While she’s known as America’s mom, Tabitha Brown is 100% my aunt-in-my-head. She’s a wife, mom, actress, author, social media personality, and creator of all kinds of goodness. 

When I was going through a life transition, Tabitha Brown’s audiobook Feeding The Soul was literally a guiding voice to help me through. I know it sounds very dramatic, but I was deeply depressed due to a circumstance that I never expected and didn’t know how to live in and her book felt like a conversation, an encouragement, and a call to action to keep on living even though this moment, in particular, was hard. She was the comforting and familiar voice of my aunt who I’d lost who had loved me through my first scary life-changing moment and never got to see me through others. Auntie Tab’s work is deeply impactful for the black girls who are out there looking for more than products and advice but to feel seen and loved in a way only an aunt can. I’m tearing up as I write this because she truly did keep me alive. 

Anyway, my good auntie-sis is releasing more goodness into the economy on January 30th with the release of her new book I Did a New Thing: 30 Days To Living FreeA challenge to change your life as she did when she did the 30-day challenge to see if veganism would help her. Auntie Tab’s business is firmly her brand, influence, and frankly, her ability to relay her true story. Her personality has allowed her to create a business that doesn’t leave room for sponsors/partners to question who she will be when she shows up or ask her to bend to their whims. 

“I’m first – me, the family, and then the calendar. I schedule my own breaks and sometimes they happen throughout the day because I want to make sure that I’m all right. I struggled with anxiety and depression before, and I don’t want to go back.” – Tabitha Brown

About the founder: Tabitha Brown was told by her agent not to post videos on social media as a means to protect her brand but a Whole Foods sandwich changed all of that. 

The two-time Emmy-nominated actress, Tik Tok’s Creator and PETA’s person of the year in 2020, New York Times bestselling author, four-time NAACP Image Award winner, vegan foodie, and social media personality gained widespread recognition and popularity through her engaging and positive presence on social media platforms starting with the TTLA (vegan BLT) video showcasing a Whole Foods sandwich.

Tabitha Brown became especially known for her heartfelt and humorous videos on TikTok and other social media channels, where she shares her journey towards a vegan lifestyle and promotes plant-based cooking. Her warm and relatable style resonated with a broad audience, and she quickly amassed a large following.

In addition to her online presence, Tabitha has also been an advocate for wellness, self-love, and mindfulness. Her authenticity and down-to-earth approach have made her a beloved figure in the digital space and with the release of her consumer products and books, in real life too. Tabitha Brown continues to inspire and connect with people through her content, empowering them to embrace positive changes in all areas of their lives.

“We are worthy of the leap”  – Tabitha Brown

Who are the (behind the scenes) people: To move from well-loved brand to monetization, teams can help in 10X-ing in the process. Of course, you can do a lot of the work yourself but putting experts around you makes it possible for you to do the work that you are good at while the other people who are excellent at their jobs can help you to grow in line with the goals and dreams that you have in place. For an influencer/acting brand, she has this kind of team: 

  • Agents
  • Managers
  • Publicists
  • Publisher
  • Writing Support (Hi Tracey!!!!)
  • Brands 

The audience: 

Tabitha brown’s audience leans more into a psychographic than it does a demographic. Because her original reason for posting was not marketing, the draw was something that people saw in her that resonated with themselves or who they wanted to be and frankly, her enthusiasm is infectious; I think we can all value a friend like that even if she’s digital. Often times, when we’re building a business, we think audience first but because she’s more of a personality that become a business, the audience gathered around her thoughts and ideas. 

Her content often resonates with people who are curious about faith, adopting a vegan lifestyle, seeking inspiration for healthier living, or simply looking for uplifting and motivational content and occasionally a seemingly random prophetic read for someone who may need it. 

Key Phrases and group names: 

  • Hello There!
  • Cause That’s My/Your Business 
  • Have the Most Amazing Day, and if you can’t, Don’t Go Messin’ Up No One Else’s
  • Like So, Like That
  • Very Good
  • “Oooh, God, we thank you” before eating,

Her entire brand is based on positive interactions with life, especially when life can be negative, making sure to reframe your experiences and hold on to hope. These phrases also serve as the titles for the talks that she gives according to her speaker’s agency site. The lesson in this is that the things we naturally say over and over again carry such weight and importance to people that they can be recognizable hooks and anchors to greater things making it possible to use to attract the audience that already knows and loves her. 

The differentiator – What are they really selling? She’s from the days before being an influencer had really permeated the culture and become an aspirational job, before people were showing a lifestyle they have or feeling forced to create a lifestyle they don’t actually have to create desire in others that can be leveraged for brand deals. Tabitha is genuine and is making the brand choices that reflect her values and are actually what she would utilize, what her audience would buy and trust her for and she’s created such emotional equity that not only is she standing as an ambassador but a trusted advisor – for brand partners who are willing to meet her in the truth of her brand, this is powerful.

How does it make money? There’s a lot of diversity in her model. While she doesn’t tout a specific framework necessarily, there is a result that her work tends to create: joy. Books, clothing and decor lines, hair care line, seasonings, a restaurant, TV shows, and YouTube shows. Through her influence and garnering of an active and engaged (very important key words) following, she’s been able to become a social media personality working with a variety of brands such as 

Then there are her own creations: 

Why do I love this brand, and what do I see for it in the future? Tabitha IS the business. She has ascended the ranks of recognizable and trustworthy faces to become a brand, she did not begin seeking to be a brand so we love her because what she is selling is absolutely genuine. Even down to her denial of certain partnerships because they would not allow her to be herself. We can trust what she is presenting to us is something that she feels is part of her calling. 

I think so many of us come into the business world with the idea that we have to assimilate in order to be valuable and to ascend and in so many cases, that is true but we don’t have to stay in those cases. A story like Tabitha’s let’s me know that the opportunities to create a microcosm of the world where your ideas can be heard and held can be created. It may take time for it to find it’s foundation but her consistency and dedication to her vision for the 20 years that she held it were not in vain. It’s been 6 years today since that one video made her a recognizable figure and she’s been a force to be reckoned with and will continue to be. 

As she’ll begin touring for her new book at the end of this month, I can’t help but see her as a motivational speaker like Lisa Nichols or a talk show host like Oprah. Her ability to pull the best out of people would be amazing for asking questions of others that she finds inspirational and getting the best information and their stories out of them.

Thank you for everything, Auntie Tab! You’re truly an inspiration.

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