How to Get on TV: Give Your Biz a Boost

  • As seen on TV

    A television appearance has the ability to convey a sense of legitimacy to just about anything, whether it be a new brand of toothpaste, political candidate, actress, small business, or charity. Being on television essentially sends out the message that someone cares enough about this person or thing to broadcast it to the world. Plus, TV drives sales in a big way: even a brief mention on something like The Oprah Winfrey Show or NBC's Today Showcan mean commercial success for years. Success isn’t a completely sure thing, though, and TV also brings the risk of negative exposure (remember balloon boy), but if handled properly, a TV appearance can do wonders for business. As author and public intellectual Gore Vidal has been quoted as saying, "I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television." We can't help you with that other thing, but hopefully these tips will give you a running start on your quest to get on the tube. Photo Credit: dplanet
    Casting calls & the reality route
  • Casting calls & the reality route

    Reality TV programs and popular syndicated talk shows are always looking for new guests. With so many casting calls out there, you are bound to be the perfect match for a show at some point! Here are a few of the best places to look. Use your appearance on these shows as an opportunity to promote your business or build up your personal brand. If you are on The Apprentice, for example, save clips from the show and include a few lines about it on your professional resume. Certainly can't hurt! If you're on Top Chef, throw in a quick plug for your new restaurant. Don't be an overt self-promoter, but be strategic. Photo Credit: Getty Images
  • Craigslist

    If you're in the New York area, check out the NYC television/film/radio page on Craigslist. A number of shows post casting information on there, but be careful... don't fall for any scams and make sure the casting is legitimately sponsored by a real network and not a fly-by-night operation. Other cities, such as Los Angeles, have similar Craigslist pages, though they generally don’t have as many listings as New York. Photo Credit:
  • TLC

    TLC, the popular cable network and home of shows such as Jon & Kate Plus 8 and American Chopper, has an extensive casting call section online. Browse through it to see upcoming "open calls" in your city or to submit a video reel to relevant programs. Shows currently casting include a new wedding show, a lifestyle show, and What Not to Wear among many others. Photo Credit: TLC
  • MTV

    MTV still has a lot of cultural influence, especially among young viewers, and has been the path to stardom for many household names. Only one way to find out if you have what it takes: browse through their complete casting call page here. Also, due to their young viewership, if you have a teen-friendly product or business you would be wise to plug it on-air. Shows currently casting include America's Best Dance Crew Season 5, Silent Library Season 2, Movers and Changers, MADE, The Real World and more! Photo Credit:
  • VH1

    VH1 has its own online casting call page as well, although it looks like they are only accepting tapes for one show in particular right now: Scream Queens 2.   Who do they want, you ask? "Are you an actress dreaming of a once in a lifetime shot at a career on the big screen? Do you have what it takes to handle intense, one-on-one mentoring with a major film director? Would you like training from one of the most celebrated acting coaches in Hollywood? In short, are you ready to be a star? VH1, in association with Lionsgate (the studio behind such horror blockbusters as SAW and HOSTEL) is NOW CASTING beautiful, confident, tenacious, uninhibited actresses who are ready for stardom and will stop at nothing to get it." Photo Credit:
  • ABC

    ABC, home of Good Morning America, The Bachelor, and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, has an easy to navigate casting call section for eager would-be television superstars. Shows currently casting include: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Dating In The Dark, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Wife Swap, Wipeout, and more! Photo Credit:
  • NBC

    The Peacock is looking for applicants to cast a number of shows right now. Check out their casting call information page. Shows looking for talented warm bodies include America's Got Talent and The Sing-Off, among others. Photo Credit:
  • CBS

    The network currently has open calls for a number of shows, including Big Brother and Amazing Race. A frantic reality TV race around the world sounds like a pretty tough road to fame, but if you can survive that, more power to you! Photo Credit:
    Stir the pot
  • Stir the pot

    If all else fails, and you can’t get yourself onto a reality show, you can always try to create your own fame. Say what you will about town hall attendees, but they know how to get media attention. If you want to raise awareness about a particular cause or product, find a competitor or someone who holds an opposing view point, find out where they are appearing in public, and then go all Mike Wallace on them. Take them by surprise and challenge them to a debate right then and there, and make sure you get a buddy to film the whole thing. Don’t be aggressive, or insulting, but feel free to be passionate and energized as you state your position. Most important, you’ve got to be unrelenting. There’s a good chance your foe will flee. Or you might have a great debate. Either way, take the finished video, post it on YouTube and then send the link to everyone you know as well as the media. Hopefully you’ll go viral, the video will be picked up by the news and then TV show bookers will start calling you. The core drawback of this method is that you may face ridicule if your views are too "extreme" -- and also you have little control over how long your attention will last... it could be for weeks or months, or it could just be a thirty-second mention on CNN dayside. Photo Credit: davitydave
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