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

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,988 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
How to tap the power of social software and networks to build your businessIn "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 inf ...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by John Wiley & Sons (first published April 3rd 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Chris Brogan
Jun 04, 2009 Chris Brogan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: businesspeople and marketers
I'm the author. I can't really review this, can I? I think it's pretty darned awesome. It's coming out at the end of August. I'd love to talk with you about it if you read it and/or like it. Heck, if you hate it, let's talk about that, too.
Hiten Samtani
Oct 27, 2010 Hiten Samtani rated it it was ok
Social media superstar Chris Brogan and digital media maven Julien Smith take a stab at the very complex issue of 'Trust' in this widely-lauded book. Unfortunately, it failed to resonate with me.

Usually if a book doesn't impress me, I don't write about it. You'll notice that most books I bother to review, I rate them at 4 and above.They've made a difference to me, and I want to share them with others. Scathing reviews are best left to professionals, my time is better spent writing about books th
Claudia Arroyo Valdez
Dec 30, 2014 Claudia Arroyo Valdez rated it really liked it
Chris Brogan and Julien Smith are trust agents in their bestseller, Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. The purpose of this book is to help, especially new authors or new businesses build a likeable brand and expand their online platform using techniques that might astound (some) businesses or brands already working on their online profiles: Be yourself. Be Genuine. Groundbreaking. No, really.

A few months ago I absolutely hated being online. I fe
Oct 10, 2009 Mari rated it liked it
This book is a how-to/handbook for getting traction online. I'm not sure I want to be so popular, but I guess the thinking behind why I should read this book is to get ideas for how to make my employer popular online.

Of course the "real" reason I bought (!) and read the book is because I like Chris Brogan, his blog and his attitude, which is the point of the book (be nice and people will like you and spread your message).

Page 190 "Words comprise only 7% of what is being communicated. Thus, thos
Oct 18, 2009 Justine rated it really liked it
Trust Agents fascinated me from the beginning, not just for the subject matter but the community that the authors were busy building around it months before it came out.

I was so charmed by the book's Facebook fan page -- in which Chris and Julien asked questions, sparked off conversations and made the dialogue about other people as much if not more than their product -- that I ended up buying a second copy just because I liked and trusted them.

So the marketing for the book became a demonstrat
Sep 27, 2009 Elise rated it really liked it
Wow. The weird thing is that "The Matrix" (the first one) was on today. Then when I picked up the book later, I was thinking: Weird, it's almost like The Matrix. And, wouldn't you know it (foreshadowing) Brogan refers to the Matrix. I think our world's about to change. Again.

Got to hear Chris in person last week and was awed by a guy some may think of as a mere blogger. Mere bloggers don't generate the kind of following that Chris does - well maybe the "kind of following" but definitely not the
Dec 10, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
A great book for a narrow audience. It is not basic enough for those just starting to get their head around the net and too basic for those who have been living in it, but is PERFECT for those who have been sitting around in the shallow end. This book may not show you step by step what do on the social web, but it really helps you refine who you want to be.

My only real "complaint" about the book is that I happen to be a regular reader of Chris' blog and am familiar with his voice, so it was occ
Allison Parker
I had the good fortune of seeing the authors, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, at the "Trust Agents" presentation at BookExpo America 2009, and I was immediately taken with that most valuable asset, which they both possess: "real-ness," by which I mean that they are approachable, human, down-to-earth. They seem to be the perfect duo to write a book called "Trust Agents"--I'd trust them in a heartbeat, in part because of this exhortation to the group assembled: "Be helpful. Be humble. Share." It mi ...more
Eric Ungs
Sep 17, 2009 Eric Ungs rated it liked it
Excellent read for those wanting to jump into this space but are a little hesitant. Chris and Julien do a nice job relating examples to the points they want to make. TRUST: This space is about creating trust whether it's between friends, new friends, potential clients, etc. Trust is the underlying factor that lets realtionships flourish. It's not about soliciting your service 24/7, it's about engagement and sharing value in which your audience can utilize. The sales will then follow because of t ...more
Belal Khan
Mar 17, 2015 Belal Khan rated it really liked it
Excellent book to help you get in the mindset of becoming a "trust agent" << someone who is a trailblazer, game changer, pioneer, navigator into new waters.

