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This topic came from one of our The Audacious OBM Podcast listeners – they sent me a message asking if I could you do an episode on how we can better educate our clients on what it is an OBM does and then how we provide this education. Because a lot of clients don’t seem to understand and can I tell you, this listener is 100% right. A lot of clients do not understand and it’s something that, as an industry, we need to get better at communicating, and we need to get our stories straight. 

 

This episode shares:  

  • Start with the foundation: Educate consistently throughout the client journey, from marketing materials to social media to client calls. Repetition is key!
  • Showcase your value: Your services page should scream OBM, not basic VA tasks. Highlight strategic offerings like project & operations management.
  • Paint the transformation picture: Explain how you create space, peace of mind, and business growth through your process. Talk about weekly check-ins, Voxer support, and strategic planning sessions.
  • ROI rocks: Address the money question! Help clients see how your expertise frees up their time for higher-value activities, ultimately generating more income.
  • Embrace the responsibility: Emphasise the ownership and strategic level you bring compared to a regular VA. You’re the conductor of the business orchestra!
  • Teamwork makes the dream work: Show how you seamlessly integrate with other team members, VA or not. It’s all about smooth collaboration and shared goals.
  • Storytelling sells: Share client success stories, case studies, and relatable scenarios. ✨ Personal anecdotes make your expertise real and impactful.

 

Start with the foundation

All right, so the first thing is, you need to understand it first. Now, you might be sitting there thinking of course I understand what it is, I do it every day. But, do you really understand what it is?

I’ve heard so many different variations and yeah, everyone has a little bit of a difference in their opinion, and there are slight variations, but I’ve seen big variations.

I’ve also seen people who just tack OBM on the end of their title so that they can charge more money and that makes it harder for everybody because it hasn’t got to do with what the role is. So it dissolves that meaning and it makes it a little murkier.

So what is an OBM? If you’re an OBM, the easiest way to explain this, is that you are a specialist in the virtual assistant industry, someone who specializes in project management, operations management, business management, and usually is digital marketing savvy and has good tech skills.

So the things that you really need at that foundation of running a business, and then you do it online. Hence the virtual part. You might also be thinking, Leanne, I’m not a VA. I’m an OBM. This is the whole issue. You are a VA. And this is what I meant when I said you need to understand it first. When you’re explaining this, you need to explain it from an industry standpoint.

Virtual Assistant is an industry as a whole. It’s everyone in it. You can have general admin VAs, which is what we commonly will say, Oh, I need a VA. That’s what people are talking about. When you say, I’m not a VA, that’s what you’re talking about. You’re actually talking about an admin VA, an admin all rounder.

You’re an OBM, which sits within that industry as a whole.

You can also have social media VAs.

You can also have Bookkeeping VAs.

You can also have lawyers who are VAs because what is a VA?

A VA is somebody who works in a business and provides a business-to-business service in an online capacity. You work remotely. In its simplest form, that’s what it is.

So now you can see how being an OBM still means you’re a VA. It’s a niche within that industry. This is how you explain it to your clients and you explain it in a way where it’s like, if you were to look at your whole support team, takes a lot of support to run a business. Takes someone supporting with finance, takes someone supporting with marketing, takes someone supporting with answering the phones, takes someone managing a team, there’s all these different qualities that you need and an OBM is the one that is in the middle, helping run it all. So in the same way, in an office, you would have a business manager, you’re an online business manager and you’re not online because you only work with online businesses.

Let’s say like Ecommerce stores, you only work with Ecommerce stores and they only sell online. That’s not true. It’s just that you work in an online manner.

Now, how do we further educate our clients once we have the definition and the concept down pat for ourselves? How do we pass that knowledge on in a way that’s easy to understand?

The thing that you need to grasp to do this and to do it well is there is no way to explain it all in one foul swoop. If you really want your clients to understand what an OBM is, you need to do it ongoing and throughout your client journey. What that means is your education starts at marketing. So before they’re even one of your clients, you need to start talking about on your website, in your socials, if you have a podcast, on your podcast, however you do your marketing in your networking conversations. That’s where your education starts and that’s where you start explaining what an OBM is and what an OBM does. So that before people even come to you, you’ve already started building that foundation of knowledge.

Are people going to always remember what you said? No. But you’ve planted that seed, you’ve given them that foundation. Your audience will start to get it and the more that we all do this, the easier it will be for them to grasp. So marketing first

Tip💡: Distill your role and value clearly, focusing on education that demystifies your position as a specialist within the VA industry, emphasising your expertise in project and operations management.

