Crowdfunding Your Reality TV Show Concept

By Adryenn Ashley

crowdfunding reality tv with crowdedreality

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 CrowdedReality.com 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 CrowdedReality.com 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 CrowdedReality.com, 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.

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