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?
Bev 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.