Mia’s last two columns were very different, but both featured some great communications insights.
Diamond and Wood started their small business out of a basement in their early 20s, and now, 17 years later, it is still going strong.
“When these two women opened their gallery they wanted to do something different: make art appeal to the masses,” Mia writes. “Their goal was to make artwork more accessible to homeowners – they believed there were many up-and-coming, talented artists with nowhere to exhibit other than coffee houses and community centres, but also that there was no place for the average person to buy original work.”
The tactic they’ve been using to drive their business forward is pretty simple: in exchange for public acknowledgment, Art Interiors lends its artwork to home and décor magazine shoots and television shows.
“Most art galleries were for people who already knew something about art – and that is a small percentage of people,” Wood said. “We wanted to try and get outside of that and be much more practical. We wanted people to be able to visualize the art in their homes … so we worked with designers and stylists.”
For the gallery, having its art featured in the pages of Style at Home or on Citytv’s CityLine delivered what Diamond called “third-party validation” from the influencers. But it also introduced their target audience to accessible, original art.
“Art Interiors works closely with a range of well-known design icons, including Kimberley Seldon, host of HGTV’s Design for Living, and Suzanne Dimma, editor-in-chief of Canadian House & Home. They’ve also jumped on social media, host an active online store, and engage online influencers and their audiences by providing free art for blog giveaways,” Mia writes. “Their success has been about much more than just a good marketing decision at the outset – Art Interiors continues to effectively and creatively manage its relationships over time.”
Mia’s second column – Give first impressions the royal treatment – was about how in business, and in life, you only have one chance to make a first impression.
Drawing on the buzz surrounding Prince William and his fiancée Kate Middleton’s first official outing, Mia talked about what it takes to ensure you leave a good first impression.
“The impression [Middleton] left with the media and the general public was a statement about whether or not she could be expected to succeed in her new, very public, role as princess,” writes Mia. “That’s got to be a lot of pressure.”
“Though you almost certainly don’t have the same number of eyes on you when you make official appearances on behalf of your business, the pressure to leave a good first impression is very similar,” she writes. “The confidence with which you handle yourself in public will translate into the confidence that people will have in your leadership abilities and your personal brand. Depending on how you do, the public and the media will either love or hate you – or, almost worse, not have an opinion about you at all.”
With that in mind, Mia offers up four tips on how to ensure you leave a good first impression:
- Do your research
- Establish your key messages
- Connect with people
- Be yourself
To read the full details on each tip, click here.
Check out Mia’s column every Thursday in the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business.