The Tin Shingle Blog


New PR and Social Media Challenge Posted for Winter 2017

Members of Tin Shingle have just been alerted that the newest PR and Social Media Challenge for Winter 2017 has been posted and is ready for fresh signups. Only All-Access Members of Tin Shingle can attend! It's one of our most intimate community benefits. Tin Shingle Members can find the signup here in the Community Boards.

The PR and Social Media Challenge is a group of Tin Shingle members who meet virtually online, using our computer screens to see each other face-to-face. Members can join in on this Challenge during any session:

January 17, 2017
January 31, 2017
February 14, 2017 (Love Note for your business!)
February 28, 2017
March 14, 2017
March 28, 2017

There will be homework after each session that you must report back about. Homework will include assignments. You may be assigned a special homework assignment for it that week that is unique to your situation.

Says one Tin Shingler, Lauren Hathaway of RLJ Group:

"THANK YOU SO MUCH for developing this challenge. I have enjoyed meeting you and the other participants more than you’ll ever know. What a great group of people! Thanks for all you do to make Tin Shingle such a wonderful resource!"

Looking forward to seeing everyone again!

New Template Ready! 2017 Blog Planning & Production Calendar

Happy New Year!

This is the year of your business blog - to educate your clients & customers.

Guys - this is the year you are harnessing the power of Google, and the power of controlling your message to your clients and customers. As Facebook tightens the squeeze on how your reach your people - limiting the views of your posts to bigger dollars - you need to take control now and give your clients and customers the most compelling information about why they should hire you. How do you do that?

The blog on your website!

Especially if you have a Squarespace, Wix or other DIY type of website, turning on your blog is very easy. All you need content ideas. You need reasons to blog. You need a kick in the pants to publish that article - and do it again the following week.

You need a calendar to plan ahead and know what/when you are publishing!

Tin Shingle's Blog Planning and Production Calendar lets you easily declare to yourself and/or your team when you are publishing what article. Loaded with over 250 national holidays and days that you could fall back on should you need a trendy idea.

2017 Blog Planning and Production Calendar

12 Months + 365 Days + Over 250 Content Ideas

Oh yes...If organizing is not your thing, that's OK because it's our thing. Tin Shingle organized your promotional life for you. All you need to do is show up.

Write, Publish, Share.

Customers and clients crawl all over your website, learning the most they can about your business before they buy. Your website is your sales agent in the field. Arm it with juicy information about why what you offer is so great, to help people buy from you.


PS: All-Access Members of Tin Shingle get this Template for free! See this and other benefits of Membership and start yours today. Your final days of locking in your lower membership rate are ending! Lock it in now.

PPS: If you have purchased this Template in the past, you also have free access to this year's edition. Simply log into your Tin Shingle account, and download it now!

Self Magazine Shuttered - Are We Shuddering?

Self Magazine Shuttered - Are We Shuttering?

Self Magazine's print edition fate of closing came during one of Tin Shingle's PR & Social Media Challenge group calls. One of our members declared it shockingly, and we all lamented the outlet (though the digital version will continue, and the digital director will become editor in chief). We discussed that there just aren't a lot of magazines for women over 30 anymore, and that more women are reading niche online newsletters and blogs. The discussion prompted the focus of one of our TuneUps: "New Media Outlets To Pitch Now."

Hearing the news of a major glossy shuttering is always jolting, but did this news cause one to shudder inside, shivering with fear that print magazines are tanking? What will businesses do with one less print outlet target for a feature? After reading Self for actually the first time in one year of my subscription, I'm going to say that I'm not shuddering inside, and perhaps the magazine grew too broad, with an unnecessary couture flare to it, thinning the dream of true self happiness. I'm more inspired to get in shape by Kate Hudson Fitness commercials (didn't know about the subscription brouhaha until just now) than I am by the cover of Self magazine, who despite the badass ballerina in the high-concept corset on the cover, would have remained unopened in my bathroom, had I not studied it for this article.

