This week we’re talking with Brea Gunn, an incredibly talented Messaging and Funnel Specialist.
She first started out working at a law firm… but after finding out she was pregnant with her first child, she knew something had to change. A corporate job just wasn’t the place for her anymore.
Working as a copywriter and marketer over the past 20 years, she’s helped hundreds of business owners create messaging and processes that inspire loyalty, momentum and action.
In the interview, you’ll learn…
- How Brea made the switch from a corporate job to online business
- How her business evolved from start to success
- What her favorite and least favorite parts of entrepreneurship are
- And so much more about her incredible journey!
Watch the full interview here:
Lorna: Welcome, and I have the great pleasure today to introduce you to a woman that I was very impressed with when I first met her a couple of months ago.
Brea Gunn is a Messaging and Funnel Specialist, and if those words don’t mean anything to you, we’re going to address them in a few minutes.
She works with business owners and entrepreneurs to create messaging and processes – and that’s what I’m interested in – that inspire loyalty, momentum and action, and leverage trust, authenticity and profitability. And I know that that’s a word that anyone that’s in business is very interested in learning about.
Brea has been doing this now for 20 years, and has been in marketing and customer service.
My first question to you Brea, is how did you get started in your own business? What was going on in your life that prompted you to go into business?
Brea: Oh gosh that’s such a great question. So, I started out in law, actually. I went and got my pre-law degree, graduated and was working for a law firm and found out I was pregnant.
I couldn’t figure out how to balance the stress of the law firm and being a new mom. I knew something had to change, but I didn’t know anyone that worked from home, and I really wanted to work from home.
You feel like, “If I just wish it hard enough, it’ll happen”. And my mom came across an article in a magazine for Hire My Mom. And I was like, “Oh, this has to be a scam. There’s no way. All those ads in magazines, they don’t actually exist, it’s just someone trying to get my email address.” But it was a real site.
It’s still around today, and it’s a really great resource for those of you who are looking to break into the online space. If you aren’t really sure what you want to do yet, and you have some admin skills, it’s a really great place to start.
I started applying and I booked a gig that was with a wedding company. They just wanted me to check their email. Well, pretty soon, they found out that I had a blog and could write, and asked, “Well, could you write for us?”
I said yes, and they were like “Would you load emails into our email system for us” and I’m like sure. But in my head I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh, I have no idea what I’m doing. But I don’t want to say no, because I want to learn and grow.” They knew coming in that I had no experience in the online space, so they were gracious enough to allow me to learn. And I just kept saying yes whenever they offered me an opportunity.
And here I am, years later, and I’ve honed my skills and I still write copy, but I do marketing strategy now. And I think it was just being able to say “Yes, I want to try.” “Yes, I’m willing to do that.”
And then as you do that, you figure out “Oh, I never wanna do that again. I really dislike this thing”. And you can start to create a culture in your own business of “This is what I’m really excellent and good at, and this is what I really need help with.” And it kind of goes from there. Does that make sense?
Lorna: Absolutely. And it’s interesting because I just did a blog saying that’s exactly a process that we have to go through.
So did you hire people to do the things you didn’t like, or did you simply say, “That’s not what I do” and you chose customers based on what you like to do?
Brea: I tried the agency model, and discovered that it is not my jam at all. I didn’t want to be responsible for that many people, and I didn’t like that I didn’t have a fast turnaround time.
I love when I tell a client “It’ll be ready by this time next week” and they go, “Are you serious?!” I love that, and I didn’t want to lose that, so I very quickly realized that the agency model was not something that worked for me. So I started selecting clients based on what I like to do.
Do I still do some of the things I’m not in love with? Yeah of course. I think we all do. But it was really important to me that I create something that I really got passionate about and excited about and wanted to come to work every morning. So I think that the agency model is right for some people, it just wasn’t right for me.
Lorna: I’m going to summarize what you just said. You said first of all, you started with no experience in the world that you ended up in. I mean, you had some life experiences that must’ve come to bear – but you didn’t have real experiences – but you were willing to get in there. And I love what you said. “I said yes.” “They asked, and I said yes.”
