Tanya Lou Armstrong: “MARKET for THE WIN”

MARKET for THE WIN: A plan without a proper marketing campaign is a recipe for disaster. When you think of marketing, include publicity, influencers, brand alignment and all other creative avenues. There are so many ways to get your lifestyle brand out and a creative and broad marketing and publicity campaign is what is needed […]

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

MARKET for THE WIN: A plan without a proper marketing campaign is a recipe for disaster. When you think of marketing, include publicity, influencers, brand alignment and all other creative avenues. There are so many ways to get your lifestyle brand out and a creative and broad marketing and publicity campaign is what is needed in this area. Be sure to get bids from reputable marketing and publicity firms.

As a part of our series called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tanya Lou Armstrong.

Tanya is a highly successful and passionate brand strategist, who boasts an impressive background for making positive change with A-list talent and lifestyle brands.

She has enjoyed great success in creating, developing and activating marketing and media campaigns for startups and established brands. Tanya believes that one cannot have a “well-business” without a well mind, body and soul. Over the years, Tanya has successfully grown numerous startups into multi-million dollar thriving organizations.

In her ‘Life By Design Mastermind’ course, Tanya teaches aspiring entrepreneurs how to step out of fear and into courage, while showing up in a more genuine and authentic manner that resonates with their target audience. She offers established brands a much-needed reboot, guiding them through new skill sets to equip them with the power of story and messaging, along with a wide range of brand, marketing and publicity strategies and insights in a life- and career-enhancing 10-week course.

Tanya’s professionalism, coupled with her creative free spirit and love of people has positioned her to work with some of the most prominent individuals in the field of entertainment and sports, clients ranging from Grammy© winning musicians to World Champion UFC athletes, up-and-coming performers featured on America’s Got Talent and The Voice, along with notable actors, music festivals, sporting events, and leading lifestyle brands.

Tanya’s clients have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Billboard Magazine, USA Today and Rolling Stone, and on NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, SiriusXM. Tanya has been the “go-to” expert for industry brands and is now available through her guided online course curriculums, mentorship programs and private coaching for all entrepreneurs seeking to launch a successful brand, or scale their current business.

Every aspect of Tanya’s work is fused with heart and soul, as this is the foundation for true connection.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?

Absolutely! It was the very reason that I do what I do today. It was quite colorful, I’ll explain.

During my childhood years, my father had the contract for publishing the Oakland Raiders’ programs, sold to millions of fans who attended the team’s games each year. This was when the Raiders were in their heyday throughout the 70’s and early 80’s, an era when the team dominated the NFL. Because of the nature of his work, fame always seemed to be around when I was a kid. My dad, along with some of the players arranged for me to visit the team’s locker room, which was typically a big no-no. These NFL stars were like family to us, and many of the players would come to our home after a big home-game win. During my childhood, those months during football season every year took on a vibrant, magical quality.

For many years, my Dad also published programs for the World Series and the U.S. Open tennis tournament. He also orchestrated the marketing, media and event details for a number of major non-profit walk-a-thons, as well as for various professional decathlons and pro golf tournaments. During those years, I recall Vegas trips where we’d be backstage with famous musicians like Boz Scaggs and Christopher Cross. One time Paul Anka brought me on stage to sing along with him on his hit, “Put Your Head On My Shoulder.” It was one of the highlights of my childhood, for sure.

Even when I was very young — and regardless of the fact that my father was quite successful — he made sure that I had a genuine “work ethic.” If I asked to borrow money for a movie, my Dad asked me when I would pay him back. I let him know, and I kept my word. While I was in high school, I worked four jobs! I worked as a playground supervisor, horse trainer, and gymnastics coach at “the Y,” and also as a data processor at the high school district office. I worked after school at one job and went to the other. My father even made sure that I worked on weekends. When I was young, I resented this pressure. Today, I am grateful for the self-discipline it taught me.

Can you tell us the story of what led you to this particular career path?

I would love to! I started by following in my family’s footsteps. Once I had graduated from school, and had done some traveling for a number of work projects, I decided to open a boutique agency and publish a targeted guide for homeowners who fit into a certain demographic. I spent some time in the fields of advertising and publishing, with my father and also my grandfather, and this gave me the confidence to begin branching out on my own. After a year or two, my agency had become very successful and I began working with sports and entertainment establishments like Improv, LA Clippers, extreme sports, theme parks, and various music venues.

