The Tin Shingle Blog


Money Monday: Doing the AT&T Happy Dance for Change in Data Overage Pricing

Around here, Mondays are loved, they are something to look forward to because we are entrepreneurs and make our own rules, and want to see if the game we set up is working. Are we winning? Winning in this case can be measured by making payroll, paying mortgage or rent and other personal bills with your profits, creating new revenue streams by designing products that work, and of course, improving the world because usually entrepreneurs set out to solve problems. It is with this blog post that we are trying out a new series called "Money Mondays" that shares how to make more of it on Mondays, and put an extra kick in your work week.

Mondays are filled with hope, and can usually be good or bad, depending on circumstance and advance planning. I call them Money Mondays, and do one of several money related tasks on them:

  • Pitch a new or warm lead for new business.
  • Send out invoices.
  • Send out invoices or links to payment buttons again if someone was unresponsive, and think of a new enticing way to get them to pay for work we completed, or if they had wanted to hire us but hadn't committed yet.
  • Receive and pay invoices.
  • Pay bills (any bills...personal or business).
  • Creatively cut expenses to keep more money.
  • Do Quickbooks (aka, catch up on my books which is so easy with QuickBooks online)

Today's Money Monday has been a combination of Creatively Cut Expenses (BAM AT&T), and Receive and Pay Invoices (thanks Super Team!).

AT&T Data Plan Pricing Change Discovered on Money Monday

AT&T has started a new plan that stops the $15/Gig of data overage charge when you bust through your data plan while watching videos (think CNN stories you find on Google News, or in the case of my husband, Big Foot sightings, and countless toy reviews, storytelling and mermaid sightings on You Tube that my children watch). If you have 20Gigs of data per month, and you were traveling a lot and not hooked into someone's wireless cable account, you may have exceeded your data. Or maybe you are in your own home, but your own wireless was turned off on your phone because you got tired of your phone auto-hopping onto slow public wireless accounts and pinging at you to join an account when all you want to do is read an article. If you do this too many times, you may blow through your monthly data plan. At that point, AT&T automatically gave you 1 more Gig of data, but charged you $15. In the case of my family, we have blown through our data for the month, and blown through 4 more Gigs of data, making for $60 extra dollars paid out this month. And this isn't the first time.

Over the weekend, I got a tip from my husband who was shopping for a new Samsung (plus you can read all of these articles): AT&T is doing away with the $15/1Gig of data plan, has introduced new data plans, and it all starts this week.

My Money Matters Affirmation Card, from Galia Gachon Down to Earth Finance

As I was reviewing my affirmation cards from personal finance planner Galia Gachon's My Money Matters Kit, I pulled out the one that said: "I take the time to manage my money." So this Money Monday, before I started my work day, and while I made my breakfast, I called AT&T to inquire about this new change. This time of the morning is usually when I make all appointment or billing dispute calls.

Here's The Deal You Need to Act On

AT&T is offering new data plans at possibly lower prices than what you are paying. On any new plan started, AT&T will no longer automatically charge you $15 for every 1 Gig of data. However, you cannot request 1 Gig of data on an as needed basis. You'd need to suck it up until your next billing cycle. Additionally, this is not available on existing plans. So if you don't change your plan, you will still be charged $15/1Gig whenever you go through your data.

Here's an Example of How My Savings Worked Out

Our Family Plan with 2 lines and 20Gigs of data (plus unlimited phone and texting) was $190.

I was offered the Family Plan with 2 lines with 25Gigs of data (plus unlimited phone and texting) for $160. I took it.

I was on the hook for 4 extra Gigs of data, and was about to hit a 5th. I asked if any of my upcoming data charges could be wiped clean.

The customer service person on the phone offered to backdate it. However, earlier in the call, I had dropped an iPad from the plan, and we had just paid the bill in full when my husband bought the new Samsung. This somehow canceled her ability to backdate. However, it was Money Monday and she was awesome, she added a $75 credit to our next bill to account for the upcoming overages.

