The Tin Shingle Blog
Guess who made this panic graphic...not the Tumblr/Yahoo haters, but Yahoo's CEO, Marissa Mayer. For her Tumblr blog. Which she named marissamayr.tumblr.com - misspelling her last name by dropping the "e" in keeping with Tumblr and Yahoo owned Flickr.
Despite the acquisition haters out there, I'm actually a little giddy about the prospects!
Early Thursday morning, a day after the acquisition, Sabina sent me a PR Lead from a reporter doing a story on the Yahoo/Tumblr merger who was seeking comment on why Tumblr users were seeming to flock to WordPress after the acquisition was announced. I didn't know, so did a little Googling to get acclimated with the drama, and found that generally, it was the usual bruhaha that happens after change, with people freaking out, thinking Yahoo would be uncool for uber-cool Tumblr, force ads on them, or even shut Tumblr down.
Which wasn't helped by WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg in a Sunday evening blog post, where he claimed that many Tumblr users are jumping ship to his blogging platform to avoid dealing with Yahoo (note, I think Matt has changed his blog post because those words are gone from his post that PC Mag links to, and I do remember reading the original post...hmm....):
"'[Tumblr] imports have actually spiked on the rumors even though it's Sunday: normally we import 400-600 posts an hour from Tumblr, last hour it was over 72,000," Mullenweg wrote.'"
|"I’ve long held the view that in all things art and design, you can feel the spirit and demeanor of those who create them. That’s why it was no surprise to me that David Karp is one of the nicest, most empathetic people I’ve ever met. He’s also one of the most perceptive, capable entrepreneurs I’ve worked with. His respect for Tumblr’s community of creators is awesome, and I’m absolutely delighted to have him and his entire team join Yahoo!."|
I've been a blogger since 2005, authoring numerous blogs housed on Blogger, rival blogging platform to Tumblr and WordPress. I'm considering moving Tin Shingle's blog from Drupal's CMS to Blogger for a variety of reasons, namely SEO and ease of use, which are areas that Tumblr blogs lag in. Until possibly now.
Thanks to the merger, Tumblr bloggers stand a chance at looking at real improvement at the under the hood coding structure of their blogs, so that they "speak Yahoo search" better, and stand a better chance of ranking highly in search results. If a search engine is behind a blogging platform, then you know that the search engine really wants that content to be found. Not that a search engine would build anything sneaky for the blog platform to rank extra high and cut in line, but you know that they'd build a basic blog template that speaks search *really well*. Complaints about Tumblr used to be that good SEO was fundamentally hard to tweak with Tumblr templates. Improvements have since been made, and perhaps many more are possible. But it still has oddities, like how blog titles sometimes aren't available (like at Marissa's blog), or if they are in the blog, they aren't linked to anything, but the date is linked to the post. Just odd things that aren't intuitive to the user experience.
Also, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has an eye for design, as does Tumblr. Design is half the reason why Tumblr blogs took off, especially in the fashion industry. It's actually cool to have a Tumblr blog, despite its technical setbacks and SEO challenges. If that code under the hood gets greased up a bit, Tumblr could really take off with content heavy-weights who *do* want more page clicks for their Google or Yahoo ads, and other sponsorships.
Another reason Tumblr bloggers should be shouting "Yahoo!!" is that Tumblr is community based, and so is Marissa Mayer. Building a community following on Tumblr is quite easy with built in features, so that's a step ahead of the curve with Blogger blogs that Google is trying to build into their templates right now by introducing tagging features for Google+.
