Beware: Shiny Object Syndrome & the Easy Button
Do you know someone who always has the latest buzz about gadgets?
Are you that person? For example, if you’re chomping at the bit to
pre-order the upcoming Apple Watch, you might be considered an Apple fanboy. At the same time you’d also be guilty of succumbing to Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS).
SOS is prevalent in the workplace too and can be thought of as the equivalent of ADD for the business sector. The latest fad or technique can be mesmerizing and exciting. At the same time, SOS can distract you from your goals as you can start to lose focus.
The energy and enthusiasm of SOS can blind you from finishing tasks and wasting resources as you set out to ensure your new purchase fills a void you have convinced yourself exists in your environment.
Have you spent much time contemplating why free trials are so successful? Free trials can be a blessing AND a curse. There’s no arguing that they help potential customers gain more insight into how a product or service operates. A free trial also allows the marketing wizards behind each company to possess your email address. Uh oh. Cue the onslaught of sales techniques in 3, 2, 1…
I’ve fallen victim to SOS on plenty of occasions. I’ve purchased training materials covering Pinterest and email marketing. There was also an ill-advised monthly expenditure for a Facebook Ads course and yet another for using Hootsuite Pro. I’m a member of LeadPages for lead generation, but have only created a handful of campaigns. To be honest, I’ve only dipped my toe in all of the above-mentioned items because of a lack of resources – primarily a lack of time.
Doing your research might help you avoid SOS, but beware of the huge time investment it will take as you follow the rabbit hole of Internet comparisons. Often times, the tried and true methods like word of mouth and trusted personal recommendations can lead you in the right direction. LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups are excellent places to peruse or start conversations to get advice.
It’s best to understand that whatever you’re trying to accomplish isn’t going to happen overnight. There is no magic easy button. Just remember the saying, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Often times when a business or company goes “viral” they have actually been toiling away for years and meticulously working behind the scenes until they got their big break. Success is rarely an overnight thing.
Ask yourself questions that are strictly business related:
- Will this product/service really work for my business?
- What is the impact of the SOS on my bottom line – who will it affect?
- Do I need other resources to make this successful, and if so, how much time, effort, and money will I need to include?
- Can I implement this easily by myself or do I need outside assistance?
- Does this replace something in my already existing workflow?
Don’t be afraid to jump ship on a product or service that just isn’t working out either. Be smart about your purchases and realize what might work for some doesn’t mean it will work for you. I paid for Hootsuite Pro for months, but once I started using Buffer the ease of use and interface were unbeatable (and free).
Don’t fall for the next big thing or Internet hyperbole. Today’s social media gurus and Internet marketers make big plays for your money, but don’t let them fool you. Do your homework, go with your instincts, and wait until it’s absolutely necessary to make a purchase that you hope improves your bottom line.
If you’re putting in the necessary time and effort you’ll get a solid feel for what will and won’t save you time, energy, or resources. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be cutting edge, but don’t lose focus of what’s most important for you, your business, and ultimately your clients.
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