25 Oct 09

Trust Agents is written by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

First off, this was the first book I read “cover to cover” on my Kindle 1 (Kindle gifted to me by my good friend Devri Owen).   As for my Kindle experience, I think more time should have been spent by the publisher to ensure proper formatting of the Kindle version.  It appeared that much of the book was “centered” with the exception of some excerpts which had a significant left indent, leaving 1/3 of the left side of the page blank, which you couldn’t entirely understand why in the Kindle.

So, about the book and content.  I loved it.  But I’m heavily involved already in Social Media.  So, because of the amazing relationships I’ve already built using Social Media, I felt this book perfectly worded my experience.  Of course I’m going to love a book that expresses my own experience.  :)

The big thing about this book for me was simply explaining that it didn’t matter what online tool you were using (twitter, Facebook, etc.), this book is about connect with people using these tools.  It’s about building relationships and becoming a Trust Agent.

One of my favorite messages in the book refers to the “One of Us” mentality. “One of Us” refers to the group of social media fanatics which, if you operate by the methods explained in the book, you get to become “One of Us” and accepted into the inner circle.  Once in the inner circle, you have new social responsibilities.  Perhaps more importantly for this message was that instead of being seen as another corporate sales person you’re “One of Us” by contributing to the overall success of everyone participating.  You connect with people for the sake of helping them accomplish what they need, instead of just reaching out to accomplish the sales needs of your company.

What I loved most about the book was the writing style.  I love reading blogs because people talk like people and not like corporate types.  That’s how this book was written.  It’s written in a very casual blog style.  Writing in this style helps the reader personally identify with the writers.

I work in the legal field (Accounting Manager for Summit Law Group).  So, as you may not know, trying new things in the legal field is very suspect to those around you.  Especially when you operate by the “Trust Agent” standards of just meeting people, trying to connect with them, helping them out with things, all while not forcing your own business down their throat.  So, I am often asked how my social media involvement helps my firm (usually by those outside my firm).  I often have to explain that I love helping people connect with others.  I’ve met HUNDREDS of the people that I tweet with and those folks I consider good friends.  I know that if/when they need legal services they will contact me to see if I know of someone (inside my organization or other) who can help them with their issues.  They contact me for a few different reasons.  MOSTLY because I’ve built a “One of Us” relationship with them where they feel I’m a friend and can be trusted for such a reference.  Although I have hundreds of Social Media contacts, I have even MORE contacts in the local legal community and will work very hard to help them find the counsel they need to solve their issue.

If you are already using Twitter (in specific, although Chris and Julien avoid specifying the online tools), this book will help you enhance relationships on Twitter.  It’s excellent at reminding you that people connect with people, not businesses.  A business who is involved with Social Media will never be a trust agent (my words not theirs).  A business might be a source of information.  But people connect with people.

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.

If you have a Kindle, pick up this book here at Amazon.com or you can buy the hard-copy book also at Amazon.com


Filed under: Social Media

Trackback Uri

  • http://www.wac6.typepad.com William Carleton

    Richard, the very style of your review exemplifies the type of plugged-in, transparent and communal lifestyle you envision and live. You are one of my key models. I hope the “one of us” phenomenon will change mainstream commerce soon enough!

  • Susan

    Enjoyed your book review on Trust Agents – I saw Chris at Izeafest and he is so down to Earth, great speaker as well.

  • Susan

    Enjoyed your book review on Trust Agents – I saw Chris at Izeafest and he is so down to Earth, great speaker as well.

  • Pingback: Top 10 Twitter Tips for Getting a Jump on the Madness… | The Legal Hokey-Pokey