I’m Nick Armstrong and I’m #2 on the speed dial of most small business owners, right after mom. When they’re stuck in a rut and need a whiteboard-worth of fun, profitable marketing ideas to fill up client waitlists and bank accounts for a year, they call me.
Gathering together folks who enjoy dressing up like Wonder Woman, Iron Man, and Jyn Erso in one place sounds like fun, but for me as the Lead Organizer of Fort Collins Comic Con, it’s a way of life. Alongside my amazing team of volunteer geeks, it’s also a nifty way to have raised over $120,000 for the Poudre River Public Library District. This year we’re pivoting to help benefit the Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County.
It’s been my lifelong dream to kill the traditional business seminar dead. As Lead Organizer of Founded in FoCo, my team and I rally the Fort Collins small business community to teach free classes at a weeklong get-together to discuss such important topics as “Getting Clients To Pay By Raising An Eyebrow” and “Accounting That Won’t Make You Die A Little Inside.”
Mental health issues are often relegated to silent suffering, so I created a speaking event called BrainChange to viscerally and loudly connect folks over ideas often left unspoken. So far, we’ve raised $500 for the Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
At almost every event I host, I tear my pants. I’ve proudly torn asunder my jeans leading FoCo Comic Con (while in an inflatable T-Rex suit), TEDxFoCo, Ignite Fort Collins, LaidOffCamp/CareerCamp, PodCamp Fort Collins, and more.
My local efforts landed me a few hilariously awkward photo shoots and some of the most-frequently-polished framed awards on my wall as one of BizWest’s 40 Under Forty in 2016, the Colorado Association of Libraries’ Library Community Partnership Award in 2018, and one of ColoradoBiz’s GenXYZ Top 25 Most Influential Young Professionals in Colorado in 2020.
In early 2021, I became one of the first graduates of the Leveraging Local Leaders (L3) program while also running for Fort Collins City Council in District 1. In 2022 I was listed as a Leader to Watch on BizWest’s 30 Most-Influential Business Leaders of 2022, became a graduate of the 2022 class of Leadership Northern Colorado and the 2022-2023 class of Leadership Fort Collins, and was appointed to the City of Fort Collins Parks and Recreation Board where I get to advocate for parks, trails, trees, and the recreational facilities we all know and love.
Leaving places better than how you found ’em sometimes requires tons of resources, which is why I worked hard to acquire almost $60,000 in grant funding for my neighborhood, leading projects like a $25,000 art installation of the longest community-participation mural in Fort Collins at 190′ and a $15,000 irrigation equipment replacement project which saves around 6.5 million gallons of water every year – or about 3 months of water usage for each home in my neighborhood.
I’m Nick Armstrong and I make marketing fun.
I’m the Geek-in-Chief behind WTF Marketing, a father, a 2021 Fort Collins City Council Candidate, CSU Grad (Go Rams!), TaeKwonDo blackbelt, author, Ignite, PechaKucha, Startup Week, and TEDx speaker, audio drama enthusiast, and award-winning entrepreneur.
I’ve written three books: Psychotic Resumes, a Gen-Y resume creation and job search guide, Mess Hunter, a children’s book that I also illustrated, and a cookbook called Men in Kitchens: A Good Day to Dine Hard. My marketing writing has also appeared in anthologies alongside business and marketing greats such as Seth Godin, Ash Ambirge, and Leo Babauta.
In 2021, I ran for Fort Collins City Council in District 1 and lost by 33 votes. The Nick For FoCo campaign was a tribute to community engagement and marketing speedwork – it was also a LOT of fun.
In June 2021, I started up FTW Hot Sauce with help from The Crooked Cup to create fun specialty hot sauces for good causes.
About My Marketing Work
My work for the Poudre River Public Library District helped to increase Library-card-using households in Fort Collins to 58% in 2014, up from 46% in 2013 – a 12% increase. Our work also helped to increase digital circulation (ebooks, audio books, downloads) by 30% and database usage by 37%.
I founded the Digital Gunslingers in 2009, teaching $5 classes on social media and marketing concepts and donating all the proceeds to the Larimer County Foodbank, creating over 4,484 meals for Northern Colorado families over the span of 5 years. I’ve since taken the show on the road by teaching volunteer classes for the Loveland Center for Business Development.
Just before my son was born in 2014, in a fit of digital nesting, I created a web design firm called Pixelated On Purpose to help small businesses start off on the right foot online.
Early on in 2015, I started Howdy Neighbor Marketing to assist solopreneurs and small business owners with tiny marketing budgets get the most for their money without getting scammed.
About My Work Organizing Events
I love to give smart people a soapbox and a forum to share new ideas. That’s why I served as the co-organizer and curator of Ignite Fort Collins, a speedy presentation event of awesome topics featuring folks from the Fort Collins community. We had 232 talks from the community over 6 years, several of which have gone viral.
I also introduced Northern Colorado and Fort Collins to TEDx, establishing TEDxFoCo on June 25th, 2011. I hosted 3 separate TEDxFoCos since then placing 26 of Fort Collins’ best minds on a global stage. Together with my buddy Kevin Buecher, I brought LaidOffCamp (later CareerCamp) to Fort Collins 9 times, helping hundreds of job seekers find hope in the recession economy between 2009 and 2011. I also introduced PodCamp to Fort Collins in 2010.
I’ve also served as an advisor to the boards of TEDxCSU and TEDxFrontRange and spoke at TEDxFrontRange in Summer 2015:
Oh yeah, and I also love Audio Drama:
My foray into audio drama started around the campfire with my grandfather and old tapes of The Shadow. In high school, I made audio skits with my friends by (badly) imitating celebrities of the day.
In college, I was known as DJ “St. Nick” on 90.5 FM KCSU in Fort Collins and the host of Two Chicks and Nick, winning a 1st Place Society of Professional Journalists award alongside Best New DJ and Best New Talk Show in 2005. I also served as the station’s Production Director.
Since then, I co-founded the audio drama production group Giant Gnome Productions and now serve as an Executive Producer. I’ve created, written, and produced shows like Star Trek: Dimensions, The 13th Hour, and Frankenstein vs. Dracula.
I love voice acting and have appeared in:
- Look Under Your Feet, The Past Is There – as the Pteranodon – an audio drama art project for Badlands National Park.
- Outpost: A Star Trek Audio Drama – as Med Tech Giles – a Giant Gnome audio drama.
- World’s Greatest Detective – The Lynx of Mbacké – as Doctor Harrison Wells – a Batman audio drama.
- Hometown – as John – join Kiera as she interviews residents of her hometown and gives them a place to share their story, and in doing so seeks a sense of belonging. An anthology audio drama about finding community.
- Seminar – Episode #78: The Reykjavik Accords – as Cooper – an anthology of various stories.
- Night Terrors: The House in Cypress Canyon – as Sam – a horror anthology.
You can catch sneak peeks of my writing and script ideas on this blog.