Book Review: Trust Agents

Are you a Trust Agent?Agent, Trust Agent.  I feel so James Bond.  Like Sean Connery in Goldfinger; not like Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights.  But I disgress, I am writing to recommend the book that I just finished entitled, “Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust” by  Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.  At Amazon there is a very accurate description of the book’s contents:

[From Amazon.com]

How to tap the power of social software and networks to build your business

In Trust Agents, two social media veterans show you how to tap into the power of social networks to build your brand’s influence, reputation, and, of course, profits. Today’s online influencers are web natives who trade in trust, reputation, and relationships, using social media to accrue the influence that builds up or brings down businesses online.

The book shows how people use online social tools to build networks of influence and how you can use those networks to positively impact your business. Because trust is key to building online reputations, those who traffic in it are “trust agents,” the key people your business needs on its side.

  • Delivers actionable steps and case studies that show how social media can positively impact your business
  • Written by authors with over ten years of online media experience
  • Shows you how to build and wield influence online to benefit your brand
  • Combines high-level theory with practical step-by-step guidance

If you want your business to succeed, don’t sit on the sidelines. Instead, use the Web to build trust with your consumers using Trust Agents.

Read more at Amazon.com…

Why you should read Trust Agents

There are three reasons that I think you should take the time to read this book:

1.  Chris Brogan and Julien Smith present a wonderful framework or blueprint for behaving, acting, and interacting on social networks.  Although I wanted them to discuss more of the tools/technologies they use on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to manage their social media networks they purposely left this information out.  The purpose of the book is to help you leverage social media channels for your brand and they offer more theory than discussion of tools.  The tools can change but the ideas offered in the book remain timeless.  The idea behind Web 2.0 and social media is engagement and not which tool you use today to tweet.

2.  As I read the book I couldn’t help notice the undercurrent of advice with regard to “how” to act and “why” you should act that way in your work with branding and social media.  The book serves as a text book for social media etiquette which can be especially helpful as you begin your journey with social media.  I guarantee that you will find this book invaluable as you begin listening to social media channels and will be something that you will consult again and again in your work.

3.  It was refreshing to see that Chris Brogan (and I’m sure Julien) practice what they preach.  Let me explain: Toward the end of the book Chris and Julien make the point that the information in their book isn’t static and would only be prefectly relevant if you purchased their book in the first week of printing.  They mention that if you did they “owe you a cookie.”  Well just for fun I sent this tweet after I finished Trust Agents:

Trust Agents Tweet from @SchneiderB

And a few hours later I received this tweet in return from Chris:

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Brogan Tweet - Trust Agents

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty cool if you ask me!  Did I also mention that I have never met or communicated with Chris prior to these tweets.  I found these tweets a wonderful, real-world example of the power of social media: making connections and engaging, as well as an author following his own advice.  Keep up the great work Chris and Julien and I have begun my journey toward 00 status.

I would love to hear from other people who have read the book and have examples of social media at work.  It would also be great to hear from any Trust Agents out there.  By the way, Chris and Julien, do you drink Martini’s?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • jcmc

    Amen! And I just purchased his new release “Social Media 101″…the man gets it. Brogan rules :)

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      jcmc,
      I too am excited for the new book. Have you started it yet? What are you initial thoughts?
      Thanks!

  • jcmc

    Amen! And I just purchased his new release “Social Media 101″…the man gets it. Brogan rules :)

  • http://www.brendanschneider.com Brendan Schneider

    jcmc,
    I too am excited for the new book. Have you started it yet? What are you initial thoughts?
    Thanks!

  • jcmc

    I read Trust Agents cover to cover this summer, along with Tribes and the Whuffie Factor. I imagine SM 101 will be a great refresher for the basics in Brogan’s language, which I love. His delivery hooks me every time!

  • jcmc

    I read Trust Agents cover to cover this summer, along with Tribes and the Whuffie Factor. I imagine SM 101 will be a great refresher for the basics in Brogan's language, which I love. His delivery hooks me every time!

  • http://www.polarunlimited.com/digital-health-check stevecunningham

    Brendan – great review. I agree – Chris really walks the walk, which is no small feat given the demands on his time.

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Thanks for the comment Steve.

  • http://www.polarunlimited.com/digital-health-check stevecunningham

    Brendan – great review. I agree – Chris really walks the walk, which is no small feat given the demands on his time.

  • http://www.brendanschneider.com Brendan Schneider

    Thanks for the comment Steve.

  • http://www.polarunlimited.com/digital-health-check stevecunningham

    Brendan – great review. I agree – Chris really walks the walk, which is no small feat given the demands on his time.

  • http://www.brendanschneider.com Brendan Schneider

    Thanks for the comment Steve.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    Seems like it’d be lame if we wrote about that and then didn’t follow through.

    We don’t use any tricks to find it, except for scanning Twitter for the words “trust agents.” So, some times, it’ll be a bit late, because you know… it’s not like Twitter is our life. : ) But I’m glad I was there to catch it.

    Thanks for the review. We did what we could. : )

    (Oh, and Social Media 101 is so-so. It doesn’t read well in book format to most people, I’m told. Too jumbly.)

    • http://www.brendanschneider.com Brendan Schneider

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Chris. It means alot! I’m actually reading Social Media 101 right now and plan to review that book soon. I actually think it does read well but serves a more directed, specific purpose. Thanks again!

  • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

    Seems like it’d be lame if we wrote about that and then didn’t follow through.

    We don’t use any tricks to find it, except for scanning Twitter for the words “trust agents.” So, some times, it’ll be a bit late, because you know… it’s not like Twitter is our life. : ) But I’m glad I was there to catch it.

    Thanks for the review. We did what we could. : )

    (Oh, and Social Media 101 is so-so. It doesn’t read well in book format to most people, I’m told. Too jumbly.)

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Chris. It means alot! I’m actually reading Social Media 101 right now and plan to review that book soon. I actually think it does read well but serves a more directed, specific purpose. Thanks again!

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