When you’re a new OBM starting out in the online space, bagging your first paying OBM clients is a HUGE win. It’s super exciting, confidence boosting, and yet kinda scary, all at the same time! However, if there’s one thing I wish I knew when I was a fledgling OBM, it’d be how to identify the RIGHT kind of clients for me at that stage of my journey. And it’s this revelation that has the power to change the future for new OBMs…
Naturally, most of us have a tendency at first to work with anyone and everyone will take us on (been there!). But as a newbie, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in onboarding as many new clients as possible, whilst ignoring the importance of working with the right kind of clients.
By doing so, you run the risk of getting in over your head and shattering your confidence before you’ve got experience under your belt in the online space. But there’s one key discovery I made during my own VA to OBM journey that can stop that from happening…
So what is this secret sauce for success? Well, when you’re starting out in the OBM world, there’s a ‘goldilocks’ sweet spot client out there who is PERFECT for your stage of the game. One who will foster your growth, help you cultivate confidence, and who will evolve along with you.
Before we get into exactly who that client is, it’s important to understand all of the OBM client types that you’ll likely come across when you’re getting started. So let’s dig in to who they are, who you should avoid like the plague, and which ones are your perfect match!
The 3 Types of OBM Clients
Type #1: “No Money Marys”
The clue here is in the name. We ALL come across a ‘No Money Mary’ at some stage, and they’re a huge red flag when it comes to taking on your first OBM clients.
These guys will probably think of you like a vendor at a flea market. They’ll negotiate your rates and pricing left, right, and center. Don’t get me wrong – a little negotiation here and there is a healthy part of any working relationship. But these guys take that notion a step too far in the wrong direction.
Their budget is small, and they want to squeeze EVERY last dime they spend on you for what it’s worth. This will mean you likely have to spend a lot of time navigating difficult discussions on how they can’t have their whole list of ‘must-haves’ included within their stretched budget. This can put a strain on your working relationship or in the worst case, end up ruining it for good.
If you work with this kind of client, your confidence is at risk. You’ll likely end up positioning yourself WAY below your worth. You might end up wasting valuable time working far too much in proportion to what you’re being paid. Or you could risk compromising the quality of your work, by condensing your tasks into tighter time frames just so that you can earn the money you need to. All of this is potentially damaging to your reputation, as well as sending your stress levels through the roof.
Type #2: ‘7 Figure Bigwigs’
On the other hand, the bigwigs are at the total opposite end of the spectrum! These guys aren’t short of cash at ALL. In fact, they have enough to do everything and anything they want (including paying you high rates!).
These guys don’t waste their valuable time going into the smaller details of their biz. They want someone to take care of that for them. After all, they’re far too busy on vacation in Fiji, networking internationally, and landing new multi-million dollar contracts.
The 7 figure bigwigs are incredibly wise, confident, and have TONS of experience navigating the business landscape. They’re always thinking about the bigger picture. That’s why they need a strong, confident leader who’s gonna deliver world-class results and provide proven strategies for growth. What they need is an OBM who is ready to step up and fully take control of their team, their biz, and all of its daily operations.
These are the main reasons why this relationship isn’t a great fit for starting OBMs. Seven figure business owners need someone with tons of experience, and a track record of proven results as an OBM. In time, they will need you… just not right now when you’re new to the industry.
Type #3: Stepping Stone Clients
Stepping Stone Clients are the ‘Goldilocks’ OBM clients that I referred to earlier. The sweet spot for every OBM who is just getting started!
These guys typically either have a pretty small team, or are running a one-man show. Either way, they’re usually wearing ALL the hats in their business. As a result, they’ve hit a revenue ceiling because they’ve been so busy doing everything themselves.
Stepping Stone Clients understand that their time needs to be spent on bigger picture items in order to scale up in the way that they want to. They’re ready to grow and take on a bigger team, but need help learning how to release control and focus on the larger, revenue-generating activities, rather than working on the small stuff.
As a new OBM, this is where you have the opportunity to be their SAVIOR! These guys won’t demand your blood, sweat, and tears from day one. You and the client will grow together, because that’s what they really need. Someone who will grow WITH them, who can do some of the everyday ‘VA’ style tasks too, but also someone who can think about bigger picture strategy.
Working with these Stepping Stone Clients allows you to comfortably build a portfolio of real results, without compromising your confidence. You can really learn how to step up into your leadership and position yourself as the expert.
But the best part? There are SO many Stepping Stone Clients out there ready for you to answer their call. They’re just waiting for someone like you to come along, take the reins, and help them grow. The only real risk you run here is having them beg to keep you forever!
Ready to find your first Stepping Stone Clients?
Amazing OBMs are needed right now more than ever. There are tons of Stepping Stone Clients who are desperate for help with uplevelling their businesses and working on their strategic direction, especially during these uncertain times.
Now over to you: What good and bad experiences have you had when it came to working with your first OBM clients? Share your stories in the comments below!