066: Scaling as a work from home mompreneur with Breanna Gunn

Breanna Gunn is a messaging and funnel specialist, working with business owners and entrepreneurs to create messaging and processes that inspire loyalty, momentum, and action that leverages trust, authenticity, and profitability. Brea uses her more than 20 years of experience with customer service and marketing to uncover the gaps in messaging that lead to lower conversions and plugs them through customized systems, structures, and processes that are bolstered by copy that converts.
In this episode, Breanna and I discuss how to work at home with children and engaging them with your work, how to do a quadrant review of tasks for your business, when and how to hire help, how to craft your business messaging, and so much more. This episode is so juicy, tune in!

 

 

Discussed In This Episode:
The wonderful suggestions brea has on working with young kids at home
How the pandemic affected her business
Her strategy for when and how to hire for your team
How to do a quadrant review of tasks
Brea’s fav business tools
Her creative way to use trello
Her tip on how to get started this week if you are ready to scale

 

Links Mentioned In This Episode:

 

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Join The Systems Lab if you would like to: Learn how to create systems, to-do lists, and methods to help you stay on top of your work, and beat overwhelm throughout the day, even if you’re the queen of procrastination and avoidance.
What’s included? It’s a collection of templates, workflows, challenges, and planners for complete efficiency and productivity. Plus bonuses for annual subscribers.

 

Other Helpful Links:
Instagram (@mirandamerten)

 

[00:00:01.150] - Intro

Welcome to Coffee Powered Systems. Equipping women with Actionable steps to overcome overwhelm and streamline business and life. So grab your favorite drink and come hang out with me. I'm your host, Miranda Merten.

[00:00:16.130] - Miranda

Hey, welcome back to Coffee Powered Systems. I'm your host, Myranda. And today I am bringing you another episode with a fabulous guest. Today, we have Breanna Gunn, and she is a funnel and messaging specialist. So let me read you a little bit about Breanna. She is working with business owners and entrepreneurs to create messaging and processes that inspire loyalty, momentum, and action that leverages trust, authenticity, and profitability. Breanna uses her more than 20 years of experience with customer service and marketing to uncover the gaps in messaging that lead to lower conversions and plugs them through customized system structures and processes that are bolstered by copy that converts.

[00:01:03.230] - Miranda

So in this episode, Breanna and I discuss how to work at home and scale a business when you have children, how to involve your children in your business, which I thought was she gave some really great action steps on that as well, how to decide when to hire and how to hire in your business. Plus, so many other things. I think you need to grab a pen and paper for this one because Breanna is dropping some knowledge bombs.

[00:01:32.570] - Miranda

All right.

[00:01:33.110] - Miranda

So enjoy this episode with Breanna Gunn. Today, I am joined by Breanna Gunn, and Breanna is a messaging and funnel specialist. And I can just say that I think that we all need a messaging and funnel specialist on our team. I was just telling Breanna that I need her on my team, and so we're going to see if we can rectify that when we're done with this. Call Brie, welcome to the show.

[00:02:05.850] - Breanna

Thank you so much for having me. Miranda, I'm excited to be here. Yeah.

[00:02:09.210] - Miranda

I'm excited to have you here and talk about this because we so need to talk about how we, as entrepreneurs, can scale our business while working from home, being moms doing all the things. And you actually went to school for pre law, correct.

[00:02:27.090] - Breanna

I did. Yeah, I have a prelaw degree, realized very quickly that being a lawyer was not something I wanted to do because they don't do the fun stuff. They don't do the research, they don't do the copy. They go stand in front of a judge and argue, which I'm really good at arguing, according to my husband, but it didn't light me up like I thought it would. Yeah.

[00:02:51.550] - Miranda

I would love to know if there was like that AHA moment when you decided that going the lawyer and corporate wasn't going to suit you in the long run.

[00:03:04.390] - Breanna

I did have an AHA moment. So I was working at a small firm, and even though it was a small firm, we had a boatload of clients. It was a family law practice, and I would get to the office at 730 in the morning and literally get right to work. And then I wouldn't be leaving the office until 637 at night. Wow. And I realized that it really does take over your life, even if you're not trying to let it. And I wanted something I didn't know what, but I wanted something that allowed me more time freedom because I was pregnant with my first and my husband and I wanted to travel.

