Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

 

2517 Lebanon Road
Nashville
USA

615-823-1608

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: students

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 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. I run a private group for networking professionals you should join us.

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 Zite, 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.com 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

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 chatterbox-media.com, 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.

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