Can one little tweet make a positive difference to your business? It can if you tweet former Dragon’s Den investor, Theo Paphitis, as part of his #SBS initiative to help small businesses.
SBS stands for Small Business Sunday. If you run a small business in the UK, you can tweet him between 5pm and 7.30pm every Sunday telling him what you do. On Monday, he goes through the hundreds of tweets he’s received and picks his six favourites to retweet to his 460,000 followers.
I found out about #SBS in a free Twitter marketing eBook from social media expert, Veronica Pullen. Veronica won a while back and highly recommends it to other business owners because of the extra exposure and credibility it gives you. So I thought I’d give it a try this year, and on Sunday 4 January, I tweeted
with a link to my “Photography for Busy Business People” course.
I know that businesses have to wait months or even years to get noticed by Theo so I put a repeating entry in my diary for Sunday evenings to remind me to enter #SBS again, then thought no more about it.
On Monday evening, I was editing some photos as usual, when my Twitter notifications started going mad. Initially, I thought perhaps all the businesses who enter SBS tweet one another and that’s why I was getting a lot of activity. But as I scrolled down the list of notifications, there were lots saying congratulations and right at the bottom of the list, there it was – a RETWEET FROM THEO. As one of my friends said later, this was one occasion where OMG was an appropriate response!! I was genuinely gobsmacked at being chosen on my first attempt. Thank you so much Mr P!
I spent the rest of the evening responding to everyone’s messages, thanking Theo and drinking half a bottle of Prosecco (no more dry January for me!) It was perfect timing too because there’s an annual event for all the SBS winners and this year’s was at the end of January at the ICC in Birmingham.
So that’s where I was last Friday. And what a great event it was. Lots of opportunity to network with my fellow winners (who all seem to be a fabulously positive bunch of people), a demo of the great new SBS winners website, an excellent question time session with a panel of inspiring entrepreneurs, including Theo of course. And, for anyone who’d won this year, a photo opportunity with the man himself. If it was appropriate to your business, you also got a chance to pitch to the buyers at Ryman’s, Robert Dyas and Red Letter Days. Plus the goodie bag that we all received was full of great bits and bobs from Ryman’s, Robert Dyas and the other sponsors – I don’t need to buy a new pen for a while ;-) And all of it was absolutely free. How fantastic is that?
So has it made a difference to my business? Well, it’s exactly a month since I won, and in that time my Twitter following has increased by nearly 20% and most of those new followers are in the target market for my business photography and videography courses. My local search engine ranking has improved – I have been working on other things that might affect that but I’m pretty sure my profile on the #SBSWinners website has helped considerably. And it’s been a topic of conversation at the regular networking meetings I go to, so it’s helped raise awareness locally of what I do. It’s also given me a boost in confidence to get on with converting my popular “Photography for Busy Business People” workshop into an online format that I can share with businesses across the UK and abroad. More news on that and some new dates for my other business workshops very soon.
So if you run a small business, I’d highly recommend that you take the trouble to enter. It will only take you a minute or two to do but if you’re a winner, the rewards are worth it. All the details on what you need to do are at www.theopaphitissbs.com
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