Why Everyone Needs a Mentor in Their Lives

by Tina on October 15, 2014

in For OBMs

Are you interested in becoming a Certified OBM get full details here: http://www.CertifiedOBM.com

If you would like more information about our OBM Mentorship Programs (3 in total):

  • Get Clients
  • Leverage
  • Leadership

Simply post a comment below and our team will connect with you to get you all the details.

{ 0 comments }

If You Call Yourself an OBM…

by Tiffany on October 1, 2014

in For OBMs

OBM LogoIs it okay if I just get real with you today? (If not, you may not want to continue reading this article. ;))

The online business manager industry is, for the most part, still in its infancy. Tina Forsyth founded and pioneered this industry with the book Becoming an Online Business Manager – Playing a Bigger Game with Your Clients (and Yourself)  in 2008 which was followed by the Online Business Manager Certification Training  in 2009. Although the industry was birthed and pioneered through Tina’s vision, we have always understood it would be bigger than us. ;-) (I say us, because, well… I was the first person ever to read the book, I have been working with Tina now almost since its conception, and I was in the very first OBM Certification Training.)

We have AMAZING Certified Online Business Managers™ we have trained and sent into the world. With them came all variations of “types” of OBMs. Which is an added bonus to the industry – that each us have our unique spin on how we serve our clients. Of course, just as with all industries, there are those who have not attended our training yet and offer OBM services.

With that in mind… I would like to clarify a bit the expectations of our industry, both on the client side and on the peer side, as to what it means if you decide to call yourself an Online Business Manager.

So if you call yourself an OBM…

Be an Advocate for the Business

What I mean by this is, as the OBM, your role is to be the person who understands and progresses the operational development of the business. It is your role to ensure the business is moving from a reactive state of operations to a proactive state of operations.

You are NOT simply the person who is getting things done based on the demands of the client or the urgencies of current projects. That is being a doer, not an OBM.

Your role is to ensure the business is being fully developed, which may or may not always be the client’s highest priority. Many times, our clients put the priority on the sales, revenue flow, etc. As OBMs, we need to keep those things in mind, but also be purposeful in getting all the foundational elements in place – processes, project management, team development, metrics analysis.

If you are not certain what it looks like to execute these four areas consistently and with strategic progression, you are not meeting the desired standard of supporting a client at the OBM level.

At the end of the day the OBM has to be about the business.

Granted, many clients may or may not see the value or understand the priority of leading a business from this perspective. Often, they just want to get done what is right in front of them to progress the cash flow. I get this. This is why we, as OBMs, have to be educators of the role, executers of processes that support growth, and drivers of automation to ensure both teams and systems can become streamlined in meeting the client’s priorities – which is generally, again, cash flow. ;-)

Be an advocate for the business.

If you call yourself an OBM…

BE Proactive!

Proactivity is a habit; it is purposeful, it is strategic, and it does not happen by accident! Most business owners hire an OBM because they have hope that they will be able to help them move their business from the chaos it is in to a proactive well running machine.

The #1 complaint we get from business owners is: “I thought the OBM would be proactive about what needs to get done in the business. Instead, I had to tell them every step, just as I did the VA.” Ouch!! If you don’t know what needs to get done to support a business owner at the OBM level, and you are always waiting on the client to “lead” you in how to support them… then please do not call yourself an Online Business Manager.

An OBM knows how to lead the business, the client, and the team. You understand the progression of work flow and what needs to be done next. You are purposeful in looking around the corner to see the next step to ensure no one is falling down, or getting tripped up, and above everything else you are ensuring none of this falls on your client’s plate!

Everything you do is for the purpose of putting proactivity into the operations of the business. I get that this is not an overnight possibility and that if you are new with a client you may be working out the kinks for getting this level of support created, but if you have been with the client for a while and everyone is still running around in chaos… this is not just the clients fault.

If you call yourself an OBM…

STOP being the VA!

This is, in my opinion, the #1 biggest OBM industry killer we are facing. Folks who call themselves Online Business Managers but are essentially VAs. When I say VA, I mean if you are the person DOING all of the day-in and day-out tasks for the operations of a business, you are a VA. Don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with being a VA, and every business needs folks who will get the work done. (Not to mention that a good VA is worth their weight in gold, as they will always make the OBM and the client look GREAT!)

If you are trying to be a VA and an OBM… ie: doing all the VA tasks and therefore never really getting around to the higher level, proactive, strategic, managerial OBM tasks… then you are likely hurting your own ability to serve your client AND setting up a standard of what an OBM is that is simply not the role.

If a client hired you to be the Online Business Manager, it wasn’t because they wanted an assistant, they really wanted someone who would proactively be an advocate for their business.

When you are the VA, you can’t keep an eye on or give the attention needed to truly implement at the level of process or structure needed to truly serve at the OBM level. Therefore, you’re misrepresenting your role as an OBM.

