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