 

Showcase your value

The second place that you want to cover what an OBM is, is on your services page.

I am not saying, let’s go write a blog post on our services page. What I’m saying is that your services should reflect what an OBM is. If your services look exactly the same as an admin VA services page, if you offer the exact same things, then, lovely one, you are an admin VA.

Either that, or they’re an OBM and they don’t realise it. Understand the services you deliver and where they sit within the industry. Your aim here is not to create all different packages or have all different skills and offer hundreds and hundreds of them just to suit every client. What you want to show on your services page is that you operate at a higher level.

On your services page, you might have project management, or you might have your operations manager, or your team whisperer. There’s all different ways you can go about it, but it’s very different to just saying it’ll cost you $100 for me to do a newsletter. It’ll cost you $100 for me to set up an email automation. It’ll cost you $50 an hour for every team meeting that I have, and they will go from 30 minutes to 2 hours every week.

See how it’s very different? We want to operate at a higher level, so we need to start presenting at a higher level. In no way am I meaning, don’t give clarity.

Make sure it’s clear what you’re doing.

Tip💡: Customise your services page to reflect the advanced level of your work, differentiating yourself from a general admin VA by highlighting your higher-order skills and strategic involvement.

 

Paint the transformation picture

But it’s not this segmented task list of, I could do this for you, or I could do this for you, or I could do this for you. No. You want to paint the picture of, hey, when you work with me, this is what you’re gonna get. I’m in your corner. I’m gonna be doing this on a regular basis.

You also want to talk about the process.

A large part of what an OBM does is give space and peace of mind.

As such, how do we sell that? It’s hard, isn’t it? Because it’s not tangible. The way that we can explain it, though, is through the process and you explain it in everything, in your marketing, on your website, it’s when you work with me, this is what it looks like. This is how you’ll feel. This is the space you’ll have. You’ll have clarity. You’ll have the ability to go out and to spend more time doing what you love. You’ll have the ability to really hunker down, and plan what’s next for your business without worrying that your business operations are going to fall over in the process. You’ll have a sounding board.

The way that we give you those things are, we’ll have a weekly check in call, you’ll have Voxer support, I’ll come to your office and do a quarterly planning meeting.

However it is that you do it, you want to explain it and you want to explain why it matters. We do this so you can……

This is how we show them what an OBM does. This is how we sell that intangible piece because there is no hard put a dollar in, put a dollar out. That’s not the outcome of working with an OBM and it doesn’t need to be. But we do need to work out a way to explain it and through that is the process.

Tip💡: Articulate the transformative experience of working with you, detailing the process, the peace of mind, and the strategic space you provide, making the intangible tangible through descriptions of your methodologies.

 

ROI rocks

The other thing that you can do if you’re having conversations with leads and you’re thinking okay, what they sound like is that they think I’m just going to be an admin VA and I’m just going to do all the little bits and that’s not really what I want to do even though I can do that. Start talking about the ROI.

Absolutely. I could do all of that stuff, but that’s not the best use of my time. Like really you want to bring in an admin VA or someone better suited to those skills, pay them at their rate and pay me at my rate to manage them. And then that way we’re getting more done. We’re being financially clever. We’re using everyone to the best of their ability, and then explain the things that you could do.

Here’s where I would be best placed. I’d really like to be involved in your business planning. Let me look at your strategy. Let me see where we’re going. Let’s look at those goals and how we’re tracking them.

Let’s have a look if there’s another team member we need to free some of your time up to do what you do better. Use me for all the skills that I have. For the level of knowledge I have rather than paying me for that level of knowledge, but not getting it. Explain things like that too, it helps give your client’s perspective.

The next thing that you can do is talk about the maths. A lot of people struggle with the money factor, but it’s because they haven’t done the math. They haven’t actually thought about, okay, if I was to bring you in and it gave me an extra two hours a week, what could I do with that 2 hours? I charge myself at $350 an hour.

I could be making $700 in 2 hours. Or I could create a new $97 masterclass in 2 hours and sell that, and maybe sell one a week for a year. What’s 97 x 52?

Start thinking about the actual dollar figures compared to how much you would charge to be involved every week and start talking about those things.

Tip💡: Discuss the financial benefits of your role, using concrete examples and math to demonstrate the real value you bring, encouraging clients to see beyond immediate costs to long-term gains.

