David Brim on business, marketing & life.

Are You a Trust Agent

By: David Brim October 3, 2009

This is a sponsored guest post written by Chris Brogan on behalf of Trust Agents. Post powered by Sponzai


Are You A Trust Agent

Want to know about our book, Trust Agents? My co-author, Julien Smith, and I want to know if you are a trust agent. What defines a trust agent? Here are the six main secrets of being a trust agent. Do any of these sound like you?


Make Your Own Game

You can do what’s come before or you can take a unique swing at the world. If you’re Hugh McGuire, you’re working on Book Oven, a whole new way to look at books and reading. You’re someone like Perez Hilton, who took on People magazine and won, as far as we’re concerned.

Are you making your own game?


One of Us

Maybe you’re the person in your industry who’s come to the larger online conversation, like Leslie Carothers is to the home industry. Perhaps you’re the next Matt Cutts, who represents Google to lots of us. He’s more Google than Sergey or Larry, because he’s here. He’s one of us.

Are you one of us?


The Archimedes Effect

Understanding leverage is what separates the hobbyists from the professionals. Do you understand how to take what you’re doing in one instance and extend it out into something bigger or better elsewhere? This is what brought Madonna from just another singer into being a worldwide brand. Leverage is behind all the most powerful people in the world, but it all starts somewhere. Gary Vaynerchuk leveraged his wine store into his video project and took that into his media project and his book deal. Gary bleeds leverage.

Do you understand the Archimedes Effect?


Agent Zero

Connecting and networking and building relationships is what moves you from an individual contributor to an interdependent kingmaker. Learning how to be a core element of several networks is where we think a trust agent works best. Take Robert Scoble. He went from being a guy talking about Microsoft to a guy on a mission to be moved by what he saw around him. Robert connects with people all over, and finds himself at the core of many important networks.

Are you Agent Zero to several networks?


Human Artist

There’s a world of difference between knowing how to build relationships with people and coming off as “that guy.” You know who we mean: that person who shows up with a bullhorn to promote her projects, to blurt about her interests, and then to leave before you get a chance to say anything about you. A human artist is what we call the people who interact well in this new world, and who know how to build nurturing relationships. People like Liz Strauss and Terry Starbucker are human artists.

How do you relate to others?


Build Armies

Working solo is easy. Do you share what you know to promote larger interactions? Can you create resources to help you and then thread your efforts into theirs? Building an army, especially a loosely-joined and flexible group of people from many disciplines, is the key to being an advanced trust agent. People like Danny Brown, who started a social good movement know the value of armies. Ze Frank turned entertainment into a massively multiplayer online experience, one that has yet to be replicated successfully. The implications to business are obvious.

Are you ready to build armies?


If You Answered Yes to Any of the Above

You are definitely in the mindset of trust agents. Your examples might be different. You might not do as much of one of the six secrets as others (I’m still not very good with leverage, for instance). But at your core, you’ve caught on that these new online tools require a different type of person, and that not just anyone can get the most from the experience. You, however, are in the perfect position to be a trust agent.

If you are a trust agent, Julien and I want to meet you over the coming months. We’re traveling the US (and sometimes abroad), and we look forward to connecting with as many of you as we can. Why? Because that’s what we do.

I’m excited you’re part of the experience. We’ll appreciate your help, your input, your support, and your own experiences as part of the project. It’s how we do things. Thanks in advance. You’ve already made this all very much worth it.

If you haven’t joined the Trust Agents Community, swing by. And if you want to buy a copy of Trust Agents, you can get it here.

About the author

David Brim


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    I’ve bookmarked, Dugg, and I joined the RSS subscription. Thanks!

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    Long time reader, 1st time commenter.

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    Migraine is een bonzende hoofdpijn die meestal voorkomt aan één kant van de schedel. De pijn is heftig en houdt 4 tot 72 uur aan.

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    It’s definitely a good deal being a trust agent, no matter what you industry you are in, your ultimate goal should be being that role.

    Till then,


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  • Pam Favre

    Looks like seriously good stuff.

  • Fidelia Menitz

    I’d be inclined to agree with you on this. Which is not something I usually do! I love reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to speak my mind!

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