How To Use Your Multipotentiality to Stand out from The Competition
Photo courtesy of the sea the sea.

How To Use Your Multipotentiality to Stand out from The Competition

Written by Bev Webb

Topics: Show Yourself

When you’re a creative, you have to find a way to stand out in a crowded marketplace. The arts are highly competitive and it can be tough to get your artwork seen or your music heard

How can you find a way to stand out from the competition? One technique is to focus on what makes you different. In marketing terms, this is known as your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

I have found that I can offer something that many other artists can’t: the ability to work with spreadsheets and numbers. It is unusual to have both artistic and mathematical skills. This unique combination of skills has opened some doors of opportunity for me, precisely because no one offers it and because it comes in very handy for managing arts projects.

Break the Mold and Do it Your Way

As multipotentialites, we are in a perfect position to demonstrate what makes us different. Each of us has taken a unique path in life and each of our paths has far more twists and turns than the average person’s path.

I bet you’ve taken loads of different routes as you’ve navigated your way through your multitude of interests. All of those paths have created a skills and experience road map that’s very unique to you. You could think of it as your Multipotentialite Marketing Advantage.

Rather than feel uncomfortable for not conforming to norms, or try to make yourself meet the expectations of others, why not try actively promoting what it is that makes you different?

Tell Your Unique Story

By promoting not only what you do but also the story behind your varied experiences, as well as adding value to your offer, you also distinguish yourself from your competitors.

I remember going to a gallery show where one artist really stood out. Most of the work there was fairly standard art school graduate stuff, but then there were these curious, rather naive paintings of seascapes. It turned out they were made by a retired fisherman who’d taken up painting as something to fill his time with after hanging up his fishing nets for the final time.

He’d never had an art lesson in his life and it was this unusual career path that made his work so fresh and fascinating. Telling his story about how he’d taken such an unconventional route into the arts added interest and made his work stand out from the rest, something which was clearly reflected in the number of sales he made too.

How To Use Your “Multipotentialite Marketing Advantage”

1) Use your story to create intrigue

People love nothing more than a great story! Take your varied history and weave it into an intriguing tale and use it to promote your work. This will help you to distinguish yourself from others working in your field and it will become content which people will share. You may find that you receive work requests out of pure curiosity and that you’ll have plenty of content to use in interviews or features for blogs and magazines.

2) Develop your Renaissance Business

The Renaissance Business model enables you to link any number of interests under an overarching theme, so no combination is off limits.

Become the go-to person in your area by offering a combination of skills which aren’t found elsewhere and you’ll definitely stand out from the crowd. I’ve combined the unlikely subjects of art and math, but this could just as easily be dance and modern languages, yoga and law, or music and chemistry. I used to follow a band who wrote songs about their passion for train spotting! Who’d have thought that would ever work? But it did.

3) Add value to your work

If we take the example of the handmade craft movement, we can see how it’s possible to increase the value of an item by sharing the story behind the maker.

When you buy a handmade item, you’re buying more than just the item itself. Rather than buying a plastic, mass-manufactured bag from the local store, you’re buying a locally-made, handcrafted leather satchel. You’re recognizing and investing in the skills of the maker and making a statement about who you are and the values you hold.

In the same way, by telling a story about who you are, you’re creating something more than just the service or product you offer. You’re creating a whole movement that people can buy into.

I hope I’ve been able to explain some ways in which your multipotentiality can help you to get ahead in your chosen field. No longer do we need to feel any shame at not specializing or guilt at not following a traditional career path. It’s time to celebrate what makes us different!

Over to you!

What makes you stand out from the crowd? How have you combined your skills to create a completely new service or product?

bevBev is an artist, creativity coach and founder of Kickass Creatives, a website offering practical support to frustrated creatives. She’s over 20 years of working in the arts: experimenting with everything from performing in a fire circus and managing a hiphop dance company, through to web consultancy and jewellery design. Bev is passionate about using her experience to enable others to fully develop (rather than hide) their multitude of talents too. Connect with her on Twitter @creativekickass.

9 Comments

  1. Karolinka says:

    Hi Bev and Emilie, I just want to say thank you for your excellent work and inspiring content. It has been very liberating to understand and accept my nature as a scanner/multipotentialite, and I even recently started a blog about it! Unfortunately, my friends still think i’m crazy in my part of the world for declaring myself ‘undeclared’ for life lol. (I come from Ghana) Isn’t it ironic how people tell you to do what you love, but when you do, then they tell you, ‘you need to focus on just one thing dear’! Uggghhhh. Okay, enough of the rant. I am determined to live life differently from how it is here, and I’m already underway. You have a die-hard fan in Ghana!
    Wishing you all the best,
    Karolinka.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Karolinka
      Welcome to being undeclared for life! It can take a while for those around us to get used to the idea that we’re not going to focus on one thing, especially as it’s almost certainly the first time they’ll ever have heard about multipotentiality.

      It’s great that you have a blog up and running too to write about your experiences and to share them with not only Ghana, but the world! :)

    • Toonna says:

      Hallo Bev and Emilie, and Karolinka!

      Cheers to you all, and to all polymath! I too an found myself to have various interest and passion, and it’s also not well accepted cause of my background. I’m Nigerian, hallo Ghana! :)

      It’s great to have a site like this to let you know you aren’t alone in your madness, lol. I am gradually working on some of my interests, bringing a few ideas to reality in baby steps already, it’s all super exciting!

      Thanks again for all the great work, God bless!

  2. Helen says:

    Love the story of the fisherman who now paints, Bev. It’s so tempting to believe that, without the proper qualifications, our work won’t count somehow. It’s something that certainly stopped me from starting a lot of things in the past. Got some catching up to do now!

    Also wanted to say Hi to Karolinka – and Ghana! Have happy memories of my stays there in the 80s. Keep flying the flag for us Multipotentialites there :-)

  3. Bev Webb says:

    Hi Helen
    Am glad you like the fisherman story too! I think the digital era is enabling more and more people to diversify what they do, and that the old barriers of needing formal qualifications are beginning to come down. Unusual and unconventional career paths make for far more interesting reading – it’s definitely time to start telling our own individual stories. :)

  4. Sandra Van says:

    Thanks for posting this! I really needed to read it; recently I’ve been trying to define what it is I do (or will do next), and feeling like I have to hide most of who I am when people ask “so what do you do?” This has been quite frustrating.
    I’m still getting used to the idea that being well-rounded is an asset; I’ve felt pressure to conform in the past to “just focus on the one thing”.
    Thanks also for the comments on qualification barriers;it seems like the right clients would be impressed by the fact that you learned or did “X” (and “Y”, and “Z”…)out of a passion for them, not just to get paid (or get a certificate so you could get paid in the future).

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Sandra
      Yep, I think a lot of us tend to try and hide our multi-ness, either because other people don’t understand it or to avoid sounding like a dabbler with no direction. I reckon it is becoming easier to be open about it and to use the benefits that it brings! :)

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