Have you ever wondered how the heck you’re supposed to scale your business as an OBM, a project manager, an executive assistant, or a virtual assistant? Do you question if your service is even scalable?
I truly believe today’s guest, Corinne Blagg, is going to break a lot of belief barriers that you are holding on to.
Corinne lives in northern Vermont with her husband, and two kids. She is an OBM who helps online coaches focus on their zone of genius so they can spend their time on that, and she can spend time taking care of all the other things for them.
As a Certified Online Business Manager with 10 years of experience as an Account Manager for a HUGE online travel agency, she’s gotten a behind the scenes look at a lot of businesses. She has seen what systems and marketing strategies work and which ones don’t, and she’s here today to share her knowledge and expertise to help your business grow.
She is sharing with us her journey to becoming an online business manager and everything she’s learned along the way, including how she boosted her income to almost 10x more than when she started out.
- What an OBM is and does
- How to let life happen and roll with the punches
- The freedom that being an online service provider can give to a military wife
- How to grow your business with a newborn on your hip
- Why niching down makes you an easier referral
- The value of scaling your business as an OBM
- How to add revenue when you don’t want to take on more retainer clients
- What Corinne Blagg’s 90-minute intensives look like, and how much she charges
- How your business can help you have a bigger impact on others
Corinne has done amazing things with her business, and I’m so inspired by her desire to give back and serve others.
Starting out as an online business manager, or really any online service provider, might seem overwhelming, but you can do it! Corinne is an example of the success and happiness that you can achieve if you keep that dream in sight and stick to it.
Consider setting aside sometime this week to think about how you might implement what you’ve learned today in your own business.
I’ll catch you back here next week!
Where to Find Corinne:
Don’t forget to sign up for my free training >> How to Scale to Consistent 10K Months Without Hiring a Team
Brandi: Today on the Serve Scale Soar podcast, you're in for a treat because if you've ever wondered how the heck you're supposed to scale your business as an OBM, a project manager, an executive assistant, a virtual assistant, or you ever question if your service is actually scalable. Today I have, Corinne. And while your tea has blown my freakin mind, how she is crushing it in her business and a very short amount of time, she did it with a baby on her hip, which I always loved to hear. And she's a military wife and she's just someone who makes life happen even when life is not going her way. She makes life work for her. And I so appreciate this whole conversation. I truly believe it's going to break a lot of belief barriers that some of you are holding on to, and you're not going to want to miss this episode. So let's jump on in.
Welcome to the Serve Scale Soar podcast, the podcast dedicated to helping service based entrepreneurs scale their online business to five figure months so they can soar into six figure years. Your host, Brandi, is a wife mom. And in less than one year created a six figure business. And now she is spilling all her secrets. So you can to.
Brandi: Hello, Serve Scale Soar podcast. Oh, my gosh, I am so excited because today on the park, as we have Corinne anchoring is an OBM annual. This is what I'm so excited about. I don't want to give it away, but I feel like I need is how you right off the bat. So I'm just going to go in and give it away because I can't hold it any longer. And so Corinne is an OBM and I know some of you are on here like executive virtual assistants, OBM, project managers, integrators. We can't scale our business and we have people everyday inside of Serve Scale Soar who are scaling in those industries. And Corinne is just another example of that, because she just had her highest month at eleven thousand dollars and we're diving all into that. So, Corinne, welcome to the show. Tell my listeners just a little bit about who you are as a person and who you serve.
Corinne: Hi. Thank you so much, Brandi. So, yes, my name is Corinne. I live in northern Vermont with my husband, and we have two kids, a three year old and a nine month old. So I'm scaling even with a baby at home. I'm a military spouse, like my actually my husband's retired. So technically, I'm like a veteran spouse. I mean, OBM and I work with online coaches to help really focus in on their zone of genius so they can spend time doing that. And I can spend time taking care of all the other things for them.
Brandi: I love that so much. And I will tell you, when I came into the online space and started hearing the word OBM thrown around, I was like, what the heck are these people? What do they do to me? A really long time in my business. And it was actually not until we had the Serve Scale Soar membership and we started getting OBMs that I really understood what y'all would do. And now we actually have an OBM on the team. But what I want to hear from you is like, what is an OBM and what is your role?
Corinne: Sure. So even within the OBM like network, some of us are like we really that's down to maybe doing specific services. Like I know there's OBM that are just for membership sites or OBM for like e-commerce clients as an OBM for coaches. I think the best way to clean up is like your operations manager. So we really help you have the strategy and we help you or the dream and we help put it into action and we help manage your team members. I have done launch management, helping with managing a content team to make sure all the content going out. My background is in hotels, so my degree is actually in hotel restaurant management. So I always give the analogy of like, imagine the owner of the hotel and then the GM and the GM. He manages the day to day operations for the owner so they can, like, hang out on the beach. But if housekeeping doesn't show up one day that GM has to be able to jump in and help and go up clean sheet.
