Part 5 – By Ron Pestone
Finally we come to the internet. What a great tool. Now you can look up and research anything. The internet really helps you in making intelligent buying decisions. I have a hard time remembering how I worked before it was around. It’s like the cell phone. Years ago I thought the beeper was a great advance. Today we all have the ability to stay in contact with all in our individual worlds 24/7 and it is the fool who isn’t connected. The people who don’t are the same people who could not understand the need for electricity when there were candles and the kerosene lanterns available.
In my opinion one of the best features of the internet is social media. There is Facebook, LinkedIn, Goggle+, Twitter, Manta and a host of other sites where you have the ability to reach out to millions who are in the same business you are. You can share ideas, information, knowledge and the latest technology. LinkedIn offers Discussions and Promotions in groups that have the same interests as you. You can learn how others solved the same problems you have; find out what the best Project Management or Accounting software package available are; or what is hot in the market. It is all just a click away.
Unfortunately way too many contractors are click shy and while they might join some groups on the internet they are very slow to become involved. Of all the groups out there I think contractors are one of the slowest groups to click in and Network. They approach clicking like the thought of giving up their first born and that is a shame.
While I belong to different social media networks from a business point of view I find LinkedIn to be the one most focused on business. On LinkedIn I belong to the max amount of groups  with over 1 million members. Over the last year I have participated in numerous Discussions and Promotions and have followed many others. I have made new business friends, learned an amazing amount of things and shared what I know. In the same period I have acquired over 5,000 1st connections and have met many interesting and helpful people. Of all the 1st connections I have made I have found the most difficult to make were with contractors. Many like Recruiters, Social Marketers, etc. are quick to click and just as quick to Network. Contractors on the other hand equate clicking and Networking with an IRS Audit. I just want them to know, IT JUST AIN’T SO. With all the contractors I have connected with it has been a two way street and I am grateful for every click.
I urge ever contractor, supplier and construction professional to give up the horse and get a horseless carriage. Join the conversation and profit from it. The internet and social media is the wave of the future and you need to be part of it. You are going to get a lot more out of joining and sharing than you will be giving. In the end as a contractor you will not only be helping to make your bottom line better you will be contributing to making the industry better. And that is better for everybody.
Don’t Forget: We Build America