That's $30/month saved, and a $75 credit! Plus, no future auto-fees of $15! Should we exceed data, the Internet will just slow to a crawl and basically not work. Time for new, healthier wireless-awareness practices to be implemented!

You Need to Call AT&T To Get Out Of $15/1Gig Overages

This billing practice won't automatically happen to you if you're on AT&T. You need to call in to begin your inquiry or negotiations. If you use Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint and are on old plans, let this be your day to call them to see if a new and cheaper plan with more stuff is available to you. We have not researched other carrier's policies on how they roll out new plans, and if you're required to call in to change your plan, or if new pricing just goes into effect for you.

Wishing you a prosperous and wise Money Monday! Follow along at #MoneyMonday and #TinShingling

PS: Money Monday is a new blog series from Tin Shingle. If you have money saving or earning tips for small businesses and marketers, you can email your pitch to Please include the general direction of your pitch with bullet points of areas you would cover.



Friends Don't Let Friends Work Without a To Do List

Friends Don't Let Friends Work Without a To Do List.

This is mainly a mantra for myself, because as I get too busy, I go off-script and assume that I remember all of the important things that need to get done and in what order. But guess what? Too much for the brain.

Don't rely on your brain. Write down what you need to get done in the next hour or four hours. You can do this! Makes for a successful week that you set up on Monday.

Relieved to see that Sunday Girl Amy feels the same way! As she chimed in on our Instagram post: "Ha! Yes if I don't write it down it doesn't exist. I also keep paper lists to avoid the ADD vortex of my computer."

Monday, Let's Do This! What's Your Goal/Hope This Week? 8/15/16

Special to entrepreneurs and makers is the hope that we feel on a Monday - the start of a new week and a new crack at making ideas happen. What are you doing this week? What is your goal/hope for this week? Let us know in the comments below, or share on our Facebook or Instagram post.

I have several small goals this week that lead to the bigger goal, that make my hopes a realization, but the one goal that I will share with you, that I must get done, is to email buzz-building experts that I have had my eye on to be Buzz-Building Trainers and Special Guest Experts for Tin Shingle's TuneUp series.

Next TuneUp: Email Marketing Tips That Make it Work

Hot off the heels of my live mini-TuneUp to a group of women in business, I've devoted this week’s TuneUp to a continuation of that presentation to dig in deep to face and bust through your fears about sending an email to your newsletter list. After listening to this TuneUp, you'll be pressing SEND on a dynamite looking newsletter that not only looks great, but encourages and trains your customers in what and how to buy from you.


  • Why email marketing works with your social media efforts to seal the deal and trigger someone to buy from you.
  • How to stand out without being obnoxious.
  • What the best times of the day and week are to send to your list.
  • How to not be one of 100 emails that get mass deleted daily.
  • Watch Katie use design tools in MailChimp that you can use too!
  • Coordinated - is this even possible with everything you have to market?
Reserve your free seat now!
Starts Wednesday at 12pm EST.
This live broadcast is free for you to attend, watch and participate in. It is recorded and made available for purchase. Members of Tin Shingle are able to stream this and every Training TuneUp for free on any device at any time.

News About Membership Levels for Tin Shinglers


Tin Shingle has been helping thousands of small businesses for eight years with our original content based on your questions and experiences. Hundreds of businesses have received even more help through Tin Shingle via our membership program, of which you are a member.

During this time, the price of membership and offerings have changed, as we test pricing models and product offerings. In the next coming weeks, we are introducing a new pricing model that lets members shift in and out of tools that they use in Tin Shingle. We have watched members use Tin Shingle in so many different ways, and even ask for services that we do not yet offer. So with the new changes, we hope to add flexibility and value to you.

Before you learn how the levels will work, know this:

Memberships started a membership now will have locked in their membership rate. You can see our Membership Join page to see the current rate. Your price will not change. You are grandfathered into that rate. If you are a Tin Shingler currently, your price will not change, as long as your membership is active and billing credit card have been updated.

