The Connected Leader - Grant Pierrus
Automated: Hello and welcome to the Get Social Connected Leader Podcast, where I, Michelle Carvill, interview business leaders around the practicalities of how, in this hyper connected digital age, they are embracing digital technologies to tune in and connect and communicate.
Automated: You can find all episodes at the Podcast together with show notes via our website, carvillcreative.co.uk/podcasts.
Michelle C.: My guest on this episode of the Get Social Connected Leader Podcast is Grant Pierrus. Grant is the founder of Interior Style Hunter, an award-winning blog where he showcases his keen interest in design, art, travel and business in the interior design sector. He's collaborated on projects with Christie's, KitchenAid, Muji and lots more. Building communities is a central theme to Grant's work and through his online platforms, public speaking, interviews, charity initiatives and set-to-specific design tools, the focus is always on bringing people together within the interior design community. His marketing consultancy, Pierrus Limited, works with some of the finest UK interior designers and architects, building bespoke digital communication campaigns to grow their businesses.
Michelle C.: So, Grant, brilliant to have you here on the podcast. Thank you for joining me, and you're joining me from South Africa.
Grant Pierrus: Absolutely.
Michelle C.: So, you're out there on holiday?
Grant Pierrus: Yes, a bit of holiday, a bit of work, a bit of both, and yeah, it's great to be home over Easter, and yeah, some inspiring things happening here with regards to design, so I've always got my eye on what's happening in SA.
Michelle C.: Fantastic. So, in the spirit of the podcast, Grant, I want to start by taking you back, because I know you've been social for quite a while, and I know that, you know, we'll get into what you do with this around your business, but tell me a little bit about how you started using social media and why?
Grant Pierrus: Okay. So, it was probably about four years ago, I was looking at leaving the city. I had a job in the city and I was thinking, "How am I going to leave where I am and move into a sector..." I'd already identified I wanted to move into the design and architecture sector, "How am I going to meet people? How am I going to build a network?" You need to have a network to build a business, and I just thought, "Well, you know, using the skill from social that we'd use in the city, I'm going to apply that to myself in the design and architecture world."
Grant Pierrus: And I had very firm goals. It was, year one, I want to push this so hard so that I can create a profile for myself and the network within the sector. And that happened within months. Absolutely months. I was quite lucky that I hit a sector where social is a little bit behind other sectors, so I was coming in with sort of bang up-to-date techniques, and employing these into the sector, and it just happened. Right place, right time, great skills, using a new technology, it just worked.
Michelle C.: And it's interesting that you say that to build a business, you need that network. And this was what you were doing through your social connections rather than going out and meeting people face-to-face?
Grant Pierrus: Absolutely. I was almost looking around in the design world and trying to find out, who do I need to know? Who has network? Who's going to introduce me to people? Who's going to share my content through their channels so I get more eyeballs on me? I was very strategically looking at how do I build this network of 10, 20, 30 people around me, of people that matter, have influence in the sector, and can shortcut me?
Michelle C.: Fantastic. And you identified them and then you utilized the social channels to just make contact with them.
Grant Pierrus: Absolutely. Start commenting, start liking, and eventually people start to see who you are. Pushing great content at that time was getting me a lot of followers very quickly, so eyeballs started to watch what I was doing, so I made sure that I had something for these people to look back at, and I remember we were discussing that years and years ago, sort of saying, "You need something for these people to engage with when you've got their attention," and that for me was my blog.
Grant Pierrus: The blog was new, it was exciting, it was refreshing, it was my opinion on things, and that started to get a lot of traction and started to give me a backing within the sector so that when I did start to chat to people, they could see that, within months, I was working with Christie's, with Harrods, flying to Shanghai, going to Dubai, and my blog was documenting all of this business growth behind me and I was using social to push this out. So I was really, just absolutely, 100% focused on building my profile but using social as the tool to do it.
Michelle C.: I think that's an important part that the social channels will help to amplify the reach, they're fantastic for communicating, they're clearly very good for listening into and tuning into what was going on in the sector for you, and indeed reaching out and helping you to grow those networks in ways that you ordinarily wouldn't have been able to, because a lot of these networks were overseas. Like you say, they were in Shanghai, they were all over the world.
