How would it feel for your small business to catch the eye of Theo Paphitis, retail entrepreneur and former BBC2 Dragons Den investor, on Twitter?

I can tell you… it feels fantastic!

Theo Paphitis #SBS

Theo is well known for his support of small business in the UK. It is said he does more to support small business than our own government.

Theo says…

 “I admire people who have passion and energy. If you cannot bore your friends to death about your own small business then something is seriously wrong. I was struck by the number of business owners on Twitter who wanted to tell me about their new products and services. Small Business Sunday was born so that people have a specific time slot to tweet and can pitch their ‘sell’ directly to me.

My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club. Like-minded individuals can share successes and learnings.”

The benefits to small business for winning a place in Theo’s Twitter #SBS family include:

          • A retweet by Theo to his 469,000 Twitter followers.
          • Access to a Press Release template to personalise and send to your local newspaper.Alyson Reay SBS Winner
          • A profile page on Theo’s #SBS website where you can post your blog and make offers to other members.
          • Your own #SBS winners badge for use in your website, online profiles and marketing materials.
          • Online networking with #SBSwinners through a private Facebook page and a once weekly Twitter chat hour, as well as having a supportive community to network with on any day of the week.
          • An invitation to Theo’s annual #SBS Winners Event, with guest speakers, networking with #SBS winners, and an opportunity for a photo with Theo as he presents your winner’s certificate.

 

10 easy steps to a Theo Paphitis #SBS win*.

 

  1. Follow @TheoPaphitis and @RymanStationery on Twitter.
  2. Tweet about your business in 140 characters or less, directed to @TheoPaphitis, adding the hashtag #SBS. Remember fewer characters are easier to reweet, so try to keep it short. 
  3. Tweet on a Sunday between 5.00-7.30 PM.Alyson Reay SBS
  4. Use humour and topicality if it feels natural to you.
  5. Feel free to add a link or web address in your tweet.
  6. Having a website increases your chances of being noticed.
  7. Ensure your profile sells your business and has a link to your website. Include a colourful graphic.
  8. It helps to know the names behind the business. #SBS is for small businesses. The personal touch is liked.
  9. Just tweet once in each weekly time slot.
  10. Look out for the 6 re-tweets on Monday at 8.00 PM.

 

Honestly, it’s that easy.

Don’t be tempted to tweet more than once a week, or get all your friends to retweet your entry. Theo doesn’t take kindly to such antics, and irritating Theo would be completely counter productive!

And don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen straight away. Theo attracts more than 1500 #SBS entries each week and he only selects 6 winners.

The most difficult part of the process for someone like me, not blessed with patience, is… to be patient.

It can sometimes take a while before you catch Theo’s eye. While I have had earlier success with 2 of my Twitter clients @Customcookieco and @TheHothouseCafe, my own #SBS win took longer.

As the *10 step process (copied from Theo’s own #SBS website) shows, he likes humour, a graphic and the personal touch, but none of us know the precise winning formula. In fact I suspect there is no real formula, except that your entry has to stand out from the crowd.

Playing on the #SBS Small Business Sunday theme, my own SBS Small Business Social strapline did the trick for me.

Follow the steps, be imaginative and be patient… and good luck!