Despite Yahoo's habit of shutting down its acquisitions, like Del.icio.us, Geocities and Broadcast.com, its move to buy a popular blogging platform is taken from the same page as when Google bought the blogging platform Blogger a decade ago in 2003, which proved to be lucrative when Google made it even easier for blog publishers to place Google Ads in their blog in a way that mirrored the blog's voice. And where was Marissa at that time...? At Google. :)
Marissa states her intentions in her blog post announcement:
|"In terms of working together, Tumblr can deploy Yahoo!’s personalization technology and search infrastructure to help its users discover creators, bloggers, and content they’ll love. In turn, Tumblr brings 50 billion blog posts (and 75 million more arriving each day) to Yahoo!’s media network and search experiences. The two companies will also work together to create advertising opportunities that are seamless and enhance user experience."|
I'm looking forward to the changes, as they stand a chance of being very beneficial to bloggers and brands using the Tumblr platform. Personally, I'd never considered using Tumblr, but now am giving it second thoughts, purely for the prospective benefits of search and community reach.
Do/did you blog on Tumblr? Comment below on your experience with using it, and if you were happy with it for your brand.
If I had a dollar for every small business I encouraged to create a blog, I'd be getting myself a little "high five" in the form of this sassy little puppy. But alas, I personally feel like all too often I see companies that aren't taking advantage of this powerful, free and brand-directed business tool. Don't get me wrong, I, like many of you, feel that if you're not going to do a good job at something you best not do it, and I know that lack of time often makes you think you won't be able to create a blog for your company and run it well. That said, I believe in business we make time for what is important, a priority and what could bring our company great ROI. I think for many of you, a blog is one of those things. As part of my campaign to get you to begin thinking strategically and creatively about a possible blog (or more stratetgic use of your blog if you already have one) I've laid out a few - well eight reasons (plus bonus one 'cause I love ya) - blogs are one of my favorite buzz building business tools.
What’s the point of having a blog as a business?
- You can create quality and shareable content that can be passed along to social media, customers and more.
- You have the power to drive traffic to different parts of your company’s website that you want to give attention to.
- Having a company or personal blog lets you control and maintain your image.
- A blog lets companies "pull back the curtain" and show people about who they are. People love seeing the face or team behind the brand - that can keep them passionate about your business and mission like you won't believe!
- Helps you improve brand awareness and engagement with current and future customers and clients.
- Helps new customers & clients find you through key word searches. BAM! That means you're getting buzz while you sleep! Literally!
- Experts can prove they are valuable source of information.
- Newsworthy interviews or content on your blog can lead to pick up in other blogs and media outlets, further growing your brand's visibility, traffic and name recognition!
Bonus idea? You can make content work double time and turn the tips you created for your blog into a service/expert based pitch! Both ways of sharing your knowledge show you are an industry leader!
I hope I've planted the seed - blogs can be your sercret weapon for public relations, SEO, sales and more! I'm so geeked out about them I'll be back to share more reasons soon along with some of my favorite examples of small business owners like you putting their blog ideas into action.
By now you’ve heard the big news: the shopping social network, Open Sky (launched in 2011; currently 3 million members strong & growing) has started an open social marketplace for small businesses---and, ever-true to their enterprising spirit, Tin Shingle members have already hung out their shingle on Open Sky’s virtual storefront! Thanks to the Tin Shingle community, the application process, which requires at least 20 followers to open a store, has been a piece of cake for members: with a simple email to the Tin Shingle group, members reached out to other members for their first 20 followers and got the support they needed in a snap! Already, Emily Elizabeth Jewelry, Tilth Beauty, and Peggy Li are up and running on Open Sky!!
Emily Elizabeth Jewelry
Peggy Li Creations
Tin Shingle and Open Sky are a match made in heaven: with Open Sky’s new move to include small businesses in its platform, Open Sky is becoming all about showcasing the work of entrepreneurs—which is, of course, the heart & soul of Tin Shingle! Open Sky’s new initiative is a sign of the times and a response to a big push from consumers looking to buy from small retailers who offer one-of-a-kind product. John Caplan, Founder and CEO of OpenSky, says: “There is a growing appetite to discover products that are unique and different, not mass produced…The OpenSky marketplace is the social platform that connects people with extraordinary things and the small businesses who make them.”