Michelle C.: I mean it would have been very difficult for you to meet those people physically. So you were able to do that. You were able to do that digitally. And how was that process? Was it a real slog or did you find that it just kind of happened?
Grant Pierrus: You know, I think I was very strategic about this. Literally. I had a big whiteboard in front of me and I sort of said, "Okay, this is the person I need to get to know because they're going to introduce me to X, Y and Z." And literally, drawing mind maps of these big names in the sector. Who were they following? Who was common amongst all those people? And reaching out to them and sort of saying, "Who do I need to be following? How do I come to one of your events?" And mapping it out. That's how I got to know who I know in the design world, and those relationships have been extremely fruitful over the years for me.
Grant Pierrus: So it was a really case of sitting back and going in and listening. Who's getting the attention? Who are they working with and networking with online? Who are they really trying to do business with, and who are they just promoting? And I think it's reading those conversations, reading the comments, seeing what was happening in the design sector, and figuring it out for myself because right at the start I decided I don't want to focus on the sort of high-speed end of design. I'm really interested in the luxury sector.
Grant Pierrus: That meant that I needed to be looking in a completely different sphere to the people who just had the most followers on social media, because the people who have the most followers on social media are appealing to the broadest audience because they're sharing and promoting things that are appealing, but most appealing to the broadest audience. That's not who I wanted to follow, so it was quite tricky to find these people and understand who has gravitas, even if they only had two or three thousand followers. You know, they were still a someone, a very influential someone within the sector, and that's still the case today.
Grant Pierrus: We do social media for some of our clients, and some of our clients, you know, we look at some of their posts and we just think, "This is not getting the likes that we need and numbers, but actually the content is so relevant that it's only [inaudible 00:08:05] to probably 50 people in the UK, because this client works with billionaires. So, how many billionaires are there in the UK? Well, we're probably hitting them because we're getting some likes from them, so it's quite interesting. It's not about numbers, it's about relevancy, and I learned that right at the start.
Michelle C.: Yeah. And I completely agree with that. Sometimes we can get lost in the vanity of, "Oh, I've got this many followers and it's all about the..." But it's like any network. Yes, it's good to grow your network, yes, it's good to be connected, but it's good to be connected where there's relevance. Sometimes you never know who knows who, which is also another aspect. But in digital perspectives, you really can just hone in on who it is that you want to target, and it's quality, isn't it, rather than the quantity?
Grant Pierrus: Well, what was interesting, I've just come back from... I'm sitting in SA at the moment, but I've just come back from Milan where they do the design shows, and I was there with Lexus, who then flew us on to the south of France to go and see their concept car design studio. And I was chatting to their social media manager, and I said to her, "What made you want to do a collaboration with me for this trip?" Keep in mind, it's quite a trip, with a private jet in between, you know, staying at top hotels. I mean, it must have been a hell of an expense, and I was wondering, "What is it about me that..." Because I know that they're looking at stats. You know, someone like Lexus is absolutely looking at stats and making decisions based on statistics.
Grant Pierrus: So I wanted to understand what that was. And she said to me, she said, "It's actually, we..." When they look at social media accounts, they're actually analyzing my followers to see how big their audience and how influential they are amongst their audiences. So it's often the case. It's about who is following you-
Michelle C.: Yeah.
Grant Pierrus: [inaudible 00:10:00]
Michelle C.: Yeah. Very interesting. And isn't that interesting that all of those insights is available, you know, they can know that? They can learn that and they can figure out, "Well, who do we need to be connecting with to help to amplify what we want to do into relevant audiences."
Michelle C.: So, tell me about the channels, Grant, that you are working with now. What's the hierarchy for you of the channels? What are you most dependent upon, is it a broad mix? Tell me a little bit about the practicalities.
Grant Pierrus: Instagram is absolutely key for me. That is the most used platform in the design sector, particularly when it comes to having conversations between people. And it's almost taken over, particularly in the design sector, from where Twitter left off about five years ago, or three or four years ago in the design world, where everybody was having these conversations on Twitter. But those conversations have absolutely migrated to Instagram, sort of DMs and private messages, and what is very interesting about how Instagram's changed over time is, you know, I have more interactions on Instagram stories through my DMs than I do comments and likes on my posts.
