Get On Shark Tank: The Insider's Audition Guide (How I did it, and How You Can Too!) | Matt Franklin | Skillshare

Get On Shark Tank: The Insider's Audition Guide (How I did it, and How You Can Too!)

Matt Franklin, Shark Tank Entrepreneur, Inventor, Posture Expert

Get On Shark Tank: The Insider's Audition Guide (How I did it, and How You Can Too!)

Matt Franklin, Shark Tank Entrepreneur, Inventor, Posture Expert

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36 Lessons (2h 36m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Why Should YOU Try Out For Shark Tank?

    • 3. What Happened To Me As A Result Of Being On Shark Tank, and Frequent Questions

    • 4. Here Is The Formula To Follow In This Class

    • 5. Every Entrepreneur Needs Support, Accountability and Advice

    • 6. The Magic Phrase To Keep In Mind Throughout This Course

    • 7. Long Story Short: How We Did It

    • 8. The Road(s) To Shark Tank

    • 9. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 1: Applying Online

    • 10. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 2: The Open Casting Call

    • 11. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 3: The Callback

    • 12. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 4: Our Audition Video

    • 13. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 5: Semi-Finals!

    • 14. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 5: A Second Chance

    • 15. Getting To L.A. And Pre-Pitching To The Producers

    • 16. Shoot Day!

    • 17. After the Shoot: "Post Shark Tank Traumatic Stress Disorder" and more...

    • 18. The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

    • 19. The Episode Airs And Craziness Ensues...

    • 20. Should You Audition Via Email Or Open Casting Call?

    • 21. Applying Online - Terms And Conditions

    • 22. Applying For Shark Tank Via Email: Name/Age/Photo

    • 23. Your Shark Tank Email Application: Product Description

    • 24. Start At The ABC Website - And Check Back Often If No Open Calls Are Scheduled

    • 25. Agree To The Terms And Download The Application

    • 26. Initial Application Instructions/Shark Tank Eligibility Requirements

    • 27. The Short Application (grab a coffee, this lecture's long...)

    • 28. Audition Release/Submitted Materials Release/IP Release

    • 29. Go To The Open Casting Call and BE MEMORABLE!

    • 30. Your One-Minute Pitch

    • 31. After The Shark Tank Casting Call: Celebrate! (Then Get Back To Business)

    • 32. Audition Videos That Worked and Videos That Didn't

    • 33. The Audition Video Questions

    • 34. Going Off-Script In Your Shark Tank Audition Video. Should You?

    • 35. Hire It Out Or Do It Yourself?

    • 36. Thank YOU!!

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About This Class

Are you a fan of ABC's Shark Tank? When you're watching the show, do you envision yourself pitching your product or business to the Sharks? In this course, you'll learn how to maximize your chances, from someone who actually made it through the audition process, all the way to The Tank.

Last season, over 45,000 people applied for the show, yet only a hundred or so end up making it onto the show. And that's why I developed this class. Ever since my appearance on Shark Tank in Season 4, people have asked me what I did to differentiate myself, how I positioned my product, what I did on my audition video, and so many more, all of which I cover in this class.


Meet Your Teacher

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Matt Franklin

Shark Tank Entrepreneur, Inventor, Posture Expert


Matt Franklin brought the issue of posture to over 6 million people with his appearance on ABC TV's Shark Tank, where with the help of Dancing With the Stars instructors, he showed the world that posture can indeed be improved. He is the inventor of the world's best-selling posture correction device and the developer of "Automatic Posture" an online posture and ergonomics course. Matt is a serial entrepreneur and has invented or co-invented multiple products. Matt's Latest class "Get On Shark Tank: An Insider's Guide" takes students through the entire Shark Tank application process and includes tips, techniques and advice to improve one's chance of making it to the tank.

