Episode 35 - Marina Hauer

Are you using three different brand 'voices' in your marketing efforts? We're making conversations about branding count!

Marina Hauer, Branding for Coaches

Making Conversations about Branding Count!

Marina Hauer branding specialist for coaches

Branding should be who you are, how you dress and how you communicate.

Yet, often design can be fractured and the impact is lost.

That’s why we invited Marina Hauer to talk to us about how important it is to be well dressed, know who you are and be in alignment with what you say in all places.

Knowing that we humans want to be part of a tribe yet also strive to be individual it can be a fine balancing act.

Through the conversations Marina has with her clients she is able to communicate this with their branding.

A chance conversation at a camera club began Marina’s journey into self-employment…you’ll have to listen to find out what happened next!

Connect with Marina on LinkedIn

Listen to other episodes on your favourite platform…

Full Episode Transcript


Making Conversations Count – Episode Thirty-Five 

Wendy Harris & Marina Hauer

June 17th 2021


00:00:00: Introduction
00:00:50: Shout outs
00:01:32: Marina Hauer
00:04:07: Emotive branding
00:07:10: Dressing up for armour
00:11:18: Coaches’ branding
00:12:27: Creating a superpower suit
00:17:09: Recognisable across multiple platforms
00:20:29: You only ever own half your brand
00:23:27: Be intentional
00:26:54: Marina’s pivotal conversation
00:34:38: Final conversation

Wendy Harris: Do you wear the colours of your company?  Does it make you feel great when you walk into a room, or you are on a zoom call in your corporate colours?  Have you even given it any thought at all?  You’ll see me in pink, lots.  Well, it is a detail that is worth thinking about and our guest today, Marina Hauer, takes us on a journey about colours and branding and really unravels some mysteries that even I didn’t know.  She’s even been known to dress up herself to grab a little attention for her business.  It’s worth listening in to some of the tips that Marina has to share today.

What’s new Wendy Woo?  We’re charting in the United Arab Emirates; thank you for listening over there.  Do drop me a line, let me know what your favourite episodes are and why; we’ll even give you a shout out.

Talking about shout outs, I’ve received a special review on Podchaser from Neal Veglio.  For those of you that don’t know, he’s my producer.  I have to share him, but he’s brilliant.  If you’re thinking about doing a podcast for your business, I would highly recommend him, but now it’s time to get back to the show.

Tell us a little bit about how you got into marketing, rebranding, working with coaches and that sort of thing.

Marina Hauer: Do you want the long story to that?  My thing is and has always been about identity and how we construct identity, how we form relationships and what makes us want to stick together as humans and belong, but then also what makes us want to stick out, because we all need to be herd animals and at the same time, we have this very innate sense that we need to be individuals.  I certainly myself have always been more on the individualistic side, I thought anyway, and then COVID hit and I’ve been cured of that, than the community side and it was only over the last sort of year that I’ve realised just how much I was missing people.

Wendy Harris: The right sort of people though, don’t you think?

Marina Hauer: That is absolutely correct, and I don’t miss driving to meetings where we then spend 45 minutes talking about not very much at all and then you get to drive home again, so, yeah.

From that I sort of have a design background, I have a social scientist background, a not very linear career path but who does these days.

Wendy Harris: Try all and see how it fits.

Marina Hauer: Absolutely, so it came down to, you have these design skills, work isn’t working out, so let’s try the self-employed thing; and design was one of the easy things to sell in the beginning when you have an idea, but you don’t know how this whole business thing works.  Everybody knows what a flyer is, everybody knows what a business card is.  I can sell that without having to go into this grand, “I need to explain it”, but what I realised in that is that traditional graphic design can be very transactional.  You need something quickly, everything needs to be done yesterday, it needs to be cheap and once it’s done, it’s fixed; that’s it.  That’s relationship over, you’ve produced the goods and they move on.

Wendy Harris: Where’s the value for you?

Marina Hauer: Yes, where’s the value?

Wendy Harris: And to them ongoing, yeah.

Marina Hauer: Absolutely and the parts that really grabbed me were where we were talking about identity and how can we bring across who we are in this business world; how can we stand out; how can we make the right people feel the right things about us?  So, I gradually morphed my offer from a very design-heavy focus into what is now very much a connection focus with a bit of design on the side.

