The Tin Shingle Blog


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

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.


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