COM0014_Blog#3 – Target Audience – Art Enthusiasts

Interested in art or workshops?    This target audience buys because they desire it and it brings them pleasure and enhances their lives.    Art buyers come in different, shapes, sizes and from different backgrounds.   Their instincts, tastes, passions, and financial positions are some of the many variables that influence their art buying decisions.

What I have discovered when meeting potential clients is that they have already studied me and my art, they have done their research and they are serious.   They can afford my works but genuinely want to see me and my art in person to understand me, the story behind each piece and learn more about the products that I have used in its creation.   They are often women, over the age of 45, empty nesters, who now have the income to spend on unique items for themselves or for their home and gardens.  Often, I receive email or photos as a follow up from my buyers as they place their art in places of honor within their homes.    See below for a recent sculpture that was purchased at one of my art shows and a table of honor was made and photo sent to me to show its place of honor.

Source – My Photo

I have started to boost my new art posts on Facebook,  ensuring that I choose target audiences within the National Capital Region, art enthusiasts, females over 45, gardeners and interior designers and often I pose questions on their favorites rooms to display art, or their favorite colors to gain interest from other Facebook users and followers.

Selling online is entirely possible – good quality images of art pieces is what is important.   And it is certainly the way of the future due to COVID.   Online galleries and virtual demonstrations are becoming widely popular.    I’ve rounded up a site that help artists to sell their works online, with a variety of price points.   I have yet to follow through with this online gallery, but I’m glad this assignment steered me in this direction as I intend to followup in the near future.

Source – ugallery.com

UGallery is an online marketplace for art buyers that seek to accept only original works of art.  They have more than 7,000 artworks by approximately 500 artists with price points between $75.00 – $17,000. 00 and it appears that most purchases are made at the $500.00 price point.

It brings me great pleasure when clients express to me that it is a privilege to own my art – my cheeks get flushed and my heart beats quickly but even more importantly, it motivates me to do more and try difference art forms.   Sometimes I think it is “meh”, but after receiving positive feedback, it encourages me and confirms to me that I am on the right path.

COM0014_Blog#2_Reflection_on_Storytelling_(Digital Communication)

I enjoyed the articles relating to Storytelling, Communication Styles and particularly, the Inverted Triangle approach.    I will continue to reference these tools as a reminder and source for days that I am stuck and in a slump.  I appreciate the inverted triangle approach as it encourages bloggers to focus on “The Lead”, followed by “The Body” and closing with “The Tail”.   I have an example of the inverted triangle approach in my Blog for this week.

THE WOES OF GRAD 2020

THE LEAD – Graduation Day 2020, oh, how long each young adult has waited for this grand event!.   A right of passage, FINALLY.   All those awkward moments and frustrating teachers and fellow students can now be put to rest.   Do you recall those days?   All of the excitement in the planning, organizing  and painstakingly shopping for the perfect outfit (particularly for teenage young women) leading up to this great event?    Twelve long years (plus in some cases) and now it is time to shine.   Unless of course, you are a graduate of 2020, then things are very different due to COVID19.

See the source image

Source – https://binged.it/2yxoL1X

THE BODY – Graduation ceremonies have become a political battleground for schools, students and parents in the wake of school closures caused by COVID19.    Some believe they can have a ceremony safely, while others are accusing the students and their parents of being selfish during a global pandemic.    School authorities and health officials have had to make very difficult decisions.    Options that are being considered by school officials are “postponement until fall 2020”, virtual proms and/or videos with individuals displaying their purchased gowns, small groups to visit school at a scheduled time, or posters to be placed on grad students front lawns.   What is your opinion?    How do you feel grads from the Class of 2020 should be honored and celebrated?

See the source image

Source – https://binged.it/2M3RjD7

THE “TAIL” –  While most students graduating in 2020 will do so “without” the commencement ceremonies, one must remember that while graduation is about celebrating the past, it’s also about the future. Whether it be in the form of more education or the start of a career, the positive way to look at this is for graduates to look forward to all of the new opportunities coming their way!! Friends and family could consider throwing a party themed around whatever their next big life step is – when it is safe to do so for all concerned.

