How to Get Paid for Watching TV
Earning money while viewing your favorite shows!
This report is intended to introduce you to a variety of ideas that can give you the opportunity to earn money while sitting in front of your television. While it may sound like a gimmick, there are very real possibilities to generate dollars--if you are willing to give it a try!
It's not necessarily easy work. There's a lot of effort required to get your operation up and running. But dedication to the task and motivation towards the end goal of being in business for yourself should provide substantial impetus for you to launch this project.
It often comes down to using time wisely and if you like to watch television, why not look for ways to do what you enjoy and make a few dollars at the same time? There are numerous chances in this world to work in a field you enjoy - and be successful at it! All it takes is a bit of determination, being well-organized and believing in yourself.
Most people have the ability to make a business of their own work. But for various reasons they don't try or they make the attempt, but believe they are going to fail. Very often, they fulfill their own self-prophecy. They choose to listen to the negative influences--all the reasons why the business would fail instead of all the arguments as to why it can succeed.
There's no reason why any business you try shouldn't be successful. But the belief in yourself must overshadow the things that can and will go wrong. By focusing on the things you do right and building on them, your business can provide you with the kind of income you want while letting you maintain the freedom of being your own boss.
It all comes down to having the right attitude. If you truly feel your business can be a smashing success, it will be! Because you'll be looking for the ideas that work well for the business, discard the ones that aren't working and essentially try to understand the formula for success.
Many of us are afraid to fail and thus never attempt the jobs we really would like to perform. It often seems too unbelievable to be able to work and make a living at some-thing we enjoy. Work isn't supposed to be enjoyable, is it? We're meant to toil and labor for a few hours a day and then take home a paycheck to spend on the things we like doing. Isn't that right?
Well, if it were, there would be a lot more miserable people out in the world today. But the truth is a lot of Americans are doing something they love and earning a living at it. Why not you?
You think that it's too late? That you can't really leave your regular job because you need the paycheck to pay your bills? That's O.K.--for now. You can start your own busi-ness part-time and work at it, trying to perfect it, seeing if it earns any money first before making the decision to go full-time with it.
All you have to do is determine how many hours you want to work at your new "-side" business to start and plan accordingly. Don't try and overdo. Simply work hard and smart in the few hours you've allotted. This way you can test it out, see if the business has the kind of potential you believe. If it does, you can gradually work more hours in it until your income is well past what you made before.
The difference is--now you're doing something you love.
Change is difficult for most--don't feel bad! But if you'd really like to work at something you enjoy, if you really want to be your own boss and run your own business, if you really want to make money and feel like work is fun again, then don't hesitate any longer! Change is necessary, but it's only you that can effect the change.
It will mean altering your routine, changing your habits, working long hours initially. But if it has the power to change your life for the better, this work will be worth all the time, sweat and effort you put in to make it work. And it will work! You have to believe in that--and believe in yourself before you start.
How many times have you watched sports and heard an announcer say, "this team controls its own destiny"? What they mean, of course, is that the team can produce the results it wants simply by doing the job themselves. They don't need to depend on any-one else for help. The entire outcome is in their hands--to win or lose.
So it is with you. The ultimate success, the final destiny of your business rides with your ability and talent and, more importantly, motivation to succeed. You control it, no one else, and it's you who will benefit directly from your efforts.
So, start believing in yourself and read on. A Chance to make money while watching television awaits.
Overview of the Television Scene
Television pounced upon the scene during one of the worst economic periods in our country's history--the Great Depression. As a result, TVs introduction to a potential viewing public went largely unnoticed. People had more than enough to do trying to provide for their families.
Despite that timing, a few people had a chance to view the future. That's exactly what they thought TV was, but even they could not have dreamed of the successful industry television has become. With the advent of cable television, there are dozens of stations now competing for the viewer and showing an extraordinary range of programming from week to week.
Early on, there was only one station. NBC (The National Broadcasting Company) was the first to broadcast programs a few hours a week on the television set. It's hard to imagine TV today on such a limited basis, but every industry has to start somewhere. Within a couple of years, there were a number of stations joining NBC and programming was expanded.
