The long-running TV series Shark Tank is good for more than just staying up to date on the wackiest products around (alarm clock that doubles as a bacon maker, anyone?). Thanks to the advice doled out by the show's panel of seasoned investors, it's also chock-full of tactics you can use for your own brand.
Here, we've gathered the sharks' five best lead generation tips and brand growth strategies. Whether you're perfecting your next pitch or gearing up to take your brand to the next level, Shark Tank can help.
1. Follow Money, Not Ideals
With a net worth numbering in the billions, Mark Cuban certainly knows how to make a profit. So when he told Shark Tank contestants to "follow the green, not the dream," you'd be wise to take heed.
Here's the context: In season four, the owner of a successful food truck was requesting funding to open the brick-and-mortar restaurant of their dreams. But Cuban thought that since the food truck was already profitable, there was no reason to risk its success.
To apply this tip to your own brand, remember to remain practical and continue doing what's working. For instance, let's say that a landing page's current call to action (CTA) is driving great results. You've A/B tested it against other options, and it's proven to be the most effective one. But you personally don't like it and think that another one would sound more appealing.
In such a scenario, your best bet for optimal lead generation would be to continue using the CTA that's working instead of changing it to something you think sounds better.
2. Take a Clinical Approach to Finances
Kevin O'Leary isn't the type to pull punches, and he certainly didn't when he told one emotional Shark Tank contestant, "Don't cry for money; it never cries for you."
The contestant in question was seeking funding for a pie shop, but O'Leary's sentiment is just as true for CEOs and marketing directors as it is for expert bakers.
After all, while it often takes passion to build a successful business, it takes precise calculations and a cool head to maximize revenue and produce as many qualified leads as possible. If you allow your emotions to get in the way, then you'll only be shooting yourself in the foot.
So the next time you're feeling frustrated with the results of your latest lead gen efforts, remember to stay calm and make decisions based on data rather than knee-jerk reactions.
3. Prioritize Scalability
"Is the business scalable?" It's a question that practically every shark has asked a version of at one point or another, so it's certainly worth examining closer.
When the sharks ask contestants about scalability, they're essentially saying, "You're asking for money to grow, but is your business capable of growing?" In other words, will the business' established processes and revenue models work on a large scale?
It's a question that every entrepreneur and executive needs to ask themselves, and it applies to every aspect of a brand. For example, maybe your current lead gen strategy is sustainable for the time being, but would simply be too labor-intensive to use on a larger scale.
If that's the case, then it's time to make changes now so your brand can sidestep as many growing pains as possible in the future.
4. Create Clear Timelines
"A goal without a timeline is just a dream." Investor Robert Herjavec may not have been the first to come up with this sentiment (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is credited with writing a similar phrase in 1943), but it rings just as true today as it did many decades ago.
Whether we're talking about increasing search engine rankings, reaching a new market, or driving more conversions, a time-sensitive plan is absolutely essential. By setting a clear timeline for your next major brand goal, you can easily track your progress and more effectively stay on track.
So if you want to stop thinking about getting from point A to point B and actually do it, then be sure to create a detailed timeline and hold yourself (and your team) to it.
5. Pick the Right Team
Any experienced investor, entrepreneur, or executive can tell you that it's not enough to have a good idea — you also need to have the right people to make it happen.
Barbara Corcoran confirmed as much when she told one Shark Tank contestant to "make sure you pick good people to build your business with, as they'll determine 80 percent of your success."
If you're in the process of selecting a lead generation agency or content marketing firm, you can use Corcoran's advice to remind yourself to choose wisely. Look for those that take a highly focused approach, have a proven track record, and can create a custom-tailored plan for your brand.
So while you may not be seeking funding for anti-flatulence underwear or pants that double as a musical instrument (yes, both were actual pitches featured on Shark Tank)...
...you can still use the sharks' top five lead generation tips to achieve new levels of growth and earn more high-quality leads than ever before. And if you're tired of being a little fish in a big pond and need some additional help or support along the way, our lead gen sharks are standing by.