Initially, I worked with these businesses by having them advertise in one of my publications. Although I achieved great results for these clients, I was never totally satisfied. I knew I could do better and serve my clients on a greater level. I began opening more zones for a direct mail piece that had a much larger reach. I then began a networking group for these clients, designed to support their growth, know-how and connection, while also offering them substantial discounts for tradeshows, software, insurance, restaurants and much more. I then started contacting and securing radio and television interviews to position my clients as experts in their field. I wrote out their copy and scripts as needed, as well as their bios, descriptions and mission statements — and even their preliminary advertising copy, so they could maintain a consistent brand.

I loved helping these clients tell their story and share their brand message, and I realized that I had a talent for writing and telling the story of others that resonated in a captivating manner, stories that made the media respond. I was on a mission to make sure that my clients succeeded, simply because I cared and wanted to create wins and value for those who worked with me.

Through this work, my reputation grew and had loyal clients who followed me in whatever it was that I worked on. One day, a client asked me how I began working as a “publicist.” I was a bit taken aback by the question, because I never really thought of myself in that role. I really just genuinely cared about those I worked with. They trusted me and I learned that my loyalty to them came with a return of great financial reward. Together, we had built a mutually beneficial relationship, one that was built on trust. Because of that, I had a 90% retention rate for renewals and began advising many of those companies on how to scale and grow their business. I was now a business, brand and growth consultant. I found that this was soul-filling and rewarding work. With careful attention to detail, a good ear, some strategy and discipline, along with a lot of creativity, tenacity and grit, I was finally sailing forward in calm seas.

With my love of music, I began handling marketing work for clients in the music industry, and I began to develop a certain measure of “inner-circle fame” in this field. I had helped grow North America’s largest music festival of its genre, through marketing, publicity and media partnerships. Prior to that, I had tripled the attendance of a well-established festival and was soon asked to do some work for Live Nation, as well as work with several artists on their personal brands. I had made a real name for myself.

At this stage of my career, I had niched into my craft of developing and marketing brands and had become wildly successful — and I was working with household name brands and celebrity talent. Things were going great, until the day I found out my mother had cancer. She needed to move in with me, and I became her caretaker while juggling my accounts. It was a long and painful death for her, and it broke my heart.

Only five days after her death, my daughter-in-law made me aware that her breast was swollen and hurting — and she soon learned that she had breast cancer. Sadly, she died this year of a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. Our son was left to raise two children, ages two and four years old,

After loving and losing them both within a year’s time, I had a spiritual rebirth of sorts. I discovered a new depth of meaning in life, and I wasn’t about to waste it by not living on purpose. I had a deep yearning to help aspiring and established entrepreneurs find meaning in their lives, so they could take their passions and turn them into profits. I wanted to teach them how to move from fear and into courage, how to be a standout brand and find personal and financial freedom. I longed to help the masses and I wanted to position and inspire women to never need a man, yet to want a man.

These very reasons are why and how I got into coaching and designed my 10-week signature course, ‘Life By Design Mastermind,” that supports people in moving out of fear and into their power, so they can build a life and career by design. I now get to teach all of my personal life skills — along with my brand, content strategy and marketing know-how, tips, tools and resources to build a powerful and sustainable brand. It’s a win-win for all.

Today, I’m living and working with intention and purpose. For the first time, life feels in alignment with my core being.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Oh geez, it’s time to get vulnerable. One of the things I’ve learned to work with is having Dyslexia. At times words, or letters can scramble. Sometimes they disappear completely. I’ll have to read something multiple times to make certain I read it correctly. When I was young and rushed through work, I’d occasionally mix-up a word, or two and even stumble getting my point across.

I’ll never forget this one moment, when I was around twenty-one years old, and I rushed into a very reserved CEO’s office so he could sign his contract. I wasn’t yet expected, as I came a bit early. He didn’t appear to mind, and we began going over some questions he had had.

Realizing how early I was, I said to him, “I apologize for showing up so early and captivating you here in your office.” He looked at me with a very confused face and asked what made me feel I captivated him. I shared that I came in so early, and it seemed he was on his way out. I began repeating the word captivate in my head a couple of times and then said out loud, “capture, capture, I meant capture.” Even though capture wasn’t the right word either, I knew it was a bit closer. He chuckled and let me know he understood what I was meant.

