Connecting Your Brand Story Through Arts with Martha Weidmann

Connecting Your Brand Story Through Arts with Martha Weidmann

Martha Weidmann is the CEO and Co-founder of NINE dot ARTS, where she oversees business planning company finances, marketing, and sales, team development. It’s basically a head cheerleader and evangelist to the world about art and ways in which you can connect with you your brand, and help you serve your customers. It could be your tenants, your city, or your building. She is originally from the great state of Alabama.

Martha Weidmann is a formally trained artist. She is a self-taught businesswoman with a great network of advisors and mentors that have helped her to grow the company. NINE dot ARTS was started in the last recession in ‘09. Since that time, they have completed amazing art experiences in 36 different states, five different countries, for over 825 different commercial real estate projects. So, they are very well versed in this particular niche. Since the beginning, they’ve contributed over 35 million to the creative economy. She is very happy to be able to support artists, bringing value to the projects that they work on, and telling that brand story in a unique way.

 

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Connecting Your Brand Story Through Arts with Martha Weidmann

 

Brett:

I’m excited about our next guest. She is originally from the great state of Alabama. She has been a lifetime artist and she likes to say she’s been doing it for many, many years. Right now she is the CEO and Co-founder of NINE dot ARTS, where she oversees business planning company finances, marketing, and sales, team development. It’s basically a head cheerleader and evangelist to the world about art and ways in which you can connect with you your brand, and help you serve your customers. It could be your tenants, it could be your city, it could be your building. Please welcome the show with me, Martha Weidmann. Martha, how are you doing today?

Martha:

Great. Thanks for having me here, Brett. I am so relieved to know that I’m not the one giving tax advice today. Really glad that’s not my role here. Now my expertise, but definitely excited to talk to your network about art.

Brett:

Absolutely. And by the way, just as the premise here before you sell your building, or before you sell your company, there are ways to increase the value that’s beyond just numbers. And there are things that are, that are intrinsic values. And there are things that are like artistic value, and so this is, hopefully where you’re going to see where this conversation goes today. That is not your typical conversation. But it’s more important, especially in today’s technology-driven era where we want to look at art as a way to increase value. So that being said, Martha, would you give our listeners a little bit more about your story and your current focus?

Martha:

So my background is that I’m a formally trained artist. I’m a self-taught businesswoman. I have a great network of advisors and mentors that have helped us to grow the company. And NINE dot ARTS was started in the last recession in ‘09. Since that time, we have completed amazing art experiences in 36 different states, five different countries, for over 825 different commercial real estate projects. So, we’re very well versed in this particular niche. And I’m happy to say that since the beginning, we’ve contributed over 35 million to the creative economy. So very happy to be able to support artists in that way. And then of course, what it’s all about, is bringing value to the projects that we work on, and telling that brand story in a unique way. So happy to be here today and share more about how we got to this point.

Brett:

Amazing. Over 600 commercial projects or different Real Estate projects. Incredible. Before we dive into that and go into those particulars of what you do, I want to take a step back for our listeners and help them and myself because we’re getting to know each other for the first time. I’m curious, you grew up in Alabama, let’s go back to those days, perhaps think we’ve all been given certain gifts in this life. Some people call these superpowers, some people call them strengths. I believe in their God-given gifts, and I believe that it is given to us to be a blessing and help to others. So I’m curious, what are those one or two gifts that you believe you were given, Martha, and how does that help how you help and bless others today?

Martha:

Well, from my grandmother Emmylou, she was from Mississippi and grew up there were Mississippi farmers. From her, I really learned this spirit of gratitude, and generosity, being generous with your time, your positivity, being able to see the world as a place of abundance. And that perspective and that gift was really an incredible tool. She was a woman who did not have a formal academic background. And it was yet one of the wisest people that I ever met. So I feel very grateful that she was able to give me that gift of gratitude and perspective, and just overall a sense of abundance in life.

Brett:

Beautiful, absolutely. Love it. I have a similar grandmother, who gave me a lot and a lot of those exact ways. And from that era, where I was the greatest generation, perhaps that’s where your grandmother’s from as well. Where they went through a lot. My wife and I were watching a war two documentary and we watched those every now and again. And it’s sobering to see you know, at times and but also knowing that you know, things can get better if you persevere and, and that abundance and that gratefulness is something to always have. So thank you for sharing that. That being said, let’s dive into connecting your brand story through art. So what’s the number one secret Martha, for business owners for commercial real estate owners when it comes to using arts to connect your brand, their brand story to others?