Think about it this way: if you work at a manufacturing plant, the general manager can’t be on the line cutting, putting pieces together, operating the machines and STILL be leading, overseeing, developing the next production. One or the other will get done, but not both!

So if you want to be a VA… fantastic, the OBM community needs you, clients need you; you do a great and mighty service in this world!

But…

If you call yourself an OBM… please, please, please actually be one!

{ 5 comments }

Keywords Are … Well, Key!

by Tina on September 19, 2014

in General Biz,Marketing/Traffic

keywords-are-keyKeywords, the select words and phrases you focus on in your website name and copy, blog posts, and even social media, are a vital part of your brand’s online marketing strategy. Choosing the right keywords and developing a keyword strategy are among the first steps to building an online presence around your brand – it helps potential customers find you, know who you are and what you do.

Why Keywords Are Important

Content is king, but keywords are the crown jewels. When you choose a domain, develop website copy, and write blog posts, you’re not only telling the world who you are, but you’re also leaving breadcrumb trails for your potential customers to find you.

When search engines, such as Google or Bing, crawl through your website (as they do with every page, on every site, on all of the Internet), their bots will index your pages based on the terms and phrases in your copy. The headlines in blog posts, the alt tags on your photos, and the meta data on your site should all be written with your brand’s keywords in mind.

This isn’t to say that keywords are the only important part of your copy. Search engine rankings have developed algorithms to detect the difference between keyword repetition with poor quality content and keyword usage with well-informed copy. Your keywords should be backed up by your wealth of information and great product offerings in those areas.

Great keywords and well-written copy also give influencers in your industry a reason to link to your pages. If someone who ranks highly for particular keywords links to your blog post or website from their site, your ranking for those keywords will improve as well.

Social media messaging should also use your keywords. When your followers share or engage with your posts, your keywords show their friends and followers what your brand is all about.

How to Identify Your Keywords

Keywords are not just about SEO. They are at the heart of a company’s marketing campaign at its most granular level. ~ MICHAEL MOTHNER

One of the biggest mistakes that an entrepreneur or marketer can make is to develop keywords using the company’s internal terms. We each have a deep knowledge about our area of expertise and it’s easy to forget the types of words and phrases a layperson might use when searching online. Keywords help them to find you when they conduct a search.

You want to rank for the problem you solve, not just for the solution you offer. That’s why it’s vital to develop a marketing campaign with potential customers’ needs in mind.

So how do you find the words and phrases? A great place to start is with words from the customers’ mouths (or keyboards!). Go to Amazon or Yelp and read through the reviews for a book you wish you wrote or would give to a client as a gift. Look for the words and terms happy customers use in their reviews, the words that are emotional triggers will pop out, these are very likely your keywords. Try using them on social media, and see how customers and potential customers respond. If you have a book, product or business that is reviewed online, read through your reviews too.

Have a long list of potential keywords? The Google Keyword Tool is a great, free way to research searching patterns on Google and determine the best words to use in your content.

Once your keywords are in line, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to develop an online marketing strategy around your business.

 


 

Donna Cravotta is the CEO of Social Sage PR and the creator of the Total Social PR System™ and Publicity Prowess™. She helps entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses maximize their online presence with a very different approach to social media and public relations. Her commitment is to ensure that her clients are empowered to amplify their unique voice and share their purpose, without overwhelming their schedules.

A natural connector of people and a relationship builder long before Facebook even existed, Donna has created a simple, yet strategic method to reveal hidden opportunities online that create authentic situations for her clients to grow their networks, gain loyal followers, connect with the media, and do it all with ease.

Donna knows a thing or two about creative (and cost-effective) social media and online strategy, the best part is… she teaches her clients how to build these strategies into their own businesses in an ongoing and sustainable way. Her techniques can be easily implemented in just a few minutes each day to create valuable business connections, resulting in lasting relationships that lead to mind-blowing opportunities and endless possibilities.

You can reach Donna at SocialSagePR.com.

 

{ 0 comments }

successsignSocial Media is STILL one of the hottest topics amongst business owners today, regardless of the size of the business, regardless of the target market, whether they are online business only or brick and mortar or somewhere in between. Social Media Marketing is often the topic of discussion.

If I can be completely transparent with you, here at Online Business Manager.com (and all Tina Forsyth Companies) we have spent the past 2 years purposefully focusing on this area of the business. Sadly though, much of what we have done has resulted in very minimal return. This is by far one of the areas of the business that we can find ourselves on a bit of a hamster wheel… running, running, running, but never really getting anywhere.

However, through our efforts all was not lost! We learned some invaluable lessons along the way, and developed (finally) a clear path to social media success. Hopefully you will be able to take these suggestions and consider them for yourself or your clients to ensure you are actually getting a measurable result.

