Have you ever had a million dollar idea? Well that’s how I felt the day I launched #SmallBizChat. My initial idea was to create a peer-to-peer mentoring program online for small business owners, but what it has turned into over the last five years is a movement of people focused on small business excellence.
This week marks the fifth anniversary of #SmallBizChat. I call it my Twitter talk show. Every Wednesday night from 8-9pm ET, for five years straight I have interviewed a small business expert, live on Twitter, to help entrepreneurs get answers to their small business questions. Back in 2009, Twitter was still pretty new and tweetchats were just for power Twitter users, but quickly it became an incredible way to convene start-up and existing entrepreneurs to help each other.
I launched #SmallBizChat after writing my bestselling book “Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works”). The success of #SmallBizChat helped me build my following to well over 250,000 Twitter followers. It’s also helped me become a regular contributor in The New York Times, You’re The Boss Blog, Black Enterprise Small Business University and Essence Magazine. I’ve also become a regular commentator on MSNBC, Fox News, CNBC and NBC News. My blog SucceedAsYourOwnBoss.com is syndicated by the Huffington Post, and in 2012, Forbes Magazine named me #1 Woman for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter.
#SmallBizChat has now become the largest and longest running live Tweetchat for small business owners on Twitter reaching 2.5 million Twitter accounts each week. In addition to being known as “SmallBizLady,” my Twitter alter ego, they also call me the Oprah of Twitter, because very big names in business have been on #SmallBizChat. I am most proud that only small business owners and experts have ever appeared as guests on the chat. “We have a rule on #SmallBizChat, if you have a day job, you can’t be a guest expert. We have welcomed sponsors many times, and certainly have done plenty of free giveaways, but we never wanted #SmallBizChat to be a place where people felt like they were being sold to.”
Here are my top five best moments and guests on the show.
1) For our first anniversary, we featured Michael Gerber. This business legend is the author of one of the most important small business books ever written The E-myth Revisited, and he was one of the nicest guests I’ve ever interviewed. He talked about How to Take Your Small Business to The Next Level
2) When Guy Kawasaki joined #SmallBizChat for our second anniversary, the Twitterverse went crazy. People asked so many impromptu questions I could barely get my questions in. Guy was a great sport and he answered as many questions as time permitted.
3) When Candace Nelson from The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, stopped by #SmallBizChat, all the foodie fans went wild. She talked about How to Expand a Small Business
4) All the internet entrepreneurs were clamoring when Alexis Maybank, Co-Founder of Gilt Groupe stopped by #SmallBizChat to talk about How to Grow a Billion Dollar Membership Website. She was such a sweetheart, and she changed her schedule to join the chat that night.
5) When Shep Hyken came by to teach about customer service, so many people retweeted this post the next day I had make this one of the top moments on #SmallBizChat. Shep is the man! How to Give Amazing Customer Service Every Time
After nearly 250 shows, for #SmallBizChat’s fifth anniversary show this Wednesday April 23, 2014, 8-9 pm ET, we’ll have guest Steve Strauss, Senior Small Business Columnist at USA TODAY, and Founder www.theselfemployed.com.
I can trace my business success back to the start of #SmallBizChat. Since launching my @SmallBizLady brand on Twitter, and then my weekly interactive Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat, I have been given the platform to help millions of small business owners. My weekly interactive Q&A sessions with business experts really provide small business owners with actionable information they need. Doing a live show every week is a major commitment, but I love seeing chat participants “get it”. It charges me up every time.
How does #SmallBizChat work?
Every Wednesday, Twitter users use the hashtag #SmallBizChat to follow and participate in the live interviews I conduct with noted small business experts from 8-9pm ET. The expert guests type answers to questions using their Twitter accounts and hundreds of entrepreneurs join in to learn from our combined expertise, plus share what’s going on in their small businesses. Here’s how to be a participant in #SmallBizChat. Join us this Wednesday.