Whatever the graduate decides to do, they must enjoy themselves, and above all, take pride in their accomplishments.   What advice would you give to young graduates for 2020? What does the future hold for them?

COM0014_Blog#1 – My Florida Vacation – 2017

Did you know that there are an estimated 5 million American alligators in southern US, with a 25% of the alligator population residing in Florida!.

In 2017, we visited Orlando, Florida to visit Disney (of course), the space shuttle takeoff (that didn’t take off due to technical difficulties) but more interesting, to discover more about Florida’s alligators. We rented a condo for the duration of the week and on our daily walks, we visited a nearby pond and bridge and much to our dismay, discovered alligators bathing in the sun.    Cranky and sneaky looking animals for certain.

A person standing next to a body of water

Description automatically generated

Alligator Sighting – Florida 2017 (Photo Credit – Me)
A reptile on a beach

Description automatically generated

Alligator Sighting – Florida 2017 (Photo Credit – Me)

We were intrigued about this animal, so started off one of the days by booking an air boat ride through the Everglades.    There are many companies that offer up this service, we booked and were happily toured by this company – http://wickedairboatrides.com/.    Disney was fun but this ride was probably more memorable.   It’s an absolute must do experience in Florida. 

Considering “gators” were once on the brink of extinction in Florida, they have certainly made a comeback in this sunny state.   But remember, KEEP your distance and DON’T ever FEED the alligators, as this is illegal and conditions them to associate food with people. Although they rule the Everglades, they are often spotted strolling through subdivisions.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee recommends to stay at least 60 ft AWAY and they have more useful tips in their brochure –  Living with Alligators.   Winter is the best season for alligator watching as they come out of cool water to catch the warm rays.

If you are really brave, why not try some “Alligator Bites”.   We did.    They taste like chicken nuggets and for all we know, maybe they were😊.   

Alligator “Bites” – Photo Credit – Me

Other than visiting Disney, have any of you visited the “Everglades” in Florida, and if so, what was your most memorable experience?

So take the time, ditch Disney for a day, and try a new experience with Flordia’s alligators.

The importance of a social media influencer

Image purchased from Shuttershock

A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach and can persuade others to act based on their recommendations.   An influencer has the tools and authenticity to attract many viewers consistently and can motivate others to expand their social reach. An influencer may be anyone from a blogger to a celebrity to an online entrepreneur. They must simply capitalize on a niche to attain widespread credibility.

Since Instagram’s content is easily digested as images or short videos, it encourages more peer-to-peer sharing, which helps brands improve their target audience reach.   I have recent experience and have seen this first hand with the social media support I provide to a women’s boutique that influencers are important. This boutique brought in a line of clothing with artist Claire Desjardins designs on tops and scarves. When we feature these items we hashtag the artist, she likes, comments and shares, and they sell quickly. This is one of our recent Instagram posts with our current influencer.
https://www.instagram.com/p/B06CFplDsWZ/?igshid=17qlq3fbqpwg9

Another major advantage of an influencer is the time it will save you to reach an audience. You might be getting more traffic to your social media profiles organically too. Starting a partnership with an influencer might be that little push to speed up this process.   A close look at the marketing strategies of major global brands will reveal that budgets for influencer marketing are growing fast as marketers are convinced of getting strong returns, something to keep in mind when building your social media platforms, brands and influencers. Do you have an influencer or have you thought of influencers with whom you’d like to engage?

Watch this video for more insights into Social Media Influencers – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etQ36X37dXo

Facebook – Do you have an influencer or have you thought of influencers with whom you’d like to engage to promote your brand?

Twitter – Budgets for influencer marketing are growing fast as marketers are convinced of getting strong returns on social media, how are you planning for this?

