Perhaps you are one of almost 8 million television viewers who tune in to the television show Shark Tank on a weekly basis. If by some chance you’ve been living under a rock, Shark Tank features entrepreneurs making business pitches to a group of investors (sharks), who decide whether or not to invest in that company. Needless to say, if you apply for Shark Tank and get accepted, your eCommerce business will receive unprecedented exposure, even if you are not able to sweeten the pot with the prize of investor money. This article offers some tips to get your business into the show business that is Shark Tank.
Choose the Right Approach
Entrepreneurs who make it on to the show have been broken down into four groups: the Criers, the Dealmakers, the Eccentrics, and the Instigators. These distinctive personalities all make for great television and all have their own strategy for getting their 10 minutes of fame. From those who are sure to shed tears to those who will take any deal, the producers want high ratings, which means they will choose those startups that will make good television.
Remember You are Auditioning for Television
The video you send in for your audition should reflect your understanding that those selected will be expected to perform for the 8 million television viewers who tune in every week. Besides bringing your best acting chops on audition day, invest in a written script and some basic AV tech to ensure you are putting your company’s best foot forward. Necessities include a DSLR video camera, lapel microphones, professional video editing software, and well-planned scenery and props. The producers are not going to expect you to provide television-quality footage, but you will score points for showing you understand the expectations.
Think Like a Producer
When you apply for Shark Tank, remember that you are one of over 30,000 startup businesses that apply every year for a 10 minute segment of television exposure. Put yourself in the shoes of a producer and imagine what your company could do to stand out. Can you create the tension, deliver the surprises, and evoke the laughter that will make people want to watch the show? Figure out how you can deliver quality television, and sell your plan to the producers. Your opportunity to pitch your product on television depends on your ability to pitch your pitch! If you show the producers that you have considered their angle and are willing to address their needs, they may (depending on your sales pitch) be that much more excited to work with you.
If you apply for Shark Tank and are accepted, you will have the opportunity to expose your brand and your products to millions of television viewers, as well as shrewd investors. Your application process should be deliberate and reflective. You must choose the right approach, create an audition tape which shows you understand the demands of primetime television, and think like a producer to recognize what they are looking for in your audition. The experience of applying should be a learning experience worthy of the time and effort you put into it. Having your company selected to appear on the show will be long remembered as a milestone in your eCommerce business. And actually getting investors from the show will be the icing on the cake!