Brandi: So I love that analogy because I think that helps so many people really get it. And Katie, if you're listening, I want to be laying on the beach and you be doing everything. You know, I love that because I've never heard it explain like that. But that clicks with me like I understand now what you do, OK? Now, I want to backtrack because I love hearing about people's background, because I think I did an Instagram post not too long ago about how our backgrounds and our prior experiences to what we're doing now really helps us with our business that we see today. And that is so important in everything that we've done in the past. Leads us to our careers and our businesses today. So you have a degree in restaurant and hotel management. And I spent since I was 14 to 21 in the restaurant industry. So I totally understand all those moving pieces. But tell me why that in them. Did you ever do that? Was that ever like a position you had? Did you go straight into the online space? Give us some context.
Corinne: Oh, jeez. So I feel like I'm going to be really aging myself. So I wanted to be like Jennifer Lopez in, like The Wedding Planner, that movie. So when I took the college and first graduated, I was like a wedding. I was a wedding planner doing like catering sales and working with brides. And we had a forced move. So I had to basically find a new job. And when I did, I got a position at an online travel agency. So basically, if you think of like what online travel agency is like, the Expedia is of the world is what I'm talking about. And I was with that company for 10 years and I managed the major market in California. So. And then that's when we had to start moving again as well for my husband and being in the military. And when I was no longer to be able to manage a market, I had actually take a step down in my position so that I could move around and not have to live in a region. And when I did that, I was doing the best I could for my. To be able to still have an income, but the position I had to move down to, I was so overqualified for. And it became really like I was like a button pusher where I was just sort of doing like these tasks that anyone could do.
Corinne: And that's when I started doing the work on the side because I wanted I needed something more like I wasn't challenging, although I wasn't feeling fulfilled. So I started doing the work on the side. But I was so scared. So to leave my position, my safe job, I call all the time just funny, because when I was four months pregnant, I got let go and I was laid off from my position and my department was actually outsourced to another country. So it was really funny because I actually manifest it. I tell people, people who believe a manifestation, I manifest in my layoff because I was constantly saying like, oh, I wish I had the guts to just leave and go into my business full time because this is where I was really feeling fulfilled. And then I would say, like, I wish they would just fire me so that I could go and do it. Like, so someone could give me the push. And then here, four months pregnant, I got laid off. And then I had to go full throttle on my business. That was just January 2019.
Brandi: I love that because I don't love that you got laid off, but it worked out. But I always tell the mastermind the soaring inner circle. Things happen to them. Em like be careful what you ask the universe to provide you. Because sometimes we get it and it doesn't always look like what we thought it would look like. So be very clear. But you were very clear and you did manifest it, which I love. And I think that's so powerful. Sometimes we can't make those decisions for ourselves. We have to let life happen and let those decisions come as they will. And wow. OK. So January 2019, you last. And also, what an amazing option that you had as a military wife to still make income, even though you're moving all over the place. I've been meaning more and more military wives that felt like they had to do like direct sales or something like that. And they don't know about being an online service provider and how that can move with them. And I think that's a really powerful message that military wives. You can do this and still support your husband and your family. And I love that so much. So moving around January 2019, you are all in with your business. And at that point, how many clients did you have? How much were you bringing in?
Corinne: So I think I had like three or four maybe, but it was out of the three. I don't even think even out of the area that I was probably really charging enough. Here I am like, OK, I have to go on maternity leave. So how am I going to do this? So I had to, like, sort of think fast of like, how can I somehow, like, keep my business going? Not lose my clients when I go on maternity leave. And it just became like the perfect place, kind of like with being laid off, like the University of me, a shove. And I feel like with everything going on in the world right now, like maybe some other people are getting this shove, that now is the time that they do something online. So basically, the universe gave me another shove and they were like, you need to level up. And now is the time when I was going on maternity leave that I could easily make that change when I got back of, like, I'm back for materially. But things have sort of changed. And I was actually able to sort of pause projects with my V.A. clients before maternity leave because they knew I was going on it. So while I'm attorney is when I went to my OBM certification and it was funny because I was showing up to the group coaching calls and I was like, yeah, three day old baby herea. I'm like, I'm committed. And I then I got my certification. So as soon as, like, maternity leave was over, I was actually sending people videos while on maternity leave saying I'm coming back in a week and I would love to be your OBM.
