Chris Brogan and Julien Smith open their book about Trust agents with comparing the “trust agent” to FBI agent. Agent Pistone created the character of Donnie Brasco who hung out places where the mob guys hung out; he wanted to be known as the person who didn’t ask many questions. With the guys he was after, it was hard to break in. The important thing was not to act fast, but to build credibility and good backup story which “checks out”. In conclusion, within six years, he was able to filtrate into deepest circles of mafia and bring down significant number of mob influencers.
This is a shocking comparison… which makes perfect sense! To be a good trust agent, one needs to be a good “street agent”. For example, your LinkedIn profile provides you more business opportunities once you have more recommendations and testimonials on your profile. Your blog will generate higher web traffic when you create original content, include inbound links, and post regularly.
When you look at any glossy-print advertisement there is a smiling person holding new product. Who is that person? Using of celebrity spokes person has been one of the oldest tactics in marketers’ toolbox. But really, why would your customer trust celebrities who get paid to tell what is good? Find lovers of your brand and give them a voice. If you do this right, next thing you know, you will have an army of volunteers.
See also: Trust Economies