So you actually, on some levels, discovered your business. Almost like a sculpture cutting away things, going “I don’t like that” and then it makes you happy. Your picture on your LikedIn profile is just adorable, because it looked like somebody was having fun doing what they were doing.
Brea: We had an absolute blast at the last photoshoot that we did. It was so much fun.
Lorna: So, that was how you got in. How did it work out as far as a business being in your home, and obviously raising a child?
Brea: Oh god, it went like chaos. Everyone’s like “Oh my gosh, I don’t know how you manage”. I don’t. I ignore my children.
Looking back, I did a lot better than I thought I was doing at the time. We’re always really hard on ourselves, and I felt so guilty that I was ignoring my kid to work, that I started working only when he napped, only when he was asleep, but then I was ignoring my husband because he’d get home at night and want to talk with me and want to hang out with me. But I was like, “The baby’s in bed which means I have to get my work done.”
And we very quickly realized that I had to figure out a better balance, because I was ignoring one or the other. And so, over the last decade I’ve really gotten good at saying no and setting boundaries and office hours and things, but my kids still come and interrupt calls. They’re 11 and 8 now, and they still meet all my clients.You know they’re in school but when they come home, they’re going to come to my office and tell me they’re home and that’s okay.
I think if you’re a parent and you’re struggling with working from home with your kids – especially if they’re small, give yourself grace. Take on clients that like the fact that you’re a parent. I’m very up front with everybody. I have kids. It’s part of my life. I’m also a complete Disney nerd. If those things bother you, then this is not a good fit.
Lorna: And that is one of the beauties of working for yourself, because you are in control of who you work for, and as a result of that, you can design your business around your life as opposed to having your life trying to fit into your business. I can’t imagine how you could’ve worked in a law firm.
Brea: Oh it was challenging, and they were really nice. They actually offered to get a crib so that I could bring the baby with me.
Lorna: Would that have worked?
Brea: You know, honestly, I think it could’ve. I think it could’ve worked. But I don’t think I would’ve lasted very long. Meaning, I don’t think that I personally, as a human, would’ve maintained my sanity because I was working in a divorce firm and a family law firm, so we were dealing with death, and divorce and all of that. And the stress of that and the anxiety, it’s really challenging and it’s hard to balance that.
I’m one of those people, you know we never cry alone. You just don’t cry alone. So when people would come in and their lives were falling apart, I’m not someone who can just turn off and be like “Oh, that’s you.” No, I go home sad and in a mood and everything else, and I think that with the stress of the kiddo, it probably would’ve been an awful lot for me.
Lorna: So tell me what you like best about being an entrepreneur, being in your own business, and what you like least about it.
Brea: That’s a hard question. I like the time freedom. The thing I like the least is, I don’t really ever get to meet my clients in person because I work from home, I work globally. I have clients all over the world, so the chances of me getting to meet one of my favorite clients who lives in London, are very very slim . I’ve had hundreds of clients over the years and I’ve only met maybe a handful of them. So that’s the thing I wish I could change. It would be nice to have some kind of a coworking space where we could all hang out.
Lorna: And businesses can evolve into that. So where do you see yourself evolving? Are you going to continue being a solopreneur?
Brea: I think that’s where I’m happy now. It took me a long time to figure out me – who I am, and I think I finally landed on something that I can live with. And for now, being a solopreneur with a small team – I have a junior copywriter, I have a social media manager, I have an assistant, I have a graphic designer. I don’t offer those services outside of my business generally speaking, but for my clients who need a PDF written and designed, it’s really nice to have that in house so that I can do that for them.
So as far as solo-ing it, I’m kind of making it my own.
Lorna: So, let’s talk about your business and what you do for people. We started by saying that you’re a Messaging and Funnel Specialist, so let’s talk about what that really means in language that most people would understand.
What kind of issues are people coming to you with, what are their problems, and what’s your solution for those problems?
