We have a brand new training coming your way next month!
Our brand new live webinar is called: How To Become a Six-Figure Thought Leader Without a PhD. I am absolutely delighted to invite you to join me on this free training. The last time I did a live webinar was way back in November 2021.
This time, in 2023, it’s time to build a career that you AND your Asian parents are proud of.
On this webinar, I will teach you the mindset and strategy to sign more clients and grow your income and impact in a way that matches your energy and time capacity.
As some of you may know, I quit law school in 2018, side hustled for three years, and then quit my PhD in 2022 to become a full-time six figure entrepreneur. I can help you do the same. On this webinar, we will be unpacking the following:
This live webinar took place on Sunday April 23, 2023.
To watch the replay, you can go to cheryltheory.com/webinar. I cannot wait to see you either live, or on the replay!
Now let’s shift gears to talk about building a body of work you’re proud of.
How would you define a body of work?
For example, how many podcast episodes would you have in place in order for you to feel proud in calling it a body of work?
How many Instagram posts would you have on your feed before you’d feel proud to call it a body of work? Or maybe it’s a combination of platforms.
Maybe for you, it’s posting weekly on LinkedIn and doing long-form written content, such as a LinkedIn newsletter, every week, for 20 weeks, before you’d personally consider yourself to have a body of work you’re proud of.
For me, my personal definition of what a body of work would hypothetically look like, is having 30+ podcast episodes, and perhaps 60+ Instagram feed posts, before I’d confidently say this is a body of work for me.
For myself, when it comes to my podcast, it was around 30+ podcast episodes onwards when I started getting clients coming onto my sales calls and saying they listened to my podcast.
But for Instagram, I don’t really have much data or gauge over how much someone might have consumed from me on Instagram before they applied to work with me, so this latter number was more arbitrary.
Now, of course, there’s no actual number that defines or quantifies a body of work.
The main point I want to highlight is that when we think of our favorite thought leaders, whether it’s an entrepreneur, a YouTuber, a podcaster, a speaker, writer, professor, or someone who you consider to be a leader.
Although you may not be able to quantify or recall exactly what you’ve consumed from them, you probably have been consuming something from them, and a lot of it, for a period of time.
You’ve been listening to their ideas and perspectives over and over again, for some time, whether it’s in digital form or maybe even in-person. The medium doesn’t necessarily matter.
When we view content creation as building a body of work, then this means that “doing content” or “creating content” isn’t a checklist.
It’s not supposed to be something that you HAVE to do just to get someone to become a client. It isn’t supposed to feel stressful or discouraging when you aren’t getting the engagement you wanted for an individual piece of content.
Rather, when we view content as part of building a body of work for that larger, longer term vision of our careers as entrepreneurs and thought leaders, it’s no longer about how frequently you post or how consistently you’ve been at showing up on social media.
Instead, it’s curating quantity AND quality. It’s about the collective impact of everything you put out. It’s about building your brand. It’s about building the foundation for your career as an entrepreneur and thought leader.
Because here’s the thing, maybe people are so focused on trying to just sign their next few 1:1 clients that they aren’t thinking bigger or longer term.
Because in 1-3 years time, if you’re committed to being in the game, then at that point in time, you won’t just be working with 1:1 clients.
You won’t only be focused on hitting your first 5k month or 10k month. Your vision is much larger than that. You’re here to build a brand.
You’re here to create a community for the people you want to impact in this world. You’re here to make a difference and leave the world a better place than you found it.
You’re here to build a career that you’re truly proud of.
Let’s think about your favorite thought leaders. Like actually, think of specific names.
For example, some of my ultimate favorite content creators I follow on YouTube specifically include:
The common thread between these individuals or groups is that they’re not just content creators or entrepreneurs or business owners, but they’re also thought leaders.
They have been able to build a successful business because of their thought leadership. They’ve been able to build large audiences and communities because of their thought leadership.
They have become known for their content, their storytelling, their ideas and perspectives, and so on because of their thought leadership.
How I am interpreting this is, thought leadership IS a career. Being a thought leader, it iS a career.
