Tin Shingle Tries Out Freemium Model for Marketing


Small Business Spotlight: Tin ShingleWho: Sabina PtacinWhat: An online community for small business ownersWhen: 2011Where: New YorkHow: When cofounder Sabina Ptacin started her own PR agency, she says she “didn’t know a thing about entrepreneurship.” So, she joined a networking group for business owners, and while she liked the community, she says she was still missing the nuts and bolts of how to run a business. After figuring it out on her own, Ptacin resolved to help other small business owners with their marketing needs, and launched Tin Shingle with her cofounder Katie Hellmuth-Martin. The site offers free educational content, as well as a premium membership priced at $75 per month, which gives small business owners access to PR opportunities and classes. Biggest challenge: “For us, the biggest challenge is that you have to stick to what works for you. We want to veer off and provide other services, so our challenge right now is to stay focused,” says Ptacin.One moment in time: Ptacin is proudest of seeing her Tin Shingle members “succeed at writing a pitch that [isn't terrible]!”Best business advice: “Just try it! What's the worst that could happen?  If it doesn't work out, you've got a great story to tell over a cocktail, and if it does, it could be spectacular!” says Ptacin. Most influential book: Ptacin recommends Marshall Goldsmith’s classic business book, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” to other small business owners.