 

Embrace the responsibility

Start talking about the level of ownership and responsibility an OBM has. It’s very different to an administration VA and I am not saying in any way that Admin VAs aren’t dedicated, committed, uninvested. They 100% are. I’ve seen so many great ones and some not so great ones. Same as people who specialise in online business management.

But as an online business manager, you are in all of those kind of strategic level things – how we’re keeping everything on track.

So there is that level of responsibility on you. There is that level of ownership of supporting everyone in a team, not just one person. Start talking about those things.

Tip💡: Communicate the broad scope of responsibility and ownership you assume as an OBM, showing your integral role in strategy and team coordination beyond mere administration.

 

Teamwork makes the dream work

The next thing you can do is take the reins, and what I mean by that is start talking about how you work with your client’s teams. The best way to set that picture of here’s where I operate and here’s how everyone else within the business would operate and here’s how I would coordinate them – tell them exactly that.

Give them that visual picture of – there’s me and then there’s all these other pieces and I’m going to help you pull everything together. So everyone’s working towards the same goal.

Tell them how you will work with their different support team members, their admin VA, their marketing VA. It’s showing them what you do. It’s helping them understand that difference.

Tip💡: Describe vividly how you integrate with and optimize the client’s team, creating a cohesive working environment that aims for unified goals, which clarifies your leadership and collaborative prowess.

 

Storytelling sells

The final thing is to tell stories.

People find it so much easier to understand what is occurring if it’s in story form.

People find it easier to remember something if it’s in story form. People get attached to emotion and when there is an emotion, it triggers a different part of our memory and we remember easier.

Tell stories. Talk about things that you’ve done with other clients. Talk about scenarios that you’ve managed. Talk about big wins. Talk about things that have been hard.

Start telling stories.

Use case studies. Put case studies up. These are the kinds of people I’ve worked with. This is what they came to me for. This is how I went about solving that. This was the outcome. How cool is that?

Give people the input they need to really grasp what you’re talking about to fully understand what your capability and what your purpose is.

Tip💡: Use storytelling to connect on an emotional level, making your role and impact relatable and memorable through real-life examples, case studies, and narratives of success and challenges overcome.

 

And… that’s a wrap!

I hope you find this helpful. If you have any recommendations on what you’d like to hear on this podcast, please, please send me a DM @leannewoff pretty much anywhere because I’ll cover it. I want this to be a two way conversation.

If you love listening to this podcast, please leave me a five star review because that’s how the Magical Podcast Apps know that this is a quality podcast and shows it to more virtual assistants, including OBMs.

Bye guys. Have a great week. I’ll see you next week.

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Follow along with the transcript

E34 How to educate clients on what an OBM is

Leanne Woff:[00:00:00] 

Hey, hey, hey, lovely, let’s chat about how to educate our clients on what an [00:01:00] OBM is. Today’s podcast episode topic actually came from one of our listeners and they sent me a message and they were saying to me, could you do an episode on how we can better educate our clients on what it is an OBM does and how we do it?

Because a lot of them don’t seem to understand. And can I tell you, she is 100 percent right. A lot of them do not understand. And it’s something that, as an industry, we need to get better at communicating, and we need to get our stories straight. Today I’m going to cover some things I think that we can all do that will help our audience as a whole grasp the idea better.

All right, so the first thing is, you need to understand it first. Now, you might be sitting there thinking of course I understand what it is, I do it every day. But, do you [00:02:00] really understand what it is? Because I’ve heard so many different variations. And yeah, everyone has a little bit of a difference in their opinion, and there are slight variations, but I’ve seen big variations.

I’ve also seen people who just tack OBM on to the end of their title so that they can charge more money. And that makes it harder for everybody because it hasn’t got to do with what the role is. So it like dissolves that meaning and it makes it a little murkier. So what is an OBM? If you’re an OBM, the easiest way to explain this, is that you are a specialist in the virtual assistant industry, someone who specializes in project management, operations management, business management, and usually is [00:03:00] digital marketing savvy and has good tech skills.

So the things that you really need at that foundation of running a business, and then you do it online. Hence the virtual part. You might also be thinking, Leanne, I’m not a VA. I’m an OBM. This is the whole issue. You are a VA. And this is what I meant when I said you need to understand it first. When you’re explaining this, you need to explain it from an industry standpoint.

