December 2014

Monthly Archives

wedding island

Advice from the Trenches of Real Life Reality Star

I’m often asked what to expect when filming a reality tv show, and for me, being in production for years, it’s hard not to miss a beat, forget something that seems so normal to those of us in the business, that is really shocking for newcomers. Then I stumbled across an article by Sandy Malone, the star of Wedding Island. Her advice is epic and hysterical, truly a must read for anyone thinking of staring in or producing their own reality show.

Advice from owning your potty mouth to giving up music/privacy/schedules will help prepare you for your reality tv adventure! Once you’ve read what she has to say, if you’re still up for it, come back here and post your show!

[Read the full article…]


Dive into Crowdfunding

While this series is specifically about Kickstarter, the lessons apply equally as much to CrowdedReality as well.  So grab a pen and paper, and kickback for a lesson in crowdfunding.


Leah Cevoli – Crowdfunding Expert Reveals Secrets of Success

She’s being called the secret sauce and has recently been knocking it out of the park with crowdfunding campaigns. In this recording she reveals the processes and some of her great “SUCCESS STORY”. She pulls apart some of the reasons why many of her campaigns succeeded in such a dramatic way. Example, when $50,000 was the original target but Leah Cevoli and her team managed to raise over $88,000 (Very Impressive). Here it all here, and leave your comments below.

TED Talks are Wonderful For Your Library

The Power of Believing That You can Improve

-Carol Dweck from TED

Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.


Watch This TED TALK

Top 5 Crowdfunding Tip for Success

Top 5 Crowdfunding Success Tips

Crowdfunding is becoming a global phenomenon, revolutionizing the horizon of all business. People have funded things as varied as video games and businesses to, well… TV SHOWS!

Still… the failure rate is sky high – so, take in every tip from experts that you can.


It is proven in the existing data from giant Kickstarter, that the odds for a campaign to be successful in reaching their goal is ten times higher when they have reached about half their goal. Creating momentum brings comfort, because now one wants to go first. And, the more funds you have raised increasing the potential for others to donate.

How do you do that?
Donate yourself. Ask your friends. Pre-launch before you launch and coordinate family and friends. Segment your potential investors, and invite the less likely to invest to your pitch when you already have momentum.


So don’t let your campaign drag: 30 -45 days is the sweet spot for most campaigns. Longer, and people forget about you. Shorter, and you can seem rushed or even disorganized. One expert suggested ending your campaign on a weekday evening, as it is known your final push will reach more people surfing the web at that time.

Stagger your updates. The second week donations taper off, so be ready to re-energize with updates and new prizes. Rejuvenate your social media outreach. Create an update video. It is critical you keep separate email lists so you can reach those who have not donated and not annoy those who have!

Communicate well – be clear and sincere -every step of the way.


Data shows that the average pledge is $70: you have to determine exactly what funds you need to raise. Do you have quote for the different components? From various suppliers and experts?

T-Shirts are always a welcomed low and mid range gift: so do you know what T-Shirt or Coffee Mug supplier offers you the best deal? Do they include shipping? Do they ship internationally?

Research the details, people don’t like to pay for shipping: you have to be sure to add it to your bottom line.

Be sure you know your base funding goal: what will your TV show cost for the pilot? Make sure your target covers the details, and every dollar after target ensures you will make it better.


Your backers are golden to you: they inherently see the value of your project before it is realized. So determine values for clearly defined tiers. AND – Be exciting! Both in copy and in actual gifts.

You can “stack” rewards. This method is less clear and can lead to confusion – but, an aggregate comparison works well within the potential donors mindset.

Not stacking affords clearer copy and distinct understanding of the coolness of the tiered gift.

Low level Tiers: Don’t clutter up your reward tiers with too many lower end offerings that may distract   backers before they get to the higher end offers. Having more rewards is not better.

The sweetspot is  around $70 -so figure out higher and lower from that median. A great way to have backers move up the donation station is by stretching your rewards, making a $300 reward a better and better reward for them. Sell out a tier? Make a $305 Special level to keep them coming! Be sure to have the stretch rewards already in mind, and offer them only at the higher goals.

Be sure to create cool gifts with cool graphics to keep everyone stimulated.

You can add additional tiers at any time: as in any sale – it is easier to upsell once there is excitement.


This is the major sales piece of your project.

Make it cool. Make it sweet. Make it silly. Make it your voice of the project.

Keep it under 3 minutes.