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1. Introduction: Hi. Welcome to the class and thank you for joining me. We are in for a crazy ride. My name is Matt Franklin, and I am one of the very fortunate, very few who made it to Shark Tank. By now, probably over 200,000 people have applied or auditioned for Shark Tank. And yet just a few 100 people have actually made it to the show in this class. I'm going to run you through the whole process of auditioning for the show from beginning to end, including applying online, going to a casting call. Specifics related to filling out your application, creating your audition video and a lot more. Also, I'm going to share with you my shark tank experience. Once I got on the show from from hanging Out with other entrepreneurs that weekend that we shot to going to the Sodi Sony Studios lot to preparing and pre pitching for the producers to the actual taping and the unexpected interaction with a mental health professional afterwards, all the way through going home and waiting on pins and needles to finally seeing myself on TV and watching my product sales go absolutely insane. Now, part of The reason I want to share my actual experience on this show itself is because it was pretty cool and definitely a once in a lifetime experience. But also, I want to give you a picture of what it's actually like behind the scenes so that as you go through the preparation and audition process, you have a true picture in your mind of what it's actually gonna be like. I think it may kind of sound fruity, but I firmly believe that if you have an accurate picture of what the attainment of a goal looks and feels like, you have a much better chance of actually attaining that goal. And since by taking this class, your goal is to get on Shark Tank, I want to help you in every way possible, including the mental aspects of getting from where you are now all the way to the tank. So in this class we're going to cover a lot of ground. But before we go any further, I want to make this disclaimer, which I'll make again in a later section. I cannot guarantee that you'll get on the show even if you follow my advice to the letter. This class is just me sharing based on having been rejected by the show twice, then finally making it onto the show. There are tens of thousands of people who auditioned for the show every year, so honestly, the odds are low that you're going to be able to make it on. But I believe that by taking this class, you are improving your odds and giving yourself an advantage over the competition. 2. Why Should YOU Try Out For Shark Tank?: So why do you want to be on Shark tank in this lecture? I'm going to talk about the many reasons why you as an inventor, entrepreneur or product creator, would want to be on shark Tank. Sure, it's a chance to be on national TV, impress your friends and maybe sell some product. But a shark tank appearance is a lot more valuable than most people might think. So let's take a look at some of the reasons why you should apply to be on the show. Um, number one. It's really an insanely rare opportunity to have your product or business in front of 68 million viewers. For about 12 minutes. You'll get two extra. Explain your product, show your personality and pitch the value of your business on one of the most popular shows on television. But what's the actual value of that face time? Well, according to Variety magazine, a zoo of the fall of 2014 the average cost of a 32nd commercial spot on shark tank was 118,000 and $229 so if you were to correlate the total time an entrepreneur is pitching on the show to the commercial value of the ad time on the show that value of an appearance is $2,837,496. Let that kind of sink in for a while, and that's just for the first airing of your show. Our episode aired a total of three times on ABC, and its aired a bunch of times on CNBC. Each time it airs, we get a big spike in sales, which is kind of an unbelievably beautiful thing. So since our airing, I've had dozens of people ask me if it's worth the time and effort for them to actually try to get on the show, especially given the low odds of making the cut, I always say or scream, Yes, but then I say, Be smart about it, educate yourself and do everything possible to increase your odds of making the cut. And that's why I want to acknowledge you for taking this class. This will, I believe, increase your odds of getting on the show now again, there's no guarantee, and the odds are still against you. But by arming yourself with the knowledge from this class from someone who's actually been there. You are a step ahead of the competition, and I acknowledge you for being awesome and taking the time to do this. So reason Number two Why you want to do the show is called The Shark Tank Effect. After the show. Whether you get a deal or not, your business will in most cases be permanently transformed. So let's look at a few past contestants who've gone on to have incredible success coming up for some of my favorites in two categories. Those who got deals and those who didn't one of my favorite businesses that got funded on the shows It on the show is Villy Customs, the custom bike manufacturer started by former fashion designer Fleetwood Hicks. The Villy Customs pitch was in Season three, and the deal was struck with Barbara. According to Inc magazine, Villy Customs went from annual revenues of $200,000 when he pitched the business to over $2 million in 2014 and I remember watching that show. When it initially aired and I was blown away, I thought that business had incredible potential and the cool factor was off the charts consumers, they like unique products, and the idea of customizing your own bike from literally thousands of combinations sounded like a winner to me. The other thing that I really like about this business is that, really, I mean not to not to put it down anywhere, but anyone could kind of do this. There's nothing really proprietary about the product because, well, it's a bike. So So let that be food for thought. For aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs out there, what are some of other categories of products that could be customized online and sold for a premium? Part of the reason I'm such a fan of Shark Tank is that it sparked my creativity, and it gives me ideas for potential businesses, some, some of which I'm actually working on right now. So another one of my favorite products was the scrub daddy. That was one of those pitches where you you knew the product was gonna be a huge hit. Glory invested in Aaron Crouse's idea, which was a product that had about $100,000 in sales leading up to his pitch but proving that the shark tank effect is a real phenomenon I understand that the scrub daddy has passed $30 million in sales. I see the scrub daddy in stores all the time, and I have to smile because what an awesome testament that is to the power of being on Shark Tank. But, um, by far, my favorite product for a lot of reasons, is the Cord Buddy, which was featured on Ah, Season three. Travis Perry, the court buddies inventor, was an instantly likable guy, and his product was super easy to understand and even easier to demonstrate. He had racked up about 100 and $50,000 in sales before his pitch and ended up walking away with an investment from Robert. And since then, according to CNBC, the court buddy is bringing in over $2 million in annual sales. Again, the shark tank effect launches a product into the stratosphere. But what about entrepreneurs who leave the tank empty handed? Well, even if you don't make a deal with one of the sharks, your appearance on the show can still revolutionize your business. And here are a few of my favorites. Did you see the episode with Chef Big Shake, a k a. Sean Davis, chef Big Shake pitched his line of original shrimp burgers to the Sharks and was looking for a $200,000 investment for 25% equity in his company. Again. What a super likable guy. And with that appearance, it appeared to be a great product line as well. Um, well, he walked away without a deal, but his business was going to benefit in a big way from his time in the tank after his appearance. Word is, he was contacted by Angel investors, who put 1/2 a $1,000,000 in his business. And with the sport of these new investors, he was able to expand his product line and, more important, expand his distribution, and his business basically blew up. He went from about $30,000 in sales in 2011 toe over five million in sales in 2012. Now that's explosive growth. And from what I saw in his appearance and the update that happened on Season three, it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. So congratulations, Sean. Another great example of a pitch that wasn't successful on the show was the door bought. I mean, what an awesome product. If you didn't see that episode, you can find it on YouTube. Just search for door bought on shark tank when you're on YouTube and you can watch it anyway. Jamie Simon off. I believe it's how you pronounce The inventor of the door bought gave what I thought was an entertaining and spelling demonstration of his product, but he didn't end up with an investment from the Sharks. But then, according to The Wall Street Journal, Simon Off raised $1 million from venture capitalists after he aired and sold 10,000 units of the door bought in a month after the show aired, and the retail price of the door bought was $199 So that was really money. So whether you make a deal with the sharks, or if you walk away empty handed, being on shark tank can and will revolutionize your business. 3. What Happened To Me As A Result Of Being On Shark Tank, and Frequent Questions: now, later, in this course, I'm going to walk you through my entire shark tank experience from our initial contact through the rehearsals and conference calls with producers to getting selected. The trip to L. A. The prep day at Sony Studios and the actual Shoot Day. The terror of being in front of the sharks, the aftermath, the airing, the sales and everything else in between. But for the sake of this intrasection, I just want to tell you briefly this. We sold six figures worth of our product within three days of our first airing, and within a month we'd made double the sales than we had in the previous three years combined. And we re aired on ABC two more times. After that, both of which brought huge spikes in our sales and now that shark tank is syndicated on CNBC were regularly being shown on that network and receiving nice sales spikes. Every time that happens, it's free advertising that just kind of keeps on giving. So one theme that will be recurring throughout this class is that the shark tank effect Israel and an appearance on the show truly can blow up your business. So How would you like to sell $100,000 of your product in just a few days? How would you like to be recognized as one of the very few elite entrepreneurs who made it all the way to Shark Tank? How would you like to be able to tell your friends about going face to face with the sharks ? I'll tell you, when people find out that you've been on Shark Tank, the questions never stopped. Everybody loves that show, and if you've been on it, you'll have great stories that everyone will want to hear. So by taking this class, you're taking a very valuable first step towards that goal of being on shark Tank. You just by taking this course have already done more than 99% of entrepreneurs will do to prepare for the audition. You already have an advantage, and if you complete this whole class, you'll have an even greater advantage over the tens of thousands of other people who will be auditioning for the show. So before I move on to the next chapter, I want to quickly answer two questions that I hear a lot. One is would someone not want to be on shark tank and two is Do I have to give up equity even if I don't give up a deal? So the answer to the question Would someone not want to be on Shark Tank? I say Absolutely not, because to me, the benefits so outweigh any drawbacks. Um, in my opinion, every inventor at any stage in their business could benefit from an appearance on the tank . Maybe the possible exception could be if you had a product with maybe absolutely no intellectual property protection that could very easily be copied quickly on, then brought to market. Maybe in that case, you might want to work on getting your patent dealt with first and then auditioned for the shark tank. But otherwise I I can't think of a reason why somebody wouldn't want to be on the show. And the next question Do I have to give give up equity in my company even if I don't get a deal? And the answer to that is no, Not anymore. In the 1st 4 seasons, though, that was not the case of the contract that I signed. My company agreed to give Finn Max the show's producer, a 2% royalty on the operating profits of the company or a 5% equity stake. When we saw that clause in the contract, we knew the benefits would far outweigh the potential liabilities. So we went forward without looking back. But now that clause no longer exists and thinks to Mr Mark. Cuban has been retroactively removed, so none of the contestants have to give up any equity or royalties to the show's producers . Now, according to Inc magazine, Mark Cuban gave the show's producer an ultimatum, which was either pull out that clause from the contract or he wouldn't renew his contract with the show. So really, I can see no reason why you shouldn't move forward with the audition Prague process because you know I can't find a disadvantage about being on the show, and the upside is huge and they're not going to take any equity if you don't get a deal. Shark Tank is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so let's work together and get you ready to make it happen. 4. Here Is The Formula To Follow In This Class: and welcome to Section two. Now, the whole point of this course is to show you what I did and how I got on to Shark Tank. I'm not going to show you our teach you a bunch of things that business pundits, media trainers and so called experts might try to teach you because quite frankly, most of them, if not 99% of them have not been on Shark Tank. Just look online and you can find dozens of articles and even video courses claiming to tell you what you need to do to nail the audition. But these classes are not even created by people who were on the show. So would you take a class on how to make an apple pie from someone who's never baked an apple pie? Of course not. This class is all about practical knowledge and advice, because unless you've been on Shark Tank after having gone through the entire audition process, I don't believe that you're qualified to teach other people how to do it. Shark tank is different from any other reality show on television. I've made it to the tank, and I'm excited to share what I've learned with you. Now there are two essential things to do during this class. To get the most out of it, Number one is to take notes seriously. We are going to cover a thana ground in this class, and it's very important to take notes throughout. There's simply too much here to internalize and hope that you'll be able to remember. So get yourself a big, thick legal pad and start taking notes. I promise you that you're going to get 100% more out of this course if you follow this piece of advice number to study the entire course. So almost as important as taking notes, watch the entire class from beginning to end. If you want to receive the full benefit from this class, I recommend that you don't jump around, skip chapters or ignore certain lectures that might not seem to apply directly to your product or business. I created this class based on my experience and from talking to other sharks to successful shark tank entrepreneurs. Um, and in my opinion, the everything that I'm gonna teach you in this class is important. But there's another reason to go through the entire class even if you don't make it on the shark tank and again, there's no way I can guarantee that you will indeed make it on the shark tank. But even if you don't make it onto the show, there is a ton of great business information here in this class that will help you to hone your product story, get to know your business. Better understand marketing and positioning, learn about product development, understand valuation and much more. So please go through the entire course. And after you go through the course, definitely come back and review the lectures that you might need a second or third look through. Remember, you have lifetime access to this class, so it's yours to use to the fullest advantage. Coming back and reviewing individual lectures will be a great help as you prepare your audition paperwork. Aziz, you develop your video, and if you get on the show to prepare your actual pitch 5. Every Entrepreneur Needs Support, Accountability and Advice: one of the first things I tell people who are considering auditioning for Shark Tank is to find a few people to support you in the process. It's hard to get on Shark Tank, and the competition is crazy. Remember, 45,000 people auditioned for Season six, and that's for just a little over 100 total contestants who are actually gonna make it onto the show. So do yourself a favor, surround yourself with supportive people or, at the very least, find like minded inventors and entrepreneurs to share ideas and inspiration with. One of the simplest ways to do this is to join the Shark Tank Entrepreneurs Group on Facebook. Now this is truly an awesome free resource was started by Julie Starts Boucha, who pitched her Awesome products Lhasa on Season five, and Mark Berninger, who appeared on Shark Tank Season one with his very cool and very successful cubits. Toll toy. Um, the group is basically a big mastermind for aspiring entrepreneurs, and if you're on Facebook, you should definitely join the group. The link is facebook dot com slash groups slash shark tank Entrepreneurs, and that's all one word. Um, right now there's close to 14,000 members. And it's a great place to ask questions and, more importantly, see how other entrepreneurs have succeeded in bringing their product to market. Sure, in a group that big, there are a lot of quote want Tre preneurs. But it's really helpful to know that there are other people who are in your same situation and people who have gone on to great success with their products and businesses. So so anyway joined the Shark Tank Entrepreneurs Group on Facebook. Look through it and check out the questions that other people have asked. And if you have questions, post them, I guarantee you'll find a lot of interesting material, and it will be a valuable resource as you move forward with your product or business. 