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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: personal branding

How to Reinvent Yourself

Dave Delaney

In a study a few months ago, CareerBuilder.com and research firm, Harris Interactive, found that 21% of full-time employees wanted to change their jobs last year. A typical U.S. employee stays in their job for 4.6 years.

Staying at the same company for the rest of your life is no longer likely. Changes can occur for many reasons. You could be the victim of a layoff or your employer could go out of business. Perhaps the time has come for you to choose to leave your job, because you are no longer satisfied. Maybe you're bored and ready for a new career in an area you are truly passionate about. As we change careers, we face an opportunity to reinvent ourselves.

Dorie Clark is a strategy consultant, speaker, and contributor to Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. Clark is also the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future and the new, Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It. I spoke with her in episode fifty of my podcast, New Business Networking Radio, where she shared helpful advice if you are preparing for career reinvention.

How to Reinvent Yourself

The most important thing is to get clear on your own narrative and to express it to your network. Clark stressed, if you don't explain why you're embarking on a transition, people could assume the worst, like you are going through a mid-life crisis or you are not loyal.

Highlight the strengths you have gained from your employer or career to this point. Share how your knowledge will add value in your new career direction. By doing this, your network will become your ambassadors and will help lead you to your new employer, customers and clients.

In my interview with Clark, she provided helpful insight in sharing your new transition when attending networking events. She pointed out that some people may object or "block" your new career path. For example, you may plan to move from sales to human resources. Someone may rebuke your decision and ask how you can possibly shift your career from two completely different areas. It's up to you to explain how you learned so much about people from sales and that you can bring that unique expertise to benefit human resources. You need to prepare to provide the answers to clearly explain your move.

A wonderful way to help you share your story is in content creation. This could come in the form of email newsletters, blog posts and articles. Clark stressed the importance of inbound marketing for your personal brand. That's why I launched Futureforth, to help you with this.

Read and become knowledgeable in your new career area. Write about what you learn publicly and be sure it is valuable to your readers. Share it openly and over time people will seek you out. If you're considering a career pivot, now is the time to start a blog (here's my tutorial to help you).

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean newspaper.

How Your Personal Brand Helps Networking

Dave Delaney

John Morgan Brand Against the MachineJohn Morgan is the gifted, best-selling author of Brand Against the Machine: How to Build Your Brand, Cut Through the Marketing Noise, and Stand Out from the Competition. In my interview he shares so much wisdom about personal branding, that it is a must read for anyone trying to break out of the clutter. D - Who are you and what do you do?

J - I like to think of myself as a brand architect and raconteur. I help entrepreneurs and businesses stand out, create a great customer experience, and strengthen the relationship they have with their customers and audience. I do that through consulting, speaking, and my book Brand Against The Machine.

D - How has networking helped to shape your career?

J - The impact has been incredible. I got serious about networking in 2008. Since then my business has more than tripled. It has lead to new clients, speaking gigs, and a book deal. But let me say that networking doesn't come easily for me. I have to make a concentrated effort and get outside of my comfort zone at times. I'm not one who loves to go to events or get out and meet new people. But the results of doing that are so beneficial for my business that I make it a big part of my plan.

D - You literally wrote the book on branding. How does personal branding fit in with professional networking?

J - Your brand is your reputation. The bigger and better your brand is, the more people want to network with you. Opportunities begin to seek you out. If your personal brand has very little visibility or is basically unknown, then getting out and networking is a critical piece to changing that. Once you've started networking with people, the opinions they form of you reflect your brand. The more people like you and the stronger the relationship they have with you, the more they'll support your business.

D - In your book you wrote, "The only people who stand out are those who want to." Do you think we should all strive to stand out? What are some good ways to do so?

Consistency is the Key

J - YES! All businesses and entrepreneurs have to fight through obscurity. We must find ways to stand out or we risk failure. To do that you need to focus on distinction. What makes you or your business different from everyone else? If you can't think of anything then take a look at everything your competition never does, and then do the never. Also, standing out once or twice isn't enough. Consistency is the key. Help people consistently. Communicate and engage consistently. Create content consistently.

D - How do you balance your online and offline relationships? How do you keep up?

J - Truthfully, I'm much better at it online than offline. I keep a list of people in my core network. These are people who are friends, but are also in a position to create opportunities for me and support my business. Every day I reach out to 3-5 of them, just to say Hi. By the end of the month, I've made contact with everyone. Then I start all over again. There's nothing worse than contacting someone you haven't spoke with in 8 months and then act like the relationship is important to you.

D - Do you have any final thoughts about business networking?

J - Don't judge a person or an event until you've met them or attended. You never know who will be there or who is in a position to help you. I once attended a networking breakfast (Geek Breakfast!) where only six people showed up. It would have been very easy to write it off as a waste of time. As it turned out three of those six became long-term clients and one of the others has provided me with many PR opportunities.

D - Thanks John. How can people contact you?

People can find me at my blog JohnMichaelMorgan.com. They can also get 3 free chapters of Brand Against The Machine at BrandAgainstTheMachine.com.