Brandi: I love that because I started my business with a five month old attached to me 24/7. So I don't really feel like she was a newborn during that stage. But having that newborn and still sending those videos and no excuse approach. And I think that that's probably why you've had a lot of successes. Like it's just the world gives you what the world gives you and you just ran with it. And I love that. So. Okay. When did you join Serve Scale Soar? Was it in July or October?
Corinne: I think it might have been July I mid-July.
Brandi: Ok. So when you join at that point, you had some OBM clients, I'm assuming, correct?
Brandi: OK. So how much were you making then?
Corinne: When I transitioned out of the aid to OPM, I had one.
Brandi: And so starting out for OBM that are listening. What were you charging for that one client when you were just starting out?
Corinne: Yeah, so my retainers were starting. Fifteen hundred dollars a month.
Brandi: Ok. I love that because there's probably a lot of people who needed to hear that. That is a brand new OBM. You were starting at fifteen hundred dollars a month, OK. So tell me, what were the big shifts between July 15 hundred? And now we're recording this in March. So when she talks about the push that people may need to get online, we're talking about the corona virus right now. And when you listen, who knows? This virus may not even be like a thing. Right. Just for some context that people understand, but. OK. So July, we're at 15 hundred with one client. Now we're in March of twenty twenty. And you're doing eleven thousand dollars a month. Take me really quick through that journey. What were some shifts? What were the big things that, like, really made that happen?
Corinne: Niching down, which was so hard. Like, I got so much clarity going in the group and I still struggle with it. Like, he'll probably slap my hand or my restaurant specialties, but I'm still charging hourly and I really want to switch the package. But it's so hard because when I get a new client, they're just sort of all over the place. But niching down was what made a huge difference. I was working with people sort of all over. And then when I really missed down, I was like, OK, I'm only working with coaches. Like my background when I was working for the OCA was account management and like doing B2B sales. So I was really used to working with clients and working with like relationships and account management. That was a really easy, like transition for me to know. Like, OK, I know exactly what people need when they're getting new clients, when they're coaches trying to onboard clients. All those things and being the service provider, I feel like I knew that even better, the onboarding process and managing the client workload. So once I it's down, I was getting referrals. I would say that that's probably the biggest way that I get booked now is referrals. I'm just doing a great job. And then people referring me to other people.
Brandi: And this is one thing and say all the time. So everyone who listens to the podcast is nothing new. When you sit down, you become way more easy to refer. And that's exactly what Corinne's telling you, because it's hard when you're working with a lot of different people and you don't specialize in anything for people to really know, hey, can I send this person like, is she going to be a good fit? But when you only work with one group of people and provide one type of service, you just become an easy referral machine. And so I love that. And Corinne, I'm going to slap your hand for I mean, hats off to you if you can do eleven thousand charging hourly. That's amazing. We're gonna have you back on the podcast again once you switch to packages and you're doing like twenty thousand dollars a month. Because that will be what happens when you switch that over. So. So niching downs been the biggest point for you. But I know a lot of listeners now, especially since you said you're charging hourly. What is the hourly rate that you're charging and or what are you you're like how does your pay structure work?
Corinne: Sure. So with a little like explanation in advance, you have to imagine that I'm a managing team members and I'm managing veejays. So since I'm more of almost like a manager role, like I wouldn't be charging a V.A. rate, I tell people that I charge eighty seven fifty an hour. They give a little bit like. But the difference is, is that if your V.A. doesn't show up, I'm jumping in and making sure the work gets done. And I think having somebody to just sort of has your back. I think that's the biggest thing I provide for my clients is just relief. I think that clients are more than happy to pay for that relief that's provided when they know someone has their back.
Brandi: And I totally agree with that. As someone who has a team now and we have a team not with the Facebook ads, that's all me boat team that manages all the other moving parts, the membership, the mastermind, the course. And so just knowing that I don't have to be fully in charge of all that and making sure everything runs is like a huge relief and absolutely pay for that relief. So that is a very, very nice hourly pay. I love that. So how many clients are you currently working with?
Corinne: I have five.
Corinne: And I would say the biggest thing that sort of helps with getting my income up is I do a paid strategy session, which is basically a 90 minute session where instead of, like, getting me for a whole month, you only get me for 90 minutes. I share it because I would love to see other service providers offering this, because if I just do three of those a month, it's basically equal to one client.
Brandi: Yes. And so I call those intensives. So I'm a big fan of intensives for adding revenue. When you don't want to take on more retainer clients, this is something that Angie Trueblood, she's been on the podcast bowling that up. She helps visibility and it takes a lot of her time working with retainer clients. So one of the ways that we were up her revenue was by adding an intense of I have intensives. This is sounds like what you're doing is these 90 minute one offs that add up and they can add revenue without taking a lot of time.