6. The Magic Phrase To Keep In Mind Throughout This Course: Okay, One last thing to optimize your experience in this course, and that is a magical phrase that I will repeat throughout the class. That magical phrase, which you must keep in mind, is good television. See, in order to get onto Shark Tank, you need to prove to the producers that your appearance will be good television. You can have the coolest product in the world or million's and sales. But if you don't make for good television, you're not gonna get on the show now. Recently, I read an interview with one of the producers at a casting event who said that they weren't looking for good television. They were looking for good investable products. So what I'm saying is contradicting the statement of someone who works for the show. But that was my experience, and I stand by it. So what is good television? Well, basically, it keeps viewers from changing the channel. It keeps viewers glued to the set. It makes viewers stay on the channel through the commercial break because they want to see what happens next. Now, how do you learn what makes good television? Well, in the case of Shark Tank, you should watch literally every show that has ever been aired. Seriously, I've gotten emails from people seeking advice on how to get on shark tank, and one of the first things I always ask is, How many episodes have you seen? It's It's actually kind of incredible. Some people say they've only seen a few, and I even had a guy say the only episode he saw was the one I was on, which is unreal. So this is really important. So please make it a point to follow this very basic advice. Watch all of the shows now start with Season one and watch them sequentially through the latest episode you confined online. As of right now, the entire first season for six seasons are on Amazon instant video, and I think you could buy entire seasons for around $15. So make that investment. It's so worth it. And it's so important. When my partner, Crazy Mike and I were preparing for our audition, we watched every shark tank episode over the course of a very long weekend. We wrote down the questions the sharks asked. We took notes on good and bad responses from the entrepreneurs. We noted the body language, the props, everything. We had an encyclopedic knowledge of the show before we ever even auditioned, and I believe that this gave us a strategic advantage. So as you go through this course, keep that magic freeze in mind. Good television. I'll get into it later in this course, but we were actually bumped from the third season just a couple weeks before shooting. Now, would we have been bumped if we had kept that phrase in mind? Throughout the process? It's impossible to know, but we definitely focused on it for Season four when we got our next call back. And I believe that our continued focus on making good television, not just thinking about our product or pitch our valuation, etcetera, was what enabled us to make it to the finish line. So remember, if you can't make good television, there's no way you'll make it on the tank. So if you could make good television, you'll have a fighting chance in the next section. I'm going to tell you the story of my business and how truly anyone can be a successful entrepreneur. Anyone 7. Long Story Short: How We Did It: now in the last section. I told you to watch every chapter in this course, but now that I'm creating this section, I say this one's optional if you want to get right to the heart of the matter and move to chapter specifically related to Shark Tank. But if you haven't started a business, definitely stay with me. Because in this section I'll prove to you that literally anyone can start a business and you don't need experience, expertise or even much intelligence to be successful. So posture now is the product my little company produces, and it's a very simple posture improvement device. I started my company with an old friend named Mike Lane, who I've talked about before. He lives in New York, and I live in Portland, Oregon. About 15 years ago, we worked together in an Internet start up here in Portland, and after that company failed miserably and closed its doors, Mike moved to New York and we remained friends. We used to get together every once in a while, and whenever we did, we'd talk about goofy ideas. We each had for inventions while sitting in bars and drinking beers. We came up with some really dumb ideas, but we also came up with a few really good ones anyway. Fast forward to 2009 and I've got a little video production company that's doing pretty well. I'm making a good living and the work is reasonably interesting. But I got this one gig where I was doing on site editing for a technology company, and I think I was there for about three weeks. Um, well, they didn't give me a cubicle or an office toe work in or anything like that. They gave me a supply closet that was about six feet by six feet. It was tiny, there was no air circulation, and I was there, surrounded by reams of paper and dry erase markers. So I'm sitting there contemplating the ridiculousness of being in a suit. Apply closet for 10 hours a day, and I called Mike, and I said, Man, we need to finally create one of the inventions we've been talking about and make a business out of it, He said, It's funny you called because I have a great new idea that I think would do very well. So Mike and I spent our days hunched over a computer. At that time, as many of you probably do as well as millions of other people around the world do. And Mike had said that his posture had gotten really bad as a result of his time at the computer. So he came up with the idea of an elastic device that you would wear and your upper arms, which, when your shoulders hunched forward, would remind you to pull your shoulders back and keep your back straight and keep you in good posture. I thought it was an interesting idea, and I asked him if there were any products like that available on the market. And he said, No. Okay, so here's the first little lesson in product development that I want to share with you in this section. Do your homework. Mike hadn't even looked to see if there were wearable posture improvement devices. I just took his word for it that there was nothing else out there and we moved forward. If I had done a simple Google search, I would have found out that there are a lot of products out there to improve your posture. But in retrospect, I'm kind of glad that I didn't. Because if I would have known that, I probably wouldn't have wanted to move forward with the development of our product. So don't be idiots like we were. When you're thinking about creating a new product, definitely research it. Do patent search, find. Find out what's available out there. But if you there are already similar products out there, you shouldn't just give up. Uh, because maybe you could make improvements to products that are already out there or create something with a new approach to solving the same problem. Anyway, I'm just trying to say, Don't do what we did do your homework. But don't let it stop you if something similar to your idea already exists Anyway, I thought it was a fantastic idea. So we made plans to meet in Chicago the following weekend to work on the product. Our goals were to create a product prototype and come up with a product name. So we got a hotel room at a place near the airport and we both had bags of different materials elastic Velcro, rubber bands, needles and thread. You name it and I'm not gonna bore you with all of the nitty gritty details. But when the weekend was over, we had a very crude Pruitt prototype and an even cruder drawing of what the product might look like. And the name of the product we decided after going through literally dozens, if not hundreds of names to go with posture. Now. Now here's another cheap hint for people doing product development. If you're working on coming up with a name for your product, always have a computer close by to check and see if the URL I prefer leah dot com, you are. All of your proposed name is available. You may come up with the best name in the world, but if the girl has already taken, chances are it's trademarked and therefore it's a no go. And conversely, conversely, if the dot com you are is available, chances are the name isn't trademark. So we returned home after our weekend in Chicago, and we needed to develop a prototype not knowing anything about how this process was supposed to work. I immediately started contacting factories in China and Vietnam, hoping that one of them could help us to create that working prototype. I figured that since the product would have straps and buckles and what not. It would make sense to contact manufacturers of belts, So I contacted about 75 different belt manufacturing companies. Now here's another tip. Um, ali baba dot com is your friend. If you're not familiar with alibaba dot com, check it out. Every type of product known to man is represented on that site, and Alibaba is where you can find the manufacturers who create everything from guitars to computers to stuffed animals, kitchenware, tools, furniture, consumer electronic, selfie sticks and pretty much anything else that you can think of. There are some other manufacturing source sourcing sites out there, but my favorite is Ali Baba, and I think it's the most comprehensive. Anyway, I contacted a bunch of belt manufacturers, and maybe 10 or 15 of them got back to me. Two of them immediately agreed to sew me a sample, and I emailed them our little crude drawing. Within a couple of weeks, I had two samples, one of which was actually pretty good, and one which was pretty bad. Ah, a couple of revisions later with the factory that made the good one, and we had a really working prototype, and the best thing was the product actually worked. So we took the prototype and took some product photos and produced a video which were planning to run as a long form TV commercial. We still haven't done that, but down the line we might. With the photos and the video, we had enough assets to build a very simple website, and since we didn't want to spend a lot of money, we decided to build the website ourselves. We launched the site on a Friday afternoon and we sold our first posture. Now, within three hours of going live and fast forward to today, we've sold over $2 million worth of posture now to people all over the globe. And there's goofy product that we developed in a hotel room in Chicago is still selling like crazy. So So that's the quick story of posture Now. We had no experience in product design, materials sourcing, prototyping, manufacturing, international commerce or anything related to inventing products, and we built a successful business that's still going strong. So for those of you who are just getting ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, my advice is just get started. Take that first step because all of the information that you need is out there. And 90% of that information can be accessed for free. If two clowns like us condone it, so can you. So in the next section, I'm going to tell you the story of how we got on the shark tank and really get this class going. It was a long and crazy ride, but we made it. 8. The Road(s) To Shark Tank: so our road to shark tank was a very long one. Like most contestants, of course, there are some contestants who had a pretty short road, like Erin Roberts Bickley and Jenny Greer of Hold Your Haunches. I asked Aaron about their path to the show, and Aaron told me that Shark Tank contacted them after a friend of a friend who had appeared on Season one sent one of the show's producers to their website. If you haven't seen their episode from Season five, Um, definitely check it out. Aaron and Jenny made a great deal with both Laurie and Barbara, and they're still going very strong. Withhold your haunches. But for most contestants with Road to Shark Tank is a long, long one. In this section, I'm going to share our journey to get to the show just for background purposes so that you can kind of know about the hurdles that we jumped and the strategies that we used to get there 9. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 1: Applying Online: for us. It all began In 2010 Mike and I were meeting up in Chicago again, toe work on some things, and the topic of Shark Tank came up. So we went to the ABC website, and back then I think the process required answering just a few questions and submitting a photo via email, and we didn't have any idea how many people would be trying to get on the show. But we figured for no good reason that we actually had a pretty good chance. Um, when we hadn't heard back for a few weeks, we followed up and sent another email. And then we followed up again a couple months later, in a long story short, nobody contacted us, and we didn't make it onto the show. Uh, and here's a little piece of advice. The first piece of advice from this section. Don't expect a call back. Remember, each year they get tens of thousands of email submissions, so they're simply really isn't enough time to call every entrepreneur who doesn't make the cut. If you apply online or if you attend an open casting call, just don't expect a call back unless they've chosen you to go to the next round in the audition process. There are occasional exceptions to this to this rule, but not many. 10. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 2: The Open Casting Call: So after hearing nothing back after sending in our email application for the show the following year, in mid 2011 we found out that there was going to be an open casting call in Dallas, Texas. We didn't have a lot of free cash flow at the time, so flying to Dallas and staying there was going to be an expense that we really didn't want to incur. But we decided to go for it. So before we left, we downloaded the application form, which was enormous. And if you attend an open casting call, you need to fill out the entire application form, and I'll take you through that whole thing in an upcoming section. That's a really important part of this class. But here's the second piece of advice from this lecture. If your business has more than one person, each person has to fill out an individual application form before going to the casting call . That means each person in your business has to fill out the entire application packet. Um, now I stress this because we did not follow instructions, and that had a very large impact on our day at the Dallas Open casting call anyway, since the initial application package was so huge, definitely longer than the current application form, which itself is pretty daunting. We decided to meet in Dallas a couple of days before the audition, fill out the form and practice our pitch. It was really actually a very good thing that we did this because it took four ever to fill out that damn form and we only filled out one. We didn't follow the instructions and fill out an application for each of us. Um, so we rolled into the open casting call at about 9 a.m. I think on Saturday morning, knowing that there would be a bunch of diehards who'd spend the night to be in the front of the line, we figured that being in the middle of the line would be better, because the producers would be more likely to maybe remember us and more importantly, we could get more sleep. So there were hundreds of people in line when we got there, and honestly, we weren't sure if we were actually going to be able to get in, because they only guarantee that the 1st 500 or so people will be able to pitch the producers or the casting people. Um, but after an hour or so of waiting in the 90 degree Texas humidity, we, uh, the producers, Yeah, the producers came by and gave us colored wrist bands and told us to come back in around one o'clock. So we chatted with some of the other entrepreneurs who were there and decided to head out and get some lunch while we waited. Now, one thing that was really interesting after talking to a couple of fellow entrepreneurs, and that was a lot of people are way too over confident that their product is fantastic and that they'll have no problem getting on the show. We talked to a couple very cocky twentysomething inventors who had a pillow that they said was going to basically change the world. They were convinced that it would make it onto the show, and I think that their cockiness probably actually killed their chances. We ended up exchanging business cards, and we've stayed in touch afterwards while we stayed in touch for maybe a year on, and they never got on the show, and the product was about as interesting as frankly as are ours was. But the difference was I think, that they were just a bit too self assured. So here's another piece of advice from this section, and that is just don't be cocky at any point in the application process. Nobody likes a braggart, and the producers of Shark Tank are no different. Um, you may have really the coolest product in the world, and you might be the greatest public speaker since JFK. But keep your ego in check. Just keep it in. Check our shark tank journey. During the process, we met a few people who I believe blew their chance to get on the show because simply they were too full of themselves. Really, A little humility goes a long, long way, and you can take that advice to the bank whether you're trying to get on Shark tank or if you're just trying to build a successful business. So back to the audition. So after, um, having lunch and, uh, I admit it having a couple beers, we returned to the casting call and got in tow, got back into the line. The, uh, the event was held at a local ABC affiliate in the temperature. Just how just kept getting hotter and hotter. Which made us both wish we had stuck to water and instead of drinking beer, But we finally made it inside and there were four different tables set up in what was a very large room or studio. And so the entrepreneurs were ushered in in groups of four and were given exactly, I believe, two minutes to make their pitches. I think it was two minutes back than I could be wrong. But either way, now you get one minute at the open casting calls. Anyway, our pitch actually went pretty well. Our producer's name was Bill, and he seemed like a no awesome guy. He liked our product and said that we did well. And then he asked for our applications. Yes, plural applications that on we could not believe it. After all the time that we'd spent filling out the first packet that we were gonna have to fill out another one all together. It was totally deflating and super stressful, and we didn't even bring a pen. So he gave us a blank application form and send us outside to fill it out. He said that he would let us back in when we were finished. So anyway, by this time it's 95 degrees. And we sat in the sun desperately trying to remember what we'd written on the first application form so that everything would be consistent. It was crazy. And by then we were really regretting those beers that we had at lunch. So after about 45 minutes, we had it completed, walked back up to the security guy at the door, telling him that Bill had given us the okay to go back in. And unfortunately, this guy was a complete jackass and took himself way too seriously. He wouldn't let us in, and he basically told us to get out of this site. So So we got very, very nice and very polite and begged him to bring our application inside and give it to Bill. Um, one thing that I forgot to mention about the sight of this casting call is that the whole place was surrounded by glass so that we could actually see inside. So we got that jerk security guy to bring the application inside. But as we watched through the windows, he just walked into the middle of the room and threw it on a table, so we were completely panic. I mean, we'd spent like, a few $1000 on this trip. We take in a lot of time and effort to prepare for this day, and now it looked like we were gonna let it basically slip out of her hands. So we ended up running around to the other side of the building opposite where Bill, the producer was sitting and we waved their arms and jumped up and down like fools trying to get his attention. After a couple of minutes of this idiocy, he saw and acknowledged us, and we started pointing at the center table where that we put that second over there. The security guy had put that step second application, and Bill seemed to understand our crazy little dance and gave us the thumbs up. So I remember walking away from the TV station heading towards our hotel, and I felt like we had completely blown the opportunity and that there was absolutely no way we're gonna make it on the show. Mike was slightly more optimistic, but neither of us felt that our chances were very good 11. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 3: The Callback: So we both got home late Sunday after an incredibly arduous trip to Dallas, and I thought that we really had no chance of getting on. The show Monday came and went. And then Tuesday, after we were home for less than two full days, producer Bill called Mike Toe let him know that we had made it to the next round in the audition process. Mike called me and we had a little freak out session over the phone because this was absolutely incredible news, and neither one of us could believe it was happening. Now here's the most important thing that I want you to absorb and take away from this section. In fact, this actually might be the most important lesson in this entire course. When Bill called on Tuesday, he told Mike that when he and the other producers got back to L. A after the Dallas event, they had a meeting first thing Monday to discuss the pitches that they had seen. And Bill said that he literally couldn't remember any of the pictures he'd seen so many they'd become a big blur. What he did remember was two clowns jumping around outside the window trying to get his, uh, trying to get his attention. So it makes sense at that casting call. Each of the producers probably saw well over 100 pitches in one day. Now, just imagine how those pitches would blend together. So according to Bill in that Producers meeting, he said he got pitched by a couple of guys who had invented a posture correction device and who might make for a good segment. So the moral of this part of this story and the priceless piece of information for anyone trying to get on this show is this. Make yourself memorable. Write it down, make yourself memorable. So I'm just going to say this again to really reinforce this. If you aren't memorable, whether you're attending an open casting call or applying via email, you will not make it onto the show. So think long and hard about how to differentiate yourself how to stand out from the crowd before you start preparing for the shark tank application process. 12. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 4: Our Audition Video: So within a few days of the open casting call, we had heard back from the producer congratulating us and letting us know that we'd made it to the next step. Now, at the risk of getting off course, I just want to share this little point in time with you because it was really one of the most adrenaline field moments in my life when we received this email, and knowing that we had made it to the next step in the audition process was unbelievable. But it turns out it wasn't all good news. They needed a full on audition video shot, edited and burned to DVD and mailed back to Sony Studios the next week. And to further complicate things, I live in Portland. Crazy Mike lives in New York, so I bought a very expensive last minute ticket to New York, packed up a camera tripod, a couple lights on a microphone and headed to Mike's Place for the shooting of our addition video. Fortunately, I was doing corporate video production for living at that time, and so I had all the necessary gear. Now I'll get more detailed about the process and strategy in the audition video section of this course. But suffice it to the say, Suffice it to say that we through this thing together quickly and haphazardly because there just wasn't time to spend on creating an epic creative video. So that said, Here's a little assignment for you. Start writing down ideas for your audition video right now, even if you're not gonna apply for the show for another year, it's never too early to start brainstorming ideas. Now we'll get into more detail in the video chapter, but start keeping track of concepts and creative things that you could put into your audition video that would help you to differentiate you and your business. So when you see a viral video, no matter what the topic, note what keeps your attention. You know what, what makes you laugh? What makes you turn up the volume and what makes you stop watching keep notes seriously, because you never know where that nugget of inspiration might come from, and one that might make your video stand out from the crowd. So Shark Tank gave us some parameters for our video. It had to be five minutes, and there were a bunch of questions to answer. Um, we did our best to stay within those parameters, and we made the A video literally exactly five minutes. But we tried to put as much fun and humor as we possibly could into the video on, and I'll tell you more about that in the audition video section. But we were able to complete the shooting and editing are our video during my weekend in New York, and we got the video sent to Bill the following week. In the next lecture, I'll continue our little shark tank saga. I promise it won't take too much longer, and I really hope that you're getting some good ideas and tips and takeaways from our crazy experience. 13. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 5: Semi-Finals!: Okay, so the saga continues. The week following the shipment of our video to the producers, we received an email stating that we were semifinalists. So what does that mean? Well, once the producers have senior application and have seen you in person at a casting call and on video are only on video. If you've gone through the online application process and they think you and your product will make for good television and you've passed the background check, you make it to the semifinals. Yes, there is a background check. It's not really difficult to fill out, but they ask you some questions about your residences for the past 10 years, any aliases you may use and information about any past arrests, lawsuits, felonies, etcetera. So in the semifinals, you're assigned to a production team to help you develop your pitch and get you ready to appear on the show. Also, this is when you have to sign your life away on the infamous shark tank long form participation agreement and that Let's see here. I think I've got it somewhere. Yeah, so this this was the long form agreement and it is 47 pages long, which is kind of nuts. Um, so every year this contract gets tweaked, but, um, the one we had to sign was 47 pages long. Now, I'm not gonna get too detailed in the process of working with the producers right now, but basically, we had a little conference call every week to refine our pitch, and they were rightfully concerned that we might be too goofy for the show. So they helped us to manage our silliness and to put together a pretty sound script. Now, here's a quick note about what you see on Shark Tank. The contestants who make it to the show. At least most of them have spent hours upon hours upon hours, both with the producers and on their own refining and rehearsing their pitches. Nobody goes on the show and just improvises. They're holed up in appearance. A ton of work and thought and strategy goes into the preparation for that show. So keep that in mind. It's a lot of work. So after a couple of weeks of conference calls, we've gotten to the point where our pitch was pretty clean. But these were three way conference calls with me phoning in from Portland, Mike from New York and the producers in L. A. And so, as the shoot date was kind of approaching quickly, the producers wanted to hear Mike and Me pitch while together in the same room. So I flew back to New York the first weekend of August for four days of preparation and practice. One of the first things that we did, which is something I stress at multiple points in this class, was we watched every episode of the show again. We spent hours pausing, rewinding, writing down the sharks questions and putting them on note cards and analyzing the entrepreneurs responses and on and on and on, trying to give ourselves as much knowledge as possible, both to keep moving forward with our pitch preparation but also to have as much information and knowledge to draw from if we actually did make it onto the show. So again, some of the most important advice in this class watch every episode of the show, or at least as many episodes as you possibly can. So we had our conference call pitch practice call with both Mike and me in the same room, and it went reasonably Well, then I came back home from New York and we kept having regular regular calls with the producers. So after I'd been back from New York for a couple of weeks, we had refined our pitch to the point where we knew it backwards and forwards. And we were getting great feedback from the producers, and it looked like we were going to L a to shoot the next month. But then the call came. Producer Bill called me and he told me that we had been bumped from Season three. He was super cool and very apologetic, but the news, as you can imagine, was absolutely devastating. I remember standing there in the backyard. Ah, feeling about as deflated as I had ever felt in my entire life. We put so much time thought and energy and money into this crazy process, it was absolutely brutal to be cut from the show. Um, yeah, Bill, Bill was totally gracious and super cool and couldn't have been more of a gentleman about it on. And then he even said that he'd try to get us on the following season, but I didn't really believe that that would actually happen um, as you could imagine. And so I called Mike, and I gave him the bad news. And, um, I think we probably didn't speak for a couple weeks after that. When you make it that close and then you have it ripped away, it's depressing at a level that I can't even describe. So that was the end of our shark tank adventure. Or was it? So in the next lecture, our shark tank saga continues. 14. Our Journey To The Tank, Part 5: A Second Chance: So the devastating news that we were getting bumped from Season three came to us on August 17th of 2011. Even though Bill told us that he would try to get us on Season four, we held no hope that that would actually happen. And our dreams of Shark tank basically died. We continued to sell a lot of product and business went okay, but we were not getting rich, and both of us were focused on doing other things. Then April 3rd of 2012 we got an email from producer Bill again saying this, um we have just started back on shark Tank after a short break, working on another show, we went through our old files and earlier today, and we both agreed You guys need to apply for the show again. Exclamation point. Let me know when you have some time to chat and catch up. And most of all, if you think it would be good to try your luck again this season, okay, Now for this next season, we basically had to start over except, um, going we didn't have to go to another casting call. So the first thing we had to do it was shoot yet another audition video. We decided this time that we were gonna meet in Chicago and have a little change of venue for our second video from the video turned out pretty well, but we really did not put very much time or effort into it because we were still kind of shell shocked from getting rejected. The year before, we had to fill out yet another new application form. And then a couple of weeks later, when we found out that we made the semifinals again, we had to fill out another huge full background agreement and a participant agreement and all that. Um, and for Season four, it was 47 pages long anyway, fast forward to June, and we had not been bumped. We, even through a kind of a strange set of random circumstances, manages managed to secure some celebrity help for our pitch on a trip and Sky A and Jonathan Roberts from dancing with the stars. So this worked out great, because posture, it turns out, is very important for ballroom dancers. So there we are. We finally made it. Ah, but what we kept hearing from the producers is this? Until you see yourself on the show, you won't know if you're going to make it on to Shark Tank. Even if you go to L. A. Shoot your segment. Make a deal with one of the sharks, you're still not guaranteed to air. So in the next section, I'm going to give you a quick run down of the actual shark tank shooting experience and what it's like to see yourself on the tank. 15. Getting To L.A. And Pre-Pitching To The Producers: So after a few weeks of going through pitch practice conference calls with the producers to get our presentation back together, we received notice that they were going to indeed fly us to L A to shoot the show. It was gonna happen at the end of June, and we were really couldn't believe that this was actually gonna happen. Then we got confirmation that they booked our flights, so it looked like we were finally going to get to go. Finally. Now, ah, lot of people have asked me about the travel situation and whether they fly it, l a first class, Um, and I will tell you this They put you up in reasonably decent hotels, but they flew us down on Southwest Airlines, so it was definitely not flying first class. In fact, here's a picture of the one inch of space that I had between my knees and the seat in front of me. Anyway, you get to L. A X, and they have a van that picks you up and takes you to the hotel. Um, and then staying at the hotel with a bunch of other shark tank contestants was actually pretty awesome. We met some very cool people and everybody, though they were a little kind of on edge with nerves. Everyone was really excited, and it was a fun experience. Now, before you do your actual shoot, there is what they call a pre pitch day. And that's where a van basically picks you up and takes you and some other contestants to Sony Studios. And you basically do a dress rehearsal in front of all of the show's producers. And then there's other production staff there as well. I have to tell you that driving into the Sony Studios lot was an amazing experience. Now this is the Culver City Studios lot that was formerly MGM Studios A, which is a historical historical landmark. If there ever was one, I mean seriously. That was where they shot The Wizard of Oz. So, needless to say, I was a bit star struck when we went in there. So at the pre pitch, after waiting around for a while, there's about 30 people sitting at long tables with laptops staring at you, and you've come. You have to come in and do your pitch as if you're talking to the sharks. It's super unnerve ing, but fortunately, ours went very well. And clay New Bill Ah, the executive producer of the show. He said that we gave one of the best pre pitches that he'd seen in the history of the show . So we were flattered and relieved. But most of all, we were glad that we had this stage kind of over with afterward. Back at the hotel, we ended up talking to another entrepreneur who got the crap beaten out of him on his pre pitch. I don't want to mention his name, but he had to literally go back and start from square one and redo his pitch from front to back. So we felt really bad for him. But this made us extra relieve that we did well on ours. Um, we celebrated that night at George Petroleos Steakhouse in Culver City. If you haven't been there, please go. If you're ever in L. A. This place has a ton of character and it's an institution in Culver City. The staff is awesome and the food is actually very good. So the day after the pre pitch, we had a full day off which we spent looking for a mannequin to use as a prop on the set. Lesson learned. Mannequin stores are frightening. Then on Sunday, the next day, that was our shoot day. 16. Shoot Day!: let me tell you this appearing on Shark Tank standing in front of the sharks, going through that entire experience, it was one of the most stressful, traumatic things I've ever experienced. Both Mike and I, frankly, were a tiny, little bit hungover as we had a couple beers there the night before it patrol ease. Um, but ah, word to the wise. If you do make it to shark tank, don't drink anything the night before and eat a good breakfast the day of the shoot. Um, so we got to the studio lot in, They dropped us in this little modular building where inside, we had a very humble dressing room. There were snacks which we probably should have eaten. Um, and then we were taken to the stage to quickly kind of go over our set up in the sequence of our pitch. We had our celebrity dancing dancers appearing with us, so there were some unique kind of logistical things to deal with, but it was really, like, incredible and eerie to see the shark tank stage empty with the sharks, chairs covered up. Things were things were starting to get. Really? So we went back to our little green room, where we basically paced the floor for an hour or so before someone came to take us to make up. It's with each successive stage cool, getting closer to being in front of the Sharks. It was crazy, so it was a little emasculating getting the makeup done. But with the excitement and tension starting to build, it was a very memorable experience. So next someone comes and escorts us to the soundstage where they put Mike's on us and they talk us through the process. And at this point, we are a bundle of nerves. It's getting really exciting, and it's getting the anticipation is getting nuts. One thing that you don't see on TV is that those those little doors that you walk through to get into the hall. They are super cheap and light, and they're literally opened by a dude. Stay like a stagehand standing backstage, pulling a rope. It's funny because on the other side of those doors it's a dark, messy, cluttered studio, and then you walk through those doors into this perfect, polished set. So once you make it to the middle of the set, where they've pre marked the positions where you're going to stand. You get instructed to stand absolutely still. Look at the start sharks and say nothing until you're told to go. I think that stare down lasted for about 30 seconds to a minute. It was extremely awkward. Then you get started and we launched into our pitch. Um, now, if you want to see how the edited version came out, you can search online for Season four Episode three The Final And it turned out Well, not not terrible, but the day of the shoot, things were bad. We were on the soundstage pitching for at least 45 minutes, and things got nutty at times. Mike, quite frankly, was interrupting the sharks and interrupting me. At one point, I had to jab him with my elbow to try to get his attention and get him to stop interrupting everyone. All in all, it was a pretty frankly, it was an awful experience, but I I was not expecting Ah, the mayhem and the conflict and the complete chaos that happened. Um, but like I said, the editors ended up being very kind to us. So I really can't complain about how it turned out 17. After the Shoot: "Post Shark Tank Traumatic Stress Disorder" and more...: now after the taping. That was also very interesting. Now you know how when when people they walk back through the hall and they exit after pitching the sharks. And the next thing you see them talking to the camera, saying how they think their pitch went or how excited they are, how devastated they are if it didn't go well. Well, that little shoot takes place in a completely different building. So the producers usher you over to this other studio building, where there's a mini set constructed on TV. It looks like it's right on the other end of that entry hall, but it isn't which was pretty interesting. So they brought us there and asked us questions for about 10 or 15 minutes. Honestly, I could barely remember that part of the day because I had so much adrenaline, anxiety, fear, relief and other emotions going through my brain. But looking back, that was probably the most fun part of the day. Um, next, have you heard of post Shark tank traumatic stress disorder? Well, apparently, it's a real phenomenon, because when we got back to our little dressing room almost immediately, a psychologist came in to talk to us basically to talk us off the ledge. Ah, here's a photo of the business card that she gave us, and apparently this is standard procedure for all shark tank entrepreneurs. So when you watch the show, it looks stressful, and it seems like it could be kind of traumatic being in front of the sharks. But I gotta tell you, it's way more stressful and way harder than it looks, and that's why the producers have you meet with a psychologist. It's just kind of a way that to get you to calm down after what is often a traumatic event and it's stressful, even if your pitch turns out well. So after that they put you in a van and drive you to a new hotel, not the hotel where you were staying before and all the other contestants are. I think it's probably because they since the taping of the segments, are so crazy and high stress they don't want you to go back and share your experience with the entrepreneurs who have not taped yet. So at the new hotel, which is the west in L. A X for just so you know, you get your room and there's absolutely nothing to do but go down and hang out in the bar . Um, Mike and I were kind of barely speaking at that point, but we went to the bar and we had a few drinks. A 21 point Terrasson dupe. We, I think, is how you pronounce her name. She's the inventor of fuzzy buns, reusable cloth diapers. She came into the bar and we talked to her for a while. Her pitch did not go so well, so she wasn't in the best of moods. But it was therapeutic to talk to her. And we had a couple of other entrepreneurs who trickled in. And so that was kind of Ah, a nice wayto Teoh come back to earth. So the next day we caught our flights home. And really, the rest is history. Well, except the actual air date, which will cover next. But all in all, it was a really incredible experience, but we were definitely glad it was over. So you might be asking, why am I sharing all this information about my shark tank experience? Well, I really just want to give you a true detailed behind the scenes. Look at what really happens if you make it onto the show so that before you audition or imply you've got an idea exactly what you're getting yourself into. And like I said in the beginning, I think that's really important if you set a goal to have a true picture of what the attainment of that goal is gonna look like. So that's why I kind of got so in detail as to my whole shark tank experience here. So in the next section, I'm going to share what it's like when the show actually airs and how the shark tank effect has really taken our business to the next level. 