How I’m Becoming a Trust Agent on the Web

Books, Entrepreneurship Education / Saturday, March 6th, 2010


I just turned off my Kindle
after finishing another great book on about using the internet to
optimize my web presence by becoming a person of influence and trust in
the way that I operate online and in the manner that I'm using the web
to further my business relationships. The book is Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust
by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith and it's full of some outstanding
advice for the new online marketer and truly resonates with seasoned
marketers like myself who have been online for several years promoting
our products and services through innovation and effective social media
tools. It's one of the best books I've read on the subject and I made a
few notes that you may find helpful to improve your own marketing

The book is focused on the core competencies inherent
in any individual who wants to be a trust agent. I'm working to build
my capabilities and what I offer my audience in each of these
competencies with every action that I take online. Consider what I've
been doing with my own sites as a result of reading Trust Agents and
reflect on how you might use what I've learned to improve your results.

a game changer. I've decided to make my own game in the black online
entrepreneurship niche. Using my blog, my forum, my network, my online
newspaper and my contributions on a variety of social media networks
and other platforms, I'm working hard to become a recognized expert–if
not THE expert–on all things related to black online entrepreneurship.

Be a member of the community. I am an active member in many of
the communities related to my niche while also making an effort to
reach out to others who share my interest. I'm eager to help and
although I have my own products and services for sale to others, my
primary interest is in freely helping others to reach their goals
through understanding how to use the tools available so that if they
need additional, focused support, they can make an informed choice to
use my expertise or suggest my services or products to friends.

willing to accept help. I've learned the value of leverage is using
tools that are already available in new and innovative ways in order to
better reach my targeted audience or build effective communities of
black online entrepreneurs. I also understand the value of connecting
with and utilizing the contributions of others to multiply my own
efforts to magnify the influence I have throughout the internet.

a relationship builder. Relationships are everything online. Gone are
the days where static webpages rules the internet and advertising or
news was served to web users who simply visited sites to consume
content. Online consumption is still high but based on a principle of
interaction where each of us can comment, link, and share what we
consume with our network of friends and online relationships. Business
credibility lives and dies on the basis of our relationships and I've
been working to connect with others by being helpful and connecting my
connections with others who can help them to further their goals.

an effective communicator. Key to solid relationships is an
understanding of how to master the nuances of online communication.
Without the instantly physical cues of body language and not being able
to hear tones or vocal cues, what you type or post online becomes a
full representation of who you are subject to the subjective
interpretations of the individual. I'm constantly aware of my message
and I strive to maintain a consistently authentic presence if all of my
work, my comments, and everything that I post on the wide variety of
sites that I frequent or maintain.

Become the community. I've
managed to build some fairly solid networks of folks who I follow and
folks who I'm honored to have following me. Whether on Ning, my forum,
my RSS subscribers, Twitter, Facebook, MyBlogLog, FriendFeed and
everywhere else I have some significant presence, the goal is to build
an army of connections who support and affirm the expertise and
assistance that I provide online.

Demonstrate trust. I've
also made an effort to provide evidence of my trustworthiness: my
design is straight forward, clean, and it reinforces my brand identity;
my site has been around since 2002, so longevity isn't a problem; there
are a lot of great posts–over 700–so the volume of productivity is
good; my domain name reinforces a professional identity and emphasizes
the Iceman Baldy brand; and I've included an About page with links to
all of my other social networks to include my Twitter and Facebook

Trust Agents
provides a solid map for become a person of influence online. With
everybody calling themselves a social media expert these days, it's
great to read an excellent piece of work that actually defines what it
really means to have an online reputation that speaks for itself and
truly defines that kind of internet expertise worthy of our time,
attention, and trust.

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