Corinne: Yeah, and I was actually thinking kind of on that same line is to start doing a whole day intensive where you would get me for the whole day and we would actually do like three months of work and a day. And I think that'd be super valuable for people because a lot of the things I get from our clients is, can you get this done yesterday? So for those who really want it done a fouth, then you can book it in terms of your whole day. And that's huge, too, versus writers that you can if you only have to work maybe four or five days a month and still get the same income, there'll be huge.
Brandi: I totally agree. I love that. So I know if I don't ask you, our listeners, we'll be a little bit upset with me. But what exactly are you doing in your 90 minute intensive tour?
Corinne: So mine's called a business blueprint. And basically, we take one problem that a client has and we map out everything. I would say it's a problem or a project. I we map out everything that we are going to do to in 12 weeks to basically accomplish that task. And they're super detailed. So the person could take that and basically go to a V.A. and be like, here's the plan. Can you just implement this, please? At the end of the intensives, we always offer to implement it for the client. If they don't think that their team is strong enough to be able to do it, but we try to make it super detailed so that there's no question or guessing what they're supposed to do for the next twelve weeks.
Brandi: I absolutely love that. And I'll share with you. I think this is such a great idea. I do this with Facebook ads and then by the end of it they usually don't want to implement everything that I go over. And so it's about like adding so much value because you said you're not leaving anything out. And it's about adding so much value that they could do it themselves by looking at it looks a little overwhelming. Most of the time, people don't want to implement that. And that's actually how I heard my OBM is I did an intensive and I was like, this is amazing. This is what I need. We found our intensive was all about just like, where are the holes right now in the business? And also preparing because my executive assistant is going on maternity leave and I was having a little bit of a meltdown, like how is life going to function? And we were trying to figure that out. And I had an intensive to figure out like what was missing so that this maternity leave could still happen and may not, like, lose it. And from that, I ended up hiring her as my OBM. And so there's so much power in intensives. But even if they don't hire you, you still just got paid. I would say it's like a paid really long discovery call.
Corinne: Yeah. And I think the important thing to note on this is that, like, sometimes people are so scared to give too much away. And I think sometimes what holds someone back from doing these is like, well, then I just gave them the whole thing and then they had their team, their team run it. But honestly, like when I do a blueprint for someone, 90 percent of those people go forward with me doing the implementation. And that's my ideal client, is the person who is like, I don't want to mess around with doing this. I want someone to do it for me. I'm not necessarily teaching them or providing them something new. They just don't have the time to implement it.
Brandi: Absolutely. I totally agree. And I just want to clarify for everyone that's listening. She's getting paid to do this. This is not like when I say don't, like, give away the cow when you're on a discovery call and all your strategy is you're not getting paid for that. She is getting paid for this. And so there's a big difference between a discovery call where you're not getting paid and giving away value and then getting on an intensive where you are getting paid and you over deliver. That's two very, very different things that I just want to make sure that we are very clear on. And Corinne, I want to ask you, how much do you charge for one of your intensives? 497. OK. All of it. That's exactly what mine charged. And I would even argue that you could move that up to nine ninety seven big phantom nine ninety seven four nine million and intensives. But it's working for you. So but I do think you could raise that up. And I've just loved this whole conversation. It went in a totally different direction than I thought it was gonna go. And which is usually what happens when we get on these calls. But I just love what you're doing in your business. I think that this interview is going to really inspire a lot of people and break a lot of belief barriers on the whole industry of Obama project managers, integrators, and show them that it is possible to scale your business with those jobs and still like different ways to add revenue. And I love that. So thank you. But before we end this, I would love to know one more thing. And that is what has been your biggest win going from getting laid off from your job to now having an eleven thousand dollar a month business, setting yourself up for over a six figure year? What has been your biggest win through all of this?
Corinne: I think it's definitely kind of a combination. My biggest win is this month I'm actually donating to a charity with the revenue that I was able to come up with. And I'm donating one percent of my revenue to a charity called Canines for Warriors, where basically they pair veterans up with shelter dogs. And I say it's like a combination because that never would have happened if I hadn't changed my mindset. To look at something bigger than myself when I first started, I was so focused on, like, I just need to pay the bills, I need to find a way to pay the mortgage because I just got laid off. But now when I'm thinking about a bigger thing that I can help, you know, knowing that, like if I push a little harder or if I give another intensive this month or then that's going to be a bigger check that I can submit or I think just running my business as a business and not just being. And having that business mindset as opposed to like, OK, we just got to figure this out right now or or thinking like, well, if I don't have my business in a couple of months anymore or if I decide to stop this in a couple months, I don't think that way anymore. This is my business. This is what I do now. I think the mindset and just thinking bigger than yourself and bigger than your small little bubble and how you what you're doing can impact so much, so many more people.