18. The Waiting Is The Hardest Part: So even if you've been to Culver City and taped your shark tank pitch, it's still not 100% chance that your segment will air. I've heard different numbers, but word is that 5 to 10% of people who taped segments don't end up getting on this show. So while I was confident that we were going to make it on, I didn't know for sure. And I have to tell you, it was pretty torturously not knowing eso. We flew home from the taping on July 2nd, and there were over two months that we didn't know whether we'd made it or not, and that was incredibly hard not knowing whether or not we were actually going to make it on the show s o. The new season started in September, so we made it. We had to wait for a couple of months, and when the season premiere episode aired, we still didn't know. But then Clay new bill called me just over a week before we aired toe. Let us know that we were, after all this anticipation, going to make it onto the show. I was probably more excited during that call than I ever have been in my life. I can't really describe it. But it was an incredible feeling, knowing that finally, after all this work, we're gonna be on the show. So in the week leading up to the show, we had a ton of work to do, making final preparations, which included the most important thing. Which is making sure that our merchant credit card processor could handle all the traffic and that our website didn't crash. Um, so the day of our airing, Kevin O Leary tweeted about quote the most arrogant shark tank entrepreneur ever appearing on tonight's episode. And he was, I'm pretty sure talking about crazy Mike. Anyway, the anticipation before that Friday night was becoming almost unbearable. Tonight. We were either going to flop or triumph on national television, and we were totally at the mercy of the editors. I remember we had no idea how it was gonna be edited. They could make us look like complete jerks, or they could cut out some of the bad stuff. But we had no idea which way it would go. After all, we were in front of the sharks for over 45 minutes, and they had to cut the footage down to, I think, like 11 or 12 minutes, and there were a lot of tense, uncomfortable and downright embarrassing moments for those editors to choose from. 19. The Episode Airs And Craziness Ensues...: So the plan for the night we aired, it was very low key. I decided to stay close to home. Ah, bunch of friends were nice enough to put together a viewing party for me. But not knowing how bad the editing would be, Um, and how bad it would end up making me look coupled with my severe nervousness in general, I opted to stay in and watch the show at my girlfriend's house. Also, I wanted to keep an eye on our product sales and make sure that our website didn't crash. But we were on the West Coast. So the show aired on the East Coast three hours before it would air here locally for the East Coast airing. Mike and I were at our office here in Portland on, and he decided to come to Portland for the weekend of the airing. So we didn't know the order of the appearance on the show, but we hope that we were gonna be the last pitch. Generally, they seem to save the most dramatic pitches for the end, and our fingers would across that we'd go last. So during that East Coast airing that was at five o'clock our time we were watching for three things. One was to make sure that our site didn't crash. Number two was to watch the real time site traffic on Google Analytics and three monitor our sales. After all, we started this business to make some money, so that was really the most important thing. So speaking of Google analytics, riel, quickly, I want to talk to you about a feature called Real Time, which is what we used to monitor our website traffic. And for any of you who have a website for your business, you should know about Google analytics. And if you don't you need to whether you're gonna be on shark tank or not. Anyway, look it up and install it on your site. It gives you deep insights, necessary insights into your Web traffic, where it's coming from geographically, how people are finding you, meaning which sites are referring traffic to you, and tons of other indispensable information that every business needs. Eso about the Google Analytics real time feature. This is so cool because it shows you in real time, as the name states where your current site traffics are geographically so starting about five eastern time. Uh, which I'm sorry, five, our local time or eight o'clock Eastern time. When the East Coast airing of the show was starting. We fired up Google real time, and it shows a map of the United States with a little orange dot showing the exact location of any visitors. So we watched like hawks since we couldn't actually watch the show until three hours later and we didn't know where our appearance was gonna be or where our segment was gonna be within the show and their average, their average. About a dozen concurrent users on our site until about maybe 5 48 So we were happy because the low traffic numbers revealed that we were going to be the last pitch on the episode, which is exactly what we wanted. Then the traffic started. Just a few dots on the page turned into what looked like a nuclear war on the Eastern Seaboard. Then the order started to come in. And seriously, that was insane. Mike and I were here in the office, and our downstairs neighbor who shares our space came up to watch the craziness. The first sales started coming in on I get an email every time when we get it, Make a sale and I'd click to refresh my email and bam! Another 45 orders would appear. And then it was 10 at a time that were coming in, and then it was 20 and mawr, and it was such an amazing feeling because we were just screaming. So with another sold another, sold another and the sales were coming in like crazy until about 15 minutes after the end of the East Coast airing. But they even though they stopped coming in like crazy, they just kept coming and kept coming and trickling in. So we closed up the office and Mike went to a local bar to watch the show. Uh, with some of his friends. I did a little bit of number crunching at the office, and seriously, I could not believe how many weeks old already. And then I went to my girlfriend's house, where I would be watching the West Coast, airing with her anyway. Long story short, the editors ended up being very kind to us. Thankfully, we didn't come off great on the show, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been again during the West Coast airing. I had Google Real time up and the the Western United States now started to blow up while the sales came in faster than I could click the refresh on my email. So it was another. It was, ah kind of replay when we got to watch our show. But the main thing was that we sold a lot of product, which was awesome. And when it was all over, I I could not believe what I had been through because I felt like I had been beaten up. But at the same time, I was ecstatic at how well the sales were going. And it was really an unforgettable night in an incredible culmination of a crazy two year journey from the first time that we had initially applied for the show. So let me tell you this getting on the show was an incredible pain in the ass. It was an ordeal, and it was a crazy ordeal, but it was, well, well worth it. It transformed our business, and to this day, with the help of the syndicated repeats that are running on CNBC, it's driving traffic. Our way and continuing to generate revenue. So now that you have a feel for what it's actually like to get on Shark tank, let's start taking a look at how you can maximize your chances of getting on. 20. Should You Audition Via Email Or Open Casting Call?: hi and welcome back. I'm not sure if I mentioned this previously, but I am acquainted with a lot of shark tank vets, and we have a private online mastermind group that has almost 200 people who have been on this show. And in addition to that being a fun group of very cool people, it's a great way to get new ideas and strategies from rial life shark tank veterans. So when I asked a few other shark take entrepreneurs about their experiences with auditioning, the responses were varied. Some attended open casting calls, Some did the online application process, and others were contacted by the show's producers directly. So that said, I can't give you a definitive recommendation as to whether there is an advantage to attending an open casting call over applying online. But we got onto the show I did via the open casting call after having not having any luck applying online. So so I'm going to recommend that you do the same, if at all possible. But if you can't attend one of the open casting calls, you need to make sure that you make yourself stand out from the crowd when you apply online , and that's what this section is all about. 21. Applying Online - Terms And Conditions: Okay, so in this section, we're going to talk about the online application process and in this specific lecture, we're going to get this process started now. The first step is to go to abc dot go dot com slash shows slash shark Dash Tank slash. Apply or a simpler option is just Google Shark Tank Audition. You'll find the page in two seconds, so choose the Send us an email link on that page, and it will take you to the email application page. Now you'll notice on this page before you can even see the email address. You need to agree to the abc dot com terms of use and that your application is not confidential. For most of us, that's not a big deal. But if you have what you believe is a revolutionary product that is not protected by a patent or provisional patent, that clause in and of itself might cause you to rethink sending them your idea. As for us, we didn't give it a second thought because we just didn't care. But for those of you who are sensitive about sharing any details about your business, you may want to contact your I P lawyer before going further. So also on this page is a link to the full terms of use that you are agreeing to simply by emailing the show's producers. I've printed out this document and real quickly. I'd like to talk about a couple of points now. This is the kind of a blanket agreement for the Disney Company, which owns ABC. And of course, I'm not a lawyer. So none of the following information should be considered legal advice. But I do want to go over a couple of things that caught my eye in reading through their terms. The 1st 1 eyes Section three, Paragraph two and that goes to say we do not claim ownership to your user generated content . However, you grant us a non exclusive sublicense herbal, irrevocable and royalty free worldwide license under all copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, privacy and publicity rights and other intellectual property rights. To use reproduce, transmit print, published publicly display, exhibit, distribute, redistribute copy index, comment on modify, adapt, translate, create derivative works based upon publicly, perform, uh, make available otherwise and otherwise exploits such user generated content in, uh, holder part in all media formats and channels now known here or hereafter devised, including in connection with the Disney services and on third party sites and platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in any number of copies and without limit as to time, manner and frequency of use without further notice to you with or without attribution and without the requirement or of permission from or payment to you or any other person or entity. Um, okay, so there's a lot to absorb in there, but basically they own the content that you send them, and they can broadcast it any time, online or on air forever without getting your permission. Because by sending in your email, you're agreeing to the terms, and you've already given them permission to use your material any time you want in any medium, including medium media that don't even exist yet. So for most of us entrepreneurs, that's not really that big of a deal, because what are they going to really do anyway? But if you think about all the possible ways that your information could resurface down the line, it might give you a reason to hesitate. For example, what if ABC decided to create a YouTube channel called America's Worst Shark Tank Auditions , and they featured Your product is one of the worst. Of course, the likelihood is extremely low, but these are the types of things that that I consider, and I recommend all entrepreneurs consider before agreeing to a legal document like this. So that's a blanket terms of use that Disney uses for multiple purposes and the bulk of the terms. Terms of use relate Teoh Disney contests and competitions. But it's worth looking over before you check the box confirming your agreement. But the last thing that I want to show you and want you to be cognizant of is that first application page on the ABC site. And it says, by making an email submission, you hereby release the shark tank entities and their respective directors, officers and shareholders, members, employees and licensees from any and all claims or liabilities relating to your email submission. So now again, we had no problem agreeing to this. But what if you haven't applied for your patent yet and you've got an ingenious product idea that is somewhat easily copied? And then what if an Internet ABC, going through this year's submissions, decided to steal your idea and run with it again. The likelihood is incredibly low, but take thes potential outcomes into account before you start the audition process. 22. Applying For Shark Tank Via Email: Name/Age/Photo: So once you check the box confirming your acceptance of the abc dot com terms of use, you'll see the email address that you'll be sending your materials to. I'm not going to give you that email address in this class just out of respect for their process and because you need to go through the process of checking the agreement box to keep the whole thing legal. So in your email, you need to make sure that you include your name and your age. Now I don't know what their explicit policies are regarding minors, but if you're under 18 you should also include a parent or guardian name and age as your co applicant. So they also need a recent photo of you, and you need to make sure that the photo is under one megabytes in size. Now here's an important, important piece of advice. Don't just grab an existing photo and crop your friends out and call it good. Take the time to get a good clear photograph taken. Okay, this is this is super important. Now I'm not saying that you need to go out and hire a professional photographer to do a photo shoot but have somebody take a good photo of you without a flash and reasonably close up, say, from waist up are a little bit higher. And make sure that in looking at that picture, you can see some expressiveness. Try to get a little bit of your personality across. This is really going to be the first impression that you give. And if you recall in the section about how we got our callback, the main reason we did was because the producer Bill remembered us, and that's all. So put some time and effort into an excellent picture and before you send it off, show it to some friends and get their feedback and reshoot it if you have to. Or if you really want to open yourself up to critique, join that Shark Tank Entrepreneurs group in Facebook that I talked about earlier. Uh, go to Facebook, search for quote shark tank entrepreneurs and joined the group. And once you're in politely introduce yourself to everyone in the group. Say hello to me. I'm checking out that group all the time and then just post your picture, um, that you're thinking of using for your application to get some feedback, and some of that feedback will be absolutely worthless. Honestly, there are a lot of quote mantra preneurs in that group, and so some of the feedback will be useless. But on the other hand, there are a lot of people who have made it to the show and a lot of people that will just be happy to give you a little bit of free advice and free feedback on your photo. So basically put some time and energy into getting a good photo to send in. So the final and most important thing that you need to provide is a brief, non confidential description of your business product or idea. Note the phrase non confidential. Don't disclose any trade secrets unless you've got protection in place for your product or business. 23. Your Shark Tank Email Application: Product Description: Now, when people ask me how much or how little information to provide in the email submission, I tell them this. Give them as much information as you can in as few words as possible. My recommend. My recommendation for your email submission is to keep your product description down to two paragraphs. That's right, just two paragraphs now. The reason I recommend this is because they get thousands of submissions. And frankly, you may have the greatest product in the world. But they simply don't have time to read long dissertations on the merits of everybody's product. Get in, give them a much information as you can in his few words as you can, and call it good. And here's a piece of gold and advice that I give people who are going to do email submissions. Before you start writing your brief product description, go back to the main shark tank audition page, abc dot com. Click where it says attend an open casting call now on the attendant open casting call Paige If and only if there is an upcoming casting call scheduled, there will be a link to download the shark tank application packet at the time I shot this chapter. There were no more casting call scheduled, so the link has now been taken down. But once they scheduled the next round of casting calls for next season, they will put the link back up and you can download the application packet. So keep checking on this page for updates and on future open casting calls so that you can get the application eso if there are apathetic. Excuse me. So if there are casting call scheduled and the link is up, download the application and printed out. Then read it. Read it twice. This is gonna give you ah, severe upper hand and a big advantage over most people who email their submissions because they won't even realize that in the open casting call process area, there's this big application form, and in the meantime, I go through the questions on the application in the next section of this course, so you don't have to wait, and you can get started gathering your information today. Now, the reason that I recommend that you download and read the application packet, even though you don't submit it during the email audition process is that if you look through it. It provides a ton of guidance and hints on the information that they're looking for from potential entrepreneurs. This little nugget right here is worth the price of this whole class in and of itself. And I wish that I would have known about this when I first applied via email. So, for example, the first thing they ask is which is pretty obvious, which is described in detail what your product or business is, and what does it do now? The second question is, um, how much investment are you seeking and what percentage of equity are you willing to give in exchange? Please give your mind that the sharks do not give their money away. They only make realistic investments. They will ask tough questions to justify the amount of money you are seeking. So, uh, the next question is, what do you intend to do with the money followed by what stage your company is in, and then they ask how much money you have invested in it. So in my opinion, this application is a great little hack to help you formulate your email product description, because now you've got a way better idea of just what information the producers are looking for. So the first thing I do is actually go through and answer all of these questions. And of course, this. This is what's called the short application, which is the 1st 5 pages of this application packet. So now why do I recommend that you fill it out? Well, you're going to find that some of your responses are stronger than others. For example, one of the question is, what are your business? Is total lifetime sales Since starting? Um, great. Say, for example, you've sold a $1,000,000 worth of product. But then a couple of questions later, they ask how much you made last year. And maybe you had a bad year and only made $20,000. So you get the idea. Actually, filling this thing out will reveal your strengths and weaknesses and what nuggets of goodness to put into your email product description. Another example. Um, describe the circumstances describing are surrounding how you conceived and developed your business. Well, maybe you just thought of the idea while driving to work, or you bought the business from your brother in law or something else. Not very sexy. But the next question asks about the biggest hurdles your business has had to face. And how did you and your business overcome them? So maybe maybe, for example, you beat cancer while you're building your business. Or you got your product into WalMart during the recession or something like that. Anyway, do go through and fill out those 1st 5 pages. It will not only show you where your story is strong and where it's weak, but it's also great practice in telling your story succinctly. And being able to tell your story well is huge for entrepreneurs, whether you're trying to get on Shark tank or not. So just for the hell of it I put together a little quick product description based on a fictional product that I came up with when I was outlining this course. So Paragraph number one. My product, Oregon Backwards Briquettes is the newest, most flavorful way to barbecue at home with true campfire flavor. I'm asking for $100,000 in exchange for 25% of my company, which I started in my garage five years ago after trying to 100 formulations of Northwest regional would as I tried to replicate the flavor of campfire cooking in my backyard barbecue. In the five years we've been in business, we've sold over $1.5 million worth of Oregon backward Marquette's to customers throughout the world. OK, so in relatively few words, I was