Tag Archives: Trust Agents

Pay it forward everyday

By Stephen Rhodes

Been AWOL awhile adjusting to the time demands of my volunteer role as President of The Brampton Board of Trade (BBOT). www.bramptonbot.com

Of all the things we (BBOT)  do as an organization to support businesses – advocating with governments on their behalf, organizing networking events to bring members together, providing speakers and workshops to provide a learning and an enriching environment – I have come to the conclusion that the thing we need to do most is connect our members to our members. We are first and foremost an enabler.

This point was driven home to me recently after reading  a Chris Brogan blog Feed the Network. In the posts he says “Put this on your daily “to-do” list: Who Can I Send Business Today?”

I was already heading down this road as I look to give new meaning to the role of The Board of Trade, (Chamber of Commerce if you are reading this from away). What it kick-started for me was the need to do that in my own business.

I am a long time supporter of networking, as a business builder. Connecting with people in person, online, using social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn is Business 101, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.

It’s not instant gratification. Paying it Forward is a long-term business strategy so don’t expect that people you meet will respond to a hard sales pitch. They respond to trust. Read Brogan’s book Trust Agents. No, I am not getting a commission, I just think this guy has his finger of the pulse of modern communication.


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The courting ritual

By Stephen Rhodes

In our last  newsletter my partner Jeff Bowman talked about the value of building trust when including Social Media in your marketing portfolio.

It’s really no different than the time and effort required to build trust in a networking group. Your new friends need to know something about you before they are likely to stake their reputation by referring you to one of their customers.

Little Boy With BouquetNetworking online or in person is not about the hard sell. If you are hoping to establish long-term relationships your need to do little courting first. A kiss on the first date is out of the question.

So, as Jeff says, limit how much you talk about yourself – or your products and services –and provide ways to help others instead. Be an expert, a resource for others and you will be surprised how that will build a following.

Look for micro communities –social communities that are relevant to your business. Get involved. Leave comments, so people will see you as an expert. If you submit content, make sure it’s useful and unique.

Social media takes work. And initially, it will seem a little daunting, but the results will come with diligence. Like face-to-face networking, the return on investment will take some time to materialize. But, it’s well worth the effort.

Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, have written an excellent book Trust Agents on how to build trust. These two fellows are well ahead of the curve on what undoubtedly is the new frontier of marketing. I see the Canadian Amazon link shows it’s temporarily out of stock. Be patient or check this link.

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