Many entrepreneurs hope to appear on Shark Tank. A few actually to pull it off.
But what it it like to appear on the show... and more importantly, how does it turn out if a Shark invests in your startup?
Last year I wrote about Shaan Patel and his appearance on Shark Tank. Shaan is an MD/MBA student at Yale and USC, bestselling author, and guy who earned a perfect SAT score.
Why does the last part matter? He pitched his company Prep Expert SAT & ACT Preparation, which offers 6-week online SAT and ACT prep courses, and closed a deal with Mark Cuban.
So what has happened since he closed the deal with Mark?
On the upcoming February 24th of episode of ABC's primetime television show Shark Tank, the Shark investors will officially cross a major milestone: $100 million in investments made on the show! While $100 million may sound like a lot of money, the value that the show has created for the entrepreneurs who have appeared on the show is much greater.
I am one of those lucky entrepreneurs who appeared on the show. In January of 2016, I pitched Prep Expert SAT & ACT Preparation on Shark Tank and closed an investment deal with billionaire Mark Cuban for $250,000 in exchange for 20 percent equity in my test-prep company.
Appearing on Shark Tank is like striking gold: your business becomes an overnight success. You get to pitch your business not only to five business moguls, but also the 10 million Americans watching (approximately 7 million Americans watch Shark Tank live and, an additional 3 million watch the recording on DVR).
When I was on set at the studio with many other entrepreneurs, the producers told us that an appearance on Shark Tank is worth approximately $9 million in marketing spend. In other words, if a third-party company wanted to pay ABC for a 10-minute commercial for its business during primetime television, it would have to pay $9 million.
But Shark Tank entrepreneurs get this exposure for free. Given that there have been over 600 pitches over the course of Shark Tank's eight seasons, that's over $5 billion in free marketing exposure for entrepreneurs!
It's no secret that sales jump exponentially for businesses that appear on Shark Tank. When I pitched Prep Expert on Shark Tank, we did about $300,000 in revenue the weekend our episode aired!
And one year after appearing on Shark Tank, we have sold over $7 million in SAT & ACT prep classes, licensed online courses, and books compared to just $600,000 the year prior to Shark Tank. That's a 10x return in one year.
Of course, there have been even bigger successes than mine: Aaron Krause, the founder of Scrub Daddy, had just $100,000 in sales prior to appearing on Shark Tank but has done over $75 million since -- a 750x return!
While there is value in a Shark Tank appearance, there is even more long-term value in partnering with a Shark. I have not only learned a tremendous amount from working with Mark Cuban over the past year, but he has also provided a tremendous amount of assistance to help grow Prep Expert.
Mark and his team have optimized our accounting department, helped us with business development, created partnerships with Amazon and others, and negotiated higher licensing fees for our digital courses. Your business can grow faster than you ever thought possible because of a strategic partnership with a Shark.
After appearing on Shark Tank, your business can always differentiate itself from the competition with a simple marketing message: "As Seen On Shark Tank." An appearance on primetime television will bring immediate recognition and authority to your business compared to the rest of your industry. In addition, each Shark has a strong personal brand that will help your company.
At Prep Expert, we have certainly benefited from being "A Mark Cuban Company." It is a no-brainer that every entrepreneur should consider auditioning for Shark Tank. There is no greater marketing machine on the planet.
Business owners who refuse to go on Shark Tank because they can fund their own business are too narrow-minded to see the real value of Shark Tank.
(If you're the parent of a high school student, Shaan offers a free online workshop, The Top 10 Secrets To Raise Your Child's SAT or ACT Score, Win Scholarships, & Get Into An Elite University. You can check it out by signing up for free here.)