Today was unique. Today was an authentic meeting of like-minded writers wanting to grow as social media marketers. Normally I am out in the hallway watching the iPad and cash box and checking in late-comers. Today, thanks to Karen Pickell and Mac Elmore manning the administration of GWA, today I was in the front of the room and talking about social media marketing and connecting in an authentic way. We had one of the largest workshop groups ever. It was the topic. Using social media for writers is so important. I really felt like we became a niche right in that room. My commitment to them was to continue the conversation on this blog. It was impossible to cover everything. One thing I did not talk much about was Twitter, I will write about that tomorrow. For today, I forgot a favorite way to show what being a “trust agent” looks like. I will do my best to explain.
Chris Brogan is the guru, trust agent, brilliant thought leader in this area of connecting in an authentic way. He says that being a trust agent is that person who connects others. Being the person at the elbow of deals being made is being a trust agent. It is someone who like to help make things happen, for someone else. I saw that happen at the end of the workshop when my intern got a paying editing gig from an attendee – I was happy to connect them. We talked today about how to make it all not about you and how to help others – being a good human being and not expecting something in return. But something is always returned to you – if nothing else the blessing of seeing an author find a great editor and that editor thankful for the job.
Last summer I did a directed study for the KSU Writing Center. My task was to build a strategic brand to communicate to students what was available in the Writing Center. We surveyed, studied, and implemented a plan. The class was over and I continued to help the Writing Center and now I am mentoring a new staff member. I even led a workshop and promote them on social media. I was no longer obligated to help the Writing Center, my class was over, but I was happy to watch the Center grow and flourish. I expect nothing in return and will continue to help them in any way they ask. What do I get out of it? In addition to the thrill of watching student participation grow by 500 students last fall, I have been given wonderful letters of recommendation from the Center Director, Dr. Mary Lou Odom and many proof read papers by the best in the business. Most of all, I get the joy of working with people who love their work and the friendships that have grown as a by-product of this successful collaboration.
When were you last at the elbow of a deal that did not benefit you directly? What have you given away this week? Have you given your time, talents, energy – your heart to someone with no expectations of a ROI? (ROI is your return on investment). Be that guy or that woman with a trust agent mentality. Be humble. Be honest. Be helpful. Be open-handed. Be that person.
Tell me how you want to be that person. Comment below and let’s create that kind of community. Writers rule the Web, lets change the digital rhetoric for good.