Martha:

I’ve never had that question before, of what’s the number one secret? I’m excited to be able to reveal the answer for the very first time today on your show, Brett. Here’s the secret. Think about the artist before the art. Here’s why that’s important. When you are creating a project, a property, anything that’s public-facing, and the property is built upon the premise that you’re going to have visitors who come and spend time there spend their money there, maybe it’s a hotel, maybe it’s a corporate office, maybe it’s an apartment complex. One of the best ways to open that project out the gate, with the high value of community buy-in and social engagement is to utilize the tool of artists. In many commercial properties, it is now an accepted standard, that you must have some sort of artwork in the building. And so a lot of times people might get lost in thinking about that exact artwork. And forget that that artwork is actually made by hand by a person who might be local to the community where you are. And think about it this way. If you are putting together a building, our property that’s going to open to the public, you have a few options, you could go through a catalog of prints, and pick 30 prints and throw them up on the wall right frame them put them up on the wall. that qualifies as artwork. But it starts and ends there. Now, when you think about how to take that as an opportunity to engage with artists, and to tell a story, now you have a built-in community of champions when this project opens. So let’s say you instead choose to work with 30 local artists, those 30 local artists are now going to be the first people who post about your property on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and whatever the social media or does you are happening at the time. And then they are also going to be the first people who come to the restaurant who bring their friends to the bar, who send their networks over to visit that hotel, or that apartment complex or that office space because it’s new and cool and fresh. So, you’re actually building is an opportunity for marketing, you’re building an opportunity for brand awareness. You’re getting something unique and beautiful. That’s made by hand. You could send those funds for our work to a print shop, you have them as a poster company you don’t have any connection with or you could use those same funds to economically create a group of champions. And at the end of the day, when you’re looking to add value to your property, it’s all about getting people there. It’s all about gaining exposure, and of course, creating a memorable experience. So think about the artists before your artwork.

Brett:

That’s amazing. Yeah, I’m thinking of a couple of things that really stick out. I’m thinking of live art versus sleepy art, right? Alive. Art is local, it’s organic. It’s those who are in the community who knows, the neighborhoods and other different things that are going on, it can take a piece of artwork and create something amazing. And not only will they be proud of it, right? But the owners be proud of it. And then they’re going to invite the community to come in and experience that right. It’s alive. It’s active versus sleepy art, right. Either not paying the price or you know, hiring the person or inviting eight people in and thinking just about the building or the rent, or something that’s more I guess, traditionally tangible for real estate owners. Is that a fair summary so far?

Martha:

Absolutely. I also love to reference studies because there are a number of different groups who are studying the ROI and the impact that art and culture can have on commercial development. So if you look, recently, there was a study put out by the Urban Land Institute on creative placemaking. And one of the quotes from that study I really love came out. And one of the leading you ally members merrily utter said, as cities struggle to rebuild and come back from pandemic devastation, economic, social, and physical, creative placemaking is perhaps our most powerful tool for renewal. So using culture as this foundation reinforces inclusivity equity and authenticity to the local community. And the result is a highly marketable approach that naturally attracts both public and private partners. And so you really want to think about how to create a place as you said, that thrives and endures. Part of that is creating an experience that is alive.

Brett:

Yeah, on top of that, you want to connect community buy-in and then community pride, right? With home and something, you’re proud to be a part of and to have ownership in that thing. I think it starts to create transformation, I’m thinking some of those types of words or something that transcends just the building, or just the city or just think of places like a hero, but wife and I, we’re gonna be going with the kids to Europe and France. And I think France, I think art, I think culture, I think experiences. So, how do you use art to do the same thing in your, your local building, super important, and something that honestly, I’ve been in real estate all my life? And I haven’t really thought about it. I’m kind of in my lane. And it’s the beginning of the show, he said, Hey, I don’t know anything about capital gains tax deferral and that’s it. But I don’t really know much about art. And so this is really cool to connect the two dots here, so great. So that’s the first secret. Think about the artist, not the art, let’s maybe perhaps the next step, or maybe the second secret in the process.

Martha:

Well, one of the most important parts of the process that people forget, is to go through the exercise of creating a vision. So this isn’t a scenario where you just kind of walkout willy nilly, and you see something and you buy it, and you put it on the wall, right? This is what you think about this, as a branding process. So you go through a visioning stage, develop a project roadmap, so before you even begin evaluating artists, you must understand the criteria on which they’re being evaluated. So you’re thinking about the locations in the property or the project, even if that’s on an 18,000-acre scale, and 18,000-acre scale neighborhood, you still have to think about, where are the locations that are going to be in roundabouts? You know, are we going to be putting art in those skies? You know, I mean, you’ve got to think on the scale of the property. So your locations, your budget, the narrative, and the goals and criteria that you’re trying to meet, and then a concept Board of what you’re looking for. Because when you walk into the world of art, where you will quickly find is that it’s limitless. So you actually want to put together your constraints before you go in. So you know what you want.