[00:03:41.830] - Breanna

And not that I couldn't take vacation time. And I couldn't. But like, what if I wanted to work a half day? I didn't have the kind of time freedom that I had imagined because I grew up in a family where my dad was an entrepreneur. And so we did a lot of road trips, vacations, that kind of stuff. My dad didn't always come with us because he had to work. Sometimes he was in construction, so summers were out. But getting into corporate America, even at a small firm, even I worked for larger companies to work for Verizon and US, Cellular and Honda and some really big companies.

[00:04:22.490] - Breanna

Your time is not your own. And I didn't realize how much that would grade me until I did it. And I was like, Man, I really wish I had an option. Yeah. I needed to figure out how to make that happen. Yeah.

[00:04:40.310] - Miranda

And I think a lot of us, especially that have that entrepreneur spirit. We go into that. And we're just like, man, you get that realization that you're right, your time is not your own, and it's just something takes over. And you're just like, I've got to change this, right. And gone other days of thinking that we have to either be a mom or own a business.

[00:05:06.470] - Breanna

Right. Right.

[00:05:07.970] - Miranda

So we're going to deep dive into not only working from home as a mom, but also the challenges of scaling your business as well. And as a mom of two boys, is there a day to day strategy that you have that you've created as far as working in your business? And I'm guessing that you're really clear on boundaries with your boys and your clients, right?

[00:05:31.910] - Breanna

I try to be I'm not always 100%. I think all of us have our moments where we're like, man, I shouldn't have agreed to that or Oops. I took on too much and we have to shuffle things around. But my kids are in school now. I have been stay at home and work from home mom since my son was an infant, since before my son was an infant. And so they really don't know a life where mommy doesn't work. When they were younger, I employed all kinds of strategies from letting them have the tablet so they could work like Mommy giving them a fake keyboard, having quiet toys that were just toys.

[00:06:05.810] - Breanna

In my office, I've hired nanny's. I've tried all kinds of things, and for us, what works best is making sure they have an activity that's engaging even if my kids are now seven and eleven, so they're far more independent than they used to be. But having an activity and expectations that are clear really allows me to get my work done and them to know. Okay. Mommy has calls until this time because they can read the clock. Now, mommy has calls at 04:00 tonight, and then at 04:00.

[00:06:36.110] - Breanna

I'm going to be done. I'm going to come upstairs. We're going to play this game. We're going to do this. We're going to work on homework, we're going to do whatever it is we're going to do. And then they also help with things like they help me make dinner. They set the table so that they can feel like they're part of the process and part of what's happening. And then they also help me out in my business, which people are always shocked by. And I'm like, they're not writing the copy.

[00:06:57.710] - Breanna

Guys, that's not how that works. They're like my youngest. His job is to keep my office clean. So he empties the trash can, he dusts everything. We have this little miniature Dyson vacuum that actually works, and it's basically got the suction power of, like, a hand back. Right. Right. He'll come in here and do a little vacuuming and get up any pieces or whatever. I still keep quiet toys in my office. So if they really want to be close to me, but I can't engage them right at the moment.

[00:07:26.990] - Breanna

They could be in my office playing quietly on the carpet with the toys. And then my oldest will help me with proofreading. He'll help me. Like one of his favorite things to do is to read for context, especially when it's something that needs to be easily explained. I'm sure you've all heard the phrase, right. So the third grader or fourth grader can understand it. And so my child is in 6th grade now, but he's been reading content as long as it's PG. I do have a couple of clients where it would not be appropriate for him to read.

[00:08:02.270] - Breanna

But when it makes sense, he'll read through, and then I have him explain it back to me in his words. Okay, great. What does that mean? And it's a really good test to see if we're clear enough.

[00:08:16.190] - Miranda

Yeah, that's perfect. You always hear that. Write it. So a third grader can understand it, make it simpler because we think it's too simple, right. As we're writing copy and we're doing things. But really, some people might stumble upon your work and they have no idea what you're talking about. They don't know the lingo or you're using words that don't make sense.

[00:08:40.670] - Breanna

It's so easy to slip into jargon. Yes, exactly.

[00:08:47.270] - Miranda

I've got one. She's 14 now, so she's well beyond me needing to take care of her. And now she's in online Academy. She's actually in class right now. I actually tried to get her to help me work. I'm going to have to use some of your tactics. I was like, I will pay you $10 an hour if you just go on this website and do this for me. And she's like, so I'll have to figure out how to maneuver her.

[00:09:16.550] - Breanna

I sat down with my eleven year old, and I was like, what is interesting to you? What do you want to learn how to do? And he wants to learn how to code. So I've got him in out school in a coding class. Perfect, because I don't build websites, but it'd be really helpful if I had someone, I could be like, hey, I need you to fix this.

