In the early days of Stamptastic we had become aware of an event on Twitter called #SBS (Small Business Sunday). An initiative of Theo Paphitis, (former Dragon off the telly box).
Theo invites Small Businesses to tweet him on a Sunday evening using the hashtag #SBS and then ReTweets his favourite 6 the following Monday. The chosen few automatically belong to the #SBS club with access to the #SBS website, a dedicated closed Facebook group, are invited to an annual meet up of #SBS winners in Birmingham, as well of course gaining amazing coverage on twitter from the ReTweet.
We had been regularly tweeting Theo on a Sunday with no success and had almost given up. In August 2014 I was settling down at the theatre with my husband when I thought I would tweet Theo one last time.
“@TheoPaphitis got the school uniform but dreading the labelling? Stamp instead! 7 day FREE UK delivery. www.stamptastic.co.uk #SBS“
During the interval I turned on my phone and let out a shriek! I was amazed to see that our Stamptastic tweet had been ReTweeted by Theo to his 450k twitter followers. During the rest of the interval (not the second half of the play, although I was tempted), all the way home, all evening and the following day I replied to hundreds of tweets and new followers wishing Stamptastic well. Stamptastic also saw a surge in orders at an already busy ‘back to school’ period.
A little tip for those of you who are hoping to be chosen by Theo. We believe that our tweet was chosen because we tweeted on 26th August a week before Autumn term starts in England. Our personalised name stamps mean that a parent no longer has to sew on iron on labels into school uniform. A brilliant time saving product. So if you want Theo to pick you then think carefully about when might be the best time to tweet!
As winners we were invited to the #SBSevent2015 at the ICC in January last year and had an amazing day out. We pitched to buyers, met fellow #SBS winners who we had been tweeting with and were inspired by the speakers in the Q&A session. We left feeling slightly overwhelmed at all the things we could be doing to improve our business but were determined to make changes that would help our fledgling business grow.
Since then we have had an extremely busy time. Sales went through the roof in the summer of 2015, (let’s face it, who wants to sew in or iron on labels onto school uniform?), our facebook likes went from 3500 to 13500 and we committed to a brand new website which will hopefully launch in Spring of this year.
This year the #SBSevent2016 was a different experience for us. I arrived the night before (unlike last year when we just turned up for the day) and met fellow #SBS winners.
It was a little daunting at the beginning as unfortunately Emma was unable to go. I shouldn’t have worried though because before I could even order a drink I met Ben (The Perfume Studio) and we nattered on about facebook and how our businesses had some synergy (Mother’s Day). We are hoping to connect Stamptastic with The Perfume Studio in the coming weeks so watch this space! Thanks for the drink by the way, Ben!
I also met Fiona from Coome Mill, I am a HUGE fan of Fiona. Not only is she a mum of 6 (including triplets), but she also runs incredibly successful Coombe Mill Farm and in my humble opinion is one of the most knowledgeable people I know about SEO. Fiona also wore the most incredible dress to #SBSevent2016. I have asked Emma if we can do the same next year but I haven’t met with a great response ha ha.
It was a delight to meet Lara of Corporate Baby and Hampers by Lucy, Karen Davey, Jen from Grippy Leads, Alyson from Sassy Social Marketing, our very own accountant Claire, Peter (in hid ridiculously bright orange jumper) from Tyres2U, Chris from Metal Frog (who are currently building our shiny new website), Shelley Labelle Cake Company, Dave from Opus Creative Design (who has just registered his schools PTA with us-thank you Dave), as well as many many more!
At Stamptastic we manage all of our own social media which sometimes can feel overwhelming as there is always so much you can do. But #SBSevent2016 inspired us to work harder on our blog and keep everyone posted about what we are getting up to. So we started at the conference by periscoping (sorry it was the wrong way round, I wish they would change that) the Q&A session which we have since uploaded to our youtube channel (We are going to become more active on that too!). I was delighted to see that fellow #SBS winners who couldn’t attend the conference were following my live periscope broadcast and I have since received lovely feedback from them for keeping them involved and updated about the event.
The Question and Answer session was brilliant. Mike Pickles of The Really Useful Box Company and Holly Tucker (Founder of Not On the High Street) gave insightful, engaging answers and it was exciting to notice that we already implement a lot of the advice they were giving.
I was super excited to hear about the #SBS shop. I’m not sure how it would work for us as our stamps are personalised and the system would need to capture information for us. I did have an opportunity to talk to the very helpful Mark Childs about this and he assured me that whilst it understandably couldn’t be a priority for them it would be something that they will look into in the future. Maybe for now we should upload our products and then manually add them to our own system….we will see.
I also had the opportunity to chat to very helpful Nick Leech of 123reg. He gave me lots of tips as to how we could improve the SEO on our website. We have already started implementing some of his suggestions so hopefully we will start ranking higher on google.
Thank you to Theo, the sponsors and everyone who worked so hard to make #SBSevent2016 such a success. We really appreciate it and are already looking forward to #SBSevent2017