A Shark Tank Vet Offers Tips On How to Ace the Upcoming Casting Call

Potato Parcel founder Alex Craig says being quirky and appealing to emotion will give you an advantage. It worked for him.EXPAND
Potato Parcel founder Alex Craig says being quirky and appealing to emotion will give you an advantage. It worked for him.
courtesy ABC

Now’s the time. Whether it’s your genius notion to dress American Girl dolls in tiny wedding dresses identical to yours or your invention of vibrating socks to keep you warm and (sort of) burning calories (these are my drunk ideas) — the idea isn’t going to turn into a multimillion dollar business until you have a shark invest in the idea and you.

At least that’s what TV tells us.

But you’re in luck because there’s a Shark Tank casting call at Small Business Expo at 9 a.m. Jan. 18 at the Dallas Convention Center — Hall A. If you’re interested, plan on arriving early, between 9 and 11 a.m. to receive a wristband.

Alex Craig, founder of Potato Parcel, who appeared on Shark Tank at the end of October, offers us some tips to stand out during the casting process. He advises that the people auditioning think like a producer or casting agent of the show.

“The best tip I can give is to put yourself in the shoes of a producer on the show and brainstorm what you can do differently to stand out from everyone else applying for the show and what you can do that will make for great TV,” he says in an email. “1. Having a unique business is key. 2. Emotional appeal: Whether that's a personal story of hardship tied to your business, or doing something quirky or funny, striking a chord that brings out emotion in the producers is what they want for their audience too. 3. Energy is a must. They want to see people incredibly enthusiastic, over the top and passionate about their business. It's OK to be cheesy and corny. 4. Smile. 5. If you don't make it on the show, apply again every year until you're invited to pitch in the Shark Tank. It took me four years.”

Shark Tank, a TV show based on the British Dragons' Den, has been on since 2009, featuring six rotating “sharks” who are business professionals deciding whether or not to invest in someone’s company, business, product or idea. Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner, is one of the sharks.

When we talked to Craig about his appearance on the show, he said that even though TV only shows about 10 minutes of negotiating, the process really lasts about one hour. He also said just appearing on the show boosted sales significantly for the Potato Parcel company, which allows customers to send messages on potatoes.

The Small Business Expo is free to attend and puts you face-to-face with other business owners and entrepreneurs. At the expo, you can attend workshops and seminars, learn about new products and services in your business’ industry, and meet new contacts who will help you get closer to achieving your business-minded goals. Dress code is business casual and you must be at least 18 years old to attend. Sorry, baby Mark Cubans!

For more information regarding to Small Business Expo or to claim your tickets, visit here.


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