The Tin Shingle Blog


Tin Shingle Members: Add Your Black Friday - Cyber Monday Sales & Giving Tuesday to Shopping Guides

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Add your Black Friday-Cyber Monday Sales to Tin Shingle's Shopping Guides in the Member section. We will feature these on our blog and in a newsletter going out on Friday morning.

Find this by going to your Account Center. You'll see easy buttons to Add or Edit a Shopping Guide listing. We have also made a video for you that walks you through the steps.

Click to watch the video, or watch it below!

NOTE: You must have added a Business Profile first, or it won't save. Do that from your Account Center as well. Since you can promote all of your business ventures in Tin Shingle, your promotional listings must have a business to attach to.

Service Providers: This included you as well. If you sell printing, design, special legal packages, etc., then this weekend is an opportunity to discount them to help people on the fence pull the trigger. For an example, see the guide now and look for Katie's discounts on private training through her consulting/production company InHouse Design Media.

Tip: If you have added your products to other categories of the Shopping Guides, you can use the Black Friday section to list your sales and what the deals are. Make an image with words on it by using an easy app like Canva or WordSwag. Or good old fashioned Illustrator!

Giving Tuesday: If you are a non-profit, you can list your organization in the Giving Tuesday category as an idea for people to donate to.

Activate a Membership with Tin Shingle! If you're not a member yet, start today! It can be month-to-month, so give it a try - you'll like it. If you're a free newsletter subscriber of our newsletter, SmallBizGoodness, then you've made a great first step. But you'll need to activate a membership in order to participate in promotional opportunities like this. Get details here.

Looking forward to seeing your sales!

Members of Tin Shingle: Add Your Black Friday Sales to Tin Shingle's Website

Last Minute Ideas for Black Friday Sales Weekend

Dates to Remember

Leave it to a stationery designer like effie's paper to post her Black Friday dates to remember in prompt fashion via email to her newsletter - not too early and not too late.

Many of you seasoned retailers know exactly what you are doing for this big sales holiday weekend (after slowing down and spending time with family of course). But I've been surprised to hear from a few who haven't a clue as to what to do. Here's the best part: you make it up! Make it fun! But most importantly, communicate it and clearly state it. Here are some Black Friday Guidelines:

Stick To Your Holiday

If you're a brick and mortar, you are participating in two sales holidays: Black Friday and SmallBizSaturday. If you are not a brick and mortar, skip SmallBizSaturday and leave it to the local market. That's what Cyber Monday is for - an extra day just for online retailers. Just like Small Business Saturday is really for celebrating walking around on sidewalks and walking into stores. Phew, one less day for you to do!

Service Professionals: You're Not Off The Hook

Yup, even you consultants, coaches, may even you attorney's have an opportunity to pre-sell your time. If you offer packages to folks, let them buy time in-bulk with you to let them use at anytime through the next year. If you have ecommerce in your website via Squarespace or Wordpress, now is the time to use it and make those Buy buttons! If you use PayPal, you  can make the Buy buttons as well. But whatever you do, make the deal you are offering clickable.

Double the Rewards Points

Do you offer loyalty rewards in your store with a special branded card? Double the reward points people get when shopping with you on this Black Friday holiday weekend.

Host a Contest

If you don't want to place product on sale in your store (though I highly recommend this), then enter shoppers into a drawing for a product they can win.

Discount Something In Your Store - Put a Time Limit

So you need to bring the people into your shop. Even if you're an online retailer, they need to start clicking into your deal. Put a time limit on it. Email them in advance what you are going to do, and then email them as the time ticks down. Too busy to email while you're selling? Schedule it in advance, of course! Spend this weekend in MailChimp writing your different email newsletters, and scheduling them to hit at strategic times to help pelple walk or click in.

Offer a Deal. You Can't Not

It's not enough to encourage people to shop local or support the arts. You must offer a deal this weekend. Even if you are a membership organization, offer a deal on your membership (ah yes, Tin Shingle is sitting this one out this year because we are introducing the new membership levels, but normally, we do have a great sales season during Black Friday weekend!) If you sell art, offer a deal on your small works or prints. Think of something very limited to put on sale. You don't need to put your entire store on a big sale.

