You know the lyric “Rainy days and mondays always get me down.” While those two things rarely get me down, what DOES get me down is Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS). You’ve probably heard of this syndrome, but do you really know what it means?
Have you ever had a colleague who was working on a marketing project and added something new to it? Their language may be something like “I just heard of this really great new way to boost my results, so I’m adding it into my upcoming campaign.” This is the first symptom of SOS.
When I was doing Virtual Assistant work, a lot of my clients were going through website updates. As the person who was in charge of implementing the changes, I was happy to do whatever my clients asked. So, I’d get started. A week into the project, I’d get an e-mail about some website they found with information on how to make their website more effective and they would ask me to add that in. Another week into the project, they’d hear from a marketing guru that we need to change the orientation of a picture and I needed to change it. Then two weeks later, there would be a rewrite on the text, because a new concept about how to write copy came out. And this would happen throughout a project.
Here’s another example that seems extreme, but I see it frequently. A coach is in the first year of their business and they want to learn everything they can about marketing. They read some books, take some teleclasses, talk to some people who have been there and hire someone to help them get everything done.
All of this sounds smart doesn’t it? Yes, it’s smart to research and add in things that will be more effective. However, there’s a piece all these people missed that puts them in the Shiny Object Syndrome category. WHY? When I asked for a reason to make changes or why they hired someone to help them, the answer was “Because they said so.”
Shiny Object Syndrome is when you end up spending more time, energy and money because you kept looking for the next shiny object.
Each change I made as a VA cost my client money, because it meant more time on the project. If you try several different new things in a marketing campaign, you won’t know which one worked. If you’re constantly spending energy looking for something new, you’re not spending as much energy on the things that are already in place (and possibly working for you).
What drives me most crazy is that so many people are adding tons of things to their to-do list that might not even be something THEY, specifically, need to do. If you are walking around looking for the next great shiny thing to do in your marketing, that is the first symptom. Don’t let it get out of hand. Ask why YOU should do it? Make sure it’s a fit for you, your vision, your values and your focus before you commit to anything.