Authentic personal branding with David Draiman from Disturbed

Disturbed sound of silence

If you don't follow music trends or have been living in Melbourne and waiting on NBN to reach your house (thus no internet for a few years) you might not have heard of the Disturbed version of 'The Sound of Silence'. This Simon and Garfunkel classic from 1964 was recently rebooted by metal band to critical and public acclaim. In fact, it's been their biggest hit to date and opened up their music to a whole new generation. Not bad for a cover of an old soppy song.

So how did they do it and what's this got to do with personal branding? The answer lies in the personal brand of the singer, David Draiman, himself. Draiman was a classically trained singer but turning to metal as a musical preference when he started the band. They tried many covers over the years, often rocking them up to suit their band's heavy style. He was initially reluctant to cover this song in its natural slow and melodic state, preferring to hide his prodigious vocal talent behind his typical aggressive style.

So why did this song break though? I think the key was the balance between his classic music training and metal style. The combination is the key. Just like Steve Jobs of Apple fame before him, the killer combination is of the two seemingly disparate differences coinciding together in harmony. For Steve, beautiful design and technology (remember ugly computers before the iMac?). Listen to the song and it's hard to deny the classical voice ripping into metal force at the end is powerful.

How do you apply it to your personal brand? Think of the role you do today. There are likely many people similar in your industry, in fact, probably thousands. So if you are positioning yourself as your job or your role, you are just another face in the crowd. But if you combine the innate uniqueness that is you into your profile, then that's something that can't be copied or replicated.

You are the key to your brand and if you allow the authentic side of your personality out, you just might have a hit. Just like with Disturbed when David accepted his classical roots, he had the bands biggest hit. Over 150 million views on YouTube isn't bad.It's scary to take risks like this and expose your true self, sure. But with the challenge comes the rewards. Remember you are the key differentiator in your brand and business, and people want to see it.

If you want to get your brand working for you, click below and let's chat.


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Andrew Ford

Social Star, Level 4, Suite 402, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.