tech Talent in Nashville? Read This!

Dave Delaney

Nashville Technology Map I previously wrote a post showing how LinkedIn's Economic Graph revealed the top skills in Nashville professionals.

In August 2014, LinkedIn shared the top ten cities attracting LinkedIn members with technology talent. The results are:

  1. Bangalore, India
  2. Pune, India
  3. Hyderabad, India
  4. Chennai, India
  5. San Francisco Bay Area, United States
  6. Seattle, United States
  7. Austin, United States
  8. Melbourne, Australia
  9. Sydney, Australia
  10. Gurgaon, India

LinkedIn also found the top ten cities that attracted the smallest percentage of tech talent. Unfortunately, Nashville made the list as the third least popular city to attract technology talent. The full list is as follows:

  1. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, United States
  2. Paris, France
  3. Nashville, United States
  4. Cleveland/Akron, United States
  5. Las Vegas, United States
  6. New Delhi, India
  7. Madrid, Spain
  8. St. Louis, United States
  9. Washington D.C. Metro, United States
  10. Mumbai, India

The good news is organizations like the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Technology Council and Nashville Entrepreneur Center are all doing excellent work promoting the great people and companies in Music City.

Remember, LinkedIn's findings were from August 2014. I would bet we are in much better shape this year. How do you think we are doing recruiting talent to Nashville? Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

How does your city shape up? 

The Top 8 LinkedIn Skills in Nashville

Dave Delaney

At Futureforth our job is to make sure you are using LinkedIn effectively for your company. This is why we stay abreast of all of the latest tools LinkedIn has to offer, like the LinkedIn Economic Graph for example. I studied the graph and drilled down to find Nashville's top professional skills. Here are the eight most popular business categories of Nashville based professionals. Not surprisingly music and healthcare take the lead.

  1. Music Production
  2. Healthcare Management
  3. Theology
  4. Sales
  5. Marketing Event Management
  6. Insurance
  7. Social Media Marketing
  8. Microsoft Windows Systems

What are the top skills of your city?

How does your city compare? Use the map below to find out. Leave a comment with your city name and the most popular category.

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 to Grow Your Network With Internships

Dave Delaney

Erica RobertsStudents need to start building their networks before they graduate. I have written before why students need blogs, they also need to consider internships. Internships are the perfect way to get your feet in the door and find job opportunities. Even if a job does not come from an internship,  you will leave with a larger network and experience for your resume.

Erica Roberts was a social media intern at YouTern, a service that specializes in finding college students summer internships. Erica shares her lessons learned and tips about internships in this interview.

D - Hi Erica. Tell us a little about yourself.

E -  I am a social media coordinator for several brands, both large and small. I just founded Chatterbox Media LLC to expand upon this venture.

D - You wrote a great blog post recently about the importance of internships for students to grow their professional networks. Tell me  your story, how did you line up your internship?

E -  My first internship was found on an online job board. I have turned all of my internships into more permanent, paid positions.

How do I get an internship?

D - Where should students turn to find solid internships?

E -  The most valuable resource for students to use when searching for internships is their network. Utilizing LinkedIn is key for connecting and following up with professors and potential business contacts. Talk to professors and advisers in your major's department - show them the value you could bring to an organization (research papers and projects are great starting points) and tap into their network!

D - What do you think students need to focus on going into an internship?

E -  When starting your internship, remember that no task is beneath you. Sure, filing can be a drag and scheduling appointments for your manager might not have been in the job description, but make up for the menial tasks by taking care of them quickly and taking charge of higher priority projects. Also, don't forget to network!

Always be networking

D - What should students do when an internship is coming to an end?

E -  When your internship is ending, set up a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your accomplishments and review your progress. Make sure to stay in touch with the people you worked with after the internship ends - you never know what kinds of opportunities they may have for you in the future.

D - Do you have any additional tips about internships and networking for students?

E -  The biggest tip I have for students is to not underestimate themselves. You know more than you think you do, and if you work hard, good things will come. Also, always be networking. Have personal business cards with you at all times and when you go to places like coffee shops, look professional and approachable.

D - Thank you Erica. How can be people contact you?

E -  I can be contacted at erica at, or you can tweet me at @YouTernErica!

What about you?

What has your internship experience been like? Has it helped to grow your network? Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Levi Kennedy used Twitter to Get a Job

Dave Delaney

Levi KennedyHere is a short interview with Levi Kennedy, who found a job online by researching his local market and using Twitter to network. Remember that it took him a lunch to end up getting hired. Always be ready to meet in real life. It works for Facebook too. ;) D. Who are you and what do you do?

L. My name is Levi Kennedy, and I'm a software engineer. I currently work at a healthcare startup in Nashville.

D. You got your job from connecting on Twitter. How did this happen? What's the story?

L. I was in the market for a new job late September of 2010. I remembered that a local startup, Carl Says, had written their app in ruby, and so I DMed one of the co-founders, Matt Mueller, on Twitter to see if they were hiring. They weren't, but a few of them worked at another startup that was. I scheduled a lunch with Matt, and the rest is history!

D. What are your thoughts on developing online relationships and then meeting in real life?

L. I'm all for it. I've been making friends online since the 90s and have met up with a lot of them.

D. Thanks Levi. Where can people find you online?

L.Twitter: @levicole

How about you? 

Have you used Twitter to find a job, or Facebook to find your soul mate?

Persistence Gets You Everywhere

Dave Delaney

Tristan WalkerA little over two years ago, Tristan Walker, a soon-to-be second year Stanford Business School student, had an idea. He wanted to get a job working for the popular location based service, foursquare. He took a gamble and decided to write an email directly to the founders, Dens Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai. It took Tristan eight emails before Dens offered to meet him in New York. Tristan lied and said that he would be in NYC the next day, but he actually had to book a flight from Los Angeles to be there for the meeting.

a lot of folks ask me how Ive been able to secure some pretty cool spots at awesome companies and my answer is always the same. “be so enamored with the product that you would work for the company even if they didnt hire you….more importantly find where the needs are within the organization and be willing to do whatever it takes to help them fill the need (work for free even!)…and MOST importantly make sure that youre filling a need that the organization doesnt have the resources to fill on its own. If a company is not willing to let a hungry, passionate, smart, unpaid advocate of the product help the organization to fill that need (when it doesnt have the resources to do it itself) then you probably shouldnt be working at the company anyway. They’re just being arrogant”…Dennis and Naveen made pretty clear that their passion was with product (and theyre the best in the world at it). I knew i could help them (without much guidance and hand holding) to think through the business opportunities / potential for foursquare. And i did it for free (for 30 days at least :)). I gained their trust, which was most important. The past two years for me have been nothing short of amazing. Dennis/Naveen didnt have to but they gave me a shot and really did change my life. I owe those guys a ton and im truly appreciative of it all. Now, back to work…. :)

Tristan became Business Development VP for foursquare. He proved that persistence can get you very far. You can find his original email to the foursquare founders on his blog. It's a fun a read.

Do you know anyone who got a job from not giving up?

Photo from LinkedIn