The Tin Shingle Blog


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!

Highlights from Group PR Challenge Going on Session Three

Tin Shingle's first PR Group Challenge has been a success so far. With 9 dedicated attendees calling in every other week, and actually turning on their video cameras when possible, we are meeting face to face to coach each other on in the quest for press. We have completed two rounds of weeks: Type A where we discuss Short Lead story ideas, and Type B where we talk about long lead story ideas. I'll recap it here to give you a glimpse into what it is like:

The Group PR Challenge attendees are varied, and include:

  • a beauty business
  • a stylist
  • a jewelry designer
  • a dog food maker
  • a positivity change maker
  • a transformation coach for entrepreneurs
  • a magazine publisher to is taking on PR clients

Right away, contacts were exchanged once everyone in the group announced their goals. The stylist shared a contact with the beauty business who revealed what big website she wanted media coverage on. I was able to share another print media move that hadn't been announced yet, nor would it most likely be clearly communicated so I helped a local business cut to the chase of how best to pitch the new contacts.

Last week while covering long lead ideas, we inadvertently had an intervention with one member of the group. You see, we all have homework after our sessions. We need to report back at each session with what we did in our homework. Big or small, we need to report back on what we did. One member of the group needed to post more in her social media. Well, during the group session meeting, she had not done so - on purpose! She opened up a bit more about why not, and about what her plans were for her next post. Her plans actually did not promote her business directly at all, and took a bit of work to complete.

As we spoke, we learned that she had a fear of over-saturating her followers with postings. Quite the contrary! Each member of the group chimed in with what they wanted to see more of from their fellow business friend. We will see this week what she produced for her homework! Accountability is the motivating factor here, with everyone bringing something new to the table to discuss.

Pictured here is my own homework that I will be bringing to the table. PR is a daunting task, and I have realized about myself, that I am much better at pitching individuals who I know. I need to know what they cover and how they cover it. Then I can write an effective pitch email that is short and to the point. Therefore, I am picking one target media outlet at a time, going through it to get to know the sections of it, and who tends to write what. I am recording all of these names links to related articles (meaning, articles that seem like my business would have been a great feature) into a tab in my Media Tracking Sheet (available here in Tin Shingle's Template Suite), and will share my findings with the group tomorrow. Because one of my goals is print media, I am reading the magazines in paper and ripipng out articles to make sure I enter them into my Media Tracking Sheet as pitching ideas.

PR Group Challenges run for 8 sessions over the course of 3 months. The next one will begin in August. If you are a member of Tin Shingle and want to follow along with how they are going, and learn from the Community Boards, then click here to take a peek into our online conversations in between sessions. If you're not a member of Tin Shingle yet, flip that switch and dive in with us!


Tin Shingle Moves Into an Office - On Main Street! In the Trenches with Local Businesses

Back in January, while ruminating on 2016 Resolutions, I let myself say out loud that it was maybe time to take an office. Tin Shingle has been run from the home offices of myself and my former business partner, Sabina Hitchen for 8 years. I personally have been in business for 11 years running InHouse Design Media, and now A Little Beacon Blog as well. With the addition of a husband and two kids since the beginnings of those businesses, it began to get a little crowded up in the home office, despite my dedication to always carving out and decorating a room in my NYC apartment, and then my home in Beacon, NY.

Being business partners with someone in a different town makes having an office tricky. Which one is the headquarters? Which address do we put in MailChimp footers and so forth? Do both partners even want an office? When Sabina and I realized our paths as leaders of different businesses, and officially ended our partnership in May, which included an announcement on a TuneUp webinar,  something happened to both of us: new possibilities started opening up.

My casual statements out loud of wanting and office led me to believe it was possible. A friend of mine in town had bought a building that had a small retail space in the bottom of it. Small enough for me to experiment in with an office that I could also rent out as a event space for PopUp Shops, since we promote them on my local blog, A Little Beacon Blog. However, my friend decided to keep the space in-house, and do something with it herself.

Sabina and I meanwhile had begun discussions of our partnership ending, and how Tin Shingle would continue. One weekend, as I was fulfilling one of my 2016 Resolutions of actually attending one of the events I blog about, I was walking to the going away party of one of my favorite businesses on Main Street - Nixie Sparrow - who hosted crafty DIY workshops. Their office space was beautiful. Just steps away from the door, the idea hit me - I could take it over, and continue to run workshops out of it, as well as rent it out to others for business workshops and PopUp shops, and finally give Tin Shingle and A Little Beacon Blog an official home.

After hugging the girls and learning about their next endeavors (they outgrew the space and needed more room to construct amazing designs for weddings and other big events), I Instagrammed-commented their landlord with my interest in the space. What followed was a month of visiting the space, pictures, learning about required insurance to take the space, and dreams about what would fill the space, and how I could decorate it on a shoe-string budget. I had big shoes to fill with those Nixies!

While I'm a stickler for consistency, it is for this reason that I have taken the Tin Shingle TuneUp on a 2 week vacation. Yes, my kids have graduations, and we do have a family vacation coming up, but I like you all to know what you can count on at 12pm each Wednesday. The PR Challenge will continue without interruption. I moderated my first PR Challenge last week - before the cable guy could come and install the cable! I was tethering on my phone, and thank goodness AT+T services is awesome and ran GoToWebinar smoothly with no issues for the 8 of us in our new accountability group.

I recorded a little Periscope about it for you, to give you a sneak peek into the space. If you're not following Tin Shingle already on Periscope, please do, because more announcements, tips and sneak peeks are always to come. Plus, you never know which expert I'll run into in town, like when I sat next to a columnist for GQ, Sarah Crow who writes "What She Said", and we chatted on Periscope about editorial calendars.

Thanks for your patience everyone, as we get through this minor phase of construction! So far, we have been:

  • Arranging the cable guy (check!)
  • Hanging new wall art (tricky! my landlord is pictured here, challenging herself to drill into the wall...but the drill-bit wasn't sharp enough and we had to push it a few days until after a trip to Home Depot)
  • Picking up neat furniture at my local flea market, The Beacon Flea, and taking pieces from home. It's refreshing to actually have a sunroom that doesn't double as my office!
  • Getting to know the new systems in the building, like security, and the best food composting program! My landlord is a participant in Zeor 2 Go's composting program, which means I get to take my trash down to the lower floor and separate food for composting, plastic for recycling, and garbage for the landfill.

Back with more updates soon! Meanwhile, hang on Tin Shingle's Instagram.

Easy Media Contact Filter Tool - Video Tutorial

As you are searching through the Media Contacts, researching and plotting for who you will reach out to next, we wanted to be sure you knew how to use the easy filter tool when narrowing down your search.

If you were looking for a specific outlet, say, the Steve Harvey Show, you could go to the Outlet Name field, pull it down and scroll. Or, you could start typing in Steve, and the outlet will display for you! You click on it, and run your filter. Below is a short video that walks you through this.

If you wanted to get more precise about areas of interest, you could add a 2nd filter onto your search, and tell the system only to look up people who have a keyword in their description. Keep in mind that no everyone types in their description in a way that you think they might, so do a cross filter, but if you get zero or phew results, try looking at the media outlet at large.

Once you find names you want to keep track of, we have added a new tab in your Media Outreach Tracking Sheet, where you can record the names, emails and Twitter handles of people you intend to pitch, and why you want to pitch them. This makes your list very easy when you have a story idea, you can refer back to your list of media names to find the perfect fit, and reach out to pitch them your story idea that features your business!

Do you wish you had access to our Media Contact database, and free access to the template referred to here? Join Tin Shingle today and get started!


Subscribe to The Tin Shingle Blog