Since that incident, I learned to slow it way down and think things through, so I don’t blurt out incorrect words that make for a good story.

I’ve also learned that my Dyslexia also comes with some impressive superpowers. I have an innate gift to see end results when people speak of a current business struggle. Instantly, I can map out a detailed plan and visualize the steps a brand would need to take, in order to get from A-to-Z, or in my case Z-to-A! So rather than focusing on occasionally using a word incorrectly, or a reading hiccup, I put my focus in areas that are more pertinent to getting real results.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between Maxwell Maltz’s classic “Psycho-Cybernetics,” and Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, “The Power Of Intention.”

Growing up, my Grandmother Birdie was a spiritual counselor. She studied world religion and at one point worked and studied with Maxwell Maltz, the famed plastic surgeon turned book author. He fused self-affirmation and mental visualization techniques, to merge the mind-body connection for achieving major goals. My Grandmother was my saving grace in my teen years. She had been teaching me, “The Law of Attraction’’ and its techniques. She lived and breathed the work. I studied with her every day, and we had a morning ritual where we would write down our thoughts in a ceremonial type of brainstorming session that also involved some visualization techniques.

When the movie, “The Secret” came out, I had a hard time understanding what all the fuss was about. I assumed everyone had always thought in this manner. It was a natural way that I processed thought for achieving goals. I realized soon that the “Law of Attraction,” visualization and intention setting was not the norm, and was an epiphany to many.

It wasn’t until then that I realized a spiritual powerhouse of a lady had raised me. Prior to that, she was just my grandmother.

This leads me to my second favorite book, “The Power of Intention,” by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Many years ago, I went to listen to Dr. Dyer speak at an old opera house. We were encouraged to bring one of his books, as there would be an opportunity to have him autograph them during the intermission. I admired Dr. Dyer’s work and the authentic manner of which he taught. He had assisted me, without ever knowing it, work through some early childhood traumas. His work felt familiar. I had always felt I’d meet him one day, and have an energetic connection with him. Needless to say, I was super excited about being in his presence.

During the break, Dr. Dyer’s assistant asked those interested in having him autograph his book, to please line up along the side of the stage. I rushed to get in line and watched as Dr. Dyer signed the books that were, one-by-one, being handed to him. He’d grab the book from the person who handed it to him, and quickly signed it while saying words similar to, “Namaste {nod of head} thank you,” in a firm, yet warm tone. This process repeated over and over again in intervals of about three-to-five seconds. The whole experience seemed pretty blasé and uneventful to that point. Something happened though, as I neared my turn to have my book signed. I got a strong feeling of a pure, beautiful energy. It was an intense feeling that I had been in that very moment before and all was meant to be. My body and mind became hyper-present.

It was now my turn. I reached my hand out to pass Dr. Dyer my book in what seemed to be slow motion. He grabbed the book, quickly signed it and handed it back to me. Yet, when he did so, he stopped and we locked eyes. It was in no way a flirtatious sort of thing, but an innocent and pure spirit sort of thing. He abruptly, yet sincerely, asked me, “Do you know how special you are?” I replied, “I do,” with an enlightened smile. He then said, “Mind if I give you a hug?” I said, “No, of course not.” He looked back at his assistant on stage and asked her to stop the line momentarily. Dr. Dyer leaned in and gave me the longest, and most beautiful hug I had ever received. We gently rocked back and forth for what seemed like a few minutes. After our hug, he leaned back and looked me in the eyes again as he grabbed my shoulders and said, “You, my dear, were destined for greatness.” He asked my name and then continued with, “I’m certain I will be seeing you and hearing of your name again.” As I walked off stage, in somewhat of a mesmerized trance, I looked back and he lifted his hand as a firm wave and I waved back. We had what I’d considered to be a powerful spiritual connection and a common understanding between two like-souls. This meeting sealed the deal for my then favorite book, “The Power Of Intention.”

