When I worked in the corporate world, namely for Big Tobacco - "trusted advisor" was one of those terms that got tossed around quite often. We were told to tell clients and customers that we had their best interest in mind, and that we wanted to become their true and trusted advisor for all things tobacco.
... of course, this was total BS. We knew it. Customers knew it. Everyone knew it.
A trusted advisor doesn't walk up to someone they've barely built up a relationship with and tell them they want to become their trusted advisor in the X category.
A trusted advisor is someone you trust enough to actually receive advice from.
This means that if you're trying to become a trusted advisor to someone -- whether that's a client, prospect, friend, boss, reader, viewer, or otherwise -- you've got to understand that trustworthiness precedes trust.
In other words, in order to become a trusted advisor, you need to show someone that what you're advising them to do, say, or buy is going to help them and not hurt them.
I consider my friend Stephen Seidel to be among one of the handful of trusted advisors I have. He's a trusted advisor to me because he's provided me with honest, practical feedback about various aspects of my approach to online video. And it's not like he just came out of the blue and started giving me feedback and all of a sudden became a trusted advisor. No way, Jose.
There are TONS of people that try to provide me with feedback. I do not listen to most of them. Why? Because, quite frankly, I don't trust their expertise enough...
- This might be because I don't know them.
- It might be because I don't believe them.
- It might be because I think they're only doing it because they want something in return.
... it might be for any number of reasons. But it nearly always leads back to one: a lack of trust.
Let me give you another example:
If you were day trader, would you take business advise from Mother Theresa? Probably not. Spiritual advice? Sure. Global unity? Bring it on. Forex? I don't think so.
Building trust and becoming a trusted advisor isn't something you can pretend to be. You'll know it when you are. You'll know it when you aren't.