How Bug Bite Thing Went From Garage to the Hit TV Show “Shark Tank” and Beyond

In this episode…

Have you ever considered making a pitch to the investors at the popular TV show “Shark Tank”? Do you know how you should prepare in advance before making your appearance? Do you have a valuation of your e-commerce brand's business?

Kelley Higney, Founder and CEO of Bug Bite Thing, is Dr. Jeremy Weisz's guest in this episode of the Relationship Commerce Podcast. She shares her experience appearing on “Shark Tank” and closing a deal with Lori Greiner, growing her e-commerce brand, and her strategies for going into retail.

Available_Black copypartner-share-lg

Kelley HigneyKelley Higney is the Founder and CEO of Bug Bite Thing, a suction tool that extracts insect saliva/venom from under the skin to help alleviate the itching, stinging, and swelling that follows bug bites and stings. After battling with her daughter’s constant mosquito bites, Kelley discovered a little-known tool to alleviate the symptoms that come with bites.

Bug Bite Thing gained nationwide recognition in October 2019 when Kelley and her mother appeared on ABC’s hit show, “Shark Tank”. All the Sharks were biting offers to invest in the business, but it was Lori Greiner's Golden Ticket offer that secured the partnership. Bug Bite Thing is now Amazon’s #1 selling product for insect bite relief with more than 20,000 positive reviews.

How to Use Shark Tank to Grow Your e-Commerce Brand

If you've ever thought of appearing on ABC's “Shark Tank”, you should prepare well in advance. If you get an offer and close a deal with any of the Sharks, this can be very beneficial for your e-commerce business—and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You not only stand to gain financing, but you can also benefit from the advice, guidance, and connections you’ll make courtesy of your appearance on the show.

To be successful, one of the critical things you need to do is make an accurate valuation of your e-commerce business. The question of valuation is one of the most commonly asked and can help determine whether you will land a deal. You also need to be aware of the pros and cons of appearing on the show and the effects it may have on your inventory.

This is how Kelley Higney, the Founder and CEO of Bug Bite Thing, prepared for her appearance on “Shark Tank”. She did well and was able to land a deal with Lori Greiner—resulting in the growth and scaling of her business thanks to Lori’s financing and expert advice. 

Benefits of Building an Ideal Support Community for Your e-Commerce Brand

If you produce and sell an e-commerce product, one of the best marketing and promotional strategies you can maximize is to engage your customers and have them speak about your product. Their testimonials and reviews can play an enormous role in growing your business.

In the case of Bug Bite Thing, entrepreneur Kelley Higney built a community of moms who experienced the challenge of treating bug bites on their children. In turn, this collective promoted her product, a suction tool that helps relieve the effects of bug bites. They would speak on how many of the other products on the market contain chemicals and expire after time, requiring you to keep purchasing the product every time a child gets an insect bite. 

You can use the same marketing strategy to promote your own e-commerce product, where you encourage your community to speak about the benefits of using it. To be effective, your product should be unique and distinct from other products on the market that attempt to meet the same customer needs.

How to Self-Promote Your e-Commerce Brand Using Social Media 

Especially if you are just starting out with your new e-commerce business, you may not have a lot of money to spend on advertisements, publicity, or promotion. Ad Spend can eat up your new company’s profits, so you need to find cheaper yet effective alternatives to advertising your product. But, how?

One of the most common methods many new entrepreneurs use is social media marketing, first and foremost because you don't have to invest a lot of money into it. For example, you could start with $10 and once you make a sale, inject another $10 or a higher amount. 

This method helps increase your sales volume slowly and helps you gauge the performance of your social media ads. Once you are done with testing and finding out what ad works best for your brand, you can concentrate on what was successful and increase your Ad Spend to sell more.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is sponsored by Worth eCommerce.

Worth eCommerce is a small mighty team of eCommerce email marketers who help businesses of all sizes dramatically grow revenue with lifecycle email marketing. It is made up of copywriters, designers, strategizers, and marketing extraordinaires who specialize in nurturing relationships and guiding sales through the sheer power of email.

Worth eCommerce's sole focus is creating a lasting relationship between eCommerce sellers and their customers through the most personable form of digital connection: email. Businesses that send personable, interesting, and helpful emails earn the trust and continued business from that same customer. 

Worth eCommerce’s mission is to help small medium sized e-commerce businesses generate more than a million dollars a year each in revenue using their own marketing channels.

To learn more about Worth eCommerce, visit

For all of your eCommerce needs, here are our top recommendations:

For the ultimate ecommerce marketing platform for eCommerce email and SMS messaging, make sure to check out Klaviyo.

For the AI Visit Conversion Platform, go with Justuno. They provide intelligent lead captures, personalized website messaging, and audience analytics to convert more visitors into customers.

And if you’re looking to create, launch, and manage your SMS marketing program for your growing Shopify store, there’s no better way to do that than with Postscript. Unlock a new marketing channel guaranteed to drive revenue, not just clicks.