If you want to start a reality show on the Internet using platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and more, this is the guide for you.
Starting a reality show online is the most common social media strategy used by influencers today.
Getting Your Reality Show Started
The premise is very simple:
By updating your network about what you’re doing regularly, you create an ongoing story that your followers watch, enjoy, and remember. It creates a connection between your audience and you because they begin to feel like they know you.
In essence, your life becomes a reality show your audience watches through your daily or weekly Posts, Stories, and Videos.
By using text, images, and videos to tell stories your audience starts to care about you… and if your story aligns with their values, the connection runs deep. Soon you’ll have raving fans inside a micro-niche which you are the star.
When you’re ready to promote or sell something… they’ll be ready to take action to support you.. even if only as a thank you for keeping them entertained.
You can see how I use the Reality Show Method by following me on places like Facebook and Instagram.
You May Think “Nobody Cares What I Do”, But They Do
Why are reality shows so popular? People can relate to the characters in the story because they’re not acting. You can see their flaws – they’re “real”.
When you tell people what you’re doing and share what’s on your mind it builds your character. When we get a feel for someone’s character we’re able to predict their future actions – this builds a massive amount of trust with your audience. It allows your audience to connect with you on an emotional level.
Here’s a diagnosis of Canadian Astronaut, Chris Hadfield’s use of the “Reality Show Method” when he was in space for 6 months.
How to Start a Reality Show
Take some friends and their families, put them on a deserted island with minimal survival equipment for a month, film it, and put it up on YouTube. Just joking — this is not the best idea for promoting your business but would be a great social experiment nonetheless.
Seriously, though: a major building block of promoting yourself on social media is sharing daily (or weekly) mundane stories.
What did you eat today?
Where did you go?
Did you work out?
Walk the dog?
Go on a hike?
Read a book?
What inspired you this week?
This is something that major celebrities and renowned bloggers and vloggers use to create a human-to-human connection with their audience.
Just take a good look at big names like The Rock, Joe Rogan, Gary Vaynerchuk, and many others who share this strategy. If you follow them, you feel like you know them, at least a little bit, even though they are complete strangers.
Their social media posts don’t feel like a product or brand that is designed and curated by a PR team.
When they show their human side, simple details about their life, they are immediately relatable, likable, and trustworthy.
People will follow you on social media because they want to know what is going on with you, for real!
The Reality Show approach gives your followers a piece of human connection while positioning you (and your brand) as someone authentic.
How to Plan Your Reality Show
There’s not much science to this because it’s all about being authentic. That being said, there are two points to pay attention to: platform appropriateness and your own comfort level.
- On business-oriented platforms (i.e. LinkedIn) focus on promoting your business. Post about your activities, such as updates on upcoming webinars, fun around the office, or new projects you’re excited about.
- On the more personal accounts (i.e. Facebook, Instagram), keep it fun and relatable: activities, food, kids, pets, workouts, and don’t be shy to pepper in some business stuff.
Here is where the comfort level bit is very important: figure out where your privacy line is. Everybody has a different limit as to what kind of personal information they are willing to share. Find your boundary and stick to it.
Creating Content For Your Reality Show
As a practical example, you can do a “selfie story”, where — just like it sounds — you take a selfie and tell a story about what you’re doing.
Take a picture of yourself at an event and shout out who you’re with and why you’re there.
Taking a picture of food is touted as an annoying social media cliche, but the bottom line is: it works!
Take a picture of something cool that you purchased for yourself (non-promotional) and share a few words about it.
Social media users engage the most with faces, food, and animals, so don’t be afraid to exploit your furry friends or your charming smile.
Add some flavor with emotive stories! Instead of just describing things, throw in some positive adjectives and descriptions of how awesome an experience is.
Every good story has to have its ups and downs. Don’t just post exclusively positive stuff, but don’t whine about your trials and tribulations constantly either.
Share the harder stories (conflict, sadness, strife, challenges, etc) to create additional value for your audience, beyond the surface-level stuff.
Share valuable lessons that you learn from experience that your readers/viewers can apply to their own life or career. If this lesson directly relates to your area of expertise: even better!
The recent followers who are just getting to know you are where a lot of opportunities reside in the Reality Show Method.
How Often To Post
To create an effective online reality show I recommend posting daily or a minimum of once per week.
This schedule shouldn’t be a ton of extra work for you, it is about documenting the activities and thoughts you have throughout your everyday life. Use a combination of photo, text, and video posts to create your “show”.
Coincidentally, because of my reality show, I ended up going out more often and doing more cool stuff. Your life can’t be boring if you’re producing a reality show!
Starting a reality show on the Internet is a popular strategy to create an authentic brand that your audience admires. You’re not just promoting your business on social media, you are representing yourself, so be authentic!
- It’s the mundane stories of your daily life that your followers actually care about.
- Share stories using a mix of text, photos, and videos.
- Post daily if you can, or post weekly at minimum.
- Stay within the bounds of what is comfortable for you to share and keep it generally positive.
- Do more cool stuff to make your show even more entertaining!
Everybody has different experiences when it comes to using the Reality Show Method to build their brand. I’d love to hear your stories, tips, and experiences.
For more information, check out the following guides:
A digital marketing enthusiast who is passionate about publishing, startups and the creator economy. Matt is the CEO of Web Friendly and helps write, recruit and improve content across the website.
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