Wendy Harris: Emotive branding then?

Marina Hauer: Yes, very intuitive.  I like to say, “I need to get into your head and take out what’s in there, so you can get into people heart’s”.  That’s what it’s about at the end of the day.

Wendy Harris: Then you’ve been able to touch them, yeah.

Marina Hauer: You need to touch them; you need to connect with them but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about connection is, it’s really hard to really connect unless you’re connected to yourself first.  So, there’s this whole piece in there about figuring out, calibrating where you’ve come on the rebranding stage or looking at where you want to be when you’re branding from scratch, and all the influences that involves, where everything’s come from, you’re taking all your personality strands and your identity strands and I’m sort of the person that pulls them all out and then together we weave them into the fabric of connection, if you like.

Wendy Harris: Yeah, it’s like chemistry, isn’t it?

Marina Hauer: It is very much, yeah.

Wendy Harris: Creating an intoxicating potion.

Marina Hauer: Yes, one that is as intoxicating for the person that it’s for, than it is for their clients, because I find that if you’re a solopreneur, or one of those service business owners that sells something invisible, if you don’t buy it, they don’t buy it.

Wendy Harris: That’s so true, isn’t it, that go back to this sort of idea that everybody is a salesperson.  It doesn’t matter what it is that you do, you’ve got to influence somebody somewhere along the line and if you’re not bought into something you’re not going to really be that bothered about whether they buy it or not.  Really, you want people to go, “Yes!  I’ve got to have that!”  So, emotional decision-making has got to be really key.

Independent coaches, that’s quite a broad spectrum, is there a particular type of coach or personality that you work with; some work with introverts or extroverts?

Marina Hauer: That’s an interesting one, because I very much come across as an extrovert when I’m out and about, but I don’t see myself as one.  I’m the sort of person who likes to go home and close the door and not take any phone calls and sit with my book and just let everything calm down again, so the fuzziness goes away in my body.

Wendy Harris: Yeah, so you can recharge, because it takes a lot of energy, doesn’t it —

Marina Hauer: It does.

Wendy Harris: — to be giving?

Marina Hauer: Yeah, this was something I wasn’t expecting when I sit down with my clients and we’re going through this very, for them very intimate work of, they might know who they are, but in order for them to be able to interpret that for them, I have to get to know them very closely as well.  We’re doing a lot of emotional work together and it can be not exhausting, but it does take something out of you and creativity doesn’t come from nowhere.  So, there is that balance piece.

I would have said probably two, three years ago I was very much trying to attract the extroverts because I was marketing myself as a superhero at the time, because I’m a nerd, I like dressing up.  I decided that it would be really fun if I created this superhero persona for my business and made the damn costume, so I’ve got the costume in a cupboard —

Wendy Harris: That I’ve got to see.

Marina Hauer: — and wear that to like conventions and trade shows because I knew there would be like 30 suits and me having a stand.

Wendy Harris: That’s the individuality that you were looking for at the time though, wasn’t it?  To be able to stand out.

Marina Hauer: It was, definitely.  What my initial objective was, what is the cheapest way to get me into the paper, for somebody to take a picture, some guerrilla marketing effort to try and get myself out there, and it did get me conversations.  It absolutely got people to stop and to say, “Please tell me what this is about because I don’t understand”, and it attracted actually amazingly predominantly women who went up and kind of went, “This is amazing, I love this.  What is it that you do?”  It was only later that I learned that they don’t want you to be their hero, they want to be their own hero.

Wendy Harris: Yeah, they want you to make their suit.

Marina Hauer: In true story brand fashion, they want you to be guide and they themselves are the hero in their own story and at that point, I think to a degree, I was wearing the suit, my power outfit, as a bit of a, “I’m making myself feel better about myself because I don’t really feel like I know what I’m doing here”.

Wendy Harris: It’s interesting because that’s almost like an armour in itself, isn’t it?

Marina Hauer: Yeah.

Wendy Harris: That can actually switch an audience off as well as switch them on.

Marina Hauer: Yeah.

Wendy Harris: Yeah.

