The Tin Shingle Blog - #WebsiteDesign
When Erin Schiffman, the other half of the NYC based creative branding team Schiffman Creative, updated their Press Portfolio here at Tin Shingle with the press they landed in Time Magazine, we had to know how she got that!
It was a great press opportunity - commenting on the designs of 9 new musical releases from Justin Timberlake to David Bowie. Turns out, having an updated website with their design work, client list, and bios was what secured them the gig.
This is a beautiful example of when SEO & PR blend to create a dynamite opportunity to validate a brand, and how it happened while the business owners were sleeping (after they'd done all their hard work of course).
Here's what Erin had to say:
"Ok...so here is the story. I got an e-mail from the editor explaining the piece and asking if we would be interested in being a part of the expert panel. Of course we agreed to the interview...It is TIMEmagazine.com and it was a really fun story to be a part of!
"After we completed the interview, I asked him how he found us. He explained that he spent a lot of time researching small creative companies in NYC because he was very specific in what he was looking for. After doing a ton of research via Google he came across our site. He said that he felt that we were what he was looking for based on the work we have done and our bios. He also looked at previous companies we worked for, clients for previous and current projects, etc.
"Lesson we learned - very important to have a website, showcase work, include a thorough bio and have easily accessible contact info. I thought the whole thing was pretty crazy especially coming from a PR background. In my past life, I could have spent months and months trying to get a client a hit like this and the odds of it happening were small.
"....this was [mostly] luck and having a website that showcased our business."
Pinterest has been taking the social media world by storm the last few months. But, what is Pinterest? Why is it so popular? And what do you need to know about it as a business owner and entrepreneur?
First, what Pinterest is.
Pinterest is virtual bulletin board that allows users to find and share images, links, and text they like with the world. Users can create multiple boards based on their interests (places you like, neat and quirky finds, clothes, shoes, jewelry, the sky’s the limit) and when they find an image, link, etc… that they like, they use the downloadable Pinterest bookmarklet and ‘pin it’ to the appropriate board to organize it. It’s kind of like a StumbleUpon for images, or Stylehive for style ideas.
Followers can then comment on your pins or re-pin them on their boards. And because as you pin things to your board, they also get pinned to the Pinterest home page, it allows you to build an audience of followers beyond your traditional circle of ‘friends’.
Here's a snapshot of the Pinterest home page when it shows recent photos pinned by different people:
Why you should care about Pinterest right now.
One of the reasons why Pinterest is so intriguing is that it’s now driving more traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined. And that’s interested traffic that tends to buy the items that they’ve seen pinned to the wall. According to an MSNBC.com interview with Sarah Conley, social media manager at ideeli.com, they’ve seen a five-fold increase in sales from the referral site.
We collected some must-read links from media outlets such as Mashable and PR Daily. Read those for more business news about Pinterest.
Why Pinterest is suddenly as popular other social media sites
Why is Pinterest gaining in popularity when other sites like Facebook are suffering from fatigue? Huffington Post writer, Bianca Bosker suggests in her article, The Secret to Pinterest’s Success: We’re Sick of Each Other, that it could be because Pinterest isn’t just another way to proclaim your greatness to the world. It’s less about ‘look what I just did’ and more about ‘I just found something cool that someone else created’. It’s more a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing version of your vision of the world.
What should businesses know about Pinterest?
Well, if you have a product-based business with an online presence, you should think about joining in. Create a board or two and pin some of your gorgeous (note they need to be pretty!) product shots. And just as with any social media tool, it’s about conversation and forging connections with others. See how five small businesses are using Pinterest in their business strategy. So start following some ‘pinners’ who have similar interests. Need an idea of who to start following? Start with us!
As of the writing of this article, SOPA and PIPA have been put on hold by the U.S. Congress (here's a good description of SOPA happenings before today and here is a dated timeline of SOPA and PIPAs evolution). The timeline of events leading to its demise is startling, swift, and efficient. Even though it is frightening to think how easily these bills could have gone through, which could lead to a slipperly slope of wrangling in the Internet, and the freedom of expression and commerce with which we enjoy within the Internet, let's not miss the opportunity to think about a real problem that is going on - free downloading or lifting of creations by hard working people - Americans and those in all countries producing music, film, books, and any other form of entertainment we enjoy and now take for granted.