Grant Pierrus: So, for me, those are actually secondary to Instagram stories and actually going through people's Instagram stories and commenting and messaging through there. So it's kind of a hybrid between Twitter and Instagram. So Instagram is a real sort of darling, secondly LinkedIn is absolutely key because... particularly for our clients. We are targeting businesses. We're speaking to real estate agents. We're speaking to property developers, where... There's a whole commercial side behind the prettiness of design and very immersed in that and LinkedIn is absolutely key for that.
Grant Pierrus: Twitter is... we just can't get reach out of Twitter anymore, we just can't... We've tried ad campaigns, we've tried Twitter campaigns, we've tried all sorts of things, and the only reason why we were still on Twitter is because the journalists were still using Twitter.
Michelle C.: Yeah.
Grant Pierrus: They're starting to migrate across to Instagram now too because they know that's where the conversations are happening. So Twitter for us is a bit of a dying animal which is quite sad, in a way, because I love how fast-moving it is. So, we're kind of just sitting with that. And Facebook is an interesting one because, you know, if a Facebook page, we still get some decent comments and some decent interaction from people who we want to know, but those people are generally situated in emerging economies. So, South Africa, you know, Middle East, India, Brazil, and the next sort of version of Facebook is obviously Facebook groups.
Grant Pierrus: Facebook groups are the hottest thing around, I think. I mean we've got a Facebook group of interior designers, probably about 400 or 450 or so in that group, and that is absolutely dynamic. It's incredible what's going on in there. So, that's kind of how we use the social channels.
Michelle C.: And that's interesting what you say about the groups because they're a community. It gives you the opportunity to almost create your own social media channel.
Grant Pierrus: Yes, exactly. Exactly. So we've got this group of 400 designers and they're helping each other out.
Michelle C.: Yeah.
Grant Pierrus: [inaudible 00:13:45] Every day, and I absolutely love it because they're going in there and saying, "I need some help with this, and I need some help with that." And we've got some of the biggest design firms in the UK. The principals are in these groups, you know, and helping out start-up new designers. We've had collaborations come out of this. We've had people getting employment out of this. We're helping some small businesses, you know, connecting the dots between them. It's fantastic what's come out of that group. We love that group.
Michelle C.: Yeah. I think that is exciting when you get people together and they're regularly conversing. And the beauty about the Facebook groups is that, you know, I speak to a lot of people and they will say, "Oh, yeah, well, I'm on Facebook but I don't use it that often, but I use it to connect with friends and family." Unless they're running their businesses, and some of them are... it depends on what they're doing. But if you've got a personal Facebook account, then it might just be that you're dipping in and out to share with friends and family.
Michelle C.: However, once you know how to use Facebook, which is pretty simple, the fact that there's a community option, that everybody kind of knows how to use, and it's already there, it's a huge cost saving, isn't it, of creating your own intranet, your own social community, to just pop onto that platform.
Grant Pierrus: Yes. Completely agree. I mean, with my little agency, we have a WhatsApp group where we are constantly having conversations all day long, and I [inaudible 00:15:12] myself, you know, a company, some of the design firms that we work with that had, you know, 20, 30, 40 people in them and I just think, "Actually, you need a Facebook group," because the Facebook group, you know, people can go and explore content in there.
Michelle C.: Yes.
Grant Pierrus: Among [inaudible 00:15:24] I almost feel like it's a perfect place for an intranet.
Michelle C.: It is. So, talking about you, then, because you have built your profile, your blog was a very important base, it was a very important starting point. It's now, you know, the content that you... you're still creating content, but you've now got the very big presences on the social channels and, like you say, you're having these conversations in direct messages and in other ways on a day-to-day basis. You, personally, what's your view about you, Grant Pierrus, and you, Grant Pierrus, the leader of Pierrus Limited. What's the balance between your personal life and your business life when it comes to the social channels?
Grant Pierrus: You see, that's interesting. And it's a difficult one to answer because my business life and my personal life are quite intertwined, but I'm very conscious of the content that I'm sharing and I've specifically pulled back the amount of content I share. So I'm not posting every day anymore. It's got to be highly relevant content, but what I am doing every day is having conversations. So, going through stories, messaging, following up with clients, following up with potential clients, building relationships with people, and that's the main way that I use it.