Marina Hauer: So, while it was great fun and we had lots of laughs and I had lots of positive feedback from it and it certainly made me feel more comfortable and more confident when I was wearing it, because I was playing that role, I also then at some point realised that I was probably turning people off.  I don’t mind polarising, I don’t mind being a bit of a marmite option, I’d much rather I have some flavour that people dislike than to be completely bland.

Wendy Harris: Yeah, but you attract the people that are best for you, don’t you, I think in any fields?

Marina Hauer: Yeah.

Wendy Harris: So, I know I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, I wouldn’t want to either; that’s not — the name of the game is to be the best with the best in your circle.

Marina Hauer: Yeah.  I outgrew her, I outgrew the Apricity girl, and I still have the outfit, I still have the pictures.

Wendy Harris: You’re going to have to send me one, I promise I won’t share it!

Marina Hauer: Well, if you’re at all on my LinkedIn history or on any of my Facebook things —

Wendy Harris: She will pop up.

Marina Hauer: She is a part of my history and people still go, “You’re the one with the costume”, like from three years ago; it made an impression.

Wendy Harris: Yeah, lasting impression.

Marina Hauer: I’m connecting with people more closely now, it’s really 100% about them and not so much about me, and there’s genuinely a truth there for any kind of marketing or any kind of sales; it is always about the client.

Wendy Harris: That’s where the conversation becomes the key part of the process, isn’t it?  What you’re saying is, “Look, I can help you create your own superpower suit.  I can help you step into your authentic, aligned, calibrated persona”, so that it’s not an effort.  That’s the thing isn’t it, that it’s not — it doesn’t feel like you’re playing a role, that this is a true representation of who you are, that people will then be naturally attracted to you.

Marina Hauer: Yeah, absolutely, totally agree.  You said, “What kind of coach?”  The kind of coaches that are done with the [bleep], the short of people who are kind done shouting and they have found their own truth and there is just no space for compromising anymore, and this is why it is zero compromise rebranding, because it’s not cheap.  We need this to be right, and we need it to say the right things to the right people and we need to give them the right gut feeling about you even when you’re not there.

Above all, we need you to be so proud of this, so excited that when you hand this over, it’s literally an extension of yourself, just not the crappy bits that you don’t want to show anybody, but like the best version of yourself.

Wendy Harris: Does my bum look big this suit?

Marina Hauer: Yeah, and I’m saying this while I’m wearing professional on top, pandemic on the bottom.

Wendy Harris: There’s going to be a word for that, can we please find out what the word for that is?

Marina Hauer: I’d love that.

Wendy Harris: We’ve talked metaphorically about you creating a superpower suit and rebranding does conjure up to me certain elements of style towards marketing, but I still think it’s a really, really underestimated field, because it’s like muddy waters.  Until you can let it settle and actually see what’s at the bottom, you can see what you’re going to get, and I think that’s true in lots of industries, but certainly marketing, branding, sales, you name it; there’s different names for so many different things that all mean the same.  What would you say you work on?  What are the tangibles that they can take away and go, “This is what I got from working with Marina.  This is how she helped me with my brand”?

Marina Hauer: They come initially for the logo, because that’s what you come for.  That’s what you expect when it says “rebranding” and actually what they walk away with is a real clarity on how to communicate the strengths of the business and the uniqueness and the differentiation, a clear understanding on their own positioning and the synergy with the client.  What they’re expecting to see and hear, what is the brand promise; they will have a personality profile for their brand that tells them this is how we act, this is how we react to the external world, this is how we communicate in terms of a brand voice.  Obviously, there’s going to be colours and —

Wendy Harris: Pretty pictures.

Marina Hauer: — a lovely sign, very pretty.  A bunch of, for me a slightly more boring, “This is what you’re allowed, and this is what you’re not allowed to do with your logo”, in order to keep the consistency, but we’re also talking about the energy in the business; I always say, the vibe.

Wendy Harris: Does it come down to cultures and values?  It’s almost like the survival guide of living the zen way, for example?

Marina Hauer: Yeah, to a degree and I find that the bigger the team is that I’m working with, although I tend to work with quite small businesses, for the majority, the bigger the team is, the clearer the understanding of what the brand of the business is has to be, because they all become ambassadors.  So they all have to be able to carry that out into the world.  Everybody has a phone, everybody’s a Facebook; they’re all mouthpieces of your organisation.