After this evening, my only regret was that I never reached out to him. I felt and even knew in my heart, that if I had just written him a letter, he may have remembered me. At that time, I was a bit disheveled with my father’s death and a marriage that was in shambles. I later heard of Dr. Dyer’s passing, and it stung to the core. Not only was I saddened for his passing, I was also pretty down on myself for allowing many years to pass, without taking the opportunity to contact him again, and to ask for his guidance. I have always known that someday I’d write a book, and I always believed Dr. Dyer would have been gracious enough to read it and possibly write my foreword, but I never gave that dream a shot. Even though I never acted on my desire to reconnect with him, that evening solidified my greater purpose for serving others.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Yes, my favorite “Life Lesson Quote” came from my Grandma Birdie. She’d always say to me, “Honey, if you want something, you need to go after it yourself and work through the obstacles.” She’d continue, “No one, but you, will give a shit if you fail or succeed, so you better care enough about your hopes and dreams and take the bull by the horns and make it happen.”

I’ve lived by this philosophy, and at the same time, I’ve worked to defy it. I realize that it’s up to us to make our hopes and dreams happen. Yet, I also realize that I had a grandmother who “gave a shit,” and would give me a big dose of reality when I needed it.

It had made me sad as a young adult thinking that no one really cared about my hopes and dreams. I wanted to be a person who cared about others and their dreams, and assisted in making them a reality. I understand, however, that not everybody has a Grandma Birdie in his or her life or was gifted with a highly creative brain. So, I work to be a “Birdie” myself, and support others so they, too, can confidently soar to great heights.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. For the benefit of our readers, let’s define our terms. How do you define a “Lifestyle Brand?” How is a Lifestyle Brand different from a normal, typical brand?

I view a lifestyle brand as one that has a movement behind it, one that’s built through connection, involvement and community.

Whether it’s a shoe, or a brand of fancy water, or even a band, I view each of these, first, as the product itself with a potential to be a lifestyle brand. I consider a lifestyle brand to have an intended movement behind it, and a brand to not. Having the best possible shot at becoming a household lifestyle brand is done by reverse engineering, in what I call a “movement-creation.” A lifestyle brand will evoke emotion, inclusion and connection to align with a targeted subculture.

In other words, let’s look at the energy drink Red Bull, as an example. Red Bull’s tagline is “Red Bull gives you wings.” Red Bull’s marketers invoke the feeling of a superhero, one who can fly. They align themselves with those who live a life full of adrenaline, chasing adventurers. Those who identify with the brand will wear their merchandise, while living and embracing the lifestyle of the brand and even advertise the brand on their trucks, shirts, hats and so-forth. A good lifestyle brand will target and speak the language of its tribe and the tribe, in return, will identify and naturally promote the brand.

Aspiring lifestyle brands need to have great clarity of their ideal client, right out of the chute, and also need to create a brand with good intention, backed by strong values. Any branding having a philanthropic mission, with concise story messaging and a strong marketing and publicity campaign will have an outstanding chance at success. It all starts with the foundation. Building an avid-fan following creates opportunities for reverse-marketing, giving consumers the opportunity to show their support by advertising the brand and by aligning themselves with the lifestyle by displaying their loyalty through car decals, stickers, shirts, jackets, hats, and at times, through concerts and events. Fanatical fans, or super-fans of a particular brand may even get a branded tattoo to showcase their identification and belonging within that brand’s subculture.

What are the benefits of creating a lifestyle brand?

A lifestyle brand becomes a way of life and has the potential to become a movement. There are no limits with a lifestyle brand. Building a lifestyle brand is definitely more work, and will require larger budgets, with more employees to implement more activations. Yet, the rewards are grand and there is no cap as to where you can take it, how you can morph it, and deliver it to your targeted masses.

It’s about experiences, and when you create experiences, you spark emotion and like-minded connection and community. Lifestyle brands can carry purpose to new levels. A lifestyle brand can make a person become a better human. There is a lot of psychology, creativity and strategy involved and when it’s paired with good values and principles, with a purposeful mission, people want to get behind that.

In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved Lifestyle Brand? What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?

I really like brands that tell a story. There isn’t one particular brand that comes to mind. Yet, I always get excited about brands that take you on a journey, that spark emotion and inspire you to daydream about living the lifestyle of, in, or with their product. I just love, love, love when a lifestyle brand can spark human emotion and connection. It’s what we all long for, it’s what we all crave and a really powerful lifestyle brand that evokes emotion and sparks your fire has done it right.

Next time you watch a commercial that does this to you, use it as a case study. Dissect the brand and figure out why it is that it moves you and what they did to provoke that emotion.

