Dana Wilde: “Make an emotional connection”

Make an emotional connection. People make decisions with their emotions and then they justify those decisions with their thinking. When you make an emotional connection with your followers, then they will follow you anywhere. Be transparent and relatable, and using humor helps too. When you are invested in the experience and results of your tribe, […]

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Make an emotional connection. People make decisions with their emotions and then they justify those decisions with their thinking. When you make an emotional connection with your followers, then they will follow you anywhere. Be transparent and relatable, and using humor helps too. When you are invested in the experience and results of your tribe, they can feel it. If you think about how Disney makes you feel, then you know what I’m talking about!

As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview Dana Wilde.

Dana Wilde is the number one bestselling author of Train Your Brain and the creator of The Celebrity Formula. After growing her own business from zero to a million dollars a year in under 19 months, Dana shows you how to make money by being happy and get paid for being YOU! With over 100,000 followers in 110 countries, she is featured in the movies The Abundance Factor, The Truth About Prosperity, and Dream Big. As the host of The Mind Aware Show, she reveals how to intentionally and systematically change your mindset so you get better outcomes.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I became an entrepreneur because I’m basically unemployable! I’m kidding a little, but not really. Some people have a hard time working within the confines of a 9-to-5 job, and I’m one of those people.

Throughout my 20’s and 30’s I bounced from job-to-job, and then finally, at the age of 38, I started my own business.

Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I first brought my business online, I didn’t know anything about the internet or online marketing. But I knew enough to realize I needed a website. I didn’t know how to create a website, so I invested 500 dollars in a website design course called Joomla. At the time, 90% of the websites were WordPress, but I didn’t know that. I could have hired someone to build a website, but that didn’t occur to me for some strange reason. So I spent the first three months of my entrepreneurial journey becoming a very proficient website designer. I became proficient in a program called Joomla, which I’ve never used again. Haha. The big lesson I’ve learned since then is that you can outsource almost anything you need. There is no need to do it yourself. However, I also discovered that the internet wasn’t so mysterious after all. The course wasn’t the best use of my time or money, but I did gain from taking it. Learning that program made me realize I could learn anything I needed to know about online marketing.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

If you look at nearly every expert teaching people how to build online businesses, they are nearly all focused on the “how to” of building a business. They are teaching things like how to get the word out about your business or how to do Facebook Ads or how to be a better networker. Almost no one is teaching the single most important aspect of building a business — your mindset. In order to be successful, you must think like a successful person and there is a systematic way to LEARN how to do that. That’s what makes Train Your Brain different from the usual “build your business” fare, but also different from the “motivational” side of being an entrepreneur. Other experts will tell you what to do and that you have to believe in yourself, but we show you HOW to believe in yourself.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We are just launching The Celebrity Formula 3.0 which shows professionals in the personal development space how to “step into their celebrity” and become the influencer in their respective niches.

Ok let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?

Brand marketing tells people “why” to buy whereas product marketing tells them “what” to buy. The reality of the world today is that nearly everyone is selling some version of the same thing. If you look at a top expert in let’s say, Social Media Marketing, that person may not have information that is that different from another social media expert. Or someone selling a backpack may not have a backpack that is SO different from other backpacks. But in reality, our clients and customers aren’t buying a backpack. And they aren’t buying social media advice. They are buying the backpack sold by YOUR brand. Or the social media advice the way YOU teach it. People don’t buy products, programs, and services. They buy you. They buy the brand. This is why brand marketing is so important. Your brand is the reason your customer buys from you.

Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?

Developing a brand, makes it easier to sell. People may buy a product once from someone who is “product marketing”, but they will buy again and again from a likeable, trustworthy brand. When you have a solid brand that people know, like, and trust, then you have more freedom in your business to be creative because your followers want to see what you’ll do next. They are sold on “you” or the brand, rather than the product.

Can you share 5 strategies that a company should be doing to build a trusted and believable brand? Please tell us a story or example for each.

  1. Know who you are. Take the time to make a list of core values for your business. What do you stand for as a company? How do you want to be seen in the world? If you make a decision about who you are, then that also helps to define the kind of customer you will attract. For example, part of Tesla’s mission statement is “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”, and that says a lot about them as a brand.
  2. Niche your market. In addition to knowing who you are, it’s important to know the type of customer you want to attract. If you can be specific about the type of person that you can help or that you want in your “sandbox”, then it’s easier to build a following faster. Nerd Fitness does an amazing job of catering to a specific niche, and it’s accelerated their growth. You only need to hear their brand name and you immediately know if their tribe is for you.
  3. Strive for excellence. In every aspect of your business, continually ask yourself, “How can we make it better?” For example, when a client buys a product or program from you, what is your onboarding system? Do you send emails? Do they reflect your core values? Do you include videos? Can you do a phone call (even if it’s automated?) Can you build in opportunities for community interaction? Do you have a place for fans to gather, like a Facebook Group? I’ve only just started, and I’m only talking about one small aspect of a business — onboarding. How can you make every aspect of your company better?
  4. Make an emotional connection. People make decisions with their emotions and then they justify those decisions with their thinking. When you make an emotional connection with your followers, then they will follow you anywhere. Be transparent and relatable, and using humor helps too. When you are invested in the experience and results of your tribe, they can feel it. If you think about how Disney makes you feel, then you know what I’m talking about!
  5. Believe that you can. Naturally, as a mindset expert, I would be remiss of me to not mention the importance of mindset. When Amazon started, their mission was “To make available in less than 60 seconds every book, ever written, in any language.” In order for them to become the behemoth they are today, Jeff Bezos had to believe that their goals were attainable. Set lofty goals and believe you can achieve them.

In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved brand. What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?

Apple is a really good example of all of these principles. I’m not sure if it’s urban myth or if this is a true story, but I heard that when they built the iphone, they first had to create the machines that built the iphone. So, where most companies would look at the manufacturing machines they had and ask, “What can we build with these machines?” Apple instead said, “What do we want to create?” and then they built the manufacturing machines necessary to create that product. To replicate that thinking in any business, you have to start with that question, “What do you want to create?”

In advertising, one generally measures success by the number of sales. How does one measure the success of a brand building campaign? Is it similar, is it different?

This is a great question as an extension of the last question. You’re not just asking yourself what do you want to create in terms of products, programs or services. What you’re really asking yourself is “What is the impact I want to make in the world?” What is the legacy I want to leave behind?

What role does social media play in your branding efforts?

Social media gives your followers a place to interact with you, whether your brand is a person or a company. Social media is the place where the members of your tribe can engage with you and with each other and shout to the world that they also stand for XXXX (fill in the blank with your brand’s core values.) It’s the place where they feel like they are a valued part of your brand.

What advice would you give to other marketers or business leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

I would remind them that as humans, we are better “thinkers” when we take care of ourselves. Genius ideas don’t come from overworked, tired, stressed out brains. When you make time for self-care and make space in your day for relaxation, you’re actually making space for faster business growth because you’re making space for those genius ideas.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

That happiness is practical. It is possible to be a proactive thinker of thoughts and when you intentionally choose thoughts that feel good, you get better results.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I love the quote from Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is a primary goal in my life. I want to make a positive impact on the people around me.

We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Jim Carrey is someone who is continually exploring the leading edge of thought. I’m sure that would be a fun conversation.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

The best place to get freebies and really hang out is the Facebook Group at

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

Thank you so much for having me. I love this magazine and it’s an honor to be included!

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