Wendy Harris: Yes, it’s touchpoints no matter how you try and wrap it up.

Marina Hauer: Yeah, but really the bit that I enjoy the most that really gets me going, and I think that’s probably where my zone of genius is in terms of if I had to put a finger on it, is that that taking what is in somebody’s head, even though I can’t physically see it, and turn it into something that I can show back to them.  They go, “How did you know?”

Wendy Harris: “That’s what was in my head.”

Marina Hauer: Yeah and that’s what excites me about it.

Wendy Harris: It’s an incredible privilege, I think, as well to be able to work with people but also to be given that gift and to be able to have realised and use that gift, because it not just impacts and fulfils you, but does so much more for the business owner, the company and the extension into the world of people that they want to be touching.  It fascinates me what people go through and the extent and energy that’s expended in doing something like that, but having had done it myself it is so worth it.  Having gone through the process is, “Goodness, I’m instantly recognisable”.  If I use any of my branded imageries, icons in for graphics, anything along those lines, people go, “Oh that’s Wendy”, and they stop.

So, it can stop the scroll, which is something that we all need to do now, isn’t it, so using a certain set of photographs in lots of different ways; it’s just being able to like you say, connect, isn’t it; that however many touchpoints it is for them to go, “I recognise that and that’s what I want to be looking for”?

Marina Hauer: Yeah, and you need to be recognisable across multiple platforms nowadays, it’s not just you’re on your website and that’s it.

Wendy Harris: No.

Marina Hauer: You’re on your website and then some, and although the platforms demand slightly different communication styles, depending on where you are, you still want to come across as one business, not three businesses on three different platforms that happen to do the same thing.  The consistency I think for me is something that people tend not to think about so much initially, because it’s just them when they start out, and they do everything themselves and it’s all inhouse; that’s great.  You’re one person, you are very likely to do everything in just you, because you know what you are like.

Wendy Harris: Yeah, because Canva’s great, right?

Marina Hauer: Then you start outsourcing and then you start hiring and you have a VA, and you start giving people parts of that work; and then who you are, that essence of you the brand, gets dilated.  It’s less strong then, it’s less clear.

Wendy Harris: You’ve got to rein it in, haven’t you?

Marina Hauer: Yeah, you’ve got to rein it in, but you need to know what the important bits are that you want other people to communicate on your behalf.  This is where the work with people who are upscaling as well is very interesting, it’s how do we make this so everybody knows what’s going on and how we can communicate that and how it translates.

Wendy Harris: Like a lot of things, and I think this is worth mentioning for listeners as well, is that to have a core brand doesn’t mean that that’s all you’re ever going to have, because it evolves.  It can take on a life of its own and you can find yourself growing that brand and the messaging and the imagery; so long as you stick to those core principles, it’s easy to sort of bolt on and attach to it. 

I think sometimes the mistakes that people make with branding, this is just my observation, don’t shoot me down; but it is that you’ll go to one person for one thing, then you’ll go to another person for something else and then you’ll go to another person for something else and you’re taking that first piece of work and you’re passing it on; it doesn’t quite all flow.  That’s where it’s a good idea to stick with one person that can look after all of those aspects for you.

Marina Hauer: Yeah, from a provider’s point of view, absolutely, or get yourself somebody who can do your document that spells out very clearly what we do, how we do it, so you have something that you can carry to a third party and say, “Can you please, whatever you do, do it along these lines because we have brand guidelines”.

Wendy Harris: Yes.

Marina Hauer: Bringing it back down to a much more fundamental level I think, brand is not just influenced by the people we bring in and pay to help us with our products and to help us with our marketing, but brand is actually — and this is where it gets a little bit nerdy.

Wendy Harris: Come on, hit us with it, Marina, this is the good stuff!

Marina Hauer: Your brand lives in the overlap between what you do and say and how people react to that and what they think about you and how they talk about you when you leave the room; so your brand is never wholly yours, it is always to a large degree informed by your audience and how they feel and what they think.  You only ever own about half of what you’re doing anyway, and if of that half you’re then giving parts away to different providers, imagine you were Coca Cola, and you have an office in every country in the world, multiple languages, lots and lots of different cultures, thousands of people working for that brand, those brand guidelines have to be so absolutely clear that the person in India talks about Coca Cola in the same way as the person in South Africa, as the person in the US, and the whole world understands what Coca Cola stands for.

