Business Strategy

4 Key Differences Between an OBM and VA

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You’ve probably heard of what a virtual assistant is, and what an online brand manager is- It’s easy to think of them interchangeable and to mash them together as a “person you hire online to take care of biz”, or you might think that an OBM is just a glorified VA. 

Which, let’s keep in mind, neither is “better” than the other! They both provide different services that can help your business thrive. They are the behind the scenes crew that make your business seem like it’s really all together. 

Oh and it probably is in tip-top shape because both VA and OBM’s can deliver amazing results depending on what you are looking for!

Although they have similarities such as working online, helping you with client work, etc. they also have major differences. If you are either a VA or OBM, you understand this- you live it!  To understand them completely let’s dive into what their roles include. 

What’s an OBM?

An OBM is an Online Brand Manager. Simply put, they manage all online business duties. They ensure things get done and could be considered an all-in-one manager for your online business. More details on what their work looks like below!

What’s a VA?

A VA is a Virtual Assistant. This is a pretty vague term, but it shows the different types of work VA’s can really do- they can assist pretty much any type of business and help them complete online tasks. Let’s dive into what their work really looks like below!

How are they different?

When comparing a VA and OBM side by side, there are obvious distinctions between their work.  Let’s take a look at the 4  key differences:

What their title includes:

First let’s consider the first obvious point: their names. 

  • VA’s assist you, while OBM’s manage for you. 
  • Both titles can give pretty dead giveaways at what they do differently for clients, but let’s get into that below! 

What they do for clients:

Both work directly with clients, but how?

  • OBM’s do more in-depth work for fewer clients. They work on project, management, operations management, team management and metrics management. OBM’s also work independently. 
  • VA’s will do less work for more clients. Their duties for each client can vary, but they are task oriented. VA’s require direction from their clients. 

Who they manage:

Each one can manage different duties, but to what extent is the key difference. 

  • Again, OBM’s are a power manager- managing many different projects, people, strategies, etc. They consent to drive efforts to where they think necessary and can provide insight to business owners on where they should direct their efforts moving forward.
  • VA’s manage themselves, but take on multiple tasks from their clients. However, keep in mind that VA’s require direction, but are typically experienced in assisting in a variety of duties. 

Their outcomes: OBM’s and VA’s want to see their clients grow, but their role to get there is different. 

  • OBM’s work directly with the business itself and create strategies to see increased growth. Because they work with fewer clients, they are able to focus more time on each one. 
  • VA’s assist business owners in their path to growth- they do not initiate it, but rather help owners on their efforts to grow. Because they work with more clients, they are in charge of less for each client. 

Here’s my takeaway: If you are a business owner and haven’t considered hiring one of these roles- uh…you should! If you have the capital to do so, and you find the right person to help your company, you can see a total shift in the way your business operates. 

These guys save YOU time! And I’m sure we can all think of what we could do with an extra hour with our day!

And… If you are either a VA or OBM, i encourage you to keep doing the work you do- I’m sure it’s not out of reach for me to say you are important to your client. If you aren’t either yet and are considering becoming one, hopefully comparing them side by side pointed you in the right direction. 

Knowing how both can help out your business is important. You might need someone by your side helping you complete the tasks that you don’t have time for. Virtual assistants are great at helping business owners with that! But if you need someone to help with in-depth work or managing projects, an OBM is what you are in need of. 

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TACO OBSESSED, ENNEAGRAM 7, CHRONIC OVERACHIEVER, NATURE LOVER. 

Hi, I'm Aurelia.
Your Online Business Manager and Biz Bestie.

So many people say they’re not a ‘numbers person’, but for me? Those zeros and ones hold a special place in my heart and my business. I’ve always had a love of complex data and using it to solve #IRL problems. So much so, I’ve got a Master’s degree and five years of corporate experience to prove it. 

But fancy paper and LinkedIn profile aside, I realized after half a decade my true passion for numbers lay in using them to help small businesses reach their full potential. It’s what led me here, to you, with a mission to get your business run on autopilot while keeping you in the driver’s seat. 

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“Everything should boil down to your why. That should be the fire that runs in you.”

- Amelia Lyon

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