Self Magazine Lost Its Flow

While Self magazine may have provided answers for women about easy and healthy snack ideas and ways to improve your mood years ago, the content between its covers isn't anything anyone can't read in other print magazines or online newsletters. Worse, as a reading experience, there is no experience. There is no flow. The content jumps from a roundup of beautiful outdoor gear to recipes, to how to eat a tangerine, to ads for other Condé Nast publications, to other ads. Not that I mind ads, but for some reason, the flow just isn't there. Maybe it's in the fitness clothes, whose style is more artistic than something most women could wear, or the small-print, unbranded advertorials near the Condé Nast Collection for the "unparalleled illustration and photography collection" just doesn't match with the fitness and self-improvement message. Assigning Anna Wintour as Artistic Director didn't guarantee success, and may have helped push it off course.

Niche Media Is Rising

The lack of flow in Self doesn't mean that a print magazine can't vary and offer different content, but the reading experience is easier when the focus is more narrow. Which magazines do you save? I save cooking magazines like Rachael Ray or bon appétite for dinner ideas. Or Entrepreneur magazine for innovative ideas and the strength to continue. In the online world, you know who your favorite newsletter subscriptions are to. Man Repeller, which is one such online outlet that is very niche with a lot of loyal readers, pointed out, isn't the saddest about the closure, asking their audience if they would even read it online, and admitting they had no emotional connection to the magazine.

Online Doesn't Mean No Overhead Or That Growing Audience Is Easy

While it's great for staffers that will remain, that troupe will know that their work is almost harder than the print edition. There are fewer print editions of anything, but there are lots and lots and lots of self-improvement websites, some with tighter focuses than others. The most successful ones display strong personalities, something which magazines aren't used to doing.

Moral of the story? Pitch on, my business friends. And don't fear the death of print. It's not dying - if it's done right.


Tin Shingle Wants Your 2017 New Year's Resolutions

This week is our last live TuneUp for 2016, and it is dedicated to setting your 2017 Resolutions for Business and Personal. On it, we will be hearing lifestyle recommendations from Jane Savage of Savage Health, and Galia Gichon of Down to Earth Finance. I will be providing suggestions for resolutions you can make in SEO, Social Media and PR. In addition to this, we want to read and publicize your resolutions on the air and in Tin Shingle's blog.

Deadline: Tuesday PM if you want it read on this TuneUp, but anytime after that is still good.
Area of Tin Shingle: Diaries of Small Business Owners
Declare your 2017 New Year's Resolutions in an article in your own blogging platform at Tin Shingle, Diaries of Small Business Owners. See Tin Shingle's co-founder Katie's Resolution article as an example. During the year, you will update it with how you have been doing. This is really great for actually achieving your resolutions! Plus, we want to read them during this week's TuneUp, and link the media to it when we are pitching this concept to the press.

To start, click this link!

NOTE: All Access Members and Promotional Level Members of Tin Shingle can take advantage of this opportunity. You can activate a membership with Tin Shingle today by clicking here!

Now Streaming: What to Pitch in December

Now Streaming in our TuneUp Training Center, it's What to Pitch in December. This TuneUp will help you get your thinking caps on for what you are going to pitch the national media with this month. Two correspondents join Katie to report on areas you need to think about: Kayleigh Metviner Hashtag Correspondent reporting in on relevant hashtags and Ashley Cox, Editorial Calendar Correspondent for what magazines are working on now.

Find out what the print media is working on and looking for including Long and Short Lead press.

This TuneUp is free for All Access Pass members of Tin Shingle, and available for purchase anytime by non-members.

It's A TuneUp Selfie!


Tin Shinglers from all over the country tuned in last week for the the December edition of What To Pitch This Month, which covered everything from the hottest holiday shopping hashtags to the Spring Break stories you should be pitching to magazines. We love to see where participants are and what they're doing while they tune in, and Tin Shingle member Isabel Fernandez answered our call for TuneUp Selfies!



Isabel is the founder and creator of Bag Bug, a stylish accessory that keeps purse straps securely on your shoulder instead of constantly slipping off. She uses Tin Shingle's resources to boost her own marketing efforts as well as to inform colleagues at her corporate job.


Where do YOU TuneUp?? Take a photo and add the hashtag #TuneUpSelfie on Twitter or Instagram to be featured in our next TuneUp Selfie post!

So Many Creative Ways to Film a Mannequin Challenge

Mannequin Challenge - Do It!

