Trust Agents | Chris Brogan

Summary of: Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust
By: Chris Brogan


The internet has profoundly impacted our lives and how we perceive companies and advertisements. With easy access to information, trust in traditional advertising has dwindled. Step in trust agents – representatives of companies and products who build trust through their expertise, warmth, and community engagement. The book ‘Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust’ by Chris Brogan teaches you to capitalize on this shift, exploring ways to become influential in both online and offline spaces. Key elements discussed include using real-life game techniques for success, building personal credibility, harnessing new technologies as leverage, creating networks, and advancing the ethical use of online tools.

Marketing in the Age of Distrust

In this age of information overflow, people have become less trusting of companies and products. Enter the concept of “trust agents,” individuals who represent products but build trust by being knowledgeable, human, and community-oriented. These agents gain influence over the web through public blogs and social media, where they share their expertise with others without selling anything. Trust agents are able to capitalize on their social capital through business opportunities such as publishing e-books or offering consultancy services. This book explores the key traits of trust agents and how to emulate them in the new technology-driven marketing landscape.

Game Your Life

See life as a game with clear goals, friendly competition, hackability, and creative rule-making for success.

Have you ever found yourself stressed out while at work? Or maybe you felt like achieving success in real life is much tougher than playing a game. Well, have you ever considered seeing life as a game? The good news is that certain elements of games can teach you how to succeed in real life.

The first lesson from games is the importance of defining clear goals, like reaching a certain number of points. You can apply this in real life by setting similar clear goals for yourself, such as reaching 10,000 followers on your blog within a year.

Secondly, competition is also an essential element of most games. You need to get competitive in real life too, pushing yourself to perform better and be the best among your peers. Remember, it’s not about wanting your competitors to do badly, but doing your best to outdo them.

Thirdly, experienced players find hidden codes and tricks in games that allow them to score more points. You can apply this in real life by questioning the rules and finding ways to hack them. For example, if your job has a strict rule about office hours, think about whether it’s really necessary. You could suggest to your boss that working from home wouldn’t affect your productivity and could save you commuting time.

Finally, the biggest rewards come from making your own game with your own rules. In real life, this means taking risks and trying something new. It might be a bit risky, but the potential payoff could be huge, just like when Twitter revolutionized online communications by reducing them to text message length.

Remember, game your life by setting clear goals, being competitive, finding hacks, and creating your own rules. With these elements in place, you can successfully achieve your goals and thrive in real life.

Building Personal Credibility

Traditional marketing methods are no longer effective in today’s online community. To promote a product, it is essential to become a trusted part of the community by forging personal connections and building personal credibility. This involves being active in the community, providing innovative and proactive customer service, and supporting up-and-coming bloggers. The focus should be on delivering value to the community rather than personal gain. In fact, being honest and critical about one’s own product can increase trust and influence in the long run. Companies such as Comcast have successfully generated positive word-of-mouth by actively engaging with their community. By following these principles, one can build personal credibility and promote their product on the side, rather than trying to force it upon others.

The Power of Leverage in the Digital Age

In this summary, we learn that technology functions as leverage and can help us do things better, more quickly, and more efficiently. Trust agents use the internet’s biggest potential for leverage by sharing their expertise on blogs and forums to reach millions of people easily. To take advantage of this leverage, one can start building channels – online relationships with large groups of people to communicate with. When they have a product or cause to market, they can use their Twitter or other social media followers as leverage to maximize their impact.

Become Your Network’s Agent Zero

To spread new ideas throughout networks, become an agent zero. By selflessly helping those in your network and expanding to other agent zeroes, you can establish and build networks. To become an influential music blogger, increase your visibility online, secure attention by introducing yourself to those you’d like to meet, and build authority.

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