Brea: I am a Copywriter and Marketing Strategist. So most entrepreneurs who come to me or need my services have a business that they love and adore, and they have programs and products, but they just aren’t selling as efficiently or as readily as they would like them to, and they need someone to jazz up their sales page or write their sales emails. Or they want to have a newsletter that’s cohesive and well thought out, but they don’t have the time to write it or research it. Those are the issues I take off people’s plates.
And on the marketing side, launching a product is no joke. And I’ve hospitalized myself twice, launching. And it’s not something I would wish on anybody so I am a big fan of what I call “lazy launching” – launching simply and effortlessly. And that sounds like a big promise, but it’s really about planning well enough in advance that by the time you open cart, things are rolling in the right direction and you don’t really have to scramble like you see so many people talking about.
Lorna: So, what do people misunderstand or not understand about copywriting and what it is? Because it sounds to some people like, “Well, you just write.”
Brea: You do! You do just write. There are copywriters out there that have all kinds of expertise. My expertise happens to be sales and marketing and that’s what I write about. That doesn’t mean that I write about sales and marketing – I generate the sales and marketing materials.
Lorna: So if somebody is a writer – like enjoys writing, then that’s a good possibility for a business.
So tell me, how would somebody who’s a prospective customer of yours, how would they know that they need you?
Brea: If the thought of copy literally makes you physically ill, that’s a really good indicator you need a copywriter.
I’ve actually had people be like “I get nauseous thinking about having to write this.”
If you find that the content for your business – whether it’s your social media posts, your newsletter, your sales – is pushed off until the last minute consistently – meaning no matter what’s going on, if the sale is tomorrow, you still haven’t written the first email and you’ll write it in the morning because you “work better under pressure” you probably need a copywriter.
If you have a program or product that you’re tired of launching live because you feel like that’s the only way you can make sales, you probably need a marketing strategist and somebody who can help you determine a different way to sell your programs and products.
Lorna: Okay. So it’s really people who have the aversion to writing is what you’re saying, but also are looking for ways to be more profitable in their businesses. Whatever they’re doing, their marketing isn’t working for them.
Do you offer a consultation? Anything of that nature?
Brea: Of course! I offer a free call for anyone who wants to talk to me about copy or copywriting. And the other thing I love doing is using those discovery calls to talk to future copywriters, too.
There’s a lot of people who are thinking about being in the space and aren’t sure, and they just want to pick my brain. That’s always a really fun conversation because we get to dive into what they’re passionate about, and what they’re excited about, and that makes me excited again.
Lorna: I always ask the people I’m interviewing if they have something that they would like to give to folks who have waited until the end of this conversation, and you said you have something. What is that?
Brea: I do! I have a 5-Day Challenge that will help you find more clients faster, because that’s one of the things I struggled with when I was starting out. So I put together a challenge that takes you through how to source clients, how to talk to them, how to do a little bit of market research so that you know the right things to say, and then how to actually go out there and get people on the phone so that you can start closing.
It’s an email challenge, you don’t have to be participatory in a group or anything. That’s one of the things that I am awful at. I’m like, “Yeah I’ll do the challenge! Oh, it’s in a group and it’s live. There’s no way I have time for this.”
So I put it in an email format so you can go back to it whenever you need inspiration, and you can grab it here.
Lorna: And I’ll put that down below so that we have it both in the notes below and the video, and really encourage people to talk with you because it’s fun.
Brea: I had a blast! I love to talk to anyone who’s thinking about starting out online, or is online and needs to pivot and just needs to talk to someone who’s done it. I’m here.
Lorna: Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us, and I’m looking forward to it because I find the emails that you send out very inspiring first of all, but very useful. I’ve gotten some really great ideas from them.
Brea: Oh good! I love hearing that.
Lorna: It’s worth being in a relationship with Brea Gunn so I encourage people to sign up for her newsletter, emails, whatever they’re called these days.
Brea: I call it a newsletter. There’s probably a better name for it but I’ve always called it a newsletter.
Lorna: Okay, wonderful. Thanks a lot Brea, take care.
Brea: You’re so welcome Lorna, thank you.
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