Wendy Harris: Yeah.

Marina Hauer: It becomes simpler for that exact reason the bigger the brands are, and this is why consumer brands are very very clear, because they have to.

Wendy Harris: It is worth saying that you don’t need to have something as strong as one of those brands like Coca Cola for it to work for you.

Marina Hauer: Completely.

Wendy Harris: You can start from a much smaller place, so I think sometimes expectations aren’t managed because perceptions are that if I’m going to have a good brand, I’ve got to be like the corporates who’ve got very deep pockets and spend thousands.  I remember a couple of a years ago when BT rebranded, and I just literally on LinkedIn shared the piece from the marketing agency that had announced it and said, “Would you have paid this much money for this logo?”  It attracted so much attention, because people didn’t see the point of what was behind it and what was the thinking.

Marina Hauer: Yeah.

Wendy Harris: Everybody went, “I could have just stood up and got a whiteboard and a purple pen and done that”.

Marina Hauer: Yeah.

Wendy Harris: It’s that ideas, the concepts, the time, who’s involved.  I know that there’s so much more that goes into it that does rack up a bill, and this is kind of where it becomes important to have those initial conversations, isn’t it, Marina, that you were talking about at the beginning?  If you can sit and unpick who that person is, how they feel about their business, how they feel about what they deliver for their clients, then you’re going to be able to represent them.  It’s not going to fall down later on down the line, because you’ve got the right person that you’re talking to.

Marina Hauer: Yeah and you’re absolutely right.  The big consumer brands play in a completely different — it’s not even the same game.  We are very, very far removed from having small business brands to having large international consumer brands.

The simplest thing everyone can do is just be really intentional and become very intentional about, what do I want to be known for; and to think about brand as reputation more than brand as a set of images they use and a set of colours and designs that go on my stuff, because that then suddenly transforms everything you do.  If you have decided that you want to be known as the most helpful in your sector, your customer service can’t be [bleep].  Your onboarding process has to be slick, and you have to overdeliver, and you have to give that.  If you promise people something they will expect you to deliver.

Wendy Harris: You’ve got to keep your promise.

Marina Hauer: Then hold you to it, because a reputation takes a really, really long time to build and about five seconds to trash.

Wendy Harris: You’re absolutely right, goodness.  Something that has been a topic of conversation recently, observing a couple of things that I won’t go into now, but it is important, isn’t it? I would say that brand kind of covers logic, emotion and urgency of wanting to be involved with things, that’s kind of how I wrap it up, and you’re right; a brand should be a little bit like a legacy.  If you remove yourself from your brand, does it still stand up on its own as an entity?

Marina Hauer: Yes.

Wendy Harris: That’s another good way of looking at it.  If you could step out of it and somebody else with similar values as you, with similar skillsets could step in and carry that forward, that’s when you’ve nailed it.

Marina Hauer: Yeah.  I like to say, imagine it’s a person.  Your business is a person, an individual, it has a name, it has a story, has a history, has a personality, has values and beliefs and a way of how they formed, has a certain way of speaking, a communication style, dresses a certain way so that’s your design element.  All of that together, if it makes sense, that is your brand to someone else and you need to make decisions that turn your customers into friends with that person, that fictional person that is your business —

Wendy Harris: Yes.

Marina Hauer: — rather than selling to a customer, which is just a line on a spreadsheet.

Wendy Harris: Yeah, you’re not selling to.  They should want to come and buy from you.

Marina Hauer: Yeah.

Wendy Harris: Turning it back round.  Gosh, Marina, we could talk about branding for quite some time, I hadn’t realised that I had so many opinions on this, but it’s good to hear it from an expert that can, not simplify it, you haven’t simplified it, you’ve just explained it in a really, really concise way that we can all understand and go, “Ah, I’m going to go and look again at my branding and see where it’s working well and what I can improve on”, which is cool.

The moment has arrived.  This is my favourite part where I get to ask my guests for the first time to spill the beans about that conversation that you’ve had where it created a turning point.

