Behind the Scenes

Reading Cosmo

Cosmo is filled with mixed messages, but those that are delivered are worth reading - and ignoring the conflicting ones. Was never allowed to read Cosmo when growing up. But right now, it seems useful as a young person to read. Getting familiar with the different sections for Tin Shingle’s business owners, makers and artists who want to use it to get the word out.


Happy Tuesday: This Day Will Not Take Me

Yesterday was a tricky Monday. Filled with feelings of kicking booty butt, accompanied by all of the necessary visions for doing so, there were monkey wrenches about. Tuesday is a new day, often one that allows for a pulled focus on the top priorities left over from Monday.

As a business owner, you’re the only one making it happen. Meaning, there is no boss setting the rules for you. There is no formula you can step into. You are making the formula. Triggers can set this out of whack, and just know that you will bounce back.

Yesterday, despite feeling actually great, the childcare trigger tilted me. I made the choice to pull back on childcare, and it is currently smashing me. Yet I find hope in it. Yet it’s like water skiing, straddling the wake of each side instead of parallel skis.

It’s also tax season for some, those of us living in Extension Land. The last years I’d been an A student for this, but didn’t call my accountant for 2 things, and those things bit me (mistakenly taking out IRA contribution pre tax from paycheck, and not trusting Quickbooks automation for reconciling...instead opting to search for needles in haystacks...apparently their automation tool is good! So am getting a lesson in how to use it.).

But the silver lining is this: many are apparently getting audited this year, for expenses claims vs the new standard deduction. This gave us a chance to omit some personal expenses as freelance based people, to hopefully not trigger an audit. Nothing actually bad happened yesterday, and in fact good news was delivered, and problems solved. But the headspace of distraction tilted the day.

New day! Stay the course. Keep the focus. Go back to work. You know what you need to do. You’ve got this, Business Owner, Artist or Maker.

Pro Tip: Try filing. If you’ve got a buildup of papers not filed, take yourself to Target or your local paper or stationery store right now and buy some pretty file boxes (for the guys...whatever suits you). Buy yourself a pretty file cabinet from Pottery Barn if you need something sturdier. Start filing. This can trigger the completion energy in your brain, allowing you more fluidity in your thoughts to complete what you need to. Even folding and putting away laundry could have the same affect. 


Happy Monday! Today You're Going To Kick Booty Butt (but actually this...)

Photo Credit:    Katie James, Inc.

Photo Credit: Katie James, Inc.

Happy Monday!
Simple message for you today. Today you are going to kick bootie butt. Here's what we're working on for you at Tin Shingle:

  • Updating Media Contacts for O, The Oprah Magazine, the digital version.

  • Updating contacts for Women's Day Magazine (a great source for health, fitness and wellness experts, as well as gift guide and product roundup opportunities).

  • Gathering juicy highlights from Facebook's annual announcement platform, referred to as the F8 developer conference, where they announce where they say they are going in the year ahead...

Stay tuned to your inbox!

Postcards Through The Mail Slot As Effective As 10 Instagram Posts


Giddy to receive this postcard from the Beacon, NY based artist, Anna West, who is such a diligent promoter of her artwork. Anna was a guest expert on a Tin Shingle TineUp talking about how she uses Instagram to sell her artwork using the good old fashion conversation way, not even using the formal Instagram ad tool way.

Anna pays very close attention to the beauty around her and how she wants to paint it. She also pays attention to how her audience responds to which of her paintings, and paints more of what they love. Anna lives in a lot in hashtags to get in front of the right person who would be interested in a type of painting.

Pictured here is the ever-effective postcard that came through our mail door here at the Tin Shingle Office. Anna is a participating artist in Beacon’s Open Studios on May 18-19. One of the best interactive art events of the year in Beacon! While Anna’s painterly face has crossed my eyes many times in Instagram, it is this postcard that left the deepest impression on me. The behind the scenes thoughts of my brain when I received it was: “Oh my gosh, Beacon Open Studios is just around the corner, and Anna has opened her studio!”

Our sister media company A Little Beacon Blog is a proud sponsor of Beacon Open Studios.

This is the actual door of Tin Shingle’s office. We do have a mail slot!

This is the actual door of Tin Shingle’s office. We do have a mail slot!

Morning Work: TuneUp and 2019 Resolutions Prep

Prepping for today’s TinShingle TuneUp: practicing what I’m about to preach during the Inspiration section: unplug from computer at least 1 Morning a week to do Morning Work. This means kid’s forms and #magazining. One of my 2019 Resolutions is to read more magazines and Media Monitor. This is how it’s getting done.

