Trust has become so crucial in today’s market. It is heavily tied to credibility. If someone doesn’t trust us, they won’t find us credible, and they often won’t choose our product or services over another, more credible product or service. In Chris Brogan’s book, Trust Agents, he explains that we need to become trust agents within our businesses if we want to find success.
In the last episode, we discussed how Chris was able to ride the waves of tectonic shifts to leverage success. In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss the six characteristics of trust agents Chris wrote about in his Trust Agents book.
1. Make Our Own Game
We need to pick a category that we are the best at and stick with it. It’s all about positioning ourselves with a specific target audience.
“You can’t be the best Gary Vaynerchuk because there already is one,” Chris said. “You shouldn’t try to be the next best Gary Vaynerchuk either. So instead, you pick some new category where you are absolutely the best.”
Part of building a successful business is finding what makes us unique. We have to find that niche audience we can serve and provide value to. As we build our group, we will build more trust within our target audience.
Studies have shown that we are more likely to trust others who are members of our own social group compared to outsiders. While this may seem obvious, the same applies to groups in general. We are also more likely to trust people in a randomly assigned small group compared to a random person outside of the group (Source: Harvard Business review).
As we choose our own category, build a niche group, and make our own game, our customers will be more likely to trust us.
2. One of Us
People are more willing to trust someone they are similar to (Source: Harvard Business Review).
We should always be looking for the connection between ourselves and the customer. We need to pay attention to what makes us similar.
When I asked Chris to share his best monetization strategy, he said the more personalized we can be with our customers, the better.
Other than communicating directly with our customers, we can also use data to become more personalized in the best way possible. Our goal should be to make our customer’s life easier, and we can do this by understanding their wants and needs.
“In a world where everything is so broken apart, he who has the best data that drives to a very personalized approach of what a human does is going to do a lot better than everybody else,” Chris said.
3. The Archimedes Effect
“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”
It’s all about leverage. “Basically, you figure out where you can make some kind of change, and if I can push on that, I can change the world,” Chris said. “What you’re looking for is, ‘Can I do something once that’s so impactful that I don’t have to do it multitudes of times?’”
If we can recognize tectonic shifts as they are happening and leverage them to our favor, we can often leapfrog competitors and drive growth and monetization.
Networking is one of the most underrated parts of the business.
Chris explained that the only reason networking is underrated is that it’s done so poorly. People go to an event just to hand out their business cards to anyone they see. We shouldn’t try and connect with everyone in the room. We should only be linking with potential customers—those who would find value in our service or products. If we are more selective with who we go out of our way to offer our product to, people will be more likely to trust us, compared to someone who is out there offering their product to everyone they see. They will trust that we have value we can offer them personally.
“If I don’t connect [to] you on LinkedIn, it’s probably because I don’t have anything I think I need to sell you,” Chris said.
5. Human Artist
We need to focus on building human relationships.
“A human artist is the art of human interaction. . . How we act with other people matters so much more professionally than we ever give it credit for. There is a monetary difference to what you do or don’t do in those situations,” Chris said.
Chris had heard an expression called a moment of truth. A moment of truth is any time a guest comes in contact with any aspect of our world and receives an impression. We need to make sure that in each moment of truth, we are leaving a good impression on our customers. After each interaction with us, they should feel like we value them, even more than their purchase.
As we work with people that have more money and success, it’s interesting how money becomes less of a priority to them, and time becomes the primary decision-making factor. We need to make sure our customers know that we value their time, just as much as they do.
“We always treat money as if it’s finite, and we treat time as if it’s infinite. It’s the other way around,” Chris explained. “If you manage and master time a little bit better if you treat people as if their time is important if you treat people as if they’re important, money comes to you so much faster than that other methodology where you think money is the goal.”
How we interact with our customers will leave a lasting impression. Many people say their best memories of Chris are that he made them feel good and prioritized. We need to do the same.
6. Build an Army
We can get a lot further along if we can get more people to become a part of the process and give them the tools they need to do their part. We can’t successfully build a business on our own. We need others.
Not only can we benefit from the knowledge, ideas, and skills of others, but people will also trust us more if they see we have loyal friends. As we connect with more and more people, we will gain their trust faster.
“People tend to trust who their friends trust, and that extends to brands. Living in an uncertain world with a persistent barrage of conflicting messages, consumers find it necessary to rely on reviews from friends and other connections.” (Source: Consumer Affairs)
As we build our army, we will build the trust of our audience.
Thank you so much Chris for sharing your stories and knowledge with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. We must become trust agents for our potential customers.
2. We can build trust by making “our own game”, focusing on a niche where we can be the best in the world.
3. People are more willing to trust others who are similar to them. We should make our customers feel like we are like them.
4. We can leverage tectonic shifts to leapfrog competitors.
5. Networking can be an essential part of successful business growth. We should focus on networking to those to whom we think we can offer value.
6. We need to become “human artists” and focus on building relationships as our masterpieces.
7. We need to build an army of people to help us be far more successful than we can be on our own. We can’t do it all ourselves.
Connect with Chris
If you enjoyed this interview and want to learn more about Chris, connect with him on his LinkedIn, or his website, chrisbrogan.com. You can also find his books on Amazon and watch his video podcast on YouTube.
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