Dannii Maley is a rule-breaking and boundary-breaking entrepreneur and business coach with her priority in helping the Network Marketing Community break free from the business building rule book they follow by giving them access to affordable business growth tools and guidance. Her mission is to empower people to stand tall and aspire to be confident and positive in their business and life by thinking outside the box and inspire them to be leaders from the moment they sign up.
Dannii has twenty years’ experience in training, mentoring and support mentoring and training one to one and in large groups using her ability to break things down so it’s easy to understand.
She battled severe post-natal depression after the birth of her first two children and was put under the care of the mental health act in her mid-twenties. After four years of therapy she went back into the working world but as a volunteer mentor and befriender helping domestic violence victims take on the world by building up their self-esteem to go into work, education or just to realise that they are good parents after all. Although this was originally a dark time for her the result was one of the most rewarding things she has done and is still in touch with many of her old clients.
A huge fan of infotainment and using pop culture to boost business she is probably most known for her quirky nature and telling people to “Grab their #Ladyshipballs” (Gentleman are welcome to have a ball upgrade!) to show them that they need to step up and stand out to be successful in business.
After a childhood of feeling like she was underestimated by her mother and schools she spends her family time building on the confidence of her three daughters, teaching them to be grateful, mindful and above all else unlimited in self-belief. She firmly believes that no one should set your bar or expectations, the world is yours if you’re prepared to believe it and work for it.
Hey Dannii, can you introduce yourself to us?
Hi! First, thank you so much for the opportunity to be interviewed. I’m Dannii, I own Dream Legend Leaders which is a business growth tool system for network marketers, but I also work with private clients. I’ve been training and mentoring in employment over the last 20 years and finally took the plunge this year to take my passion and work for myself. On top of that, I am an incredibly proud mum of three sassy young ladies. Two ‘tweens’ and a seven-year-old who make me laugh out loud every day with the things they say or do.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
When I was employed, and people asked, “What do you do?” I tended to say that I was a professional clock watcher. I would get to work at 9 am and then count down the hours from 9:30 onwards. I loved my jobs but the 4 walls of the 9-5 rules were torture for me. The same with school, although I was both academic and sporty I didn’t want great GCSE’s to go and work my life away. While in employment I knew deep down that I wasn’t supposed to be there, there was a reason I couldn’t be comfortable and just work away like everyone else. Unfortunately, I was led to believe that starting up your own business was for University graduates or those born into money.
In 2015 I was introduced to network marketing but very quickly realised that even though you’re told you run your own organisation or business, no one was teaching business. I kept coming across top earners who were adamant it had to be done a certain way and that way only. Some top earners had made it through a business way of thinking. But there were the ones that I clashed with because they had done it through ‘the power of social media’ or ‘attraction marketing’ and both had run their course. There are a lot of blanket statements that were then followed by rules that made the blanket statements pointless, for example “Brand yourself” with nothing more added to it but then you were encouraged to attend training that was teaching you to be a carbon copy of someone who has ‘made it’ so your brand didn’t matter, it was just a name and pretty colours. It was frustrating for me to watch.
I decided to do things my own way, but I suppose at the same time I was using network marketing as a case study to watch what was taught and observe the overall environment. My background and passion for training and mentoring were taking over, I had come to realise that my original beliefs on who could own their own business were nonsense and I decided that my path had to change direction.
I was very good at recruitment and I did ok as a rep and true to my beliefs while I networked with other people in the industry I came across many of them who were frustrated. The mentor in me burst through the walls, cape billowing behind me, I pulled my pants over my tights and I started up a free group showing people how I did things. It was a popular group that started with 15 people and within about 4 months we had around 600 members. That’s when Dream Legend Leaders became a small thought but before I went forward with it I just had to find that gap in the market. Network marketing already had its fair share of coaches and gurus I had to be different again. It didn’t take me long to find it and that’s when that small thought turned into a big idea and I knocked on Rebecca Adams inbox and asked for her help. I had watched her Real and Raw at 4, she knew her stuff and I just knew she’d ‘get’ what I was trying to do. I’m so grateful that she did! I invested, she coached, I put into action and Dream Legend Leaders was born!