World War II provided a minor interruption to service since the government had to place a restriction on broadcasting. But this only had the industry working hard behind the scenes, ready for the day when the moratorium was lifted. After the war ended in 1945, the restrictions were repealed and the dawn of a new media era was beginning.
Television flourished in the fifties and new programming was the rage of the industry. Each year many of us looked forward to the introduction of new shows to watch along with our favorites, held over from the previous programming year. Family gatherings around the TV set were common as more and more households obtained one.
Today, nearly 100 million households have a television set or two, not to mention a video cassette recorder (VCR), all to keep up with the latest offerings from a seemingly infinite number of channels. Satellite dishes have expanded viewing capability well past our normal limits.
What does this mean to you? Simply put, here are your dollar-making opportunities. The television industry is so large, yet it is experiencing its most dramatic growth ever, thanks to the expanding cable television market. With growth come needs; needs you could fulfill. If you watch TV a lot, and enjoy it, this chance is for you.
These opportunities are unlimited and it doesn't matter where you reside or how far you progressed in school. No matter where you live, there is a cable television company with the ability to hook a television up to its service. Cable is ready, willing and expanding--and its profits show it. The government has recently focused on this industry simply because of the outrageous amounts of money it seems to be making. With cable advertising income closing in on the $4 billion dollar mark, this is an industry that hides no longer.
In fact, it has been shown that cable TV watchers tend to buy more goods and services than non-cable TV subscribers. Thus, companies are clamoring to get their advertising pitch out to these viewers, hoping for the best. It's not just the Home Shop-ping Network that's doing well, but advertisers on all shows who are benefiting from this marketing boom. People that can afford cable television monthly rates are the ones who tend to consume more products anyway--and businesses know this.
This booklet will introduce you to several opportunities in the expanding television market. But it will be important for you to understand what you're seeing on television. Watch the commercials on any network. See if there is any pattern, any trend to what's being sold-- and how. Take notes and see what you've learned from this viewing. Who are the ads directed at? Are they visual? Talky? Funny? Serious? What are the pro-ducts being sold most often? Does it vary by time slot? You can make a reference chart for yourself as you digest and interpret this information.
Your understanding of what's going on can mean the difference between success--or not. Your ability to understand viewing patterns and what works for advertisers will help you establish yourself as someone with credentials to give advice on television advertising.
Television is a very innovative medium. Those in the industry are always on the watch for individuals who possess this trait of coming up with new ideas and concepts for those that push their wares on television. And all it takes is the time to watch your television--all channels, different times, different days (weekend vs. Weekday) and then analyzing your data to make inferences about what works well and what doesn't.
The remainder of this booklet shows you where some of the opportunities are in this exciting medium. Good luck!
Working in Advertising -- with Local Businesses
Your job now is to watch TV!
That's right--turn on the set and get to work! It's time to get your new business off the ground.
Starting with local companies may be a good way to begin your career in the tele-vision industry. More specifically, your first job will be to watch commercials. And, perhaps, listen to your local radio stations to monitor their advertising, too.
Begin by making a list. When you see or hear a commercial, write down the local company doing the advertising. Radio stations with commercials are easy to find. So are television stations. Concentrate on your local TV stations for now. That's where you'll find a lot of your local advertising going on. However, don't overlook some of the cable channels who may also introduce local advertising, especially during the day.
It will become clear early on that the local television advertising market will be dominated by just a few companies. List them.
Then begin to watch their commercials more carefully. What time of day are they running? How long are the ads? What age audience are they aiming at? Do you like the commercial? Are there any mistakes in it? Record all of this information.
Begin to draw up a large notebook of your impressions along with specific data about when the ad ran and for how long. Amazingly, local companies contract for a certain number of ads running for a certain length, at a particular time of day, yet they are unable to monitor whether the ad ran or not. You may also notice that the ads are time- sensitive, such as advertising a sale for a certain time period. If the ad is run after the sale is over, it's a waste of time and money for the company, yet they may never hear about it from anyone.
What if there was something wrong with the sound? Or the information, such as a wrong address typed on the screen? Any mistake will likely cost the advertiser and more then one or two errors will severely affect the company's credibility.