Grant Pierrus: I'm sort of thinking, like I've been here in South Africa for a while. The first week I was here I didn't even mention that I was here. It was almost like I was here personally, so kind of kept that off of Instagram, and then second week I was kind of been sharing a few things that I saw last week. People now know that I'm in South Africa, so I've had some interesting conversations with locals here about things to do and, you know, wanting to see and meet me and whatever.
Grant Pierrus: So that's been... I don't know if that answers your question.
Michelle C.: Yeah, it does. Yeah, it does. I mean, I think it's very, you know, a few people that I've interviewed now on the podcast have said it's very difficult, regardless of the role or what they're doing or whether, you know, that the CEO of an organization, whether the big team or indeed it's their business and they're the leader of it, it is inextricably linked, you know. What you do in your work is often a big part of our lives, isn't it? And I suppose these-
Grant Pierrus: I mean it's also a case of, when I started this all... you know, I started a blog called Interior Style Hunter, and Interior Style Hunter is my social media channels, and that is me with my sort of designer hat on, and blogging hat on. But on the back of Interior Style Hunter I built a marketing agency. Now that marketing agency doesn't actually have any social media channels.
Michelle C.: Interesting.
Grant Pierrus: Yeah. And we feel that, as an agency, we struggle with getting results from a sort of a micro-sized business that is pretending to be a brand, you know. We don't have the resources to go and create the type of content that a... I don't know, a Nando's has or a Sainsbury's has, or... that will give it that excitement, give the brand enough excitement for people to want to engage with. So that's specifically why we linked the pierrusagency.com website to my personal social... well, not my personal, but my sort of design hat social media channels.
Grant Pierrus: Our agency only really works in the design sector so it is relevant in a way, but there's no direct link between the two. It's almost like, you know, my personal profile does result in leads and people do find the agency and there is a link from the blog to the agency website.
Grant Pierrus: But, yeah, that's sort of how we've looked at it. But then again, we're very experimental in what we do, and we find this works for us.
Michelle C.: Yeah. And I think that sends the signal, also, that there are no rules. I think that, often, I know when I've spoken to organizations, businesses, individuals, they feel that there's a way to do this. And there isn't. You know, these are channels and what you do with those channels is dependent upon what resources you have, what works for your business, and you have permission to try something and then stop.
Grant Pierrus: Agreed. And are you accurately representing your brand? In the first year, I was very conscious of sort of asking people when I met them for the first time, who'd only ever experienced me through social media, and I would actually ask them, "Am I what you expected from what you've been seeing online and on social media?" And the answer was always, "Yes." And I thought, "I'm doing it right, I'm doing it right, I'm doing it right."
Grant Pierrus: And occasionally I do still ask people and if anyone ever says, "No," well then, there's a problem. There's a differentiation between your brand and your communication, and that, I think, is what you need, with whatever plan you do, you always need to make sure that is equal and that the brand and the communication are coming from the same point.
Michelle C.: Very valid point. And you, going back to the beginning of our conversation a little bit here, it was clear you had a plan. You approached this strategically. You start out with a very clear platform with your blog, how are you going to share that, how are you then going to amplify it, who did you want to connect with, all of that was mapped out. You didn't just hop on and start Tweeting or sharing, you know, you had that clarity in the planning phase.
Michelle C.: How important is that for you with... that you found with your business and indeed, of course, with the work that you're doing on the agency side?
Grant Pierrus: I mean, that plan is more important than anything else. There is no... you know, you see people who try on social media, and you can immediately pick up that they haven't got a plan because it's wishy-washy, it doesn't make sense, the message is confusing, and the brand looks bad. So, you've got to absolutely have a plan, and I think a lot of people forget that, you know, your social media channel, whoever you are within the business, is a brand touchpoint.
Grant Pierrus: Think about how much time you put into producing a professional advert or a page or a... you know, something that's going to go on TV or a page in a magazine, for example. Social media is the same. You are touching someone. Someone who's experiencing you, you and your business and what you do. And you've got to think about it in the same manner.
