Building trust and authority in a saturated market

Building trust and authority in a saturated market

There’s a sea of content out there. A sea of sameness.

So many voices shouting for attention, all craving the coveted ‘thought leader’ status.

Too many pointless posts, awkward selfies, posts that massively overshare beyond what any personal branding parameters and pictures that not only should be on Facebook but actually in some cases Only Fans.

It’s quite cringe at times and leaves you with a greasy sheen on your skin.

Now, I know some will say it's those people being authentic to their personal brand. But is it?

Personal branding when done well and the content that comes from that direction is incredibly powerful.

But don’t you feel most of the content is missing the mark?


Because most of this content just isn’t useful and supposed “thought leaders”.

The market can often feel saturated. Whether that's gold standard useful content or the disposable fashion posts from Linkfluencers.

But that doesn’t mean you should give up.

Focus on being useful

Content is a long game, and as such it takes time for results to filter through. What’s more, the results you see might not even be obviously tied to your content.

It’s not necessarily about being a thought leader, but more about showing up and proving you solve problems and can add value for the reader.

The term ‘thought leadership’ has probably been overused by now anyway. To a degree, it’s lost meaning. Sure, LinkedIn dish out ‘Top Voice’ badges – but does that really mean you’re a leader in providing original thoughts?

By definition, that’s exactly what a thought leader is – someone that is a leader in their industry in providing original, if not groundbreaking, thoughts. And in a saturated market, how many original or groundbreaking thoughts are left to be had?

The market is at capacity

That leads us nicely on to ‘The Problem’. A saturated market. Because, let’s face it, the market is crowded right now – especially when you take a cursory scroll through LinkedIn.

So many Founders and leaders are jostling for a share of the same audience. And that’s all well and good – but it means that there’s less room for you.

And it’s not like there’s a mountain of business to go around, either. There’s enough business – but not masses of it. Meaning you have to work harder to win it, but even harder to stand out before you even get the opportunity to send a proposal or pitch.

With so many businesses vying for attention, we know just how hard it is to build trust and authority. This is my third time around the block as a Founder, and I have to say – it doesn’t get easier.

But what does get easier is the options presented to you. The first time I did this, thought leadership was unrecognisable compared to today.

Now, you have more assets at your disposal than ever before. LinkedIn, for example. Then there’s the boom in social media, the ever changing face of SEO, and the ability to create ‘moments’ – interactions that mean more than a standard text post online.

So, naturally, it’s time to start using them. Buy-ability involves hard work, time, effort, and real strategy.

Acknowledging problems

What does all this mean for you then? You still need to build trust and authority, and you still need to prove your buy-ability – but then again, so does everyone else.

First thing’s first. You need to be super specific and targeted with your content. Really zoom in on the challenges your audience are facing and probe them with content.

Prove that you can solve them by presenting:

  • The Problem
  • The ‘Why’ of the problem
  • The Solution
  • The ‘Why’ of the solution
  • Handle any objections they may have

By following this structure, you’re acknowledging the fact that there is a problem – and that you understand it. Then, you’re presenting the fact that you can solve it.

More than that, you’re demonstrating that you can solve the problem better than anyone else.


So you’re trying to achieve buy-ability. That means proving that you’re a viable option and solution to their challenges.

On one level you’re showing that you understand the market and your audience, and on another you’re proving that you go further than that – you have the answer.

This goes some way to building trust and authority, but isn’t the whole package. It’s not a one and done thing. You need to be consistent with your content, otherwise what’s the point?

But being consistent is only half the battle. You have to show, not just tell. You can say all the right things, but if you haven’t got the results or frameworks to back it up then it’s all arbitrary.

As we covered earlier, it’s about highlighting the problem in detail, but also presenting the solution – without selling. Your answer to the problem has to be relevant, coming in at a time that makes sense for the conversation.

You can do this through content, but also in sales conversations. A whitepaper goes a long way to explaining frameworks in detail, but then again so do case studies. At the end of the day, it’s about building trust – authority comes later.

Your content should be ‘always on’

You never know who’s consuming your content, so it needs to be an ‘always on’ approach – almost evergreen. However, whatever you’re doing now, you’re probably only just scratching the surface.

You need to compliment your content with additional assets. Think along the lines of case studies, social proof, and user generated content.

But your case study shouldn’t be: 

  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Outcome

It should be so much more than that. It should tell a story, packed with data, insights, narratives, quotes, and rounded off by a testimonial.

That kind of content has mileage, and is evergreen – until you update it with even more statistics or data that proves your point. Case studies tend to age well.

What else?

Publishing content to build trust and authority in a crowded space is one thing, but we’re forgetting a crucial element: outreach.

Never, ever forget that you can send content directly to prospects. If you’ve taken the time to build a relationship, sending over relevant content can be the difference between a deal getting over the line and being ghosted.

Sales and content go hand in hand, so make it so.

Let’s wrap this up

But by putting yourself out there and addressing the problems in the market, presenting how you’d solve them, and handling objections, you can win at sales. But more than that, it’s about being useful, giving the answer away, and adding value.

We all consume hundreds of hours of content each week, in so many formats. So why not make yours some of the best? Handle those objections, probe those pain points, and solve those problems.

It can seem daunting when everyone else seems to have their act together, but in reality, we’re all in the same boat.

Where do you go from here? Just start. One of the biggest blockers to building trust and authority is the deep seated fear that you’re not good enough. But that’s not true – you wouldn’t be in business otherwise.

So just get going. Identify what makes you, you. What makes you special? What are the problems your audience are facing?

Then create content around it, answering the problems that you’ve identified with your USPs. So just start.

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