Let Your Voice/Sound Be Heard!
By: Kevin Doheny, BA, CHT, MBT
First just a couple brief items:
-- With Thursday being the day before the 4th of July holiday, we won't have Heart Sounds this week. We'll resume Heart Sounds on Thursday, July 10 at 7:00pm when Deb Zenisek will present on craniosacral therapy and fibromyalgia.
-- I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to those of you who forwarded my last E-mail (titled "The Economy of Thought") on to others! (Please do the same with this E-mail as well, because even though the person you send an E-mail to may not be interested they may know of someone else who's VERY interested [in a chain, every link is just as important as every other link].)
Okay, now to the topic du jour...
Promotion, information, and marketing are funny things, because it seems that no matter how much a person does it's never enough. I'm always meeting people who say things like, "Oh, I didn't know you did that," and "This must be one of the best kept secrets around," and so on. Today I want to bring to awareness one of the lesser known "secrets" within SMBHC
That I work with sound -- in ways no one else is -- as it relates to consciousness, thought, and the thinking process should (I hope) not be news to you. That means I've got a bunch of gear in my studio that I work with to make that magic happen. What isn't commonly known, is that I love to put that knowledge and gear to use for other people as well!
Sound Mind & Body Productions is the area of SMBHC wherein audio products are created. It's the "record label" under which all my recordings (CDs & tapes) are produced, and if you want to think of it as a "recording studio" that wouldn't be too far off.
Cool, but what does that mean to you?
How many places can you be at one time? If your answer is any more than one, then please get in touch with me, as I know some people who'd be interested in hearing about this, but for most people it's only one place at a time. That very fact limits you in terms of how many people can benefit from you, when they can benefit, and how often. Sure, you can maybe get some engagements where you get to share what it is you do with a bunch of people at once, but then what? If you're at all good at what you do, the people would no doubt like to take some of you home with them -- so they can relive part of the experience or have you around when you would maybe prefer not to be called. Let's look at just a couple examples:
Healer / Instructor / Meditation Guide / Therapist
You may often do something like a centering prayer or guided meditation. This won't be news to you... PEOPLE LOVE THIS STUFF! Now, having the recording won't be the same magical experience of being there with you, but it's the next best thing. Hypnotherapists, whether you record your individual sessions with your clients or not, providing them with a "booster recording" which works in conjunction with their session not only helps the client, but helps your marketing as well (business cards get lost or thrown away, but generally not CDs).
People spend a TREMENDOUS amount of time commuting these days and with all the demands on their time they've got less and less time to read books. That can be a problem when it comes to book sales of current books, and publishing books in the future. Why not make the commuting time productive with some audio version of your book(s) or lectures? I've driven between the Twin Cities and Pennsylvania, St. Louis, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Atlanta, and other places in the last few years, and the drive doesn't bother me a bit because I've got my audio books with me. I just pop in Harry Potter, or William Shatner reading his latest Star Trek book, and I'm in the next state before I know it. Putting your "stuff" out there in audio helps people make the most of their time.
As any speakers bureau will tell you, if you're doing any sort of "speaking" event and you don't have "product" to sell at the back of the room, you're throwing away money, because those "back of the room sales" will often bring in more money than what they paid you to speak. And again -- those products (if they're good) get used, whereas brochures and business cards are quickly discarded or forgotten.
The Immortality Factor
When I was young, my dad brought home tape recorders (suitcase size) from 3M and as a result I have some recordings of grandparents, and such. Unfortunately they sound terrible -- wrong recording levels, people fumbling with the microphone, etc., but hey... they're better than nothing I guess. Now, I KNOW every one of my relatives has some interesting story(s) to tell, but I don't have any of those recorded. I wish I did, because my memory of the story is getting pretty foggy. It would have been great if someone had done a decent recording. I know video cameras are all the rage, and you're probably thinking if anything like that would be made, video would be the way to go. I'm not so sure. With the way video technology is changing so rapidly, I wouldn't make any bets that a video made today would be playable in 20 years -- let alone more. Audio is simpler, and no one has to worry about how their hair looks.
Every buyer of any product or user of any service wants three things: Better, Faster, Cheaper. (They can almost never have all three and usually have to settle for two at best. [Sound Mind & Body always strives to deliver on all three!]) In today's "business climate," it's those who are innovative that are going to come out on top after all's said and done. Now is NOT the time to crawl into a hole and "wait it out!" Now is the time to DO! There's a (great) guy I know who owns his own business and consults with others on how to manage their business, and I remember talking with him one time years ago when he said, "I'm never worried when things are bad, because I'm taking action then. It's when things are going good that I tend to worry and plan for when the next downturn happens." Now IS the time to innovate and deliver better, faster, cheaper, because happy customers are going to tell others (show off or play your CD, maybe) and that'll lead to more happy customers, which leads to more happy customers. Remember too, if you don't, there's someone else who WILL. Are you then leading the pack or playing catch-up?
I'm very fond of these two quotes:
"Anything worth doing is worth doing well."
"There are two ways to do things: the RIGHT way, and another way."
If you're going to take the time to record something, it should SOUND good. I can't tell you how many recordings I've listened to (and often paid good money for) that are not just sub-standard -- they're downright BAD! And this is not just my "engineer's ear" saying that, because others think they're bad too. Record YES, but do it RIGHT. Just having some tools on your PC to record is NOT enough, you need sound knowledge and experience as well. And if it's something you're going to pass on to other people, it should also LOOK good, because people are so visual. How something looks will make a huge difference on whether people will purchase it, or not. Even if you've got the best recording in the world, if the cover looks cheesy people will automatically "think less" about the recording. It's just the way people are, so you need a product that not only sounds good, but looks good too.
Can't Make a Silk Purse Out of a Sow's Ear
Ideally everyone I work with would be able to come here to Sound Mind and Body where the recording can be made in a quiet room, with a quality microphone running through a modeling preamp, and so on. That may not be possible for everyone, though, and that's okay -- we can still work together. If the recording hasn't been made yet, we'll talk and I'll coach you through what to do with (hopefully) what you've got available. You can then pass the recording to me and I'll take it from there. Even if the recording isn't the best I may be able to clean it up quite a bit, but there are limitations. This isn't Photoshop, where I can remove someone from the picture you're not on speaking terms with any longer.
Blow 'em Away
The unique thing about this studio is what I can add to your product in terms of sound/music. Of course in some cases this isn't needed, nor would it make sense. However, there are many times when the proper use of the RIGHT sound for what you're doing will make the difference between a forgettable recording, and an "Oh my gosh -- THAT was an experience!" recording. Any studio can take your material and mix in a little (royalty free) music with it, and it may work okay. Let's not settle for just "okay," though, when WOW is within reach.
Listen for Yourself
As with anything, the proof is in the puddin' (or in this case, the listening). All you have to do is reply to this message and request a sample CD of some of the work I've done here at Sound Mind & Body Productions, and I'll get it right out to you in the mail. The CD contains part of a guided meditation, and also part of a lecture/talk/presentation -- in both cases, their voice, my sound/music. Oh, and remember to give me the address of where I should send it.
Don't Even Know Where to Start, but Know You Should?
Let's face it -- I work with this stuff everyday and love it, but this may be entirely new territory to you, and that can make it a bit scary, which can lead to inaction and procrastination. I can't tell you how many people call up with GREAT ideas, and then... never do anything with them. And that's such a loss to everyone, so let's get YOUR project moving right NOW! If you're interested in a short (about 2 hour) informative and fun seminar on issues about getting your recorded product from idea to REALITY, reply to this E-mail and let me know. I'll get it scheduled some evening REAL SOON.