Back in 2011 I was lucky enough to have a tweet from Theo Paphitis that made a difference. It brought me into a community of fellow small business owners all of who, just like me, are passionate about what they do. These online connections soon became real friends as the SBS events began to take place. I have now managed to attend every one and each year I learn something new that leaves me heading back to Cornwall inspired to further develop what we offer at Coombe Mill.
Highlights of 2016
For me there is always as much to be gained from colleagues as from the official speakers and this year was no exception. I spent hours chatting with the lovely Francesca from Stamptastic who I’ve worked with in the past on my blog, we shared our SEO knowledge, latest marketing ideas and zest for our businesses, if sewing labels in kids clothes isn’t your idea of fun then do visit their site for an effective quick alternative. Francesca convinced me to be less scared of paying for post boosts on Face book so watch out if you follow my page, you could see more of me!
I drove up with my long time SBS buddy Karen from Winifred and Mabel Karen is such an inspiration with a real can do attitude and a great bespoke range of home and gift items in her Wadebridge shop. Jen from GrippyLeads joined us too after winning with her unique pet leads. A huge thanks goes to Joy of APBassetts for organising a Cornish Stand, I was proud to see so much entrepreneurism coming from Cornwall at the event.
As for the pre and after parties I shared a drink or two with so many who work hard and party hard.
2. That Dress!
Talking of businesses working together I had been in contact with Bags of Love for some time to do something together. I was just browsing their website a couple of weeks before the event when inspiration struck. Bags of Love have the facility to design a dress to any design, I played with the graphics on their site and created the Coombe Mill Brand in a dress. Thanks to their speedy service and delivering straight to the venue I became the most talked about dress in the room. It certainly made it easy for anyone who had heard of Coombe Mill to approach me with certainly and strike up conversation. I shall be wearing this to every business and blogging event from now on.
3. The Speakers
Listening to those who have really made it big in business is always inspiring. This year was no exception, Theo held everyone’s attention with his effortless use of language to making goals sound so easy to achieve. Holly Tucker who founded Not on the High Street and Mike Pickles from the Really Useful Box Company kept the questions rolling in from the floor, I captured chunks on Periscope and I know that was appreciated by many who were not able to attend the event. I even happened to be filming when someone asked a question to Theo about Periscope and I was able to shout out that he was indeed being live streamed as we spoke.
I have always managed my own SEO and prided myself on doing it through organic material, largely thanks to my blog. However as all bloggers will know it takes a huge chunk of time every day and with 6 children and the day to day business to run I do worry I am not allocating my time wisely and question if I have my SEO as sorted as I like to think. Here was an opportunity to quiz Nick Leech of 1, 2, 3 – Reg about SEO on a one to one. I bombarded him with questions about follow links, Google rules, linky value in SEO and more, most confirmed what I knew but Nick is coming back to me on the SEO benefit of having a linky as he wasn’t sure and did worry me in saying that all blogger badges displayed on other blogs are not allowed by Google and could be doing harm. He is checking this out before anyone panics as we all like to share a badge! He also confirmed that 3 posts a week was the optimum, so I’m doing too many, and that and that each post should be 1000 words, I still thought it was 500 so another learning point for me. For SEO it isn’t comments on your posts that matter but shares of your post URL to social media, so if you really like a post you read please remember to share it and give the blogger a little SEO boost. If you want to check how your blog stacks up for SEO reach have a look on Buzzsumo.com
5. An On Line SBS Shop
Amazon did it, Not on the High street does it and now SBS plans to have a shop to sell all the products and services we make. I’m really excited for the potential this offers at a low rate for members, however I’m not yet sure it can work for holidays in the same way it does for other retail purchases but I shall watch with interest.
Will I go back again?
Absolutely! The whole event is free for members and a great opportunity for those who embrace all that is on offer. A huge thank you to Theo and the #sbs sponsors for hosting another wonderful event. Roll on #SBSEvent2017, but please not on the half term weekend again. Driving back to Cornwall at 7.30am to check properties and be on top form to welcome our guests wasn’t my chosen hangover cure, however the kids were delighted to see me and take their pick from a lovely goody bag.
If you have a post from the event please do share with me here on the link up so we can all read each other’s posts and share widely!
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.