The Linkedin secrets that will boost your whole digital toolbox and drive you towards huge business success!

We're Making Conversations about your digital toolbox Count!

Episode 68 - Lorraine Ball

Are you using your digital toolbox effectively? Do you even know what one is!? Enjoy a conversation with Lorraine Ball!


A picture of the artwork for Making Conversations Count episode with Lorraine Ball - discussing using your digital toolbox correctly

Big take-away quote from this conversation about using your digital toolbox and Linkedin correctly:

“The truth is some platforms are gonna work better for you than others……”

Lorraine Ball, Making Conversations Count (February 2022)

(Hard of hearing? Transcript here).

Strapped for data? You can hear a lower-bandwidth version of the episode here.) 

“Be everywhere”

One of the things many of us fall for when starting out and trying to scale a business is being ‘everywhere’. It doesn’t help when you’ve got aspiring business influencers like Gary Vee perpetuating that.

Not doing so can sometimes leave us feeling like we’re falling short. So it’s great that this week’s episode guest should turn all of this on its head when she explains what she does with a digital toolbox.

Lorraine Ball is a digital toolbox expert.

She explains how effective use of one can really skyrocket your business.



Oh, just quickly – talking of people helping you skyrocket your business – Wendy‘s currently running a 12 week blueprint programme which outlines her ‘four R formula’.

Want to overcome that fear of rejection or guide your teams towards having better conversations?

Well, then you need to click this.

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But what IS a digital toolbox?

In marketing, and in simple terms, a digital toolbox is a way to get your message to the right people in the right places.

The more you know about your people and where they are, the better you can reach them.

It’s important for telemarketing and digital marketing overall to have a digital toolbox that you can turn to when delivering your key messaging.

The Digital Toolbox Club

Lorraine is the founder of The Digital Toolbox Club, a company that helps businesses with their online presence. She explains how important it is to have a strong digital toolbox if you want your business to be successful.

During this conversation, Lorraine and Wendy Harris (telemarketing expert, telemarketing trainer and host of Making Conversations Count) talk about the importance of understanding your audience and where they are.

Here’s a transcript excerpt from the podcast that should help you understand that point.

Full transcript available here.


Lorraine Ball: Well, so I’m going to tell you that you don’t have to be in all of them.

That’s a lot of the messages instead of, “Oh my God, I have to be everywhere, I have to do all these things”.

No, you have to just do things well and really figure that out; and the rest of it, get a good automation tool so you just show up occasionally, so at least people see you there.

But the truth is, some platforms are going to work better for you than others.


Linkedin secrets

Wendy explains why Linkedin is her natural online home.

“For me, I’m very much a B2B lady, so LinkedIn is where I want to hang out, so I stay there and that’s great.

But the community thing, it just doesn’t happen in the same way as you can do on Facebook.”

Lorraine shares some Linkedin secrets that will help boost our whole digital toolbox strategy!

These aren’t your usual ‘Linkedin secrets’.

These are ‘real-world’ methods that will help you step out of the confines of the algorithm and get you to the next step – actual conversations with prospects.

Here’s just one of them.

“Set up the alerts in LinkedIn, so that every time someone gets promoted or changes jobs, you get notified.”

You’ll need to listen to learn why that’s SUCH a GOOD tip!

Clue: you might want to log into your email newsletter hosting account for this episode….


Lorraine also shares which platform she finds the most valuable for her own brand messaging.

The one that kills me is, right now, Facebook is really working for me, and I hate Facebook.

I want to give myself permission to not be as active there, and I can’t, because it’s working.

Continues below…

A pic of an iPhone with social media apps open

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Managed to catch the previous episode yet? Click play on the player below to listen!

Focus is better than ‘spray and pray’

Too often, people try to be everywhere at once, which can lead to scattered messaging that doesn’t reach anyone effectively.

Combining telemarketing with digital marketing can help deliver double the power for business development.

If you’re looking to boost your whole digital toolbox and drive your business success in today’s market, be sure to listen to this episode of Making Conversations Count! You won’t regret it.

Remember, you can also find more great insights around subjects such as sales, marketing and branding on other episodes of “Making Conversations Count”.

Be sure to check them out!

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How it’s important to go where your audience is, not where people tell tell you to be! 
  • The nuances of each of the various platforms
  • Lorraine’s advice for businesses that have stayed in the traditional networking lane!
  • How you can use the telephone in conjunction with a digital toolbox for the most effective CRM possible!
  • Understanding the algorithm ‘carrot-and-stick’ method that platforms like Pinterest have been using to entice you into ‘pay per click’
  • Overcoming procrastination by working smarter with your content like newsletters and podcasts!

Once you’ve listened, why not check out some of the other insights shared on previous episodes of Making Conversations Count with telemarketing trainer and expert Wendy Harris

(Full transcript here)

A pic of digital toolbox expert Lorraine Ball

So, Wendy’s takeaway from the conversation in this episode about using your digital toolbox and getting the best out of Linkedin?

“I loved having this conversation with Lorraine.

We reflect on the lessons we’ve learned from running our own businesses, the additional skills we need to get good at,

the distractions that we allow to suck time away from us, and the balloons we have floating above our heads (you’re gonna have to listen for that to make sense!)

What has the last couple of years taught us most? Value your network and keep in touch with the people not just the businesses. When we have Movers & Shakers we have double the opportunity.

Pets at work. What’s your take? We personally endorse it wherever is practical and would love to see pictures of your office pets!

Email them using this link –

Did you enjoy this conversation about using your digital toolbox and getting the best out of Linkedin?
Wil you now consider adding use of a digital toolbox in your own business and your growth plans?

We love to hear from you.

Please do let us know your take-aways from this episode by leaving a comment at

Want to carry on the conversation with Lorraine?

