Going For It: Work Friends: My Kids Would Love Your Fundraising For Their School!

Hello Tin Shinglers!

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners work in seeming isolation. We (usually) don’t have work offices to go to that involve a bunch of co-workers. I do work our own office at Tin Shingle, but I’m usually the only one there! LOL Sometimes Kat comes in, and Yvonne and I have tricky schedules with our kids. Shayne is all the way in PA, and I’m still waiting for Ashley to get back from traveling the world building homes for people in need.

So I bring this to you, my Tin Shingle friends. The main fundraiser for my kid’s school has started, and there are only a few days left for us to fundraise. Details are below in this letter that you would have gotten had you been my work buddy or family member:


First Day of Spring means a few things around here, including that it's the start of Ruby and Cole's annual school fundraiser! It's actually a giant color "marathon" called the Color-A-Thon around the block of their school, where they get to squirt color powder on themselves. It's a total mess, and really fun.

It's the main fundraising event, even though fundraising opportunities happen all year round in little ways, as spearheaded by the South Avenue PTA. And little ways have made a big difference. With your support, the following has made its way into South Avenue Elementary School, making the learning days so much better for everyone:

  • Purchased new playground equipment - a Climbing Wall and Ten Spin. You'll see pictures of these as Cole, Ruby and I do "Beastmaster Training" this summer when we jog outside and go to South Avenue for some sprints!

  • Funded field trip for 1st graders.

  • Purchased class supplies for several teachers.

  • Sustainable school link with an Ethiopian partner school spearheaded by Mr. Burke (WOW!)

  • Funded 4+ assemblies in 2018-2019 school year.

  • On the books for the rest of the year includes murals for inside and outside (beginning summer of 2019) and a Sensory Walk for indoor corridor.

We love South Avenue so much, and appreciate the learning they give to Ruby and Cole, and the coaching they give for their early life skills. Kindness continues at South Avenue.Thank you for your consideration!

Ruby and Cole are both fundraising, and have set big goals. The entire PTA goal is $8,000, so we have each set $300 (total $600) for our family. We are going for it.

And there are only  FIVE DAYS LEFT! Eeps! Sorry for the last minute notice :) Friday, March 25th is our cutoff.

Donations Can Be Made Online:

Ruby's Donation Page: http://shop.schoolathon.org/index.asp?PID=498913
Cole's Donation Page: http://shop.schoolathon.org/index.asp?PID=498915
(Thank you if you have already donated! Just including you in this email to keep you included.)

THANK YOU!!Katie and David and Charlie (until he's in South also)

Today's TuneUp: Basic Basic Basic Marketing Tips For Know It Alls

Basic Basic Basic Marketing Tips For Know It Alls

When: Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
Time: 3pm EST
Where: At your computer or on your phone.
Price: Free for all during this live broadcast.

Today's TuneUp was inspired by a conversation with a business owner that went something like this: "Oh, I've taken all of the top marketing classes from all of the top gurus. I'm all set with that."

Upon visiting that business owner's website - which happened after a Google search revealed nothing for them, and after Instagram also came up empty - there were plenty of other gaping holes at the website.

During today’s live Tin Shingle TuneUp, we are visiting some basic marketing concepts that you are doing - that you think may be enough. But they are not enough. Much of what you are doing is AMAZING. And it needs to get out there. This TuneUp goes covers some very basic - yet very powerful - strategies you can use in SEO, social media, and basic marketing to your customers that you may not be taking advantage of.

We're going to talk about how - and the opportunities you are missing - today.

Click here for the free registration link.

Do Something Today that Scares You

Do something today that scares you...

c’mon...just do it!

What did you do?

I’ll start: a newspaper wanted to trade advertising with my local blog. I don’t trade. And I couldn’t think of what I wanted in return. Until yesterday. And then I went for the ask - a quarter page of headlines and my publication’s logo. And a business card ad to advertise my A Little Beacon Space. In return, I’d list their headlines (which my readers do need to see as we all report on so much local news). We’ll see! 


Money Monday: Show Them Value: Don't Lower Your Price

We hear a lot about pricing here at Tin Shingle. You're getting the word out about something you sell (most of you...some of you are trying to change the world with a great initiative), and when things get slow, you think that pricing is the problem.