Great book on getting started on personal branding, or at least starting on your journey to define what makes you stand out.
Mar 05, 2010 Nick rated it it was amazing
Trust Agents is one of the 3 best books on the new social media, the other 2 being "Groundswell" and "The New Rules of Marketing and PR." If you're wondering whether or not to dip your toes into social media, this book will give you the orientation you need to proceed with aplomb.
Kevin Eikenberry
If you are a small business owner, marketer, interested in social media, public relations and using the web as a tool in any of those areas, you likely already know about the book. If so, hopefully you have already read it. If not, do not pass go, it absolutely must be on your reading list (and not just because it was a bestseller, though being able to talk intelligently about a bestseller in your field doesn’t hurt either).

Since I know many of you who read my writing aren’t in those areas, I wa
Faye Oney
Feb 17, 2016 Faye Oney rated it it was amazing
The Internet has made it easy to market your business to consumers, but not everyone is interested in your message. Social media veterans Chris Brogan and Julien Smith offer expert advice on becoming a trust agent by cultivating relationships online, building influence, and establishing your reputation. Social networks and online personal connections are far more influential on consumers than any marketing message. Marketers should become trust agents before they can expect to do business with t ...more
Julie Baylor
Dec 30, 2009 Julie Baylor rated it liked it
Interesting and worthwhile. I confess I was hoping for more,but maybe that's all there is to blogs and Social media. Well done!
Apr 14, 2010 KCLau rated it liked it
Trust had to be earned.
This book is too long. Some of the points are repeatedly emphasized.
Rob Warner
Jun 07, 2011 Rob Warner rated it really liked it
My generation hasn't embraced social media as fully as younger generations have. Some of my best friends refuse to sign up for Facebook, or only tepidly dip their toes in. Most don't tweet. Many of my developer coworkers don't Facebook, tweet, blog, or use github. We're still the anti-social tech generation, which I find curious.

The subtitle of this book describes its contents fairly; it's the "how to win friends and influence people" of the rising web-social generation. What happens on the Web
Marko Teräs
Feb 11, 2010 Marko Teräs rated it liked it
Shelves: social-media
Just finished this book today in a train and have to say that it was worth reading.

This is a book where Chris and Julien describe the things that get you forward with the whole social media or the [oh so forgotten term:] Web 2.0.

I like how they do it by introducing the thoughts behind the whole thing, but in the same time give hands-on advices how to behave and act in the digital world without getting beaten by the natives, or the potential customers.

There are good tips and pointers which vary f
Dennis Fischman
Jun 20, 2013 Dennis Fischman rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Benjamin Franklin famously said that you will catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. In Trust Agents , Chris Brogan and Julien Smith update Franklin for the digital age.

You can't force anyone to pay attention to your message. These days, there are just too many other things they could be doing. Even on broadcast TV, people changed channels to get away from ads. Now, there are more "channels" than ever, and many of them are online. People won't listen to you unless you give them a reason
Dec 28, 2009 Dufour rated it really liked it
This is a great book about the nature of trust networks and how they work on the modern internet. Brogan & Smith leverage their years as Web superstars to bring some extremely valuable insights actionable ideas to anybody looking to understand the currency of trust amongst online communities. Those most likely to benefit from this book include marketers, CEOs, business leaders, community organizers, fundraisers, and creative entrepreneurs.

Brogan has long been a proponent of brining humanity
Feb 02, 2010 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Chris Brogan is, in my mind, one of the great thinkers in the world of online marketing. He has teamed up with a technical and systems maestro, Julien Smith, to get readers thinking way beyond the software or the hype or the sale...these authors want us thinking about ways that people and companies and brands become known and trusted using modern Web tools. It's not just image anymore; it's transparency and authenticity. It's not just thinking about how to sell yourself, but how to solve problem ...more
Gene Babon
May 08, 2010 Gene Babon rated it really liked it
Shelves: strategy
Web 2.0 is about "joining the conversation" and Trust Agents provides a useful blueprint on the process. "Trust agents" are business professionals who understand this blueprint and use the Web to build business.