Lorraine’s Linkedin

Lorraine’s website

Lorraine’s podcast







“Making Conversations Count” is a podcast from WAG Associates founder and telemarketing trainer Wendy Harris.


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Full Episode Transcript - Conversation about using Linkedin and a digital toolbox - "Making Conversations Count"


Making Conversations about your Digital Toolbox Count




Lorraine Ball, Digital Toolbox



00:00:00: Introduction
00:02:55: Facebook vs LinkedIn
The pandemic effect
Reconnecting through the telephone
Reconnect through email
Connections through podcasting
The shifting landscape of social media
Tackling the uncomfortable skills
Task and time management
00:22:21: Pets at work
00:27:21: Lorraine’s pivotal conversation
Final thoughts


Interview Transcription

Wendy Harris: Welcome back to Making Conversations Count with me, Wendy Harris, your host and telemarketing trainer.  We always want to bring you super cool guests, so we’re happy to have yet another conversational queen join us on the show today.

What’s new, Wendy Woo?  Well, Ian had to write in and say that he really enjoyed listening to Gary’s episode on the ways of sales.  He even had to look up what ways meant, so I’m really glad that that intrigued you enough to find out a little bit more about the ways of the working mind. 

Now, because we’ve got Lorraine talking to us about our digital toolbox, I thought it was pertinent to say that when it comes to making calls yourself and doing the telemarketing activity in your business, it’s really good to have the end in mind and think about breaking down those individual steps that you are going to need to be successful when you do pick up the telephone.  If you’d like to learn more, you can always book a chat with me, and I will be more than happy to help you out.

But let’s get back to Lorraine.  We’ve got Lorraine Ball Making Conversations about your Digital Toolbox Count.  Together, we reflect on the lessons that we’ve learnt from running our own businesses, the additional skills we need to get good at, and the distractions that we allow ourselves to time suck the balloons we have floated above our head.  You’re going to have to listen for that to make sense!

But what has the last couple of years taught us most?  To value your network and keep in touch with the people, not just the businesses.  When we have movers and shakers, we have double the opportunity.  Pets at work?  Well, what’s your take?  We personally endorse it wherever is practical and would love to see pictures of your office pets.  Let’s get back to Making Conversations Count with Lorraine.

You’re the digital toolbox lady and when it comes to digital and marketing, there are so many places that we have to be.

Lorraine Ball: Well, so I’m going to tell you that you don’t have to be in all of them.  That’s a lot of the messages instead of, “Oh my God, I have to be everywhere, I have to do all these things”.  No, you have to just do things well and really figure that out; and the rest of it, get a good automation tool so you just show up occasionally, so at least people see you there.  But the truth is, some platforms are going to work better for you than others.

The one that kills me is, right now, Facebook is really working for me, and I hate Facebook.  I want to give myself permission to not be as active there, and I can’t, because it’s working.

Wendy Harris: It’s what’s driving things, that’s the thing, isn’t it?  For me, I’m very much a B2B lady, so LinkedIn is where I want to hang out, so I stay there and that’s great.  But the community thing, it just doesn’t happen in the same way as you can do on Facebook.

Lorraine Ball: Well, of all the changes that LinkedIn has made, I like the whole creator account, and there are ways of using messaging and stuff to create a little bit more of a community.  It’s not exactly the same as Facebook, but you can work it.

Wendy Harris: Yeah, and I think this is kind of where you have to decide where you need to show up and why.  So certainly, my podcast has taken me to platforms that I’ve never spent time on before, because that wasn’t what was needed for me in my day-to-day of doing my role.  So Instagram and Twitter and YouTube are great places to be when it comes to talking about the podcast.  I mean, certainly for me, my marketing has changed almost 360 to the point where I have to go, “Where does this start again?  Where do I want them to end up?”

Lorraine Ball: And then on top of the rest of it, let’s overlay the pandemic, let’s over the last 18 months, okay, because a big part of my plans for this decade, let’s say, was to do more face-to-face training again, because that’s what I really love.  I love getting in front of a room and talking to people, and I had done a conference in 2018 where I had organised it.  It actually had worked really well.  We took 2019 off and we were going to come back in 2020.

Wendy Harris: We tempted fate, didn’t we, Lorraine?

Lorraine Ball: We did.  So, you make a lot of changes.  Fortunately, I had been doing online training before this started.  It was a sideline and all of a sudden it was, “Well, that’s kind of my thing right now”.

Wendy Harris: I was talking to a lead in construction yesterday, and it just turns out that he’s been a good drinking buddy for a long time, and then I realised what he did and I was like, “I need to pick your brains”, so I was having a chat with him.  And he was saying that they’ve had their best time ever in business financially, and I’m hearing the extremes of this, that the financial rewards have really been there; however, it has been purely off the back of existing networks, that breaking into new stuff has been really, really hard, because that face-to-face interaction, going to networking and just striking up a conversation out of the blue, and I get it. 

So, what would your advice be for those kinds of industries that have relied on that and are missing that at the moment?

Lorraine Ball: Well, it is going to be something that they probably hate, because I did a lot of work — I came out of the home service industry, so plumbing, heating, air conditioning, that’s kind of my thing, and joining a couple of Zoom networks, you’re probably a member of the Chamber of Commerce and they are probably having a Zoom network event and go.

The other thing that I found really effective during the last 18 months is, open up your phone book, pull out that draw of all of those business cards that you’ve collected over the years, and randomly pick a few and call and check in.  Now at least, we’re at a place here where you can go and have a cup of coffee.  It was easier this summer when I could say, “Hey, meet me at this outdoor café”.  But I’ll still do some indoor coffees, but just reconnect.

The truth is, just like when you would go to a networking event and you were afraid to approach somebody, the truth was they were shy about approaching you.  So, that same rule applies now.  You pick up the telephone and nine times out of ten, the person’s going to be, “It’s so nice to hear from you, thank you for calling.  What’s going on?”  And just to say, “Hey, I’m just reconnecting, we haven’t seen each other at the Chamber, we haven’t seen each other at the Rotary Club, I want to know what’s going on in your business”.  Those conversations are invaluable.