able to get a lot of information across about my product. I got the name of the product, the investment that I'm seeking, the equity that I'm willing to give up for that investment, how long I've been in business, how difficult the product development was. That took me 200 formulations to make this product. And it's not simple. What's unique about the product it makes your barbecue food tastes like it was cooked on a campfire. Um, what? The sales were over $1.5 million finally, the fact that we sell our product worldwide. So that's a lot of information in one paragraph. So ah, paragraph two. I started the company after I was downsized from my accounting job during the recession. At one point we mortgaged our house to keep the business going, but now we're cash flow positive and making a good living from the business Our largest challenges are high shipping costs and getting into retail. But we have over 1000 retail locations so far, and our annual growth is 30% year over year. But the most important feature of Oregon backward Blackwood's briquettes is how great it makes your food taste. And I'll be bringing lots of samples, including some delicious grilled shark steaks to share with the sharks. Sharks eating shark. Let's make some great TV with my awesome product again. In relatively few words, I was able to get a lot of information across about my product number one. A bit of personal information about being downsized during the recession. Number two. A challenge that we overcame having a mortgage, the House to keep the the business afloat. Three. Getting beyond the challenge and having some success being cash flow positive and getting into over 1000 Retailers. Number four. Some financial numbers. The 30% year over year growth rate are unique selling proposition, which is how great the food tastes when cooked with our product. And finally, a little Maura about what interesting thing might happen if we were to be on show, namely sharing awesome food with the sharks, including shark steaks, which would be pretty unique and might make for good television. And if you watched many episodes of Shark Tank, you'll know that the sharks love to sample food. So putting that in there, I think, helps helps my chances. So anyway, the point of the that illustration is that you can pack a lot of good information into just a couple of paragraphs to paint a pretty detailed picture of your product or business. Now, for those of you who are getting ready to make it happen, if you'd like my feedback, you can start a new discussion within this course and include your email pitch on. I'll be happy to give you a quick critique, or you can find me on Twitter at Posture now, Matt, or you can email me at Matt at Matt franklin dot net. Once again, that's Matt at matt franklin dot net. Okay, so the last thing that you need to know about applying for Shark tank via email is this. In all likelihood, if you don't make it to the next round in the audition process, you will not hear anything back from the show's producers. So I need you to prepare yourself for this because you can send in your email with a great picture and an awesome product description. And it's very likely that you won't hear anything back again because they receive thousands of email entries. There just isn't a way for them to call everyone back and let them know that they didn't make the cut. Okay, so you've officially been warned. So now get out and do the absolute best email application you possibly can, taking into account all the things that we talked about in this section. Now, in the next section, we're going to talk about auditioning for Shark Tank via an open casting call, so stick with me. 24. Start At The ABC Website - And Check Back Often If No Open Calls Are Scheduled: Okay, let's talk about going to an open casting call now. Besides the fact that I got on the show via casting call. The other reason that I recommend taking the time, energy and expense of actually going to an open casting call is that it's a direct way to get your personality across to an actual show producer casting person. Sometimes it just isn't possible to fully convey your awesomeness via a photo and a few paragraphs. So pitching in person, at least in my opinion, is a powerful and immediate way to show a producer that you should be on TV. So going back to my experience at the Dallas Open casting call, our producer barely remembered what our product was all about when he got back. But he remembered us. He remembered, too goofy guys crazily trying to get his attention through the window of the TV studio where the call was held. So the lesson here I'll say it once again, is to make yourself memorable, remember, and I'm gonna keep repeating this. The producers are looking to make great television, and that's what they get paid for. If Shark Tank viewers don't find the pitch and the person giving the pitch interesting, they might change the channel on. It's the job of casting people to find people and products that will make good television and keep the audience entertained. So let's run through the casting call process starting at the ABC website. So the same way we did in the last section. The first step is to go to abc dot go dot com slash shows slash shark Dash Tank slash. Apply or again, the simpler option is to just Google Shark Tank Audition, and you'll find the page in two seconds. So choose the attend and open call link on that page, and it will take you to the open casting call application page. Now what do you do if you don't see an upcoming open call or one near you? Well, keep coming back to this page. They do casting calls throughout the year, but most of them seem to happen during the spring and early summer as taping for the next season approaches. And there have been surprised casting calls actually that correspond with specific events. So definitely bookmark this page and check back often. Another thing to do to make sure that you don't miss out if they announce an open casting call is to set up a Google News Alert for the term shark tank casting, Um, and when one is announced, you'll get an email. Um, if you don't know how to create a Google News Alert, there are tutorials online, or you can start a discussion in this very class and I can give you more information. But for the sake of this class, I'm going to just teach this section as if you've found a casting call in a nearby city, or that you're going to plan to travel toe one in the near future. A zai shared earlier when we flew to Dallas when we auditioned, I flew from Portland. Mike flew from New York, so it was no small task getting there. But we I guess we really felt like I was the right thing to do, and it was the right gamble to make it the time, and we weren't alone. There were other people from all over the country that came for that audition. We met people who are from Washington state, people from Ohio, Florida and Maine, so it's not unusual to travel long distance to go to these open casting call events 25. Agree To The Terms And Download The Application: so you'll notice on the open casting. Call Paige if and only if their events scheduled. There's a link to download the application packet, and it's not optional. You have to fill out the application and bring it with you to the open casting call. If you don't have the packet completed, they will turn you away. And just like we discussed in the last section, here's where you have to agree to the terms of use. Before you can see the application, you have to check the box saying that you agree to the terms before you can even look at it . So we did cover the terms and conditions in the last section. But it's worth repeating in this kind of at this stage that by downloading the application , you're agreeing to the terms of use and that your submission are in this case. Audition is not confidential and not confident. No confidential or fiduciary relationship is intended or created by auditioning, so make sure that your idea your business or your product is protected. Um, either it's so complex and difficult to replicate that nobody could pull it off or you have patent protection in place to protect it. So once you've checked the box stating that you agree to the terms linked to the application will appear, and when you click on it, it should open the shark tank initial application packet in a new window as a Pdf file. From there, you can print it out and save it to your computer if you need to print copies in the future . 26. Initial Application Instructions/Shark Tank Eligibility Requirements: Okay, so the current application that I have have downloaded is 16 pages long. Not too terribly bad. This initial application packet consists of four sections. The short application, the audition release, the submitted materials release and the intellectual property release, plus the dreaded edge ability work eligibility requirements. In this lecture, I'm going to take you through all of these things and give you some cheap advice here and there. Throughout, um, so the first page of the application states something that I've mentioned previously, but it bears repeating because we screwed up and didn't read it. And that is, if you are applying ah for a za team as part of a team of collaborators, each collaborator must complete and submit his or her own application packet. Next thing eligibility requirements, which will run through real quickly. You've got to be 18 years old. If the entrepreneurs not 18 just have the parent fill one out and the my have the minor fill out another application. Um, if obviously, if you watched the show, they do have young inventors on occasionally, but there's always an accompanying parent. You must be a legal resident of the United States, Note that That does not say U s citizen. Okay, The third requirement is a long one. Neither you nor any of your immediate family members or anyone living in your household maybe nor have been within the past one year. Employees, contractors, officers, uh, directors or agents of any of the following Finn Max 123 Television. Any entity owned or controlled by affiliates of Mark Burnett on and on and on and on and on and on. Um, so I shortened that a bit. But basically, if you or any other family member has had any business dealings with any company directly or indirectly related to any of the companies or personalities related to this show, you're basically disqualified from applying. And now this is not legal advice. I'm not a lawyer. Um, and winning doubt. Get an opinion from a lawyer. Now the next requirement. You may not be a candidate for public office and must agree not to become a candidate for public office from the date of the audition release until one year after the initial broadcast of the last episode of the Siris in which you appear. So if you're planning to run for City Council and thought a shark tank appearance might give a boost to your campaign. I'd rethink that strategy. Next, Um, you may not have been convicted of a felony or have a felony or misdemeanor charge pending against you. Um, and here's some advice. If you've got something on your record, ah, and you think it can slip through. I just want to call your attention to the next requirement, which is you must voluntarily submit to a background check. So if you've got something on your record, it will be discovered during the background check, and it's very likely that you'll be disqualified. 27. The Short Application (grab a coffee, this lecture's long...): Okay, so let's run through the short application portion, which is the five pages long here, Uh, my recommendation here is to just watch this whole lecture all the way through, and then when you're filling out the application, come back here and watch it again and pause the class between questions as you're filling it out. So, um, name, business name? That's pretty simple. Next is the business website. Um, now, this is actually a pretty important one. I've talked to multiple people who've auditioned for Shark Tank and didn't get on, by the way, that did not have business websites. I've heard excuses like, uh, I have my product on Etsy or I have a Facebook page for my product or my product is too new for a website. Um, so here's my advice to you at this point in the application, even if it's a very simple template website with only a couple of pages, get one made and have a URL that reflects the name of your company or product Seriously, this is probably the most fundamental way to show that your business has some credibility, and it's also just basically easy and cheap these days. and conversely, if you don't have a website for your business, it really shows a lack of credibility. Ah, lack of effort. And I think it decreases your odds of making it to the next stage in the audition process. Okay, uh, so next we've got a bunch of basic personal stuff name, contact, information, gender, etcetera and then occupation. So if you still have a day job, I'd recommend that you make it sound as interesting as possible here on this application. In fact, use every answer in this application to make yourself interesting and memorable. Give yourself a crazy title. Or maybe give yourself just something more interesting than just accountant or fireman. Okay. Next, describe in detail what your business or product is. What does it do? Provide as much detail as possible. So obviously, this is a very important part of the application. And give this a lot of thought. Give plenty of detail and describe what your product does. Also spend some time talking about the problem that it solves and who the target market ISS at every turn used dynamic adjectives to describe it and make it sound interesting and cool . Dazzle them with how awesome your product is. And this is important how well it will demonstrate on TV. Next up is how much money are you seeking as an investment? And how much equity in your company are you willing to give up? Now, remember, this equation reveals how much you're valuing your company at. For example, if you're asking for $100,000 in exchange for 10% of your company, you're basically offering evaluation of one $1,000,000. 10% is 1/10 and 10 times 100,000 is a 1,000,000. So anyway, so I'm gonna create a little bonus lecture on valuation. So be sure to check. Check that out down the line. If you want to dig a bit deeper into the valuation question, this is definitely worth educating yourself about before you apply. But note you can change your requested investment amount later in the audition process. Okay, so the next question is, what do you intend to do with the funds? Where will the money go now? This is a good opportunity to show that you know your business and you have a well thought out plan to do for what to do with the money. If there are multiple things that you plan to do with the investment, my strong recommendation is to specifically note how much will go to each item. For example, let's say you're seeking $100,000 for mold making, tooling and your first manufacturing run. Tell them that, say, 12% or $12,000 is to make the mold. 25,000 is for tooling, and $63,000 is for the first manufacturing run. Or give them percentages. Either way, let them know that you have a specific vision for where the money will go by letting them know the relative amounts. Ah, next question. What stage is your company in? My recommendation for answering this question is simply this. Don't exaggerate the level of development you are at. If your product is just annoy idea at this point, don't say that it's a shipping live product because they're going to easily be able to deduce what stage your business is in. So make sure, basically, that you represent yourself honestly on this question. Um, the next question is, how much money have you invested in the company and in what time frame and what was the money used for? This is pretty self explanatory on our application. We put that we had funded the prototyping process all on a credit card, with the total expenses around $8000. I think it was before we started making an income on they like that. Answer. So, um, next question is about when you started the business and how long you've been operating the business. Okay, that's pretty self explanatory. And now they start getting into the numbers. Um, and as all the sharks have said at one point or another, know your numbers. So if you have any specific questions about the revenue and sales numbers in the following questions, feel free to start a new discussion. Ah, here in this class section, and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. And on the questions relating to your projections. What are your sales projections for this calendar year? What your projections for next calendar year and how did you come up with those projections ? My best advice is to have a good answer regarding how you came up with those projections. It's and have, like I say, a good answer if you think your sales, they're going to increase by a ton, but you have no evidence to back that up. Um, I'd either come up with something very believable to back up your hunch or give a more conservative estimate based on your historical sales. Um, okay, The next question is whether you've tried to raise money from outside sources again. Pretty self explanatory. If you've raised money, give details specifically, you should note how much you received and what the basic terms were. So did you borrow money at X percent interest and then pay it back? Or did somebody give you some cash in exchange for equity? If so, be sure to disco disclose how much equity you've given up in return for that investment. Uh, okay, so the next question is, what attempts have you made to build your business? How have you been successful? This is a great chance right here to show all the work that you've done to create your business. Now, in my opinion, this is where you can show that you're a hustler, a grinder sales person who won't take no for an answer. So things like, what have you done to sell your product. Have you gone door to door? Have you set up tables and flea markets? Have you done endless cold calling? Have you built a great sales team? Has your money? Are Has your family worked weekends mailing out shipments? Have you filled your garage with inventory of you? Sold your business toe are sold your house to finance your business. Have you gone to China to find a factory? Have you found guerrilla advertising and marketing outlets anyway, pumped this response full of things that you've done both successfully and things that have failed. I include two or three things that I'd tried and failed and includes some really hard things that succeeded. And the more interesting and entertaining things that you can include here the better. Okay, the next question is, um why do you want to pitch your business? So, um, don't make the mistake that many people make and say something like, we're out of money and we need the sharks to keep us from going out of business. Or we need the sharks expertise to do this or that, or we need the publicity that shark tank can provide, or I want to meet Kevin. I think in answering this question is very important to be authentic and honest, but not come across as desperate. Use this space to share some of your long term goals and aspirations, and how a shark tank appearance might help you get closer to those goals. Also, this is a good question to answer with more information about why your product and you would make good television. But be humble. Don't be cocky. Um, now we're going to get onto some of the specifics about your business and its development. The next question is, what is your unique selling proposition? What is your hook and why is your business notable? So this this one, I can't overstate how important this question is. It's very, very important. Important that you can articulate quickly. What makes your business or product unique. Is your product the first to do what it does? Does it do do it faster? Does it use less energy? Does it last longer? What does it do better than the competition? So there's this book every small business owner should read, Um, and it's called Purple Cow by Seth Godin. Seriously, if you have not read it. Go buy it now and digest it quickly and completely in that book. One of the things that Seth says is you're either remarkable or your invisible. So for this question on your application, what about your product is remarkable? Why do people buy it? Ah, what can your product do that no other product or business conduce? So before you answer that question, unless you've already put a ton of thought into your unique selling proposition or USP, I would highly recommend that you do two things. One read purple cow and number two Google. Just the phrase unique selling proposition to see samples of good ones. This is an important question. Very, very important question that's worth putting time into answering. Well, eso The next question is described the circumstances surrounding how you conceived and developed your business. This is yet another opportunity