Brandi: I love that so much because so many people we were talking before, so many people have this holed up around making more money because they think that that's a bad thing. And it's not. It starts with wanting to make money for your family like mine was. You got laid off. You needed money for your family. Mine was. I had left my job. And what I found myself on a five month old and we needed the money and started mine. And now it's about so much more than that. Yes. It provides for our families. But you're donating to this amazing cause. I'm very familiar with that one. And I donate to Village Impact. And before having the revenue to do that, it was more of I could never donate because I don't even have the money right now to feed my family. And it's totally flipped. And so now you have money, feed your family. Plus you can help other people. And I think that's the power. Making more money is that you get a bigger impact and that is powerful. So. I love that so much. That does your wens. And before we end this, we have to do around a rapid fire because it would not be a podcast episode without it. So are you ready?
Corinne: I'm ready.
Brandi: Ok. So what's your favorite part of your business?
Corinne: That I can work in the basement and then go upstairs for lunch and see my family.
Brandi: I love that. Okay. Your favorite software or tool that you can't live without.
Corinne: Loom. I share so much training and so many video messages back and forth with clients are like team members. I couldn't live without them.
Brandi: So fun fact. I think you're the first one that's ever said loon. But also second. I hate receiving loon videos from my team. So I like V and I loom person. Yeah. I'm just not a fan. I mean, it's fine, but I'm just I don't want to watch the video so I really get it. But that's awesome. OK, you know, what is the best conference you've ever been to? Virtual or lives.
Corinne: So I've only been to one business conference so far. So I guess it would pass. It would be that one. And it was Profit Con, which is a private first conference. I use power first in my business. So that was a really good one. Are you managing your business finances?
Brandi: I love that. Ok. So we will actually link up the episode with Amber Duggar. She was on the podcast and talked to a lot about profit first. And we use a form of profit first. And my business as well. I'm a fan. OK. So tell me the best piece of business advice you've ever received.
Corinne: Hands down. Hey, hey, hey. Much as I hated it, thought it knits down.
Brandi: I love it. OK. And then I never put this in the questions that I Sinjar. But what is your favorite part of Serve Scale Soar?
Corinne: So it's funny because I'm actually in like other Facebook groups that I've paid to be in and the amount of support they get in Serve Scale Soar, which just like from those other ladies and like asking questions and stuff like I'm probably not as active as some of the other people in the group because I go get on the Facebook rabbit hole if I'm on Facebook tool. But it's just so great to have a community that if I have a question, I can just throw it to the group and I get some great feedback and better feedback than some of the other groups that I met.
Brandi: I love that so much. It's always the community. So I'm so proud of that community. So that's awesome. And Corinne, before we end this, I just want to thank you so much for coming on here. And really, I truly believe this is going to break so many believe barriers for so many people and users sharing your story is gonna be so impactful. So I appreciate that. And then will you also tell my listeners where they can connect with you?
Corinne: Yes. So the best way is probably through my website, which is just Corinne Blagg dot com. I have a really cool workbook. You've got to automate your business in 24 hours, which is Corinne Blagg. Automate your bills.
Brandi: I love it. And we'll make sure to link up to that in the show notes. Thank you so much, Corinne. And we will chat soon.
Brandi: you all. Was that not a freaking amazing episode of the Serve Scale Soar podcast? Corinne just blew my mind. Eleven thousand dollars a month, all as an OBM charge in hourly with some intensives. That is impressive. And the fact that she's donating a portion of that to such an amazing cause just shows that the more money you make, the more impact you can make. And so I just want you to, like, shout her out. Go check out her free resource Sheila does and know that that is possible for you. So if you're like, yes, I want the same thing all from niching down, Im really getting crystal clear on who you serve. Then head over to Serve Scale Soar dot com forward slash 10 K. That's the number 10, the letter K and check out my free training on the how to scale it to consistent 10k months without hiring a team like Corinne. And so until next week y'all go out, serve your clients, scale your business and soar into that six for your year you deserve.
Thanks again for tuning in to the Serve Scale Soar podcast with your host Brandi. If you loved our podcast, please be sure to leave a comment or review and be sure to tune in next time.
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Brandi Mowles is the host of the Serve Scale Soar podcast which is a podcast dedicated to helping service-based entrepreneurs scale their online business to five-figure months so they can soar into six-figure years. Brandi is a wife, mom and in less than one year, created a six-figure business. Now she is spilling all her secrets so you can too.