When we live and work in areas of passion and get to serve a greater purpose, life feels good, our career feels aligned with our soul and everything falls into place. I feel this is my best advice.

Can you share your ideas about how to create a lifestyle brand that people really love and are ‘crazy about’?

Reverse-engineer everything. I believe that’s the best practice for anyone who wants to create a lifestyle brand that ties people into a bigger purpose, one that has a feel-good element attached. Start with the end result in mind and then begin to break down the type of client you wish to serve, as this will be your target market. Once you find your ideal client, it’s time to get busy doing extensive research.

As an example, let’s examine the van and trailer conversion lifestyle craze. I absolutely love everything about this movement and the unique layouts and designs that these “mini-homes on wheels” now offer. This craze is now enticing a new market of the affluent as well.

It’s critical, prior to starting any lifestyle brand that you tap into the mindset and very lifestyle of the people who live eat and breathe this way of living. I cannot stress this enough.

Let’s just say, hypothetically speaking, that our ideal client was in their mid-to-upper twenties, hoping to start a family in the near future. They were tapped out and struggling to pay their exorbitant home bills. They wanted to ditch the 9 to 5 office hustle, and dreamed of freelancing from a home on wheels, venturing out on the road to enjoy nature, new sights and sounds. They long to have more quality time with their partner and possibly even a child or two. It’s a must that you understand the mindset and pain-points of your client, as this is exactly who you will be targeting.

Know the market. Do mass-research of similar lifestyle brands that may be your competitors. Find out what people who’ve experienced those brands like and dislike about the competitors.

Gather this information and find your unique niche in the market. Find the issue people are having with these similar brands and provide them with a solution. Get ahead of the market, find your niche and set yourself apart from the others. To start collecting data, you can start by checking reviews on a wide variety of rating sites.

Once you identify your ideal client on paper, write it out on a whiteboard, a graph, a computer file, and capture your ideas. Know your clients inside and out, backwards and forwards. There is no room for hiccups here. Brain-dump and refine from there. Start with something messy like this: “My ideal client wants personal and financial freedom, away from large bills and the debt that comes with having a home and utility bills. They shy away from the thought of a permanent structure that keeps them stuck in one place. They crave a life with flexibility and movability, in order to roam. They are looking to shed excess belongings and get down to the bare essentials. Material possessions have become a dead weight. They want to stress less, and love more deeply, getting present without worrying about tomorrow’s bills. They desire a simple way of living, one that allows for more quality time with family, having the freedom to move about and explore the vast unknown. They are more likely to be somewhat fit. They seek adventure. They are dreamers, roamers and have grit. They are somewhat mechanically inclined.” Are you starting to get it?

Once that market is determined, refine it as best you can. From there, you could then build an on/off road moving home, that has solar power, and boasts itself on eco-friendly green features, with built in satellite and Wi-Fi hook-ups for the entrepreneur on-the-go, one that is lightweight and gas-saving, and has safety features that could accommodate a small child.

Let’s call this hypothetical brand a “Treader Van,” that offers two models with two sizes of each. For the purposes of this example, we’ll call the first the “Treader Mountain” conversion van. This model could have rugged off-road features, knobby tires and showcase a hunter green color, while the “Treader Sea’’ conversion van could have beach lifestyle features and showcase it in a sea foam blue. This model hosts a built-in surf rack and an outdoor shower. The brand could have a simple stamp of Treader in a fun font that would resonate with the targeted age bracket.

That brand could then build out extensions of the brand, through merchandise, hiking boots, surfboards, stickers and decals and market it with videos of couples holding hands, laughing and playing with a child running in the middle of an empty beach with a gorgeous sunset, or a young couple hiking in the mountains with their conversion van decked out with some baby-lights connected to a nearby tree. All of this would be made with a message and showcase of personal and financial freedom, a life made simple and carefree.

Their commercials could have a catchy and simple script, such as: “Whether you are the land or sea type, we understand the Treader family have a calling to simplify, while exploring the great outdoors. Your freedom and safety is our mission, and we don’t tread lightly on that. TREADER VANS.” [Then show their website]

If someone didn’t quite have the money, at the moment, for a Treader conversion van or trailer, one could still dream and save, be a part of and support the Treader lifestyle by purchasing their shirts, or hats, or rock a decal on their vehicle. They are prepping for that moment, when they, too, may be the proud owner of a Treader conversion van, or trailer.

