Hi! I'm Sarah Moon!

The Authority Gap 🚇

Published about 2 years ago • 1 min read

Hello Reader,

I recently wrote to you about how we are a data-informed team—I'm always collecting interesting bits of data to supplement the stories and case studies we share. All together, they help illustrate a complete picture.

One of the most fascinating datasets* I discovered is the following:

  • 59% of decision makers say that thought leadership is more important than marketing materials when assessing a company's capabilities;
  • 50% of decision makers say that thought leadership influences their purchasing decisions
  • 42% of decision makers say that they will pay a premium to work with a company with thought leadership they perceive as excellent

What's thought leadership?

There are many definitions, but we define it internally at SM&Co as content (that can be written articles, podcasts, videos, etc) that contains a clear point of view and demonstrates deep expertise and knowledge. Thought leadership proves your authority.

Yes, this is the strategic content I'm always talking about.

However, there's a huge gap between what decision makers want and what they're finding.

That's because the same study indicates that only 15% of thought leadership found by decision makers is perceived by them as good or excellent.

I've been calling this The Authority Gap.

What does this say to me?


The clear story here is that individuals who are in a position to make decisions about actual purchases value excellent content with a strong perspective. They will often pay more and view the services provided as "premium" because of thought leadership that's excellent.

So, companies and individuals who fill that massive thought leadership gap will be engineering their own good luck if they prioritize creating excellent thought leadership content. (This is fabulous news for those of us who really don't want to dance around pointing at words on the 'gram.)

What steps can you take to fill The Authority Gap in your niche?



P.S. Our books are once again open for late spring/early summer. Hit reply if you'd like to talk about working together.

*This is data from the annual Edelman/Linked in study on thought leadership; 2020 and 2021 have essentially the same data, so I've cited 2020.

Hi! I'm Sarah Moon!

The status quo of modern marketing isn't designed for you and me.The hard truth is that most marketing strategies are designed for massive corporations, while small businesses, consultants, coaches, and other experts are left feeling that the advice they’re given just doesn’t fit—and they’re right. We have two choices: we can struggle to force our businesses into an ill-fitting mold, or we can reinvent a system that works for us and allows us to thrive. I don’t know about you, I prefer door number two. 💌 Reach our team at 🌟 Ready to work together?

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