Yesterday I had the good fortune to chat with Chris Brogan about his and co-author Julien Smith’s book Trust Agents. We talked about why it’s important for businesses to become trust agents (and enable their employees to do so); the changing nature of the web and its effect on HR; how to deal with clients that break trust agent rules; and a heck of a lot more.
Through the wonders of technology, if you missed it yesterday you can now listen to it back in all its semi-live tech glitches glory (look out for the 4-minute intro music and phone cut-off 2/3 in – fun!). Or, you can download the iTunes version for later listening. OR… thanks to the ever-resourceful John Haydon, download the edited mp3 without the major tech issues! The options are at the end of the post.
Speaking of Trust Agents…
Trust Agents – A Review
It’s pretty weird reviewing a book by someone you’re connected with on a “more than just professionally” level. On the one hand, you might get called biased if it’s a positive review; on the other you could be tempted to try find faults simply because of the friendship, and you don’t want to be seen as biased.
Thankfully Chris and Julien take away that “weirdness” by making Trust Agents such an enjoyable read.
If you already read Chris’s blog or Julien’s blog, you’ll know that they both share great resources and actionable information, yet always in a friendly, conversational way. Trust Agents is no different.
Primarily a book about doing business on the social web (both professionally and personally), Trust Agents is more about a state of mind than a business plan. Sure, you can use the points raised in each of the book’s eight chapters to help put together a business plan – but the real juice lies with the way you put that plan together.
Taking its cue from how creatives have worked for the last 50 years – push marketing, email blasting, monotone advertising – Trust Agents introduces a new way to go after the same eyeballs: trust, relationships, people. Find the people, build the trust and the relationship will come. Then keep building that trust and relationship.
People have gotten smarter. We have an open window of information that we can look at every single day. We don’t need to believe a message just because it’s all we’re presented with; now we can go out and find all the other messages about that person, company or pitch as well. And that’s changed the game completely.
Trust Agents offers you a way to play that game and be a contender. It won’t show you how to make $50 million in wine sales like Gary Vaynerchuk; it won’t show you how to be an ideas guy like Ted Murphy of IZEA. But… it will show you how to start building toward that, and how leveraging trust and great people around you will lead to your influence and reach growing while hopefully not pissing off too many people on the way.
There are a couple of areas that seemed to contradict a little; early on, the book mentions that you “shouldn’t be that guy” – don’t pitch from the off, don’t be the constant salesperson. Then, further in, it’s almost as if the book says, “Don’t be that guy unless you can do it well.” But, these are minor quibbles.
This isn’t a traditional review; you’ve probably garnered that. That’s because everyone will take something different from a book like Trust Agents. Instead, what it is is a slight overview, a complementary piece to the chat with Chris on BlogTalk Radio yesterday. Do I recommend the book? Wholeheartedly.
Listen to what Chris has to say about the book and more. Decide if he’s talking sense. And if he is, check out the book itself – I think you’ll enjoy.
Note – the copy I reviewed was sent by the publishers Wiley (thanks to Kathryn Jennex for arranging), but I’ve bought a copy to support Chris and Julien’s efforts. The Amazon link in this post is an affiliate link.