Brett:

Beautiful. To create the vision, do the work of understanding, location, scale, budget, the community you’re trying with, what outcome you’re trying to get to, and then be open to where the art leads you. Is that a fair summary?

Martha:

Absolutely.

Brett:

So really cool, really cool. I felt like the art part of my brain has been turned on here for the last 10 minutes. And so the part I haven’t used, I really feel pretty good. We’ll see if I can create a brand story here for the part of my company. Maybe we can try to apply it here. So let’s try to create some art at Capital Gains Tax Solutions, or even like a building like I own some buildings with some clients and some friends and family. What would be the first question to help me create the vision if I’m working with Martha Weidmann? By the way, you can learn more about Martha at ninedotarts.com.

 

Connecting Your Brand Story Through Arts with Martha Weidmann

Connecting Your Brand Story Through Arts: “I have always liked real estate; farm land, pasture land, timber land, and city property. I have had experience with all of them. I guess I just naturally like ‘the good Earth,’ the foundation of all our wealth.”- Jesse H. Jones, former federal government financier

 

Martha:

So let me ask you a little bit about what you’re building. So tell that one, where’s this building located?

Brett:

So it’s an Elk Grove, California, and it’s a senior housing assisted living facility, memory care, and independence. So you got to make sure both seats in Sacramento in Elk Grove, you know that area, so it’s the capital of California. It’s 15 minutes from downtown Sacramento. It’s a suburb. It’s next to or pretty close to a junior high school. It’s a few minutes from the freeway. Those are some of the main things. 

Martha:

So with this particular project, who would you say is your target audience?

Brett:

So, there’s two, there’s, of course, the tenant, which would be those who are in older need some care, or perhaps are still pretty healthy, but are looking for a more of a lifestyle where they can get more interaction. So there’s independence and there’s memory care, more hands-on, but it’s not just those folks, it’s also their children who are helping to create a great family. healthy, strong connection with their folks. So it’s kind of both family and older folks.

Martha:

Great. Alright, so when that family member walks in the door, what are the three things you want them to say or when they walk in that space? 

Brett:

Say or feel or think would feel like home or as close as a home can be? So we want to have the sense that this isn’t like a hospital, this is like home. That’d be the first thing. The second thing would be clean and would feel, in the sense of, I guess sanitation is more than ever with COVID-19. Going around, I want to make sure that everything feels really sanitized, I guess you would say right, like home. And I’d say the third thing would be a sense of community and connection, right? Something that’s beyond just because it can be lonely sometimes for folks, right, or their kids live in different places, different locations, busy schedules. So is there a way for my parents to be able to connect right and feel like they’re in a community?

Martha:

Awesome. So the way that that would translate. So let’s say you want to create a space that feels like home. So to create a more residential atmosphere, you might have spaces with smaller vignettes. So even if it’s a large open room, you might create a smaller vignette by using let’s say, a particular accent wall or color of paint, that kind of tones down the scale, you might utilize styling. So you might have some shelving nearby. Now that shelving might have some books, or a lamp or some postcards framed on the wall, you might include a little salon wall that has references to travel or historic objects, things that feel like might, you might have collected them over a lifetime, right? Not like something you’d find in a hospital, but small-scale things that you put in your luggage when you were coming back to France, from France, right. And then when you think about connected, you want to have an aspect that that’s social. So maybe you even have some areas where there might be an art piece that’s outside let’s say you have a memory garden, for example, you might have some gazing balls or reflective sculptures where you can actually see yourself in them. So they become a little bit more interactive and engaging and creative ways for you to connect with the people around you. And I also think, to your other audience, so you’ve got the people who are going to be selecting the place that their parents go. But then, of course, the people who are going to be living with their seniors may have a spectrum of care requirements. And the way that you want to feel there is that you know, it’s an ageless experience. You want to be in a place where you feel like you still have your independence, right? And you know, where you could still go and I don’t know, have a glass of wine if that’s what you want to do you and celebrate the joys of your life, celebrate romance, travel, joy, adventure, all of these feelings that you might have had in a younger age, but you have to have new ways to experience them now and you want people to acknowledge that you’re, the vitality is still there within you. And you could do that with an art experience too. Right? It’s about showing respect and vitality on every level to every audience that’s going to engage there.