How did you launch Dream Legend Leaders?
I worked with Rebecca for 12 weeks on making sure I was clear on everything from my personal why to the legalities. While doing that I continued to nurture my free group and gave small teasers to people about what I was up to behind the scenes. I had spent three years building my audience and presence online plus there were the group members. Late April I went live with a launch date for June 1st. I didn’t do any sponsored adverts, I had the audience I felt I needed for the initial launch and this being the first real business I wanted to keep things simple so I could deal with any problems.
Over those three years I have obviously met a lot of people and made connections through them as Dream Legend Leaders started to form I realised that I had become great friends with the people that had the same vision as me, knew that changes needed to be made to make the industry much more professional and not only that, they had the perfect skills to complement the company. They helped me with workbooks, videos, websites, and promotions. It really was like the universe had aligned everything for me.
Rebecca kept me on track and accountable for each step and level and at 6pm Friday, June 1st we launched and then laughed because that was when VISA went down, and no one could pay for courses, so no paid adverts and keeping it simple certainly went in my favour!
What is a day in the life of you like?
I’m not an early riser, I go to bed at about 2am because my brain really fires into action at about 6 when it comes to the creative side of what I do. My day is usually discovery calls, coaching calls and making new content or designing new groups so I can set up some passive income.
Can you talk us through the power of influencer marketing, and why it’s ultimately so important for businesses to carve this into their marketing strategy?
There’s growing skepticism in advertising and attraction marketing has left the building. Influencer marketing is still very new and it’s there for the taking. It’s educating your audience.
If you have any type of audience on your social media pages, then you are a person who can influence. That’s even outside of business. A popular mum sharing a reward chart that works when she is open about her kids’ behaviour can start a Black Friday style riot in Poundland as everyone wants to try out this amazing behavioural tool.
You can use influencers to promote your brand if you feel that their audience is what you are looking for as a client in your line of work, this leads to you expanding your own audience and theirs. If the influencer you’re using has proven themselves time and again to their audience, you win! They’ll bite and look. A company that sells Planners has just probably got sales out of me sharing the fact that I had purchased one the other day and I had comments on people wanting the link. They trust me enough to know that when I like something its worth a look.
Influencing your audience is showing them you have skills, knowledge, and expertise to help them with whatever their problem is. You share these three things consistently with the people that are interested you could blow the attraction marketing crowd out of the water. Attraction marketing started dying a death in 2015. Not enough people have noticed yet for it to feel saturated across the social media platforms.
You need influence in your marketing strategy because people are looking for experts, not sellers these days. They want to feel like they are making educated decisions over time to feel like they are spending the money on the right thing. So, educate, educate, educate then sell.
How are you building a strong community of inspiring people from all levels and companies in network marketing?
There’s a lot of fantastic people at the top of their game in network marketing, it would be great if that could always be duplicated down but for a variety of reasons that’s not happening. One of the reasons is lack of understanding when people join, and the technical side frightens them.
I break it all down, I can make it SO simple to understand and anyone can ask a question without any worries of what others will think. They start to understand the steps and efforts needed to gain momentum in their business and what they feel they can’t do on the technical side they can hand over to us. They see results and it gives them a phenomenal boost and because I am there when they start sponsoring they know they can refer that person to me and continue to keep their eye on their own business and myself and the team will look after their new person.
Our main aim is to teach people to be experts in what they do not sellers or reps. If they are in health and wellbeing, then let’s get you influencing as someone who takes health and nutrition seriously not just sharing photos of before and after pictures. To help them be an expert boosts their confidence and they have said that they approach things a little differently now because they’re a more professional feel to what they do.
