How This Virtual Assistant Leveled-up to a Digital Business Manager and Scored Over $4,000+ in Monthly Retainers

Yep, it’s true.

As a Virtual Assistant, you are in the perfect situation to level-up to a Digital Business Manager in your client’s business. 

Gif: lady lifting hands to show "level up"


  • Your client already trusts you.
  • You know the business inside and out. 

And currently, as a virtual assistant, you may be spending your days:

  • Constantly tracking your hours down to the minute
  • Responding to 49 emails, 4 voice messages and 2903 slack messages from your 12 clients all throughout the day
  • Handling all of the small admin work – it never seems to end. 

I know you want to raise your rates, but you might not have the necessary skills or higher-level experience to raise them more than a couple of dollars an hour – every 6 months...

Or at least, that was the struggle for Samantha Whisnant – who I’d love to feature in this blog post!

Samantha was working full-time as a Virtual Assistant but knew she was ready for that next step in her business and online career.

She had two goals:

  1. Be on a monthly retainer with all of her clients
  2. Start moving out of execution tasks and into more strategy and ownership.

She just didn’t know how to get there – until the title of “Digital Business Manager” and DBM Bootcamp came along.

And fast forward a few months?

Samantha hit both of those goals with all of her clients before she even finished DBM Bootcamp.

So here she is, telling me exactly how she did it.

Without further ado, let’s get to know Samantha! 

👋 Meet Samantha

Pictures of DBM Samantha

Samantha is a Copywriting Virtual Assistant turned Digital Business Manager. 

She originally started working online as an English teacher, loving the freedom of location but not loving the actual job. 

On the side, she started working through a virtual assistant course. During her first month of the course, she scored a content assistant intern position – working for me (Deya, the Digital Business Manager!) on the team.

During Samantha’s time working as an intern, she helped me manage the weekly blog posts, Pinterest, Meet Edgar, and even published a few of her own blog posts.

And a few months later, when Samantha heard that I was running the beta round of DBM Bootcamp, she immediately knew it was the perfect next step for her.  

Samantha says,

“I was already looking for ways to level-up with my clients, but I had no idea where to start. When I heard about DBM Bootcamp, I knew I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to learn directly from the person doing exactly what I want to do.”

But rewind, why did Samantha decide to take the Digital Business Manager course in the first place? 

Why Samantha Decided to Become a Digital Business Manager

When she signed up for DBM Bootcamp, Samantha was working full time as a Virtual Assistant. She was learning a lot from her clients and had plans to raise her rates soon. 

As a VA, Sam was doing a lot of hourly execution work like:

  • ✍️ Writing content
  • 📧 Answering emails
  • 📌 Designing Pinterest pins.

She enjoyed these tasks, but she felt like she had more to give.   

She knew eventually that she would work her way up to a Content Manager position, with a higher monthly retainer, but she didn’t know how to learn the necessary skills other than the slow road of figuring it out on her own. 

“After working as a content assistant in my internship, I knew I wanted to go into content management. I like writing, but I much prefer having the creative ownership of being a content manager.

The problem was – how do I get there?

There was no course I could find to learn those skills. I felt like I was just going in circles, trying to learn random things that could potentially help.”

Before DBM Bootcamp, Samantha did not have a plan for scaling her business. She was tracking every hour and would invoice every two weeks. She thought the idea was just to work, invoice, work, and eventually raise her rates.
Gif of clocks ticking

But, it wasn’t proving to be as simple as she thought.

Diving into Digital Business Manager Bootcamp

Armed with DBM Bootcamp, Samantha found a clear path that she could take for scaling her business.

She worked through DBM Bootcamp at lightning speed – getting caught up on project, team and systems management as well as finance basics, digital business basics and how to launch a DBM business.

She says,

“I finally saw exactly where I fit into my clients’ businesses and how I can grow into a management role. I also finally had all of the skills I needed to take the next step.” 

When Samantha originally started the DBM Bootcamp, she had 3 long-term clients paying hourly rates.

Now, she has leveled-up to monthly retainers and higher-level tasks with all of her clients and even had to let go of one client to accommodate the demand.  

Samantha recently landed an awesome gig as a Content Manager at an agency where she manages 3 content writers and works directly with the CEO and COO to produce high-quality content for around 10 clients, in the forms of website and sales page copy, email marketing, and social media management.

She also has been working with small personal brands in the health and wellness world to create content repurposing and scheduling systems for their content teams, along with optimizing their client management systems and 1:1 call bookings.

She has about $4,000 in monthly recurring retainers as a DBM working 30 hours a week and also has the time to take on extra writing projects and VIP days as well!

So, how did she do it?

Samantha’s 3 Tips for Leveling-up with Clients as a Virtual Assistant

Tip #1: Don’t underestimate yourself – or how much your client wants your help! 