Brett:

Wow, that’s it’s so powerful. And, and so, so important, right, especially given what’s going on with COVID-19 and the social distancing, right, and all the challenges with so many areas. Does it seem like art and what you’re doing is as important or more important than it’s ever been before?

Martha:

Sometimes we forget how important it is to have those cultural aspects of hope. Artists are beacons of hope of what can come next of creativity of human connection, just like you were talking about earlier, art tells the story of humanity. So when you were talking about going to France, you were saying, There’s so much art there. Every great civilization has been marked by its artwork you think of France, you think, okay, the Eiffel Tower, when you think of Italy, you might picture the David, you might think of Copenhagen and the Little Mermaid sculpture, and all of those are European examples. But they’re examples like that all over the entire world. So more important than ever, to recognize the value that art and culture can bring at for inspiration and hope for humanity. It’s something that can’t be captured on the spreadsheet. It’s a feeling.

Brett:

Beautiful, absolutely love it. So I got to dispel this, this notion, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’ve kind of heard this somewhere. So my daughter absolutely loves art and she just loves to draw and to color and to create this pretty amazing stuff. She’s just 10. She’s left-handed. So this is the question: What’s the truth about this? If you’re left-handed? Are you more artistic? Do you have a better opportunity to grow that part of your brain? I don’t know if that’s true. I’m right-handed, right. So she’s left hand and she’s one of the first lefties in our family. And she’s more artistic. So I don’t know, you tell us.

Martha:

Yeah, well, she’s definitely going to be the president.

Brett:

The President, is that what you said?

Martha:

Yes, presidents are as a group, more skew left-handed. So as a population, a general population, and this is actually a statistic you could put on a spreadsheet, but more presidents are left-handed than the general population. So creativity, leadership, ability to be successful in multiple different arenas. Definitely, definitely lefthanders, she’s gonna be a star.

Brett:

I want to show this clip, I appreciate that. And it should be pumped up. That being said, if someone wants to connect with you, and take these next steps and get a proposal or look at working with you, go to the website ninedotarts.com. Martha, what would be the next step to connecting what is kind of map that out what that looks like, if someone you know, gets a proposal with you guys because working with you, give us kind of that overview real fast.

Martha:

Yeah, so just a quick overview, and clarification, when you look for us online, make sure you spell it out. That’s how you’ll find us. And you can inquire there, there’s just a little form fill, and we can get started with the process. So the way that our process works, as I mentioned earlier, we’re going to start with a visioning stage. So we’ll go through stage one visioning, we’ll go through the curation process where we’re selecting and matching to artists that are part of the community that you’re trying to attract. And then we’ll go through an acquisition phase where we handle all of the purchasing. And then we go through installation and engagement. So putting the artwork in place, and then creating ways to inspire audiences and communities that you’re trying to reach through that. So that whole process is something that we engage with. And in addition to our website, you’re always welcome to reach out over LinkedIn. I keep up with my chat there. So definitely find me on my LinkedIn profile too.

Brett:

Beautiful. All that being said, Are you ready for the lightning round?

Martha:

Ready for the lightning round? Yes, bonus.

Brett:

All right, here we go. Knowing what you know now, Martha, if you go back to your 25-year-old self, what’s the one Golden Nugget, you would make sure that you would tell yourself to do?

Martha:

Set 10-year goals. People tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in a year, but underestimate what they can accomplish in 10. I learned that from Bill Gates and now I believe it definitely, think big and farther than you can imagine.

Brett:

Beautiful love that. By the way. Have you met Bill?

Martha:

No.

Brett:

Okay, cool. I’m just curious

Martha:

Can you introduce me?

Brett:

No, I don’t know him. That’s what I was wondering if you because when you said I meant that I knew that from Bill Gates at that Senate. Like it was personal but cool. Number two, what’s the number one book you’ve recommended or gift at the most in the past year?

 

Connecting Your Brand Story Through Arts with Martha Weidmann

Martha:

The one that I’m reading right now that I would definitely recommend is by Andrew Yang. It’s called Smart People Should Build Things.

Brett:

Cool, why do you like that?

Martha:

It’s all about entrepreneurship and how to reimagine our academic system to train entrepreneurs and support innovation, which is the greatest area of growth, for employment, businesses, and opportunities in the economic engine that we have in the US.

 

Brett:

Leads me to my next question. This is kind of off the cuff here. What’s the number one thing we can do in our educational system to promote exactly what you just said?