One of my favourite stories was, a guy been getting a lot of business from a referral source, and he’d kind of dried up and he hadn’t really noticed, because he was very busy with everything else.  He picks up the phone and he calls the guy and the guy says, “Well, I sold my business”.  He’s like, “Okay, that’s why I’m not getting any referrals for you”.  Before they hung up he said, “Would you introduce me to the guy who bought your business?”

So, that became a new relationship.  It was an old relationship, it became a new relationship, but if he hadn’t made the phone call, the new buyer would have found a totally different partner for his services and he would have completely lost that referral source.

Wendy Harris: That’s interesting that you mention that, Lorraine, because that’s something that I hear a lot of within business owners, is that you say to them, “How up to date is your data?” and they hate that question, because they like to think that they’re in touch with everybody and they know everything about everybody.  But like you say, things do change very quickly; and certainly the last 18 months has shown us that people’s motives for being in a role have changed, there’s been lots of moving and shaking going on.

Lorraine Ball: Oh yeah, absolutely.

Wendy Harris: So, that one phone call, if somebody has moved, means that you can introduce yourself to the new person and explain the relationship you had before; but it also gives you an excuse to track them down at where they are now.  So in actual fact, you’ve got double the opportunity.

Lorraine Ball: Absolutely.  And I’m going to give you the digital alternative to that.  If you have an email list and you’re sending out an email newsletter and you send it out every week or every month, or whatever, look at your bounces, look at the emails that come back and you’re like, “Undeliverable?  Suspended?  I’ve known Mary for ten years, Mary’s been in that job”.  Now you’re like, “Okay, why is Mary’s email bouncing?”  So, now you call the company or you send Mary and note and you find out Mary has moved on.  But if you weren’t watching your bounces, you wouldn’t know.  You wouldn’t know who replaced Mary, you wouldn’t know where Mary went.

The other trick of that is set up the alerts in LinkedIn, so that every time someone gets promoted or changes jobs, you get notified.

Wendy Harris: Yeah, those notifications are great.

Lorraine Ball: They’re fabulous.  I’m old, so I have years and years and years of contacts.  I mean, I have people I worked with 30 years ago and I’m connected to them on LinkedIn, “I just see that you got a new job, congratulations!” and especially a lot of the very, at this point in my career, a lot of the very young people that I trained when I was first coming up, they’re senior managers now, “Hey, how’s it going, what’s going on?  Last time we talked, it’s been years and years, but what’s going on?”  That’s another really good thing to do, especially if it gets a little quite or slow.

Wendy Harris: I don’t think that anybody has an excuse to not be having conversations on a daily basis.  We can wag our fingers at them, Lorraine!

Lorraine Ball: Absolutely.  And that’s one of the things I’ve loved about the podcast, is because I’m not getting a lot of business per se from these conversations, but I’m meeting wonderful, interesting people, new ideas, that keeps everything a little fresh and every now and then, something pops up as a result of it.  But it’s really just creating a structured way to get out and talk to people.

Wendy Harris: I really enjoy the meeting new people.  Certainly, I’m talking to people that I never would have dreamt that I could have got into my calendar for a conversation, let alone them to be helping and supporting me with the podcast, because it’s a mutually beneficial thing, isn’t it?  The guests share their expertise and things like that.

But the best part of it is the mentorship that you get from your guests, because that sharing of your experiences means that you get a different perspective.  I’m in sales and marketing, and I’ve had quite a few guests in that arena, but they never fail to connect with the audience listening, because there’s always a tip or a trick, or a perspective and an idea that they go, “Do you know, I couldn’t try that, but I can see myself doing that”.

Lorraine Ball: I love just the way that people approach things, and I’ve had a lot of marketing people and you start to think, again like you said, “There’s nothing new”.  Then someone comes along and says something and you’re like, “I had never thought about that.  All these years that I’ve been doing this, I never thought about it quite that way”, and it’s great.

Wendy Harris: So, in your day-to-day role then, Lorraine, with your digital toolbox, what are the common challenges that you’re finding; let’s leave COVID aside, and there’s got to be some common ground that people are feeling at the moment?

Lorraine Ball: I ran a digital agency for 19 years; this was a spinoff.  So, when I sold the agency, I’m really starting not quite at ground zero, but at ground zero.  I have my network, which is invaluable, but I am starting a new business, so in a lot of ways, breaking through the clutter, figuring out what I need to rise above the noise, because there is so much noise.  And it is that constant, “Well, that was working, why isn’t it working now?” and dealing with the fact that things change much faster on social media.

The last time I started a business 20 years ago, there was no Facebook, there was no Twitter or LinkedIn or Instagram, which for today’s audiences will be, “How did you ever make a sale?” and that all made sense to me.  So now, trying to come back and do it again and recognising that on the positive side, there are all these fabulous tools and on the other side, there are all these people using all these fabulous tools, I think that constant fight to break through and also, the reality that what worked last month may not be working this month.

So, there’s that constant need to be monitoring and checking and going, “Okay, what the heck happened to my Pinterest; why did it tank?  It was doing great and now it’s not.  Did I change?” 

Wendy Harris: The business page, they want ads now!  They’re not going to give you the views.  They were just tempting and baiting you with those figures to say, “This is how many impressions you’ve had”, and then take it all away from you and you go, “Oh, I’ve got to pay for it now!”

Lorraine Ball: You know, Facebook did that.  You’re sitting there and you’re thinking, “Do I want to go down that road again?” and you just have to keep working it.  I think that’s probably the biggest challenge, the amount of noise and space, and the changing landscape that really does change, even without the pandemic, that shifting landscape of, “This worked last month, it’s not working now.  What do I do differently?”