Filling your Instagram feed with fresh ideas can be challenging at times, which is where Internet trends come in! Such as the currently trending rage, #MannequinChallenge, which is when people pose in interesting actions, and the camera floats between them, giving you a micro-glimpse into an emotion or experience within that setting.

When I saw my first Mannequin Challenge on Instagram, it was by accident, and I didn't know what I was watching, or why. The visual strength held my attention, and despite it looking freaky cool, I neglected to think about it as a marketer and its awesome powers of showing my business in a new light. Until Christa Page, co-founder of, hosted a pop-up shop in our office and declared to me that she challenged herself to do a Mannequin Challenge during the shop's Happy Hour.

Of course! Brilliance! And she did a great job, in only one take! Look at all of those people in the shop!

The Effect of a Mannequin Challenge

The freeze frame style of action is immediately captivating. The eye can focus on people frozen in an action, without having to look everywhere in a video to see what people are doing and miss. The director(s) of the Mannequin Challenge can create the desired scene of how they wish their customers, clients, browsers, happy people, thoughtful people, whatever people are in their space. The poses immediately emit what your brand offers and stands for.

The Background of a Mannequin Challenge

The Internet credits several with the origin of the Mannequin Challenge, from Millennials (they get credited with everything!), to Zack Morris doing the original Mannequin Challenge from Saved By the Bell when he would yell "Timeout!" and the cast would freeze while he pondered something. My landlord, Deborah Bigelow of Gilded Twig,  a very wise woman who maybe has listened to every podcast ever, immediately connected the concept to a John Huston movie staring Stacy Keach in Fat City, in which Huston called for a freeze frame at the end of the movie. Keach discusses this tactic with Alec Baldwin during an interview on "Here's The Thing".

In Huston's freeze frame, the camera focuses on men at a gambling table, but it's really Keach's reaction to his surroundings that is the focus. For Zack Morris, the people around him may freeze in animated poses, but the focus is on Zack's monologue. The difference between the Mannequin Challenge that is happening now is that no one talks, and the focus is on the frozen people, and the takeaway is on the action they are taking.

Just like with everything, the Collective Thought is at play here, and while the concept is not new, the application is unique to now.

How You Can Do A Mannequin Challenge!

Yes, you! You may think your brand is boring, or uneventful, or not fit for a Mannequin Challenge, but start thinking of what happens around you, and a scene will unfold that will be captivating!

Of course you want to do this in order to get into the wildly popular hashtag #mannequinchallenge, but you also want to show what your brand is all about.

What Makes a Great Mannequin Challenge?

Let's dissect this for a moment. There seem to be a few rules, but being a business owner, you'll of course want to break or bend them:

  • Many People: The most interesting videos seem to have 5-20 people in them. If you don't have that many people in your office or shop, invite friends in for a Mannequin Challenge Day. Offer them wine. They will come.
  • Music: Right now, the "official" song that plays in the background is “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd. But...being a creative person, you may want to play your own jingle selection here, like Garuda Indonesia did on their Boeing 777-300ER plane.
  • Grand Poses and Plain Poses: What would people do naturally in your space? What do you wish they would do? This can include:
    • Dancing
    • Buying something
    • Looking at something, considering it
    • Dropping something!
    • Making a phone call
    • Hanging a picture
    • Moving a child away from your work space
    • Answering the door
    • Talking to a co-worker in the hall
    • Serving someone their meal at a table

You can see the list is endless, and very fun to start thinking about. The pose a person takes could be indicative of their personality, and reflect what they love doing.

Examples of Mannequin Challenges

This is some of the funnest homework ever. There have been many types of videos, so take a look to get some ideas. Definitely hit up the #mannequinchallenge hashtag in Instagram to get loads of ideas. in the Pop-Up Shop in A Little Beacon Blog's Space
Of course you have to watch the one in my office first :) Christa, co-owner of the shop is in the frame handing a shopping bag to a customer. The rest of the people are customers, families and friends.


