Social Media

WordSwag Releases More Font Options - Look At The Bird In Lumber Jack!

Word Swag does it again by opening up more design treatments on its free version of its app. And you know we love our Word Swag. Paying for the Word Swag app is still very worth it, as you get even more design options on your type treatment. But for now - the free version - just look at these new options for the same message. Your going to see a bird, a Star Wars inspiration, and variations on thickness of a swirly cursive font.

The 15 Minute Variation - Look At The Variation!

You Can Do This

Last week we sent you one of the above design treatments for the almost weekly Money Monday article. This week, we wanted to show you the behind-the-scenes process of getting there. How within 15 minutes, we had such a variation of visual to go with.

Should we go Star Wars theme? Or a "Put A Bird On It" theme?

The best part is, these are some new designs that are available in the Word Swag app now - at the free level. Though we always encourage you to upgrade to paid in order to keep companies like this alive.
What is Word Swag you may be asking? We've written about it here before, but it's one of our go-to apps for creating images that have words on them. Some call them "Word Posters" or "Quote Posters." Call it what you will - it's your easy and beautiful way of communicating with your people digitally. Word Swag takes fonts - and sometimes icons - and combines them into delicate, rough, or shocking combinations.

Combos We Love

Notice the emotional differences that each font presents to you. The bird is in “Lumber Jack,” which is a design treatment combo that has been free and open for a while, but the bird is new (new to us at least).
“Nine Teen Nineties” is new, and is the Star Wars inspo one. Then there are the other simple cursive design combos in the last two samples shown here that offer big differences: “Gothic Wonderland” offers a nice, crisp serif font paired with a thin and delicate cursive. And finally, our long-time favorite, “Summer Soiree” which offers a nice curve to and hug of the words.

If you haven’t been in Word Swag for a bit, update your app and open it up. And if you have been using it, it’s time for fresh styles!

Streaming Now: What To Pitch the Press for November + Tricks for SEO and PR

New Training TuneUp in the Member Center!

Hey Buzz Builder! You've got one more tool in your marketing tool-belt to create curated exposure to your brand. This is Tin Shingle Training you can access anytime.


What To Pitch The Press: November

Get ideas for what print magazines are looking for now (aka Long Lead), then blogs and websites (Short Lead), and hot news trends you can piggy back on for quickie articles at your website or others, and your social media.

BONUS: "But pitching doesn't work for me": This question will be discussed during the TuneUp, with suggestions on what to change in your pitching to the media.

BONUS: "But why would any magazine feature me?": This question will be discussed during the TuneUp, with myth-busters on why any business should want - and get - media coverage. Be you a website designer, jewelry designer of single pieces, or anything.


Trick Or Treat:

5 Tricks for PR, Instagram, SEO

This TuneUp was originally recorded on Halloween, thus the Halloween inspired Tricks and Treats you're going to get for doing your own PR and Instagram posting. This was a quick TuneUp because there was costuming to be done! Get PR and Instagram Tricks, and what might make for some Rotten Candy PR!

Taming The ADD That Is Your Phone - Killing Notifications


Ever since I deleted Facebook from my phone this past Spring, I've been thinking about distractions, and how nice it is to not be distracted by all of the inner mumblings of all of the people out there that I have access to in that platform.

Scratch that. Ever since I read the feature piece in Variety magazine last Spring about children and addiction to devices, I've been more aware of how much time I've been staring at my phone. Or of my kids staring at the phone.

Finally, when I was enjoying the latest new feature from Instagram - creating Instastories by picking stickers and writing words in different fonts to be placed onto the image - I was getting constantly interrupted by Text messages and News notifications. So much so, that when they'd pop in at the top of my screen, I'd accidentally click on them because I was already going to click on the Font selection tool in Instastory, or to research more gif stickers of sparkly stars.

Killing the Text and News Notification PopUps Saved Me

And that's when I killed my Notifications for Text and News. Entirely. Not set on Temporary mode, where it blips up there for a few seconds and then disappears rather than waiting until you physically pay attention to it and swipe it away. It's just gone now.

Don't worry - they show up on my Lock screen, and my phone vibrates when a text comes in. Oh yeah - over a decade ago, I silenced all notifications on my desktop and mobile device. If you really want to drive yourself crazy, keep all of the sound alerts on. Someone who texts me for the first time (aka not a text-versation I know I'm in) might need to wait an hour or 15 minutes for me to reply to text if I don't feel it in my purse. And you know what? That's OK! We cannot be available on-demand all the time!

Convenience is getting in the way of our brains. Notifications like this are definitely triggering anyone with a hint of ADD tendencies to not focus or stay in their creative zone of a thought to complete a task with any amount of satisfaction. Want to know why you're never done in Facebook? Because there are constantly new notifications popping up in there telling you about who said what and which event they are going to.

Turn it all of, and Facebook will start emailing you about it, even though you've unsubscribed from that new type email marketing they just created.  Literally yesterday I got an email from Facebook: "Katie: Did you know that Susie just commented on Abby's post?" I've unsubscribed from this type of new email notification several times, to obviously no avail.

Help Yourself Market Better

You can be a great marketer in this age of distractions, but relying on tech companies to solve your problems of distraction won't work. They designed the distractions. If they design more tools to curb the distractions, you can see how that doesn't work. So. Turn them off.

