brandLast night, after a good friend’s birthday celebration, I headed off to Trak in Toorak to hear Ben Hazelwood, a final 8 contestant on The Voice sing with Prinny Stevens.

They were brilliant. They clearly loved what they were doing and were coming to terms with their new-found fame in Australia. There were hundreds of fans completely absorbed by every word they sang. It was great to see.

As we stood around chatting in one of the private bars, I watched Ben Hazelwood at work. He was the consummate professional, exceptionally polite and engaging.

He is already a superstar and it is easy to see how his future will unfold.


A show like The Voice is a personal brand builder for each and every contestant, at varying degrees. If someone was an earlier contestant, they would have gain a certain amount of notoriety for singing on television and they would definitely be noticed by some people in the street. They probably have some fans.

As you get down to the top 8, your brand power is accelerated. People will recognize not only your face, but your name, the songs you sang and your voice.

Build a personal brand in a high profile environment requires a strategy. If you look at Justin Beiber, he has built a brand out of being the clean-cut, good boy next door. Now, if he had a picture in the paper tomorrow, shooting-up drugs, then this brand image would immediate be thrown out the door - similar to Tiger Woods and Mel Gibson when their misdemeanors became public.

brand2Every person has a PERSONAL BRAND

It’s important to know what that ‘personal brand’ actually means and how it is viewed by others. What is your value proposition, point of differentiation and marketability?

A personal brand can give you a competitive edge

If you work hard in keeping true to your personal brand, it can give you a competitive edge. If you own a small business, you can leverage your personal brand to attract attention for your company brand, similar to what celebrities do when they endorse products.

An Employees CV is an extension of their personal brand. It is the first point of reference to their personal brand for a future employer.

How you can build your personal brand strategy

Build your personal brand by:

  1. Build a story – place emphasis on the personal. People like a story and person they can connect with. Talk about your journey & struggles and make a decision about how much you want to share.
  2. Think of yourself as a product
  3. Packaging - visual communication, online and offline
  4. Transparency - being human/ approachability
  5. Self-marketing - promoting yourself, without being too much of a self-promoter - there is a fine line
  6. Engage in social platforms - blogging, facebook, twitter - connect with your target audience and be strategic.

Personal branding is about making a connection with people and it is important how you do it. Remember, people make an impression of your personal brand in a matter of seconds.

If you are serious about your personal brand, then make sure you continually work on it and improve upon the base that you have. Stay true to your brand, while ensuring that it evolves and continues to add value to those who come into contact with it.

In the words of Dan Schawbel “if you don't brand yourself, someone else will do it for you”.

So next time you go to pick your nose when you are driving, get mad at your employees, or wear that daggy shirt to a work meeting because you couldn't be bothered - think again! 

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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