Garuda Indonesia On The Plane
This video has a lot of poses in action, and really makes you feel like you A. want to fly, and B. want to fly first class. I'm a road-tripper, so am rarely on planes, but this makes flying look hassle-free. Plus, they went rougue with their music choice, and picked something closer to Enya:


ALS' "The Never Ending Mannequin Challenge"
AdWeek dubbed this Mannequin Challenge as the first branded challenge that was produced by an organization for promotional purposes. The video packs a powerful punch at the end, making it one that takes advantage of a light-hearted trend that many are involved with, and showing the definition of ALS in one frame. Pretty amazing.


Rae Sremmurd Dos His Own Mannequin Challenge
Rae Sremmurd made a Mannequin Challenge video to his song "Black Beetles", and of course broke a rule - the performers went into motion after a few moments of themselves - and their audience - being frozen. Pretty neat.


So...What kind of Mannequin Challenge are you going to create?


Cyber Monday Sale: 20% Off Yearly Membership Means 4 Months Free!

You've been hearing about it...the new membership models that are coming to Tin Shingle. There are only weeks left to lock in your membership at the $99/month level before it returns to its original price of $150/month for the All-Access Pass, once our new membership levels are unveiled (remember, if you're already a member, your price is locked in at its current price). But the best part is...

You can get 4 Free Months of Membership Today for Cyber Monday! Our Yearly plan is on sale now for 20% off. The price is already marked down in your shopping cart, so no need to type in any coupon code! Just place the Yearly plan in your cart and proceed through checkout.

If you're currently a member in the monthly plan and wish to upgrade your savings, check your inbox right now for the Secret Coupon Code we just sent you for an additional 10% off!

What you can start using right away as a member:

  • Watch any TuneUp you want at any time - for free. You'll love our latest training tuneup, How to Take Great Photos for Instagram and Social Media, with Jackie Foley
  • Plan ahead with Editorial Calendars - what are big magazines working on right now? You'll have instant access to see.
  • Promote your business in Tin Shignle's Business Directory and Shopping Guides
  • Connect with other business owners and marketers for new business BFFs.

Black Friday Weekend Deals from Tin Shingle Members!

So many good ideas here! Sales run this weekend only.
Shop from your small business community - from Tin Shingle members! Busy in their own workshops, several members have made these deals available to you for this weekend only. Get a sneak peek here!
Shop for creative and colorful statement jewelry handmade by Manic Trout in Austin, TX! Get this >
  • Black Friday: Take 30% off with gobblegobble at There will also be special treats on Facebook and Instagram throughout the day!
  • Saturday and Sunday: The kick off to jewelry being moved to the last chance sale, including most of the M Collection with free shipping and gift wrapping all weekend!
  • Cyber Monday: The launch of the Holiday M Collection the special Facebook an Instagram treats will continue!
Our super cute fur pom pom purse charm is for those who are hustlin’ like Beyonce and SLAYing ALL DAY. Who says key chains are just for keys?!?! You can use it as a key chain, a purse charm or a planner charm – whatever your heart desires. It’s perfect for all of you FAB boss babes who are taking things to the next level. However you use it, our vintage SLAY ALL DAY hotel key chain will be a constant reminder to you to take the world by storm! Our purse charms also make amazing Mother’s Day, Christmas, Birthday and Bridesmaid gifts – totally chic and unique. Stylish, girly and just a bit cheeky – just like you! Get this >
We bring the Regions of the wine world to you! Every 3 months VinoVersal explores a different wine region outside of the United States. Our members receive 6 bottles of wine and a handcrafted magazine featuring the specific region. We want our members to not only be able taste wines from around the world but also learn about the region it is coming from. Previous regions have included: Salento Italy, Alsace France, Navarre Spain and we will soon be "traveling" to Corbieres France. Join us on our tasting adventure!
  • Black Friday/Cyber Monday we will be offering 25% off! Original parcel price is $99 with free shipping! Included in each parcel is 6 bottles and a beautifully put together magazine to educate you on the region as you sip. Get this >
If you don't have a cottage in the Hamptons, now you can entertain like you do!  This Provence Platter is versatile, elegant, and will certainly impress your guests.

Our gorgeous, rustic serving platter is made from French and American wine barrel lids, and each bears authentic cooper marks.  The cooper marks are different on each lid, so each one is truly unique.  In addition, each beautiful, hand-finished lid is fitted with sturdy, rustic, American-forged wrought-iron handles in a rustic gunmetal color.  