Pricing Is Not The Problem!

More often than not, someone isn't buying because they:

  • Don't understand the product or service.

  • Can't find the product or service on your website.

  • Maybe they just can't afford it, but this is less often the case.

Think About The "Why" In What You're Selling

What are people buying from you? Happiness (furniture paint)? Craftiness (fabric)? Beauty (a very adorable hat)? An easier life (service)? Confidence (tech support)?

Show Them The Value

Show. Don't tell. Rather than explain in person the benefits, show them in your newsletter. Share a Testimonial on your website and in your Instagram. Email a newsletter to your entire client list with a good idea or a project just completed for another client. Others will see this, and think of how it can apply to them.

Don't Lower That Price

If you sell a membership for $100/year, but signups have been sluggish, don't think that changing it to $40/year will improve anything. Your sales will stay the same, or continue to slow down.


Because the members at the $100/year level didn't see the value. They either lost sight of it, or you didn't dedicate resources to showing them the value.

  • Did you send them a special newsletter?

  • Did your print newsletter stop going out?

  • Did any organized way of communicating what you do do ever reach them?

  • Did you tell your people of your own business' accomplishments? Were you recognized somewhere for something?

Your people need to know this.

Solution: Study Your Website + Send Newsletters

What to do when you're not getting responses from the media and new customer sales are lackluster?

  • Make changes to your website.

  • Listen to your customer's feedback. If they aren't doing what you think they should be doing, the problem isn't them. It's you. And that's OK! Discovering a problem that a customer has is a golden opportunity to discover the opportunity that 1,000 other customers probably also are having, but never told you about.


We actually talk about this stuff in the every-other-Wednesday Members-Only TuneUp. Your challenges. Your problems. Your joys. All brought out in a very small Tin Shingle Member group meeting. Find out when our next online meeting date is in the TuneUp Schedule.

Businesses Experience Shifts During Tin Shingle’s Member Only TuneUp

These every-other TuneUp weeks are fun! When we open up the Training TuneUp to All Access Members of Tin Shingle and listen directly to their challenges, and identify missed opportunities, shifts happen!

Lately, we have been talking about what their pitches to the media read like (after reviewing them in our Pitch Whisperer group feedback forum), and what their websites look like. If you catch the attention of a very busy media person with your email pitch, they are going to go to your website to investigate. What are they seeing there? You know what you sell and how you sell it, but is that translated effectively on your website and in your social?

Big website changes have resulted from these meetings for Tin Shingle Member Fluid Running. Mike, the Communications Director at Fluid Running, the app-based coaching program for people who run in water (I know!!!), has been doing a superb job making adjustments to their website to illustrate how “deep water running” works for different types of people. This is a challenge because it’s a new concept to most people, but a niche training method for hard core runners, yet very beneficial to all.

Our newest attendee to the special Members Only TuneUp is Paola from Bag Romance, a high end luxury bag rental company. Bag Romance has quietly been around for a bit, but has been refining their website and branding. Paola joined Tin Shingle because she is ready to introduce Bag Romance to the media, and is looking for the best ways to do so. She’s also looking for a support system, because pitching the media requires endurance training! And that’s what we provide here at Tin Shingle.

Join is for the next TuneUp! See the schedule in the TuneUp section.


Tin Shingle Member Fluid Running Featured In LA Times Winter Workout Gear!

LA Times Features Fluid Running

Congratulations to Tin Shingle Member Fluid Running, who was featured in the LA Times this past January for Winter Workout Gear! The Fluid Running app based program gets you moving - running - in a pool and comes with flotation device and Bluetooth headset to listen to the workouts.

#SelfCareSunday Gets Added To Tin Shingle’s Hashtag Cheat Sheet


JUST UPDATED: Tin Shingle’s Hashtag Cheat Sheet (for Members Only)

Found this gem - #selfcaresunday - in Family Circle magazine’s February issue. They are promoting and keeping their eye on #selfcaresunday. PS: Tin Shingle has Family Circle’s 2019 Editorial Calendar should you want broad insight as to the themes the issues they are working on next, should you want to pitch them with an idea about your business, project or initiative. Family Circle is geared towards women and covers Career, Food, Health, Style, and Teens.