For now, they will begin leaning in and identifying with the brand and its subculture. At this point, you are having people assist in your marketing efforts. You are creating a community and connection of like-minded individuals [or fans] through the brand, its mission and messaging. Things are beginning to happen, and a movement is beginning to take shape.

These very people are finding their pack, those with the same mindset. A Facebook page and group, along with Instagram and Twitter, would be set up. A campaign could be made for people to wear their Treader shirts in beautiful outdoor places and take a photo, post it on social media sites, tagging #Treadervan for a chance to win a Treader van. Those who already own Treader Conversion Vans could then enter in for a roof top tent upgrade accessory by posting a photo and tagging the brand. All of this creativity paired with strategy and a solid actionable plan make for a recipe for a highly successful and trending lifestyle brand. You could even take this as far as having a post-Covid Treader Festival built around this. The sky’s the limit.

What are the common mistakes you have seen people make when they start a lifestyle brand? What can be done to avoid those errors?

After dissecting a lifestyle brand that is not thriving, I typically find one of two common mistakes. It’s either their lack of a deep understanding of their client, hence not understanding exactly how to reach them, or there is a failure in their messaging. People need clarity, and when your message doesn’t solve a problem and has absolute clarity, people will not resonate with the brand.

A solid lifestyle brand is built with the client in mind, with a solid and clear mission. Structure, built on absolute clarity of its market will win here.

Let’s imagine that someone reading this interview has an idea for a lifestyle brand that they would like to develop. What are the first few steps that you would recommend that they take?

As in the above Treader Van example, to wrap it up in a nutshell, I’d suggest starting with the research. Do a comprehensive market analysis and learn everything you need to know. Understand your ideal customer, along with your competitors. Study everything you can to get an edge in the market. Know what has been done well and not so well. Solve a problem and be the solution. Learn and know what you would do differently to create your own niche in the market. Get your branding and messaging on point. A captivating story is key here. This is the foundation for any lifestyle brand. Without this, a standout lifestyle brand will be difficult.

If a brand needs assistance in this area, I’d highly recommend reaching out to an experienced brand strategist who can assist you, or even take a comprehensive online course curriculum with an expert leading the course. A little education can go a very long way in this area and there are many tricks of the trade and marketing strategies that can help achieve your end goal, if you put in the right amount of time and money.

Your brand messaging, along with the story, your why, the colors, fonts, look and feel of your brand, all tell your story. Be sure your chosen name is smart and on-point to your brand and be certain it is available to trademark. The domain and socials should be available as well. Do your research!

Ok. Thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. IDEAL CLIENT: Understand your client and whom you are marketing your product to backwards and forwards. Dissect their every behavior and do not falter, or take shortcuts. This first step is detrimental to the brand, its foundation and growth.
  2. SOLVE A PROBLEM, BE THE SOLUTION: Know what the competitors are doing great and not so great. Find out what resonates with your audience. Once this is understood, get a niche in the market that becomes a solution to the very issue discovered.
  3. A STRATEGIC PLAN: Write out a detailed and extensive plan. Be certain you’ve already secured your trademark(s), domain and social accounts. Reverse engineer and get creative. Think about how you can serve these clients best and get them talking about you. Ways to create connection and community should be part of this plan. Go deep!
  4. PROPER MESSAGING: PROPER MESSAGING: Get your messaging down! Know what you are doing and do it for the greater good. Enhance lives, do it with passion, zest and grit. Get scrappy, and stay on point with the brand set in place. Your fonts and colors, along with your look, feel and tone should be on point.
  5. MARKET for THE WIN: A plan without a proper marketing campaign is a recipe for disaster. When you think of marketing, include publicity, influencers, brand alignment and all other creative avenues. There are so many ways to get your lifestyle brand out and a creative and broad marketing and publicity campaign is what is needed in this area. Be sure to get bids from reputable marketing and publicity firms.

Super. We are nearly done. Here are our final questions. You are an inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would love to inspire a movement of human connection and belonging with those who are elderly, or simply lonely and in need of another’s time, attention, care and even a hug. To have a sense of belonging is critical to our welfare. It’s one of the very reasons I love branding, and why I especially love lifestyle branding. It brings forward so many elements in humanity, through the power of connection and belonging.