All of these people I’ve mentioned, and every thought leader, content creator, entrepreneur, that you gravitate towards and respect deeply, I’m very, very sure that all of these individuals have taken months and months, years and years, to craft and cultivate a body of work that represents their own unique thought leadership.
Because they have put in the time and care over the years to build out their body of work, they’ve since then been able to become recognized as thought leaders and hence are making the income and impact that they’re now making.
Thought leaders are PROUD of their body of work.
On the other hand, we as clients want to work with leaders of the industry. We as clients gauge who is a leader by looking at their body of work.
Likewise, clients want to work with someone who is proud of what they do, and we can typically gauge this as well by looking at someone’s body of work.
How exactly do you build a body of work? Especially if you feel like you have been posting consistently for months and months, maybe even years. But perhaps you’re still not seeing the results in your business that you were hoping for.
First, I’d like to start with a question for you to answer for yourself, which is, are you proud of the body of work you’ve built so far?
If you had to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is “I am so damn proud”, what would you rate yourself? If it’s not a 10, why not?
Your answer to this question will give us a glimpse into what your body of work might look like right now.
Because if your answer wasn’t a 8.5 or above, that suggests that you might have been posting for the sake of posting.
It’s likely you’ve been viewing your content as something you need to do for the purpose of marketing, sales, or signing clients, rather than viewing your content as something you’re proud of.
Second, here’s why this matters. Building a body of work that you’re proud of IS the strategy to signing clients and growing your business.
When clients can tell that a coach or business owner is proud of what they do, clients naturally want to pay more attention and learn about how you can help them.
But if we don’t sense someone’s pride, commitment and dedication in what they do, clients keep moving past you and look for someone else who seems like they genuinely are very, very excited about the work they do, and someone who is good at what they do.
Again, your body of work is able to communicate both of those things: Whether you’re genuinely committed and proud of your work, and the quality and impact of your work.
When you’re intentional about building a body of work, you’re able to communicate both of these things quickly to your clients.
Right now, if you’re thinking okay, my answer to the original question was not an 8.5 or above. Maybe it was a 5 or 6. Not a problem. It’s actually a really easy problem to fix.
When I think about the entrepreneurs who don’t yet have a body of work they’re proud of, I can think of common scenarios why this is the case and how you can move forward from that.
I believe that quantity and quality both can help you practice and contribute to your body of work.
If you’ve been prioritizing consistency for the past year, for example, and you’ve been very diligent in posting weekly on Instagram, LinkedIn, or whatever your platform of choice is, I want to first reassure you that no efforts or time was ever wasted.
You HAVE been contributing to your body of work and you’ve been practicing various skills consistently. That’s REALLY important and none of that time or effort was wasted, even if you currently don’t feel that you have a body of work you’re proud of yet.
If you’re in this situation, the solution is actually pretty simple.
Now that you have the skills of creating content consistently under your belt, you just need to give your content a bit more thought before you post it.
For example, ask yourself, why didn’t you rate yourself at 8.5 or 9 or 10 for the question of how proud you are about your body of work?
If you said it’s because you feel like you haven’t shared much of your brand story, great. Start sharing your brand story.
If it’s because you feel like you’ve been taking a lot of inspiration from other coaches in your niche and you feel like you blend into the sea of your colleagues in your industry, great. Start thinking about how you can differentiate yourself in the next post you’re going to put out.
If you feel like it was because you don’t tend to go deep enough in your content, great, challenge yourself to talk about a topic in more depth in your next piece of content.
These are all very, very simple fixes that are within reach, right now.
When you feel that content is a LOT of work and you feel like it’s taking too long for you just to create one Instagram carousel post, naturally, there’s a lot of inertia when you even think about your content, let alone your body of work.
Here’s what I want to offer for anyone who might be feeling this way about content.
First, it doesn’t have to take a long time to create a really good piece of content.
For example, you could produce a really incredible piece of work in 10 minutes, and you could also produce a really incredible piece of work in 90 minutes.
It’s not time dependent, but it’s just a skill that you can get better and better at, faster and faster at, with time and practice.