The intent of the SOPA bill was this, as stated on the bill H.R. 3261 - "Stop Online Piracy Act" on OpenCongress.org, a website that posts bills for you to view in full text, and track the progress of: "To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes."
This statement is valid, worth fighting for, and you play a direct role in protecting it - with your dollar. In order to protect intellectual property, which can lead to commerce in any form, be it sold online, at a street fair, or in a movie theatre, people must buy it. They must shell out the cash. The cash comes back to you in many ways, especially in your local community, by making your immediate surroundings a better place. If you don't buy it, if you download free music at a cool website, if you download a free Droid app that streams free movies, or if you grab a DVD that is just released in the theatres from a street vendor (not good local support), you are hurting the global economy. Yes, global. The whole world goes down a notch every time you take a free download. The people involved in making your entertainment are working together from all over the world. Tax incentives might make it better to film a movie in Romania, than in New York City. Musicians band together from anywhere, and tour anywhere that will take them - and pay them. YOU MUST PAY THESE PEOPLE, or the music will stop.
Creators who do not get compensated for their creations won't be able to make your entertainment anymore. You may be upset that a movie costs $13.50, or that a small popcorn costs $11. And that a night at the movies may cost you $70 if you have children who need a babysitter (which is actually one more local person benefiting from the movie industry). This price anger does not entitle anyone to a free movie download for their viewing pleasure. If no one is paid, movies won't get made. Plain and simple. 1 + 1 = 2. And that's it. You have to:
1 (buy the ticket), + 1 (create the piece of entertainment) = 2 (happy viewer/listener/reader)
We at Tin Shingle called our Congressman to stop the bills. We agree wtih Marc Zuckerburg's and then Facebook's official statement about thinking carefully about how legislation for the Internet is created. I personally am directly impacted by the economy of the entertainment industry because my husband works in it (despite this great SOPA/PIPA video, where the only flaw is that it dismisses the economic impact of the entertainment industry). We, along with many other film people, suffered with uncertainty during the Writer's Strike of 2007-2008 when writers were fighting "the studios" for compensation for online viewing of their written work. And now "the studios" are fighting "we the people" for compensation for viewing entertainment, and have tried to get the big guns to make that happen, with legislation and enforcement.
The thing is, there will always be excuses as to why someone isn't getting a piece of the pie. During the Writer's Strike, a producer friend explained to me that "the studios" were holding up paying the writers fairly because they didn't know how to measure views of a show that a writer wrote. However, this friend must not have realized that I know that that isn't true, being that I'm a website producer and am obsessed with tracking traffic on websites. Websites, especially corporate ones with big money, can know exactly how many views their videos get, so this excuse is bull-$hit and an excuse to not pay. See all of these examples of not paying people going around? Irks me.
We should keep a strong focus on Internet piracy. It's a huge problem that directly impacts the household incomes of many Americans. Supporters of the bill who were anti-opposition, like Ex-Senator Chris Dodd (why is he still around?), MPAA' (Motion Pictures of America) chief executive. Folks like him will continue misleading us and missing focus. Early on in the protest, he declared the blackouts at protesting websites an "abuse of power". Abuse of power? To what, taking away a service of at the very least, free content, and at the very most, a service you pay for to help your personal or professional life. Abuse of power would be if the electric company shut down the electricity without asking you. Or if companies who supply servers that supply millions of websites with actual electrical power shut down their servers without asking their customers, in order to create a more wide-spread Internet blackout with no opt-in agreement to the business owner paying them to keep the lights on at the website. Chris Dodd is wrong when he called the 24 voluntary blackout of specific websites an abuse of power. It was a freedom of expression, which is what we're all trying to protect and live by.
Now that the bills have been put on hold, and 13 million people called their Congresspeople, and more millions flooded congressional servers and unintentionally caused them to crash (like with The Today Show or the Daily Candy Effect) Chris Dodd has changed his tune, according a New York Times article (but I learned about it an email from FighttheFuture.org) “'This is altogether a new effect,' Mr. Dodd said, comparing the online movement to the Arab Spring. He could not remember seeing 'an effort that was moving with this degree of support change this dramatically' in the last four decades, he added."
Whatever, Mr. Dodd.
Just please, people, pay for what you want. It keeps the services coming to you. And keeps big guns out of meddling with laws that limit our creation of business and creation.
