Archive for February 2018

Online Business Owners: Five Benefits of Hiring a Project Manager

Welcome to this episode of Creatives Crushing Anxiety! Today we are talking about five benefits of hiring a project manager in your online business. 

In this episode:

  • The benefits of hiring a project manager
  • Differences between an online business manager, project manager, and virtual assistant.
  • Where the three roles can overlap.
  • Why it’s essential to set up expectations in your business.

Listen to the episode here:

Obviously, this topic is super close to my heart. But before I jump into the reasons I want to discuss the difference between a project manager, online business manager and virtual assistant.  There tends to be a little confusion and sometimes there can be overlap on what the difference is so I wanted to break it down for you.

Virtual Assistant

Now this one isn’t going to be all-inclusive because I know different virtual assistants come with varying levels of experience and offer different services. I also know virtual assistants who are project managers but call themselves virtual assistants because people aren’t always sure that is what they need when they hear it by name. Often when you hire a VA, they are there to do a specific task that you’ve given them. They may be there temporarily or in an ongoing position. Typically your VA will be performing tasks as opposed to creating a strategy. They perform functions that are typically cut and dry to free up your time.

Online Business Manager

An OBM not only does tasks but they do strategy. They help strategize and organize things for your business in more of an ongoing role. They might handle big temporary projects, but they are also tending the sheep on your day to day projects.

Project Manager

A project manager is someone who comes in just for specific projects, a book launch a course promotion, an in-person event for example. They come in for a specific task and then leave when it’s done. They help strategize, keep to the timeline and budget and make sure the boxes are being checked in regards to one particular project.

I know for some people it may be easier to hire a PM because they are hiring them for a specified period when they are projecting an influx of cash. Instead of having this person on staff for months even when they aren’t launching.

Do you need a project manager? Do you know the benefits of having one? Find out on this episode of Creatives Crushing Anxiety. Click To Tweet

Benefits of Hiring A Project Manager

1.You can focus on the content.

If it’s a blog, podcast, the book you’re writing, content for a mastermind you’re hosting, they have your back. You get to focus on your zone of genius. You can do what you’re good at and know that someone is on top of the little details. Let’s be honest you probably didn’t start your business to make schedules and deadlines; you want to have that support that makes sure nothing falls through the cracks. You want to have someone you trust and depend on who can make sure the little things don’t get overlooked.

2. You’re no longer a bottleneck.

I’ve seen firsthand how when someone starts growing their team they can quickly become a bottleneck. Either they have done things themselves for so long they still want to approve everything, or they just have to maintain that role of team captain and make sure everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing. When you have a PM, they can take that off your plate. They’ve worked with you on the vision and plan for the project, so they know who to task what to and are organized at keeping track of it. They know when everyone’s due dates are and what might be holding things back without having to refer back to you and take up your hours with time-consuming tasks.

Most people don’t start by hiring a bigger role such as an OBM, COO or project manager they may hire a VA to just take stuff off their plate. But let’s say for example you’re launching a new course and you’ve hired a graphic designer to create your graphics. If you have to spend all your time going back and forth discussing edits and making sure they get paid. Answering emails and slacks, you end up becoming a bottleneck. You’re trying to focus on your content and message, so you stall the designer’s work. That not only can cost you time and mess up your schedule but it can cost you fees if the designer chargers for late approval or late edits, which many do. Your PM will go in and make sure these things are being handled, and you’re not in the heap of it.

It’s the same with your team, they can organize team meetings, even when you aren’t there. They can make sure people know what’s expected without you continually being involved in each step.

Free: 5-Star Client Experience Checklist

3. You and your customers are taken care of.

Obviously, you want someone there who supports you and helps you get things done, but Without your customers, you don’t have a business. You want someone who can help you take care of your customers. They make sure the right systems are set up. So you’re not getting emails or complaints from clients who didn’t get the information they expect. People aren’t saying, “Oh, I didn’t get that logging.” or “it took forever for someone to get back to me.”

When you have a PM, who is making sure schedules are synced, emails are sent, and things are getting done, you’re providing your customer’s with a great experience.

They think about potential fires before you even launch so they can be prepared with a strategy if they do arise.

I’m not saying that your PM is your fairy godmother and nothing bad will ever happen because that’s life, but that can make a huge difference. If you work closely with clients but have to cancel or postpone calls to put out fires you aren’t giving them the best experience. You can be there for your clients because your PM is there for you.

4. You can build your team.

Your PM is great at looking at the project and its goals and seeing what you need on your team. Do you need to hire a VA 6 hours a week or do you need one 20 hours a week? They can break down those project objectives to help grow strategically. This isn’t to say your PM should replace a business coach or consultant but when they can look at your goals and the projects you have on deck they can see what areas need support.

5. They save you time.

The amount of time they can save you on trial and error. The amount of time they can save you on setting things up. Just the ways they can save you from repeating tasks.

In my personal experience working with different types of clients from real estate agents to HVAC companies and more, I’ve realized that people tend to have a blind spot in their business. Your PM can come in and see opportunities to make the project exceed expectations as well as spot risky areas that need to be avoided. Because they don’t have the same type of investment in your business as you do they can see it in a different light. They also have a view from the different point of view and see things you may not have considered in your industry.