Virtual Assistant is an industry as a whole. It’s everyone in it. You can have general admin VAs, which is what we commonly will say, Oh, I need a VA. That’s what people are talking about. When you say, I’m not a VA, that’s what you’re talking about. You’re actually talking about an admin VA, an admin all rounder.

You’re an OBM, which sits [00:04:00] within that industry as a whole. You can also have social media VAs. You can also have Bookkeeping VAs. You can also have lawyers who are VAs because what is a VA? A VA is somebody who works in a business and provides a business-to-business service in an online capacity. You work remotely. In its simplest form, that’s what it is. And so now you can see how being an OBM still means you’re a VA. It’s a niche within that industry. This is how you explain it to your clients and you explain it in a way where it’s like, if you were to look at your whole support team, takes a lot of support to run a business. Takes someone supporting with finance, takes someone supporting with marketing, takes someone supporting with answering the phones, takes someone[00:05:00] managing a team, there’s all these different qualities that you need and an OBM is the one that is in the middle, helping run it all. So in the same way, in an office, you would have a business manager, you’re an online business manager and you’re not online because you only work with online businesses. So let’s say like e commerce stores, you only work with e commerce stores and they only sell online.

That’s not true. It’s just that you work in an online manner.

Now, how do we further educate our clients once we have the definition and the concept down pat for ourselves? How do we pass that knowledge on in a way that’s easy to understand?

The thing that you need to grasp to do this and to do it well is there is no way to explain it all in one foul swoop. If you really want your [00:06:00] clients to understand what an OBM is, you need to do it ongoing and throughout your client journey. What that means is your education starts at marketing. So before they’re even one of your clients, you need to start talking about on your website, in your socials, if you have a podcast, on your podcast, however you do your marketing in your networking conversations. That’s where your education starts and that’s where you start explaining what an OBM is and what an OBM does. So that before people even come to you, you’ve already started building that foundation of knowledge.

Are people going to always remember what you said? No. But you’ve planted that seed, you’ve given them that foundation. Your audience will start to get it. And the more that we all do this, the easier it will be for them to grasp. [00:07:00] So marketing first. The second place that you want to cover what an OBM is, is on your services page. I am not saying, let’s go write a blog post on our services page. What I’m saying is that your services should reflect what an OBM is. If your services look exactly the same as an admin VA services page, if you offer the exact same things, then, lovely one, you are an admin VA.

Either that, or they’re an OBM and they don’t realise it. Understand the services you deliver and where they sit within the industry. Your aim here is not to create all different packages or have all different skills and offer hundreds and hundreds of them just to suit every client. What you want to show on your services page is that you operate at a higher level.

And on your services page, you might have,[00:08:00] project management, or you might have your operations manager, or your team whisperer. There’s all different ways you can go about it, but it’s very different to just saying it’ll cost you $100 for me to do a newsletter. It’ll cost you $100 for me to set up an email automation.

It’ll cost you $50 an hour for every team meeting that I have, and they will go from 30 minutes to 2 hours every week. See how it’s very different? We want to operate at a higher level, so we need to start presenting at a higher level. In no way am I meaning, don’t give clarity. Make sure it’s clear what you’re doing.

But it’s not this segmented task list of, I could do this for you, or I could do this for you, or I could do this for you. No. You want to paint the picture of, hey, when you work with me, this is what you’re gonna get. I’m in your corner. I’m gonna be doing this on a regular basis. You [00:09:00] also want to talk about the process.

A large part of what an OBM does is give space and peace of mind. And as such, how do we sell that? It’s hard, isn’t it? Because it’s not tangible. The way that we can explain it, though, is through the process. And you explain it in everything, in your marketing, on your website. And it’s when you work with me, this is what it looks like.

This is how you’ll feel. This is the space you’ll have. You’ll have clarity. You’ll have the ability to go out and to spend more time doing what you love. You’ll have the ability to really hunker down, and plan what’s next for your business without worrying that your business operations are going to fall over in the process.

You’ll have a sounding board. The way that we give you those things are, we’ll have a weekly check in call, you’ll have [00:10:00] Voxus support, I’ll come to your office and do a quarterly planning meeting. However it is that you do it, you want to explain it and you want to explain why it matters. We do this so you can……

This is how we show them what an OBM does. This is how we sell that intangible piece. Because there is no hard put a dollar in, put a dollar out. That’s not the outcome of working with an OBM and it doesn’t need to be. But we do need to work out a way to explain it and through that is the process.

