Review of Trust Agents: Using The Web To Build Influence by Chris Brogan

Most people who are on twitter know the social media expert, Chris Brogan. He writes a pretty popular blog and has some great advice for marketing in new media. I bought Chris’s Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust a few months back and was finally able to get to it. (Yea I  know, I read like a million books a week it seems).

My review is a bit mixed. On one hand, I think it contains some great information and was written in an easy to understand matter with some clear” to-dos”. However, I also found several things in it I didn’t like and those are outlined in the cons section. Let’s start by looking at the contents and general synopsis of the book.

Contents

  • Trust, Social Capital and Media
  • Make Your Own Game
  • One of Us
  • Archimedes Principle
  • Agent Zero
  • Human Artist
  • Build an Army
  • The Trust Agent

The synopsis

Trust Agents is about how to build your business on the internet without wasting money on ads or ticking people off with endless “me-meme” posts we seem to see everywhere. It teaches you how to engage and talk to your target audience and how helping them out helps you out in turn. It also examples why being on the web is so important today – although I don’t think there are very many people left who don’t realize how important it is. The book also discusses how to be a trust agent and how to staff your company with them as well.

Pros

  • The book was easy to read and didn’t contain much filler, so it was also a pretty quick read.
  • Contained up-to-date information on building your brand and gaining the trust of your audience.
  • The examples used were great and included many companies I knew about, so I could relate well to them.
  • I really liked the action items Chris outlined for us to do. It’s a nice change from theory books that never tell you exactly what to do.

Cons

  • I knew a lot about what Chris wrote about already – but that could be just because I’ve already done a lot of reading in the area.
  • Chris makes some…political statements…that really bothered me. Yes this was his book, but I feel like taking a “poke” at a political party where it did was random, unnecessary, childish and it just made no sense what-so-ever to put that line in there. It’s like me writing a book about CSS, then randomly mentioning in one random line that “dogs bite.” My response was…WHAT? And it really broke my concentration on what he was trying to say. Yes, you can say I’m really into politics and I really do care. Most people probably won’t notice it…just wanted to give you warning.

Is this book for you?

If you’re new to social media, the online world or have no reputation on the web (you’re invisible) this would be a great book for you. If you’ve already got a pretty strong following, it’s a good book to read to brush up on what you’re doing and to make sure you’re doing everything you can. While I knew a lot of what this book talked about already, it was good to see that I was gdoing things correctly and gave me some new ideas on other things I could do.

Buy the book

Trust Agents can be purchased on Amazon or in any bookstore for $15 brand new.