We also offer to expand them as a brand, so while they are learning and they find something that they really enjoyed, for example talking about branding then we look into how we can set them up as an influencer in this category and the great thing about that is they can start building a portfolio through other ‘Legends’ coming on board. Its another income stream for them and we have the platform abilities and connections to assist in their new line of interest.
Everything we have in place is to boost their confidence and get them earning while they build their organisation. Confidence comes with knowledge. We get them the knowledge, confidence grows they’ll reach out and inspire more people.
We’re also introducing podcasting very soon as well as other promotional platforms so our clients can get their moments to shine and share who they are which is getting a lot of excitement through the people I have spoken to about it.
Could you give us 3 tips on how to get influencer marketing on a budget right?
- Team up with other influencers.
- Speak natively to the platforms you are using, if you’re going to pay to advertise don’t use the same language on all your ads. The way you ‘speak’ on Facebook won’t always appeal to the trendy people on IG.
- Jump on the trends or popular culture of your audience. Check out your trending # etc daily and take a mental note of what’s being shared.
Who does the team involve behind you at Dream Legend Leaders?
I have some fantastic women in my corner! We have website builders, a tech lady that can make incredible videos, chatbot and landing page experts, mindset queens, I’ve got a lady who could run the Bank of England because she’s so on point with budgeting, she’s there to talk to our clients that struggle with wondering if it’s affordable to come on board we also have branding and logo designers as well as all of them being experienced networkers who know the changes needed to be made to the way the people do business.
We understand that some of the ways to do business can be technical and scary so all they have to do is ask the team for help.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
There’re three main things I would like to see achieved in the next 5 years. I’d like to be able to have Legend Conventions where people can meet and have training from both our success stories and experts within the business.
Being able to get our clients on certified courses that will help them build up their expertise. I would also like to be able to help people that aren’t interested in network marketing but still need to work from home and earn their own money by having an online network of customer services reps. There’s a lot of problems with getting work within school hours, people struggle to work because of disabilities or having to care for someone. If they could log into a network and earn from a few hours work day or evening, I’d feel like we’ve helped people in some way.
What strategies do you have in place when looking at the expansion of Dream Legend Leaders?
Our main strategy is reaching out to find the wants and needs of the clients where they have difficulties and coming up with an effective and affordable course to fulfill their requirements.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
I shake my fist at the heavens regarding ‘Imposter Syndrome’ I had no idea that what I was dealing with in my head had a name until I watched a live video by Lisa Johnson. Its horrible when you know you have the idea and the capabilities, everything’s going along swimmingly and then that devil on your shoulder whispers mean things in your ear and you must learn to ignore it and remind yourself that your hard work and consistency is the reason you’re getting somewhere and it’s not by chance. I read this amazing book called ‘Beyond Imposter Syndrome’ by Margaret Collins that put a lot of things in perspective for me. There’s a lot of incredible women in business that have suffered from this and you know they fully deserve the recognition that they have.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted, you to grow?
I have an incredible mentor, Rebecca Adams that I have become great friends with as well. Not only has she helped me with business but her energy and spirit in regards to mindset and being the best version of yourself by working on aspects of how we deal with things mentally has benefitted me in so many ways, I’ll be a speaker at her event Ignite next year and can’t wait to hear the other speakers and see what they have that inspired her to ask them to come on stage, honestly I’m a sponge for learning! There’s a balance in my brain with life and business thanks to Rebecca. I also love working with Lisa Johnson from Just Own This, she doesn’t pull any punches or sugar coat business and is very open about past struggles and her success which are very relatable. Both these ladies have this fantastic no-nonsense approach.
What outlets do use to market Dream Legend Leaders?
Facebook has been a focus but also Instagram and I’m getting to love Pinterest, I also use email, blogging and chatbot subscriptions then, of course, there’s word of mouth.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
I connect and surround myself with like-minded people and people that inspire me. I step away from people that exhaust me mentally or try to dampen what I do. I faced some negative behaviour when I set out to start on Dream Legend Leaders and immediately my support network jumped in to lift me and it kept me strong.
