Below is a guest post by Patrick Levesque, 3dcart client and co-founder of MASC skincare line.
I am the co-founder of a men's skin care and grooming product store based in Vancouver called MASC. We sell the best products and brands currently available for men and have a very loyal clientele. In addition to our retail store in downtown Vancouver, we also have a 3dcart webstore through which we sell our products nationally and globally. The great thing about being online is that you're not limited to your own neighborhood when it comes to potential customers; your reach is unlimited.
Recently, my business partner and I stepped outside of our comfort zones by auditioning for, and pitching in front of the "Dragons" on CBC's "Dragon's Den". For those of you in the US, this is essentially the equivalent of Shark Tank and even stars two of the same Dragons.
With a few months to prepare, we got our pitch together and investigated all of the possible scenarios and holes they could potentially poke in our pitch. We felt prepared and confident that we'd deliver a successful pitch, but watching these dragons on television, you know you have to be prepared for the worst.
It was a quick trip. We flew to Toronto the night before filming, and were on set the following morning - bright and early. We met with our producer, went through makeup, and before we knew it, we were in front of the Dragons. Our pitch went quite smoothly and they were actually very responsive to our business concept and the need for our business in the industry. We received a couple offers from the Dragons, but in the end, we declined their offer. One of the Dragon's that had made an offer said that he would be an advisor if he worked with us, but the thing is, as an advisor, he would advise us not to take his offer. At the end of the day, they felt we had a good thing going and it would be too soon for us to give away a substantial share of our company.
You can watch the video to see how it all went down by clicking here: http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/2011/09/web-pitch-masc.html (unfortunately for those of you outside of Canada, you won't be able to watch it due to agreements in place with TV networks outside of Canada).
Most entrepreneurs go on shows like Dragon's Den seeking startup capital, or capital to grow their existing business - that's the whole idea. That being said, one of the main unspoken benefits of being on a national television show is the exposure you receive. If you pitch your business well, it can essentially be an infomercial for your business - without having to pay for advertising!
With respect to your online presence, it's important to ensure your site is SEO'd properly so that you get all the potential traffic you can when your episode/article/blog airs. People may not necessarily remember exactly the name of your, but they'll remember what it was about, and will search for you like that.
With all of these new customers coming to your site, it's important to make a good first impression; having a professional, current, well designed and user-friendly site will help you to capitalize on the the PR and maximize sales. It's also important to keep your blog up-to-date, keep your Facebook and Twitter pages current, and engage your new customers to keep them interested. Use calls of action to encourage your new visitors to follow you on social networking sites and sign up for your newsletter.
We definitely saw an increase in site visits, page views, and overall business as a result of the exposure and have seen repeat business from these customers already.
Our advice: If you have the opportunity to get your name out there (in a positive light), what are you waiting for? Go for it!