to make yourself interesting and memorable. When we were filling out our application in this question, we specifically chose to lead with humor. Our product was basically kind of boring and utilitarian, so we basically put that Mike was tired of having a beer belly, and he noticed that when he stood up straight and in good posture, has made his beer belly smaller. So he set out to create a posture improvement device so that he wouldn't have to actually exercise and lose weight. So was the conception of your product interesting or funny or memorable? If not, this would be a great place to do some creative augmentation to build your story and make it a little bit more interesting to the producer that ends up reading this application. I'm not suggesting that you fabricate something. I'm just saying Teoh, add some interesting or funny details to make this a memorable answer. Next question. What are the biggest hurdles to your What are the big Excuse me? What are the biggest hurdles your business has had to face, and how did you and your business overcome them? Have you had any personal struggles? Have you had any life threatening illnesses? Did a business partner steal all your money? If you've watched more than a few episodes of Shark Tank and I hope you've watched every single one like we talked about before, you've likely seen an entrepreneur or two who've battled with a serious illness or some other very traumatic life events Well, I'm not recommending getting sick or harming yourself. If you've had something serious happened that you've had to overcome, it really adds drama. And, frankly, it will make your story better. Everybody loves a hero who's beaten the odds or overcome some incredible hardship. So if you've got anything you can put here, do it. Um, Now they only give you two lines, so they're not looking for a book length diatribe about your troubles. But if you could briefly show a challenge, a trauma or a tragedy that you've overcome, it will make your story stronger. Um, the next question I remember thinking was pretty odd. List any organizations or clubs that you're associated with? No. In this one, I've got to be honest. I have no idea what they're really looking for or what a good answer is. I can remember. We I can't. I can't remember what we put on this one, but I'm sure it was some kind of a smart ass comment about being part of ah, Beer of the Month Club or the water Buffalo Lodge or Hair club for men or something like that. Anyway, um, list any organizations or clubs with which your associate ID. Anyway, if you're a member of an organization that isn't totally boring on paper, put it down. But otherwise you can probably leaves this one blink. Um, and on the same lines, the next question is list any awards or accolades that you've received? Um, I'm sure again, we probably put something goofy on that one. But if your business has received some kind of award, definitely put it down. But don't worry if you have to leave this one blank. Okay? Next question. Have you applied for shark tank before? Provide details. So be honest on this one. If you've previously applied, definitely note it here, but I'd recommend saying something like, now, my product is more much more mature. Or now our sales are up 100% or something like that. You don't need to be super detailed, but definitely use this space toe. Let them know that your business has evolved since you applied previously and that your situation is different, thereby inferring that you're worth another consideration. Um, but if you haven't applied, no, is all you need on this one. Okay, The next question is long, and it's a potential disqualifier. Have you or someone on your businesses or products behalf ever pitched or presented your business or product or a related business or product to any of the sharks, any shark entity or any representative of a shark or sharks entity and or had any type of communication, dealing, discussion or interaction concerning your business or product or related business or product with any of the sharks, any shark entity or any representative of a shark or sharks entity provide details. Okay, it's a long one on this one. I think it's obvious that the best answer is no. Basically, if you've had any interaction with the sharks or related entity, they want to know about it. And this could definitely be a disqualifier. So say, if you emailed Kevin asking a question about business, they want to know. Ah, if one of the sharks purchased your products, they want to know now. I do not advise dishonesty anywhere in this class, but if it all possible, make this answer a no. This might be a place for some strategic amnesia if there have been a minor interaction or two. But I mean, basically, if if you've been in touch with shark. That could be a really quick disqualifier qualifier. So next they include the following clause, which is this You have a continuing obligation to inform Finn Max LLC in writing of any contact with any of the sharks, any shark entity or any representative of a shark or shark entity. So this little Klaus tells you just how sensitive they are about contact with the sharks before you're on the show. I mean, I think about it. It makes sense. Shark tank runs on its credibility and believability. And when you stand in front of the sharks, they're seeing you and your product for the first time. And if it were revealed that you had been in contact with a shark before your appearance, it could really hurt that credibility and even make the show look like it was fixed or staged. So now that you're aware of that, do not reach out to any of the sharks or their companies. Now that you're applying for the show, uh, next question. Same basic theme. Have you ever been an employee of the sharks or shark entity or representative for a shark or shark and provide details again Let's hope you've never worked for a lira capital, the Dallas Mavericks or HSN, because it's very likely that that will disqualify you. And this one's easy to track, since they're gonna do a background check on you if you make it further into the audition process and that will reveal your employment history. So be honest on this one. Okay, so now we're on the last page of the short application portion of the initial application packet. And here's where it starts to get really personal. First question. Do you have any physical conditions, special needs accommodations or fears that we should know about? Yes or no. Um, if so, explain. So on this one, it's best to just say no if you walk with the cane. If you're afraid of speaking in public, if you sweat a lot under pressure, deal with that in the future down the line. Don't give them any reason to disqualify you for something that is probably not a problem at all. Now, the next four questions dig deeper into your personal life. The 1st 1 asks, if you ever had a temporary or permanent restraining order. Next one is have you ever been charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Um, next one is Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? And, um so, uh, my best advice on all of these full discretion. I mean, seriously, Remember, from the first page, if you have a felony conviction or a felony or misdemeanor criminal charges pending against you, you are disqualified. Now, if you've just been charged on DNA not convicted in all likelihood, the background check will reveal it. So write it down. I will tell you that personally, I had a couple of tiny little blemishes on my record from when I was much younger. Um, I don't want to get into detail, but, um, I was honest. We we made it on the show without a problem, but, you know, I definitely included them on the application and did not try to hide them. Okay, so that's it for the short application. Thank you for sticking with me through this long, long lecture. Great job. So in the next lecture, we're going to get into the releases 28. Audition Release/Submitted Materials Release/IP Release: Okay, I promise that this lecture is going to be a lot shorter than the last one. So let's get right to it. The next section in this initial application packet is the audition release. Now, this is a contract, and I am not a lawyer. So none of the following information is legal advice. I'm just gonna go through it quickly and give you a little rundown on how I interpreted it when I applied for the show and also point out some language that you might want to pay close attention to before you sign it. So, um, Section one is just a recap of the eligibility requirements. In legal terms, Section two is a grant of rights, which basically gives every company related to the production of the show the absolute and irrevocable permission to record you photograph you and shoot video of you, then use any or all footage, uh, anywhere in any media, including media, that has yet to be created anywhere in the universe for all time. So that includes you and your likeness, your product, your business, your logo, and on and on, on and on. And that applies whether or not you make it on the show. So Section three eyes basically warranting that you and your collaborators indeed have the right to grant rights to the materials. So, basically, you're you're agreeing that there's not some silent partner in the business somewhere who co owns the brand and who might not agree to a B. C's use of your company indicia and whatnot. Um, Section four. Okay, Section four is just an acknowledgement that you understand that if you get a deal with one of the sharks, that investment may be governed by securities laws and you agree to comply with those laws . Also, nobody related to the show will be offering you advice or counsel on these dealings. You're on your own. Okay, Section five is about confidentiality, and basically, you're agreeing not to share any information or trade secrets that you might have acquired in connection with the show. This one's relatively short, but if you make it to the semifinals, the confidentiality agreement you're going to sign is much more in depth and and actually will include a multi $1,000,000 penalty. If you disclose what happens on your episode before it ends or I'm sorry before airs Ah, that's one to take Very seriously. When we signed that, it was hard to believe. You basically grant that you will owe ABC TV $5 million or something like that if you, uh, disclosed what happens on the show before it airs. So, um, Section six is a general release that says you, your relatives, your next of kin, etcetera, will not ever, under any circumstances to any of the companies related to the production of the show. So say you make it on the show, and the editors make you look like a complete fool leading to your wife leaving you the loss of your business bankruptcy and total complete destitution. You cannot sue ABC or Mark Burnett. Sorry. So, um, so the rest of this document is basically additional sections that strengthen the contract and make it even more binding. If you're nervous about any of it, I would recommend sitting down with a contract lawyer to go over it. But regardless, if you don't sign it, your application process is over, and you're not going to get on the show. So, um, next up is the submitted materials release. Um, first of all, don't forget to sign the first page. Ah, and now the submitted materials released basically gives ABC, Sony Television and all the associated production companies the right to use any and all materials you submit during the application process, which includes the answers to your application photographs, video company logos, business information, etcetera and anything that you haven't submitted yet. Like samples of your product that you might bring to the open casting. Call your yet to be made audition video and anything else that you might submit, and they have the right to use it forever, anywhere without compensating you. Um, also worth noting, even though it's implicit in the fact that they have the right to use your materials anywhere, forever, is that nothing that you submit is confidential. So remember that throughout this process, if your company is in quote stealth mode and you're trying to keep your business or product under wraps, you should probably stop now and apply when you're ready for the world to see everything about your business. Um, further down, Um, there's more kind of hold harmless language. Um, yeah, and again if, as a result of submitting your audition, uh, the materials or whatever you or your business partner gets sued or you lose your job or you get divorced or whatever you indemnify ABC, Sony and all the production companies against all liabilities, claims etcetera. Uh, in section in section 11. Uh, you're stating that you have not been employed once again. A lot of this is redundant. Now you're stating that you have not been employed by any company affiliated with Mark Burnett, Sony Pictures or ABC. It should be self explanatory. Why they're sensitive about this. If, say, a former employee of Mark Burnett or a Mark Burnett company made it onto the show, it could look very bad for the selection process and hurt the overall credibility of the show. Um, and this this section ends with mawr legal language, just basically to strengthen the document. This is simple stuff, But if concerns if legal concerns arrived, you should definitely talk to a lawyer. When we were applying, we barely we barely even read this stuff because we were just excited to have a chance to audition. Um, OK, so So the last part of this packet is called the intellectual property release. Now, this does it doesn't really matter to you right now, You will not need to have this signed until you submit an audition video. Which is why I don't understand why they include this for people who are just attending an open casting call. My only guess would be that if you were going to bring a DVD of an audition video to the open casting call, which they don't ask for, they would want this before they would be willing to accept the video. And basically, all all of this document is is a sign off from whoever shoots your video saying that they released the rights to the video and that nobody else's permission or consent is required for the show's producers to use and rebroadcast that video, Um, and that the people that shot the video will not be compensated for that video, at least not for maybe. See, there's some other legalese in this release, so if you do have someone else shoot your video or if you hire someone to shoot it, make sure that they read, understand and sign this before the video was shot. Now, for everyone who's attending an open casting call, you don't need to worry about the intellectual property release. If you make it to the semifinals, the show's producers will ask you to create an audition video, and they'll need to get this from you if someone else shoots the video. So for us, we just stood in front of a camera that we stood a camera on a tripod. We shot our audition video ourselves, so we didn't need to submit this form. 29. Go To The Open Casting Call and BE MEMORABLE!: so now going to the actual casting call. So this is probably the most important thing that I'm going to share in this session. I mean, that is a quote from Mindy's M. Rack, who is the current shark tank casting manager. In a local TV interview, she said. After a casting call recently in Maryland, Mindy said, If they have AH lot of passion put behind what they're pitching, that really sells more than anything. So when you goto an open casting call, prepared to be passionate about your product. Now, when people ask me about going to a new open casting call, one of the first things we talk about is what time to arrive. OK, seems like it's not a big deal, but I actually have put a lot of thought into this and have asked a lot of people about it . A Dallas casting call where we auditioned. There were people who literally camped out overnight to get a place in the front line. Now, first, I would not recommend doing this simply because you need to be sharp and rested when you're doing your pitch. This is too important of an opportunity to blow because you decided to sleep on the sidewalk the night before and didn't get a good night's sleep. Plus, and this is very important. Each venue has different rules about when you can actually get there. Some venues don't allow any lining up prior to the start time and in fact, for the Houston casting call this year. They issued this warning, and that is, Please do not line up prior to the time of the casting call. Anyone loitering the night before or prior to the start on the day of the event will be turned away. So once you've decided on where you're gonna go audition, watch the ABC website for details and these types of instructions, Um, also in the weeks leading up to the casting call check on Facebook because often the producers will create a Facebook event page with additional details that are not shown on the ABC website. So say you're planning to go to a casting call in Phoenix, uh, starting a couple weeks before the event. Just put in the terms. Shark tank Phoenix casting in the Facebook search bar to see if an event has been created on the event pages at least previously. They've had very helpful information about parking exact times that you can start lining up information about the venue, etcetera. So it's good to be aware of the Facebook event page is, um, so back to what time to arrive. I usually tell people, and there's 100 different answers for this, but I usually tell people after I implore them not to camp out or get their 3 a.m. to be the first person in line to get there a couple hours before you are instructed to start lining up. And just so you know, casting calls have been known to start earlier than the scheduled time, which is why I say to get there early. I don't recommend being in the very front of the line, though, because now, again, this is just my opinion. I think that if you're one of the very first people to pitch in the morning, you're less likely to be remembered once the casting folks get back to their office. I also don't believe in trying to be at the end of the line because a they could run out of response of more than 500 people show up and be at the very end of the day, the casting people are probably exhausted and their brains are mush on and they're ready to go home. So my recommendation and again it's just my opinion is to be somewhere in the early middle of the line, but making sure to have a memorable, passionate pitch. 30. Your One-Minute Pitch: now, my recommendation to make the most out of the one minute that you have at the casting call is this. Treat the first few lines of your pitch like you would if you were actually on the show, meaning my name is Matt. My product is the widget, and I'm seeking X amount of dollars in exchange for X percent equity in my company. That's the first thing that you always say when you're pitching the sharks, and I believe that that's the format that you should use when you're pitching at the open casting call. And the reason I say to stick with this is that they're gonna ask for this information anyway. So this way you don't have to waste any time next up. I'd have your unique selling proposition. Remember that from a little bit earlier I'd have your unique selling proposition for your product ready to go and perfectly memorized. For example, our shoes are quirky, comfy, light and inexpensive, and we give a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you purchase in and out real quick, unique selling proposition Now. Next, I'd go a little bit deeper into the problem that you are solving or that your product solves on our casting call pitch, we said. Today we're spending more and more time at our computers and using smartphones and tablets , and as a result, poor posture has become a worldwide epidemic. That's where posture now comes in now. We were fortunate because pretty much everybody can relate to the poor posture problem. So my best advice on this topic is make the problem that your product solves, make it sound as big and is universal as possible because the more universal the problem you're solving, the bigger your target market next. Because you're getting you're going to be asked this question anyway, let them know how Maney you've sold. If you've sold any that is on our pitch, we were able to say that we've sold, I think, at that point about $100,000 worth of our product, which caught the attention of the producer. Next, I'd try to demonstrate the product if it's not self explanatory, but do so very quickly, and then if you still have time, tell them the story of your product and why you're so passionate about it now. Here's some great advice that I read in an article that, uh came out and was with a guy named Mark Limb from the Lalla Cup, which was featured on Season three. And when asked about what makes a successful addition, he said, Um, the tip that I can give is to make sure that you tell a story. Um, your business item service is equally crucial to how you got to where you are and why you are dedicating your blood, sweat and tears to it. So he's saying that your product is important, but how you got there and how it came to be is just as important. So use the remaining time. If there is any to briefly share your memorable story and share it with passion. Now, this is probably going to end up eating up your entire minute so I wouldn't plan on rehearsing anything else to add. But be prepared for questions. Remember all those questions that we went through in the application packet, for instance, make sure that all of those questions that you have those answers memorized and that you can answer them very, very quickly with no hesitation so that if that casting. People become intrigued with you and your product, and they start asking questions so you can answer that as many as possible in the short time that you have left. So let's review my recommended pitch sequence number one, your name and your business or product, how much investment you're seeking and what percentage of equity you're willing to give in return for that investment. Number two. Your unique selling proposition Number three described the problem that you're solving and make that problem as universal as possible. Number four. Tell them how much money worth of product that you've sold to date number five Give a very quick demonstration, and number six finished by passionately telling your memorable story. And then number seven. Be prepared to answer business questions quickly and succinctly, if that's not redundant, quickly and succinctly now, at the open calls, I'm not sure if it's at all of them, but it's some of them. They have a video camera set up in another room, and if the casting people like your pitch, they'll give you the opportunity to shoot your audition video right there, basically, by answering their questions on camera. Um, I do know some entrepreneurs who have made it to the show having done this, and it's super convenient to just walking in the next room, shoot the video and not have to worry about producing your own. But my recommendation personally is to create your own video back at home. If you get alerted that you've made it to the next round, um, you'll have more control and the ability to really get your messaging and delivery just the way you want it. But if you go to an open casting call and you do get chosen and decide you want to get your video shot there that day, it's very important that you go through the next section in this course about the audition video so that you're prepared. There are a lot of important items that we're going to cover in, and the Mawr prepared that you are, the better you'll do on the video. So definitely don't skip the next section 31. After The Shark Tank Casting Call: Celebrate! (Then Get Back To Business): Okay, The first thing I think people should do after they go to an open casting call. Let's celebrate. You just went through. Ah, lot of hard work. You may have traveled out of state. You filled out a crazy long application form. You practice your pitch, you got to know your business inside and out, and you went and pitched the shark tank casting people, That is, that is actually really huge. You know, there are tens of thousands of people who auditioned for Shark Tank every season, but there are tens of thousands more who don't. So you should celebrate, actually going and making it happen. I just read about a kid in his dad who flew to Portland, the Portland, Maine, casting call. And afterwards, the 17 year old named Elijah Moray. Um, hey was pitching his ghost pepper sauce, which sounds kind of awesome, he said. Just trying something like this, you could embarrass yourself or fall flat, so you've gotta have guts and stamina and determination just to get on that plane and show up. I'm proud we did. I think he summed it up very well. So celebrate. You know, once you've been there celebrating. Have a glass of champagne pat yourself on the back. You've done something that most people won't do so lately at casting calls, they've been telling people that they will get back to them within a week or so if they make it to the next round of the process. So with us, we heard back within a couple of days. So if you have not heard back from a producer within ah couple weeks, chances are you're not going to make it to the semifinals, and that's it for this season. And remember, if you don't get selected to go to the next round in the audition process, with rare exception, they will not call you, so don't expect to call back, letting you know that you didn't make it on that shark tank Entrepreneurs Facebook Page that based group that I was telling you about. I've seen posts from people exasperated because they went to an open casting call and after , like, a month or so, they were still hoping to hear something and had not yet heard back, and they were upset about it. But just remember, over 40,000 people auditioned for Shark Tank, so they don't have time to call everyone that isn't selected. It's just like the email applications. They don't have time to email everyone back who doesn't get on. So if you don't hear back after a couple of weeks, just get back to your business and try again next season and I mean that, seriously, try again next year, but make sure that your pitch eyes even more memorable and mawr passionate next time around . So in the next section, we're going to talk about next steps. If you've attended an open casting call and you hear back from the producers, or if you applied via email and they got back to you, the next step is gonna be the audition video, so stay tuned. 32. Audition Videos That Worked and Videos That Didn't: Okay. The first assignment in this section is to watch as many audition videos as you can. Why? Well, this will give you a chance to see first hand what has worked and what hasn't. If you go to YouTube and search for Shark Tank Audition video, you'll find a ton of videos seriously block out on our to grab a note pad to take notes and watch as many videos as you can. I would focus on the videos that are over. Ah, year old. Okay, now, the reason for this is that right now, there might be a lot of new videos up for people who may or may not end up getting selected to be on the next season of the show. So I want you to be able to to be able to know if these videos ended up getting the entrepreneurs onto the show or not. So if the videos are a year or more old, you'll be able to check and see if that product made it to Shark Tank. Now here's the main observation that I have based on the tons of audition videos that I've watched, there are awesome, well produced, really great videos for people who never made it to the show, and there are terrible looking very lame bad videos from people who did make it onto the show. That said, the production value of the video is not what gets the results. What gets results is if you come off like an interesting person like your product is an interesting, interesting product. You convey passion for your product, and, of course, you give the impression that if you are on shark tank, it would be good television. 33. The Audition Video Questions: So if you go through and watch some audition videos, you probably noticed that a lot of people answered the same basic list of questions. And that's because if you do make it to the video submission around in the application process, they'll give you a standardised list of questions. When they got back with us, they sent us a long application form and release, which was about twice as long as the initial application form. This is with the whole whole thing. Um, and then they give us a little to page rundown on what they needed from the audition video . So and that's that's right here. So I'll read some of it now, Um, so within the application packet, our instructions on how to make your five minute personal video submission I want to add that this video is your only chance to impress everybody, so make it great. Wow, us dazzle us. Be memorable. Lots of energy, in addition to the application packet, background form and personal video guide, include a photo of yourself. Okay, so there's some other stuff. So, um, here are the submission requirements. Um, they say Be sure to answer all of these questions. Um, what's your name? Where you're from. What do you do for a living? What's your business? How much money do you need from the investors? And what percentage of your company, uh, are you willing to give up? Be specific. How will the money be used? Number five is. Please describe your product or business. What is it, What is so interesting or unique about the product or business? Why will people feel they must have your product? Is it fully patented or just patent pending? How far along in the development of your business or product are you? Is it just a NY idea? A working prototype business plan? Or is it an existing product or business that is currently on the market? That probably sounds pretty familiar because of the questions from the initial application . So, um, next they go on. Is your product or business currently making money? If so, how much revenue has the product or business generated? Um, and how or why does it work? What's the market for this and why? How is your product or business different from similar ideas? What makes yours unique or better? How did you come up with the idea. What is your idea of the Big Neck? The next big thing. OK, so we had to do this and I'm not done yet, by the way, with the questions. But we had to get this thing turned around in turned around in one week. So I don't know if in every case they're going to require a one week turnaround, but you should be prepared for that. So if the thought of producing an audition video in answering all these questions in less than a week is intimidating, you should start planning for it now, before you go to the casting call or before you send an email application in. In our case, not only did we have to shoot, edit and deliver the video in less than a week, but I had to fly to New York to do it, because that's where Crazy Mike lives. And we both had to be in the video. That was very stressful, but we got it done, so the video instructions continual read you the rest of the questions. Number six. How much have you invested in the business or product? What would happen if you could not get your business off the ground. Question number seven. Ah, When did you start inventing or becoming an aspire? Become an aspire and aspiring entrepreneur. What influenced this decision? Number eight. What does your business or product mean to you? Ah, what is your ultimate goal for your business or product? Number 10. What has been your biggest challenge so far? Ah, what do your family and or friends think of your business or product and number 12? Ah, what are other interesting fax or tidbits about you or your business or product that you would like to share? Okay, so that is a lot of questions to answer in five minutes. I mean, it took me over a minute to reach just to read the questions. So people have asked me, since it's close to impossible to answer all these questions in five minutes, Should I make the video longer to fit all the questions? And my answer is generally no. We decided to make our video exactly five minutes long. I mean, it wasn't five minutes and one second. It wasn't four minutes and 59 seconds. It was five minutes on. And that was our way of kind of showing that we could indeed follow instructions to the note. But we couldn't fit all the questions in tow. That five minute length. So we skipped a couple. And if you noticed in watching the other audition videos on YouTube, some people made There's as long as 10 minutes or more, and I definitely would not recommend doing that to me. To me, it's kind of I guess, I would say, disrespectful. For the time of the producers, you have to watch these things. So, Bob, another thing that I can confidently tell you not to do and that is don't have somebody off camera reading you the questions and then leave those questions on the video every time a question is asked, your burning valuable seconds that could be used to tell your story. So what do you do instead? Contextualized your answers if necessary. In the case of the first question, which is What's your name on? What do you do for a living? The obvious answer is just say, my name is Dave. I'm from Milwaukee and I'm an accountant, you know, simple and easy now for questions that might not be so obvious. Contextualizing your answer. Ah, might. It is very important by putting some of the question into your answer. So for the question like, how did you come up with your idea? You just begin your answer simply by saying I came up with the idea in the shower or when I was on vacation or something like that. This should be obvious. But I have to tell you this because there are a lot of cases that I've seen online off audition videos where they don't take this into account. Um, so you don't want to waste your precious time by having someone read the questions to you? Or worse yet, have yourself reading the questions. I've seen examples of that as well. Um, so ah, save time and put your question into the context of your response. 34. Going Off-Script In Your Shark Tank Audition Video. Should You?: Okay. So about a year ago, I had a woman call me and she was looking for some advice about her audition video. She hadn't gone to a casting call yet, but, uh, she had a concept that she thought was really great for an original audition video, and she wanted to be prepared and get it done ahead of time because she knew it would take more than a week to do. Her concept was actually pretty funny, and it was going to be a take off on some other reality shows. And I never I never hearing back from her. But when we were talking, I pointed out what I thought was a pretty awesome audition video that went completely off script that she should take a look at. I told her check out the audition video for the Pork Barrel BBQ guys. Um, they went completely off script and put together an awesome video. Um, if you want to see it, just go to YouTube and search for Pork Barrel Shark Tank audition and you'll find it. That video is completely creative, and it proved that you can get on the show using a creative format for your audition video . But I caution you, if you're going to create a concept video, make sure that it does deliver a lot of information about your product or business. Keep these questions in mind that I just read you, um, and that we just covered in this section because, um, you want to make sure that even if your video has a weird concept or a viral aspect to it, that you're still conveying a lot of information as much information as possible about your product or business. Um, also, if you have an idea for a creative kind of a concept type of video, feel free to contact me, and I will be happy to give you my feedback. I can tell you this, though. If I had it to do over, I would have done exactly what we did, which was answer most of the questions, keep it and keeping it five minutes. But do it in a humorous way. And the reason that I would recommend doing that is because, well, it worked for us. And if you haven't looked it up, our audition video is on YouTube, and if you are interested in seeing it you can search for posture now, Shark Tank Audition on YouTube and you'll find it. Our approach was basically this. We wanted to put as much of our personality and humor into the video that we could. We stuck to the questions, but ah, we did some gags and used some opportunities to try and get a laugh throughout. We were We were actually really nervous when we looked at the edited video just because it was it was almost too goofy. But we went for it because that was our personality and it worked. So the lesson there is used humor. If you can in your video, it can actually make you stand out. 35. Hire It Out Or Do It Yourself?: so hire it out or do it yourself. The big question. I've had a lot of people ask me if they should hire a video production company to do their audition video. And my answer is usually no. If number one you or someone in your house is comfortable shooting video and can basically frame a shot Number two if you have the ability and the equipment to get good quality audio . Um, number three. You have a quiet location that you can adequately light, and number four. You have the ability to edit the video. Now I've talked to shark tank entrepreneurs who were actually told not to edit their videos and just send in one raw piece of video. But that is one piece of instruction that I personally would ignore if you're going to go through an answer. All of those questions. All those questions that we went through. There's pretty much no way that you're going to get all that information across without stumbling or messing up an answer. So you really have to be able to make some cuts here and there, just to be able to create the video and get the the stumbles and bumbles out. Now I'm not talking about big fancy transitions. I'm not talking about sound effects. I'm not talking about color correction or any other things like that in the editing process . I'm just talking about simple fade ups and fade outs at the beginning in the end and little dips too black between between questions. Very simple edits. So if you have those four things in order someone who can shoot and a decent camera ah, microphone that will capture good sounding audio. Ah, and a quiet location and the ability to edit. I advised to shooting yourself. And remember if you looked through the audition videos on YouTube. Some pretty awful videos ended up being successful, so you don't have to make it perfect by any means, and you don't have to overthink it. But if you don't have those four things, I would definitely consider hiring it out. But before you go looking for a full blown production company, ask friends or family. If anyone has shooting and editing experience today, pretty much all high school aged kids these days are comfortable with video, and if they don't have a camera, they can just shoot with your iPhone. Today's iPhone video is unbelievably great. So just be sure that whoever is shooting you uses a tripod. There is absolutely nothing worse than watching a video where the camera or camera phone is handheld. If there's not a tripod available, find a way to secure the camera at eye level, Um, using some type of a stand or something so that the footage is not shaky. This is very important because the shakiness can make people feel seasick and might make the producers actually stop watching. So make sure that the camera is secured. So now what? If you don't know anyone who can shoot the video for you, then you might consider going onto Craigslist and hiring someone. If you are well rehearsed and can knock it out reasonably quickly, it shouldn't cost too much to get it shot and edited. But shop around and don't be afraid to haggle on the price. Also, be sure to see some of the person's previous work just to make sure he or she is legit. And here's another piece of advice and this is gold right here. If you are going to spend the money to have someone shoot and edit your video for you. Do yourself a favor and do a dry run using your camera phone. Don't worry about the quality. This is just for your benefit. Only. Run through your whole presentation and answer the questions. Then watch yourself and learn. I can almost guarantee that unless you have a lot of on camera experience already, you will discover something about your delivery that you'll want to change. So seriously, do some practice shots. Ah, yourself, use what you learn from watching yourself to make your actual video as awesome as it can possibly be. And finally, what about the format that you're going to deliver your video in? When we were going through this, they gave us the option of a mini DV tape, which is kind of hilarious, a DVD or a quick time file. We sent them complete DVDs because they just seemed like the easiest option. But these days, if they still request that you send in a hard copy of your video. I'd recommend exporting Ah, quick time file and putting it on a thumb drive. To me, that's just the best option these days because everyone has a USB port that they can pull the video from, and thumb drives are super cheap nowadays, 36. Thank YOU!!: Okay, now we've reached the end of the class and real quickly. I just want to thank each and everyone of you. If you've made it this far, I salute you because now you have more knowledge than 99.999% of people who are auditioning for the show. And I truly believe that that knowledge will give you an advantage throughout the audition process. Now, go get started, and please contact me. If you do end up making it to Shark Tank, I want to know about it, and I want to help you. So if any point during your audition process you have questions. Feel free to start a discussion here in this class or contact me directly. Thanks again. So much for joining me in this class and you are awesome.