Effects of Social Media Use on Mental Health – Young and Aged – Blog #3

NOT JUST YOUTH BUT ALSO MIDDLE AGE AND ELDERLY

I read all the time about the relationships between social media use and mental health in the young adult population and I’m often critical of these discussions because it’s no longer just the young, take a look around, it’s also middle age and aging population who also experience this relationship.  My rant is over about the age significance, now to focus on the mental health aspect that is critically important.  There is plenty of research that indicates that there is a connection between increased social media use and deteriorated mental health. Unfortunately, young adults, the most active social media users, have a predominantly high risk for developing mental health issues.  I do not claim to be a mental health specialist, but do understand that there are connections and I’d like to explore some of these theories with you for further discussion.


Image Source (Purchased from Shutterstock.com)

#SLEEPYTEENS

Impacts that are often in the news include the sedentary behaviors on mental health (very true, I don’t disagree and again this spans ALL age groups, not just the youth).  Do you agree and have you any experiences?  And oh yes, sleep deprivation.   I’ve even seen hashtags specifically labelled #sleepyteens, what does that tell you?   I have a teenager and can attest to the early morning blue light watching vs sleeping, and then the grumpiness the next day.     And not just mood swings, but social media is associated with poor sleep quality, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.  For more in depth information, please search #Sleepyteens.

A connection between sleep and mental health is well documented. It has been shown that people who suffer from anxiety tend to spend less time in deep sleep than those without anxiety (Monti & Monti,2000). Poor sleep can also make people less receptive to positive emotions by limiting their ability to correctly process certain neurotransmitters in the brain making them feel more sad or discontent. A history of insomnia has been shown to increase the risk of developing depression.

A FINAL NOTE   I encourage other members of our group who are late night users, to think twice about watching or surfing into the wee hours to be kind to your mind and body – and others around you.

__________________________________________________________________________

Facebook and Twitter Posts

Facebook:   How are you educating yourself and others around you about the effects of social media and mental health?    For more information on recent statistics, visit the Canadian Mental Health Association at shorturl.at/wEGX2.

Twitter: Want to learn more about the impacts of social media use and mental health?   Please see #sleepyteens or visit the Canadian Mental Health Association for more information. https://ontario.cmha.ca/document-category/social-media-and-mental-health/

Effective Formulas for Posting on Social Media

POSTING FREQUENCIES AND TYPES OF CONTENT (BLOG #2)

I recently read about a golden rule of 5-3-2 that I would highly recommend and have experienced. This method is to be applied as follows:

For every 10 posts that one publishes, the following is recommended: (1)     5 should be curation – sharing others content, (2) 3 should be creation – relevant content you’ve produced yourself and (3) 2 should be humanization – personal, fun and relaxed content that humanizes your brand. I can attest to this being a proven methodology (points a, b and c above) with my recent experience in my role as a manager for Facebook Page (volunteer member of an Arts group),    I can also confirm that “overly” promoting a FB page can be bothersome and frustrating to followers.   In my experience when we were running 2 daily posts vs 1 daily post, we received feedback from our followers that it was too much, they were not paying attention and in some cases they chose to UNFOLLOW us to avoid the over abundance of information.   Visit Facebook page at FB – https://www.facebook.com/NavanFineArts

Regularly throughout the week, as a team, we felt it was best to promote Art shows in and around the area (up to 5), followed by a weekly post about one of our art show participants (be it about a recent creation or art show they were at OR any workshops they may be offering), followed by an inpiration quote (usually only one per week about the importance of maintaining art/creativity in ones life).   This works well, our art group members are pleased with the traffic but we plan to have a further strategy/brain storming session on how to get our audience to engage more and to continue building awareness about this group and what it has to offer.

