Must reads by Jackie Cameron

When Karen asked us for recommendations for a business book I scurried to my bookshelf to take a look at which one to choose. Over the years I have gathered an eclectic mix of books that would fall into the “business” category. Now that I have a Kindle I have added some digital versions and I hope that having that one device loaded up will be a great resource for dipping in to find information, details – maybe even quotes – to use in my workshops and writing.

Regardless of having the Kindle though I still take great pleasure in browsing real bookshops. And I am never happier in doing that than when I am in the US and Canada. I am always blown away by the sheer volume and range of business books on offer there in bookstores there. Over the past couple of years I have been fortunate enough to visit both countries a few times and those visits coincided with me developing my knowledge of social media .

As is so often the case trends that catch hold in North America take a bit longer to become embedded here in the UK. So I took the opportunity to pick up the book Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith which was not available in the UK.

You can buy the book on Amazon by clicking on the image

Now to be clear here – and to quote the authors – “ This book is about business and not technology”. It starts by talking about building social capital by being around online – eg on blogs, using the social networking sites available. One suggestion I could particularly relate to was that instead of answering an email question on in your special area of expertise by email you could choose to blog on the topic working on the assumption that more than one person has that question and you can reach more people that way. If you do this regularly and often over time you have a resource that people will reach when they are searching for answers to their questions. The great thing about this book is that there are exercises that you can do in each chapter to help you with your practice.

Another powerful message in this book is that we now have tools that allow us to connect with people to build and develop relationships and the advantage of using the Web to for your business is “[you] don’t have to make another team lose to win [yourself]”. The “Trust Agents” in the title is described as “the digital savvy people who use the web to humanise businesses…” and – as we know – people do business with people . The authors explain who to build relationships with other trust agents – and how to become one yourself.

Whilst I agree that this book is about business understanding the tools and the technology are important and I found the stories to illustrate the points made particularly helpful.

Tools and technology for social networking changes rapidly . Learning how to use what is available effectively takes time. This book helped me understand what I could do and how to review , adapt and develop over time and is as useful today as it was when I first bought it a whole 2 years ago – which a long time in this new world!

A footnote on this.

One of the key messages in the book is to be aware of what people are saying about you and your business and be ready to respond regardless of whether their comments are positive or negative. That takes effort for my own small business so I am sure you can imagine how impressed I was when I mentioned on twitter that I was reading and enjoying this book and I got a tweet back from Chris Brogan. Now some wellknown people have people do that sort of thing for them and you can often tell . But I had no doubt that this was direct from him and I entered into a short twitter discussion with him. How much does that enhance my view of him and his brand?



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