Wendy Harris: Yeah, it’s not always easy to be able to uncover the reasonings behind things either, is it, because algorithms are so closely guarded.  But that test and measure, you’ve got to be aware of it, I think, as well.  There’s something to be said, I think, for us being brilliant in our business and doing our business, that we also have to have these other skills that come unnaturally to us!

Lorraine Ball: Well, yeah!  So, for somebody like me, I was a career marketer.  That’s my background, that’s my education, I’ve taught it.  My problem is, sometimes I think I’ve spent too much time on the marketing, and I think that’s the other trap that a lot of business owners fall into, because it’s fun and all of a sudden, you’re like, “Okay, I just spent half a day, what did I do?”

So, I think it’s the balance, and I think it’s as you said, the idea that you have to play against your strengths sometimes, “Oh God, I don’t really want to have to write that [or] I don’t want to have to do the programming.  I’m going to have to spend the time and do that now, because that’s what’s really going to create the value, that’s what’s going to make the difference”.

Wendy Harris: For me, I can often have nothing to say for days, then like last night I was up and woken several times with lots of different content ideas.  And you go, “I can’t just throw all of this out in one day”, and it’s being able to hold it back.  Then sometimes, it doesn’t have the same power if you don’t unleash it.  So, I think there’s a lot to be said for, “Just do it”.

Lorraine Ball: I think you also hit the nail on the head.  When you’re inspired, batch it, do a couple in batches.  I find that if I’m jumping around and jumping around, I don’t really feel like I’m getting anything done.  So, I wanted to take a vacation, I was going to be gone 30 days.  So, I worked like a demon to get everything done before I left.  So, I had a month’s worth of newsletters, I had a month’s worth of podcasts, I had everything done so that when I walked out the door, I didn’t have to think about it.

When I came back, that really has become my new rhythm and I’m like, “Okay, this is podcast day and I will edit three episodes and cue them up for the next three weeks and then I’m free, I don’t have to think about that”.

Wendy Harris: Yeah.  All these different tasks, I can only liken it to the listeners, it’s how they describe depression with this black cloud, isn’t it?  Every task is a cloud, or a balloon, let’s say a balloon, I like that.

Lorraine Ball: I like that, it’s happier.

Wendy Harris: It is a bit happier, a bit cheerier.  So, you’ve got all these different balloons bobbing around above your head, and it’s like you’re forever just batting one away.  There’s always one that’s just going to go “pop” and, “Not yet, I’ll do it later”.  So of course, it takes that amount of energy to “not yet” than doing it and going, “That balloon’s parked in there and that balloon’s parked over there”.  It’s certainly that I’ve found it very valuable, is that time management for those different tasks, and eat the elephant first to get back to the fun stuff, yeah.

Lorraine Ball: I had someone who had a really interesting suggestion and I tried it and I really like it.  She said, “Go through a couple of days, and really pay attention to when you have a lot of energy, when are you in that doldrum.  Then, once you understand that, organise your day to maximise that”.  For me, first thing in the morning, that’s my telling, that’s my productivity, that’s really my good working time, and I was scheduling a lot of interviews, I was scheduling a lot of meetings, I was doing all sorts of things.

So, by the time it got to about 11.00am when I start to dip, that’s when I had to sit down and do the work and I went, “This isn’t working”.  So, I’ve switched and I will do the occasionally morning meeting, but mostly that 8.00am to 10.00am timeframe, I block out a lot, except Fridays.  Fridays are my, “Let’s have lots of conversations” days.  But I block out and I really protect that 8.00am to 10.00am, and that’s when I do, it may be a big thing, it may be a small thing, but it’s something that requires focus.  Then, I can do the fluff later.

Wendy Harris: But then you find yourself in flow and I think you allow that creativity to actually stretch.  I love that.

Lorraine Ball: Yeah.  I give myself permission and it’s, get up from your desk, and I go for a walk.  Now, that’s a whole lot nicer in June that it is in December.

Wendy Harris: True!

Lorraine Ball: But bundle up, a little cold air hits the face, and you don’t have to go far, but just shake the cobwebs out.  Because, when I started paying attention to it, I realised that just as you’re going with the flow, you also start to notice when you hit a wall.  And sitting at your computer and continuing to look at the screen when you hit a wall is worthless, “I’ve stared at this same graphic for five minutes, it’s time to get up”.

Wendy Harris: I cannot tell you how blessed I have been to be a dog owner.  It’s a funny story, it’s not the dog that I have now, I’m not quite sure where she is, but Ziggy was at a job that I took.  So, in 2008, it was the crash, so I took a little part-time job and I worked for a retired millionaire and they bred jobs, and it was fantastic. 

This one puppy, Ziggy, would come and sit on my feet, under my desk, wouldn’t listen to anybody else, and she never quite found a home.  She was like the foster kid who went from home to home, around the family and friends, and would always end up, on office days, with me.  And unfortunately, the guy died quite suddenly and she was gifted to me in his letters.

So one day, she just turned up, no bed, no lead, nothing.  It was just, “Here’s your dog”, and I was over the moon.  My husband didn’t speak to me properly for about two months!  No, seriously, he didn’t want a dog, he didn’t want anything tying us down, he didn’t want the mess, he didn’t want to go on holiday, he didn’t want to walk it, we’re at work all day. 

Do you know what, it was the best thing that ever happened, and now I’ve got her niece.  They were together for a while until Ziggy was too old, and that’s what gets me up in the morning, gets me out in the fresh air, day after day, because I haven’t got a garden that’s got grass, because it was all landscaped to make life easy, and it was the best thing to just get up and go.  People say, “It’s raining [or] it’s snowing”, it doesn’t matter, we’re waterproof.