Advertising is not cheap, and if not done right, can cost a local business hundreds, even thousands of hard- earned dollars. Most companies can't afford that and no company wants to see any valuable marketing dollar thrown away. The whole purpose of advertising is to reach a specific market at a specific time with a specific message. Anything other than that is unacceptable.
Now, you've been at this for two or three weeks and have a pretty full log built up. You've noted the several businesses you've specifically monitored, and made notes as to any errors, patterns and potential results you think the local business will realize. Now what do you do with it?
It's very simple! You're going to call the companies for whom you've been tracking this information. If the business is small enough, you'll probably want to contact the owner. For larger firms, ask for the person in charge of advertising. When you reach your contact, identify yourself as the owner of a local advertising monitoring service and you'd like to share some information concerning a recent set of ads the company ran.
Then recite any errors, mistakes, mis-broadcasts, viewing problems and give the exact dates and times for any of the above. Not every company will give you an open reception, but some are going to be impressed with the quality and accuracy of your information. It will also mean bottom-line revenue for the company, since a station will refund some or all of the advertising money spent because the advertisements did not run as planned or promised.
This will enable you to pointedly demonstrate what your service can mean, in actual dollars, to the company. You are important because very often the television station doesn't realize anything is wrong, either. The stations need the advertising revenue so they aren't intentionally fouling anything up. But because mistakes are frequently made, and because more and more newer stations are out seeking advertising revenue, you can carve a nice niche out for yourself simply monitoring commercials in between your favorite shows.
You never thought watching the commercials could be so rewarding, did you?
Once you've passed this information along, offer them a formal, written report that you'd like to hand-deliver to the company contact. Point out that this service is available to the local business to specifically track their advertising results in terms of actual broadcast.
A written report is very professional and may give the impression that you've been doing this for a number of years. They may also be more inclined to try you out for a couple of months to see if your service continues to help them. It will certainly give them much more information than they currently have.
You can decide how to charge them, by hour or on a monthly fee basis. Don't set your price too high. Your ultimate goal is to obtain several clients for whom you can track advertising, since you can watch the same amount of television and record for a number of area businesses.
Don't limit yourself to only area businesses, either. State-wide or national firms have even less ability to monitor local broadcasts, so they could be a large source of monthly fee revenue for you, too. Your list of prospects to contact about your monitoring service is growing rapidly, isn't it?
It will be important to you, after contracting a client, to know when their advertising is supposed to be broadcast. When you started, your viewing was pot-luck, but now that you have a client or more, you need to be able to specifically monitor the showing and not leave your seeing it up to blind luck. Get all the details to allow you to monitor properly such as length of advertisement, number of times it is supposed to be shown, time frames it's supposed to run, that type of specific detail. Without this information, you can't do a proper job of determining if things are going according to the company's contract with the television station. A copy of that contract itself would be ideal.
Once you have this information, you can record it in your log book and stand watch. This will give you the comparison information you need to do your work. The company will no doubt feel that your nominal charge for this service is well worth it.
As you increase confidence in your ability to do this work, you can try for even larger accounts. While nationwide advertisers often have an ad agency that does tracking for them, it is quite often limited to big cities. No one is likely keeping track of small town broadcasts yet these can be of importance to the company advertising. Several large firms sell many of their products to the small-town customers and your monitoring service can tell them if they are reaching people in your area.
The longer you work in this service, the more successful you'll be. As time goes on, obtain client referral letters and testimonials from your existing customers. This will come in handy when you begin pursuing the larger companies who advertise in every state and who are more likely to pay fees to a monitoring service to be sure they are getting the most for their money.
Companies can spend a large portion of their marketing budget on advertising. Your service is designed to advise them if they are getting the bang for their buck!
National Manufacturers and Opportunities
O.K. Now you're into commercials! It's time to expand this watching television business of yours!
All of the products you see advertised had some planning and objectives behind them, whether the company be large or small. Some of the companies may have started small and, through a clever advertising route, expanded their products and services dramatically.
You can now expand your ability to assist companies with their advertising because you've been tracking what works and what doesn't on your television set. You must adjust your sights somewhat to the beginning process of marketing a product. You've watched some of the end result on TV, but these products find a market through the visual medium by purposeful design.
Your job under this portion of your at-home business is to identify potentially good company ideas for products and demonstrate how a good television ad can help them realize sales they previously would not have believed possible.