[00:09:32.750] - Miranda

Hey, I need you to do this.

[00:09:33.590] - Breanna

So he's learning how to code CSS and JavaScript. Yes. And he's loving it. And so I'm trying to feed those pieces where they're excited about it already and then find places in my business where I can engage. And he loves to read. And I'm always typing. I'm always creating content because part of my business, a large part of my business is copywriting piece, and he loves to write stories. And so he wanted to know what kind of stories I was writing. And so I explained, they aren't really stories or emails and sales pages, and we had to understand what those were.

[00:10:07.490] - Breanna

So maybe asking your daughter what's really interesting to you and then seeing where you can plug her into your business because their allowance is tied to not only household chores, but also helping me with the business. That's perfect.

[00:10:21.830] - Miranda

Yeah, I might have to include money doesn't come free. Yes, money doesn't come free. And I might have to include the business in her allowance stuff, too. That's very helpful. And I want to know how the pandemic affected your business or how you work.

[00:10:39.050] - Breanna

I know a lot of first it really did. I had a whole bunch of launches that got canceled. I had clients who had hired me to do launches spring of 2020, and literally, my clients started dropping like flies because they were like, I can't in good faith, offer this for sale. It's going to have to be free. It's going to have to do this, which means I can't afford you. I can't pay you. I can't do this. And that lasted about three months, and people went, oh, crap.

[00:11:07.730] - Breanna

If I don't want something, I'm not going to be able to eat next month. It picked back up pretty quickly, but it's just now this month starting to recover to where it was in 2019. But I've always worked from home. I've always had my own business, and so it has not affected me nearly as much as some other businesses. But it definitely caused me to reexamine how I set up my packages, my programs, my contracts, whether or not I allow refunds that kind of a thing.

[00:11:44.690] - Breanna

It really because until 2020, I'd never had a client just straight up not pay me. And I'd never had a client ask for their money back and not for a reason. I didn't do my job. But just like, listen, I need that to live on, which of course, I was like, Absolutely, I'm not heartless. Yeah, exactly. But then it's hard because then I need to eat too. So it was definitely an interesting six months, eight months. But things are definitely picking back up now. That's good.

[00:12:20.150] - Miranda

And I think the pandemic definitely made us take a look at our businesses, a lot of us. So it was kind of the best blessing and a curse in that we had to really look at our workflows and our systems and processes and nail down what happens in case this or I need to tighten up more in this area. Yeah, I think a lot of people had to go through that. So for you, you have actually honed in more on, like, copywriting and messaging. So what were your challenges when you started to scale your business?

[00:12:59.390] - Breanna

So part of the challenge when you're a copywriter, like, I can do strategy by myself. No problem. I can take on multiple strategy clients. But when you're talking about copy, there's a finite resource, right? It's me. And so I realized if I wanted to scale, I needed to bring on additional copywriters to outline, to do the nurture pieces to the pieces that I always put off till the end because I really don't like them. And so I've been training two copywriters to support me. I also outsourced the majority of my social media between Edgar and actually hiring someone to handle my Instagram engagement.

[00:13:33.410] - Breanna

And I hired on a graphic designer and research assistant to help me with, like, swap reports, which are strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. If you haven't done one of your business, you totally should. They're really insightful. She also helps with, like, SEO research, keyword research. And she's fantastic. And so slowly expanding the team and then hiring on my own kind of online business manager to help me manage the business has been really helpful. I would say when you're ready to scale, there are very few business models where you can scale alone.

[00:14:17.150] - Breanna

I can't think of one because as you scale, you're going to get more clients, you're going to get more podcast interviews, you're going to get more opportunities for television interviews or magazine interviews. You're going to be presented with things that you would never think would happen. I just published my very first magazine, like my magazine. That's mine that I'm not a guest in. It's like, actually, it's mine. It's me on the cover. I know you guys can't see. And I went out and I tapped some really incredible guest guests and said, Would you be willing to contribute?

[00:14:59.330] - Breanna

And so now I'm getting enrollments on my email list because I shared the wealth and I allowed other people to be featured. So they're sharing with their list. So that's another piece of expansion, and then I have to stop and I have to nurture that list as you scale and grow. There's always new things that come up, and if you have a team to support you, it becomes so much easier than if it's just you for sure.

[00:15:27.050] - Miranda

And would you recommend then, as far as hiring help either? What should people look for first? Like, would you recommend maybe doing a VA part time or going the route of, oh, I need web design. Let me go find a web designer. Oh, I need Copyright. Let me go find a Copyright and kind of piecemealing. It like when you need it.