Trust agents are power users of the new tools of the Web and have established themselves as being non-sales-oriented, non-high-pressure marketers. One core concept to becoming a trust agent is to write everything online, where it is eternally visible to everyone. If the content has value,
Oct 24, 2012 Gabriela rated it it was amazing
In Trust Agents, Julien Smith and Chris Brogan reveal effective and practical ways to employ social networking sites to make your brand irresistible and to enhance your reputation. Trust is a big issue on the web and especially on social media but how do you get to influence your audience and to win their trust? Brogan and Smith show that by finding social network influencers (the trust agents) you can engage them, win their trust and in turn win over those who they influence.

I agree with the ke
Loy Machedo
Jul 17, 2012 Loy Machedo rated it really liked it
Loy Machedo’s Book Review - Trust Agents by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith

Those involved into the Social Media & Internet Market Circles – either for Educational Purposes or for Business would know Chris Brogan. I came to know about him from Tony Robbins’s Money Masters and from that point on, it was all about googling and discovering more about him.

Trust Agents is a book about being Internet Aware, Internet Savvy & Internet Smart especially given the unprecedented boom of Social Media
Casey Wheeler
Jan 29, 2013 Casey Wheeler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
I read this book (the updated version) by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith about 9 months ago and the themes in the book have stayed with me. It is written in an engaging and informative style that makes it difficult to put the book down. It is one of the first books to address how social media can be successfully used by businesses to interact with their customers.

The authors reveal over a series of chapters that to be a successful Trust Agent needs:
• Standing Out
• Belonging
• Leverage
• Networking
Doug Cornelius
Dec 17, 2014 Doug Cornelius rated it liked it
Are You Trying to be a Trust Agent?

Yes? Then you have probably already read at least part of Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust, the new book from Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.

Most likely, you are wondering what a “Trust Agent” is supposed to be.

“Trust agents have established themselves as being non-sales-oriented, non-high pressure marketers. Instead, they are digital natives using the web to be genuine and to humanize their business.”

The main pr
James Mowery
Chris Brogan did a great job with explaining what needs to be done to connect and network with people in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and other various online tools. His insights not only apply online, but also in face-to-face interactions as well.

While the middle of the book felt a little dry, the rest of the book was amazing, and it is certainly inspirational for those who are looking to get into networking for business or just for relationships.
Jul 13, 2010 John rated it liked it
Shelves: business, management, 2010
This book feels like it's directed towards older workers who have no idea how this who social media thing works and what the kids are doing on Facebook. For that audience it is great. I found the book used the right stories to explain how individuals can use this new medium to connect with others. Is there anything ground-breaking here? No. Thought-provoking? Maybe, depending on who you are. This became one of those airplane books that I read on flights to and from Toronto. And yes it was light ...more
Jan 31, 2015 Elaine rated it it was ok
I just came across some old notes I have from the time I picked up this book 5 years ago. I got as far as outlining the way I use my time (TV, radio, grocery shopping, cooking) -- but didn't follow through and do anything with this accounting. So I guess this book wasn't very helpful to me, especially as far as building my presence and influence on the web....
Shawn Williamson
Good read - generally. A tad repetitive covering a lot of the same territory from slightly different angles. Have never been a fan of name dropping and this book had a little too much for my liking.

Still I picked up a thing or 2 and this is a pretty new space so still a pretty good read ...
Sep 07, 2009 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those interesting in social media and influence marketing
Recommended to Jeffrey by: I believe Amazon did
The book opens with the story of Joe Pistone, aka Donnie Brasco. Authors Chris Brogan and Julien Smith describe how Pistone spent years infiltrating the mob by establishing a reputation and earning trust. The level of influence his was able to exert on the organization eventual helped the FBI put over 100 mobsters in jail with him as its star witness. But they ask the question, would the Donnie Brascoâs cover be possible with the access to information the web provides everyone today? Their book ...more
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Chris Brogan consults and speaks professionally with Fortune 100 and 500 companies like PepsiCo, General Motors, Microsoft, and more, on the future of business communications, and social software technologies. He is a New York Times bestselling co-author of Trust Agents , and a featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur Magazine. Chris’s blog ( is in the Top 5 of the Ad ...more
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