Glimpse Into New Tiered Membership Model
There will be a few levels of membership that will look like this:

Community + Content (Level 1): Hooking into the Community Boards and PR Challenge to talk to like-minded entrepreneurs and marketers to get feedback in a safe space. Authorship on Tin Shingle's Publisher Platform, letting you add your business to our public Business Directory, Shopping Guides, Press Portfolio, and Small Business Diaries.

TuneUp Training Video Sessions (Level 2): The above, plus unlimited access to stream the TuneUps whenever you need them.

Media Contacts and Editorial Calendars (Level 3): The above, plus access to Tin Shingle's databases of Media Contacts and Editorial Calendars.

Personal Training: There will be Personal Training Sessions available in several areas, from curating your Tin Shingle experience by customizing TuneUp Playlists for you, to direct consulting in social media, design and PR.

More to come, but know that the change will be unveiled in a few weeks. If you have been on the fence about joining, now is the time to become a Tin Shingler!


Recap of July 19th's PR Challenge Group - A Peek Into What Tin Shinglers Talk About

The PR Challenge Group Meeting calls always bring something new to the table. New contributions from Tin Shinglers to each other. New tools. New ideas. New accomplishments! We have started recapping these digital group meetings as a place of reference for what tool or tip was shared. The full recap is in the private Community Boards that you can only access if you are a Community Member of Tin Shingle. But I'll give you an inside peek into what we talked about :)

July 19, 2016:

Lauren Hathaway launched a new Holiday Pitching service for her product clients, where her agency is pitching for the holiday season. We in the group have been seeing her through this, giving suggestions on newsletters that she can send to prospective clients in her network. She landed 2 new clients!

Lisa Hennessy of Your Pet Chef shared with us an exciting story of how a pitch she answered from HARO turned into not only a mention in Elle Spain, but a voiceover part in an upcoming MOVIE called The Eyes of Old Texas! You can now find Lisa in IMDB, and sure, you can pitch this new celebrity for your products when you're digging in IMDB for contacts for celebrities! Her social media is also taking on a new speed since our intervention with her non-active Instagram account. Lots of hungry pet-owners are seeing her home-cooked food for their dogs!

Katie: I shared my new target for press placement, AAA Magazine for the NY region, and also vowed to research the other regional editions of that magazine to include in Tin Shingle's Media Contacts that are privately available to members. Additionally, thanks to Joy bringing up Tin Shingle's Blog Planning and Production Calendar to find dates for themed holidays, I got a new idea to assign new after school programs to Parent's Day that is coming up at the end of July. Thanks to our homework of producing two pieces of pitches or media for "short lead story ideas" (aka story ideas based on something going on right now), I had the idea to tie an advertiser's monthly article to the recent Pokemon craze. They are an insurance agency who ran a Distracted Driving Campaign, and we revisited it with Distracted Walkers.

Sierra of Manic Trout: Though she's been moving this month, she did land an accessories column for a magazine she pitched who at first turned her down, then took a closer look at her writing and brought her on board! She confessed that she has secretly always wanted to write for a magazine.

Joy of Prosperity Consulting started going through Tin Shingle's Blog Planning and Production Calendar for a food client she has, as there are many opportunities coming up for him that she can blog about or create social media images for.

PS: Tin Shingle Community Members can join in anytime on this 8-week session. The last session for this PR Challenge will be September 6. Then we will take a break and start a new PR Challenge in a few weeks. Join us anytime by activating a membership here at Tin Shingle!

Tin Shingle Members attending the PR Challenge Group Call

Tin Shingle Member Update for the Week of July 25, 2016

If you aren't yet a member of Tin Shingle, read below for what Tin Shinglers were emailed on Monday. Members of Tin Shingle are emailed every Monday with a special message, suggestion, or tip on how to get the most out of their membership. Here's what they got today in their inboxes!
Hello to our Tin Shingler's!