A good video for early cliff notes is here:
A few other good articles are here:
Entrepreneurship can be lonely. And if you're looking for 'friends' there are plenty of networks that you can join. But if you're looking to grow your business, to increase your exposure, to improve your sales, to get more press and to establish your credibility in the marketplace, then Tin Shingle has your back.
What makes 'PRENUER unique is that we were founded by real experts in the areas of business strategy, marketing, online media, public relations and SEO. We leverage our more than 30 years of collective business experience to give your brand, your company and you the edge you need as a small business owner.
We don't just send you a list of PR leads and hope for the best, we connect you with the people who are writing the stories that are going to bolster your sales. We don't just tell you that search is important, we actually work our SEO to help improve YOUR site traffic. And we don't just espose business theory, but we give you real concrete guidance and strategic tools that you can use to make an impact in your business.
It's all about real people helping real businesses.
So if your business could use a leg-up, an extra edge and some real solutions, come Tin Shingle with us.
It's a small investment for a lifetime of rewards
Shayne Spencer is the Founder and President of Think Work Media, a NYC based digital agency dedicated to helping small businesses. He started Think Work Media December 2010, after seeing how many small businesses struggled to stay afloat when competing with bigger mainstream brands. Shayne constructed Think Work Media to be a “lean, mean, thinking machine.” It is designed to help small businesses reach their target audience and maximize their return on investment using new media.
You've got a website - and an About Us page and a Products or Services page and a Press page and maybe a Shopping cart or a Blog, etc... And those are all great, but it's all you selling yourself. And maybe you're selling yourself short.
Consider adding a Praise page to your site that highlights testimonials from happy clients and customers. It's a great way to add credibility to your product or service and happy customers are usually more than happy to tell others. The key is to get their testimonial.
The secret to that is simple. Just ask.
Make it a habit to send just one quick email every week to a current or former happy customer or client asking for them to give you some feedback on how your product or service worked for them. Even if only 10% respond, you'll have five new testimonials each year to include up on your website, in your literature, etc... And you'll have had a reason to be in front of more than 50 customers a year reminding them of what a great job you've done or great product that you've delivered for them in the past.
When Nitika Chopra of Bella Life launched her new web-channel, Burst TV, we checked it out right away. She's a great producer of inspirational content to give your life a little more color. We'd seen her interviewed on other web-channels on Vimeo, so weren't surprised when we noticed that the episodes on Burst TV were using embedded code from Vimeo. So we asked her why. And she provided a great answer.
Here's a snippet:
"...Being the visual person that I am, and being committed to uniform and strong branding, I felt that the way the player itself looks is something worth caring about when adding content to Bella Life..."
Are you really ready for Daily Candy? What does it take? A few Tin Shingle members have been featured on Daily Candy - and not just once! Tin Shingle member Amy Demas of Bestow Boutique was featured in Daily Candy, Rachel Dooley of Gemma Redux (twice, once in article and once as a produced video), Jill Frechtman of Fretzels by Jill for a gift guide edition, and more!
Rarely a day goes by that a designer or entrepreneur fails to ask me how to get on Daily Candy, and I have decided that in the interest of everyone, it's time to get down & dirty with Daily Candy, and talk about how to get in, who they are looking for, and how it will affect your brand. The latter is extremely important because as much as we fantasize about getting that hit, if you aren't prepared it could break your brand.
In the article, we will cover:
- What Daily Candy looks for in a product
- Your website and how you convey your brand
- Was a similar brand covered recently?
- How you pitch Daily Candy
- How to contact Daily Candy once you're ready
- How to prepare once you are picked to be featured on Daily Candy
We at Tin Shingle make Media Contact Lists available to small businesses and independent brands like yours as a benefit of professional membership with us. By becoming a member, you would have isntant access to Media Contact Lists that include contacts to national magazines and online outlets, from Daily Candy to Vogue. You could search for a contact in a particular area of interest, such as a Beauty editor at Daily Candy. We also offer cultivated PR Leads, and inclusion in our PR Matchmaking program. Click here to learn more about membership with us.
You're on the road or in a train with loads of free time to get things done that require you to be online. You need your computer to get online, but you're not in a place that has wireless. Or you're in the car, so you keep missing hotspots from the local cable providers like Optimum or TimeWarner. Or you're on an Internet connection that suddenly goes dead or gets overcroweded. What to do? If you have a mac, here's how you can turn your iPhone into a modem so that you can get online.