It's nice of Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, to speak out as a PSA about the over-use of devices, how people are using the device they produce way more than they think they are (how can they not? it's a phone, a computer, a camera, a mailbox, a video game, a TV remote) while Cook was on a media tour promoting Apple's new feature, Screen Time, that tracks everything you do on the phone, including when you physically pick it up (no thanks!). As tech reporter Seth Fiegerman put it in his article for CNN Tech: "Welcome to 2018, when tech companies hold major press events to introduce innovative ways to use their products less."

Remember a time when you just had a phone. A land line, that might have been mounted to your kitchen wall. What did you do when you weren't on the phone? You took pictures outside with your camera. You drew. You kicked a soccer ball with your foot instead of flicking it across the screen with a random person maybe you are connected to in a soccer app.

Your brain will thank you. You will stay informed. You will still be able to check the news headlines, or see them on your "Lock" screen when your phone is sitting idle next to you at all times. You'll just be calmer, less frazzled, and you may complete a task. With satisfaction.

The Takeaway for Marketers - Headlines Are More Important Than Ever

If you remove several touch-points for notifications, you'll rely more than ever on short-form writing. The headline for a news story. The subject line in the email. Don't worry - this doesn't mean we are reading less. In fact, we may start reading more because we aren't getting interrupted. But - the trigger to get us into an article will be the headline, tweet, or email subject line.

Tin Shingle has a Training TuneUp for that. It's called "The Art of the Subject Line" and you'll want to follow the guidance presented in order to write spot-on email subjects that keep your open rates high, and your audience keeping up with what your business is doing.

The Art of the Email Subject Line

The most important part of your entire e-newsletter is the subject line. How you write the subject line will dictate the chances of your subscribers opening the newsletter you worked so hard on. In this Training TuneUp, find out what kind of subject lines worked from real-life examples, and why. There is a method to the madness, and when done right, your sales could increase with the subject line alone.

First Response to Mark Zuckerberg's Testimoniy: Facebook's Problems Will Persist

Many thoughts are percolating after Mark Zuckerberg's historic first testimony yesterday before a House Committee. I'm preparing Tin Shingle's TuneUp on a Facebook Backup Plan for marketers and business owners, but below are my thoughts as first published to my own friends on Facebook, as I also prepare to scale way back on emotional moments I put into Facebook, and the photos of my family that I plan to remove:

Mark Zuckerberg’s Achilles Heel is that he thinks that data and the computing of that data can solve everything. He has a developer’s mind with a brain that works very much like a database, and that landscape is what he understands. When presented with the question today of if Facebook is a Tech company or a Publishing company, he picked Tech (I’m not even sure what “tech” means because all tech produces something outside of itself).

Facebook is a publishing company. People self-publish. There is no filter. No editor. Aside from a very few admins of groups, and still, selection is then up to their ethics and positions on censorship and filtering for good health.

Then, there are machine editors in the algorithms, and that circles back to data. Facebook is a publishing company. People publish to it largely uncensored. People become cannibals of their own minds by beating themselves up in their own minds, and beating each other up outwardly - but silently - semi-privately - on groups - or people’s pages or business pages. Facebook lets people become social cannibals, destroying each other. Even the good ones get inward and throw stones. Zuckerberg started Facebook as a place to rate people’s “hotness”. It started as a judgement zone. It remains so.

Businesses who are on to disseminate information are siphoned by Facebook and need to pay to play. But even those rules are skewed, and the people who want to see our businesses can’t when they want to. Unless they dig into Facebook settings to require that they see the information first. Same for friends and family.

I don’t see Facebook’s problems getting solved anytime soon because Zuckerberg is too database/computer driven, and not thoughtful enough. He has a responsibility as a publisher. He’s hands off, but he’s the enabler. Sheryl Sandberg is not empathetic enough to understand either. She learns with life experience, sadly, like the lesson she learned about bereavement leave when her husband passed. And Zuckerberg will too when his child gets addicted to Facebook or videos or to headlines the way all of us have. And then Zuckerberg will understand. But not until then. His choices, in the meantime, while well-meaning, are not ones I trust.

Don’t get me started on listening speakers. All I can tell you is - don’t let a talking speaker in your home. From any of them. Amazon. Facebook. Google. It’s an open listening device that can be tapped into, or more of your words sold for advertising and retargeting to market to you. Smart, machine-based marketing, but lazy marketing that trades on privacy currency.

Hashtag Highlights Roundup - What The Magazines Are Using Right Now

Tin Shingle's Instagram Hashtag Cheat Sheet

One of our favorite groups of hashtags to highlight - the print magazines! "What Hashtags Magazines are Using Now."  Because guess what. Your photo could wind up in the pages of those magazines - just because you got your photo in front of an editor's eyes who is following that hashtag! This is one of our favorite tricks.

If you are a follower of our Hashtag Highlight blog series you probably have started a list of your own favorite hashtags. The real diggers of awesome information have dug into Tin Shingle's collection in our Instagram Hashtag Cheat Sheet in the The Boards section of Tin Shingle's Member Center on our website, available to members only. In this roundup, we're pulling up some of our favorite ones.

#LiveBravely - Outside Magazine

#DisruptAging - AARP The Magazine

#HowWeFun - Family Circle

#LikeABoss - Rachael Ray Everyday

#HowISummer - Food & Wine

PS: You must be logged into your Tin Shingle Member Center account to get to all of the hashtags we've curated. Membership at the Community Level 1 is required. If you're not an upgraded member, do it here!