Lorraine Ball: I love to get out and walk.  We’ve had dogs, we do not have one now.  Now, we have cats and they don’t need walking, but they provide hours of entertainment.  We had them in the office for years, we always had animals in the office and it was a little building.  But it just made everybody happy, so what a wonderful thing that you were able to take one of your office animals home.

Wendy Harris: Yeah.  I mean even some of the clients I work with locally, when I say to them, “I don’t mind coming into the office, but not for long periods of time”, because she gets separation anxiety, and then I’ll bring the dog in.  So, Maud has become the office dog on many a client’s website!

Lorraine Ball: It happened quite by accident we had the first dog, but there was a period then where everybody in the office had dogs.  But it was a small building and I’m like, “Okay, guys, we have to manage the chaos”.  So, they would negotiate.  Today was Kyler’s day, today Howler could come in.  Well, Bella and Roxy get along, so they could come in together.

Wendy Harris: It’s a different dynamic, isn’t it, that it brings out in people as well.

Lorraine Ball: It does, in people and in customers.  There’s nothing like a dog walking over when I’m making a sales pitch, and the dog walks over to the customer and lays their head in their lap, just as I’m trying to make the sale.  How do you say no to me, when my dog’s got their head in your lap?!  “Please can I have dog food forever?  I need kibble?

Wendy Harris: I certainly think that pets should be encouraged from a young age, and anybody that’s got an office dog or cat, please do send us your pictures, I’d love to have a look.  That would be cool, wouldn’t it?

Lorraine Ball: Absolutely, and a picture of a cute kitten does it every time.

Wendy Harris: Absolutely.  I am going to go search some cute kittens and go fill my feed today!  I think we’ve got to the part of the show where I always ask my guests to reveal that conversation that they remember having that created a turning point.  So…?

Lorraine Ball: I know exactly the conversation, I hadn’t thought about it until you said it.  I was working on a very large project when I was still in my corporate days, and we had spent just this ridiculous amount of money on market research.  We got to the point where we were analysing the data and we had some clear answers, but we had this grey area in the middle.

I went to my boss and I was like, “We need to do more research, because right now, A and B are equal”.  He says, “We’re not doing any more research”, and I’m like, “But I don’t have an answer”.  He said, “It doesn’t matter”, “What do you mean, ‘It doesn’t matter’?”  He says, “Pick one”.  I said, “But then what?  What if I pick the wrong one?”  He says, “You won’t.  He said, “Both of those are okay ideas, right?”  I said, “Yeah”.  He said, “A mediocre idea executed flawlessly will outperform a brilliant one executed badly.  So, pick one and throw everything you’ve got at it and it will work”.

Every time I get to a place in my business and I’m about to do something, I remember Eric’s words, just the concept that the idea is less important than what you do with it.

Wendy Harris: Very wise man, that Eric?

Lorraine Ball: He was.

Wendy Harris: And steered you for how long?

Lorraine Ball: Quite a while.

Wendy Harris: That’s a great message to pass on as well, because I think so many people get into a place of indecision.  I was talking about this with Dr Ivan Misner only earlier this year, and we were saying that people had gotten frozen by fear, rather than acting through it and changing that into, “Let’s take control of it”.

Lorraine Ball: Yes, and move, but don’t, “Toe in the water, back out, toe in the water, back out”.  When you make a decision, “This is where I’m going”.  Commit 100% and don’t look back.  Don’t second-guess and think, “Well, if I’d only done this, maybe I could do that”.  No, you’ve picked your direction.  It’s like sailing to an island.  You get there, you unpack everything, this is going to be your new home and the last thing you do is you burn the boat so you can’t go back.  This is your new island, make it work.

Wendy Harris: Something to be said for failing, we need to fail sometimes to learn the lessons, because it’s only by failing that you’ve got that assessment to be able to go, “Well, that worked because of this and this and this”, so that you can get all of the key elements together, and it doesn’t mean failure, I think that’s the key point.

Lorraine Ball: I consider every failing is a learning opportunity, it really is.  Very, very early on in the business, I had a conference that I organised with a friend of mine and it was a glorious failure.  It just wasn’t what we hoped for, it was expensive, we did everything wrong.  And it was years before I licked my wounds and tried it again.  But when I licked my wounds and tried it again, everybody said, “The first year you do a conference, you’re not going to make money on a new concept”, and I went, “No, I’ve already done that once.  We’re not going to do that.  This time, we’re going to do something that –“, and I took all of those lessons and it was exactly what I wanted it to be, and it worked.

But it would never have worked if I hadn’t had that previous experience.

Wendy Harris: It gives you a sense of inner belief as well, doesn’t it?  “It can’t be as bad as the last time?”  That’s all right, then!

Lorraine Ball: Yes.  Well, you go into it with the belief that, “I’ve made that mistake, I’m not going to make that mistake again.  I may make others, but I’m not going to make that mistake”.  And, when you’ve been around the block a few times, you have a whole lot of that mistake lined up that you’re like, “Okay, I know don’t do that, don’t do that.  That worked, put it over here.  That didn’t, that worked, put it over here”.

Wendy Harris: I think that’s something that not only does it come from years of experience, but it comes from that test and measure, like you say, last month didn’t work so this month will, and you just keep adding onto those layers all the while, which is great advice, Lorraine, great advice!

Well, I’ve absolutely loved chatting with you today, Lorraine, and I know that listeners are likely to want to pick up the conversation with you and carry it on, because that’s what we encourage them to do.  So, where is the best place for them to find you, other than where we will put you on our website and stuff?

Lorraine Ball: I love having conversations on LinkedIn.  When you reach out, please tell me that you heard me on Wendy’s show, because a strange person out of the blue, I may or may not be, “Wow, let’s have a conversation”.  But if you start with, “Hey, I heard you and…”, then I am definitely going to connect and we can have a conversation, and I love those conversations.  It’s @lorraineball.  You can always check out the website, and you can find lots of cool stuff there.  But I would say LinkedIn is probably the place where I’m going to have the best conversations.