Open Sky presents an exciting opportunity for Tin Shingle members to bring their product to an even bigger audience through Open Sky’s “ripple effect” social network. Open Sky makes it easy for consumers to connect with their friends to share, compare, and purchase must-haves, creating a “ripple” of communication that occurs when people talk about their purchases online. Emily Kolins, of Emily Elizabeth Jewelry, says: "I joined OpenSky because I love the shop interface because it's simple and clean. The heavy social media aspect is also appealing because it makes it easy for people to spread the word about your products."Long story short, Open Sky takes word-of-mouth among friends and translates it into sales for merchants.
Peggy Li of Peggy Li Creations, told us: "OpenSky was a great opportunity to get brand exposure with a large and socially-connected audience of people interested in shopping! Plus, OpenSky provides merchant tools where I may manage my OpenSky store myself, which the control freak in me prefers. This also allows for better margins on OpenSky than you would have with a traditional retailer."
We’re so excited that Open Sky has opened its doors to small businesses, and we’re sure that Tin Shingle members are about to wow the millions of Open Sky fans!
A life-changing experience and an enduring love of family led Liz Emery to start her clothing line, Liz & Ett. While caring for her grandmothers and watching their dignity wither away with physical challenges, Liz decided to bring style to women with limited mobility. She learned the ropes of the clothing design business, with the good fortune of being in the heart of New York City's Garment District as her playground. Today, Liz & Ett brings stylish clothing choices to mothers and grandmothers and anyone with limited mobility, with her smartly designed SmockFrock™ , a chic version of an adult bib for those who are prone to messes at mealtime, the hair salon, and even during painting class in a retirement home. With a new line of designs on the horizon, a SmockFrock™ for men, Liz is busier than ever. But with a business that comes from the heart, there is no end to this labor of love!
We chatted with Liz about how she started her business:
What inspired you to get started?
After being a caregiver for my grandmothers, I saw so many ways in which we could have improved the caregiving experience. It was life-changing for me, and the indignities that I witnessed while doing hands-on care stuck with me long after my grandmothers passed away. I was inspired to start designing and the rest is history!
What was your background? Was it in what you are doing now?
I was on a completely different path before starting my business! I studied microbiology in undergrad, did my master’s in public health, and then went on to med school. My plan was to specialize in Infectious Disease and then work for the CDC investigating disease outbreaks. I had always wanted to be part of the Epidemic Intelligence Service! But life had a different plan for me. Being a caregiver was a life-changing experience and set me on a different trajectory.
What challenge have you had to face that led to a big growth for your company?
One of the biggest challenges for me has been learning how to take a design from idea to reality. The services available in the NY Garment Center have been instrumental in allowing me to get my business off the ground. I utilized the Garment Industry Development Corporation (GIDC) consulting services and local sourcing showcases through FIT and the Save the Garment Center (STGC) movement to find the right manufacturers, and source my materials. This is a steep learning curve for me, but being able to be here in NYC and manage operations hands-on, make adjustments to my designs with the pattern makers in person, etc. has made it all possible.
What do you have going on in your business right now that you're excited about?
We’re about to launch a new design – our first design for men! It’s a masculine version of the SmockFrock, made of techy material, and it is designed to look like a vest.
The SmockFrock™ is fashionable and functional, it’s perfect for the woman who has everything, who has downsized, or who is facing a health challenge. It’s something she can use daily and be reminded of how much she is loved.
Where would you love to see your business in 5 years?
I’d love to see my designs in large high end retail stores so that caregivers have access to quality, dignified products. This niche market is so neglected – once you reach a certain age or need help with certain activities of daily living, you fall off into the land of the bland and generic. Right now, there are more sophisticated options out there for babies and pets than there are for those with limited mobility! My ultimate goal is for Liz & Ett to be a lifestyle brand that makes caregiving more palatable for all involved – for aging loved ones, patients in the hospital, on hospice, etc. and their families/caregivers – so that this ‘labor of love’ can be a much more dignified experience. I want to transform the industry!
Welcome back to your work week AND welcome back to our regular Monday Motivation Mixes! This much-loved series sharing the tunes that get some of our favorite entrepreneurs pumping and moving at the start of a work week was on a brief hiatus but it's back, it's baaaaaad (in a good way) and it's being kicked off by virtual DJ's Jordan Landes Brennan and Kelly Kepner of Haute House PR.