Make it more than 15% - Think 30%

This will be dependent upon your situation. Black Friday is a traditional time for deep discounts. It's only one day, so you don't need to do it the entire time. But 10% is too little. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, an online retailer may be selling online, and also renting out a physical space to host a pop-up shop. They are already assuming more expenses, and creating something very special for the weekend. No need to have a pop-up shop of deep discount. The event in and of itself is special.

Tell Your People!!!

You must must must make this loud and clear to your people. You must tell them in several ways how this is going to go down - what you are offering.

  • Send a newsletter
  • Post it on your Facebook Page
  • Make a pretty image for Instagram using Canva, WordSwag or another favorite image making app of yours.

What you need to listen to right now this instant is Tin Shingle's TuneUp on what to do for Black Friday. There's still time to get ideas if you haven't got any yet.

What To Do For Black Friday


Growing a Business While Running a Military Family - Kiki Rupert's Story

Raising a Business as a Mom in a Military Family

Raising a family is hard but gratifying.

Raising a family while in the military is hard but gratifying.

Raising a family AND a business while in the military is. really. hard.

Kiki Rupert, founder of Honest Earth Candles and Gigglemug, is a friend of Tin Shingle, being a former member and forever business friend. We get to know the behind the scenes of what it's like running many types of businesses thanks to people like Kiki, and her articles in Tin Shingle's Diaries of Small Business Owners series. When we wanted to know what it was like to run a business, let alone grow one from scratch, Kiki was the first who came to mind. Last year, she had uprooted her family and was moving cross-country when her husband was re-stationed. Their family car broke down, and they basically had to buy a new used one on the spot.

We asked her what it was like growing a business as a military family with a husband in active duty (he is currently at home). Her words best describe it:

"My husband was deployed to Afghanistan a few years ago and sustained a debilitating back injury that he will be undergoing back surgery for in January. A couple years ago, we were relocated from Ft. Bragg, NC to Monterey, CA. I could write a book on growing a business and family while being a military family, but to some it all up in one word....overwhelming!

"While my husband was in class all day (he's an Arabic linguist) he was not able to be disrupted. So when the kids were sick or having some sort of behavioral drama at school or daycare, it was up to me to solely handle every pickup, doctor visit, parent/teacher conference! We went through a lice epidemic at my daughter's daycare for 2 weeks that I almost lost my sanity over!

"All while trying to make my Honest Earth Candles and Gigglemug products, and develop and test new products, and try to find markets to sell at - which can require a lot of registration paperwork, let alone showing up at the market.

"Plus, there's a lot that comes with a military move, from registering for new health care providers and school, to securing housing. The business was on complete hold while we drove across country and as soon as we settled in to California, we picked it up again.

"When you're a military family, there are more trying obstacles because when your spouse is deployed or on overnight trainings, it's all on you to keep the business running and the kids on schedule. And throw in those occasional times of being up all night with a sick toddler, you have to be one tough person to keep it moving. In many instances it was a matter of taking it one day at a time!

"If I wasn't already someone who  prides myself on multi tasking and performing well under stress then I wouldn't have been able to sustain the business for the last few years."

Thank you to Kiki's husband for his service as a veteran, to Kiki and her kids for their sacrifices, and to all veterans on Veterans Day.

Member Update: Updated Media Contacts, PR Challenge, Orientation


The following outlets were updated in Tin Shingle's Media Contacts database, with more on the way:


Talk to Tin Shingle/s co-founder Katie directly about how to best use your Tin Shingle membership. From how to fill out your profile, to which resources you want to use based on what you're trying to promote. If the only thing you know is that you want to promote your business, and you don't know how or where to start, then join us on this Orientation on Friday at 10am.

This will be a video call, where you can turn your computer camera on to have a face to face conversation with other members on the call. Or, you just may be the only one!