Wendy Harris: Perfect.  Well, I’ll see you hanging out on LinkedIn soon then, Lorraine.

Lorraine Ball: Absolutely.  I will look for you soon.

Wendy Harris: There you have it, some observations from two conversational queens.  Don’t forget to drop us some pictures of your pets at work, we’d love to be able to share them through our socials on Insta and Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, because of course all of these platforms are part of our digital toolbox.

Until next time, where I’m joined by Simon Kardynal, and we’re going to be Making Conversations about Being in the Trenches Count.



We don’t want the conversation to stop there!

All of our listeners are important to us, so we would love it if you can connect with Wendy on LinkedIn and send her a message with your favourite episode!


paula senior YMCA

Episode 1 – Paula Senior

In our first episode, we speak to Paula Senior from the YMCA. Paula is a fund-raising officer and is currently preparing for the annual Sleepout to raise much needed funds for the night shelter, how covid has stretched them to the limits and how they have risen above the challenges faced by the homeless.

Nat schooler

Episode 2 – Nat Schooler

Can one conversation really influence where you are driven? Nat Schooler

Influence marketeer Nat Schooler joins Wendy as they chat about how important it is to produce strategic content online. Nat spends his time podcasting, writing, and driving across foreign continents for fun. However, their conversation quickly turns to the importance of building relationships with the people you want to work with. Nat places trust as the highest asset everyone should nurture.

Azam Mamujee M Cubed Tax specialist

Episode 3 – Azam Mamujee

In this episode, Wendy is joined by Managing Partner, Azam Mamujee a tax specialist with a voice of velvet.

Azam agrees that conversations count however he explains how numbers can tell a much more powerful story. He has a catchphrase “Give Azam the facts, I’ll save you the Tax”.

Jenny Procter Marketing for introverts bondfield

Episode 4 – Jenny Procter

Jenny Procter – Bondfield Marketing

Making Conversations about Marketing for Introverts Count

Let us introduce you to Jenny Procter, a marketing consultant and self-proclaimed introvert.

Jenny writes PR and communications for B2B clients and has her own podcast show, and she discusses issues around running her own business as an entrepreneur.

Andrew Deighton team coaching

Episode 5 – Andrew Deighton

Andrew Deighton – Team Coaching. Making Conversations about Teams Count. We are joined by Andrew Deighton today, who helps build and develop high-performing teams through strategy and processes in today’s remote working world.

Wendy has worked with Andrew in a second business through mentoring and knows firsthand how his advice relates to many aspects of running a business.

Nicky Pattinson sales expert public speaker

Episode 6 – Nicky Pattinson

Nicky Pattinson – Leading Sales Authority & Public Speaker. Making Conversations about Personality Count. Nicky Pattinson speaks the Truth in all she does! A northern lass who traded on the markets at the beginning of her career, similarly to your host. Now, Nicky has a best-selling book “Email: Don’t Get Deleted” and her own YouTube channel NICKYPTV.

Buckso Dhillon Wooley

Episode 7 – Buckso Dhillon-Wooley

Buckso Dhillon-Wooley – Actress, Speaker & Business Coach. Making Conversations about Self-Belief Count. A true diamond, Buckso is very much aligned with herself and the many facets of her own personality.
As an actor, speaker and coach her mission in life is to help people connect with their higher self.
Being aligned with yourself on a spiritual, physical and emotional level allows you to shine brighter in everything you touch.
Buckso Dillon-Whooley is a well known Actress, who has starred in Disney’s recent remake of Aladdin and is a long-standing actor on Coronation Street with appearances on many UK TV shows.

James Daniel Copywriter

Episode 8 – James Daniel

James Daniel – Copywriter
Making Conversations about Copywriting Count
Joining us in this episode is copywriter James Daniel.
He describes himself as ‘That old guy who writes copy – you know, the beardy one with glasses.’
We should point out there could be other old guys with beards and glasses out there!
It’s easy to like James’ style of writing because he’s a conversationalist who realizes that people don’t speak geek or tech.

Henny Maltby Digital marketing agency

Episode 9 – Henny Maltby

Henny Maltby – Digital Marketing Agency, Pink Elephant Media. Making Conversations about Digital Marketing Count. When the Pandemic hit in early 2020, Henny Maltby turned to her husband as they both realised their business was going to change forever. Offering online marketing to large corporate businesses who cut budgets left a hole to fill. By opening the conversation up with local businesses, it was obvious what the next chapter would be for them at Pink Elephant Media…

Kim Walsh Phillips

Episode 10 – Kim Walsh Phillips

Kim Walsh Phillips owns Powerful Professionals, a business that helps empower entrepreneurs to turn clicks into cash and identifying the superpowers in others so they can fly high. Kim is an expert in social selling strategy.

Amelia Thorpe Wellbeing coach

Episode 11 – Amelia Thorpe

Amelia Thorpe – Mental Health Wellbeing Coach. Making Conversations about Mental Wealth Count. Meet Amelia Thorpe, founder of Wellbeing 360, who talks to Wendy about how important it is to give equal priority to our mental and physical health. Listening to Amelia’s story will bring a beacon of hope that we can all take charge of our own conversations which will give us back the control that slips sometimes when times are tough. Amelia is a wellbeing counsellor.

John Attridge capacity business

Episode 12 – John Attridge

John Attridge – Guiding Businesses to Reach their Full Potential by Tapping into Spare Capacity

Making Conversations about Capacity Count. John Attridge, owner of BBX turns spare capacity into value for many businesses. When you listen to John you just know there is a bigger story to this guy as his accent gives it away!
John has successfully built a business network and community to help people fill spare capacity and exchange services. It is a brilliant concept and if you’ve not come across it before yet in touch with me and I’ll tell you more. Using the BBX community helped my own business through the lockdown and has provided such a lot of support and new relationships.