Start with the companies you are monitoring advertising for and expand from there. For your current customers, ask them about new products in the developmental stages. Since your customers are already doing television advertising, you won't have to convince them of the benefits of pursuing this media outlet for sales results. You might wish to read and study a few books about television advertising in preparation for this phase of your business. Get familiar with all of the quirks of this business.
However, your best learning tool is to watch advertisements that you know are successful. Why? Try and determine if they've hit on a formula for success. Compare successful ad campaigns and look for a unifying theme-- audience, message, comedy, visual, talky, what? What makes these campaigns successful and others--who have perfectly good products to sell--not?
Not all of this will have a logical answer. People often buy on emotional impulse, not practical reasoning, and this sometimes defies answers. Who would have predicted the success of Mutant Ninja Turtles?
It may be a friend who has come up with a great product or a small business with little or no capital for an advertising budget. Should this discourage you? Absolutely not!
In almost any media today, space trading is commonplace. Hotels trade rooms for advertising time. Retail stores may give gift certificates to a station in exchange for running a couple of ads. It happens all the time.
If you have found a product that could be the next big fad, you can very likely trade advertising time for a couple of these products gratis to station executives. What you should do is call the local stations and ask about their trading policy. Find out the specifics. Then, when you're approaching companies about helping to promote their products on TV, you'll know what you can and can't do based on the company's budget.
Tradeouts aren't going to put you ahead of the game. You'll trade out more product than you'll receive advertising time in return. But that's a small price to pay if the product needs exposure and your company's budget is limited. It's not completely unfair . TV stations know that you have a wholesale price for the product and that's likely to be closer to the value of advertising time you receive in return.
Stations know if ;the product does well, you'll be advertising your future business there. And why not? The station was willing to try the product and take it in exchange for ad time. They should receive your future business. You also start to build up relationships with client stations. This will be very important in your future business efforts.
Now, how will you get paid in all of this? You've identified the product, contacted the station, made the trade deal. So the station is going to get some needed advertising to get the work out about the product. What about you?
Depending on the size of the business you're doing this work for, you may want to get in on the ground floor of potential profits. If it's a friend, you can help form the company and be a partner in it. If it's a small business, you should consider working out a percentage of sales profits deal. If the product does well, under either scenario, your potential payday is incredible.
Look at the two individuals who put together "Trivial Pursuit". That involved coming up with some challenging trivia questions. Production costs were very low., But it caught on big with the general public and a small fortune was earned on that one idea.
The next "Trivial Pursuit" or "Mutant Ninja Turtles" is out there waiting to happen. You could be on to something big.
How do you construct a marketing campaign for this product? This will vary, but the following suggestions will help you lay the groundwork for what you and your partner/client wish to accomplish.
First, get some samples of the product and head down to your local shopping mall and try it out on a few passers-by. You could go to any area where people are gathered in a large number to do this. Prepare a questionnaire and then hand out the sample. Identify it, if necessary and ask if the person has a few moments to answer some quick questions. Once done, the product is his or hers to keep.
What you really want to know is whether the people knew what the product was, whether they liked it, if they would buy it, if the price you've established initially is fair or not, whether they'd buy it as a gift or promotion, and whether they'd tell friends about it and if so, what would they say.
This is going to give you a lot of useful information, especially if you are working with a number of samples. Try and get different age groups involved, using more the age group that you've targeted in your mind for this product. This kind of feedback should be invaluable in knowing whether you're ready to go and whether the price you've set is fair and reasonable. In addition, hearing what people said about the product and how they'd tell friends about it will help you script a television advertisement. If it's appropriate as a gift and many indicate they would consider it when shopping for gifts, that can be another theme for your TV ads, especially around a specific holiday.
Handle the questionnaire yourself. It will help you if you get direct feedback. If you're uncomfortable doing this, it's O.K. to get some help, but try to be there yourself so you can gauge consumer reaction. There is no substitute for real-world testing.
You should certainly have a contract between you and your client at this point. You're starting to put a lot of time in and there needs to be an ironclad guarantee that if the product takes off, so will your income in terms of a share of the profits. Standard contracts can usually be found at the library or at large office supply retail outlets and these can be used to spell out your arrangement between the two of you.