Serve on it for so many things...such as tapas, a bread, cheese, and fruit presentation, oysters and champagne, or even a birthday cake!  Each platter is food-safe, and is rubbed with beeswax to protect it and create a truly gorgeous and unique finish.  A can of beeswax is included with your order so that you can maintain its beautiful finish.

It also looks marvelous displayed on the wall.  Bon appétit! Get this >

At Your Pet Chef, We're offering a Wooftastic 25% off site wide on Black Friday. Grab those holiday treats and cookbooks you've had your eye on! Also, our food plans are a bargain.
  • Enter code BLACKFRIDAY25 during checkout. Enjoy! Get this >
York's Nut House is your one-stop snack shop. We produce and sell nuts, snack mixes, snacks, candy, dried fruits and gift baskets online. We source our ingredients exclusively from the world’s top growers and keep careful track of each item’s growing season for the highest quality and freshest nuts and snack mixes. With a wide variety of bold and interesting flavors, there is a snack for everyone.
Happy Snacking!
  • THIS WEEKEND ONLY: Use code FFF for free shipping on orders over $30. Get this >
Stock up on your favorite natural hair care products at Original Moxie during our upcoming Black Friday Sale with a 30% discount on orders of $35 and up! Also see our new micro salon in Ypsilanti, Michigan!
  • To redeem your discount, simply enter coupon code BFOM2016 upon checkout. Spend an additional $25 and receive free shipping - no coupon code needed! Orders of $80 & up will also receive a complementary 1 oz Mini of Heat Wave Reparative Blow Dry Crème.  Get this >
Get a plan. Get a strategy with InHouse Design Media's help. Are your methods working? Work with Katie, lead producer and founder of InHouse Design Media, co-founder of Tin Shingle and publisher of A Little Beacon Blog, to implement new ideas, and to review current strategies for maximum effectiveness. These consulting sessions can include research and an open line of communication via emails and phone calls. This deal is only offered once a year!


  • Friday: 30% off all packages
  • Saturday: Get Outside and Shop Local!
  • Monday: 20% off all packages

There is no time expiration on when you use these consulting packages. We will keep track of what you buy and keep up with you during the year. Get this >

Boost your strategies in:
- Social Media Photo Ideas
- Blogging
- Newsletter Design and Content Ideas
- Website Design Direction (Katie can help you give direction to your team)

All-In-One Picture Hanging Tool, the Hang-O-Matci, that measures, levels and marks the wall at the same time. Are you tried of hanging and re-hanging just to find your pictures crooked. The stop ruining your walls and save yourself the frustration because now there's the Hang-O-Matic. An all-in-one picture hanging tool that measures, levels and marks the wall at the same time. No other tools required, not even a pencil nor arms of an octopus. Hang it straight the first time. 

Look for Black Friday Deals on this project in several big box stores like Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Walmart, Sears, and more!

PS: Do you see these amazing products? They are members of Tin Shingle. They added these to our Shopping Guides, and we curate them here!
"I can’t thank you enough for your feedback/coaching advice! It also helped give our Ecommerce team the guidance needed to make some tweaks to our website content. Once they saw your feedback from Tin Shingle’s Community Boards, they realized how important it was to get our website updated to help tell our story about the Dreaming Zebra partnership with our Coloring Collection. Now I’m in the process of coming up with a plan on how to utilize some of the celebrity photos from the event to help endorse our products and writing pitches to get our products featured on the Today Show, Star Magazine, etc."
- Jessica Uriniuk, Marketing Director, The Lang Companies
Tin Shingle's All-Access Pass to Membership has brought businesses like yours more press and social media traction, which has changed their businesses forever.  What buzz will you create with yours? Read what buzz-worthy businesses are saying, and learn more about how it works.

Happy Thanksgiving - You've Got The Magic In You

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May your day be warm and wonderful.

We are thankful for all you creators out there, who thrive off of creating things that help others in the world, from artwork like this card, to app makers like what this card was created in (shout out to WordSwag), to initiative creators who bring water or clothes to those who can't get it.

You've got the magic in you.

Happy Thanksgiving


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