Clara Wilcox return to work coaching for parents

Episode 13 – Clara Wilcox

Clara Wilcox runs The Balance Collective, Specialising in Return to Work Coaching for Parents. Making Conversations about Returning to Work Count! This is a conversation that every Mum will resonate with, juggling home and work is not simply a balancing act but a superpower!

Clara recognized through her own personal journey that the right support for Mum’s returning to work was only available from the employer’s point of view. This causes a biased approach and is not always helpful in an emotive decision-making process.

dr ivan misner bni networking

Episode 14 – Dr Ivan Misner

In this episode, Ivan and Wendy explore how conversation is the foundation of all growth and learning. How times have changed, looking back and also predicting our future generations experiences, yet communication will still be the underpin even it how that looks has changed.

Janine Coombes marketing coach

Episode 15 – Janine Coombes

Google has recognised this lady as the #1 marketing coach and her video series mixes humour with key messages, it is the lovely Janine Coombes. Janine is a marketing coach for personal brands.
In this episode, Janine and Wendy share how using the right language influences the conversations we have and how it affects our results.

Lizzie Butler presentations coach

Episode 16 – Lizzie Butler

Making conversations about presentations count! Delighted to introduce Lizzie Butler, owner of LB Communications, who met Wendy at a local online networking event and immediately hit it off. Lizzie helps you to grow your business through personal development training and how to achieve brilliant communication.

Jem hills inspirational speaker

Episode 17 – Jem Hills

Making conversations about Bullying count. Jem Hills is an inspirational speaker, trainer & performance coach.
Talking to Wendy in this episode is ex-marine Jem Hills who you might find it hard to believe was affected by bullying and a lack of confidence. As a release Jem discovered Northern dancing and practiced as a bedroom activity that later led to an accidental release of freestyle dancing at a competition. The dancing-built resilience and the foundations for the training to complete the Mud Run and onto his Elite Special Forces career.

Peter howard graphic design

Episode 18 – Peter Howard

Peter Howard runs a design studio that is ranked in the top 100 in the country and was responsible for the WAG brand. Having known Peter and his team for many years, Wendy has heard lots of his stories but knew there would be one she had not heard before.

Taz Thornton & Asha Clearwater business coaches

Episode 19 – Taz Thornton & Asha Clearwater

Making conversations about partnerships count. In a Making Conversations Count first, we are joined by two dynamic guests in this episode. Both Taz & Asha provide business coach services in different areas. Joining Wendy chatting about all the elements that make up a great debate. You are not going to want to miss the observations with Taz Thornton and Asha Clearwater around questioning, opinions, debate and discernment that makes for wonderful colourful conversations.

Vicki Carroll O'Neill

Episode 20 – Vicki Carroll (formerly O’Neill)

Vicki works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and executive leaders who are stuck in their business and need someone as a partner to coach them to their next level of success. Vicki offers growth marketing consultant advice, strategy plans & also organises in-house marketing teams.

heidi medina business coach

Episode 21 – Heidi Medina

This episode contains one of our most important conversations, so we’re definitely going to make it count!
Wendy Harris brings Heidi Medina into the conversation today, who opens up the conversation about abuse she has encountered.
She’s a Linkedin expert and business coach who is the exact opposite of the classic ‘my way or the highway’.
Whether you meet Heidi online or in person she is the same.

Niraj Kapur online sales coach

Episode 22 – Niraj Kapur

In this episode, Wendy is joined by Online Sales Coach Niraj Kapur from “Everybody works in Sales” a business that helps companies with their sales processes.

Steve Judge paralympian motivational speaking

Episode 23 – Steve Judge

A life-changing accident that almost claimed a life but actually birthed a mindset shift.  Making conversations about speaking count!

Imagine losing your limbs in an accident.

That’s a real human test.

Most people would fall into one of two camps.

Feel the loss, and struggle to overcome it, before essentially accepting your ‘job lot’ and just becoming a bit angry.

Many would. And they’d be forgiven.

Then there are others, who would not let it defeat them, or define them.

Steve Judge is definitely in the latter of the two camps.

Nikolas Venios the ideas agency

Episode 24 – Nik Venios

We reflect on how this business man helped his poorly mother solve a household challenge which led to a career of making conversations about ideas and innovation count. We will all eventually lose our parents. Sadly, it’s a part of life. Not many of us have to suffer that loss at the tender age of just six. We couldn’t think of a nicer guy to help us with our goal of making conversations about ideas count. Truly, if anyone can hold a conversation about ideas, it’s Nik Venios of the Ideas Agency. Did you know that NASA has a genius test? During this episode, you’ll find out all about this, and the fascinating stats surrounding it.

Jonny cooper hates marketing

Episode 25 – Jonny Cooper

Most business owners hate marketing. That’s probably because they don’t understand it. Someone who does get marketing is Jonny Cooper, and even he can’t stand it! In fact, he despises it so much, he built a business around it. Welcome to Jonny Hates Marketing! This week we’re making conversations about messaging count. Messaging is so important to get correct. Your entire marketing voice depends on it. That’s why you need to listen very carefully to Jonny Cooper.

Wendy Harris telephone trainer how to sell over the phone

Episode 26 – Wendy Harris

Wendy Harris is an expert telemarketer, who has years worth of experience in cold-calling and doing it right. Now a podcast host, Wendy shares her story and how she became an advocate for making conversations count!

Will Polston Make it happen

Episode 27 – Will Polston

Making conversations about wealth….and Clubhouse….count! Paying it forward. Acting from a position of generosity and giving within the law of reciprocity. We’re talking to Will Polston.

