How Shark Tank can make you a better copywriter
was successfully added to your cart.
Big IdeasCopywriting TrainingInspirationMarketing

How Shark Tank can make you a better copywriter

Sharks

A reality television show is expanding my creativity and helping me think bigger.

It’s also reinforcing my belief that specialized skills and passion matter a lot more than general education and a career track in today’s economy.

Shark Tank is a reality show where budding entrepreneurs try to convince five self-made millionaires to invest in their business.

In order to secure the funding to jump-start their business ideas, they need a big vision, knowledge of the market, and a sound plan. A little bit of start-up success shows the investor that there’s actually a demand for the product.

I’ve noticed three things when the entrepreneurs come out and make their case:

  1. They’re usually very passionate about what they’re doing. You rarely see this kind of passion from experienced employees in the corporate world or even optimistic recent graduates.You have to be a different kind of person to run your own show.
  2. The investors never ask the business owners where they went to school or what their past experience is. They care about what the product is, how it fits into the marketplace, and what the plan for capturing part of that demand is.
  3. As passionate as they are, the entrepreneurs don’t always package themselves well. A well-written presentation would increase their chances of getting the money they want. (As a copywriter, you wouldn’t have this problem.) I watch the show with a notebook and pen because I’m writing down ideas on how they could improve.

The takeaways?

What matters here are not your educational credentials, or lack thereof. What makes a difference are …

  • Your big ideas
  • Your specialized skills
  • The demand for those skills
  • Your ability to present yourself as a solution
  • Passion for what you’re doing

All five of those qualities can make you an in-demand, successful copywriter as well.

Check out Shark Tank on Friday nights at 9:00 PM ET on ABC. If you’ve seen the show before, tell me one thing you’ve learned from watching it.

Steve Roller

Author Steve Roller

I'm a business coach, author, copywriter, world traveler (32 countries on five continents so far), and professional speaker. In addition to helping companies get more customers and make more money, I help other writers turn Big Ideas into profitable businesses. I offer one-on-one coaching, professional copy critiques, and three-day business-building immersion retreats. When I'm not writing, coaching, or speaking, I enjoy nothing more than hanging out with my wife and four kids and planning my next adventure.

More posts by Steve Roller

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Alan says:

    You’re absolutely right Steve, there is a great deal to be learned from watching these presentations and how the “Sharks” respond. Even their “friendly” banter often reveal surprising insights and takeaways.

    In regard to the passion of the presenters, I was so moved by one couple and their enthusiasm for the benefits of their product … no Shark took the bait … that I bought their product! Guess it’s true… copywriters are suckers for a good story! And I do love the product, by the way.

    • Steve Roller says:

      If they’re doing things right, Alan, we should be going to their website and buying the product! Can you imagine the boost it gives these people just from appearing on the show?

      One of my goals is to create a product and then get it on either HSN, QVC, or write an infomercial for it. And my big goal is not to present an idea on Shark Tank, but to be one of the sharks!

  • Jerry Bures says:

    Love Shark Tank! I too see the copywriting and business education in watching the show. So much so, that we require our home-schooled kids to watch it with us! It’s Family Movie Night “tweaked” at the Bureses.

    One thing I highlight with my kids is the differences in personality of the sharks. Of course, they all know it’s advised and advantageous to be respectful and genuinely nice to people, no matter your financial status or position in business. =:)

    • Steve Roller says:

      This is one show we all watch together in the Roller household, too, Jerry! Great lessons for kids about business, big ideas, presentation skills, negotiating, and yes, like you said, how to treat people. My kids have gotten really good at critiquing the entrepreneurs’ presentation skills, and guessing whether or not they’ll get a shark to bite.

  • […] My friend, Steve Roller has a great article on his blog that make a few different points on this topic. Check it out and if you are inclined, give him some […]

    • Steve Roller says:

      Thanks, Tanya. I like your article, too. Great tips.

      • BJ Jensen says:

        I love Shark Tank too! Great stuff.

        As a musician, stage presentation is crucial and Preparation is the key for effective, timely and moving performance/delivery. Play to the audience/prospect. Just like copy.

        Know your ‘lines,’ and entrances. (Know how to write your headline/leads/body, etc.)

        Always stay ‘in character.’ (You’re a copywriter. Know your audience – and touch them.) Confidence!! Skills! Feel it to portray it and connect with the audience (Shark or client).

        But you have to get the sharks, potential clients, to want a partnership with you to get the backing. Sell the tickets.

        You need the audience wanting what you offer. Otherwise, there’ll be no curtain call!! No do overs on that performance. Leave them wanting more!

        On Shark Tank, you get one shot – like some copy projects. There has only been one re-write on Shark Tank.

        This is longer than I intended, but gee, it just flowed out of my fingers! For me, it just relates so well to the plays, musicals, band concerts, and technical theater I’ve done.

        Hummn…maybe there’s a niche there somewhere.

        • Steve Roller says:

          Wow! You’ve given me enough material here for another blog post or a full report! I’ll be sure to give you credit, or you should run with it yourself.

          We probably have a lot to talk about with plays, musicals, band concerts, and theater. All four of my kids are into acting and music, with three of them planning to pursue that and the other one a very talented artist like her mom and grandpa before her.

          And yes, I think you may have a niche here.

Leave a Reply