Want to learn some great publicity lessons along with some great marketing lessons?

Watch “The Shark Tank” on ABC TV.

If you’re not familiar with the show, the premise is simple.

People with a business idea or an up-and-running business come on to the show asking for money to fund the business or idea.

There are five wealthy people on the panel known as The Sharks.

If the business owner makes a good pitch and can answer The Sharks’ questions, they get their money is return for a percentage of their business.

Kind of like instant venture capital on TV.

I love watching the show, but at times it can also make me cringe.

And that’s where the publicity lessons come in.

The whole key to getting the money you need from The Sharks is being prepared. If you know your numbers, know the cost of customer acquisition, have a good record of sales and growth, you stand a good chance of partnering with one or more of The Sharks.

But God help you if you come in unprepared.

If you have some hair-brained scheme, if you don’t know your numbers, if your sales for the past year were $1,300 but you’re asking for an investment of $250,000, The Sharks will rip you a new one.

That’s the part that makes me cringe.

Within the first minute of a person’s presentation to The Sharks, you can tell whether or not they’re prepared.

Now the publicity lessons.

What I just described above is exactly what happens when it comes to seeking publicity.

If you know what to do – if you know how to write a press release the right way, if you have a good story, if you have good sound bites – your chances of getting publicity jump way up.

But if you don’t know what you’re doing – for example if you write an “ego press release”, if you constantly try to pitch your product or service during the interview, etc. – the media sharks will get you.

The good news is that the media sharks don’t rip you apart like the TV Sharks. But the result is the same…you lose.

Learning how to get publicity the right way can be so easy, I’m constantly amazed everyone doesn’t do it.

Instead, a huge number of people stumble around trying the next “great thing” to come down the road.

Or they stumble around trying to figure out how to write a press release the right way.

Or even worse, they copy someone else’s press release style.

In addition to my business interests, I’m a college professor. I always warn my students about copying other people’s work. First, it can get you tossed out of school. But maybe even more importantly, you may be copying from someone who’s failing the class!

Like every other skill you’ve ever mastered, learn how to get publicity the right way. It’ll take less time and bring you far better results.

To wrap up, I want to give you a link to what I feel it the best presentation ever made to The Sharks. These two guys were hyper-prepared. They knew what they wanted. They knew what they would accept.

As a result, they came to The Sharks asking for $150,000. The Sharks got into a bidding war and the two guys left with $600,000.

Watching this clip will be like getting a graduate degree in being prepared.

Here’s the link to the entire episode:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/103595#s-p4-so-

The two guys are the last segment of that episode.

Watch it over and over again – and work on becoming that prepared for everything you do.

Paul

P.S. – I’m just loving Hulu.com!

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