Ray Blakney Live Lingua

Episode 28 – Ray Blakney

Making conversations about language count… Ray Blakney is the CEO And founder of online language school Live Lingua. Can you speak another language other than your native tongue? Wendy admitted to the “Making Conversations Count” team that she doesn’t, and we can’t help but feel she’s definitely not alone.

Many Ward write my book cuddle monster

Episode 29 – Mandy Ward

Mandy Ward is a book mentor, helping people to write their own books under the company ‘Write my book’. Mandy is also an author herself, including the popular children’s book ‘The Cuddle Monster’.

Sarah Townsend copywriter survival skills for freelancers

Episode 30 – Sarah Townsend

Sarah Townsend is a freelance copywriter and best-selling author of the book ‘survival skills for freelancers’. In this episode, we discuss the importance of conversations in the freelance world, and how things can lead to many opportunities…

Paul Furlong visual branding advertiser videographer

Episode 31 – Paul Furlong

Paul Furlong is part of Opus Media, producing TV advertising, videos, and photographs for businesses. He knows a thing or two about visual branding, and is considered a advertising guru!

Masami Sato founder B1G1

Episode 32 – Masami Sato

Masami Sato set up the B1G1 initiative. Helping businesses to do good by giving back. When was the last time you gave, freely Not for tax reasons. And not because you felt awkward at a raffle. We could all always do more.

Ann Hobbs Forward thinking publishing

Episode 33 – Ann Hobbs

Ann Hobbs helps people to self-publish their books with Forward Thinking Publishing. She is also a coach and author of her book ‘Kick ass your life’, helping people to push through adversity.

Kim-Adele Platts Career development coach

Episode 34 – Kim-Adele Platts

Kim-Adele Platts, Career Development Coach. Making Conversations about Leadership Count! If you don’t believe in yourself how do you expect others to? This was a question and topic that surfaced during this powerful and insightful conversation with Kim-Adele Platts.

Marina Hauer branding specialist for coaches

Episode 35 – Marina Hauer

Marina Hauer is a branding specialist for independent coaches. Are you using three different brand ‘voices’ in your marketing efforts? We’re making conversations about branding count!

David Smith MBE paralympian

Episode 36 – David Smith

David Smith MBE is a Paralympian in the sport Boccia. Do you know what Boccia is? David tells you in this episode all about the most inclusive Paralympian sport that helps people with their independence.

Graham Nash accountant

Episode 37 – Graham Nash

Graham Nash, BusinessWise Accountants, has worked in many fields over the years and the one common denominator has been helping business turnaround.

Ian Genius sales coach

Episode 38 – Ian Genius

Ian Genius is the sales coach to help you gain confidence in sales. His Ingenious technique helps clients see the value of your best package to COMMAND a higher price.

Jennie Erikson voice over artist

Episode 39 – Jennie Eriksen

Jennie Eriksen is a voice over artist, her company name is Lovely Voice. She helps her intended listener to learn by being able to bring characters to life.

Stella Da Silva employability trainer

Episode 40 – Stella Da Silva

Stella Da Silva talks about vocations in this episode, as a specialist employability trainer she shares her insider knowledge.
What skills do you need to be employable?

Hypnotist Jonathan Chase

Episode 41 – Jonathan Chase

Look into my eyes! You will feel very sleepy! You guessed it, we’re having one of our many conversations that count with hypnosis star Jonathan Chase.

Brynne Tillman social sales link

Episode 42 – Brynne Tillman

Brynne Tillman is a social selling expert. Her company ‘Social Sales Link’ teaches the importance of connection for selling on LinkedIn and other platforms.

Ruth Driscoll

Episode 43 – Ruth Driscoll

Ruth Driscoll supports people through toxic relationships. Her company the ‘life liberator’ takes her personal experiences to help others.

Rob Begg mindset coach

Episode 44 – Rob Begg

Rob Begg is a results based mindset coach to business leaders & teams. In this episode, he talks about your ego and self-limiting beliefs many of us hold.

Dan Knowlton video advertising

Episode 45 – Dan Knowlton

Dan Knowlton and his brother Lloyd run Knowlton – a social media and video advertising company who create unique, funny content to stop the scroll.

Sudhir Kumar

Episode 46 – Sudhir Kumar

Sudhir Kumar is an expert in social selling to grow your business, he’s written a book ‘Being Human: Marketing & Social Selling in a Digital World’.

Episode 47 – Ann Page

Ann Page is a lawyer who helps other lawyers with her courses. She teaches valuable business skills and teaches the importance of avoiding jargon.

Joe Chatham networking

Episode 48 – Joe Chatham

Joe Chatham set up USA 500. It’s an exclusive member-based organization focusing on sharing his expertise in marketing relationships and networking.

Larry Long Jnr

Episode 49 – Larry Long Jnr

Larry Long Jnr is a sales coach that helps give people, teams, and organizations the motivation to go from good to great.

pete cann laughter man

Episode 50 – Pete Cann

Larry Long Jnr is a sales coach that helps give people, teams, and organizations the motivation to go from good to great.

Hear what people are saying about the show

I love this podcast. The guests you have on all bring something new to the conversation and definitely thought-provoking.

Sometimes this means I change something I do, or something I would say, and other times it’s a real opportunity for reflection.

Thanks for sharing your guests with us Wendy, the podcasts are brilliant.

Paula Senior

I always enjoy listening to Wendy’s Making Conversations Count podcast and admire her talent for drawing out people’s stories and getting to the heart of things for finding out what makes them tick.

We all have pivotal moments and Wendy manages to find the right parts, showcasing the reasons why someone is who they are.

It’s those details that we connect to and come to more understanding of why people do what they do.

Heidi Medina

Love this podcast series. It’s a great idea to have a theme of ‘pivotal conversations’ and the variety of guests from massively different backgrounds keeps it fresh and interesting.

Wendy is a natural host and makes people feel at ease to share their stories.

Andrew Deighton

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