These ladies are the kind of gals that you watch making beautiful business and public relations magic and you ask yourself "how do they do all of it and still seem so energized, happy, and pumped?" Well instead of wondering we asked them to share the music that motivates them to do all they do during the week (and it's a lot).
Monday Motivation Mix by Haute House PR
What is this mix currently helping them do? Haute House PR is getting ready to host a Back to School event with their clients Foreign Exchange at the end of summer. They've partnered with KIIS FM and the American Red Cross and will have a celebrity host there to greet fans as well as tons of huge deals for shoppers! Check www.feclothing.com for more info this summer!
Great Gatsby fever gripped the nation long before Baz Luhrmann's movie hit theaters this month, giving us all an excuse to turn up the dial on our spring style choices and get all "Gatsby Glamourous". This era is one of my favorites in terms of style and aesthetic because really, what's not to love? The romance-glamour-vintage-fabulous vibe makes me giddy! Know what else gets me giddy? Small Biz Style of course!
In the spirit of F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, we're going to help you with your hunt for Gatsby-worthy style pieces you can wear, carry and accessorize your home with all spring and summer long! As always, they remind us that small business are big on style!
Accessorize in true twenties style with pieces including (clockwise):
Manic Trout's Forever, For Now bracelet, Peggy Li Creations Knots & Pearls Necklace, SolEscapes Raffia Convertible Cap/Visor (hello two hats in one!), Bella Dawn Gold Mosaic Bracelet, Bella Dawn Filigree Earrings, Christine Mighion Gold & Aquamarine Ring.
Wear it as a necklace, wrap bracelet or a headband, it's Gatsby all the way with this convertible sunflower piece by Emily Elizabeth Jewelry. Add on Layla Joy's Kris Champagne earrings, Jacqueline Kimberly Jewelry's Gardenia Ring one one hand and Christine Mighion's Wrap Around Rainbow Moonstone Ring on the other. Keep your feet happy with these deco-inspired rollable flats by Footzyfolds and you're good to go!
Rainy spring days are no excuse not to be fabulous. Thanks to SolEscapes purple ombre umbrella we've literally got you covered. Keep hair Gatsby gorgeous with these bow headbands from Bella Dawn. Nikki Baker's earrings were so perfect (I can completely picture them adoring Carey Mulligan) we couldn't pick just one between her Pink Topaz and Pave Diamond Bean earrings so we're sharing them both with you! Finally, don't leave out your home when thinking Gatsby-style. Pillows are easy ways to amp up style. Just snag a throw pillow cover like this Rhodes gold filigree style from Nine Space and you're on your way!
1920's and 1930's sartotial savvy can be easy achieve thanks to these ideas from small business owners and entrepreneurs! Best of all, as always, buying small business gives you "rewards points" in your heart!
The Tin Shingle website will be offline this evening starting at 6pm EST, and is scheduled to be back online by Saturday May 18, 2013. Access to member Account Centers will be offline, as well as our free articles and downloadable classes. We suggest you take the night off and enjoy an early summer cocktail!
Sometimes we feel like scientists as we create resources for small business to help them get the word out about their business. Today, we feel like Jane Blankenship Gibson, a scientist in the 1960s (even though our team is men and women).
Celebrities: whether they be from the big or small screen, the world of sports, musicians, dancers, models, big name bloggers or (yikes) reality stars, they aren't just pretty faces. No, these days celebrities can be brandmakers, propelling businesses big and small into the national spotlight with the mere mention of their name (or being spotted with their product).
Like it or not, we all know that highly visible influencers can lead to press, increased sales, retail opportunities, and social media buzz, but not everyone knows how to turn those potential opportunities into a reality. Until now!
