(excerpt from Becoming an Online Business Manager)
Just the other day I spoke to a lovely woman about our Hot Skills VA Training program, where we teach online skills and tools to virtual assistants.
She and her husband ran a very successful embroidery business for years, where he was the tech whiz and she was the marketing pro. After selling the business, she decided she wanted to work online. Not necessarily as a VA, but in some kind of capacity where she can help clients use the power of the Internet to grow their businesses.
“Sounds like you want to be an Online Business Manager,” I said to her. After explaining to her a bit more of what the role is about, she was thrilled to realize that it was even a possibility!
Being a successful business owner herself, she definitely already has what I call a marketing mindset, which is an essential piece of being a successful OBM. With a strong business background and marketing mindset, anyone can learn the online tools and skills necessary to become an OBM.
After all, business is business. Whether it is an online or traditional business it all boils down to the same thing – create value that people will pay for.
This type of potential OBM is probably one of the most exciting to me, especially when I consider someone like the stay-at-home mom or dad. They have chosen to stay home with their children instead of going back to work, and may have amazing business and marketing skills that are lying dormant for the time being.
Many of them would love to be able to work, if only there was an opportunity that allowed them the flexibility to be home with their children while making a living. I know there are potential OBMs at home watching (yet another!) episode of Barney and wishing they could use their brain for more than memorizing the songs from kid shows.
Or, as anyone who has ever worked in the corporate world knows, there are MANY talented people out there who are under-utilized and essentially miserable in their jobs. (This could be you!) My friend Pamela Slim has an excellent blog called EscapeFromCubicleNation.com, where she helps people transform from corporate prisoner to thriving entrepreneur. One of the most common challenges her readers face is that they know they want to get out of their jobs, but they have no idea what to do next.
It is to these business-savvy professionals in particular that I send a “virtual poke” to consider becoming an Online Business Manager.
…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 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.
Simple question – are you asking your clients for testimonials?
Many of us aren’t doing this and yet it’s a great way to establish credibility upfront. If people visiting your site can see some testimonials from your clients it becomes what is called “social proof” – you know what you are doing and people are getting what they want working with you.
Some of us might feel shy in asking for a testimonial and I invite you to challenge that. If your clients are happy with your work they will be more than willing to give you one. All you need to do is ask and make it simple for them to do so.
The sticking point for most folks is deciding what to say – so if you help craft a testimonial for your clients then you are much more likely to get one from them. You can ask them to answer some specific questions or even give them a “sample” testimonial for them to edit. In the past i’ve literally written my own testimonials and had people tweak/edit them to suit what they wanted to say (and then you are much more likely to get a testimonial that highlights the stuff you want to focus on as well.)
So go go go – send those testimonial requests right here and now.