[00:15:48.710] - Breanna

I am a big fan of hiring one person for one job. So if you know you need website design and that's the piece of your business that you're going to be relying on, find a good website designer. Maybe they're not on retainer yet. Maybe they're per project still, but have that one person that is always in your pocket. Same thing for a copywriter marketing expert, same thing for social media. Have that one person do the one thing really well, I also believe that all of us need kind of a do it all VA who can help us with email and Loading things into our CRM or onto our website.

[00:16:27.710] - Breanna

Like my obmva. She loads my blog posts. She helps me with my email, she does my invoicing, she does my contracts. She does so much of the administrative side of my business that I don't have to worry about, and she keeps track of it like, I messaged her. I'm like, hey, did we invoice this person? And she's like, oh, yeah, three days ago, and the reminder is going out today. It's not due until Friday. Don't worry about it. So I don't have to go chase that down.

[00:16:55.250] - Breanna

She knows if you're just starting out and you're just scaling, I would say instead of saying, I need to hire this one position first. What I do is I do a Quadrant review of tasks, and so you take a piece of paper, you fold it into fourths, right, and you have in your top left corner. You've got your things you love to do. You're really good at, and you don't want to give up no matter what in your top right corner, you've got things you're good at and you are okay or happy doing.

[00:17:26.570] - Breanna

But if someone else was better at it, you'd be okay handing it off. Bottom left Quadrant is things you're not great at, what you have to do in your business to keep the business running. In the bottom left corner are the things that always slide at the bottom of your to do list, things that you dread doing that, you know, if you like, web design is one of mine. I should not touch my website because every time I touch it, I break it, and then you take a look at that bottom half of the paper and see where the correlations are and where the similarities are and see if you can like, okay, I've got six web design tasks that I really need to find someone to do.

[00:18:03.230] - Breanna

I've got six copy tasks. I've got four of these and then prioritize your hires in the order of importance.

[00:18:11.030] - Miranda

I love that. That's a very good tip. But here's what I hear a lot too. I hear often is I can't afford to hire help. And so a lot of solo printer's want to keep doing it themselves, and they're like, I think it's fear of if I hire this person. What if I can't pay them or I don't know. What do you suggest for those two?

[00:18:37.310] - Breanna

I have never made a hire and had it hurt me. If that makes sense, I have never hired someone on and lost money because it frees up time, which means I can go out and get more clients. Yeah, if you're scared because you're worried you're not going to pay them. Don't hire them as an employee, hire them as a contractor, hire them on retainer or a set number of hours so that you can budget properly for it. If you don't have your profit and loss statements for your business and you don't have a bookkeeper, go in like Zero or QuickBooks or whatever your accounting software is and pull your P and L and see where you have subscriptions.

[00:19:15.890] - Breanna

You could cancel, see where you could save money to afford that hired help.

[00:19:21.290] - Miranda

Love that.

[00:19:22.610] - Breanna

All right.

[00:19:23.090] - Miranda

And Brie, tell us a little bit about your favorite tools that you work with right now in your business.

[00:19:31.190] - Breanna

My favorite tool currently is Slack for team communication. My team is across four time zones, so it's really helpful to have that static piece where I can type something in and be like, hey, can you get this done today? And then I know she's going to see it when she gets up and she gets to work. That's really awesome. I also am loving click up and Asana for tracking tasks, and I use Trello for my online Rolodex of referral sources. So I love collecting. Sounds kind of creepy when I say it like that.

[00:20:05.870] - Breanna

I love curating lists of really talented individuals because I don't do everything. I used to try to do everything, and I've realized in my old age that's just not my jam, and I don't enjoy doing everything. So I've honed my skills down to what I'm really good at, and then I refer out for everything else. Like, I have a list of ad managers that I love. I have a list of social media managers that I love. I have a list of other copywriters if I'm full or I don't write technical copy.

[00:20:36.710] - Breanna

I don't do research writing. I don't do case studies. There's a whole bunch of types of content that I don't do, so I have referral people. I can refer out to for those pieces and having that in a spot where I could just pull it up and I can go to the tab or the header and then have all the tabs like a little Rolodex is so nice. I'm also really loving Grammarly, and Hemingway is another great app. And then if you're curious, there is an AI copywriting.