The Following Sections Have Been Updated in Tin Shingle’s Hashtag Cheat Sheet:

Need inspo on what hashtags to use for your brand, which should be unique to every post? Tin Shingle has a Cheat Sheet for that, and you can instantly access it with an entry level Membership with Tin Shingle (starts at $45/month, totally flexible and monthly).

“Hashtags Magazines Are Using Now”

“Days of the Week Hashtags”

“Self Care” (NEW)

What Are “Hashtags Magazines Are Using Now”?

When we see a magazine promote a hashtag in their Table of Contents, Letter From The Editor, or other page in their book, we make note of it for our Tin Shingle Members in our Hashtag Cheat Sheet so that they can have easy insight into what hashtags magazines are paying attention to.

Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find in the “What Magazines Are Using Now” section:

Cooking Light


Darling Magazine
#ThatsDarling - pretty

Family Fun Magazine

Family Circle

Fashion Magazine
#Recos - Used for recommendations on podcasts, shows, books, and music

Family Circle

Folk Magazine
#LiveAuthentic - outdoorsey

Food & Wine

Rachael Ray Every Day
#LikeABoss - Used for women who are changing the culinary landscape

Marie Claire

Outside Magazine

Parents Magazine

Seventeen Magazine


Women's Health
#WHStrong (fitness moves or something cool you did while working out)

This section of Tin Shingle's Hashtag Cheat Sheet is just one of dozens of deep dives you could do to discover a broader, yet niche audience.

Sometimes, brands like yours who post regularly to Instagram will get reached out to from a magazine, TV, radio show or podcast because someone there found something you posted while they were digging down a hashtag rabbit hole.

Make Your Own Luck

Strategies like these help you make your own luck. Activate your membership today to start making that happen! You need ideas - Tin Shingle can help!

What Editors Want - According to Entrepreneur Magazine's Jason Feifer

There I was, reading a magazine in print one night (because you all should - put the Kindle down - the electric light is bad for your eyes - just subscribe to your favorite magazines in print and read them), and hit the Letter from the Editor in Entrepreneur Magazine. Normally I skip this part, unless the first sentence catches me, hinting that I'm going to get real thoughts from the editor and not just an overview of what the issue is about.


Jason Feifer, Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, often dedicates this space to his readers, to educate them in how to pitch the media.  How to have that pitch work to convince them to feature you - for free. Because plenty of content now is branded aka paid, and it’s actually getting better all of the time. Point is - you want that honest validation from a media outlet. And Entrepreneur’s editor in chief is committed to telling you how to do that. This month, he zeroed in on two words you need to remember: “wanted” and “value”.

The key to a winning pitch is to show the value of what you’re saying right away. First sentence. Show the value of your business or your expert tips right away. Spark the idea in that editor’s mind of “why,” so that the lightbulb goes off in their head and they are like “OH! 🤩 I must show this to my people right away! They will thank my (magazine, TV show, podcast, etc) for sharing this with them!”

The secret to doing that is not to say:

- “Your readers will thank you for showing this to them.” Even though this is the inspiration behind your writing, and the wind beneath your wings of emailing the editor/writer/podcaster/etc. Skip saying that part. You’re going to show, not tell.

- “I wanted to...” Jason pulls this phrase out of a soggy pitch he received to call attention to this point: a winning pitch is not about what you want. It’s about what your receiver wants. Remove this phrase from any pitch you write. Even if it’s to a sponsor you are pursuing for advertising investment. Delete this phrase if you’ve typed it, and get straight to the point. Tell them why they need it, why it’s awesome, and what it is.

Good luck out there! Keep pitching. Keep practicing. Pitches made in real life are part of the practice, so keep finding people who are good matches for your message. Find those people in Tin Shingle’s Media Contact Library. We’re adding to it all the time. Send us your pitch drafts. Our Pitch Whisperer Sounding Board (fancy name for a Members-only community forum on our website) is where you can test your pitch, and get feedback in a safe and supportive space.


Tin Shingle : The Idea Center For Small Businesses

Need to grow your business? You need to get the word out. Marketing. Who to tell? Where to get featured? Tin Shingle’s PR Center has the answers at your fingertips. With a simplified Media Contact Library (over 3,000 names), paired with an Editorial Calendar Collection (over 100 titles), searching and getting inspired with ideas is at your fingertips. Tin Shingle’s tools help you realize what media coverage you can create for your business - that you did. Yeah, you did that! Membership with Tin Shingle will help you get there.