Marina Hauer: Okay, so I remember this really, really clearly.  It was January 2014 in Salisbury and I had just come back to the UK from Austria, where I was born, and I spent ten years here going to uni and then I went back thinking that life was going to be better there, because I now have a fancy degree and the world is going to wait for me and turns out that wasn’t the case.

Up to that point, I think everything in my life had gone pretty much to plan, I’d been where I’d wanted to do, I’d got the education I wanted to and then I finished uni and it just stopped going to plan.  I’d had a couple of jobs that just were a little bit [bleep].

Wendy Harris: I think we can all relate to those couple of jobs that we’d rather forget.

Marina Hauer: Yeah, I’d kind of decided that Austria, even though I’d been born there, I’d become an adult here in the UK, so I felt like a stranger in my own country.  So, I decided to wrap everything up and come back to the UK to do an internship on Salisbury Cathedral as a stone conservator, because architectural restoration is part of one of those degrees that I have, that I’m not doing anything with.

Wendy Harris: It’s another ology.

Marina Hauer: Yeah, it’s brilliant, it doesn’t involve a lot of conversation because you’re on a scaffold in the cold repairing stone, but it’s amazing.  I was in Salisbury, newly arrived with a single suitcase in a shared house where you just have one of those rooms and unexpectedly found myself with nothing to do.  I’d gone to see the people for the internship, and they said, “We’ve been delayed, we haven’t got anything for you for three weeks”.  Then I’m sitting there, expected to pay rent on a place where I’m literally not doing anything here.

I found myself a photo club, must have been a Monday night because I think I arrived on the Sunday.  I walked into Salisbury Camera Club where the average age is probably 65 and above.

Wendy Harris: I was going to say, hobbyists.

Marina Hauer: I was young, 20-something with short, very bright orange hair, and I attracted a good deal of attention and a lot of people wanted to talk to me because, “Ooh young blood.  Who is this young person?  We need to keep her.  We need to bring her in”.

Wendy Harris: Don’t let her escape!  Lock the door!

Marina Hauer: I started talking to this lovely lady and she said, “What are you doing here?  Why are you here?”  I told her the story about the internship and everything and she was, “You’re looking for a job then?”  My husband just happens to be looking for somebody part-time to wrap up one of his two businesses and I said, “Okay, that sounds like something I’ve never done before but how hard can it be, I’ll give it a try”. 

That was the conversation that got me into self-employment, because I would have never even considered it before then.  My parents have municipal jobs in Austria, they have a very stable pension, and everything’s planned out.

Wendy Harris: Traditional.

Marina Hauer: To go to uni, get a job, it was now okay to change jobs, but the idea was to be employed and stable and to have a pension and this whole sort of lovely package.  Then it turns out I didn’t like employment, turned out not to be that great and then on come this lovely lady and the associated gentleman who said, “Let’s do something here.  You can absolutely work with me, but I don’t employ because I’m wrapping everything up, you’d have to do this as a freelance”.  I had no idea how this is going to work but you can teach me.

It then very quickly turned out that we’re actually really compatible, that we had a lot of fun together even though he was probably in his late 60s, early 70s by then.  We just got on like a house on fire, it was really good fun, and he became my mentor for two, three-odd years doing all sorts of things, sales procurement.  We went to France to source oak logs to ship to a China flooring manufacturer from China.  I mean it was completely random, it was brilliant.  Yeah, that is undoubtedly what changed the course of my life because before then I would’ve kept looking for jobs.

Wendy Harris: Chance encounter that can set you on a different course.

Marina Hauer: Yeah.

Wendy Harris: I’m interested because I, mid-career, right at the very early stages of running WAG, I started this in 2005, 2008 there was the crash, Financial Crash.  So, I was still running WAG, but it wasn’t enough to sustain me, so I had to go and get a job and I ended up going and working for a retired millionaire; and I’d never done secretarial work, I’d never done bookkeeping work, but he needed somebody to write letters to his cronies and he needed somebody to update his bills and his accounts and things like that a couple of mornings a week.

That bridged the gap for me financially and actually, some of the skills I’d used through doing an office job, but not as intensely in those kinds of areas, and to this day he still talks to me in my head.  I’ve got to ask the question, when you find a mentor like that, that you can have fun with when really on the outside world anybody looking in would have thought it was a very serious relationship and he was definitely the boss, and I was definitely the secretary, does he still talk in your head to you now?