Image Source (Purchased from Shutterstock.com)

POSTING WEBSITE UPDATES

In addition, we also need to ensure that information is refreshed weekly on our Navan Fine Arts Group website as well, as there are many artists out there who do not use Facebook (or any other social media) nor do they want to, they prefer the method of visiting a website.  Visit website at https://www.navanarts.com/

POSTING BRANDS/LOGO’s and HASHTAGs

Also, within our group, over the last 2 years, we have decided to brand all of our promotional material (with a logo and consistent name) whether it be flyers, brochures, name tags at shows, banners, business cards, save the date cards, website and social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.    This has proven to be successful as this brand/identifier can be easily identified by our followers and visitors.  We consistently hold our annual shows in the spring of each year so followers know our schedule of events.

Image Source (Created by my son for the Navan Fine Arts Group)

I also encourage other members of our group who are managing our social media platforms (FB and Instagram) to insert “meaningful” hashtags all of our posts for ease of search.

A FINAL NOTE:  I urge you to see for yourself and search with the hashtag #navanfineartsgroup for yourself to see all of the amazing talent in our shows and amongst our members.

For more information on tips and tricks for social media posting, see https://bit.ly/30AIZju

__________________________________________________________________________

Facebook and Twitter Posts

Facebook:   What are you effective social media posting tips?    For more information on what has been proven to be effective, read more at https://bit.ly/30AIZju #effectivesocialmediapostingtips

Twitter: Want to be more effective with your social media posts?   #effectivesocialmediapostingtips https://bit.ly/30AIZju

5 Different “Body Types” for Women – Get to know yours.

5 Different “Body Types” for Women – Get to know yours.

Do you know your body type? Did you know that typically there are “5” body types that can be applied to women? Interested in your Style “Type” Personality? And did you know that there is proven research that based on your Body Type, there is a specific “Diet” that is recommended. All of this and more, will be discussed over the next few blogs to help you plan and understand what works best for that very special Y-O-U!!

You can walk into a department store and all of the clothes look the same and on big blob. Let’s face it, all of us have challenges when it comes to clothes shopping BUT, there are some things you can do to overcome those difficulties and actually make shopping more pleasant and have an end result you are thrilled about.

Have you ever noticed that some of your outfits have the ability to transform your mood and make you feel and look like a million bucks. The unfortunate part is….if you do not know “how” to dress for your body type, the end result could be frustrating. So that’s why I’ve written this blog to help you get started to know your body type and how to dress to accentuate your assets, and to help you know what clothes to try and what makes you look and feel amazing.

What Are the Most Common 5 (F-I-V-E) Body Shapes?

Image Source (Purchased from shutterstock.com)
  1. The “Apple” typically has broader shoulders and bust, and narrower hips.   There is normally “no” defined waist with this body type as weight tends to form on the stomach and they have great legs and slim hips.   Great styles are V-neck and open necklines with statement pieces of jewellery.    
  2. The “Pear” aka Spoon or Bell have shoulders that are narrower than hips.  One CAN achieve symmetry by wearing BOOTLEG pants and AVOID skinny pants. Wearing skinny pants will make you appear wider than you are.
  3. The “Inverted” Triangle. You’ll know you’re an inverted triangle if your shoulders are broader than your hips. In this case, you should always look for tops with a scoop of V-neck because they will make your shoulders appear narrow. Also, AVOID strapless and halter tops because they will accentuate your broader upper body even more.
  4. The “Banana” aka Rectangular/Straight. This is the body shape that is most often referred to as a “boyish” figure. You can tell if your body is straight up and down with very little waist, and your shoulders and hips are the same width. As a rectangle, you want to create a waistline with wrap dresses and funky belts.
  5. The “Hourglass”.  This is the body shape we all strive to achieve and this if your shoulders and hips are EXACTLY the same width and your waist is WELL defined, your upper and lower body are opposing triangles facing in, then you are an HOURGLASS.  Women in this category can wear just about anything EXCEPT boxy clothing, which tends to overpower their figure.

A FINAL NOTE……….
 Before you do any shopping, stand in front of a mirror and STUDY your body. Get to know what you like look and LOVE it and perhaps try this online quiz.  

Body type quiz
https://www.fitandflatter.com/body-types