Let’s imagine if we started a nonprofit, where all was donated goods and volunteered time. This nonprofit was built on fundraisers, donations, volunteers and sponsors who cement it all together. Let’s call it “Filled with Love.” Now imagine it is in every city across the country, with the idea of filling up a grocery sized paper bag that gets personally delivered by a volunteer-buddy, one who would minimal time each week to deliver this bag to anyone who has signed up, being in need of some heart-felt connection and love. This volunteer-buddy would sit with them each week for one hour, maybe two, and go over all that the bag’s contents.

This bag could be filled with a soul-lifting book and the volunteer could assign them to read a minimum of one chapter per week and write out their biggest takeaways from what inspired them most. It could include an art-therapy coloring book that their buddy would assign them to color one picture per week. It could include some plentiful protein, such as lentils and green veggies. Possibly even a 20 dollars Amazon gift card, so they can buy themself a personal self-care gift, and anything else they need. The volunteer could do it for them, if they aren’t technologically savvy.

So let’s say the total value of the bag is 50 dollars, of which 20 dollars of is hard cash. It includes some food for nourishment, a book for personal growth and art therapy, with assignments to keep them busy on things that nurture their mind, body, and soul. It could also include a personal letter of connection from the “Filled with Love” sponsor of the donated bag. The sky’s the limit here. Even if someone reading this wants to start, or be a part of this movement, I challenge you to do so with the hashtag #FilledWithLove. Feel free to hashtag me at #TanyaLouArmstrongOfficial and I’ll be certain to help spread the charitable movement myself. Be sure to post photos on socials as well!

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

To be honest, I do not have any burning desire to sit with any brilliant business executives. I don’t have a care in the world to get in front of any billionaire. This sort of thing does nothing for me. I don’t feel I need anything that could create more value, insights, or opportunity for me in these areas. I would love to speak one day to an executive at Hay House for a proposed book deal, but I’ll tackle that when the time is right.

The reality of it is, all that I do come from a deep place of service. When you give your heart, when you give your person, when you show up vulnerable and get a little courageous and show up with all your messy and beautiful self, your people find you. They see you and they want to know you. When one really shows up with a soul-driven authentic self, followed with a tenacious and powerful drive, the people and the money naturally follow.

Speaking of authenticity, it did spark something. I’m going to say, if I really had one shot to have a private breakfast, or lunch with anyone, it would have to be at the Red Table, in the home and presence of Will, Jada, and Willow Smith, and of course Gammy. To sit with that family and just dig into life and purpose would be showing up for a greater purpose. That would feel right. The Smith family is doing so much to bring awareness of issues and they don’t lay-down when they have their thoughts and opinions about anything. I love this about them. So many people today, especially with social media do what they can to just fit in, get acceptance and conform to social norms. They talk in circles and/or speak about what they feel will give them more acceptance in various circles. I don’t run, or even associate in those circles. I find it draining and a waste of time. If you can’t be yourself, then you are just sitting behind the veil of misery.

The Smith family are deep, genuine souls, who show up vulnerable and with care for the greater good. I love that they allow their children to just simply be and are accepted without the need to change that they are. Acceptance is powerful and the grounding force for a child to become secure and a self-reliant adult. This family is a wonderful example of humanity at its finest. They show “their messy,” and they communicate it out with grit and grace. They are my kind of people and I’m very grateful for all that they are doing and all they are not doing.

So yeah, a lunch at the Red Table would be my thing.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

You got it! This was a complete pleasure and I’m so grateful to have been able to share some lifestyle branding insights and a little know-how. I hope to empower those of you who read this to step out of your comfort zone, get courageous, a bit messy and show up as your authentic and beautiful God-given self. The world needs you!

If your audience would like to learn more about my “Life By Design Mastermind” course, and me I’d love to hear from them. They can find me at my website www.TanyaLouArmstrong.com.

Really appreciate you and your time!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Christina-Lauren Pollack of Inspiring Brands Academy: “Focus on capturing email leads”

by Orlando Zayas

Olivia Wu of Innergrated Media: “Aim for deeper and more personal connections with your customers”

by Fotis Georgiadis

Lauren Clemett of The Audacious Agency: “Don’t try to help every Mary in the diary”

by Fotis Georgiadis
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.