Building Your Online Presence
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It is interesting how one word can morph into divergent meanings. For instance, if we talk about “profiling”, it is usually with a distinctly negative connotation – making an assumption that we are judging someone based on superficial and stereotypical notions. However, we use and look at “profiles” every day. With our Facebook and Instagram pages, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn company listings and personal bios, it’s all about our profile. Technology has turned every aspect of our professional and personal being into a potential profile.
So here is the critical question: Is your professional profile, your reputation, your personal brand, more widely known and valuable to you because of technology? If not, then you are likely behind your trading partners and the competition.
In an industry such as lumber trading, word-of-mouth reputation might have been enough to sustain your business 20 years ago. But in the vastness of a tech-enabled world and the opportunity ahead with technology for lumber trading, we must look at how we build and conduct relationships online.
Relationships, integrity, and trust matter in trading lumber. Honoring your commitments and words creates value for your colleagues, trading partners, and for yourself – that’s your profile in the industry. Yesler believes in building and enhancing that trust. And Yesler empowers you to build trust within the digital world, just as your predecessors did in the word-of-mouth era, before technology challenged their status quo. Your digital presence, “a profile”, can exemplify exceptional business practice and can present you as an exceptional business person and lumber trader. You and your integrity have value in Yesler beyond the commodity you trade. That’s why you are at the center of the trade, not just your lumber..
Individuals in our industry need to build their digital reputation, highlighting their scope within the LBM industry along with the products they can make available within the Marketplace. Building a digital reputation means establishing a respected identity, a trusted community and an exceptional online portfolio by the actions you take. Do you honor commitments? Do you ship on time? Do you value two-way give-and-take relationships? With so many examples of who you are, your accountability and successes, what should naturally emanate is the ability to incorporate all of your accomplishments and goals into an online presence that is tantamount to one’s professional reputation.
The lumber industry and its representatives and practices have largely been synonymous with the concepts of integrity and trust. The role of the wholesale lumber trader has been about solving problems and building trust to earn business. The new wave of traders are digital natives, a generation born with a digital device in front of them. Old-school practices still have meaning, and yet, with the increasing possibilities of the tech world, we can attract an entirely new demographic of future industry professionals who are attracted to digital profiles and the sharing of information in all forms. Their reputation will be built by the actions they take, validated and proven in a professional profile and not just the words others say about them.
Yesler recognizes that there is a constant interplay in our business model between automation and the human touch. We recognize, utilize, and maximize what can be done via technology – while embracing the essential quality of the personal experience that is borne from solid relationship building. Our approach demonstrates that a person is not replaced by an online profile, but that relationships and trust can be enhanced by a smart use of today’s technology. Deliberate planning is at the core of how best to provide online presence for Yesler users. There is no prerequisite of technological ability, only the desire to use a Yesler solution that facilitates the transition of one’s professional standing into the digital world.