Entrepreneurs

5 tips for getting on 'Shark Tank,' from people who have done it

Landing a 10-minute slot on ABC's "Shark Tank" can be a game changer for any entrepreneur. Even if you don't strike a deal with one of the five sharks, you have the opportunity to showcase your company to millions of potential customers.

That's why some 45,000 people apply to get on the show every year. But less than one percent of applicants get to pitch their idea to the sharks — and of that group, only a handful actually make it on TV.

What makes the "Shark Tank" producers take notice?

Web publishing company Weebly sent a survey to its customers who not only made it into the tank but showed up on air as well.

Here are five tips for getting on the show, from entrepreneurs who have done it.

Be obsessive, even about minor things

"Pay attention to the small details!" says Elena Petzold, founder of Mama's Milkbox, a maternity apparel subscription service. "The 'Shark Tank' producers look to the quality and professionalism of your website. Your photography is nothing if you don't have a host for it!

"It's the first presentation for your business and shows visitors what kind of quality is behind your business. When the visitors are 'Shark Tank' producers, they can see that quality and your professionalism as well."

The founder of Mama's Milkbox says as soon as she realized she wasn't going to get funding, she hammed it up for the camera, being extra ridiculous to make sure her episode would air
Courtesy of Mama's MilkBox
The founder of Mama's Milkbox says as soon as she realized she wasn't going to get funding, she hammed it up for the camera, being extra ridiculous to make sure her episode would air

Don't take "no" for an answer

"Be scrappy and don't give up!" says Petzold. "I did an open casting call in New York. I never heard back. To me, even if someone says no, it's not a no."

Entrepreneur Tomer Alpert would agree. He was rejected by "Shark Tank" two consecutive years before landing a slot on the show to pitch his mobile app, Felt.

"They are booking the people as much as the product." -Skyler Scarlett, CEO of Glace Cryotherapy

Loosen up and showcase your personality

"Drink some wine before making your submission video, especially if you get nervous on camera," says Skyler Scarlett, co-founder and CEO of Glacé Cryotherapy.

"My co-founder and sister was incredibly nervous and she came across as so stiff. A couple glasses of vino later, she was able to loosen up and show her personality. They are booking the people as much as the product, so have fun and keep it creative!"

The co-founders of Glacé Cryotherapy struck a deal with Barbara Corcoran
Courtesy of Glacé Cryotherapy
The co-founders of Glacé Cryotherapy struck a deal with Barbara Corcoran

Go with your gut

"To be honest, my husband lost his job and we were inches from bankruptcy when we went on the show. I knew I had to make this opportunity work for our future," says Kiersten Parsons, founder of Mod Mom Furniture.

"When they paired me with a producer to craft my pitch, I felt it lacked authenticity of what I created. I bombed in the practice session because it didn't sound like me and had been twisted by producers. So I rewrote it before the official taping, despite everyone telling me that was a mistake.

"The reason I got on the show and got a deal is because I said exactly what I wanted to, not what they told me to say."

Be bold

"Dial it up for TV. You have to toe the line on ridiculous," says Petzold. "No one wants to watch boring television."

Disclaimer: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."