The Most Common Mistakes in Guided Meditations (and how to avoid them)

I’ve heard some of the best guided meditation audio productions in the world, and I’ve heard some of the worst too. It might surprise you to know that some of highest quality guided meditations I have ever come across were created not by celebrities or meditation gurus, but by everyday people who really care about their work.

Sadly, even after creating top quality recordings, some people make critical mistakes with the way they present their work online. I’ve met plenty of incredibly gifted therapists, meditation teachers and personal development consultants who really deserve to be heard. Some of these people really astonish me with their talent, their creativity and their genuine desire to help the world, and yet many of them dwindle in obscurity because they have made one or more of the following mistakes...

1. Low quality recording techniques

We live in a technological age where the creation of world-class recordings can be accomplished by just about anyone. With the right equipment, you can record a studio-quality guided meditation in your own home.

HOWEVER – the swing towards “do it yourself” recording has led to an increase in unrefined audio productions that are full of intruding sounds. Here are just a few of the most common errors we hear:

a. Creaking chairs.
b. Papers ruffling while the reader flips through his/her script.
c. Jewellery jingling.
d. The humming sound of a computer or air conditioning system.
e. Road and traffic noises.

You must take care to avoid these kinds of sounds when your microphone is on! Microphones are very sensitive and will pick up all the ambient sounds around you, not just your voice! You can eliminate many of these problems by:

a. Moving as far away from your computer as possible, and/or using some pillows or furniture as baffles to muffle the sound that it emits (be careful not to block all the air vents in your computer’s case for too long. Without airflow your computer can overheat. Nasty problems may ensue!)

b. If external noises are a problem, relocate yourself to a more quiet location, or record late at night when the world around you is quieter.

c. Remove any jingly jewellery and/or “swishy” clothing. Either that or you’ll have to master the art of sitting VERY still.

Professional recording studios usually use isolation booths for vocal recordings. These "silent spaces" are ideal for recording, but you can still capture a good quality recording at home provided that you take every reasonable measure to eliminate ambient noises.

2. Missing audio previews

I breathe a sigh of disappointment every time I see this, and I see it way too often. If you are going to go to the trouble of setting up a website, recording a guided meditation and then making it available for people to purchase online, the least you can do is publish an audio preview for your potential customers to hear before they buy.

ALWAYS put an audio preview alongside your guided meditation! People are 10 times more likely to purchase your guided meditation if they can hear it first.

3. Poor quality CD graphics, or a complete lack of graphics

Whether you are selling a CD or an MP3 download (or both) you really should present a nice graphic along with your recording. You’d be surprised how much difference this can make. A nice graphic will help to catch the attention of potential customers and it also causes an emotional response that takes place before they have even had the chance to read about your meditation or listen to the preview.

People make decisions very quickly about whether or not they are interested in something, and they usually don’t want to read too much. A good quality graphic is one of the best ways to earn their interest.

So if you don’t have any graphics to support your meditations, or if you suspect that your graphics are a bit shabby, then do something about it as soon as possible.

More help on graphic design can be found here:

4. Low quality music, or no music

Some people choose not to add music to their guided meditations, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, you should know that guided meditations that include music are infinitely more popular than those without.

We’ve had plenty of time to study this at The Guided Meditation Site. During 2010 we conducted an experiment in which we made a few new guided meditations available with and without music. Our customers could then choose which ones they preferred. Thanks to the support of our wonderful customers we sold hundreds of copies of the guided meditations with music, but not a single one without. Not even one!

Further evidence of the importance of music is the fact that we regularly receive emails from people who have bought our guided meditations asking, “Where is that background music from? Can I get a copy without the words?”

People really notice the music you add to your guided meditation. In fact, the music is usually the first things that people notice about guided meditations and hypnosis recordings. Music has an instant effect on the listener and it brings on the relaxation effect before they even hear your first word.

It’s important that you select music that is relaxing and that has been produced to a high standard. Music production techniques have come a long way in the last 10 years, so there’s no reason why you should settle for cheesy new age music that sounds like it was played by a hippie on a Casio keyboard from the 80’s! For a modest licensing fee, you can get seriously high quality music these days.

For more information about music licensing and links to top quality music resources:

5. Vague or non-existent descriptions

I recently came across a newly released guided meditation that was simply titled “Visualization”. It had a lovely CD graphic, but there was absolutely no other written information about this meditation at all, and no audio preview either. This guided meditation was probably crafted with great love and care. It might just be the greatest guided meditation of all time, but it will probably never be purchased by anyone.

"If a tree falls in a forest…"

When you release a guided meditation, you need to be able to describe it effectively. People want to know what they are getting and they certainly aren’t going to purchase your work just because you give it a nice title!

You don’t need to write an entire novel but you do need to provide an honest, descriptive account of what your listener will experience when they listen to your guided meditation, and how it will benefit them.

6. No tags on MP3 audio

If you are new to MP3 audio and unfamiliar with selling MP3 downloads, then there is a good chance that you have forgotten to properly “tag” your guided meditation MP3's.

Tags are a critical part of any MP3 recording. They tell people things like:

a. The title of the recording
b. The name of the artist who created it
c. The name of the album
d. The track number of each track in an album

This information is crucial to your listeners. When they download your MP3 recording and add it to their music library, they need to be able to find it amidst hundreds, thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of other files. If you do not add tags, then your recording may only show up in their library with a default name like “Track 1”. This can be really frustrating for people who want to listen to your recording but can’t find it!