At Tin Shingle one of our main missions and passions is helping entrepreneurs and small business owners of all kinds get the word out about their businesses and helping them get to celebrities is part of the deal! That's why we called on the founders of Haute House PR, Jordan Landes-Brenman and Kelly Kepner (PR celebrities in their own right) to compile a list packed with the Do's and Don'ts of working with celebrities. Well, the ladies did more than deliver, they made two lists filled with inside scoop on creating and growing relationships with celebrities that is so big we've broken it into two articles that every business owner should read, print out and hang over their desk!
Top 10 Do's - How to Get Your Products on Celebrities
- Top 10 Don'ts - How to Get Your Product on Celebrities
Don't waste another second wondering why some companies have celebrities singing their praises and yours doesn't, head right on over to Jordan and Kelly's tips and find out what you should (and shouldn't) be doing to make it happen for you!
Have you ever held onto a lipstick that is so empty you're literally scraping the bottom and sides of the tube to get your hands (or lips) onto its final pieces, because it's been discontinued and it was your go-to shade? Have you ever spent time mixing together colors trying to create a shade that you cannot find anywhere but just must have? What about going from make-up counter to make-up counter hunting for the perfect shade of blush or eyeshadow that exists only in your mind?
Me too. That's why when I found out about Tin Shingle members Three Custom Color years ago all I kept thinking was "where have you been all my make-up wearing life?!" The team, which I now refer to lovingly as the Mad Scientists of Make-Up, are known for fabulous make-up in general, but my favorite thing about this small business is that they can create (or re-create) any shade you dream up! Want a customized blush for your wedding? Done! Does your mom yearn for a lipstick that was discontinued the year you were born? No problem! Their team will actually custom blend any color eye, lip or cheek color you want in their cosmetics laboratory in New York City and have it to you in a few weeks! They also keep the "recipe" on file for you so if you want to re-order they're ready to go.
Beyond this awesome make-up customization service the team also offers beautiful shades in general, so if you're looking for a new go-to beauty brand to check out add them to your list. Beyond lip, cheek, brows and eye products sold individually they also have great collections including some for mom and some for the bride-to-be, all of which you can find in their online shop.
Though they're now headquartered off 5th Avenue in New York, they, like many small businesses, began in the apartment of co-founders Scott and Chad. What was once a company that sold about 25 mail-order lip shades has grown to a brick and mortar store selling over 250 products and their Custom Blending archives now contain over 9,000 discontinued shades of color cosmetics dating back to the 1930’s! BAM! If that's not a Small Biz Style success story I don't know what is!
You can find out more about all that Three Custom Color Specialists offers (and custom blend your own make-up shade while you're at it) via their website. Then hop on over to Twitter and Facebook and connect with them there as well!
If busy entrepreneur Nadia Murdock (publicist, fitness pro, author) can find time to squeeze in a work out, so can you! Read her tips below and do check out the great links she provided to make fitting in fitness easier than ever!
With all the pressures that come from everyday entrepreneurial life it is essential to maintain both your physical and mental health. With this being said squeezing in time for a workout is one of the best ways to keep you from losing your marbles not to mention maintaining your health and your waistline.
Here are a few suggested workouts and tips that will make it easier for you to make time to work up a sweat while dealing with your demanding small business work schedule.
Many gyms and workout studios are realizing the importance of offering Express Fitness classes mid-day. These classes are typically scheduled during lunch, anywhere between 12PM and 2PM. Ranging from yoga to spin you can get a quick mid-day burn.
Make it Enjoyable
For some a workout is not something to look forward to, however if the class is enjoyable that increases the chances of staying committed. Dance classes like Zumba, Bollywood and Hip-Hop can help you express your inner diva and just let loose.
Building a decent at home workout library is a great way to make sure it gets done. Try working out as soon as you get home, once your rear hits the couch you are less likely to get back up again. A few great at home workouts are Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, Quick Fix Series and 10 Minute Solution.
Editor's Note: Find more tips and fitness scoop from Nadia Murdock via her Fitness Examiner posts!
Motivation, education, and strategization of how to get the word out about your business. And words of encouragement because what you're building is big!
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