This feedback has given you the basis for a television and/or radio script, which can now be written once you and your partner have evaluated the information. It may require some product modification, but better to find that out early before too many are made. The script will be based on what people liked the best about the product. Emphasize it! Their reactions will likely be no different than those that will be on the listening end of your advertisement. Don't worry if you've never written one before. You've now heard hundreds of them on television through your monitoring service. The script will practically write itself.
People buy for hundreds of different reasons and not all of them will make sense to you. So, don't discard people's reactions or comments to your product because you think they're "dumb" or "hokey". Just because you wouldn't respond to a product that way doesn't mean the rest of America won''t. Keep an open mind.
There are thousands of manufacturers who are potential clients for you. And, as you'll soon realize, having a piece of the action by making a percentage of the profits deal is a fast way to potentially make a fortune in earnings. Put together a few of these deals and you'll wonder why you didn't get into business for yourself first. And this all started because you began watching commercials on TV!
Starting Your Own Rating Service
You are probably familiar with the Nielson ratings. Every major broadcast company prepares for the "sweeps", that time of year when the Nielson watchers are glued to their television sets. It's these watching results which dictates advertising rates and revenue for the following period. The more viewed the show, the higher the station can charge and advertiser to run a commercial.
So many careers hang in the balance as a result of the Nielson ratings. Shows are kept or canceled as a result of who's watching, the only measurement of which are these ratings. The Nielson company only uses about 2,000 homes in the country to monitor their ratings, a small but apparently statistically valid sample.
This is not much different than the theory behind Gallup polls and other such surveys taken. Once a certain number of people are polled, statistically the results are close to representative for the entire country.
About 90 million households have television sets. If a Nielson rating of 20 appears next to a program's name, that means approximately 20% of the nation's households have tuned into this show, or 18 million homes. This will dictate the amount a station can charge for revenue, based on the number of people expected to tune into the show.
Nielsen uses little black boxes that can go on every set in the house (and VCR, too). Information is recorded regularly about what you're watching. The homes are also designated by type with all of your basic census information like age, gender, income, occupation and the like being used to identify a composite viewer of a program. This also helps an advertiser target a particular show if the people watching are the target audience for the specific product to be marketed. All of this information is calculated and published for all to see.
Nielsen chooses the homes to participate by random and automatically eliminates anyone who wants to volunteer. Most of the larger metropolitan areas are selected for these tests and your chances of participating are very low. You might have better odds of hitting your state lottery!
Since large corporations spend millions each year on television advertising, it stands to reason they'd like to be well-informed as to who is viewing particular shows and at what time of day. They've likely identified a target audience and would very much like the extra input as to the specifics about how best to reach that target group through the television set.
Another major rating service is Arbitron, who does much the same thing and uses the approximately 2,000 sampling figure that Nielson does, although different households, of course. They also compile data that is used to set advertising rates for television.
Ratings research, based on this background information, is definitely a market that is open to opportunity. Only 4, 000 homes in the country are being utilized for this critical research, most of those in large population centers. What about the small-town buyer? What about all of the other TV viewers whose program choice goes un--recorded and remains unknown to the companies trying to position themselves to market a product?
Local business people would love to identify a target audience. They don't advertise nationally. They can't afford to have their product shown on "home Improvement" or the "Super Bowl". But they're going to advertise and the more they know about their viewing audience, the more likely they will select the right combination to maximize their television advertising dollar.
You don't need to put a black box in 2,000 homes to handle this assignment. All you need to do is develop a proper survey and start calling up people to participate in your local survey. You can identify potential watchers who would write down their viewing choices every day for two to three weeks and you've got the opportunity to compile the data listing more valuable than anything else locally; in the TV market. You'll have information even that stations probably won't have.
The first thing to do is construct your survey form. Here are some of the items you should include:
First, get an overall perspective of the individual who will do the survey for you.
Data you need is:
Name, address, phone number;
Number of people in household with names and ages;
Occupation and approximate income level for entire household;
Number of television sets, VCRs and radios.
The next step is to have your ratings from in which the members of the household record their viewing and listening choices for the next month. Four weeks should give you a great idea of what this household's radio, TV and VCR habits are. Every member of the house should record their choices by day, listing the show and the approximate viewing time.
