small biz chat with melinda emersonMelinda Emerson launched #Smallbizchat on Twitter in April of 2009, as a peer-to-peer mentoring program to help entrepreneurs get answers to their small business questions. The live chat convenes small business owners from across the U.S. and the world to discuss issues related to running and growing a small business. Every Wednesday, Melinda conducts live interviews with noted small business experts. The guests type answers to questions using their Twitter accounts. Small business owners join the conversation by using the hashtag #Smallbizchat to chime in with answers as well. #SmallBizChat is the largest online community for small business owners on Twitter reaching over 2.5 million twitter accounts each week. The mission of #Smallbizchat is to end small business failure.

How does #Smallbizchat work? You must have a Twitter account to participate. The chat takes place every Wednesday night from 8-9pm EST. Participants use tchat.io or twubs.com to follow the conversation using the hashtag #Smallbizchat. In the last five minutes of every chat, all participants are invited to share their “120 character” commercial about their businesses.

Who can be a guest on #Smallbizchat? You must be a small business owner, author, or subject matter expert to appear as a guest on #Smallbizchat. This chat is focus on educating our business community. Expert guests have included best-selling authors and small business experts Michael Gerber, Jean Chatzky, David Allen, Anita Campbell, Barry Moltz, Jill Konrath and Peter Shankman. #Smallbizchat guests are booked two months in advance. Once your topic is selected, you will be required to submit 12 questions and answers in paragraph form to demonstrate your expertise. For details on how to submit your information to be a guest on #Smallbizchat click here.

How can my company sponsor #Smallbizchat? We invite brands to sponsor #Smallbizchat for one week, one month or three months. We allow brand managers to work with us on the topic or suggest a small biz expert to be a guest. Or you may sponsor the chat with a pre-selected guest. As part of your sponsorship, you will receive four branded tweets during the show with links to a special offer or promotion. If your company is interested in sponsoring #Smallbizchat please contact Karen@melindaemerson.com for details.

Is there a transcript of #Smallbizchat? Every Thursday morning on Melinda’s blog, a complete Q&A interview from each #Smallbizchat is posted as a recap http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com

Information on the topic and each week’s guest can be found by following @SmallBizChat and @SmallBizLady on Twitter.