In this episode of From Virtual Assistant to Online Business Manager, I’m exploring the types of tasks an OBM gets involved with.
If you’d like to take my free quiz to figure out if you’re already doing some OBM work, here’s that link.
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I’m Victoria Tretis, and this is the podcast for ambitious Virtual Assistants, who want to step into their expertise and move into the Online Business Manager role. Now, if you’re a VA and you’re not sure if you’re already working as an OBM in some capacity, feel free to do my free quiz, it’s linked in the show notes.
Now it’s time for the main part of the show.
Hello, hello, I hope that you are staying safe and well. So in today’s episode, we are exploring the types of tasks that an OBM gets involved in. But before I start, I think it’s really important to say you’re making it really clear that the only way you can do the OBM role well is when the client invests time, energy and effort into explaining how their business works to train you up and to help you succeed in your role. So, it’s not a case of your kind of going in there and hoping for the best. You’re laying those foundations right from the beginning in terms of expectations to set you both up for success.
The role is very much what you make it and, not every client will need every aspect of the role. But the core emphasis is that you’re moving away from ‘doing the doing’ like a VA task-driven reactive VA and you moving to managing. So that might mean that from a team perspective, you could have come into the business, and maybe they don’t have any other team members at the moment, so you’re busy working with the CEO or the client to figure out what do they actually need in terms of knowledge, skills, availability, qualifications, experience, all of that stuff? So you may be pulling together job descriptions, advertising for the role, contacting your own network, to see if you can get any recommendations. Maybe you’re doing first line interviews, doing the onboarding process and part of that would mean that there need to be processes behind the scenes already so that it’s a really smooth transition for that new team member coming on board. Then maybe managing those team members who you hire as well, keeping them accountable to the projects that they’ve been assigned, the deadlines that they’re working towards, perhaps even performance managing them. If there’s a problem, if they’re not performing or, if there’s some issue, then it’s having those challenging conversations as well.
If we think about projects more broadly, again, you might be thinking, ‘OK, so we’ve got this website to revamp. Who do we need to get on the team to deliver a completely revamped website within, say, three months?’. Do you need to start looking at graphic designers, web designers, copywriters, SEO experts, any types of expertise that you need to leverage to do the role well?
So, you would then be with the CEO hiring those team members and managing all of those moving parts within that particular Web project so that you can see it through to completion on the due date.
Now, when it comes to products or services that the clients have, you could get involved in launch planning, so you would have the self-assurance that if your client came to you and was like, “right, I’ve got this new thing, I’m going to sell it next week”. You could go, “Oh, OK. Well, from what I know about your business, I know that you don’t have an email list so we’d just be relying on social media”. So you’ll be able to go. “Can we push out this time frame a little bit, Mr. Client”, based on what you already know about their business. You can basically say, “look, it’s not feasible to do it next week. You’re not going to have a good result. But if we can plan it and if you can get me involved in this launch planning process, then we’ve got a much greater chance of success”.
So it’s mapping out all of those many pieces in advance, all of those moving parts. It is also having the confidence to push back on the client if there’s not enough time and resources to meet their expectations.
For instance, just to give you an example, on a launch I did recently, all of those little, tiny moving parts would include things like the ‘before the launch’. You’re building the hype. You’re trying to do audience building, and then when the cart opens, and when the sale day came, all of my social media banners were changed. It’s one thing changing them, but also to remember to change them back as well. The OBM would make sure that all of that is mapped out in a project plan, with all of those tiny moving pieces accounted for, nothing is missed, and absolutely everything is scheduled seamlessly. The OBM would also be keeping track of the numbers, so they would be able to use historical metrics from Google Analytics or from social media or from the email marketing software, or even sales to date, to work out where the focus needs to be or how the existing strategy might be tweaked ever so slightly.
So, for instance. If I didn’t use metrics, I would think that my Facebook page was an absolute waste of time because I hardly ever get any engagement on it. I can’t seem to get the followers on my page. It just doesn’t seem to do anything. But it’s my biggest source of Web traffic. If I were analysing the situation and looking at it with emotion, then my emotions would tell me it’s not worth it because nobody’s reading my stuff. “Nobody’s like in my stuff, nobody’s interested in my stuff”, all of that type of thing. But by having the intel from Google Analytics; it tells me that my Facebook page is the driver for a lot of my Web traffic, I can make that decision based on logic and intelligence. It takes away the guesswork. I am keeping track of the numbers, financials, all of those types of measurements. It will allow you to make smart decisions and smarter recommendations for your clients as well.
Second, brain support is another massive thing. You’re there to free up time and energy from your client very much like a VA. I completely agree. But you’re there so that they can bounce ideas around with you so that they’ve got more time, space and energy for creative thinking to drive the business forward. You will take their ideas and turn them into projects, but only if you feel that it’s a valid idea and you feel like it’s definitely got traction.
They’ve got realistic expectations because if they haven’t, then you’re going to have the self-assurance to push back ever so slightly. With all of that information and those ideas, you will be creating a process behind the scenes. This process will give the client full confidence and assurances that when a task is assigned, it’s going to be completed from step one to step 10, and the quality and standard will be high. Every single time it gives the client peace of mind, it provides the client with tons of reassurance as well.
I hope that’s giving you a bit of insight into the types of tasks that OBM would get involved.
Now, if you’ve been working as a VA for a while, you might actually recognise yourself in some of this already, particularly if you came from an executive assistant background where you’re pretty much used to running the show when the boss is away anyway.
So do you feel ready to take my quiz ‘are you a VA or an OBM?’. The link is in the show notes.
Please do make sure that you subscribe to this podcast so that you don’t miss a future episode next week. I’m talking about the types of businesses that need an OBM, so I hope to speak to you then.