PART 4 of 4

The Super Simple 2-Step Process to Promoting Yourself *Properly*

It’s time. Let’s get this party started.

Okay, now let’s get into the nitty gritty: How does one “promote themselves”?

By ‘promote yourself’, I mean take these 2 simple steps:

  1. Shift focus from your hours to your value.
  2. Give yourself a new title + pay raise.


Let’s talk about each of these:

1. Shift focus from hours to value.

I want you to make a list of everything you do currently as a VA.

Now I want you to cross out everything that you hate doing and everything that is tedious, boring work. AI’s going to have all that covered anyway in the coming 2-3 years — so we want to focus and niche down into your highest value work.

Now I want you to think about what the REALLY big problems are in your client’s business and write at least 2-3 of those down. The problems that stress your client out, that keep the business from making more money, that hold the business back.

Solving these problems = generating huge amounts of value = charging what you want

When I looked at what my clients were getting stuck on the most & that had the highest impact on the business… I found a pattern.

Here’s what I had noted down:

They were getting stuck on getting projects done, hiring the team they desperately needed and setting up the systems that their businesses couldn’t survive without. 

They didn’t need more people to manage. They needed a second version of them — in a higher up managerial role, sitting next to them and helping them manage the business.

So I packaged those problems up into fancy terms (talk about perceived value, eh?):

  1. Project Management,
  2. Team Management, and
  3. Systems Management.


Super fancy, but really those terms just mean: I get projects done, I make sure teams are happy & free to do their best work, and I create great systems that help businesses run smoothly.

2. New title + pay raise.

Next order of business: You need a new title

The pay raise can follow in a little bit once you get situated, but you have to change your title.

I’ll be real with you:

When I changed my title from VA to Business Manager on Linkedin, I thought the police were going to bust down my door, “Ma’am. Who authorized this title change? Where is your official, certified documentation and permission to do this?”

In corporate, you are given titles, given promotions… so I thought I wasn’t allowed.

But you are allowed! You really are! I’m proof you can change your title on Linkedin without getting in trouble.

I packaged all the high-value skills I found in the previous step up and picked my new title. 

I announced loudly to Max (my boyfriend):

“I’m going to try to be a Digital Business Manager.”

More on this magical ‘‘DBM” role later.

A new title is really, really important because it challenges you to rise up to match it.

It is you playing big — it is giving you confidence, a new identity.

It is you saying: “I don’t know how to do this YET. But I will get there. I know I will.”

Pick a title that empowers you, that makes you feel like a better version of yourself — one that you’re aspiring up to.

Some titles you might consider (aka other titles DBMs choose to go by): Integrators, Fractional COOs, Online Business Managers, Project Managers.

And if it feels scary and intimidating and you’re sweating a little, you’re doing it right.

Alright. Now let’s get into the nittiest-of-the-grittiest of how I actually promoted myself from a VA to a DBM.

Quick Disclaimer: I’m not going to sit here and pretend there’s only 1 miraculous solution for you and steer you into a hard sales pitch into my signature program.

Yes, I have a paid signature program that’s around $500 – $800 called DBM Bootcamp™, and in my very, very biased opinion: DBM is the best promotion for a VA.

But there are many other options for promoting yourself as a VA; it’s just that I can only share about the option that I personally made.

There are tons of other amazing educators out there that teach about other ways of promoting yourself that I invite you to also explore to make the best decision for you.

Plus, honestly? I think promoting yourself to a DBM is NOT for every VA.

DBM is really only for the VA that’s reading this and feels a terrifying & exciting little flutter when they hear the words ‘business manager’.

If you check at least 3 of these options, this could be the option for you:

  • You get a rush out of helping clients and teams check to-do’s off a list & get things done
  • You like the idea of managing teams and helping them do their best work even if it feels a bit intimidating right now
  • You enjoy understanding how things work and breaking them down into small details
  • You are THAT friend in the friend group that plans the travel itinerary
  • You would never admit it but you definitely identify on some level with Monica Geller, Rory Gilmore, Amy Santiago or Leslie Knope

This was me back in 2017 — so this new title was the perfect promotion because I was essentially just promoting myself up the ladder.

So — what is this title and new role?

> What is a Digital Business Manager?

A Digital Business Manager is the right hand to a CEO. They sit next to the CEO.