Please note that when I talk about tags, I am not talking about the file name of your MP3 audio. For example, if you created an MP3 file called, “Relaxing-Journey.MP3” you will still need to add tags before your recording will be properly listed in your listener’s music library.

There are many different ways to add tags to your MP3 audio. Here is one of the most common methods.

1. Add your MP3 recording to your iTunes library. In your iTunes library, right click on the first track in your guided meditation and select “Get Info”.
2. This will bring up a dialogue box with a number of tabs. Go to the tab marked “Info”. You should see fields for values such as Artist, Album, Year, Genre, Track Number and so on. Fill out all of these fields.
3. Now click on the tab marked “artwork” and upload the graphics for your recording.
4. Click on “OK”.
5. Perform these steps for all the tracks in your recording.
This process will add all the information your listeners need to find your recording. It will also ensure that when they play your recording, they will see your album artwork on the screen of their computer or portable media player.

Having trouble adding tags to your MP3 audio? Grab a hold of the nearest teenager you can find. They will probably be able to solve your problems in about 10 seconds flat!

Quality is CRUCIAL - A case study

The following account is fictional, but it is based on situations and outcomes that we have observed in the real world. It illustrates how people who make an effort to create high quality guided meditations sometimes open themselves up to a world of new possibilities and success that they didn't expect at first...

Julie vs Jane

Julie has just launched her first website. So has Jane.
Julie is a hypnotherapist who specializes in stress management. Jane is too.

These are there stories.

Julie's Story

Julie was super keen to create her first guided meditation, but being a busy woman it needed to be done as quickly and as cheaply as possible. She picked up a microphone on ebay and although she never really learned how to use it properly, she managed to record herself in her office after work one day. She also purchased a 3 minute background music track which she looped throughout her recording.

Excited, Julie put her guided meditation on her website and she sent out a promotional email to all the clients who had seen her over the last few years.

At first there was no response at all, but then one of her most devoted clients replied to her with a question. “Hi Julie, I’d love to get your new meditation but there is no preview. Can I hear a preview first?”

“Aha!” Julie realizes her mistake. She quickly published an audio preview on her website and waited with baited breath.

Now everyone could hear her meditation clearly. They could hear Julie clearing her throat in between sentences. They could hear the humming of her computer in the background. They could hear that little “click” every time the music loop started over again.

Julie is a talented therapist with a long list of accolades, but 2 years have passed and she still hasn’t sold a single copy of her guided meditation.

Jane's Story

Jane was super keen to create her first guided meditation. She is a busy woman but she was committed to excellence and was prepared to “go the extra mile” to create a really special recording.

Jane paid a visit to her local music store to select a microphone. She spoke to the sales staff who made sure that she got the right microphone for recording her voice, and showed her how to use it properly. They even offered to take the microphone back and refer her to a professional recording studio if she couldn’t make it work at home.

Jane tracked down some high quality background music for her meditation. She purchased a soothing 30 minute long track that was produced by an artist who specializes in music for relaxation.
After a few false starts, Jane managed to capture a really nice, clear voice recording at her home one evening. She listened to her background music on headphones while recording her voice and this helped her to get into the right state of mind while speaking.

The quality of her recording was excellent, but a few background noises still managed to sneak into her recording. At one time she accidentally knocked the microphone, and at one point she could hear a car passing by in the distance. Jane took a few minutes to edit these sounds out of her recording and had to re-record a couple of sections.

Excited, Jane put her guided meditation on her website and she sent out a promotional email to all the clients who had seen her over the last few years. She published an inspiring CD graphic and an audio preview too.

Jane only sold a handful of guided meditation downloads that week and was a little disappointed with the result. She has put so much effort into her recording and was expecting a bigger response to her launch.

All the same, as time went by Jane sold guided meditations on a consistent basis. Every week she would sell a few and when she did the math she realized that these meditations would earn her some very handy cash in the long run – more than enough to go and record some more meditations.

One year later and Jane now has four meditations in circulation. The word has started to get out. One of her customers shared one of her recordings with a friend – a friend who happened to be a local radio personality. The radio station contacted Jane and asked for permission to play her meditation on air. Sometime soon after, Jane was also invited into the studio for a radio interview.

This lead to a flood of new visitors to her website and a sudden increase in sales. It also gave rise to a number of new client inquiries at her hypnosis consultancy.

One of these website visitors was the owner of one of the world’s most prominent meditation websites. He is impressed by the quality of Jane’s work, so he contacts her and asks if she would like to sell her guided meditation on his website in exchange for a 50% commission. Jane agrees and soon enough her meditations are being downloaded by large numbers of people from every corner of the globe.

Who knows how far she'll go or how many people she will help along the way? Go Jane!

How to create professional hypnosis & meditation recordings - free ebook

If you want to create a meditation or hypnosis recording then you really must get your hands on this free ebook from Enlightened

How to Create Professional Hypnosis & Meditation Recordings

Written in a friendly and easy to read style, this 110 page ebook is the definitive guide for every therapist and healer.

To get your free copy, simply click here to visit the Enlightened Audio Learning Center and follow the link to How to Create Hypnosis & Meditation Recordings.

Keep Exploring...

How to write a guided meditation script
Common Guided Meditation Mistakes
Selecting background music for your guided meditation
How to record your guided meditation
Graphic design for CDs and MP3s
How to copyright your guided meditation
Ensure your recording is legal – a simple checklist
How to sell a guided meditation on your website

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