I’m always interested in what people have to say and what’s going in their lives and it feels good to be part of their support network too.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about being an entrepreneur?
That it’s all about sharing your lifestyle and popping up photographs of your laptop in the garden on a sunny day. It took years of experience in work and then several more years of me barely sleeping to learn and study as well as be a part of the industry I focus on to be at the point where I can say I’m an entrepreneur.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
We live in a world now where we get instant satisfaction. Want a movie you can stream it, need something for the house you can order it and some companies can deliver that day!
I’d like to see millennials encouraged to understand that time is what is needed to be a success, your business comes from struggles and determination and that’s how you achieve your goals, we love to hear the stories of the journey that’s defined you, why would you want to hit success quickly and have nothing to inspire others with?
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
PARK IT! And I type that chuckling because I know when Rebecca sees it she’ll laugh too! I have so many ideas that would be great to put into action and I had to learn to deal with the last ideas first and then see where the new ones fit in otherwise I’d be spinning far too many plates. Ideas are great, and you can get excited about what it could help people achieve it but PARK IT until the time is right or you’ll just drown and burnout.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
I’ve been burned by trusting the wrong people. I’m very careful about who I let in my inner circle. I tend to keep a lot of my ideas to myself or I don’t share the whole picture. There’s nothing more irritating than watching someone you know see your idea, do it themselves and you have to sit there watching people call them a genius and they’ll take that pat on the back.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
This has been a learning curve! My planner has now become the runner of my life and time blocking has been key. I block out mum time, so I can enjoy time with my children and I also try to switch off the Wi-Fi to my phone so I can be fully present. My kids are a bit older now and to be honest spending time with me isn’t all that fun for them when they could be doing other things with friends etc.
The highlight of your career so far?
The day I went live with Dream Legend Leaders. I had my step mum here who had been visiting us from Scotland. She and my dad had loaned me the £200 I needed when I first joined network marketing and to have her there when the day came to launch my own business meant the world to me. I miss my dad every day, but I still work hard to make him proud.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of Dream Legend Leaders?
My ideal clients think we are just another coaching company and we aren’t, we’re a business growth tool to expand their brand and influence their audience, the element seen as coaching is purely to make sure that they use the tools properly and legally. It’s a bit like trying to unplug people from The Matrix, they understand things but not really opened their eyes to the offer that’s there.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Unplugging someone from The Matrix and opening the message that they ‘get’ it and feel fired up.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
Gary Vaynerchuk may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I like his very forward way to stop making excuses and do the work. I remember coming across one of his YouTube videos and while I was watching it I punched the air because he was saying everything that I had been saying.
That’s probably why I like him! Oprah has a genuine love and kindness for people. She’s had a shocking and heartbreaking past that could have led her down a very different path, yet she chose to inspire others.
Anyone who knows me knows I must slip Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson into most things I do and it’s not just because I swoon at the muscles! What he has achieved through determination, dedication and consistent work is unbelievable. To have your dream and future crushed at a young age and turn that around to become the highest paid Hollywood actor is a lesson to all.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook’ by Gary Vaynerchuk. If you want to see how popular culture and flirting with your audience can get you a sale that’s the one to read.
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- The Angie Lee Show
- Ted Talks Business
- Mindset Zone
How do you measure your own terms of success?
When I can go to bed and can honestly say to myself “I have done everything within my power that I need to do today to make tomorrow better.”
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Being your own is one of the reasons I started ‘Dream Legend Leaders.’ Don’t be a carbon copy of anyone just because they are successful. Be your own person. Be your own leader. Be your own believer first.
Lastly, what is next for you and Dream Legend Leaders?
Dream Legend Leaders will become THE company to go to help people provide value and content for their audience in a variety of ways and be the first step in promoting each individual as the superstar they are. Our motto is “You’ve got this, and we’ve got you.”
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/dannii.maley