Marina Hauer: Oh yes, yeah, yeah, yeah.  It was really bizarre to start with because I was so in this, “We start at 9.00am, we finish at 5.00pm”, he was laissez-faire, he was an entrepreneur, he would go where the world would take him.  I don’t know, he’d had his fingers in all the pies and he was not retiring, but he didn’t need to work so he was just doing things that interested him.

We would always have not one plan, because Marina likes one plan; we are Austrian, you have a plan you stick to it, and I really was like that.  Then there’s this man and he was just — we always had three or four or five plans going at any given point and depending on when the phone rang and what it said, we would just shuffle things.  Sometimes on the Thursday we’d get a phone call and Friday afternoon we’d be on the ferry to France; it was very flexible, and it used to drive me absolutely nuts.  He used to just say, “Marina, you have to play these things by ear”.

Wendy Harris: You’re still in control.

Marina Hauer: You have to play these things by ear and now six years later, we’re no longer working together, we’re still talking.  I now find myself saying to my partner, “We’re going to play it by ear.  It’s going to be okay”.  I get it now; I completely get it.

Wendy Harris: Or you live in a constant world of frustration, Marina, that’s the choice.

Marina Hauer: Yeah, I realise that I don’t think you can be self-employed and try and like hold onto everything.

Wendy Harris: Like you say the phone could ring, an email could land, anything at all could happen.  Goodness, in recent times a pandemic can hit, and you can’t move about and do things.

Marina Hauer: Yeah.

Wendy Harris: So, we really do have to be agile.

Marina Hauer: Yes.

Wendy Harris: The good word for being self-employed.  It’s key though, isn’t it; these people do have a lasting effect on us, as we carry on our own journey, even when we go our own ways.  It’s an incredible thing to have happened by chance, to still be in your life these years later.  I’m sure there’s others that are listening that may have had similar happen and they hadn’t realised the beauty in that.

Marina Hauer: If you are listening and you can think of somebody like that, just after Christmas I somehow felt compelled to sit down and to write to him and I got a piece of paper and I handwrote a letter and it just all kind of came out and I got this really teary phone call saying, “This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever received and I’m going to frame it and I’m going to put it on my wall”.  You can give something back to these people and it doesn’t take a lot.

Wendy Harris: Gratitude, my goodness, I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about that, because that’s worth more than money in the bank most days.

Marina Hauer: Yes.

Wendy Harris: Definitely.

Marina Hauer: It’s certainly the sort of things that we will remember rather than how much I made on any given day.

Wendy Harris: Yeah, that stuff goes in one ear and out the other, you only remember how much you have to pay the tax man, I know.

Marina Hauer: Yeah, funnily enough I do know that.

Wendy Harris: Marina, it’s a beautiful story, it certainly is a conversation that’s created a turning point for you and thank you so much for coming talking to us today about branding and about your early mentor in Salisbury.  It’s been an absolute delight to talk to you.  I always finish off by saying, if any of the listeners want to carry on the conversation with you, whilst we will be putting all the details onto our website with your letter to listeners and any kind of resources that you can offer them, how do they get in touch with you right now?

Marina Hauer: As with many, LinkedIn is probably easiest Marina Hauer because I’m one of these foreign people who just spells their name automatically, that’s just how things go.  The website is www.apricity.studio.

If you are in any way, shape or form considering a rebrand, you’re kind of a bit itchy and don’t quite like what you’ve got anymore, I have a really, really comprehensive guide to rebranding that talks about all the stages and everything you need to consider and budgets and what have you and how to pick the right designer.  Ping me a message and I’ll send it to you.

Wendy Harris: If we can have that guide, we can put to the show notes and people can download it.  We’ll make sure it’s available for everybody.

I’m sure you’ll agree that there are those chance conversations that can really make a difference, don’t forget to carry on the conversation with Marina.  She’ll have the letter to listeners on the website which is www.makingconversationscount.com and there’ll be lots of tips on branding there for you too.

If you’d like to take the telephone influence test, you’ll also find a link to that over there too.  My diary is there if ever you fancy a chinwag, you need some help at all picking up the phone, I’m your girl.  Until next time.



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…

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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