Tune in today with me at 3pm EST to hear action steps for Polishing Your Brand During the Winter. Now is the perfect time to lose the old and replace with new content, new designs, new bold moves. Sign up for in the TuneUps section, or here:


It's Here :: The Time Tested Snow Day Survival Kit For Working From Home With Kids

Have been wanting to publish this Snow Day Survival Kit article for a year now! There were too many snow days last year to do it. So now on this first snow day in November, 2018, during this mega-storm that hit the Northeast, it has been written!

I’m still in the Snow Day, so a more proper blog post about this could not be written, but you can get to the article here by clicking here.

Tin Shingle Is Hiring: Research Assistant for Editorial Calendars + Media Contacts (Part Time)

It is with a heavy but excited heart that I let you know that Tin Shingle Team Member Ashley Cox is letting the wind blow her abroad to Warwick in order to volunteer to help build structures to help people. Little did you know that Ashley is actually trained in construction things, and can drive a bulldozer.

Ashley is like a Mary Poppins to me. She blew into my life when my first child was born, and has blown in and out of it ever since. Part of her working for Tin Shingle includes knowing that she can be accepted into a volunteer program at any time, and we are fully supportive of that. Ashley is a Super Sleuther, so we will miss her time away!

The move gets me into a discomfort zone, but it means I get to meet someone - or someones - else - which grows Tin Shingle all around. Don’t worry - Ashley hasn’t completely left Tin Shingle. We are all remote workers around here. She will be on top secret missions for Tin Shingle from time to time.

Please see below for the job information if it is a fit for you or someone you know.


Tin Shingle is a training center and community for business owners, artists and makers who are promoting their brands. Tin Shingle puts the power of PR, Social Media, SEO, eNewsletter and Design theory directly into the hands of creators with resources they can tap into any time. Crafted by business owners for business owners, Tin Shingle's programming trains people in how to get publicity, how to have sha-zam social media streams, and how to master newsletter marketing. Tin Shingle offers a subscription membership where people can access different resources to improve their outreach. You can learn about that here.


The person who is the right fit for this assignment loves to dig online, research who‘s writing what in the media, and can’t help but get sparked with article ideas from the research. If you don’t know what an Editorial Calendar is, but you want to learn, that is great.

This Research Assistant position will be hunting and gathering for two of Tin Shingle’s resource databases made available to our business and artists members who are pitching the media with article and story ideas: Editorial Calendars and Media Contacts.

Editorial Calendars: These are PDFs put out by magazines that present what a magazine will be generally about for each month. It’s a great way to know when a magazine will be doing their Back to School issue, or the big Gear Guide, or The Innovator Issue. The Research Assistant Googles and finds these PDFs online (usually found in Media Kits), or emails sales reps in the advertising department of a magazine to ask for the latest plans. Monthly themes are then typed up by the Research Assistant and imported into Tin Shingle’s database.

Media Contacts: Basic contact information for people who work in magazines, TV, podcasts, radio and blogs are available for Tin Shingle’s members to search through in our Media Contacts database. We start our research in a bigger media database called Meltwater, and then whittle down that list by our own cross-checking research to make sure a person still works there, or works in a different capacity (maybe a top editor moved from a full time position to a part time contributing writer at a publication). Job assignments will be to take a deep dive into a media outlet (Vogue) or a subject (Spirituality) to gather or update fresh information.

Please Note: This is a not a free ride into Meltwater for a PR professional looking for contacts for their clients. This is a research position that involves cross-checking and communication with Tin Shingle’s owner Katie to make sure we are updating people correctly. If you are a PR professional who really wants this gig, you can apply, but know that there are deliverables for each assignment and you won’t be pitching the media for this.

Skillsets Needed for This Job:

  • Fast Typer: You will be copying and pasting a lot, and may be re-writing in order for Tin Shingle’s members to get a better read on a person or magazine theme.

  • Fluid In Social Media: While researching a media contact, you will know how to Google and search to verify where someone is working, and what they tend to write about.

  • Excel Nerd: Everything we do at Tin Shingle is in Excel. Information you find is typed into Excel spreadsheets, and uploaded into Tin Shingle’s database by you (don’t worry - we have step-by-step directions!). Our systems to keep track of when a media outlet was updated is also in Excel in Google Drive so that we can stay coordinated and work together from the same document.

  • Communicator: You will be working directly with the owner of Tin Shingle, Katie, with updates of what you are finding, and any questions or judgement calls you have along the way.