The PR Challenge is a group of Tin Shingle members that meets every other Tuesday, who come prepared with their goals of what they want to accomplish in the area of PR, social media, or other areas of buzz-building. Any All-Access Member of Tin Shingle can join in at any time. To see what it's like, follow along by reading the recaps posted in the Community Boards.

This is a supportive space, and group meetings have been known to produce new ideas from members to members. Then next session of the PR Challenge meets tomorrow (Tuesday) at 12:30pm. If you need to get pumped, join in this in-person group!

These new business members are in your community! Be sure to update your public profile on Tin Shingle with your picture, brief bio, and company logo! Do this from your Dashboard!
Paul Kleiman





"I recently signed up for HARO and have been sending out some pitches for gift guides.  However, I am not getting any response.  Wondering if my low number of likes on facebook could be hurting me.  (Due to the nature of my product, I'm having problems getting likes.  Even people who have the product and like it, don't feel comfortable "liking" and adult product)."


Happy Money Monday! Personal Finance Seminar with Galia Gichon November 10, 2016

For the first time in eight years, Tin Shingle has an office on the Main Street of the small town in which it is headquartered: Beacon, NY. And what can you do with an office? Bring great people like you into it to make your life better! Tin Shingle readers and members live all over the United States (and across national boarders!), so you probably don't live in our city, so we have made sure to make our first workshop available to you to stream live!

We have teamed up with Galia Gichon, founder of Down To Earth Finance for a special workshop: Personal Finance Planning for Creatives, Entrepreneurs & Artists. Galia is a long-time favorite of many entrepreneurs, having specialized in working with creatives, artists and makers like yourself. She is a frequent speaker at Barnard College’s Athena Center for Leadership, Playwrights of NY, Lark Theatre, New Museum NYC, Crave Live, and Freelancers Union. She has been widely quoted in The New York Times, NBC, CNN, Real Simple and more. Previously, she worked at Bear Stearns and Nomura Securities.

As an entrepreneur, you are in charge of your finances, and if you don't set them up, they may never get set up. That means no retirement for you. That's where this seminar comes in: Personal Finance Planning for Creatives, Entrepreneurs & Artists.
WHEN: Thursday, November 10, 2016
TIME: 6pm-8pm
WHERE: A Little Beacon Space, 291 Main Street, Beacon, NY
or...Your computer if live elsewhere!
$65 in person (direct access to Galia + networking) Book Now
$35 via computer (great education, type in your questions) Book Now

Personal Finance PLanning for Creatives, Entrepreneurs, and Artists with Galia Gichon

Baffled by where your money is going? Does retirement seem unreachable? Tired of living paycheck to paycheck or just without a realistic financial plan? Stop being reactive; become proactive about your money!  This workshop is geared towards people with variable income, that work for themselves or have their own businesses.  Whether you need help getting started or you are already minding your finances but want to take it to the next level, join independent Personal Finance expert Galia Gichon for this personal finance seminar you can’t afford to miss! Galia does not sell any investments or manage any money. She is presenting you with a plan that you can do at home. Brought to you by Tin Shingle, a resource and community for small and large businesses.


  • Get organized. See where you are today and where you want to be.
  • Set realistic Financial Goals.
  • Manage your credit.
  • Create a budget and spending plan that works for you.
  • Develop a plan for automatic savings.
  • Invest in mutual funds.
  • Take the uncertainty of retirement planning and determine the best retirement plan for you.
  • Best financial resources including apps, websites, books and ongoing tips.
  • Learn how to deal with your finances in just 30 minutes a week.

Galia Gichon is an independent personal financial expert with more than 20 years in financial services, including nearly 10 years on Wall Street and an MBA in Finance. She runs her own company, Down to Earth Finance, which addresses personal financial needs through seminars and individual sessions.  She is a frequent speaker at Barnard College’s Athena Center for Leadership, Playwrights of NY, Lark Theatre, New Museum NYC, Crave Live, and Freelancers Union. She has been widely quoted in The New York Times, NBC, CNN, Real Simple and more. Previously, she worked at Bear Stearns and Nomura Securities. She is actively involved in angel investing through Pipeline Angels, Astia and Refinery CT.  Galia is also the author of “My Money Matters” a flashcard based finance reminder set that was featured on the TODAY SHOW.



