Step 1: Develop your station mind map so you know where you’re headed.
- What do you want to get out of your TV station?
- What content do you want to provide?
- What will be your hours of operation?
- When will you be live versus pre-recorded?
- Create a schedule of events and topics.
Step 2: Get a domain.
I recommend getting a domain name just for this endeavor. .Tv domain names have been the most popular for anything related to a TV station. What you need to keep in mind is that .tv does not stand for television. It is actually the extension for Tuvalu, the Polynesian island nation.
Step 3: Hire a good team to design and code a Web site.
- It should look like a typical Web site. The difference: in the middle of the screen, there should be a large TV that is streaming your video or broadcasting live.
- Publicize your sponsors.
- Have different sections on your Web site where people can browse your products and services, learn more about you, contact you and all the other typical options.
- Change your site often to reflect current promotions and features.
Step 4: Set up a dedicated area for filming.
Since you will be doing both pre-recorded and live videos, you should have an area in your home office (or an off-site office) that is decked out with all the necessary equipment and will look great on film.
Step 5: Purchase suitable equipment for recording video and broadcasting live
You can get all of this for under $2000:
- An HD camera is recommended.
- Audio equipment: microphone, headset, clipped microphone, or even some wireless audio equipment.
- Lighting: invest in some great lights.
- Green screens. (These are great as it allows for easier editing of video and still photos.)
- Teleprompter, if you want to read from a script.
- Connect your camera to your computer, and get ready to stream live!
Step 6: Get a good Web site host that can handle the bandwidth and the constant streaming of video.
Some good companies include:
Step 7: Record content you can load onto the station.
Don’t think you need hundreds of hours of content to launch your station. You can start with just a few hours of content. Reread the ideas for the live events in the earlier part of the chapter for content ideas and things you can do live or pre-record.
Other content ideas:
- Webcam broadcasting 24/7 (or in certain hours).
- Other people’s content you can use (with permission).
- Old video recordings.
- Testimonials from clients and customers.
Step 8: Keep in mind you don’t need to have content up 24/7.
- We have four hours of pre-recorded content daily, two hours of live stuff and some commercials mixed in.
- We let that content repeat for six hours.
- We then have 12 hours where there is nothing more than a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation and some music.
The reason we have done this is we have found the times when people were browsing the station. There is no reason to put up content if very few people are on your Web site at a given time! If your audience is largely global, and in different time zones, you will want to consider having a larger amount of content at different times.
Step 9: Host some live events.
Live events are a great draw as we talked about previously. The difference is you will be hosting your events on your Web site rather than appearing on someone else’s.
Step 10: Promote your hot new TV channel everywhere.
And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere.
- Link it on your Web sites, social sites and beyond.
- Send out multiple press releases using a service like prweb.com
- Partner with some other people in exchange for free advertising.
Step 11: Step it up a notch!
As your station becomes more popular you can start commanding a variety features and money-making opportunities:
- Paid advertising.
- Banner ads on your site.
- High-profile guest interviews. Heck, maybe you will become the next Oprah!