[00:21:16.650] - Breanna

His name is Jarvis. If you search Jarvis AI, it'll come up, but it's great for outlines, for ad copy, for short pieces of copy. Now, it doesn't mean you don't have to edit or add your voice because it is a computer. It's a bot. Right. But if you're having trouble getting started and you're just staring at a blank page, you can type in the keywords and it'll pump out an outline for you or a paragraph or a sentence or whatever it is, depending on where on the screen you are.

[00:21:47.670] - Breanna

Those would be my favorite tools currently. Awesome. Yeah.

[00:21:50.850] - Miranda

And I also use Trello for lists. And whenever I find something cool on the web, put it in that column, I even actually have one for Shark Tank. Like, if I see some cool Shark Tank deals, I'm like, I do that too, but I'm going to drop that on my Shark Tank list.

[00:22:10.170] - Breanna

My glasses are actually from pear I wear, which is on Shark Tank, which is how I found out about them because my son also wears glasses, and he liked the idea of having a different colored tops. And so they just came out with adult glasses. And I was looking at my list because I have a list of, like, wants or like, Christmas ideas that kind of a thing. And I have another Trello board that's all like things sun number one wants things. Sun number two wants ideas for hubby, like things I want and to make our lives easier.

[00:22:40.350] - Breanna

That kind of stuff. And pair was one of the things I found on Shark Tank and added to that list. And so I just crack up that I saw it on TV, and now I feel like I've seen on TV. Do you remember those stores that were in the wall and you'd walk in and they were like metal racks with meetup boxes.

[00:22:58.230] - Miranda

They still have those if you go to, like, Walgreens, there's, like, an aisle or a corner.

[00:23:02.370] - Breanna

Oh, my gosh, that's good to know. I could look at my ads seen on TV. Six. Yes. Exactly.

[00:23:11.130] - Miranda

So, yeah, that's the tip I will take home because I'm always like, I know I saw somebody for that.

[00:23:18.390] - Breanna

And then I forget.

[00:23:19.830] - Miranda

And I'm like, Darn, I should have written it down.

[00:23:22.290] - Breanna

I'm going to have to add those columns there because I did myself a challenge at the beginning of this year to meet 365 women who were in business to fill out my Rolodex because that was one thing I loved at blocking is we had three big circular Rolodex flip. Oh, my God, I love that sound, but I love being able to just flip to the letter and find the person I was looking for. And so I wanted to curate that in my business. But if you've tried to find a Rolodex on Amazon, it's a little challenging now.

[00:23:55.470] - Breanna

And as much as I love paper copy, I also don't love clutter. And I was like, I bet Trello would be good at this. And it's been awesome.

[00:24:02.250] - Miranda

That's brilliant. So lastly, for our listeners who are ready to scale their business, they like everything that you've said. What is one action step that they could take this week to get going? Maybe just jump off that bridge.

[00:24:19.770] - Breanna

Don't jump off a bridge that's bad. Don't jump off the bridge. But you can have a safety net at the bottom. I would say the thing that I would challenge you to do is to do the quadrants, take a piece of paper, fold it into four. Figure out. Don't try to do it all in one day. But as you are doing things throughout your week, write it down in the appropriate Quadrant, and then you can use that to determine your first. Hire your next. Hire the tasks that maybe you shouldn't be doing in your business anymore.

[00:24:49.350] - Breanna

And when you start to offload things from your plate, you start to free up room to scale. And that makes all the difference in the world perfect.

[00:24:58.650] - Miranda

I love that. If you want to get connected with you, Brie, let us know what you're working on currently. Where can we contact you? How can we work with you?

[00:25:07.290] - Breanna

You can find me anywhere on social media at the Breanna Gun. And if you need help, you're struggling to scale, you just want to talk to somebody who's been through it. I have some spots on my calendar towards the end of October, you can go to Breannagun comBOOK and book a 30 minutes slot. Absolutely no pressure, no sales pitch. We just work to solve the problem that you've got.

[00:25:31.710] - Miranda

Thank you so much for this has been wonderful. So many great takeaways. I'm going to drop all the notes for everybody down below all of your links for social. Thank you so much for joining us on the show.

[00:25:46.230] - Breanna

Thank you for having me. This has been so much fun. Absolutely.

[00:25:49.770] - Miranda

That's all we have for today. I will see you next time.

[00:25:55.870] - Outro

Thanks for listening to coffee powered systems. You can find links to everything mentioned in the episode down in the show notes or on the website at Mirandamerten. Com.

[00:26:04.090] - Outro

If you enjoyed this episode rate and review it in itunes or where you enjoy listening so others can find it too. And join me here next time.

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