More Editorial Calendars Added To Tin Shingle's Collection!

Ashley Broussard is in charge of collecting Tin Shingle's Editorial Calendars from magazines as they publish them, and her fingers have been flying! Now find 2017 Editorial Calendars for the following publications, with more being added!

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine
Allrecipes Magazine
Woman's Day
Traditional Home
House Beautiful
Good Housekeeping
Food Network
Boston Common
Bloomberg Businessweek
Food Network
House Beautiful

You're going to get loads of ideas of how your business can fit into these pages when you browse what themes the magazines are building themselves around. Record all of your pitching ideas to your Media Tracking Template. Download it today, and if you're an All-Access Pass Member of Tin Shingle, you get it free with your membership!

I'm Fine With Vine Getting Cut - Weed It Out!

Buy Bye Vine - Will Help Streamline Social Media

When I learned on Marketplace Morning Report that Vine was getting clipped by Twitter, which had initially acquired it for $30 million, I was sad for it, but relieved for social media at large. In a time when sharing and promotional tools can get created in a matter of days or weeks, the amount of time that you have to use them gets more limited and more competitive. Twitter is an important tool for businesses, the media, and connecting people with major issues and events, but is facing fierce competition for its text platform alone, and for video. Right now, if one of its acquired platforms is not an immediately intuitive, extremely easy, widely used tool on your smart phone, then it's got to go. Twitter can't afford any more time or creative energy on it - and neither can you.

Vine Users Are Devastated

Saying this for me is easy, because I didn't use Vine. I actually found it difficult to work - like the volume. It wouldn't turn on for me, and even making a video was tricker than I would have thought. Good news is that Vine is making old videos available for users to download before they shut it down. Periscope, on the other hand, has been extremely easy to use, though the community of it, and even the technology, a little unpredictable. Instagram's new Story feature - cool concept, but not easy to figure out without reading the directions! Some people love it, as its a visually creative space to create images and emotions.

Some brands can do this very well. Depending on your brand, just how much time it takes to create this impact, makes a difference on if you are going to use it or not. For a boutique, Instagram's Stories can be impactful for showing you items inside of a store at a clipping pace. But so much easier is it to open up your Periscope and show people inside of your store! And talk to you! It takes a long time to produce a good Instagram Story with the right rhythm! It could actually take days, depending on the different locations of your clipped images. Plus, the stories make me dizzy.


Video Killed The Video Star

This is why Twitter has to focus all efforts onto Periscope, its live broadcasting outlet. After Twitter bought Periscope and it became a mainstream name, people still didn't know what it was, and were intimidated by the concept. And people still are intimidated. But when Facebook released its live broadcasting tool, called Facebook Live, everyone "got it." They tried it, even. Now brands are having Facebook Live events and marketing around it.

If only Twitter had renamed Periscope to "Twitter Live"!

Ah, branding.

Live video is where it's at right now, and the three major competitors - YouTube, Twitter and Facebook - need to get very aggressive to capture us to make content on their platforms, and for regular folks who don't run businesses to watch that content.

Relax In Your Stress Of Your Favorite Platform

As you can see, not even Twitter can use all of its tools. And so cuts them loose. Weeds them out, if you will. You do the same in your marketing. Vine never made it into our Big 6 TuneUp, where we discussed how to communicate in the 6 major social media platforms two years ago. The ones we covered are still widely used today.

So if you find a niche social media tool that is working for your business - in that is is growing your website traffic and converting visitors into sales - then use it until it disappears. Because pixels can disappear in a flash. But if all of the cool kids are at a platform, and you just don't get it, or don't have time for it, and you've read Tin Shingle and listened to Tin Shingle's Training TuneUps, and it still doesn't appeal to you, then let it go. Don't let it fill your brain with any stress of not using it. Focus on what is working for you, like your blog, newsletter, and a few other social platforms that are killing it for you. Reinvest your resources, just like Twitter did.