Martha Stewart Weddings 2019 Editorial Calendar Is Here - And You've Got 1 Chance!

martha stewart weddings editorial calendar 2019.jpeg

This Is Your One Chance For Martha Stewart Weddings!

Last summer, the publisher for Martha Stewart Weddings (Meredith) announced that it would reduce the magazine’s print run to just one issue per year - the Special Issue. That time is now. Well, that time for you business owners, photographers, beauty experts, makeup mixologists, bridal boutiques, and the rest of the wedding industry is now because the sole issue of Martha Stewart Weddings is being put together now, to be on magazine shelves in November 2019, right after Thanksgiving when those cozy family bonding moments turn to the beginnings of wedding planning.

Tin Shingle has the 2019 Editorial Calendar for Martha Stewart Weddings in our Editorial Calendar Catalogue for our business and artist members to browse through, in addition to the 100 other editorial calendars are in there.

You’re Going To Cold Pitch Martha Stewart Weddings

Like any editorial calendar, this one is going to give you a broad direction of what the editors are looking for to inspire their brides. They want makeup, hair, destinations, must-haves for any registry. Who you should pitch, and with exactly what, will not be spelled out. This is where your clever brain activates into high gear, and you think up the “why” and discover the “who” of who best to pitch.

Martha Stewart Weddings Contacts Updated In Tin Shingle

People are always changing jobs in the media, so Tin Shingle’s research team is always sprucing things up in our Media Contact Library. We just revisited this group, so if you’re an All Access Pass Member of Tin Shingle, you can log in and begin looking at who works where, and who might be the most appropriate person for your pitch.

How To Pitch?

We know, it can be scary! But it can be really fun, too. Just follow these guidelines:

  • Be super honest with yourself - is your product really a good fit for the pages of Martha Stewart? Is it “So Martha”?

  • Do you have beautiful pictures of it ready? Some with no background or a white background?

  • Deep breaths - the writers and editors are people just like you. You can be friendly and upbeat.

  • Are you an expert in your field? Do you have something to contribute to the false eyelashes trend and when to go big and when to apply blue lashes instead of black? Pitch yourself in as an expert, and include short bullet points of your tips. Really let the writers into your brain.

  • No need to write the article. This is hard - especially if you are an actual writer. Refrain from writing the article - just present an outline with bullet points and a picture.

  • Everyone should submit a picture. Even if you’re an expert.

  • Listen to any of Tin Shingle’s TuneUps that focus on pitching the media. We’ll give you the courage to do this, and the strategy.

The Magazine Lives On Shelves

These Special Issues are being sold in stores, and aren’t as readily available via subscription anymore. People will need to seek them out at Barnes and Noble, Walmart, etc. The “book” aspect of them is becoming greater, as people need to hold onto these Special Issue magazines if they like the reading experience. Which they do. Just see what this blogger wrote as she lamented the decision to reduce print runs and eliminate staff.

Do Consider Advertising In Martha Stewart Weddings

The two schools of thought should not even be a debate. Both advertising and organic editorial need to exist. Both offer benefits. Ads give you control over where you brand is showing up, and how that looks. Organic editorial gives your brand validation. However, an ad spend also signals that your brand is serious, committed, and probably rocking it if you can sponsor something. So definitely consider an ad buy in a directory or guide or even branded content offered and produced by Martha Stewart Weddings. The people producing the branded content are often the same people who produce the organic (unpaid) content, so you know it’s going to be beautiful.

The hipper magazines are doing branded content better. The older magazines are following suit, and I bet you have read articles that you had no idea were sponsored. Yet were clearly marked!

Let’s Hear Your Ideas! Tin Shingle Community Is Here For You

That’s right - when you’re logged into your PR Center at Tin Shingle, tap into our community on our website in our forum, or in our Facebook Group. Wherever you are comfortable hanging, we’ll hang with you there and be a sounding board.

We even have a Pitch Whisperer Forum where you can submit a draft of what you’re about to pitch.

Do it!