For example, it used to take me 45 minutes to record 3 minutes worth of video Instagram stories because I was constantly re-recording and feeling like what I said wasn’t good enough. I struggled to articulate and enunciate my words. I would suddenly get a new idea while recording it and I wanted to include it in. And so on.
But over time, with more practice, I can now record a 3 minute video Instagram story in 10 minutes, with manually typed up captions and all, not just the auto generated captions.
So even if content is taking a long time right now, please know that it will get faster and easier with time and practice.
Second, when we zoom out and think about building a body of work, I’d also like to offer the perspective that it doesn’t have to take a long time or a LOT of podcast episodes or Instagram posts to sign a client.
Sometimes, you can have a few pieces of really, really helpful or thought provoking pieces of content that helps your client feel confident in their decision to book a sales call with you to chat more about working together.
Signing clients can happen quickly, 100%. Likewise, building a body of work that YOU are proud of doesn’t necessarily require 100 Instagram posts or 30 podcast episodes.
You can feel proud with 30 Instagram posts and 10 podcast episodes, for instance.
But either way, it comes down to being intentional about the body of work you put out so that no matter what the quantity is at the moment, you are proud of the quality because thought leaders are proud of their work.
They mean what they say and they believe in what they say.
You can lean into that mindset, right now, no matter how many Instagram posts you’ve published or how many podcast episodes you’ve created so far.
For example, maybe when you think of what a thought leader is to you, you think of thought leaders as being bold and confident. But you feel like you’re not bold and confident.
Here’s the thing. You don’t have to be bold to be a thought leader. There are many, many thought leaders who we all like, follow, admire and want to work with, but perhaps bold isn’t a word that comes to your mind when you think of them.
You don’t have to be bold, or any other characteristics or adjective, in order to be a thought leader.
I’d personally argue that it is required of thought leaders to speak up about what they care about and you can feel their sincerity and genuine care and belief in what they talk about.
I’d also argue that thought leaders leverage their natural characteristics and gifts to share their thoughts and perspectives. For instance, some of my clients are excellent on video and audio formats, but bold isn’t necessarily the word they might use to describe themselves. Yet you can still sense their thought leadership, their confidence, and their genuine belief and care in what they do.
On the other hand, I’ve worked with clients who are superb at communicating via written content, and you can feel how bold they are in their written word.
You don’t have to be XYZ in order to be a thought leader. You don’t even need to be good at video content, for example, to articulate and showcase your thought leadership.
Thought leaders can look like so many things. There’s no mold we have to squeeze ourselves into to be a thought leader. You can be a thought leader, right now.
One of the things I really believe in is that we all have a story, our own unique thought leadership, and the potential to build out a body of work that is worth six-figures and can really make an impact in this world and help a lot of people.
This is exactly why in our webinar, I want to help you take the next step to becoming a six-figure thought leader, even without a PhD. Again, on this webinar, we will be unpacking:
This live webinar took place on Sunday April 23, 2023.
To watch the replay, you can go to cheryltheory.com/webinar.
I really hope that our conversation today gives you that nudge to really take the time to build up your body of work over the course of the rest of this year.
Really give yourself the next 12 months to build a body of work. It will carry your career and business in the long-term.
Let’s make 2023 the year where we become proud thought leaders with a body of work we’re proud of, and start paving out a business and career that makes you AND your Asian parents proud.
Join us in the Thought Leader Club 1:1 + Community Program is the exact room you want to be in if your 2024 vision is to:
✨ Become known for your unique thought leadership and build your career as a thought leader
✨ Build a body of work that not only showcases the depth of your thinking and the caliber of your skills, but also compels best-fit clients to want to work with you and you specifically
✨ Attract both clients and opportunities that you once felt were out of reach for “someone like you”… But you now see that you’re completely capable of
Step into the version of you who stops following else’s playbook of “traditional success” and instead, proudly create something that’s truly of your own.
Get all the details and apply. We’ll then book a sales call to make sure that the program is the best fit for you and you can enroll now to get early access to the program and other early bird bonuses. The next cohort of the Thought Leader Club will take place from March to July 2024. We kick off on March 1st, 2024. 👀
SOUNDS GOOD? AWESOME. LET'S GET TO WORK