Is Twitter Next To Get Weeded?

Nah. All of those media outlets that are asking that question took to Twitter first to share their link. :)  Even Vine didn't post their closure announcement on Facebook a day after they made it, and instructs people to look for updates on their blog and Twitter pages (alright fine...Vine is owned by Twitter so of course they wouldn't put juicy news on the competitor's site).

Facebook puts the squeeze on publishers and news outlets anyway, so the media can put it on Facebook, but it takes a lot of effort and marketing dollars to get those links seen. Sure, when the links go viral on Facebook, the viewership picks up and Facebook's algorithm kicks in. But Twitter remains a chronological stream of news and events. As long as it stays that way, it will have a grip on the attention and clicks from informed readers and influencers.


New Editorial Calendars Added to Tin Shingle's Database: Food Network and House Beautiful

Editorial Calendars for 2017 are trickling in online. We've got 2 of them for you: Food Network and House Beautiful, with more to come. If you're a Media Contact or an All-Access Member of Tin Shingle, you can log in now and find these Editorial Calendars in the Member Resources tab.

For PR Newbies: Editorial Calendars are the broad plans of magazines for what they are going to cover each month. It's a great way to know when an issue is going to use broad concepts as their inspiration for the month, such as "Porches Patios Pools and Pergolas" or "Color" or "The Big Flavor Issue. Travel".

Editorial Calendars can be extremely fun to look through, as they give you ideas for what types of story ideas to pitch to a magazine, as it relates to your business. Tin Shingle's collection of Editorial Calendars include the Submission Deadline, and the Newstand Deadline. Once the Submission Deadline has passed for a particular month, that Editorial Calendar item will disappear off of the Tin Shingle website.

Not a member yet? Activate it here:

Last Day for Tin Shingle's Biggest Membership Sale Ever

UPDATE: This Sale Has Ended. The current rate for membership is in effect.

This is happening. Tin Shingle's biggest sale ever on the All Access Pass of membership. Today only. Possibly Tomorrow's Today, that's why you need to act now. Last chance to lock in your rate at the $39/mo level!

Over the past several months, and years of dreams, we have been working on Membership Packages at different levels. This allows Tin Shinglers more flexibility to sign on for what they need, and downgrade when they go on vacation but want to stay hooked in, or upgrade when they are really digging into their buzz-building plans.

The second aspect we are introducing is Private Training. Over the years, Tin Shingle has become to be known as the hub for group training of high-level digital marketing concepts. We take great pleasure in watching our members implement what we cover in TuneUps and write about in articles, all the while providing members with resources to further strengthen their efforts, like Templates and Media Contacts.

Below you will find the new pricing model. We are literally building it under the hood right now, so you have until today (or maybe tomorrow), to lock in the rate of $39/month (or the 6 or 12 month packages). If you have been on the fence for years, now is your time to get over it (the fence I mean) and join us in Tin Shingle. :)

Go to:

Looking forward to meeting you!!

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a member of Tin Shingle already, you do not need to do a thing to keep your rate of $39 locked in. It's already taken care of for you!


Media Contacts Updated: Crain's and Chronogram

Hello Tin Shinglers!

The following media outlets were updated to Tin Shingle's Media Contact lists:

Crain's Chicago Business
Crain's New York Business
Crain's Cleveland Business
Chronogram - Hudson Valley, NY

Remember these tips as you are researching for the right person at a media outlet:

  • Check the media contact's Twitter and/or LinkedIn to make sure it's relavent. Changes happen so quickly.
  • Record the name and email into your Media Tracking Sheet Template that you got from Tin Shingle.
  • Get Inspired by other names you see in the list. You may not have known a Books Editor was at a publication until you skim through the list.
  • Read the Publication. Really. I know some outlet is your goal, but if you've not watched it or read it in several months, then you've lost the flow of it, and won't write a very good pitch that makes your product a no-brainer for them to cover.


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