Next, they should answer information about their commercial watching habits, including the ones they recall the best, the ones they think were terrible and why, the last three commercials they remember, or, of course, whether they bother to watch the commercial at all.
Finally have them list their favorite show, least favorite, favorite commercial and least favorite choice. You now have enough information to compile your study.
The difficult part of this will be getting enough individuals to cooperate and accurately do the study. But your circle of people and your friends' circle and your family's circle can all start to add up. Ask the people you personally do business with to help participate. Canvass your area well and you will find 100 or so people to do the survey. Set up a database on your computer or compile the statistics by hand (obviously a much slower process). You should have a viewing pattern which will be valuable information for many people.
Now, it's these people you need to contact to buy your survey results. Do a flyer that indicates the basis for the study and the type of results that were achieved. You can price your report for $40-75, depending on your area. Many businesses and every television and radio station should be interested. If you picked up 30 clients at $40 each, that's $1,200/month just to compile ratings surveys. That's probably a conservative estimate as to the number of clients you should obtain with this data.
Continue to update your viewers and maybe pay them $5-10 per month once you start to get this rolling. Their input is what makes this monthly survey form valuable. You will have to arrange to collect the surveys, probably using a self-addressed, stamped envelope to make it easy for them. Since you will know some of the people, you can make other arrangements.
While prime time hours (8:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.) Are the shows national companies will be interested most in, the other times are less expensive for advertisers and more open to local businesses. They will be interested in who's watching what at ten in the morning and four in the afternoon rather than strictly prime time news, so all of your data is significant.
This is an easy and quick way to make a lot of money watching television. You can then use this information and your expert advice as an advertising monitor to assist companies with their ad campaigns centered on the time slots most favorable to their products.
Finding Clients for Video Production Groups
One way to use the information you've already obtained is by referring businesses to video production companies to film the advertisements. Many video production groups need the business and appreciate the referral and will pay a percentage of the filming fee to you for bringing the business their way.
Many video companies do not have a staff salesperson and thus your ability to bring them clients is a needed plus. In addition, they don't have to pay you anything unless you bring a client and they avoid paying all the employee benefits costs such as FICA, unemployment taxes, workers' compensation premium and similar expenditures. You're a bargain at the price.
Some of the companies you work with may have a need for video production to satisfy needs other than just advertising such as training tapes or new product tapes for salespeople. These are almost like infomercials describing the product and how the management team thinks it should be sold. Sales people find these tapes to be of tremendous benefit in planning their own sales campaign.
Again, you can work out a fee arrangement with the video production group. All you're doing is maximizing the potential media dollar value of any one client. Even if you only refer a few businesses, the money adds up especially in addition to all of the other income sources you now have coming in.
Check the yellow pages for the video production companies in your area and contact them. Even if someone else already has this idea, the production company would rather have a multiple number of people on the lookout for new business for them. Make your arrangements in advance and then start thinking about the clients you could assist by introducing them to the production companies you decide to work with. Companies will begin to see you as an all- purpose individual who can work on virtually every aspect of their video and radio advertising. That's exactly the position you want to be in. The more versatile and knowledgeable you are, the more valuable you are as a resource for these businesses. And, better yet, you are your own boss!
Cable Television and You
As mentioned earlier, cable television provides you with numerous more out last than you've ever had to explore advertising options for your client businesses. A little more homework is in order here.
Contact the major cable networks (listing to follow) and find out what their advertising rates and guidelines are; information you can eventually pass on to the client. In addition, get the name of the advertising contact person for yourself.
Then, when you are watching these channels, you can record the same advertising information you were noting earlier for your businesses. Now, in addition to reporting to local businesses, you can offer the information to the cable channel as well. They may well consider hiring you to monitor their advertising in your region.
There's no real cost to you. This is information that you are compiling for businesses anyway. There's no trouble to have additional logs in which you record the information about their advertising record. Not every cable channel will play, buy a few may buy into the advertising program you're doing along with the monthly ratings report for your area. You won't know unless you ask!
You have enough information to get yourself started. The following listings will give you the contacts at the major stations you will need for part of your start-up. Good luck and good watching!
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