Trust Agents Book Summary - Trust Agents Book explained in key points
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Trust Agents summary

Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust

17 mins

Brief summary

Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith is a guide to building relationships and trust online. It provides actionable advice for using social media and other digital tools to connect with people and establish yourself as a trusted authority in your field.

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    Trust Agents
    Summary of 9 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 9

    The internet has spawned a new kind of marketer: trust agents.

    We all know how profoundly the emergence of the internet has affected our daily lives, but how should marketing techniques adapt to this major shift?

    The most obvious effect is that the increased availability of information has led people to be less trustful of companies and products.

    Just a few decades ago we tended to trust advertisements and salespeople – we had no choice. They were pretty much the only sources of information about products. These days, however, we can do our own research via Google, so we don’t need to trust advertisers anymore.

    However, even in these distrustful times, there are still some individuals who are trusted by their customers, and are thus very influential: trust agents.

    Though trust agents represent companies or products, they build up trust by being knowledgeable, yet also warm, human and community oriented. This is especially true in the realm of new technologies, where trust agents use their expertise to show customers how they can use new, unknown technologies to better their lives.

    Trust agents generally build up their influence over the web.

    For example, let’s say you want to become a trust agent. To get started, you set up a public blog about your field of expertise, e.g., digital photography. This allows you to share your expertise with potentially millions of photographers, and since you wouldn’t be selling anything, they would also see you as trustworthy.

    But even though trust agents don’t really sell things, at the end of the day they are marketers and able to spot business opportunities that they can take advantage of thanks to the social capital they have built up.

    For example, if your photography blog has lots of followers, you have social capital: People know you, respect you and are grateful to you for sharing. One way you could capitalize on this would be to publish an e-book based on your blog, as your loyal followers would probably be happy to buy it.

    In the following blinks, let’s look at some of the key traits of trust agents and how you can emulate them.

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    What is Trust Agents about?

    Trust Agents describes how anyone can use the web to become a trust agent – meaning someone who is well-versed in the tools of the web and who is very influential and trusted because of this.

    Trust Agents Review

    Trust Agents (2009) by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith is a book that explores how to build trust and influence online. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Insightful analysis: The authors dissect what it takes to establish credibility in the digital age, offering valuable strategies and tactics.
    • Real-world examples: The book provides numerous case studies that demonstrate how trust can be leveraged for business and personal success.
    • Practical tips: The authors offer actionable advice on utilizing social media platforms and digital tools to effectively connect with and engage audiences.

    Best quote from Trust Agents

    In a way, the web is like your Hollywood agent: it speaks for you whenever youre not around to comment.

    —Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
    example alt text

    Who should read Trust Agents?

    • Anyone who wants to understand what successful marketing looks like in the internet age
    • Anyone who wants to greatly expand their influence

    About the Author

    Chris Brogan is a well-known American blogger, journalist and marketing consultant. Julien Smith is a consultant, speaker and CEO of the start-up Breather, a company that rents out rooms for work and relaxation.


    © Chris Brogan: Trust Agents copyright 2010, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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    Trust Agents FAQs 

    What is the main message of Trust Agents?

    Building trust online is crucial for success in the digital age.

    How long does it take to read Trust Agents?

    The estimated reading time for Trust Agents varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Trust Agents a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Trust Agents is worth reading as it provides valuable insights into building trust and relationships online.

    Who is the author of Trust Agents?

    Trust Agents was written by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.

    What to read after Trust Agents?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Trust Agents, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey with Rebecca R. Merrill
    • Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom
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    • Elite Sales Strategies by Anthony Iannarino
    • Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
    • Your First Million by Arlan Hamilton
    • The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
    • How to Become a Straight-A Student by Cal Newport
    • Why is Sex Fun? by Jared Diamond
    • The Power to Change by Campbell Macpherson