They also really help keep you on the path. When you have a PM you’ve hired for a three-month project, you can’t just blow it off because you aren’t feeling it. They are there to help you stay on track and get it done in that specific amount of time.

So to recap my five reasons you should hire a project manager for your next project. 1. You can focus on your content and create! 2. You and your customers are taken care of 3. You can stop being a bottleneck. 4. You can build the right team. And 5 to save yourself time and headaches.

One last thought: 

A lot of people who perform these roles would be good at any of these roles because they all require attention to detail and bring organized. The important thing to remember when hiring is to specify what you’re looking for and what you expect.  If you have an existing virtual assistant you love and your business is growing they may be interested in taking on a larger role such as Online Business Manager or Project Manager. Clarity is key.

Now tell me:

  • Have you worked with an OM, VA or PM?
  • Which benefit of hiring a project manager could you most benefit from?

Write Your Book With Angela Ford

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This week I have Angela Ford, writer and book coach. Angela is the author of The Four World series and one of my favorite people on the interwebs. We dive into the world of online publishing and what is hot right now. Angela shares an insider look on her writing and book marketing process. We also geek out a little bit. I had so much fun recording this episode and can’t wait to have her back. Hope you enjoy.

 

In this episode:

  • How she got her start helping others market their books.
  • Why she thinks you need a balance of fiction and nonfiction on your bookshelf.
  • The big challenge she sees writers face.
  • How she suggests you find your target reader locally.
  • The trends she sees in self-publishing right now.
  • How she balances being a writer and a book launch strategist.
  • How she inspires herself to write.
  • The practice she does to make her days great and improve her attitude.

Listen to the episode here:

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There has to be a good balance between work and play. Click To Tweet You can learn a lot from fiction and nonfiction. Click To Tweet You can’t just publish a book and give up. You have to do the work. Click To Tweet 'You have to put yourself in the right place. Be where your readers are. With writing it’s all about finding your target reader.' - @aford21 Click To Tweet You can’t expect to get different results if you’re doing the same things you've always done. Click To Tweet Go out and make connections. Step away from the computer. Click To Tweet 'You don’t have to wait for inspiration. Sometimes you have to create your own inspiration.' @Aford21 shares how she gets her writing done. Click To Tweet 'I get so excited when I finish a book because it’s my best work so far and my next book will be even better.' - @aford21 Click To Tweet You have to do the work to get the experience. That is how you improve. Click To Tweet 'Do you really need to do that 'one' thing? Is it getting you closer to your goal?' - @aford21 Click To Tweet 'You don’t have to do everything. Just do what you do well,' @aford21 shares how she manages life as a writer. Click To Tweet

WRITE YOUR BOOK WITH ANGELA FORD

 

About Angela: 

Angela J. Ford is the author of The Four Worlds Series and a Book Launch Strategist. She’s passionate about helping authors and bloggers do more work they love by helping them with book marketing. You’re most likely to find her with her nose in a book and a cup of coffee in hand.

 

 

 

You can find Angela here:

Mentioned in this episode:

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Thanks for listening! 🙂

Did you enjoy this episode?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Now tell me:

  • What is the book you’ve been dying to write?
  • Do prefer fiction or non-fiction?
  • What is one area where you are constantly learning? 
  • What is the last book you’ve read? 

Processes For A Great Client Experience

You are kickass at what you bring to the table. Your clients love the work you do for them but setting up the behind the scenes moving parts is just as important as providing value and results. As your business grows if the right systems aren’t set up your attention to the service will be distracted. In this episode, I share the systems and processes you need in place to provide a great experience. The great thing is these systems aren’t rocket science they may take some time to  set up but once they are you’re cooking with gas!

Keep in mind once your have these systems set up you will need to create workflows that help you streamline your business in them. My favorite thing is to just take each big task and sit down and write what you do from step a to z. For example; if you publish a podcast your tasks may look like: outline, record, edit, show notes, publish, share. Just writing that broad outline can help you more easily break down the smaller tasks and make your day to day easier.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The systems you need in place for a smooth client experience.
  • Some of my favorite options for business systems.
  • Why you need a support system in place.

~

Episode Outline:

Program Platform
Client Specialist
FAQ Page
Email System
Scheduling and Client Relationship Manager
Internal Calendar
Your Client Facing Process Path
Progress Tracker/ Accountability
Client Communication Platform
Payment Portal
Contract

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You need to keep the appointments you make with yourself. Click To Tweet Contracts help you cover your assets. It protects you and the client because you both know what the expectations are. Click To Tweet Once you set systems up you will have a lot less stress. Click To Tweet In this episode, @Diadoll shares the systems you need to have set up in your online business to give your clients a great experience. Click To Tweet

Mentioned in this episode:

Program Platform

Client Support Specialists 

Email Platform

Scheduler/ Calendar  

Customer Management System 

Payment System

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Thanks for listening! <3

Did you enjoy this episode?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Now tell me:

What system helps you stay on track?

Are you a digital calendar or paper planner fan?

What is your favorite platform?

Do you handle your systems or does someone on your team?