As a DBM, I basically help my clients run the entire backend of their businesses; I help plan projects, I help hire team members, I create systems. I run day-to-day operations so the CEO can do what they want to be doing e.g. being the face of the business. 

(If you want more details & examples of tasks I did as a DBM, I’ll share some links to free, no-pitch stuff in a bit.)

DBMs tend to be quite organized, we love to get things done. We love planning, to-do lists, color coding.

So that’s what DBM is.

> What does being a DBM feel like?

As I shifted into this role, it truly felt like empowerment for me.

As cheesy as it sounds, it felt like that movie scene where the superhero finally gets their superpowers and they’re all electrified and they feel the power coursing through them.

But instead of a sword or hammer, I got checklists and colored post-it notes as my weapons.

  • I felt powerful because I was delivering so much value to clients.
  • I felt powerful because I knew my clients needed ME.
  • I felt in control of my pricing, in control of my time, in control of who I chose to work with.

> Why do VAs make the best DBMs?

I didn’t realize this until much later but: 

Virtual Assistants truly make the BEST Digital Business Managers, and DBM can be a very natural promotion for lots of VAs.

Have you heard of Asana? Clickup? Airtable? Zapier? Those are 4 of my favorite tools as a DBM and chances are, you’ve heard of at least 1 of them.

It made sense on the client-side as well because I was so familiar with their business already. Clients would always rather promote from within instead of train someone from 0.

You are already behind the scenes learning how it all works, AND you’re familiar with so many of the tools that business managers use as a VA.

Plus, I was already doing tons of the tasks that a DBM does anyway as a Virtual Assistant; I was just doing them on a smaller scale — so I was getting free practice.

I know so many VAs that are doing WAY MORE and way more advanced things than a VA should be doing — and not giving themselves that promotion and shiny, new title that they deserve.


Are you a Mini-DBM already?

If you’ve ticked at least 3 of the boxes above, congrats! Chances are, you’re a mini-DBM. 

I didn’t realize it but I was a mini-DBM for a long time before I fully allowed myself permission to promote myself.

Not only that, I also had to learn everything on my own which took a long, long time — this is why it took me a whiiiiiiile to 2x my income.

I spent months learning everything that I could to rise up to this new title and promotion that I knew I could get to, if I gave myself a fair shot.

And finally, after months of learning, after the promotion, the higher level value generation…

I did it. I became a Digital Business Manager. *cue fireworks*

I went from small problems to big problems. I went from generating small value to generating huge value.

I went from hearing
“We can just find someone else to do it then”

“I can’t imagine running this business without Deya.”

– Jenny Lachs, Founder @ Digital Nomad Girls

“Pay whatever she asks because she is just that good.”

– Lianna Patch, Founder @ Punchline Copy

“Deya is the biggest asset on my team.”

– Esther Inman, Founder @ Virtual Assistant Internship

Replace my name with yours because that is what I want clients to say about YOU.

And I want to make it clear, I did not feel ready to promote myself. 

I didn’t feel qualified. I didn’t have any work experience as a manager. I was just 23 years old, practically a baby.

But what I did feel ready to do was take little steps:

  • Bet on myself to figure it out.
  • Invest in myself.
  • Remind myself that clarity comes from action not from planning, (which yes, is hard for me as a planner to admit!)

And I invite you to do the same: 

Take the small steps & give yourself the promotion you know you deserve, and do it way before you could ever feel ‘ready’ to do so.

Phew… Now what? 


v v v

I’ve got details on exactly what I charged as a DBM, what kind of packages I had, and where I found my clients in Episode 2 of my free series.

You can find a link to that free episode here. 


If you prefer video, I’ve got a Youtube video that walks through the 7-step transition from VA to DBM here.

If you prefer listening, you can check out my private podcast: “The Road to Digital Business Manager” and listen via Google or Apple Podcasts. 

If you prefer to read, you can check out this blog post and make a copy of this free step-by-step transition plan.

You got it! 

I’ve got interviews with successful DBMs in my private podcast where they share ALL their top tips for aspiring DBMs.

I’ve got a few case studies on my blog with successful VAs turned DBMs:

I’ve got a 5-day mini-DBM challenge that you can give a try if you’d like for $7!

You can find the link to that here. 

I've been mentioned in these (way too cool for me) places...

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The DBM Bootcamp™ is an 8-12 week Bootcamp that trains you to plan & manage digital projects, run remote teams, optimize business systems and scale digital businesses alongside entrepreneurs and business owners