Building trust with your audience

I used to read a lot of business books when I was in the consulting profession and I still have a lot of them on the shelves around my home. Chris Brogan and Julien Smith wrote one called Trust Agents. Is it relevant to authors?

In Trust Agents, two social media veterans show you how to tap into the power of social networks to build your brand’s influence, reputation, and, of course, profits … The book shows how people use online social tools to build networks of influence and how you can use those networks to positively impact your business. Because trust is key to building online reputations, those who traffic in it are ‘trust agents,’ the key people your business needs on its side.

Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien SmithHere’s my net-net interpretation for authors:

  • If you learn about your readers, you will be able to build a community.
  • If you understand your readers, you will be able to write for them.
  • If you engage with your readers, you will develop long-term relationships.

Don’t SELL to your readers, SERVE them. With the changing dynamic between readers and writers, authors need to listen, gather knowledge about readers, foster conversations, collaborate, and build long-term relationships.


M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.

Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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2 Responses

  1. I think creating a community of readers is the hardest part of today’s publishing business. The balance has changed. While once it was the reader who went hunting for the author, today readers have such huge choice it is the author who has to go hunting for readers.

    Seems to me this upsets lots of writers, maybe because many haven’t realised the shift in balance yet. But even when we do realise it, finding the way to make it work isn’t easy, because it’s a completely new way, still changing everyday.

    It’s a bit scary, I’ll admit it. People like me, just starting in the business of building a reputation, can’t really count on experience of people who did this only five or six years ago, because in the meanwhile a lot has changed. Not to mention the experience of authors who built their reputation further back. Yes, the principles still hold, I think, but we have to work them out for a completely new scenario.

    1. A very thoughtful reply, Jazzfeathers. I wonder if the community of writers – including those who are well established – is the key to creating a community of readers? In my own Pollyanna way, I think it’s a wonderful time to be a writer since we have so may options available. However, ‘making it’ is very, very difficult and to some extent serendipitous. I might even go out on a limb and say that no one knows which stories will be successful, not agents, not editors, not publishers and not writers. Thanks for your input.

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