Pay Attention to your project: keep it vibrant, exciting, and on point. Start strong, motor through the dead zone, and end strong. People are more and more savvy about crowdfunding and as eager as they are now to be a part of something and help determine its success and direction, so too are they more savvy about expectations.

Create inducements for participation that off the chart cool.

And then – Deliver.

crowdfunding reality tv with crowdedreality

Crowdfunding Your Reality TV Show Concept

As if it isn’t tough enough designing the concept for a reality tv show worth watching, people who want to see their vision on TV need all the information they can get about how to Create, Produce, Distribute and Profit from their own reality tv show!

The key to a successful reality tv project is the talent (hopefully you already have that, and that’s what your show is designed around) and of course the capital necessary to get the project going along. Normally if you are the creator, you find a producer who has a network deal, and between the producer and the network, they find the funding and handle the distribution and you the creator are left out of the decision making process. However, nowadays for the savvy creator, there are many avenues to reach your goal. New and innovative ways to get funding, from new distribution platforms, to crowdfunding, have opened up opportunities to see your show on TV.

Here’s how crowdfunding on comes into play. Let’s say you have an idea. We’ll call you the Creator. A creator has a brilliant idea for a reality TV show about their lives (because everyday someone says they should really have their own show). They’ll need money for equipment, staff, processing, insurance, travel, and more. The creator needs to itemize these costs and then set her battle plan. Using you solicit individuals to supply smaller amounts of money each instead of huge chunks of cash. You also ask them to loan you their social currency. That’s their influence, impact, and reach on social media. By raising social currency, you are also building a war chest of influence you can trade with Sponsors to get you the cash you need to make your show. You let the backers, not investors, know what your goals are so that they can see where their contributions will be going. And in the back of your mind, figure out what you could offer Sponsors in exchange for being seen in, or presenting, your show. If you’re idea is good enough, you’ll need this info at your fingertips!

Next, you need to look at the numbers. If it would cost you $20,000 to finance your pilot, you need to look at the number of people you will need to reach in order to reach your goal. Let us say you have 5,000 friends (ok, I have 5000 friends. The average human has 250, so keep that in mind). If each of them donated $4 each you would have met your goal! You can raise 5,000 friends via social networking, but it’s tough if you aren’t a celeb. The better option is like the old Wella Balsam commercial (tangent-brilliant advertising that I’m still quoting 40 years later) – get your friends to tell their friends, and ask their friends to tell their friends. That’s what social currency can help you with, and calculate the reach of your project. There is an art to showcasing your idea, making it clear that it only works with you (either at the helm or starring) and expressing the confidence in yourself and your concept to enroll backers and then regularly update your progress.

What you offer in exchange is up to you. The SEC is still dicking around with the whole equity piece of the crowdfunding concept so for now, you have to give them a perk/reward/deliverable. Get creative. One guy made bank on potato salad, so really, anything is possible. Perhaps credits at the end of the show. People love to see their names in lights. You could also sell the preroll commercial spot on your project. Tshirts are always a favorite if they are limited edition. And for my first film, I handed out pens, back in 1999, that still to this day are coveted. There are many possibilities, left only to your imagination.

The key to success is great PRE-planning. If you’re like me, you’re a DO-er. Not a slow down and PLAN-er. But really, that is what will separate you from the rest. We are in the process of finishing the eBook planning kit for getting your show made on, so be sure to opt-in to get that the moment it’s ready.

Put together a great plan. If you haven’t already read Tim Ferriss’s post on Hacking Kickstarter, there are brilliant ideas and it’s a must read. Itemize your needs, set up your marketing funnel and then promote. Once you get it all clearly written and organized, you’ll find it easier to solicit others to team up with you.

That’s the advantage of crowdfunding. It isn’t the over burdensome process that major studios get into and nowadays on the web, you have several options available with companies that help you apply your crowdfunding strategies that makes sure you, your idea, and your donors are protected from scams and that all responsibilities are met.

These watchdog crowdfunding groups have gained international celebrity as there are increasing success stories of people and groups who’ve done wonders and broken the mold of the status quo.

So don’t underestimate the power of crowdfunding for reality tv. The opportunities are there for the creator who knows their business and can produce quality work. Quality is the key here because the funding from your donors is one thing. That will get your project off the ground, however, it’s up to you to do the quality job that makes the project a success. It’s a two way street here and don’t forget that.

Self-directed IRA & Crowdfunding

James Jones, of Crowdnetic, talks with Alternative Investing News about crowdfunding and how the passage of Title II has allowed for crowdfunding solicitation.

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