The other thing that you can do if you’re having conversations with leads and you’re thinking okay, what they sound like is that they think I’m just going to be an admin VA and I’m just going to do all the little bits and that’s not really what I want to do even though I can do that. Start talking about the ROI.

Absolutely. I could do all of that stuff, [00:11:00] but that’s not the best use of my time. Like really you want to bring in an admin VA or someone better suited to those skills, pay them at their rate and pay me at my rate to manage them. And then that way we’re getting more done. We’re being financially clever.

And we’re using everyone to the best of their ability. And then explain the things that you could do. Here’s where I would be best placed. I’d really like to be involved in your business planning. Let me look at your strategy. Let me see where we’re going. Let’s look at those goals and how we’re tracking them.

Let’s have a look if there’s another team member we need to free some of your time up to do what you do better. Use me for all the skills that I have. For the level of knowledge I have rather than paying me for that level of knowledge, but not getting it. And so you can explain things like [00:12:00] that too.

And it helps give your client’s perspective.

The next thing that you can do is talk about the maths. A lot of people struggle with the money factor, but it’s because they haven’t done the math. They haven’t actually thought about, okay, if I was to bring you in and it gave me an extra two hours a week, what could I do with that 2 hours? I charge myself at $350 an hour.

I could be making $700 in 2 hours. Or I could create a new $97 masterclass in 2 hours and sell that. And maybe sell one a week for a year. What’s 97 times 52? Start thinking about the actual dollar figures. Compared to how much you would charge to be involved every week and start talking about those things.

Also, start talking about the level of ownership and [00:13:00] responsibility an OBM has. It’s very different to an administration VA. And I am not saying in any way that Admin VAs aren’t dedicated, committed, uninvested. They 100 percent are. I’ve seen so many great ones and some not so great ones. Same as people who specialize in online business management.

But as an online business manager, you are in all of those kind of strategic level things. You’re in that how we’re keeping everything on track. So there is that level of responsibility on you. There is that level of ownership of supporting everyone in a team, not just one person, so start talking about those things.

The next thing you can do is take the reins, and what I mean by that is start talking about how you work with your client’s teams. The best way to set that picture of here’s where I operate and here’s how everyone else within the business would [00:14:00] operate and here’s how I would coordinate them is to tell them exactly that.

Give them that visual picture of – there’s me and then there’s all these other pieces and I’m going to help you pull everything together. So everyone’s working towards the same goal.

Tell them how you will work with their different support team members, their admin VA, their marketing VA. It’s showing them what you do. It’s helping them understand that difference. And then the final thing is to tell stories. People find it so much easier to understand what is occurring if it’s in story form.

People find it easier to remember something if it’s in story form. People get attached to emotion and when there is an emotion, it triggers a different part of our memory and we remember easier. Tell stories. Talk about things that you’ve done with other clients. Talk about scenarios that you’ve managed.

Talk [00:15:00] about big wins. Talk about things that have been hard. Start telling stories. Use case studies. Put case studies up. These are the kinds of people I’ve worked with. This is what they came to me for. This is how I went about solving that. This was the outcome. How cool is that? Give people the input they need to really grasp what you’re talking about to fully understand what your capability and what your purpose is.

Yeah, so that’s it. That’s as simple as it can be. But really, it is just reiterating the same thing over and over. You can do it. And it might sound like you’ve said it, and you’ve said it before, and you’ve said it before, but no one is listening just to you. Everybody is coming from their own perspective with all different pieces of information getting thrown at them.

You saying it 500 times, probably going to hear it twice. And don’t not say it for fear of you’re [00:16:00] going to sound like a broken record because the consequence of that is that a lot of people don’t hear it at all and it just makes our job even harder and they’re still seeking this information.

They just weren’t in the right place at the right time to hear it. I hope that helps. I hope it’s giving you multiple different avenues to make it a little bit easier. Maybe you’re already doing some of these things. Maybe you’re not doing some of them. Maybe it’s giving you one thing. If you walk away and implement one thing I’ve talked about, you’re already ahead.

I hope you find that helpful. If you have any recommendations on what you’d like to hear on this podcast, please, please send me a DM at leannewolf pretty much anywhere because I’ll cover it. I want this to be a two way conversation. And. If you love listening to this podcast, please leave me a five star review because that’s how the Magical Podcast Apps know that this is a quality podcast [00:17:00] and shows it to more virtual assistants, including OBMs.

Bye guys. Have a great week. I’ll see you next week.

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