Often OBM’s working ‘undercover’ or as an OBM in disguise are ready to play a bigger role.
There are many online professionals who are already doing OBM level work for their clients but don’t realize it, and because of that are selling themselves short in the marketplace and even in the eyes of their current clients.
OBMs in disguise usually come to realize that they are doing more than what the virtual assistant or online support role calls for. It’s like the administrative assistant who’s really acting as HR Manager. Or the Executive Assistant who’s slowly taken on duties of the former Vice President, Operations, only hasn’t received the title or pay raise. High time to make an adjustment, wouldn’t you say?
There comes a point when they realize that they are “doing more.” In some instances, in fact, it’s their client who points this out:
My good friend and business partner Cindy Greenway, Author of Virtually Successful, had this revelation when talking to a client. One day her client said to her “Cindy, do you realize that you are doing much more than any of my previous VAs had done for me?” Cindy hadn’t even considered this until her client pointed it out to her, and at first she was confused and asked her client to clarify.
“Well Cindy, when you’re putting together my newsletter, you will actually go ahead and write content to fill any gaps. Any other VA I’ve worked with in the past has sat back and waited for me to create all the content. It’s been a real bonus to have your help there. Also, there was our teleseminar series last month. After you and I had a phone call to discuss the event, you went ahead and started calling and booking speakers, setting up the systems and doing everything needed to run this event. I didn’t even have to ask you to do anything, I just knew that you were on task and would take care of it.”
Until her client pointed it out to her, Cindy didn’t realize she was doing anything out of the ordinary, she was just doing what came naturally to her.
Or the OBM-in-disguise may one day compare what they are doing to what their colleagues are doing.
Amy Ewart of SecretarialSolutions.ca had this experience: As a VA, she naturally “took charge” of projects for her clients, sharing her ideas, brainstorming and always looking for ways to work better with them. When she took a look around at other VAs, she noticed that she went beyond the simple “task assistance” they were providing, and instead was successfully contributing to her clients’ projects from concept right through to completion. In playing this bigger role, Amy felt more competent, because she began to see her clients businesses as a “whole” and not just as a sum of the tasks she performed. Her clients began to love this management role that she was taking on, as it freed up their time even further. Again, this is just what came naturally to her. When she noticed this, Amy shifted how she presented herself and her services. She called herself an OBM and priced her services accordingly.
There are a lot of folks out there who are already providing OBM-level support, but haven’t formalized that role, and as such, aren’t being compensated properly.
In the next section we will be diving into the role of the OBM, and what exactly they do for their clients. If you find yourself saying, “Hey, that’s what I already do!” then you may be an OBM in disguise. You’ve probably always known that you are “doing a bit more,” but haven’t really been able to articulate it to yourself or your clients. If that is the case, this book will give you a new “shingle” to hang out for your business, so that you can officially take on this role and enjoy the satisfaction and compensation that come alongside.