Hope you had a restful weekend (or one where you explored during these hot summer days)! We have 4 updates for you this Monday:

  • The final PR Challenge Group Meeting has been moved to September 6th. If you are already hooked up to the GoToWebinar call (available to TIn Shingle members only), then the date and reminder email has already been updated. There will be no meeting on August 30th. The PR Challenge Group Meeting will meet next week as planned.
  • The TuneUp is going on vacation on August 31th. We will send you a Recommended Listening List instead that you can instantly stream on that day.
  • A Recap of last week's PR Challenge Group Meeting is available in the private Community Boards. It includes fellow Tin Shingler Sierra Bailey's recent switch from advertising in Google AdWords to using AdRoll instead with success. Lots more is available in that recap which you can read here (only members can access this full recap post). Tin Shingle members can join in on these face-to-face PR Challenge calls at any time, from anywhere in the country! We meet digitally on the computer.
  •  A reminder that as a member, you have all-access to Tin Shingle's database of Media Contacts. If you have not explored them yet, they look like the photo above. You can search by Media Outlet Type (like a Magazine), or if you know the name of the Media Outlet you want, you can type in the name in that drop-down box and look for it. The Media Outlets are a great place to start if you know you want to pitch an outlet like Fast Company, but you aren't sure who is the best fit. Find this by clicking on the Media Contacts link in the Membership Benefits tab in the top of the navigation.
Have great days!

PR Challenge Group Meets Today - New Columns, New Pitches, So Much!

Hello Everyone,

It's been Two Tuesdays since the last PR Challenge Group Meeting, which means that we get to meet today! The PR Challenge is an Accountability Group Meeting, which means that if you aspire to pitch some big press, or make a social media score, this is where you are declaring it, and delivering on it!

This PR Challenge ends in August, and will start again in the Fall. If you have never been into a meeting, you can drop in anytime because you are a member. But remember, it's based in accountability, so committing to showing up is in your best interest! We want to hear from you on what your plans are, what you tried, and what happened!

Katie, co-founder of Tin Shingle, has new tips to share for our members based in health, beauty and food. She also has an accomplishment to share! Sierra Bailey of Manic Trout has an accomplishment to share of a new column in an accessories magazine. Follow along in the PR Challenge Community Board thread. You will find the link to join this video-based call also in that thread.

If pitching the press is your thing and you need some strength and guidance from the group, then the PR Challenge is for you. As a member of Tin Shingle, you are able to join in. Non-members are not eligible to participate. Join Tin Shingle today.

Tin Shingle's PR Challenge Meets Today: Today We Look at Editorial Calendars

Hope you had a wonderful long holiday weekend! Today is a double dose of back to work, because it's the 2nd Tuesday since our PR Challenge Group met. At 12:30pmEST, members who signed up for the PR Challenge accountability group will meet face to face to discuss what outreach they did in the past two weeks, and get a new homework assignment. Details for how to get on the call are in a thread created for this group in the Community Boards under PR Challenge. Or you can click here to access it.

For a sneak peek of what we are covering today, watch this quick Periscope that Katie recorded while she did her own homework for the session.


A few new Editorial Calendars have been added, by member request:
Southern Living Magazine
Cooking With Paula Deen
Taste of the South
Southern Lady
The Cottage Journal
Tea Time
Louisiana Cooking

Find these and all Editorial Calendars by clicking here or by going to the PR Center tab in the main navigation.

Tin Shingle Introduces Easier Media Contact Scrolling with Collapsible Media Outlet Titles

To make your researching of media contacts easier, Tin Shingle has unveiled a new feature to our Media Contacts database: Collapsible Scrolling.

Now when you want to see a list of magazines, TV shows or any kind of combination of which magazines cover subjects you are looking for, the list you see will be condensed to show you titles of media outlets. A number will be next to the title, which indicates how many names are in that list. Click on the title, and you'll see a full list of names and emails who are at that media outlet. Watch this super short video on it to see what it all looks like.

Watch this quick video that shows you how it all looks!


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