Social Media Success #1

Hire an Expert – we simply do not know what we do not know! There are tips, tricks, apps, software, etc. that make social media so much easier to manage. Often we lose time, money and prospects under the umbrella of “figuring it out” or “learning on the fly.”

When I say an expert, let me clarify: I am talking about someone who truly understands both the strategy and implementation. An expert knows how to read the metrics and bring an analysis of what is working, what is not, and how to fix it. This person should feel comfortable that you are hiring them with the expectation that they will produce a result, rather than be paid by the hour for implementing a task.

An expert will help you successfully create these 3 elements in social media initiatives (both for ongoing and launch purposes):

  1. education
  2. empowerment
  3. engagement

Once you have the strategy and know what the best practices are, then you’re ready to move forward in your social media efforts. These efforts are calculated and purposeful in execution.

Simply put, there comes a time when all of us will need to extend beyond our own expertise. When this happens, it is sooo important to bite the bullet and hire someone who can get you the result you desire.

Social Media Success #2

Consistency – stay in front of folks CONSTANTLY! I will admit, we totally dropped the ball on this one in a few places through the “bootstrapping, we will figure it out, can’t be that hard” approach to social media. Honestly, what seems like an absolute annoyance of communication, is without fail one of the most important elements to being successful in social media.

The key is to keep your BRAND in front of your market, not your offerings. Which means, we must be relevant on multiple layers of connection with what is going on in the lives of our prospective leads. Which has a whole lot more to do with them and a whole lot less to do with us. So it’s promoting, it’s engaging, it’s educating, it’s empowering… and it’s consistent.

For years, we as a brand have been purposeful to ensure our fan base knew what we were offering and when. We have always tried to be available for questions and such as they would surface and felt this was the “win” of social media. But the truth is, it wasn’t the win. If anything, it actually hurt us and our efforts. By not keeping the BRAND in front of folks on a consistent basis when we did share something, it resulted in almost no return. If you do not STAY relevant, you will very quickly become irrelevant.

Social Media Success #3

Keep It Real – at the end of the day people are people. People want real relationships, they want to connect with folks who are having real experiences in their businesses. One of the things that Tina Forsyth has always done brilliantly, and that I desire to excel in, is always being herself with the communication throughout the brand. We are simply real women, growing real businesses, with real successes and real failures just like everyone else.

As leaders in the industry, we desire, above all, to keep transparency at the core of how we serve. We are not perfect in our efforts (and trust me, social media has been far from a perfect journey for us), but we don’t quit, we don’t back down and we don’t let it beat us. With this attitude, we desire to keep it real with folks, and so far this has been one of the most successful elements of social media we have experienced!

{ 1 comment }

Craft-perfect-social-media-postYou hear that an important rule of marketing is to “know your audience,” but what you don’t hear as often, is that it’s just as important to “know your platform.” Crafting the perfect social media post is about the means and the message. Each social media site has it’s own personality and language, you want to know the types of posts appropriate for various platforms in order to get the best engagement and response from your audience. It is also important to identify where your audience is spending time online and be active in the sites where they are active.

Ideal social media posts are not hard sells for your product. Instead, they’re conversations on topics related, or tangentially related, to your brand. They remind your customers of your brand and keep your products top of mind. They may not convert as soon as they see your social media post, but over time, your fans are significantly more likely to purchase or recommend you than non-fans.

Facebook

The ideal Facebook post includes interesting copy, a photo asset, and often, a link to “read more” or “learn more” on a company blog or other brand platform. The copy may ask a question or provoke a conversation based on the photo, as fans will see the two together.

Even though Facebook’s word limit is now in the thousands, studies show that “short and sweet” is better when it comes to Facebook copy too. The Facebook algorithm curates its newsfeed on visual aesthetic. Photos and videos (especially those uploaded in the Facebook player) are more likely to appear in users newsfeeds, and are more likely to be clicked on by users, than word posts alone.

Twitter

The perfect Twitter post stands more on the legs of its copy than Facebook posts do. While photos and videos (embedded from YouTube or Vimeo) now show up in users’ Twitter Timelines, posts are still driven by text.

Great tweets can include interesting quotes from blog posts or articles, enticing, specific statements designed to draw followers’ attention to the link (example: “How I saved thousands of dollars with 3 simple budgeting rules”), or questions or polls for the followers, especially if follower responses are used to shape your product offerings or branding decisions.

Hashtags on Twitter: Definitely! Read my last guest post for more specific information and advice on Twitter hashtags.

LinkedIn

Updates on LinkedIn are generally more related to the career and business world. This is not so much the place to post about your new product offerings or upcoming discounts, unless you can relate it to a big-picture marketing discussion. However, if you’ve written a business or marketing-specific blog post, LinkedIn can be a great place to share with your customers and fellow entrepreneurs.