Martha:

I think that our education should be focused on projects, the right structure, education, the way that we structure business. So in business, for example, you might have to give a pitch. So everyone as part of their educational practice should have to give a pitch at some point, a short deck, a short presentation, an elevator speech that helps you get the attention that you need for your concepts, no matter what it may be.

Brett:

Beautiful. Love that. Question four. What are you curious about right now?

Martha:

I am really curious about this cool microphone that you have. It’s got like a star shape around it. And it looks very professional.

Brett:

That’s the artistic part of your brain coming out there. That’s really cool. I appreciate that. We go to a lot of lengths here to get these microphones looking good here. That’s the Heil PR 40 If anyone who’s listening right now, Heil PR 40, it’s a good mic. Anything else you’re curious about?

Martha:

I am really curious to see how COVID changes our world for the future. I’m curious to see what things we learn from this as a society and what sticks?

Brett:

Yeah, me too. Great thought on post COVID world here, favorite leadership quote, or theme that you strive to live by? 

Martha:

Well, I feel like I answered that one with my Bill Gates quote, which I really love. Let’s stick back with that one. Think big and think long term.

Brett:

Last question, and then remind listeners where they can find you. After all your success, Martha and NINE dot ARTS and being an artist all your life and now helping people transform their businesses, their real estate, their projects through art. How do you stay centered in your values and how do you stay encouraged to charge forward to reach new heights.

Martha:

Well, I practice hot yoga. And so that’s a very useful tool for me to have a moment of meditation. I’ve got a chicken, a dog and three kids at home. So my house is pretty busy. And then, of course, running the company keeps me busy as well. So having small moments of meditation and mindfulness have been really key to staying centered through the pandemic.

Brett:

Beautiful, love it. Well, I want to thank you for being on the show, Martha. It’s been a real treat to get to know a little bit more. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, your passion for the arts, and for helping people to transform their spaces in their projects, through arts. For our listeners who want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to connect with you one more time?

Martha:

Yeah, find me on LinkedIn. I’m Martha Weidmann. So find me that way or meet us at ninedotarts.com.

Brett:

Excellent. Well, I appreciate Martha, you’ve been on the show and connecting and helping us to connect our brand stories to the arts. And I also want to thank our listeners for listening to another episode of the Capital Gains Tax Solutions Podcast. As always, we believe most high net worth individuals and those who help them they struggle with clarifying their capital gains tax deferral options, not having a clear plan is the enemy, and using a proven tax deferral strategy, such as the deferred sales trust, or getting with Martha Weidmann to help you connect your brand through the arts to grow the value of your business or your project or your company is the best way for you to grow your wealth. With that being said, Please Rate ReviewSubscribe, we appreciate everybody. Go to capitalgainstaxsolutions.com if you want to learn more about what we do. Appreciate you watching or listening to the show. Bye now.

 

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About Martha Weidmann

 

Connecting Your Brand Story Through Arts with Martha WeidmannWhen you’re born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, genteel grace and charm are just a natural byproduct of your upbringing. But Martha’s deep understanding of the art business and tenacious drive for business success is something all her own.

As CEO and Co-Founder of NINE dot ARTS, Martha oversees business planning, company finances, marketing and sales, team development, and is basically our head cheerleader and evangelist to the world. Martha left Alabama at 18 to expand her horizons and graduated from Colorado State University with a dual major – Communications and Fine Arts – to launch her journey. With her two diplomas in hand, she started her career with Walker Fine Art gallery in Denver, then moved on to the most prestigious art consulting firm (at the time) in the region, McGrath and Braun, from which NINE dot ARTS was born. Martha loves the business of art and finds tremendous satisfaction in helping new and emerging artists discover that you can actually get paid for your talent. She also loves using both sides of her brain on a daily basis, which can mean touring an amazing new NINE dot ARTS art experience in the morning and reviewing equally inspiring spreadsheets in the afternoon. When she’s not bouncing from meeting to meeting around our office, talking to movers and shakers in the art world, or giving high fives (with a handmade artistic hand, naturally) to team members, you might find her shopping at estate sales, urban hiking, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, or making cool stuff with her three art-loving children. Martha supports the art community by: currently serving on the Board of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts and serving as Executive Director for Union Hall. Past experiences include lecturer for the Americans for the Arts conference in San Francisco on Art & Placemaking, serving on the Planning Committee for Stuart Semple’s Happy City, speaking on the CBCA Arts and Real Estate Panel, lecturer for the artist education series, Moxie U, and lecturer on Artist professional development for the Pueblo Economic Development Council.

 

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