Growing an Influential Personal Brand: Guest Calvin Hamilton

Aug 7, 2020 | Podcast


Calvin Hamilton is a Japanese whiskey advocate but is also co-founder of a boutique brand strategy and marketing firm called Notus. Notus helps purpose-driven companies leverage personal branding at the executive level to build consumer trust, create stakeholder/employee alignment, and take control of their reputations online. Notus achieves this by getting a deep understanding of their clients’ core purpose, then crafting a narrative that communicates that purpose through an array of calculated brand positioning and content marketing efforts. 

Prior to co-founding Notus, Calvin was hired by Gary Vaynerchuk to work on his team at VaynerMedia. There, he worked with Fortune 500 companies (Apple, JPMorgan Chase, PepsiCo, and Johnson & Johnson) on their social media strategies while collaboratively managing content distribution and strategy for Gary’s personal brand. Calvin also helped create the “GaryVee Content Model,” which has garnered well over 500,000 views on LinkedIn alone. 

Neal and Calvin talk tactical personal branding and ways to build trust with clients. When done correctly, if not an extreme example, you can refer to the following that Elon Musk has amassed. Due to his powerful brand strategy, Elon has created a fanbase that comes off as more of an “obsession” with Elon to both Neal and Calvin. Calvin concludes that people “blindly trust” Tesla thanks to the artificial relationship built through Elon’s social media. “The hype about an individual is significantly easier to garner in this day and age than it is around a company”. Calvin has a strong distaste for the Tesla Cyber Truck yet the “Musk fan boys” love it. Calvin brings up a handful of notable people who also serve as examples of creating powerful personal brands such as Steve Jobs and Gary Vaynerchuk. “When you succeed, you can yield an incredible amount of influence over your fan base” that Calvin feels is “jarring”. 

Calvin specializes in starting and growing influential personal brands, positioning clients as thought-leaders in their industries.  Calvin shares his experiences and what worked for his clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Calvin relates the point of gaining momentum successfully with brand positioning and content marketing efforts as “snowballing” as it takes a handful of people to talk about the content that is posted to increase followers on social media. Neal asks Calvin about how this process differs between a well known large company and a new company. Calvin dives into the intricacies of creating an ecosystem for his clients and their followers to the extent where a “friendship” is created without actually meeting in person across these different scenarios. Calvin states that it is this strong  “relationship” that can be fostered with followers and creates influence which is the power behind online content.

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