Get to know this word: tethering. It's your new magic to being connected online all of the time (almost). Tethering is the ability to get your computer online through use of a mobile phone that is connected to the internet.
1. Sign up at your service provider (AT&T or Verizon) for the tethering service. It's been ranging between $15-$20/month for 2GB of data (that's a lot of data). AT&T is increasing the amount of data from 2GB to 4GB for select customers to stay competitive with Verizon. I know this because I got a random text from AT&T informing me that they were increasing my data for no charge. The data is what you send and receive online, like emails, pictures in emails, website pages, etc. Before you lock in, ask your provider to tell you how much data you've been using to make sure you're not about to blow yourself beyond 2GB and into a higher bill.
2. AT&T or Verizon may send you directions on how to activate. Follow those directions.
3. Once tethering is activated on your iPhone, go to "Settings" (the gray gears) > select "General" > select "Network" > click "Internet Tethering > and move the switch to "On".
4. Your iPhone may tell you that Bluetooth is Off. Select to "Turn on Bluetooth". Your phone is now ready to talk to you Mac.
5. Now you'll need to set your Mac up to look for and recognize your iPhone. Go to "System Preferences" (the gray gears) > under Hardware click "Bluetooth" > and click the little plus + sign to start the process to search for your iPhone. I have not included those directions, so you're on your own for this part.
6. Once your iPhone is set up as something that your Mac looks for and can connect to, you'll need to connect to it each time you want to tether, or to get online using your iPhone. So when you're doing this another time, like, the day after you set this up, you'll need to:
6a. Turn your Bluetooth on if it's not already. From the top right hand side of your screen, click on the little Bluetooth icon (two triangles on top of each other) and click it to "Bluetooth On". Under that selection, make sure your Mac is "Discoverable".
6b. Go to "System Preferences" > Bluetooth. This part always gets wacky for me, so it may for you as well. It may take several tries before it connects. From the Bluetooth window, select your iPhone on the left, and then on the right, click on the "Connected: No". Under the column on the left, you'll see a little gear with a down arrow on it. Click the gear, and select "Connect to Network". Sometimes, nothing may happen. I usually try about 20 different things, and then come back to this, and it works. So it may be a matter of time before it connects.
You are done. :)
In fact, I just wrote and published this article via my tethered connection.
Earlier this morning, Sabina sent this link to me as a "funny morning link" from dlisted.com. It's a clip from The Today Show circa 1994, with the hosts asking each other "What is the Internet?" At that time, many of us were exploring chat rooms and pondering the crazy horror of never leaving the house again just in case ordering groceries online became a possibility.
What struck me about this clip was the helpless, yet fascinated attempts Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric made at trying to define the Internet, and what the @ symbol means (when used in what is now known as an email address). A producer from behind the camera describes the Internet as a way to communicate, a giant bulletin board. Bryant goes on to explain how the Internet helped people communicate during a recent 1994 CA earthquake, especially after the phone lines went dead.
Sound familiar? Yes. During almost every uprising or revolution that takes place now days, people communicate and coordinate over the Internet, via Twitter. One of the early examples was protests in Iraq in 2009 after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won re-election over opponent Mir Hossein Moussavi, and the people thought the election was rigged.
Here is CommonCraft.com explaining Twitter in plain English:
- Online Classes
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!
- #Blogging (8)
- #Branding (48)
- #BusinessSurvivalStories (6)
- #EntrepreneurshipNews (10)
- #Facebook (27)
- #Finance (3)
- #HeartThisBiz (12)
- #HolisticBusiness (1)
- #Legal (4)
- #LifeofBizOwners (54)
- #MembershipGoodies (for Product Based Bizes) (30)
- #MembershipGoodles (for Service Based Bizes) (29)
- #MemberSpotlight (66)
- #MotivationMixes (21)
- #PRCampaigns (81)
- #Press (1)
- #Quotes (2)
- #RoundUp (22)
- #SEO (18)
- #SmallBizSnacks (1)
- #SmallBizStyle (6)
- #SNAGGED! (18)
- #SocialNetworking (38)
- #Strategy (82)
- #Twitter (26)
- #WebsiteDesign (22)