Michelle C.: You have. And I think, from a... if we've got other leaders on the podcast and other organizations and leaders of organizations and people driving their own businesses on the podcast, thinking about getting started, thinking about all of those things, it can feel a little bit overwhelming, couldn't it, to think, "Oh, I've got to have the plan, I've got to be very clear and strategic about what I do, I've got to be authentic, I need to be human."
Michelle C.: What advice would you give somebody that might be starting out, feeling a little bit overwhelmed, maybe a little bit fearful, they're going to mess it up, you know. What would you say to somebody like that? You know, if somebody comes to you and you're having that conversation with them, what would that look like?
Grant Pierrus: Well, we often get people who come to us and sort of say, "You know, we've just started a new brand," or, "We started a new business, and we're terrified of social media," and we take it over for them and we start implementing things, and they're watching it like a hawk. Absolutely watching every single like, every single comment, every single thing that happens on the social media channels. They're watching it like an absolutely hawk.
Grant Pierrus: And I always tell them, "Sit back, look at the overall plan or content plan that we've given you. That is what needs your attention. The overall look and feel and message that you're trying to get through, that is what we need to be focusing on. The minute details can get a bit lost, and they're only relevant for a couple of minutes. When you hit Publish, you know, that Instagram profile that you build or that Facebook group that you build, or all of that content collectively is very important and that's what you need to spend your time on."
Grant Pierrus: And one of the things we do is build a content template. So we'll make sort of three weeks of blocks and say, "Okay, what themes of messages do we want to share across a three-week period?" So we could say, "Every week we want to share maybe some project highlights for our interior design clients. In addition, we want to share the design director, we want to make him or her visible. We want to share the MD, so we want to make him or her visible." So then we've got another two posts to cushion to that three-week period, and then we want to talk about an award that we've won, or we want to talk about some press that we've got, so we'll have one post for that.
Grant Pierrus: So we know that in a three-week period, we're touching all the brand points and messaging points that we want to get out there. So, consistently, over a three-week period, and we just repeat, repeat, repeat. Changing the detail of the content every day, obviously, but those underlying themes and brand touchpoints are there. So we are regularly talking about press, we're regularly mentioning the founder or the design director. We're regularly mentioning projects. We're regularly showing details. We're regularly sharing things about suppliers which is a great way to build relationships with people.
Grant Pierrus: We're strategically looking at the messaging that we want to get out there, and figuring out how often do we need to be sharing that so as we don't overwhelm people, but it's there and it's consistently there, so every three weeks we're mentioning a supplier. Every three weeks we're mentioning the CEO, for example. So over time that builds up all the brand elements that we want to communicate.
Grant Pierrus: And that's pretty clear. And I would say, if you're just starting out, sit back, draw up your three weeks, and think about the themes. Don't post every day, don't overwhelm yourself. You know, literally, three times a week do a post, but think about that content that you want to share and how often you want to share that.
Michelle C.: Yep. And I think you touched on a number of things there. Consistency is absolutely key, isn't it? And it's not just about the consistency, about, as you say, the number of times that you post and there's so many formulas about, "Oh, you've got to post this many times on Instagram to get reach, you've got to post this many to get eyeballs on this." You've got to kind of, as you say, take that step back and really get to grips with the golden thread that's going to run through, that is strategically aligned with, ideally, the organizational objectives so that you have got that kind of continuous conversation, as I like to call it, that just keeps bubbling along so that you build that awareness in the way that you want it to be built.
Grant Pierrus: And remember, we've built this little model where content is only 30% of the job-
Michelle C.: Yes.
Grant Pierrus: ... sort of 33% of the job. So we've said, you know, in a 100% round pie chart, 33% of that is content. So that is, what are going to share?
Michelle C.: Yes.
Grant Pierrus: Okay. That's pretty easy. We can theme that, we can find beautiful images, we can find interesting content, great. But then the next [inaudible 00:27:56] is engagement. Who are you speaking to regularly? Make a list of your top 20 people. Are they your clients? Are they suppliers? Are they influencers within the sector? And those could be press, those could be decision-makers, those could be heads of associations or organizations or whoever is influential within your sector that you need to start having regular conversations with.
