Today marks the third anniversary of my Twitter talk show #Smallbizchat.
We launched the weekly #Smallbizchat, in April of 2009, as a peer-to-peer mentoring program to help early stage entrepreneurs get answers to their small business questions. The goal was to provide information to help end small business failure. With 82% of small businesses going out of business in five years, we wanted to do something that would really be impactful by giving people information that, in many cases, they had no idea was critical to their business success.
Nearly 150 shows and over 150K followers later, #SmallBizChat has become an institution on Twitter as one of the longest running tweetchats. @SmallBizChat’s third anniversary show is tonight Wednesday April 25, 2012 from 8-9 pm ET, with guest Alexis Maybank, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Gilt Groupe www.gilt.com, one of the top online members-only shopping websites. Maybank is also the co-author of the new book for entrepreneurs “By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop.
My inspiration to launch the #Smallbizchat community happened after I wrote my bestselling book “Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works” (now in its third printing). Even before the book came out, I wanted to reduce the learning curve as individuals attempted to start and grow their small businesses. My message now reaches 1.5 million entrepreneurs online weekly and has created an additional career for me as social media marketing expert. In fact, more people know me as @SmallBizLady than my real name.
My blog SucceedAsYourOwnBoss.com, which is syndicated by the Huffington Post, has become a valuable resource to small business owners worldwide and Forbes Magazine named me #1 Woman for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter.
It has also afforded me the opportunity to be featured in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, USA Today, and Black Enterprise; a regular contributor to OpenForum.com, SecondAct.com and Entrepreneur.com, BlackEnterprise.com and Essence Magazine. And a featured a speaker for such organizations as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, INC Magazine, Bloomberg, #140 Conference, New York Expo, National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship and The Pennsylvania Governor’s Conference for Women.
My weekly interactive Twitter talk show #Smallbizchat, has given me the platform to help millions of small business owners. Doing a live show every week is a major commitment, but I love seeing chat participants “get it” – that charges me up every time. Tonight’s third anniversary show #Smallbizchat will feature Alexis Maybank Co-Founder of Gilt.com on the topic: “How to have a million dollar membership site. To celebrate the anniversary, we’ll give away copies of my book, Maybank’s book and limited edition #SmallBizChat t-shirts.
How does the #Smallbizchat work? Every Wednesday, Twitter users log onto tweetchat.com or tweetgrid.com to follow the interviews I conduct with noted small business experts, live at 8 pm ET. The expert guest types answers to questions using the using their Twitter account and the hashtag #Smallbizchat. Expert guests have included best-selling authors and small business experts Michael Gerber, Anita Campbell, Alan Weiss, David Allen and Peter Shankman many others. Each week, hundreds of participants join in to learn from Emerson and the guest, plus share what’s going on in their small businesses as well. Here’s more information on how to participate: http://bit.ly/S797e
About #SmallBizChat @Smallbizchat hosted by Melinda Emerson, @SmallBizLady, is an online community for emerging small business owners whose reach exceeds 1.5 million readers weekly. Committed to creating and sustaining a supportive network where all business owners can find answers and inspiration in their business endeavors. Melinda Emerson is regarded as America’s #1 Small Business Expert, with a fast-growing online brand providing resources for emerging and existing small business owners. Emerson’s corporate clients include Pitney Bowes, Deluxe, FedEx, American Family Insurance, Bloomberg, Walmart.com, Wells Fargo and Xerox. Emerson is a proud graduate of Virginia Tech.