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

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  6,205 ratings  ·  132 reviews
The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller-now in a new, updated paperback edition Today's online influencers are Web natives who trade in trust, reputation, and relationships, using social media to accrue the influence that builds up or brings down businesses online. In Trust Agents, two social media veterans show you how to tap into the power of social network ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published August 23rd 2010 by Wiley (first published April 3rd 2009)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  6,205 ratings  ·  132 reviews


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Chris Brogan
Jun 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Hiten Samtani
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
...more
Rebecca Lee
Even 8 years down the road, the advice in this book applies. The tools have changed, but it will always be important to focus on helping others on the path to influence and prosperity. It was a bit vague and could have used some more supporting case studies, but was fairly solid information. I listened to the audio book and took a while to get through it because the authors' voices were a bit dry, forced and rushed. A good read, especially if you're stuck in old patterns and need a different way ...more
Justine
Aug 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Claudia Arroyo Valdez
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
...more
Mari
Oct 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Elise
Sep 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
Michael
Dec 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Eric Ungs
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
Jessie Clemence
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trust Agents taught me things I don't think I'll learn anywhere else. For example, I didn't realize that comments actually make a difference in building relationships on other people's blogs. It completely makes sense, but I needed someone to spell it out for me.

As of today I'm halfway through the book, but it's due back to the library soon. I'm going to have to buy it and mark up all the important sections about building honest relationships before pitching products. It will be a worthwhile pu
...more
Nick
Mar 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Belal Khan
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Julie Baylor
Interesting and worthwhile. I confess I was hoping for more,but maybe that's all there is to blogs and Social media. Well done! ...more
KCLau
Apr 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trust had to be earned.
This book is too long. Some of the points are repeatedly emphasized.
Peter
So, the issues presenting in the introduction, p45, p70, p73, p98, p110, p190, p193, p229 and p245 can be addressed at,in an appropriate time, setting.

#aphids -p57, p58, p59, p60, p63, p64, p65, p66, p75, p76, p79, p81, p82, p85, p87, p89, p91, p93, p96, p97, p99, p100, p101, p102, p104, p105, p108, p110, p112, p113, p114, p115, p117, p118, p121, p122, p126, p129, p130, p183, p184, p186, p187, p188, p189, p192, p193, p194, p195, p196, p197, p198, p204, p205, p206, p210, p213, p219, p221, p222, p
...more
Anthony Tenaglier
Building trust on the internet. A medium of social interaction that isn’t going away anytime soon. The authors suggest that as readers, the book is about action and the reader shouldn’t simply “collect recipes”, but must learn to “run the restaurant”. The irony is that online use, feeds narcissism and depression. We only digest what we are craving. Online is like an all you can eat buffet with no concern for who is at your table while you eat, but rather how many random people you can get to lik ...more
Kathleen
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trust Agents taught me things I don't think I'll learn anywhere else. For example, I didn't realize that comments actually make a difference in building relationships on other people's blogs. It completely makes sense, but I needed someone to spell it out for me.

As of today I'm halfway through the book, but it's due back to the library soon. I'm going to have to buy it and mark up all the important sections about building honest relationships before pitching products. It will be a worthwhile pu
...more
Chloë Forbes-Kindlen
I got a lot out of this book. One of the key quotes from this book for me was, ‘We are all selling something.’

That’s true.

We need to be aware of that and use it to be intentional in how we show up in the world, how we has our voice and how we contribute in meaningful ways that build trust in all of our relationships.

I really appreciated the way Chris and Julien addressed common objections and specialist industries here.

I think everyone should take the time to read/listen to this book and fully
...more
Rahim
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read it previously and again recently. It has held up surprisingly well.
Bart Van Bos
Strugled to finish it as the book sometimes lacks clear structure and jumps from one idea onto another. My favourite chapter was the one about leverage and arbitrage (the Archimedes effect).
Lisa M.
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best early book on social media marketing.
Doug Cornelius
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
...more
Eunice
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Dennis Fischman
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 reas
...more
Loy Machedo
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 and today i
...more
Du4
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 to t
...more
Casey Wheeler
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Gene Babon
Jan 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
...more
Elizabeth
Aug 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-business
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
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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 (http://www.chrisbrogan.com) is in the Top 5 of the ...more

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  In most romances, a romp in the hay comes after many chapters of meeting cute, silent pining, and steamy banter. Not so for books that...
32 likes · 6 comments
“If you are trying to use the Web to sell, making friends with someone doesn’t equate to becoming a prospect. It is essential to understand the difference, or you’ll find yourself without either friends or prospects very quickly. • Becoming friends means we’ve accepted your network connection. It means we’re at least curious about who you are. • Consider “friends” to mean that you can pay attention to what we’re doing, and try to find a conversational entry point. • Marketing to a new friend will almost always result in unfriending—and possibly an angry blog post.” 0 likes
“If you are trying to use the Web to sell, making friends with someone doesn’t equate to becoming a prospect. It is essential to understand the difference, or you’ll find yourself without either friends or prospects very quickly. • Becoming friends means we’ve accepted your network connection. It means we’re at least curious about who you are. • Consider “friends” to mean that you can pay attention to what we’re doing, and try to find a conversational entry point. • Marketing to a new friend will almost always result in unfriending—and possibly an angry blog post. It’s simple: This is like saying hi at a party to someone you don’t exactly know. It’s a good start, but what you say next is probably more important.” 0 likes
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