Gif saying you are awesome

At first, Samantha was terrified of asking her clients to take on more responsibility. 

  • What if they said no?!
  • What if they wanted to hire someone else for a management role?
  • What if I’m not the right fit?

But the more higher level, managerial style tasks she has taken on, the happier her clients are.

“Don’t underestimate the trust that is built when working with someone. Once you already know the ins and outs of a business super well, it is a straight shot to a Digital Business Manager role.

Trust me, the best tip I have learned is that your client would rather invest in someone they already trust (aka YOU!) than spend time hiring and training someone new.” 

Tip #2: Be realistic about your client’s needs and how you can help their business – even if it means you can’t. 

Before I started making the move to level up with my current clients, I did an audit of their businesses and how I fit into them. 

Be objective and look at these factors: 

  • What tasks am I doing now? 
  • What tasks would I take on as a DBM? 
  • Is this business on the path to needing a DBM? 

Remember, it is normal to still be doing execution work while the business is scaling – especially if the team consists of just you and the CEO! 

Samantha is still handling all of the work of the execution-style tasks she was doing before, but now she is in a position to move up into a management role when the business does hire. 

On the flip side, be honest with yourself about if a business does need a DBM.

  • Does the business owner want to scale and grow?
  • Do they need help auditing and maintaining online courses?
  • Do they manage the content production and output process for their business alone?
  • Does their business need SOPs to organize the chaos?

If you don’t see the growth potential or enjoy the day-to-day tasks anymore, then accept that and try to find a business that does.  

Tip #3: Take it slow – like one task at a time! 

Little goat walking one step at a time

Your transition from a VA to a DBM is new for both you and your client.

So, take it one big task at a time. 

For one of her clients, Samantha started by building an excellent survey tracker. Then, she moved on to creating SOPs. Then, she moved on to re-implementing Social Media calendars and schedules. 

If you try to do everything at once, it might overwhelm your client. Especially when it is just the CEO and you, handing off the ownership is scary for a solopreneur. 

Plus, when you are learning all of the new tools and skills, it takes time for you to know how to implement them appropriately for your client. Be patient and trust that one step at a time eventually adds up to a whole staircase.

Does Samantha Recommend Digital Business Manager Bootcamp? 

She said, yes – absolutely! 

“As I said before, I could see sort of where I wanted to be with my online career, but I had no plan or idea how to get there. I thought I would just have to work as much as I could until I stumbled on something. 

Lucky for me, I stumbled upon the Digital Business Manager Bootcamp.

I think no matter where you are in your online journey, or what niche you are in (or want to be in), you will find so much applicable knowledge in the DBM Bootcamp.

It has helped me be better at my job with all of my clients. And, it has helped me gain a clear picture of the direction I want myself to go.” 

Reach out to Samantha on her website and find out more about the DBM services she could offer your business.

Samantha’s 3 favorite things about Digital Business Manager Bootcamp 

1. ⭐ Each Module’s Mindset Lesson:

Each new module in the DBM Bootcamp covers a mini-mindset lesson – what mindset obstacles you may face and how to overcome them.

“These lessons helped me stay self-aware and on track while growing into a DBM role.” 

2. ⭐ The DBM Resource Bank:

The Resource Bank is FULL of so many files and templates that make the entire transitioning process easier.

“I love the SOP template, the project proposal template, and the portfolio template.” 

3. ⭐ The Community Support:

The amazing Slack community – You can ask questions, give tips, celebrate wins, and just be silly (insert dancing parrot emoji).

The goal of this community is to learn from others who are taking the course and who have completed the course and chosen to stay in the Slack community for the value it gives – job opportunities, new industry tips, and tricks, and somewhere to ask for advice. It is great to know that you are not going at it alone. 

If you want to learn the skills to level-up into a Digital Business Manager, click below to watch my free intro class: “How to Become a Digital Business Manager”.

Want ALL the details on how to work online as a digital business manager?

Check out my FREE intro class which goes over what exactly a DBM does day-to-day, how much I make as a DBM, my 5-step plan to get you started and more!

The free intro class “How to Work Online as a Digital Business Manager” covers everything you need to know about:

  • What a Digital Business Manager does day-to-day
  • 👩‍💻 How to spot if you are a mini-DBM in disguise (without the rates to match it!)
  • ⬆️ The steps you can take to level-up in the online world 
Want ALL the juicy details on how to work online as a digital business manager?

Check out my FREE intro class which goes over what exactly a digital business manager does day-to-day, how much I make as a DBM, my 5-step plan to get you started and more!

What's in this post?

Want ALL the juicy details on how to work online as a digital business manager?

Check out my FREE intro class which goes over what exactly a digital business manager does day-to-day, how much I make as a DBM, my 5-step plan to get you started and more!