This position is work-from-home (or wherever). You can live in Beacon or California or Colorado or Georgia. Tin Shingle does share an office with A Little Beacon Blog on Beacon’s Main Street, but our Open Hours are irregular. So it’s work-from-wherever to start.


Please send cover letter and résumé to addressed to Katie Hellmuth Martin. Email is best - no need to telephone in.


$20/hour, Part Time

About 10 hours per week

Thank you!


Private Training Workshop In Motion

Conducted a Private Training Workshop for these ladies yesterday, who have varying degrees of comfort online and with social media. This session covered a lots of Technical. A next session can indulge in Strategy.

Are you in need of Strategy and clever ideas? You can go pro with Tin Shingle with our Private Training Sessions. Booking on Monday’s only right now. Save your spot! This session was hosted in person in our Beacon, NY office, but can be condicted remotely via video conferencing. We make it easy.


Money Monday: e-Filing 1099s With QuickBooks Is Finally Easy!

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"Money Monday" at Tin Shingle is all about earning, spending or donating money from your business. Share your Money Monday experience or tip by submitting your idea here for consideration to be featured on Tin Shingle's blog.

Money Monday gets a gold glitter ball this week.

Every year, when prepping the books for taxes, I am so tempted to e-file the 1099s to our contract workers via QuickBooks instead of having our accountant prep them. Not that I don't love supporting another business owner! But he's going to get 3 sets of taxes to file from me, so this is chump change. The benefit, really, is the ease of use, and quickness of filing those 1099s.

QuickBooks has had an e-file 1099 option, but it's never been seamless enough for me to try. I'm error-prone, so if there is more than a 10% room for error, I abort and put it in the hands of the professionals. This year - and maybe it's just me - maybe QuickBook's platform has been the same all of these years, it's just me who grew more confident - I did it. I e-filed the 1099 through QuickBooks!

Took all of 5 minutes, after the prepping of each vendor - which consists of the following and is the same as if the 1099s were being submitted to the accountant:

  • Checking for their social or EIN number.
  • Updating their address and email.
  • Checking money totals against the actual bank transactions.

I take that back. There is one step that was new, and that was selecting the number of Accounts and Vendors that would be included in this pull for 1099s. "Accounts" means that there are different reasons that you spend money, and when you do, you select an Account to attribute how that money was spent. That part didn't take long, it was just new for me, which made me nervous, and made me remind myself not to over-create Accounts and get too nitty-gritty, but I shouldered through and selected the correct Accounts. I checked the money totals against the bank transactions, and got matches.

Once all of that was complete, QuickBooks has you review your information before entering your credit card to pay. And the price of filing is quite affordable. Not only was it pricier with my accounting firm (again, I don't mind supporting my local firm), but I didn't have to drive there to pick up and sign my approval for them to e-file (not that I mind seeing my local firm either!), and stamping them and putting them in the mail. QuickBooks puts them in the mail!

The step of filing of 1099s is often a forgotten one done at the last minute. So this is a way to help businesses not need to file extensions, and start the tax year off right!


Snow Day! Snuggle Up With Editorial Calendars


I stepped a booted foot here in the office as it began to snow just a half hour before our school’s canceled After School Program (translation: Early Kid Pickup) and probably a school snow day tomorrow!

Had to at least set foot in the office before the bump in the road, but I did hear from a Tin Shingle member, after we sent out the email alerting everyone to the rescheduled TuneUp on SEO,  which made it all better, because we are all in this together! She said: “I had three contingency plans today for no early dismissal, no after school sport and early dismissal – we got early dismissal 😃”

So Happy Snow Day everyone! We knew this was going to happen - snowdays slowing everything down for business in January. We talked about it during the TuneUp on Hibernating Your Business in December. Use this day to browse through the content ideas in Tin Shingle’s Editorial Calendar Database. What are editorial calendars? Here's a whole entire article on it, and even an article about how to pitch a magazine based on an editorial calendar, but in short, they are the yearly projections of what a magazine is working each month for the coming year. It is a general declaration, like "In June, Men's Health will be working on the Best Grills issue!" Things like that. They are a great resource to get your wheels turning. We research dozens of magazines for these editorial calendars, and put each one into Tin Shingle's private database that only our All Access Members can search through at any time.

We have PLENTY of Editorial Calendars for you to browse and get dynamite ideas for! Log in to get in our private collection. You’ll need to All Access Pass of Membership to get them, which you can learn about by clicking the Membership tab on the website.

Cheers to your hot chocolate today!