Grant Pierrus: And that should be a third of your time, should be at least spent on engagement. As much time as you're spending on curating content, that should also be spent on engagement, if not more. And then the other third we call promotion. So, are always looking at, what is your best performing content and then paying to get it in front of the demographic that you want to see because when you start to use content that you know has got social proof, because it has the most likes and it has the most comments, and you start pushing that into your demographic, well then you start to build your audience very, very quickly.
Michelle C.: Absolutely. And you're 100% right, Grant. I mean you know we're aligned in this in as much as that aspect gets missed, doesn't it? The engagement piece. I think there's a lot of organizations, a lot of individuals, that just feel it's about what I'd refer to as "filling the feeds." And we can all schedule, there's lots of tools. As you say, you can find the content whether it's your own, whether you're curating it, whether you're developing it, it could be a high level amazing video right down to a simple Tweet about an observation, et cetera. But that content is really not the challenge. The biggest issue is, indeed, that engagement piece, that real networking, you know, these are social networks, and having those genuine authentic conversations.
Grant Pierrus: And this is where... I was having a conversation with a designer in New York today and we were talking about social media and how she's using it. She works with incredibly wealthy people all around the world, and we're really figuring out how she can connect to these people and who they are and how they respond. And she said, "Well, I went and liked all their posts." And I was like... "But... and one like amongst 600 other likes, wouldn't get to know who you are." You need commenting and it needs to be a comment that is engaging, not a silly question that's just going to get a glance over, but actually engage them in a conversation. Give them a comment that is valid, that is actually going to solicit a response.
Grant Pierrus: That's what you need to be thinking about, and I would say doing at least 10 of those a day, and have your target list next to you. [inaudible 00:30:56] the 10 accounts that you're going to do this with every single day.
Michelle C.: Exactly. I mean, and if you liken that to a real world off-line networking scenario, and you're in a room, say, with your top 30 potential clients or the 30 people that you really want to connect and communicate with because they're going to be useful for your business or for yourself in whatever way, shape or form, you can simply just smile at them, which is a nice thing to do, which is the nice Like, you know, or you can go over and you can have a conversation and that conversation could be like, "Isn't the weather lovely?" which is kind of like a bit, vanilla.
Michelle C.: Or, you can say, "Hey, I saw that piece you wrote and that was fascinating. I agreed," or, "I didn't agree with it." And you could really have that engaging, informed conversation, which... and out of those three, which one is somebody more likely to engage with or remember you, because of... is it the smile, is it the, "How is the weather?" or, indeed, is it that challenging question around observing something that you know that they've already done and you're picking up on that.
Michelle C.: And that is really taking that off-line, online scenario. It's a nice analogy.
Grant Pierrus: I mean, there's been a fascinating journey that's happened to me through social media with one person in particular. I can't mention names. If I don't mention names, I can tell you more about who they are which more interesting. So, a few years ago an estate agent in Cape Town said to me, when I was in Cape Town, they saw me on Instagram, that, "Do you want to come and have a look at a house that we have for sale?" I said, "Yes." Great. It was one of those premier homes in Cape Town so it was really beautiful. I got to meet the owner.
Grant Pierrus: And the owner is an interior designer, and we started chatting, started following each other on social media. We then started having regular conversations with each other on social media. And that sort of became a friendship. The next time she was in London, I would take her and introduce her to some suppliers that I knew and some interesting things, and kind of enrich her design world. We then started talking about working together and that sort of landed up a couple of years down the line building this relationship over Instagram. She's become a friend of mine and we've done some work together, and I've now met her husband who was like the head of a major financial institution, and he's now moving to the UK and I've been able to introduce him to some people.
Grant Pierrus: So, it's just... it continuously builds.
Michelle C.: Yeah.
Grant Pierrus: It's like [inaudible 00:33:52] BRM system ever. Absolutely ever, because when you meet someone today, you can build a relationship with that person and you can be anywhere to do it.
Michelle C.: Yes.
Grant Pierrus: You [inaudible 00:34:04] pick up the phone, you don't have to send gifts anymore, you don't have to send emails. You have consistently having real conversations with these people and building real relationships with those that last, and from those relationships I found more value with clients that are on board, because generally I've been speaking to them, or they have speaking to me, for a year-
Michelle C.: Yes.