LinkedIn posts can, but don’t need to, include photos. And if you link out to a blog post or news article, its thumbnail is pulled in on a photo for your post.

Hashtags: Not used on LinkedIn.

Instagram

Instagram is a great medium to share your brand’s more “artistic” side. If you have a physical product, find ways to show off the way your product is made or demonstrate its various uses. Instagram is especially beneficial for brands in the food or fitness industries. But even if you sell non-tangible products, you can use Instagram to show off the culture of your company. Fun, funky “around the office moments,” or business trips to various locations can perk followers’ interest.

Hashtags on Instagram: Yes! Hashtags are a great way for users to find your content. Here, you want to use more descriptive hashtags about the content of your photo. For example: #SFO #Juicing #DogsofInstagram #Fitness

Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual platform, like Instagram, but the photos aren’t always as “organic” or “in the moment.” While recipe and fitness photos are popular on Pinterest, the platform is also a great place for clothing and interior design photos, or inspirational quotes with interesting backgrounds.

Pinterest is also a terrific platform for sharing digital products. Mashable is very creative in the way they have organized their digital content on their boards. Take a look for inspiration.

Pinterest users like to be inspired. The perfect Pinterest post reflects the mood and tone of your brand, and it’s captivating or motivating enough for users to repin to their own followers.

Hashtags on Pinterest: Yes! As with Instagram, use descriptive hashtags relating to the content of your pin. For example: #quotes #healthyrecipe #gardening

Google Plus

Conversations in Google Plus are similar in style and tone to Facebook conversations. However, you do have the opportunity to limit the post to particular fan “circles.” If you have a passionate group of “superfans,” you may want to post a special incentive or reward to just these followers.

Hashtags on Google Plus: Yes! Google Plus automatically creates hashtags on your posts, depending on keywords used.

Crafting the perfect post for your platform is a great start, but it’s also vital to engage with the thread after it’s posted. We don’t ask a question, and then walk away from the conversation! Respond to your followers’ responses, ask more questions, “like” or “favorite” their replies, and feel free to retweet the good ones (on Twitter). When audiences see that their responses are heard, they will stay connected and continue to engage in the future.

 


 

Donna Cravotta is the CEO of Social Sage PR and the creator of the Total Social PR System™ and Publicity Prowess™. She helps entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses maximize their online presence with a very different approach to social media and public relations. Her commitment is to ensure that her clients are empowered to amplify their unique voice and share their purpose, without overwhelming their schedules.

A natural connector of people and a relationship builder long before Facebook even existed, Donna has created a simple, yet strategic method to reveal hidden opportunities online that create authentic situations for her clients to grow their networks, gain loyal followers, connect with the media, and do it all with ease.

Donna knows a thing or two about creative (and cost-effective) social media and online strategy, the best part is… she teaches her clients how to build these strategies into their own businesses in an ongoing and sustainable way. Her techniques can be easily implemented in just a few minutes each day to create valuable business connections, resulting in lasting relationships that lead to mind-blowing opportunities and endless possibilities.

You can reach Donna at SocialSagePR.com.

 

{ 0 comments }

How to Sell to a High End Client

September 10, 2014

On Thursday (tomorrow), 9/11 Tina Forsyth will be hosting a BRAND NEW free Webinar: 7 Keys to Working with High End Clients You can register for the webinar here: http://www.onlinebusinessmanager.com/highendclients You do not want to miss this webinar if you are interested in up leveling your clientele and really producing a top quality service that […]

Read the full article →

3 Habits to Adopt as an OBM

September 3, 2014

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle As Online Business Managers it can be really easily to get stuck in a trap of what I like to call: Adrenaline Addiction. This is where we run from one fire, to the next fire, to the next […]

Read the full article →

Implementers Unite!

August 27, 2014

        Recently Tina Forsyth announced a brand new membership program: The Implementer’s Club. As we here at Team Forsyth have been working on the back end to lay out all the pieces of this very targeted empowerment community, I have realized a few things. Although they seem as though they should have […]

Read the full article →

Find Out What Folks Are Excited About with The Implementer’s Club

August 22, 2014

Recently Tina Forsyth launched a BRAND NEW membership program for ALL IMPLEMENTERS! Not just Online Business Managers, but anyone who works as a contractor / freelancer in the implementation role: VA, Graphic Design, Web Design, Copywriter, Social Media Specialist, etc… So if this is you… be sure to watch this video and find out what […]

Read the full article →

Launches, Social PR & Team Based Business – WOW!

August 13, 2014

WOWSERS! The Virtually Successful Video Summit has been hopping! I’ve been in the VA industry since 2003 and never have I participated in an event that has provided so much insight! (And it’s so much fun being the Summit Correspondent!) Did you know there are 5 kinds of launches? I had no idea! On the […]

Read the full article →