Marketing Lessons From Shark Tank

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shark tankWhile you may not want to give up 5% equity in your company to be on Shark Tank, the ABC reality show, you can learn a thing or two by watching the ones who do.

For business owners who choose to dive into the Shark Tank and plan to walk away with a deal, they have to market at least two things to this cunning group of investors:

  • Undeniable passion and a focus on their business.
  • Preparation for the next level.

You may not be looking for investors, but you can market these same values to your prospective clients.

I Really Care About This Brand

Grounded passion is attractive. While website visitors (and journalists) don’t want to know the 50 page version of your back story. They do want to know what your product or service can do for them (and in the journalist’s case — what it can do for their audience).

Providing this information gives them a reason to care and to keep listening to the rest of the story. But after you succinctly tell your audience what’s in it for them, share why you became interested in providing this type of product or service in the first place. Share your passion. Stories paint pictures in the mind. They give people something to hold on to and to share with others.

It makes the company seem human and adding the human touch to a highly effective product or service is perfect for attracting publicity. According to Al Reis and Laura Reis, the authors of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, in the early stages:

“Publicity grows brands.”

I Have Plans for the Future of This Brand

Investors want to know your future plans because because they don’t want to put their money into a company that won’t last. For certain types of businesses your clients are the same way.

If you’re selling a product that has to be replenished, then your prospects want to feel like the company will still be there. If you’re selling a service, no small business owner wants a disappearing accountant, for example, or an on-again-off-again marketing advisor.

Marketing your future plans to your clients helps to promote the idea in their mind that you will be here. The start of a new year is the perfect time to do this. You can thank your current clients and shoppers. Then give them a short “State of Your Business Address” where you let people know what they can look forward to in the coming months.

Will you add people to your team or a new a product or service to the company? Maybe you have plans to update your current services, training courses or product.

Share that information and build a little more trust.

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Jamillah Warner Jamillah Warner (Ms.J), a poet with a passion for business, is a Georgia-based writer and speaker and the Marketing Coordinator at Nobuko Solutions. She also provides marketing and communication quick tips in her getCLEAR! MicroNewsletter.

7 Reactions
  1. I agree Jamillah, offering background information about your company helps build trust with your current and prospective clients

  2. Great post, Jamillah. It’s important that you’re connecting with your audience on a deeper level and building more of a community feel rather than a “we’re the business, you’re the customer” feel. Your customers want to be included in your growth process so let them in. You’ll build a deeper connection and loyalty.


  3. Are sharks more “dangerous” than dragons? 😉 The Shark Tank series is called Dragons’ Den in England.

  4. I think there is also an element of people going on not necessarily to seek investment but utilize the audience potential.

  5. How do I go about getting on Shark Tank