Conventional marketing wisdom has it that if you wear multiple hats, you have to choose one of them and focus on it exclusively, so as to run an effective marketing campaign. I disagree. I see that approach as cutting off a vital stream that flows into a powerful river. My approach is to identify the core unifying principle between and motivating force behind all the work that someone does, no matter how disparate that work may seem, and to bring those elements front and center.
The tool I use is a comprehensive inventory process, through which I ask pointed questions that not only identify each hat my client wears, but that also get "underneath" each hat, connecting the dots in between: I discover the essence of who my client is, as a soul walking around on this earth; how that essence translates into what my client does for work; how that work feeds the souls of those whose lives my client touches; and so on. Inevitably, a common theme emerges. That theme becomes my client's brand, informs my client's message, and captures my client's audience.
I'm able to guide my clients through the inventory process on a deep level, because among other things, I myself wear many hats, so I understand how the whole renaissance thing works: You're excited about life. Curious. An explorer. Passionate. Someone with an abundance of energy. Someone who cares. A lot. I get you. I am you. And I was also told, repeatedly, to reel it in, to stop bouncing from one thing to another, to "focus." I was focused like a laser beam! It's just that people were looking at the outer manifestations of that focus, not at the focus itself. They just couldn't see it.
True, on the surface, I appear to be all over the damn map -- a Jewish multicultural educator, journalist, feminist activist, holistic health coach, author, musician, and general rabble rouser (voted "class troublemaker" in high school -- the only category with no runners-up!) What the heck does one have to do with the other? In my case, they are all about raw and powerful healing, individually and collectively, in a synergistic loop. And not only has my work in one field enhanced my work in another, giving me a unique edge over others in that field, but my work in one field actually has created my work in another:
My ability to sing global Jewish music led to my workshops on Jewish multiculturalism, which led to my international speaking engagements at prestigious venues, which led to my journalistic articles in top media, which led to my first inquiry about public relations work, which led to, well, this here blog post. The path was far from linear, and there were a million other ways that my work criss-crossed and fed into each other. Bottom line is that the journey was exhilarating. When one thing wasn't flowing, another thing was, in a constant stream of movement, growth, and transformation.
So no. You don't need to choose one hat and stick with it. You just need to channel all your sparkling little streams into one glorious, powerful river.