Many people know me as ‘the personal branding guy on the bicycle’ so I like to visualize a brand communication as the wheels on a bicycle. Without wheels a bicycle cannot move! Likewise, a brand communication plan allows your personal brand to move forward and continue your ride to career and life success. Let’s take a closer look at a the parts of a bicycle wheel and how they relate to your personal brand communication wheel.
1) The Rim
The rim of your communication plan represents your unique promise of value. This is what differentiates you from everyone else. On the surface your rim may appear similar to other rims, but you bring some authentic value that ultimately attracts your target audience to you.
2) The Hub
The center of a wheel is the hub and without it a rim cannot rotate. Think of the center of your communication plan as the thought-leadership or core message you want to communicate to the people who need to know you. This message will allow your brand to rotate and move forward.
3) The Spokes
The spokes radiate out from the hub and connect to the rim. They keep a wheel together as a single unit and give a wheel strength. In your plan, the spokes represent the communication tools you will use to connect your promise of value to your thought leadership. Your spokes need to be a variety of strong actions that will enable you to reach your target audience. This may include presenting at conferences, using social media, blogging, joining networking groups, volunteering, etc. The key is to select strong spokes. If you dread public speaking then you may want to avoid this spoke as it could weaken your communication wheel.
Keeping Your Communication Wheel ‘True’
Once you have connected the rim, spokes, and hub your wheel is ready! The key now is to keep your wheel moving straight. In cycling we call a wheel that does not wobble a ‘true’ wheel. In other words, it rotates smoothly. Any cyclist will tell you that a wobbly wheel leads to poor performance and wasted energy. So, keep your communication plan ‘true’ to your brand.
- If one of your communication tools (a spoke) breaks, then replace it with one that is stronger. Select a tool that is guaranteed to express your brand to those who need to make decisions about you.
- If your hub does not rotate smoothly, then ‘re-grease’ it by adjusting your thought leadership. Find the best message that expresses your promise of value.
- If your rim gets bent, then repair it or replace it. A bent rim can ultimately damage your visibility and credibility.
Start now and build a communication wheel that will set your personal brand in motion and ride on to your success!