5 Books To Read Before Trust Agents

So I was over at my family’s house yesterday, and decided to pass along the book we wrote to my dad. He was thinking about building a site and wanted my advice, so I figured we’d start there and see how it went.

Over supper we started discussing a bunch of stuff and I started peppering the conversation with jargon (social capital, social proof, etc.) without realizing and I saw that, in some cases, some additional reading might be required to really get him on the same level.

That’s why I wrote this list.

You don’t need to read any of these to understand the book we wrote, of course. But if you like to read the way I do, you love getting those Aha! moments in which you really grasp a concept fully. Reading the books on this list will help you do that. Plus they’re all good are worthy of a read anyway, just on their own.

1. Influence by Robert Cialdini.

Let’s start simple: Understanding human behaviour is at the core of everything we do online. Cialdini is the social psychologist who will help you do this. From social proof to unconscious herd behaviour, this book will guide you through different ways in which persuasion works, and why. Also check out 50 Scientifically-Proven Ways to be Persuasive, a summary his most recent one of the same name. They’re both full of great info. (Thanks to Kottke for reminding me about this one.)

2. The Little Teal Book of Trust by Jeffrey Gitomer.

There are a lot of books on trust I don’t recommend. The Speed of Trust is one of those; I feel like it just went on and on. Gitomer’s book is the opposite. It’s different from ours because it talks primarily about trust in a sales environment, but I have to say that I was really surprised at how great it was. Gitomer is amazing at distilling complex principles into phrases that are catchy and memorable.

3. The Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt.

You already know what I’m about to tell you, but I’ll say it anyway: Social capital is something to pay attention to. We talk about it in our book, and ways to gain it, but for a comprehensive, web-savvy assessment Tara’s book does the job. I had done a TON of research on social capital when we were writing the book, but Tara has done more and it shows. Read it.

4. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.

I was introduced to Ariely by Mitch Joel, and spoke to him on the phone a bit as we were writing the book. Honestly, his book is so great I should have made it number one. I read it at the same time I was reading Influence, and I was starting to become overwhelmed with how much people don’t understand their own behaviour, and why they make the decisions they do, both individually and in groups. This one should not be missed.

5. Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod

You know what’s in this, and so do I. But Ignore Everybody, which comes out tomorrow, is as classic a book as Twyla Tharp‘s Creative Habit — it will teach you to step out of your usual habits and create what you need for your own life. In the end, that’s what we wrote is really about: trying something new that can make something great happen for you.

You know what, there are probably more of these– give me some suggestions, I’d love to know what you think. Hey, and once you’re done those, go grab ours! 🙂





13 responses to “5 Books To Read Before Trust Agents”

  1. C.C. Chapman Avatar

    Just ordered two of these for my Kindle. If YOU recommend them, then I’m buying them. It is as simple as that.

  2. Barry Chandler Avatar

    Great post. Buying those that I don’t have right now!

  3. Rob Avatar

    Really want to get my hands on Hugh’s book. Stopped following GapingVoid a while ago for some reason… this one slipped under my radar. Looks great!

  4. Whitney Avatar

    Other things to round out your list of what I’d consider required curriculum:

    I might add The Pirate’s Dilemma by Matt Mason; Buying In by Rob Walker, which discusses the way news travels through social networks and with Brands; Relevance by Daniel Sperber (you’ve got nothing if your product or service isn’t relevant); and for those who like the geeky brain based learning stuff, you can’t beat Buyology by Martin Lindstrom or Brain Rules by John Medina.

    Understanding how learning and attention work, along with basic social psychology is no longer a luxury but a necessity in this new world we all play in, as far as I’m concerned. That’s why Dan Ariely’s book is so phenomenal- it explains why people seem to make bad choices, and how you can predict these as well- every business person should consider it a bible.

  5. Alain Tanguay Avatar

    Great list. Cialdini is waiting for me on my top shelf. Ariely I read a month ago. I agree with Whitney, it is a must. The rest, I am gonna have to go on Amazon.

  6. Lou Sagar Avatar

    Ultimately, we are all trust agents, first for ourselves, then for the communities we connect with. Keep up the good work in assembling and recommending books, articles, and insights on building a network
    of trust agents..I believe in the gift economy and trust will be its cornerstone…

  7. Gab Goldenberg Avatar

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens/People (depending if you want a lighter, more action-oriented, quote filled book or the original hardback). Teaches you to listen (and not just hear), which is the first step to influence and trust.

  8. Ricardo Bueno Avatar

    I read the Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt (I even gave a few copies away via my blog). I thought it was a great read.

    I’m reading several others but I’m not entirely sure they fit in here. The closest one I can think of is: “Naked Conversations” by Robert Scoble & Shel Israel.

  9. Danny Brown Avatar

    Looking forward to the book.

    Quick point, though – if you’re having to explain “social capital” and “social proof” to a layman (with no disrespect to your dad – he could be an awesome marketer for all I know!), is there a possibility you’re already reducing your potential audience?


  10. Trip Allen Avatar

    …one more. “The Trusted Advisor.” King of TRUST.

  11. Kathy Hogeveen Avatar

    Excellent list! I also like Tribes by Seth Godin!

  12. eloiseisfab Avatar

    Great ideas – they are going on my Amazon WishList… Birthday coming up if anyone fancies buying me any books! (hint hint)

    Thanks Julien

  13. Morgan Moran Avatar

    Great list and very timely for me. I have been thinking a lot obout authenticity lately. Another good book on the subject that was recommended to me is “Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken” by Mike Robbins.

    I love book suggestions. Keep them coming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *