The Best Way To Pitch with Sheila Barry Driscoll

There’s a difference between a great business idea and a great investment opportunity. Most high net worth individuals and angel investors will only go after businesses that have the potential to be big people. Sheila Barry Driscoll, President and Co-Founder of the Billionaire Foundation, helps coordinate foundation research work and initiates new introductions between existing foundations and the research team. She shares that they want to see a managed team with these three important qualities: ability, quality, and capacity. Learn the best way to pitch and tell your story to get high net worth individuals excited about it.

TTL 218 | Best Way To Pitch

We have a unique show. It’s going to be fascinating because we have Sheila Barry Driscoll here who is the President and Cofounder of the Billionaire Foundation. If you’ve been looking to have somebody back your idea and you’ve thought about going to high level, high income individuals or some help with that, this is the show for you. She is great at the advice she gives.

Listen to the podcast here

The Best Way To Pitch with Sheila Barry Driscoll

I am here with Sheila Barry Driscoll, who is the President and Cofounder of the Billionaire Foundation, where she helps coordinate foundation research work and initiates new introductions between existing foundations and the research team. She is a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Argentina. She’s been the Executive Director of the second largest national nonprofit for missing and abducted children to the CEO and Cofounder of SC Creative Innovations in Alameda, California. It’s nice to have you here, Sheila.

Thank you for having me. This is such a delight and I’m happy I can share with your audience some advice and tips that will best help their world run a little bit smoother and better.

I see your name every time I go to the grocery store, and I’ve eaten quite a few Driscoll strawberries in my day. Your great grandfather started that as I read. My great grandfather started an international shoe company and then my uncle later created the Hamilton Shoe Company. We have a background of family business. What is that like growing up with a name that everybody recognizes like that? It’s probably big where you live too.

It actually is and it’s delightful because they say, “Driscoll strawberries? Driscoll berries?” and I said, “Yes, it is I.” “We eat your berries all the time.” As my great grandfather would say, “Thank you for letting our family bring your family joy.”

I’m curious the Barry part of your name and where did that come from?

Barry is my mother’s maiden name and then Driscoll my father’s. I have both names. I honored my parents by keeping both of their names.

I am curious what you do at the Billionaire Foundation? First of all, can you tell what the Billionaire Foundation is?

The Billionaire Foundation was created to bring billionaire families together to reduce redundancy. What does that mean? Let’s say, Dr. Diane Hamilton wants to open her foundation for heart research. I would say, “Diane, there are already seven other foundations in place. Why don’t you come to our foundation, meet with the other seven families and listen to how they structured their foundation rather than you going out and creating any foundation?” You come, you sit with the other families, they share their strategic tips, infrastructure, what is the tried and true, and how their charity foundations run. You sit back and say, “I could probably align my donor base and people that I know with yours and work together with you rather than creating this eighth foundation,” and ideally that’s what it is.

You work on a master plan, actually a blueprint. Once the blueprint is completed for continuing the incredible work you’re doing in the field of cancer research or heart research, then you house the blueprint at the foundation. This way the legacy lives on. After the families are all gone and the generations have dissipated to the winds, people can go back to the foundation, access your blueprint and carry on your good work. This could be not only nationally but globally. Nothing is lost. It continues to grow.

Are these all billionaires? They have to be billionaires to be part of this? If so, how many people is part of this?

You have to be a billionaire. We have over a hundred families in the foundation. Our goal is to grow it to at least 300, it’s a manageable number. If I were to do a head count, if I’ve got every single billionaire that would raise their hand and say, “I’m a billionaire,” there are 2,643 in the world.

I’ve had quite a few on my show then percentage-wise.

These are the ones that raised their hand and say, “I’m a billionaire, billionaire family,” but there are other billionaires that prefer to go under the radar and not say a word.

I’ve found a few who don’t advertise the fact or they don’t want to say how much they’re worth. I’ve been fortunate to interview people like Ken Fisher, Craig Newmark, Keith Krach, Naveen Jain, Jeff Hoffman, all these guys are amazing when you talk to them. I’m going to Keith Krach’s house for an event and he does some amazing work. What I’ve found is that everybody I’ve talked to who has reached that level is interested in philanthropy and how they can give back. Most of them, have they done it in the past or is this their first time trying to do this, create a foundation of some sort?

I would say many of them had been predisposed to philanthropy either through their parents or their grandparents. What I have seen with my generation of philanthropists and especially with men, not so much women and there’s a difference, the men get to a point of what I call half time. When they hit their 50s, they have the boats, planes and trains, and now they want to move from success to significance. They don’t quite know where to go with this. They know they should be doing something but they don’t know what. My advice is not so much follow your passion, follow your curiosity. Your curiosity will always take you to your passion. That’s the step before the passion. If you’re struggling with, “I don’t know what it is,” go back to what you’re curious about and it will take you there.

I’ve researched curiosity, my next book’s going to be about curiosity. Thank you for bringing that up.

My pleasure. With that, once they’ve said, “This is what I’m curious about or this is what my passion is about,” then I move them to what I call the three T’s, time, treasure and talent. Out of those three T’s, they can choose one, two, or all three. As you move into the world of philanthropy, you may have the time now to advise, to be a mentor, to set up webinars or podcasts. Your treasure, if you want to donate money, always welcomed, always great, set up an endowment, set up a fund scholarship for programs that you are passionate about or inspired for. That continues the legacy to go on.

Your talent, look at Richard Branson. Look at all that he’s done. How wonderful it is to be able to go into a university classroom or a symposium and for half an hour say, “Here’s how I did it. Touch your talent. Here are the mistakes I made. If I knew this now when I began my career or starting out in this still, these were the mistakes that I made. I’m sharing that with you.” That was the spiral and the impetus for the Billionaire Foundation. Not working in isolation but coming together, working together and sharing ideas so a greater good is served. That’s how I give them my points of entry into philanthropy.

You’ve probably seen people make several mistakes when they’re pitching to high net worth individuals or trying to pitch to the uber wealthy in their offices. What are the things that people do wrong there? What mistakes have you seen anybody make in terms of building their foundation?

Straight out of the gate, one of the most important things people need to realize when they’re pitching is when it comes to targeting the uber wealthy, you can’t make the mistake of thinking one size fits all. Just like the general population, a high net worth crowd has its own unique needs and desires. That’s one of the biggest mistakes. I would say they’re the top three what I consider the no-no’s of never to do when you pitch a high net worth individual. The first one is asking for money too soon. That is the biggest mistake everyone can make when pitching. Before you ask us to fund your business, here are the three points that I want to share that people need to be mindful of and should know. First, know what we want and how we work. I can’t tell you how many people miss that. They totally go in thinking, they’re tunnel vision, “Here’s what I want.” They never for one moment stop and think, what do we want or how we work?

Here’s the second biggest mistake. Know your numbers and your business plan. This is a rarity. I have yet to date, have anyone come into my office and know their numbers and know their business plan. It’s amazing. Especially in the world of film where I do a lot of film financing, people come in with no budgets, no financial waterfall, having an investor is going to recoup their money. They have no clue. It’s baffling. The third is be on point when it comes to the investment discussion. People flounder on this. They don’t have the investment discussion thought through, points on target, they fumble. This is the biggest thing they do.

I was thinking when you were talking about know the person, Ken Fisher came to mind because he loves trees. Trees are his passion. Knowing that would be probably important when you pitch him something.

You wouldn’t go to Ken and pitch him on a blender or paper products. Not a good idea. This is what’s interesting because people think we’re ATMs and that we hand out cash left and right. We’re people. If you want to get us interested in you or your business, then here’s the key thing, Diane. They need to build a relationship.

How do you do that with a billionaire who’s reclusive or not accessible?

I’ll talk about that in my ten hard and fast rules. Yes, there is a way. Going back to the second thing of how not to pitch us, and this is what people do, they pitch us their hobby business. What do I mean by that? There’s a difference between great business idea and great investment opportunity. The highest net worth individuals and angel investors will only go after businesses that have the potential to be big. People miss that. Due to the financial model of many high net worth individuals, they need companies with large markets and the potential of the company to have significant market penetration. If people go in knowing that when they pitch us, we’re going to be sitting up in our chairs. The startup always should drive revenue and profit, which is also incredibly important to the high net worth individuals and primarily to VCs.

Here’s what individuals need to know. We must make our money back within three to five years. Angel investors, though generally able to target smaller opportunities, operate in the same way. If you’re pitching at that level with high net individuals and you have a startup, angel investors know they must make their money back in three to five years. Here’s the next key to that. In terms of market, we want to know it is big and also we can help size the market as well as identify ancillary markets. If the business idea of this individual is mainly geared to provide him with the cashflow by doing something that he or she enjoys, high net worth individuals will probably consider it a hobby business and they’ll pass in favor of something bigger. That’s why I say don’t pitch us the hobby.

The next one, the third big one is don’t rely on an idea without preparation and evidence. This has to be the ball breaker. If anyone comes into my office and says, “Miss Driscoll, I have a great idea,” you’re going to have a tough time getting anywhere. High net worth individuals, they want to see evidence, planning, and results. Here’s the other thing that people fail to realize. We want to see a management team with these three important qualities. One, ability. We will look at your team members’ experience and what results they’ve produced in the past. That’s critical. The second is the quality. We want to see a team of committed individuals who are on board. It shows that other people believe in the idea and are willing to work on it. The third prong to this is capacity. The more progress an individual has made on their idea or traction, as it’s called in the business circle, the more impressive and enticing this individual will be to us.

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Best Way To Pitch: The more progress an individual has made on their idea or traction, the more impressive and enticing this individual will be to us.

It comes down to a simple question, “Can your team do what they say they’re going to do?” Depending on the high net worth one is targeting, you might pitch at different stages of the business. Many high net worth individuals want to know how the business plans to make money but will also invest in the prototype or pilot to explore the validity of the accompanies assumption and test the potential amount of money to be made in the market. That’s why this is all critical.

You mentioned pilot, which would fall into what you’re interested in, film financing. What appeals to you if you were looking at a pilot? If you’re going in that direction, do you deal a lot with young people who come in? Who comes to you with what type of pitches and what has grabbed your attention and why?

The people that have come to me with their pitches have primarily been in film. They had TV pilots, they have a film that they want to get financed. They look at me because I’m an executive producer, it has to go out with the money. Here’s what I look at. One, your business plan. I need to know you’ve carefully thought this through. Someone gave me a 72-page business plan. No.

What is the right length for anyone reading?

In a perfect world, it’s 25, no more than 32 pages. In that you give everything. You give the synopsis, the logline. You start to move into why this film has potential. You do market comparables to it. What films in this genre had made money? Therefore, as an investor looks at this, “Probably has a good chance of making back our money.” The next thing we look at is casting. Who do you have attached your director? We look at your management team. I look at it. Who have you brought on board to help you get there? Who are your directors? Who are your producers? Who are your creative individuals? Who are your music composers? All of this I look at. I look at your investment plan. How are you going to show us that we’re going to make our money back? That’s the business plan.

What genres do I look at? This is interesting. The three top and the moneymakers are faith-based, the second is horror movies, because they’re inexpensive to produce and people love to be terrified. The third, oddly enough, are comedies. Here’s the interesting thing that I want people to know. Comedies are country-specific. What is funny in America doesn’t translate well across the board in India, isn’t funny in New Zealand, and maybe totally off the wall in England. Even though we all speak English, comedies don’t translate well internationally. The days of the Pink Panther and Peter Sellers are gone, where everybody totally gets it and laughs.

“That’s not my dog,” is no longer a popular thing.

I’d almost add in a fourth one, which is now what I’m seeing on the rise and what I look at is either family-based, inspirational or aspirational. Where you walk out feeling good, you’ve learned something, you’re inspired to do something good, do something better or be better. In this film world, this is the new surge. The United States is looking at this because television has become dark and angry. People want to go home and feel good at the end of the evening. Before you go to bed, you want to see something inspirational or uplifting. This is why shows like America’s Got Talent and this kind of thing, people unwind at the end of the day and you want to root for the underdog. This is what’s important to this new direction.

You’re talking movies. You said you also do television?


What interests you the most?

Inspirational, aspirational, feel good, contemporary and period pieces where we study a piece of history or some slice of the world that we’re not familiar with. Look at The Crown, think of how much traction that’s had. That’s what I look at because I want to bring quality stuff back and I’m working on a television show with actress Jody Mortara called Needs to Bake. What we want to do is bring the handicapped community or what I would say the different disabled community into television.

What we’re going to do is create a program with four young people that either has autism, Down’s, Asperger’s or just are afraid to come out of their shells. They’re going to work with pastry chefs and learn how to become self-reliant, how to study to be an entrepreneur, what are all the components for entrepreneurship. The goal is that they leave the show and open their own bakeries and become productive, contributing members of society and not being shoved off into the corner, sheltered, and cloistered.

It is interesting to see how it’s changed. For my generation, we had a lot more positive things. We had more talk shows that I thought were interesting, the Donahue days and things like that. I missed some of that. Do you miss any of that?

Absolutely. I remember as a kid and I’m dating myself, Mike Douglas. There was David Frost, which was delightful. You’d sit down, you never walked away with a tongue in cheek interview. It was something that was always intelligently presented. Interviewing people that I had no idea her individual background was this or his background was that. They were a pleasure to watch.

The public want the Kardashians. Can we make a market for the boomer, Gen X people? Do you think that their needs are being met in the media?

The answer is no. I would say primarily women. There is a whole undiscovered, untapped market which is baby boomer women. Yes, that has been totally ignored. A good friend of mine, Clarissa Burt, is looking to change that. You’re absolutely on point with this.

I’ve worked with somebody that you may know, Dr. Gilda Carle. She had been on many talk shows in her day. She was on Sally Jessy Raphael, she’s been on my show. We would like to see more of that programming for women but for everybody. This generation that’s more positive, more empowering, that type of thing. It’s great to see that you’re out there doing something about that by looking for these. You mentioned ten hard and fast rules. Can we go back to that?

Here’s what I’m going to share with you, Diane. I’m going to give me my ten that I look for when people pitch me, and also when I’m bringing TV show ideas to the networks and to film producers. It will fit in if people have an idea, product, a television show or some idea. My number one hard and fast rule is to understand the lay of the land. I have a family office, of course Driscoll’s strawberries. Most family offices, and here’s what people fail to realize, are extremely busy. We receive multiple requests every day for interviews, speaking engagements, new business opportunities, charity functions, you name it. Not to mention, the obligations we have with our careers, families, and personal lives. Understandably, there are not enough hours in the day for us to say yes to everything and we don’t, period.

If you’re not a big name or don’t have something major to offer, accept that they will not have anybody’s interest or get onto anyone’s priority list, no matter how important the request may seem to the individual. Understand the lay of the land, who we are, what our obligations are, and if you don’t have something big, it’s not going to fly. Here’s the second one that I see people goof up on, respect time. That’s huge. Arrive on time. Not early but on the dot. Here’s what most people don’t know. We have gatekeepers. Having time to cool your heels in the waiting room for 30 minutes looks sloppy. What happens is we will assume you must not be successful.

We were taught that if you’re not early, you’re late. How early can you be without looking sloppy?

I’ll preface this way. Give yourself extra time to get to the meeting, because heaven help you if you are late. If you’re early, don’t hang out in the reception area. Go to the nearest coffee shop across the street. Why? To your question, you should be announcing yourself to the receptionist at precisely the appointed hour.

Not five minutes early, right on time.

Once you’re shown in, remember to respect our time as well. If you’re scheduled for ten minutes and I cut my 30 minutes to ten, 600 seconds from when you walk in, you should be doing one of two things, either walking out or answering questions. If you’re answering questions, acknowledge that your ten minutes is up and let us know. We’re more than happy to answer our question, if you could have a few more minutes. We’ll respect you for being a person of your word. We’ll almost certainly allow you a few more minutes. This is my personal golden rule because one thing we don’t have money yet, so they need to use it sparingly.

Rule number three, find a personal connection. A well-known chef didn’t start his pitch when he came into my office by demonstrating his toaster to me. He spent a few seconds talking about how he grew up with this company’s products in his home and how ingrained these products were in his country’s culture. By doing so, he showed me he cared about the product and wasn’t pitching something which he had no personal connection. Remember, high net worth individuals want to light the person behind the product. We want to make an investment in the person to make us feel good about the person we’re backing.

Here’s rule number four. Let your product, service tells the story, not your deck. What do I mean by this? Think Shark Tank. Rather than starting your pitches with a deck of slides, give us a presentation of a product instead. Most high net worth individuals will not spend time looking at your deck or your idea prior to the meeting, even if you’d asked me to do so. The best next thing, demonstrate your product. Get them to see it and use it. This is the best way to tell your story and to get us excited about it.

With your films and your TV shows, how would they do that? Would they show you a clip?

Yes, they do. No more than two minutes. It’s like the trailer. Here’s what I tell people. If they don’t quite have the money or the idea quite pulled together, do what they call a tonality reel. What does that mean? A tonality reel is you go in and you extract clips out of other movies, put it together and show me in two minutes what you think the movie will look like. I’ll give you a perfect example. I was pitched the script and the potential to film the movie Mary. This would be Mary, the mother of Jesus. They hadn’t filmed any of the movie yet, but what the producer did was went back in and took clips out of other movies, put it together, so I can get a feel for what the tone of the movie would look like.

The underlying plot here is that Mary is escaping Herod. Herod is going to now start to kill all the firstborn in the kingdom because he’s been told the king of kings is coming. The chase is on. The director went back and took clips out of different movies. He clearly stated, “This is a tonality reel, this is not the movie. Get a visual idea of how Mary could look.” That’s smart. That’s how you do it with film, do a tonality reel. If you haven’t got in and taken, just say, “I’ll do the trailer.” That’s how you do it.

Number five is your team. This is the big one, your team. High net worth individuals invest in people first and idea second. People need to share the details about their rock star team, why they’re the right people to lead the company. Here’s the most important thing people will not do. Let us know what skill sets your team may be missing. Most startup teams are missing some key talent, be it marketing, management expertise, programmers, sales, or financial management. Let us know you know but you don’t know. You do that, now we’re standing up. Now we’re going, “This guy’s got it.”

Rule six, remember the high net worth’s perspective. We’re looking at more than the idea. To recap, we’re paying attention to things like a management team, your product, your business direction, your film idea. Too often, founders have this tunnel vision for their company’s needs. Once you can start looking from the high net worth’s individual’s perspective, then it happens. The stature just converts into executed agreements. That’s what’s important. Highlight the traits that make your startup team seem less of a risk. That’s what you have to do in film. You have to let me know you looked at the risks of investing in this. Ultimately what’s in it for us is that we want to be able to know that the startup or whatever you’re doing is a good gamble. If you have a highly experienced team with early success with the product, even a film or trailer, make that part of the key pitch. That’s what my advice would be.

Here’s rule seven, one of the clinchers. Ask for advice, not money. It’s an old adage, but if you want money, ask for advice. We’re going to come to the table with questions and even critiques. If you approach the meeting by asking for advice in addition to possible capital, we already feel invested. This is a real good way to make initial contact with high net worth individuals are not in your network. That was going back to the question, “How do you connect with the billionaires? How do you connect with billionaires that aren’t in your network?” Here’s the main thing. Ask us for advice, not money. Rather pitching your startup outright, approach us by asking us for some feedback. You just might get our attention. Nobody does this.

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Best Way To Pitch: The faintest writing is stronger than the strongest memory.

Rule eight, take notes. An ancient Chinese proverb states, “The faintest writing is stronger than the strongest memory.” Unless an individual has a photographic or phonographic memory, be prepared to take notes on pertinent information and advice given. Don’t make us repeat names, locations, or statistics because you couldn’t be bothered to write them down. Taking notes is sign of respect. It also means that you’re only needed to be told something once and that we can rely on you to know it. I’ve only had one person in ten years, Diane, come into my office and take notes. I’m letting everyone know if you take notes; the advice is going to swell out of our mouths. If you’re going to sit there and nod your head, we’re going to look at our watch.

Here’s the big thing. Make investing in your idea tax efficient. We’re all sophisticated investors, so we will want to take advantage of all the government’s tax incentives for investing. It’s super important in the world of film. Every state has incentives for people to come and film in their state. Why? We bring in huge film crews. We’ll stay for a weekend so we have to feed and house our crews. States like Georgia, Louisiana offer enticing tax incentives. It’s important that individuals set up their company as well as their pitch with this in mind.

How is Arizona and California? I’m in Arizona, you’re in California. I’m curious how those two are for tax incentives for a television show or a movie?

Arizona is a little more favorable and easy to come in and do. That’s the first thing I ask investors in film, and even in television. Have you gone and taken a look at what are its incentives? Why would I come to Arizona and just not shoot in my backyard? If you look at the end of any film, you’ll see the credits and they’ll say tax incentives, state of Louisiana, New York Film Society, they’re all there. These are there for people to use and to make business better.

How does New York compare?

New York’s very generous, a little hard to get around all the streets. If you have your key film shot there, New York is fun. Many people like Georgia and Louisiana. If you had the outdoor movie scenes, if you want to shoot an epic film something like Gone with The West or 12 Years A Slave, all of that. You’ve got the rolling hills, you’ve got the plantation and they’re there. Your movie studio basically is set up outside and they want you to come. Number ten is aim for another meeting.

Here’s what people need to keep in mind, the goal of the pitch it’s not to get the check, it’s to get another meeting. We go back full circle to what I said in the very beginning, build the relationship. As much as we are vetting you and your business, you’re vetting us. Absolutely be sure you’re bringing a high net worth individual who wants to go on your journey because they’re going to move the phone call that you’re going to have to pick up throughout your entire process. I want people to be mindful of this, get the next meeting.

When they come to you, for example, say they have a television show, a movie or whatever you’re working with right then. They’ve already got everything in line, that executive producer would be the very last piece. They would have everything else in order. The sponsors, networks, the pitching to all that, where does that fall in? Which part of the process?

That would go with a TV producer. That would be their responsibility. They call them show runners and that’s exactly what they do. There are very high-profile show-runners to love the idea. Here’s the absolute secret to getting television shows produced, have them scripted. Already write out what the dialogue is going to be. If anybody wants to fast forward into the television series programming, come with your series scripted.

Even a talk show?

Talk shows, no. That would be unscripted but come with ideas of who your guest line up would be. Come in and say, “I had these people in potentially lined up,” and look at the times of the year. Do you want to have inspirational talks around Christmas time? Do you want to have talks of gratitude, appreciation in the month of November for Thanksgiving? Look at what months you want to do certain things and have certain guests. Look at Oprah, Oprah was an absolute master of getting people in with timely topics, contemporary, looking at the seasons of the year.

This is why her following for 25 years was off the wall. She knew and she was dedicated. She worked intensely all those years. That’s the secret, coming in and knowing that there’s normally the rule of thumb, thirteen shows per season. If you have those thirteen shows scripted, TV producers will come off their chairs. They say, “Now we can pull the trigger. Who are your directors? Who you have ideas casting?” If you don’t, the beautiful thing is they have their stable of writers, producers, editors, music composers, all of that. If you at least come in with that, they can work with you, flesh it out and get it into production.

How long does that take once they come to you and you’ve agreed to work together to get a show produced? Say it’s a talk show. Say somebody comes to you with a great proposal. I assume these proposals are not unlike a book proposal that they’re set up in that way, as anyone who’s done writing. In some ways because you’re talking about the competition, you’re going through all that. How long does it take from that point to get this to a network and get on the air?

Once it’s been green lighted, the TV producer takes it to his management team, they vote on it as to whether they want to get it in production. Let’s say it takes two to three months in a perfect world to get everything set up, going to the networks, getting the contracts, making sure what time slot. There are all these moving pieces in there. What they do, and here’s what many people are unaware of, they’ll block one to two months, maybe even a month, and they’ll shoot the entire season back to back. They’ll get all of this done. Now, the show is ready and you go into what they call staffing. Normally, if you noticed, from September to November, all the new shows come on the air. After Christmas, when we move into the first of the year, they go into hiatus.

From January 1st to June 1st, all TV producers go into the new season, whether it’s a new show or an ongoing series and they start staffing. They go through everything; they get all these show ideas. Let’s say your show idea made it in, it will be going into the next series. They spend the next six months getting all what they call the show lineup, all ready to go. Over the next two months, during the summer, they pull the trigger, get it shot, get it filmed, get it all ready to air on the networks in September, when everybody’s back to work and the kids are in school. That’s your lineup.

Are you mostly selling to the traditional networks? Are you looking at the Amazons, the Hulus?

Yes, the big networks they’re good to have certain projects with. What’s happening now are most TV studios are saying, “Let’s go into the digital. Let’s go into the video streaming. Let’s go into live streaming, broadcast TV.” Look at all this, you can’t ignore it. Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, they’re forces to be reckoned with. People are happy. Here’s the other thing, you can have a lot more creative leeway by going to the Amazons and the Netflix, than you could going the big TV networks. You have the potential of getting a lot more shows. That’s why you see a lot more reality TV on these other networks than you would see it on the big networks.

You have to appeal to sponsors. How do you determine the right sponsors and who sells that for this show?

That would be the networks that do that. The sponsors, you’ve got to look at the show and figure that. In an hour series, let’s say 60 minutes, you’re really only going to have 43 minutes of programming. The rest are going to be commercials. The sponsors that you want to get in, here’s the hard and fast rule. Any car advertisement, Lexus, Mercedes, any of the high-end Continental, those are great. Second, food. Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell. You want to get food, car, clothing, a clothing line, Old Navy. Ross will have their advertising. This all goes into a clump. Cosmetics, Revlon, Maybelline, perfumes, Dior, you want to get into the market. You’ve got beauty, you’ve got clothes, and you’ve got food.

The next that people are finding that have been successful are advertisements for travel. Come to the state of Alabama. Why? People go, “Why not spend your money at home?” “I never knew Alabama had this. How beautiful that is.” That’s another piece. If you’re smart, depending like it’s Netflix or anything else, you’re probably going to slip in a small advertisement for another show that’s in that vein of your network. You know that not only this show is shown on network, but there are four or five that may be similar. By that time, your time is up.

Those are the concentrated points. If anybody tonight goes home, looks at their favorite television program, they now become mindful of when it comes to the advertisements. Take a look. Was it a car, was it food, was it clothes, was it beauty, was it travel? That’s how that works. They all cite Pepsi, drinks. These are all very American traditional points of our society that the advertisers keep reinforcing, even though we may not know it. iPhone, computers, it’s all there.

I appreciate you going into such detail. There are many people who can use this information and that you’ll probably get a lot of people want to know how they can get in touch with you and find out more about your foundation. You’re doing some great work. Is there a website that we should share that people could find out more?

They can go to the and my contact information is there. The best way if they want to email me, it’s

This has been so great, Sheila. I enjoyed this and I appreciate all this information.

I’m happy to help and thank you, Diane. I want everyone else to know, what you do is important for us. The time and the energy that you put out is well-received and blessed. I want to know how grateful and how much I appreciate what you do.

That’s sweet of you, Sheila. I enjoy doing this and we get many wonderful people on this show and you were certainly at the top of my list. Thank you again.

Thank you so much to Sheila. I was taking notes. There is so much that she shared that is useful. Thank you, Sheila, and this has been a wonderful show. If you’ve missed any past episodes, you can find them on our website at I hope you join us for the next episode of Take the Lead Radio.

About Sheila Barry Driscoll

TTL 218 | Best Way To PitchSheila Barry Driscoll is the President and Co-Founder of the Billionaire Foundation where she helps coordinate foundation research work and initiates new introductions between existing foundations and the research team. She is a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Argentina. Sheila has been the Executive Director of the second largest national nonprofit for missing and abducted children to the CEO and Co-Founder of SC Creative Innovations in Alameda, California.

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