Grant Pierrus: ... before [inaudible 00:34:26] that stage.
Michelle C.: Exactly.
Grant Pierrus: [inaudible 00:34:28] so I'm very aware of filling my pipeline, is me having conversations online every day.
Michelle C.: Absolutely. And, it's networking, isn't it? It's a fundamental part of building those relationships, building your business. So, Grant, you've talked there about the impact that communication via social media has brought to you personally, and indeed, impacting your business and how you've grown your business. What do you think has been your biggest learning so far around digital and social media activities? Is there anything that you wish you'd known at the outset that would have made life easier, simpler?
Grant Pierrus: Oh, gosh, I think the biggest learning is that it is changing so often.
Michelle C.: Yeah.
Grant Pierrus: Your plan has to evolve with it. You don't need to be at the forefront of it, but you need to understand that you need to be looking at your strategy every three months because the way that things move in this sector is really fast, and you don't even realize that everybody's moved off to another channel or is using it in another way, and you're still doing it in the old way and actually missing out.
Michelle C.: Very valid. Very valid point, indeed. So, this has been a hugely enlightening and indeed insightful conversation. As ever, Grant, I have to say, whenever we get together, I always love to have wonderful conversations with you. If... let me, in the spirit of... I know you said you don't share much of yourself on the social media, but this is a podcast and it's in the spirit of really learning about you, the leader, you, Grant Pierrus.
Michelle C.: So I'm going to ask you some questions, a little bit of quick-fire questions just before we close the podcast. So, are you ready for them?
Grant Pierrus: I am.
Michelle C.: Okay. So, if you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Grant Pierrus: Free access to internet in developing countries.
Michelle C.: Okay.
Grant Pierrus: [inaudible 00:36:39] I travel a lot, like, all around the world, and you see... I understand what the internet has done to the western world and countries like South Africa's internet is so prohibitively expensive. By literally making it free, I think you empower huge swathes of population to actually get off their backsides to do something themselves.
Michelle C.: Fantastic. Okay. So, that seems very doable, by the way. Which book have you read recently that's inspired you?
Grant Pierrus: The Art of Buying Art, by Alan Bamberger. So, I'm working on a new project and that involves art quite heavily, and so I've been trying to figure out ways and understand how collectors collect art, and this book has been instrumental in spelling it out, literally, ABC. It's a fantastic book if you're interested in art and looking to collect. It really helps you understand how you can learn to collect. And we're not just talking Warhol level. We're talking actually basic working with new and emerging artists.
Michelle C.: Interesting. Because I do have a few, a few pieces. I wouldn't call myself a collector, but I do have... I probably have about eight or nine different pieces from independent artists that I just see and I love and have to have them. So, that's one to my list.
Grant Pierrus: Yeah. Have a look at this book. It's an interesting read in how you can judge which is the right art for your collections. Very, very [inaudible 00:38:18].
Michelle C.: Interesting. Good. And, last but not least, what's the best piece of advice you have been given to date?
Grant Pierrus: Oh, two pieces, and they're both exactly the same point. So, one is by Seth [Gerden 00:38:30]. Ship it. That changed my world. Get it out the door, get it moving, get it into the real world. Stop sitting on it. [inaudible 00:38:39]
Grant Pierrus: And my business coach recently said to me, "80% is new perfect." She's so right. Get it out. Just put it out into the world. Is it commercial? Is it not? You will very quickly find out.
Michelle C.: Yeah. Love that. Great advice for us all, the procrastination of sitting on there and waiting till it's perfect. "Oh, no, we need to make this edit, we need..." It's just, get it out there and let the market decide, isn't it?
Grant Pierrus: Exactly.
Michelle C.: Well, Grant, it's been an absolutely pleasure speaking with you. Thank you so much for being my guest on the podcast. How do people find out more about the work that you do?
Grant Pierrus: Best place to go is interiorstylehunter.com, or follow me on Instagram at the interiorstylehunter.com.
Michelle C.: Fantastic. And I'll be sure to put all those links in the show notes. So that just leaves me with saying, goodbye for now, Grant, and thank you so much.
Grant Pierrus: Been such a pleasure. Thank you, Michelle. You know I love to chat and this has just been so great.
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