Virtual assistants, online business managers, and project managers tend to be people who like staying behind the curtain. They want to help other business owners grow, while also keeping them organized and stress-free.
It doesn’t matter if they’re introverted or extroverted (I’ve seen both), but what these behind-the-scenes gals do have in common is that they’re all natural born Type A leaders. They can step up and make sure that the work is getting done and that the business owner is feeling good.
But as often happens in service-based businesses, the VA, OBM and PM aren’t making the money they hoped they would. And it’s not because they’re behind the scenes or because they’re not worth it.
1. You’re Not Showing Your Value
Clients know you can get stuff done in their business. They turn to you to help move projects through the pipeline and keep day-to-day administrative tasks off their desks. You’re saving them time and, likely, money. That’s what you’re good at, but chances are you’re not very good at showing off that value.
What value is your client getting from you saving her time? She’s able to work with more clients and earn more money, she can develop a new product or service and she can scale so that she can spend more time with her family (and less time burning the midnight oil).
Not only that, but you’re also creating systems and streamlining the back-end of their businesses. But you can’t quantify a feeling of being more organized. You can, however, point to the tangibles you’re bringin to the table every day. That includes more space on your clients’ calendars, easily accessible files and client work, a strategic plan for their business or even something physical you created for them.
Pro Tip: Be very clear on the pain point you’re solving for your clients. Listen to what they need and make sure you’re spotlighting this value in conversations you have with both current clients and prospects.
2. You’re Not Charging Enough
There’s a finite amount of time you have to work with clients each day and each month. When that time is over, you’ve reached your maximum income potential. If you’re charging hourly for your services month in and month out, this becomes a problem.
When you’re not charging enough, you also open the door (wide) to feeling overwhelmed. Why? Because if you need the income your business brings, you’re more likely to stack your schedule with clients that you really don’t have time for in an effort to cheat the 24/7 we all have so you can earn more. You’re spread too thin and no one receives the exceptional service you know you can provide.
Pro Tip: Increase your client rate and consider moving from hourly work to project-based work. This allows you to work with more clients without sacrificing your income. When you set a monthly retainer fee, you’re able to project what your income will be and your clients are better able to budget. It’s really a win-win. Plus, you don’t have to be so focused on tracking every moment you’re working with a client.
Grab my free guide: 10 Ways to Find High Quality Clients
3. You’re Not Specialized
What do you want to be known for? I know you want to be known for more than making another business owner’s life a little easier. When you’re the go-to person for a specific skill or service, you get more referrals and can charge more for your services. That means you need to specialize.
There are OBMs and VAs that specialize in things like systems and workflows while others specialize in the technology you need to run your business–like back-end website tasks and making sure your podcast goes off without a hitch. VAs can specialize in launches, copywriting, social media and more.
Many OBMs and VAs start businesses around this specialization but then add additional services in an effort to build their client base. What ends up happening is that they become the catch-all for administrative tasks and the specialization gets watered down.
Pro Tip: Stop being the catch-all for all low-level administrative work your clients need. Sure, you can offer a few of those services but focus on higher-level work that demands a higher rate. Then make it known what you’re the unicorn OBM or VA for so it’s easier for your biz besties and current clients to refer you out or use your services.
Of course, once you have your pricing in check and you’re focusing your business in one specific area, you still need the skills to figure out how to take your business to the next level. This requires back-end work that you haven’t been trained to do–or at least you don’t have the ability to do it for yourself.
As the OBM, VA or PM, you act as the sounding board and director of operations for your clients, but doing that for your own business is a huge mental roadblock. And then marketing yourself as a high-level director of operations that keeps all the shizzle together in someone’s business is a new concept for many business owners.
But I’ll tell ya, sister. We all need it. Small business runs just like corporate, but on a smaller scale. And without a director of operations to hold it all together, we’re in for a long, hard ride.
That’s why I developed a director of operations certification… to help you, that Type-A leader, grow your talents and your business so you can serve others in a much deeper capacity.
Find out more about the certification program. A new cohort starts soon!
In the meantime, grab my free guide for 10 ways to find high quality clients and get started now.
This guide will give you 10 specific strategies to uplevel your clientele so that you can work with clients who will pay you what you are worth. Grab it here: