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A space for women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their influence while staying true to their values.

welcome to the
Bright Voices in Business Podcast WITH CHLOE DECHOW

Get ready to build your business on your terms

Join your host Chloe Dechow as she interviews industry thought leaders, shares her expertise as a thought leadership strategist and consultant, and pushes you toward sharing your opinion on a global scale. 





Are you ready to amplify your brand’s voice and craft a message that resonates with your audience?

In today’s episode, I had the honor of speaking with the incredible Rebecca Gunter about the power of authentic brand messaging for us women entrepreneurs. We delved into the nuances of knowing our audience, the bravery required to differentiate ourselves, and the fulfillment that comes from aligning our business with our personal values. 

Rebecca’s insights on embracing our unique strengths and connecting with our core “why” were truly enlightening. This conversation is full of wisdom for anyone eager to make their mark and authentically grow their business.

Join us to learn more about:

  • The significance of authentic brand messaging for women entrepreneurs
  • Strategies for understanding and connecting with your target audience
  • The courage to stand out in a crowded market
  • Step you can take right now to align your personal values with your business goals
  • Tips for embracing your unique zone of genius to make a greater impact

This episode is a must-listen for all the fierce women entrepreneurs out there ready to take their brand messaging to the next level. Remember, your voice has the power to inspire and lead. So tune in, absorb the wisdom, and let’s revolutionize the way we approach thought leadership.


FREE GUIDE: Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority

Rebecca’s article on AI: Your POV Can Never Be Replicated


West Haven Website: www.westhavencoaching.com

West Haven Instagram: @westhavencoaching

Chloe Dechow LinkedIn: @chloedechow


Website: www.stonedfruit.com

LinkedIn: @rebeccalaytongunter

YouTube: @stonedfruit


Rebecca Gunter (00:00:00) – Your messaging only goes as far as how you were willing to articulate it. So the bravery is in living the brand. In my opinion, brand is your reputation brought to life and words, actions and images. So now that you have the words, you have to bring them to life. Once you do that and then other people start talking about you in that way, then you become known for something. When you hear your words reflected back to you on a sales call, that is, when you’ve made it. You’ve arrived at recognition and visibility of bringing that reputation to life.

Chloe Dechow (00:00:38) – Hi, I’m Chloe Dechow and with more than a decade of experience working with thought leaders, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of conviction combined with purpose driven entrepreneurship. This podcast shows you how to authentically bring together leadership, equity, and marketing to build your authority so that you can grow your impact and scale your business. This is a space for elevating women’s voices and redefining what it means to be a thought leader. Together, we’ll unlock the potential of our bright voices and create a ripple effect of change that resonates far beyond the realms of business.

Chloe Dechow (00:01:14) – This is the Bright Voices and Business podcast. Now let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to the Bright Voices in Business podcast. Today I’m here with a very special guest to talk all things messaging, which I know can be a huge hurdle for those who are not in the communications background. And so very excited to talk about this today. Rebecca Gunter is joining me, and Rebecca is a brand messaging strategist and copywriter for Thought Leaders. And she founded Stone fruit, where she helps entrepreneurs discover their brand positioning and deliver content that connects. Hi, Rebecca, thanks for joining me.

Rebecca Gunter (00:02:01) – Great to be here. It is an honor and a pleasure. I’m so excited to have a quality conversation with you about messaging and building businesses and entrepreneurship and all the things.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:13) – Yeah, and I have to say, I really was excited to bring you on today because every time I read something that you write, I’m like, oh, that packs a punch. Like it’s just so in-your-face. Maybe in here, like it depends, right? If that’s what you’re going for.

Rebecca Gunter (00:02:27) – You’re absolutely right.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:28) – Yeah. But it’s just it’s not your average copy, which I think is really your whole thing is like, we need to say things differently. We can call attention by not using the same words everybody else is saying. And that reflects in everything I read, whether it’s your bio or your newsletters, things like that. And so it’s really cool to have you on to be able to share some of your knowledge and wisdom with my listeners.

Rebecca Gunter (00:02:53) – Thanks for noticing. Seriously, thanks for noticing. I think that writing originally is one of the funniest things about being in business for yourself, so I just try and enjoy it. I try and be tickled. If I’m bored by my own copy, then I’ll kind of scrap it. And it’s just really nice to know that somebody out there is reading it. So thanks girl. I’m gonna start writing to you directly.

Chloe Dechow (00:03:18) – Hahaha I well I can’t wait to get ready for the business love letters to start!

Chloe Dechow (00:03:23) – Ooh, I have lots to look forward to.

Chloe Dechow (00:03:26) – Well, why don’t we kick off first by talking about how positioning, which is a big part of messaging, how positioning plays a role in thought leadership so that that kind of can help set the stage for why the rest of this conversation is going to be really important for our listeners today.

Rebecca Gunter (00:03:43) – My favorite topic, I think positioning is the end all be all for creating an original brand or that copy that you like so much where it’s like, oh, this is bold. And there’s just something really, you know, energizing about reading it. It comes from being very strong in positioning. Plus, pro tip it really does help you eliminate so much work on the back end because you’ve taken the guesswork out of it. What do I mean by positioning? It’s really just an act. You know, that’s a kind of lives under the marketing framework or umbrella or kind of POV of marketing, where you’re identifying five real kind of kind of points on a star map. Who are my people? What do they need? Who am I, what do I deliver, and why am I special, different, or the one? If you can answer all five of those questions, that’s really positioning with the audience that you’re out there trying to serve.

Rebecca Gunter (00:04:40) – What is it that they struggle with? So those are pain points, being able to clearly identify yourself and talk about the things that you deliver, whether they’re, you know, workshops, consulting and masterminds or you’re delivering strategy and plans or you’re delivering Christmas cookies and chocolate Easter bunnies, that there’s something tangible there and then wrapping it all up at the end with why you’re the only one who can do that. If you can create the answers to those questions again, who are my people? What do they need? Who am I? What do I deliver and why am I special, different, or the one? The writing and the messaging really just kind of flows like chocolate on the river Wonka. You’ve done all that work in advance, and then you don’t have to constantly reinvent the wheel and be like, is the content I’m gonna write? Can it connect with somebody? Or is the tagline or the ad copy I’m putting out on Instagram? Is that even going to land on deaf ears now? You know, because you’ve done the work in advance to figure out what people really need to hear to connect with, and that is how you create an original brand.

Rebecca Gunter (00:05:47) – So for thought leaders, it’s really getting kind of those five points on the star map. And then also being very committed to your unique point of view. I think POV is probably the strongest differentiator for thought leaders and folks who have kind of access to grind soapboxes to stand on unpopular idea, a maverick approach, anything that needs to go against kind of the way we’ve always done it, that originality comes from perspective. So the kind of the combination of your lived experiences and. Their learned experiences in the big stone soup of core values and mission creates a very interesting position that no one can replicate, including ChatGPT.

Chloe Dechow (00:06:35) – We could get into AI later because I think that comes up a lot. 

Rebecca Gunter (00:06:40) – It’s a hot topic right now.

Chloe Dechow (00:06:40) – Yes, it’s a hot topic right now, which some people might have a thought leadership point of view on.

Rebecca Gunter (00:06:46) – I know we’re going to get into it later, so let me just give you a little sneak peek for those of you on the edge of your audio seats. Wondering the opinion on AI? It’s not the bad guy, but if you want to sound like everybody else, that’s the place to go.

Rebecca Gunter (00:06:59) – So you kind of need a blend of your original thought and positioning in order to really, I think, maximize ChatGPT in a way that doesn’t look obvious or sound like I see you sound the same, so you’re lost in a sea of sound, the same as we say?

Chloe Dechow (00:07:13) – Yes, it’s without the input of what your secret sauce is, so to speak. It can just create a lot of generic content.

Rebecca Gunter (00:07:22) – So if you do the work of what your source is and you add that to the recipe, the results are pretty awesome. And I’ve got a few life hacks on how to create those results without a lot of work, and shave some time off of just the like you know, the to do list of creating a brand for yourself that we all have.

Chloe Dechow (00:07:43) – Yeah, well, if you’re open in game for it, maybe we’ll get into those life hacks down the road in this interview. Before we do that, I am curious when we think about having a point of view. I imagine there might be two types of people that come to you.

Chloe Dechow (00:07:59) – One would be somebody who already knows their point of view and feels very passionate about it, but they need help communicating it. And the other would be somebody who wants to have a strong point of view, but they’re not totally sure what it is, and they need a Rebecca or someone similar to help them kind of make sense of, like maybe they haven’t spent time thinking about how they articulate their point of view or what their preferences are. Is that typically like what you see are those two different groups of people, or are there other types of people that come to you?

Rebecca Gunter (00:08:32) – The first group is actually kind of my favorite, but it’s not that they come to me because they know they need help communicating their strong perspective. In fact, I sell a solution to a problem they don’t know they even have, and that most people who have a or thought leaders who have this really kind of bold position and perspective and really know that the the hills that they’re going to die on the soapboxes, they’re going to stand on what they champion for really kind of come to the table not believing that there’s somebody out there who can create copy for them or create content based on their bold, original idea.

Rebecca Gunter (00:09:13) – There’s almost like, well, no one could ever find my voice because it’s so different and unique. So the challenge therein is to say, I’m not matching your voice. I’m actually creating something new, a new brand voice that we’re we’re collaborating on together. And that becomes the thing that takes off. So that one is actually my favorite segment of the two camps. But they don’t always know that there’s a solution out there to creating content around this original voice. So it becomes this adorable chicken or the egg situation that is enjoyable to unpack when you see someone hear their words or kind of their brand articulated for the very first time and they’re like, oh my God, just kind of the relief or just the moments that come with it or are just hard earned and so genuine. The second camp, which you mentioned, absolutely. When folks like just cannot seem to what happens is because we grow up with our special sauce or our, you know, unique zones of genius or however you want to describe it.

Rebecca Gunter (00:10:20) – We make assumptions that everybody can do that. And so it’s really hard to gain the perspective on what makes you special, different, or the one when you’re just kind of swimming in the waters of wool, who isn’t able to connect those dots, or who can’t articulate a plan for that, or that strategy seems so obvious. So that group of people get kind of lost in not understanding what makes them special, or a consciousness about what makes them special. That’s just from a lack of perspective. You do need an outside facilitator. Even I need an outside facilitator to bring some of this stuff to life because we are so close to it. And then the third group, which we didn’t mention, are really people whose businesses just aren’t performing the way they want them to. It’s just not happening. So the messaging isn’t working or the copy isn’t converting, or your assets, which are like the creative things we use to sell our business in advance. Your website, landing pages, maybe an email list, a business card, a brochure, physical brochure all.

Rebecca Gunter (00:11:22) – All of those things are assets, and their job is to pre-sell your products and services. So if they’re not doing their job or the phone isn’t ringing, or the leads aren’t converting, or people aren’t noticing you, or no one’s signing up for your list, business isn’t performing. That’s another reason that folks will be like, help, help. It’s a messaging problem. And that’s really where we start. Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:11:48) – So for the group of people who maybe do struggle with getting their point of view and their perspective, how would you recommend they start forming their own opinions on certain topics that are, you know, relevant to the audiences that they serve?

Rebecca Gunter (00:12:04) – First of all, you could ask them. You could ask the audiences that you serve. Like, honestly, the most advanced technology or most advanced marketing techniques is free. It’s just listening. So by actually talking to your people and having these kind of frank conversations, you can find out a lot about what folks are coming to. What am I known for, you know, what do you think I do? What do you think I deliver? Those kind of questions can reveal a lot if you can just start looking for patterns.

Rebecca Gunter (00:12:37) – But it does require a little humility, requires a little humbleness. I think that in business, we do ourselves a little bit of a disservice of having to always have this, like veneer of strength and competence and always having your shit together so that asking a question of like, well, what is it that you actually need? I’m trying to understand my customers better. That requires some vulnerability, because you’re admitting that you might not have all the answers, or you’re admitting that you know you don’t know or that it’s time to change. So in order to really get that kind of deep response that you can connect with your audience, you’re going to have to kind of put your pride on the shelf a little bit and be vulnerable and ask some questions. So that’s the very best way that you can do it. In addition to that, or instead of if you if you really are not ready to have those kind of connected quality conversations or you don’t quite know who your customers are yet, do the work of answering those questions.

Rebecca Gunter (00:13:39) – Who are your people? Not just like my people are women between 18 and 35 who have an income of blah blah blah and drive, etc. not the demographics, but more of the psycho analysis isn’t the right word, but kind of the deeper dive into what makes them tick. My people are disruptors, maverick, unpopular ideas, like really kind of overturning the apple cart. And they’re generally in business because they cannot and refuse to work for other people. Like sovereignty is sacred. Those are my people. And it’s easy for me to talk to them because I know that. So we can really talk about freedom and carving your own path and changing the world one idea at a time. Messaging starts to come if I’ve done a little work on that. So investigate who are your people. Really think about what they need. If you’re a virtual assistant and your first answer is, will they need someone to do the administrative work? That’s not the answer. So not someone to do the thing. What transformation are they seeking in life? So maybe for a VA? My people are attorneys and architects and engineers who need to repatriate more time into their day so that they can do bigger projects.

Rebecca Gunter (00:14:59) – I’m just making this up on the fly versus I am the person who delivers that thing. So really think about what they need and think about who they are as people and then what you’re offering and delivering and why it means something to you. Why do you care? Is it because your mom was a waitress and you really wanted to see opportunities for women that weren’t available as role models to like a generation above? Is it because you’ve got a one of a kind perspective on how preschoolers need to learn in a peer to peer environment? Is it because you make chocolate chip cookies like no one’s ever had one before? Like do some deep thinking about that kind of stuff and ask for people that’ll give you more answers and takes on a dog. I don’t know, maybe I may not have more answers than sprinkles on a on a soft serve ice cream cone from Shady Side Saucer.

Chloe Dechow (00:15:54) – I like that I answer.

Rebecca Gunter (00:15:55) – Better than that. I don’t even know why I went there.

Chloe Dechow (00:15:58) – I love it so okay, yes, that all makes sense to me.

Chloe Dechow (00:16:02) – So it sounds like it’s important to connect with a bigger why. So let’s just use the cookie example. Like maybe you make the best damn cookie ever. And you know, through that cookie, like you’re helping people like enjoy an experience, maybe like they’re sharing cookies with their family. And there’s this, like, value of connection that’s being on. You know, kind of going beyond like the product or the service itself.

Rebecca Gunter (00:16:26) – Maybe I’m baking from scratch as a lost art. Maybe it’s about the ingredients we use only carry gold, butter and the finest chocolate imported from Planet Xenon. Whatever it is that makes that thing special or unique, and give yourself permission for that special or unique thing to feel. I want to use the word basic, but it’s just really kind of been adopted to to be an insult. But it’s okay if what makes you special is because you care, or it’s okay if it makes you special. It’s because nobody ever paints their car a lilac and you do, or whatever it is doesn’t always have to be like, we reduce homelessness by the year 2050, or we feed million children, or like we make sure that there are no more animal shelters because we found homes for dogs.

Rebecca Gunter (00:17:22) – Like it doesn’t always have to be this big, grand thing. It’s just about your corner of the world. Why does it matter? What does it matter to you? What injustice do you want to put an end to? Even if it’s like people who don’t use the recycling bin, whatever it is, just be honest about it.

Chloe Dechow (00:17:40) – Yeah, that reminds me of two questions I like to ask my clients. One is like, what just pisses you the hell off, right? Like, if you don’t know what you care about when I ask you, what do you care about? Let’s start with like what pisses you off? Because that’s going to point you in the direction of value that’s being trodden on or something that’s going on that is deeper than we probably realize at the time. Like if you’re getting cut off in traffic, does that mean you feel like people who cut people off in traffic are disrespectful? What does that lead to? Right? Like we keep going down this path and the other would be who deserves better? Like, is there a group of people or somebody that you just feel called of who deserves better that.

Rebecca Gunter (00:18:21) – Give me goosebumps? Corey. Who deserves better? Yeah, that’s really true.

Chloe Dechow (00:18:26) – That’s a powerful question. It’s really, really good.

Rebecca Gunter (00:18:28) – Don’t forget that the negative things that come up beforehand, like who do you want to shake your fist at? Anything you come up with, any answer you come up with, you can flip on its head. So if it’s, you know, it’s like I’m tired of corporate culture not giving opportunities to women. Just flip it around and say, I’m for women who need opportunities in corporate culture.

Chloe Dechow (00:18:48) – Exactly.

Rebecca Gunter (00:18:49) – Flip it around.

Chloe Dechow (00:18:50) – Yes. You know, and in my coaching experience, it’s a lot easier usually for people to come up with the thing that pisses them off or the thing that’s wrong, right? Because like, we’re wired in the survival mode. And so we’re always looking for things that aren’t going well in a lot of ways.

Rebecca Gunter (00:19:05) – Into the reactive while we can do it some good.

Chloe Dechow (00:19:08) – Right. And so when we can figure out what we don’t like or we’re not happy about, then we can flip it around and be like, oh, actually.

Chloe Dechow (00:19:15) – So if I’m not happy about this, what is the opposite of that? Well, what the opposite is, is probably the solution. Or work towards the solution in which something that you could do, you know, and be very passionate about helping.

Rebecca Gunter (00:19:29) – So I do an exercise where you write five years in the future, what’s happening because of the work that you did, write your own book jacket cover for something that you publish in two years and talk about your journey of what you accomplish there. There are lots of ways to unpack what those negative things can turn into something positive.

Chloe Dechow (00:19:48) – I was also just going to say that Rebecca and I are both part of Kylie Peters, who was on episode two, part of her circle, and one of the questions she often asks is like, what is the pain you know best? And that can also lead to like, well, what is the healing or the positive or the journey on the other side that you’re helping support somebody else with? So yes, like Rebecca said, like these kind of negative questions are not intended to take you down a negative route, but they are intended to get you like figuring out like what really pushes your buttons that you get fired up about, like the hill you’re gonna die on, the thing you’re willing to take a stand for and then flip it on its head.

Chloe Dechow (00:20:30) – And that leads to the why or the role that you can play in that thing that you’re passionate. And if you.

Rebecca Gunter (00:20:36) – Don’t know what you’re passionate about, if you’re not passionate about the thing, take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself whether you’re creating a business on things you know you can get paid for versus things you know the world needs. There’s just so many, and I think it happens to women more than anything, is we just kind of get trapped in a light version of our own business, my business coach would say, beavering away at a light version of yourself. And once you’re just really kind of hammering out all of the to do lists and the grind of creating a scalable business that you don’t even maybe like, but it’s something, you know you can get paid for. So. Well, I know that I’m super organized, and I’ve been an executive assistant for a really long time. And, you know, I love to color code and. Get my information together. So I’m going to become the world’s greatest Airtable designer.

Rebecca Gunter (00:21:27) – If you love Airtable design and you’re like, man, information organize will change the world. More power to you. But if you’re only saying that because you know that that’s what people will pay you for. When what you really want to do was start a low cost to entry school for service women to enter into a service based business, but you’re not sure how you’re going to make money. That’s a conversation you need to have with yourself. So if you’re really thinking about where am I passionate? What are the hells I’m going to die on? What’s the pain? You know, and you can’t really come up with anything that doesn’t feel rote or just like, well, you know, you need a everybody needs, everybody needs chocolate chip cookies. That’s really some soul searching that you should do to check yourself. Am I just buying myself a job so I don’t have a boss? Am I about to become the world’s greatest waitress in a business I don’t even love? Or is it time to get really, really brave and stand up behind what I actually want to do? But I’m not 100% sure I can make money at it yet.

Rebecca Gunter (00:22:32) – That’s the work.

Chloe Dechow (00:22:34) – Yes. Classic zone of excellence versus zone of genius.

Rebecca Gunter (00:22:38) – I had no idea that that had worked terminology to it. You just enlighten me. What? Now I feel trite.

Chloe Dechow (00:22:45) – No. You’re good. Yeah. Zone of excellence is doing things that you know you’re really good at, but you’re not that excited to do, or somebody else could do it. You know, it’s not doing like what you and yourself can only do, which is your zone of genius. And we it’s so easy to fall into the zone of excellence because a lot of women, when they go, oh, I want to start a business, or I want to grow a business, or I want to add a service on, we think about what we’ve already done, rather than what would pull together our interests and our skills and our inherent genius into one thing that we can stand in and say, this is, this is me. This is what I have to offer, whether that’s the lilac painted car or something else.

Rebecca Gunter (00:23:29) – You taught me something new today. I think that when you’re standing in your zone of excellence gone, I’m not really adopting it. A lot of times you’re running away from something, not toward something meaning a bad boss, usually, or a bad job, or like working for somebody else, like, I just have to create a business for myself so I can stop going to work for that guy, or I can stop the soul sucking job. So if you’re running away from something, it makes sense you’re going to run towards something that feels safe, secure, doable. I’ve seen a thousand people out there do this, but if you’re running towards something, you can really embrace a whole new world. Oh, new it all, new reality. And once you’re creating a business that really will fulfill you, it’s okay if you have to start running away from something, but don’t keep running away from it and building something that doesn’t even fulfill you anymore than the old thing did. It’s just you’re only accountable to yourself, which is a temporary reprieve.

Chloe Dechow (00:24:26) – Yes. Don’t recreate the thing that you were trying to get away from in business. We both know, like, you need a sustainable business to show up for it, because entrepreneurship requires a lot of mental agility. And if you don’t love what you’re doing and you have no accountability besides yourself, that’s a recipe for some some really painful time.

Rebecca Gunter (00:24:48) – Working away at it and hate it and hate your life, or you’re ignoring it. You know you have a either an anxious or an annoying attachment to your own business. Like that’s no bueno over time. Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:24:59) – So let’s talk about bravery because I think that is a huge role in thought leadership. I mean, we talk about things like hot takes or unpopular opinions or I’ve heard the term spicy content before, and I’m curious, I think two parts. One is when you work with clients, how do you help them with this bravery piece of saying things that maybe people don’t want to hear? And also, what about this type of content really garners visibility in the marketplace? Like what makes us a little bit different than staying neutral on most? What a good.

Rebecca Gunter (00:25:35) – Question. Staying neutral on most things. Let’s start with the second part of it. It’s just we’re just too oversaturated with messaging and marketing from every aspect of life. So if you’re not saying anything to anybody, like literally good luck. Good luck standing out. Like it’s just like, how many white cars are you going to see go by? And you’re not like, oh, Subaru, Camry, Rav4. Like you’re just like white car until you see a red one. And then it’s like, oh man, that, you know, Jeep or whatever really caught my attention. So to not say anything, it’s just I don’t know is you’re just you’re just trying to nail spaghetti to a tree, I think, or gelato a tree. Throw spaghetti against a wall, nail jello to a tree. That’s what it is. I really think you’re trying to nail jello to a tree. It’s just if you’ve got if you’re not standing for anything that you really stand for nothing. So let’s say that how do you elicit bravery from clients in order to be able to communicate and articulate for them and content development, brand strategy, etc.? I think it really comes back to one holding up a mirror to who they actually are, which does take a facilitation or to go through that work of positioning, which we started the episode with.

Rebecca Gunter (00:26:51) – When you really deeply connect with your why to the pain, you know, or you know, again, I believe this why so that that why so that, you know, keep going. So that levels down by the time you really hear your truth. Maybe even for the first time. Anything else that came before it feels intolerable. So it’s it’s just kind of stepping into an identity and expressiveness that either you didn’t know you had before or you finally have the words that work. Language is so powerful if you don’t have the words to describe it, if you don’t have the words to articulate it, if you freeze up when someone’s like, oh, hey, what do you do? And I’m like, I have no answer to that, or I really can’t kind of speak to it. I only can feel it in my gut. That’s debilitating. So get those words. Get those words, people. When you have them, it allows you to step into a brand that feels brave. Absolutely true.

Rebecca Gunter (00:28:00) – Also a little ambitious because you have words that work. You’ve clarified it, you’ve articulated it, maybe defined it in a way that you can get and stand behind. Now, just because you have the words that work doesn’t mean you’re always going to use them. You have to really internalize them as well. So I can prescribe for you like, oh, here’s a positioning statement. These are the words that would capture your audience. And everyone’s like, yeah, that makes so much sense. I love this Google doc, but then it never actually gets into practice. Your messaging only goes as far as how you’re willing to articulate it. So the bravery is in living the brand. The bravery is. And now make these words actually come to life. In my opinion, brand is your reputation brought to life and words, actions and images. So now that you have the words, you have to bring them to life through how you talk to people on the phone, to a blog post, to a white paper, to an Instagram live, to this podcast, to all of your interactions where these words start to solidify as your kind of pillars of your value system.

Rebecca Gunter (00:29:09) – Once you do that and then other people start talking about you in that way. This is to your question about visibility. Then you become known for something, oh, you’re the messaging queen, or you’re the person who always champions business building for women or oh yeah, you’re the one who has the dog. what is that all about? Oh, yeah, that’s right. You’re an advocate for small business finance. Whatever it is that the words you start using over and over again, you solidify the idea for other people when you hear your words reflected back to you on a sales call, that is, when you’ve made it, when someone says to you, oh man, no brand deserves to be boring, am I right? You’re like, what? You hear your own words back. You’ve arrived at recognition and visibility of bringing that reputation to life. And it takes words, actions and images.

Chloe Dechow (00:30:05) – Yeah. So it sounds like working through this at first, you have to get really in-tune with your inner self and what you want and what you stand for, then using words to articulate that in the best way possible, and then continuing to live that out through your actions so that it’s not just words on a piece of paper that you sort of kind of use every once in a while, but you’re actually embodying, it’s almost like a full circle moment for people to kind of know what they’re thinking, to like having it on paper and then to really, truly embody it and use this consistently throughout every interaction that they’re having, whether that’s a sales call or a presentation or their website.

Chloe Dechow (00:30:47) – I love this kind of like full circle moment that we’re talking about here, that articulation.

Rebecca Gunter (00:30:52) – And it’s how you transform, like in a spiral, the way you’re describing. And it’s like a spiral. That’s how you uplevel yourself. It’s how you go from being like, oh, I’m a copywriter and I can match your voice to I’m a brand apologist, and I can give you voice like, whoa, that comes from that kind of continually spiraling and up leveling in the way in which you describe what a holistic and beautiful way of thinking about it, I love that.

Chloe Dechow (00:31:17) – I also like to remind people that when we think about having unpopular opinions or spicy takes or whatever version of these terms we like to use, kind of keeping in mind like who your audience is, because you’re going to get feedback whether or not you ask for it. It’s good to ask for it because feedback is a gift and it helps you grow. But you’re going to get feedback no matter what, especially as you become more visible.

Chloe Dechow (00:31:42) – And so kind of keeping in mind, like the feedback that you’re getting, is it from the people that you’re surveying, like the people you’re excited about, the people you want to work with? Or are these people who, like, would never buy from you in the first place? Right. And making sure that you’re not preventing sharing your opinion on something based on people who would never buy from you, never partner with you, or whatever version of, you know, being a stakeholder in your business. And instead being more focused on. And does this resonate with my audience, and does this feel authentic and true for me? And I think when we can look at bravery through the lens of like, I’m owning who I am and what I stand for, it just makes it a hell of a lot easier when someone doesn’t agree with you because you’re going to know, hey, is this my audience know? Okay, do I care about their opinion in general? Like maybe they’re a family member or friend? Okay, great.

Chloe Dechow (00:32:33) – Like I do care, but maybe I just limit how much they know they all.

Rebecca Gunter (00:32:37) – Have an opinion.

Chloe Dechow (00:32:39) – Yes.

Rebecca Gunter (00:32:40) – Nobody ever changed the world by doing it the way we’ve always done it, but not doing it the way we’ve always done it is a very unpopular way to do it. So expect that people are going to have a negative reaction to your innovative idea. They’re like, oh, that would never work because we’ve never seen it before. Yeah, you have to prove it for the very first time. So it’s tough to sell the dream to a non-believer who can’t see out of the realm of the way that we’ve always done it. So I agree with you totally keep that perspective with a grain of salt and also flip your mindset. Rejection. What’s that expression? They’re rejection is your protection. Rejection is just as comfortable as acceptance. Like the more people you turn off with, as much as you turn on the strong of a brand you have. I crave people to be turned off to your point of like, oh, I always know that your copy, it really kind of gives a sucker punch.

Rebecca Gunter (00:33:37) – Great that when that copy makes someone uncomfortable, they’re not my client. And what I’m not doing is wasting a bunch of time on the phone with people who are not my client. I’m not wasting a bunch of time and groups of people who are not my client. I’m not wasting a bunch of time trying to please everyone. In fact, I really want to turn some people off because the people who are really turned on are so in alignment with what I want to do with the rest of my life, that it’s like you’re doing me a favor by turning people off. So I encourage folks to embrace that rejection. Honestly, when people unsubscribe from your list, you should be like, oh, it’s such great news, such great news, because it means that the people who are on your list actually care. The people who are on your list are going to absorb the saturation and the potency of your message and actually change the world. So embrace that rejection.

Chloe Dechow (00:34:35) – Yeah, I love that the rejection just means that they weren’t for you.

Chloe Dechow (00:34:39) – And there are other people who are very much for you. And you’ll know that because there won’t be going anywhere. In fact, they’re going to hear your message and they’re going to be like, yes, how did you know? How did you know I was going through this? Or how did you know that I needed this? Right? Or I’ve been looking for someone like you and I’m so glad I finally found it. Like, I feel seen and heard and cared for. Based on what?

Rebecca Gunter (00:35:02) – If you couldn’t be present for that conversation because you were so busy fielding calls from not great leads, or you were so busy feeling bad about rejection or not being accepted in front of audiences, that don’t matter. You would miss the discernment that’s available to you when you are completely focused and you’re not attached to the outcome of everybody must like me and can be strong and uniquely yourself, unapologetically yourself.

Chloe Dechow (00:35:32) – I love that. Let’s get a little bit more into messaging. So we’ve talked a lot about figuring out your why and your secret sauce and starting to form your point of view.

Chloe Dechow (00:35:41) – I’m curious if you have some recommendations on kind of what makes messaging really impactful, like do you have some key elements that you always want to include? How would you go about that?

Rebecca Gunter (00:35:53) – I think that really impactful messaging is a little shocking. It’s a record scratch. I mean, it really will make you kind of stop and think. So in order to do that, you really have to frame things in a way that maybe people aren’t not. Maybe you have to frame things in a way that people aren’t currently framing them, or say them in a new way, or juxtapose ideas to create that. Kind of like what record scratch moment where people are paying attention to you. So I think you have to really kind of less people pleasing, more people enchanting. You definitely want a little bit of shock or I don’t mean controversial, like, oh, you know, I have to say something to just shock you for shock sake, but really powerful messaging will stop and make you think by whether, again, it’s kind of the way things are worded or a unique combination of words or just a juxtaposition of concepts, something that just is a little way to kind of attach hearts and minds.

Rebecca Gunter (00:37:00) – Also storytelling, of course, I know everybody says it. It is really very, very true. We don’t remember facts. We remember stories. So. If you can’t kind of like, surprise them in a delightful way. Like, oh, I never thought Raspberry and Bridges would go well together or I’m making that up. But, you know, two things that may not seem like they fit or juxtaposition of an idea you can really tell some stories is another way to approach it that people will connect with humanity. Remember, it’s human to human. In the beginning of this recording said, oh, I’m going to write some love letters just to you. That’s a way to really approach it is to think you’re writing to just like one person and kind of write a love letter to the cause or to the role or to people. Those are three kind of techniques that will get messaging noticed, which is the point, really.

Chloe Dechow (00:37:56) – How can someone go about like mining stories to tell their message? Like, I love the idea of storytelling.

Chloe Dechow (00:38:03) – And I’ll also say, like, I struggle with being like, oh, here’s the three stories I will tell about this topic. I’m curious, like how you help your clients or how you help your community figure out what stories they should be telling and how they find them or remember them.

Rebecca Gunter (00:38:18) – I think that if you start paying attention in your actual life to when something is like, that reminds me of this thing, or that is a perfect allegory for this other thing. Everyday stories that catch your attention will probably resonate with your audience in a very strong way because, you know, at the end of the day, we are all our best client. Actually, we are our ideal clients, so if it’s going to resonate with you, likelihood is going to resonate with somebody else. Something insightful, a unique point of view or a unique perspective or something kind of unsurprising or unexpected. I think the stories that feel trite or canned or like I’ve heard it a thousand times, or when people are really trying to force it like you’ll hear with a politician all the time.

Rebecca Gunter (00:39:06) – Well, I was speaking with Mr. Collins and, Fort Myers, blah, blah, blah, and he was sharing about how his family’s the fortune, like that kind of really contrived or well orchestrated story may not bring home the point like you hope to, because it’s just going to happen in the same way we expect it to happen. Like, oh, t -nine seconds until this story highlights how awesome the storyteller is. You can stay away from that kind of canned stuff, where you’re the hero on the journey and put someone else in the hero’s seat and talk about it from a very real and human perspective. What is it that you thought was super interesting about that, your own real life? So for you, Chloe, like something that happened with your clients in real life, something that happened when you were recording, you know, episode number two with Kylie, something that just kind of brought to life. You did it already. We’re in an accelerator together, and Kylie always talks about how you should do the pain.

Rebecca Gunter (00:40:02) – You know, that’s a story right there. It’s in front of you. It doesn’t have to be this, like, you know, epic journey through no man’s land that goes through transformation and comes out the other side. Like, that’s fantastic. Sometimes that transformation journey can happen in just 30s. So stories are really about an individual and a certain set of circumstances that has a perspective and goes through a few challenges and then changes their mind and the world is better. That can happen in a microsecond. So just being aware of what that structure is and things that happen in your real life that you have an emotional connection to, other people are going to have an emotional connection to that too.

Chloe Dechow (00:40:44) – That’s such a great point. We can think that the story needs to be like climbing Mount Everest and getting, you know, getting to the top and seeing the view. But it could be as simple as trying to get your kid fed and dressed and out the door in time for school and being able to be relatable in that way to your audience, if that makes sense, for that specific audience that you serve.

Chloe Dechow (00:41:05) – So it’s a good reminder that the everyday moments can be just as much of a story as the epic journeys that we can.

Rebecca Gunter (00:41:13) – Also take to be a 2500 word white paper. Sometimes it’s a tweet and the story is still a story.

Chloe Dechow (00:41:20) – I love that.

Rebecca Gunter (00:41:21) – I think that if you’ve done this work as we discuss them beginning like investigating your why, doing positioning, thinking about your messaging, looking for stories, connecting with your audience, being as repellent as you are attractive for, you know, true marketing gravitas. There’s something magical about producing content and connecting with people and communicating your brand and defining and articulating it in this way, because it can make up for a lot. We don’t always talk about how much of a superpower it can be when you’re just starting out. So, for example, if you’re a brand new concern or brand new, just hung out your shingle, or you’re starting a new project or you’re. Starting a new mastermind, or you’re entering a new job or whatever it is, and you don’t have case studies or testimonials yet.

Rebecca Gunter (00:42:16) – Strong language can make up for a lot of that. A strong, well-defined brand can make up for not having any testimonials because you’re showing your uniqueness in a different way to make up for not having case studies or, you know, proof of concept because you’re breaking the mold. So of course you don’t have anything to prove it. So just encouraging folks to consider creative content development copy, strong messaging, well-defined brand, being bold, being courageous with it. All of those things can make up for like not having gone on the traditional path or starting something completely new. Going from being like the VA, that is like going to hang out a shingle as the world’s greatest Airtable organizer to, you know, the founder of a entrepreneurial school for marginalized women can happen if you have a very strong way of presenting yourself so you don’t, you can almost have the audacity to pitch people that you wouldn’t have any business being in the same room with. In normal circumstances, it is like bypassing all of the like, stepping stones of, you know, kind of your stages of business in a very linear fashion, circumventing all of that and kind of going straight to the kind of top of the food chain just by being very bold with your idea.

Chloe Dechow (00:43:48) – Yeah, I think confidence can go a really long way in all of this, because it doesn’t even matter how many testimonials or case studies you have, if you’re not confident in what you have to offer and what you stand for. And so what I’m hearing from you is that is maybe one of the biggest pieces of like, boldly owning your message that builds more trust in a lot of ways then all the receipts, so to speak, of what you think about.

Rebecca Gunter (00:44:13) – Your own experiences. You’re like scrolling through LinkedIn and you’re saying, you know, a well-established brand that’s been around for maybe 20 years that everybody kind of knows and has recognition with and is like, you know, vanilla, middle of the road, what’s expected? Nothing really shocking, but standing on tradition, standing on reputation, standing on a value or services, and then another brand that’s saying something completely different for the very first time. You’ve never heard of or seen. Where’s your head gonna turn now? Maybe the new guy doesn’t have any.

Rebecca Gunter (00:44:49) – They’re there and it’s all, you know, kind of a dog and pony show. That does happen with marketing. But we have a stronger and stronger bullshit meter as consumers, and that doesn’t happen for very long. So if you’ve got the substance and the style and you can say it in a way no one’s heard of before and make it contextually relevant to the world and the people you care about, all those resume building brands won’t matter. You’ll make the competition irrelevant. I mean, what a sweet spot.

Chloe Dechow (00:45:18) – Yeah, and it honestly, what brings up for me is that there are this kind of concept of like, people taking a chance on something new. I mean, not everybody is as open to risk, right? So there’s a lot of risk averse people out there, but there’s also people who are early adopters. They’re the first to get in line outside the store to get the new cell phone, or they’re the person who, you know, contributes money to a Kickstarter campaign so that they can test this new exercise equipment or even investors, right? Investors, oftentimes they don’t invest necessarily in the idea or the product or service.

Chloe Dechow (00:45:54) – They’re investing in the entrepreneur because they see something in the entrepreneur that says, I’m gonna hedge my bets on them because they’ve got something special about them, or they’re really bold in what they believe in. And I know that they have gumption and they’re going to make this happen one way or another. And so it’s easy for us to forget that there are people out there who see the potential or see the direction that we’re going, or the vision that we’re attached to and don’t necessarily need the case studies and testimonials like other people do. Right. Like the more risk averse people. Absolutely. But if we’re talking about early adopters and people who are going to be kind of the first on board for something new, you’re introducing getting caught up and preventing yourself from putting that new thing out there because you don’t have the case studies or the testimonials, is the fastest way for you to not ever get case studies or testimonials.

Rebecca Gunter (00:46:45) – I would also argue that more now than ever, I’ve never seen it. So front facing is value alignment.

Rebecca Gunter (00:46:54) – I want to work with companies that are aligned with my values. And so if you’re like kind of one of the oh, tried and trues and you haven’t done the work of defining what your values are, or you’re really kind of ambiguous about what they are, more and more I think you’re going to lose market. A chair. As people go towards businesses that are in alignment with their values. So the lesson there is one figure out what they are. If you do not already know, sit down and brainstorm as many as you can on a piece of paper and pick no less than five and no more than seven. And make those the hills you die on and be very public facing about them. Because just because you’ve experienced, you know, okay, that’s a reliable company. I’ve been there a thousand times and I know what to expect. There’s something to that and no quantity. But more and more, I think businesses are trying to align their values with the people they do business with, and that is a very strong differentiator.

Rebecca Gunter (00:47:47) – I encourage people not to sleep on.

Chloe Dechow (00:47:49) – Yes, I love that values are the things that guide us to fulfillment in our own personal lives. And then when we can think about values from a business standpoint, that’s how we attract the people we’re most excited to work with and the ones that we feel good working with. Right? Because like, who wants to work with a bunch of clients that don’t make you feel good doing your job? So doing that and then making sure that you’re not just like creating these values. And then again, they’re like static.

Rebecca Gunter (00:48:17) – Yeah, they should be action phrases. They should not be single words. I don’t want to see integrity, excellence, service, value. Everybody says that it should be baked into the DNA of your business. Give me action phrases. Choose freedom. Launch legacy. Seek the truth. You know. Always be learning. Give it some action phrase and those values will really come to life.

Chloe Dechow (00:48:42) – Yes. And then every decision you make or message you put out there should have these values in mind so that you’re always staying true to that.

Chloe Dechow (00:48:51) – And then that consistency is what builds trust with the audience that you serve.

Rebecca Gunter (00:48:55) – What’s your number one value?

Chloe Dechow (00:48:58) – I think in life my number one value is curiosity.

Rebecca Gunter (00:49:02) – How would you make that an action phrase for your core values.

Chloe Dechow (00:49:05) – Who always ask questions?

Rebecca Gunter (00:49:07) – Yeah, that’s an excellent core value. The other thing I love about core values is they can really be branded very well. Like hashtag always ask questions. I can see it on a coffee mug. I can see it on a t shirt. I can see you leading a monthly like huddle up with your team being like, okay, it’s arc time. Or, you know, less QC, more arc. Like there’s so many ways for you to bake values into what you do that doesn’t have to be like, you know, an infographic or a poster that’s on the wall or bringing a mural. It’s to write them on the wall. It’s how you live them. And you’re only going to get that vitality and integration, that embodiment you mentioned earlier when they’re in action phrases and you’re thinking about them.

Rebecca Gunter (00:49:49) – So good answer, I love that.

Chloe Dechow (00:49:51) – What about you, Rebecca? What’s a top value for you?

Rebecca Gunter (00:49:54) – Sovereignty is sacred. That’s my number one top value, which is why I help women entrepreneurs. Like if you want to define a career for yourself, I will help you get there. If you can dream it, I can brand it. And if I can brand it, you can sell it because I want more women to have the opportunity to enjoy calling life by their own shots. And that means financial empowerment. And finding the quickest vehicle to financial empowerment, in my opinion, is to hang out at your own shingle where you’re no longer kind of constrained by what other people think that you’re worth, and can go out and declare that for yourself. So sovereignty to me is sacred. Also, never miss a deadline. This is my two.

Rebecca Gunter (00:50:39) – Favorite because they are the.

Rebecca Gunter (00:50:41) – Other side of the coin. You can only be so sovereign. Missing deadlines? Not so much.

Chloe Dechow (00:50:47) – It’s good to know when you have a copywriter that they’re always going to be on time and meet their deadlines.

Chloe Dechow (00:50:52) – So that’s a good it’s.

Rebecca Gunter (00:50:53) – Definitely a good value. Yeah. This is not a place to be flaky.

Chloe Dechow (00:50:58) – Oh well Rebecca, I’ve had such a good time connecting with you and sharing everything that you have to offer to my listeners. I know we didn’t get into AI today, but if you have something that I can include in the show notes or something like that, I’d be happy to point somebody to a blog post or a resource that you have.

Rebecca Gunter (00:51:18) –  I do have a blog post I’m happy to share with you. The tldr is don’t be afraid of it because your POV can never be replicated. Give it some good food and you’ll get some good outputs. Does it replace like writing your keynote speech now? Can it replace coming up with a show notes on your YouTube channel? It can, but it just needs a little bit of meat. And we’ve spent the majority of this episode talking about how to get that meat. So make sure that you include that in your prompts and you’ll have better results than just like standard fare cafeteria food that comes out from a single prompt.

Rebecca Gunter (00:51:53) – So I’ll be sure to give you a few resources on that. But really, it’s about your POV can never be replicated, so don’t be scared.

Chloe Dechow (00:52:01) – I love it! Well, thanks so much again, Rebecca, for joining me. Where can my listeners find you if they want to learn more?

Rebecca Gunter (00:52:08) – Question. Thank you so much. Please connect with me on LinkedIn @rebeccalaytongunter. Also, you can find me at Stoned Fruit. That’s stonedfruit.com and on YouTube at Stoned fruit. And currently every Tuesday in the Q&A section of our accelerator that we’re sharing together.

Chloe Dechow (00:52:34) – Girl excited? Yes. Thank you so much, Rebecca. Have a good rest of your day.

Rebecca Gunter (00:52:39) – Oh thanks, honey. Thanks for having me. This was super fun. I learned a lot from you too.

Chloe Dechow (00:52:48) – Thank you for joining me today. If you enjoyed this episode, invite your entrepreneur friends to tune in. Don’t forget to connect with me on Instagram at West Haven Coaching. I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode and continue the conversation with you there.

Chloe Dechow (00:53:05) – And before you go, be sure to download my free guide, Five Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority, which will walk you through how to grow your thought leadership in a way that’s true to who you are and what you stand for. You can find the guide at West Haven coaching.com/steps or follow the link in the show notes. Thanks again for tuning in. Together we are changing the faces and voices of thought leadership. Until next time, keep leading with authenticity and impact.

Boldly Crafting Your Brand with Rebecca Gunter

May 2, 2024

brand messaging strategist, copywriter, thought leaders, founder, Stone Fruit, Chloe Dechow, Bright Voices in Business podcast, women's voices, thought leadership, positioning, unique point of view, audience needs, brand, messaging, strong opinions, passion in business, communication, humility, vulnerability, feedback, audience analysis, business value, personal value, sovereignty, artificial intelligence, AI, content creation, Instagram, authentic authority, thought leadership


Business, Leadership, Marketing

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