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SOS is known around the world as a distress signal. In this case, it’s short for “Shiny Object Syndrome,” a very real danger to internet marketers.
In this article we’ll look at 3 hidden sources and how to avoid sinking like the Titanic from this marketers’ disease.
By the way, there are many commonly held misinterpretations of SOS, such as Save Our Ship, but in fact the letters don’t stand for specific words.
In the 19th century Guglielmo Marconi invented telegraphy, which meant that ships were not totally isolated at sea for the first time. CQ was used by land operators as a shorthand beginning for a general message. Marconi suggested CQD for a Distress signal, which meant all other communications stopped until the distress was handled. (I’ll tell you at the end how we got from there to SOS.)
You see how easy it is to get off track?
Anything that takes us off our chosen path is a shiny object to chase. Sometimes we can go so far afield that it can be fatal to our efforts.
Here are three Sources of Shiny Object Syndrome and how to avoid it.
A. New courses, webinars, the latest greatest Must-Have done for you tool….
Let’s face it. Everyone is a marketer. Our inboxes are filled with invitations to buy this, join that, free information that will change your life, etc.
So, how do you discern what you really want or need vs what is a distraction, a time and money waster?
If you have limited funds, it’s very tempting to get that course or tool that promises to make you rich tomorrow.
If you are starting out and money is not that tight, it is even more tempting to purchase everything you can to get you there faster.
Tips to handle this:
#1 Be crystal clear on where you’re going, why you’re headed there, and build a strategy to get there. After all, if you get in your car with no destination in mind, you might not get out of the driveway. If you’re just out for a Sunday drive, you still want to be sure you have enough gas and probably some sense of what you’re looking for. Mountains? The River? Back roads out of the city?
The more clarity you have before you start, the more direct your route likely will be.
Let’s say you’re brand new to a network marketing company or just wanting to make money online. You know where to find the URL and how to open or send emails. Or, maybe you’ve been around for a few years and know a few basics, but are uncomfortable with technology. Even if you love techie things and have been dabbling with some successes, but nothing steady and want to ramp up your efforts…
…No matter where you are in your journey, you will want to hone in on your main objective.
In network marketing there’s the traditional belly to belly method of recruiting two by two by two…and then there’s the new school of internet marketing to find and train more prospects. Ultimately, network marketing is a relationship built business, so the internet can be a valuable tool, even though it doesn’t replace talking with people altogether. I digress, though–a subject for a different post.
If you’re objective online is to build a network marketing team, then it’s vital that you learn how to build relationships online. You can do this through a capture page, email marketing, blog, social media. After 15 years in this industry, chasing shiny objects, riding the income roller coaster, it became clear that finding a single source to master internet marketing was key.
You could spend $1,000’s on capture page builders and another jillion on email marketing systems. Next you’ll spend $1,000’s on courses from email marketing, to social media, to youtube, to blogging. Oh, yeah, and then you need traffic–the courses, the trial and error paid traffic.
With no strategy or system, you’ll go around in circles to no avail. If you haven’t given up, you might consider a one stop place to get focused learning to meet your needs.
#2 Once you’ve honed in on the system or teacher, direction you’re headed, even within that system, stay the course.
The Elite Marketing Pro system is the premier place to learn how to attract leads to your network marketing business and build your skill as an internet marketer. Within that system, though, everything you could possibly need is included, so you want to focus on one thing at a time. Luckily for you you’ll have a personal coach to get you launched properly.
There are a lot of potential traffic strategies. Choose one. Learn it. Master it. Then decide if you want to take on another one.
#3 Now you’re ready to really strengthen your immune system from Shiny Object Syndrome and cut away those shiny objects.
If you’ve decided to master using Facebook, then tune out all the courses for Twitter and Youtube.
If you’ve decided to master Pay Per View traffic, then tune out all the courses for social media.
If you’ve decided to use a particular learning platform, then tune out the others.
If you run across a tool your mentor suggests that relates to the one area of focus you have, then attend to it–otherwise tune out the other tools.
B. The next Shiny Object could be your emails or social media feeds.
How many times have you lost hours on Facebook, or Twitter, or Youtube? How long can it take you to just check your emails?
After all, you signed up for that email or newsletter or Youtube channel. There was a reason for it.
Tips for handling this:
#1 Notice your purpose for signing up for that newsletter, then follow that purpose.
If the headline or marketing attracted you, then put it in a Headline swipe folder to look at when you want inspiration.
If the email copy was awesome, put it in an Email swipe folder to look at when you want inspiration.
If the marketer consistently has tips on something you want, then put it in a folder by that subject or that person.
In other words, do not read everything that comes in, spending hours without rhyme or direction. Choose a specific amount of time that you will glance through, then a specific time to go back to particular folders. If you decide that you will not use something in the next month or 3 months, then feel free to unsubscribe or have the emails automatically moved.
#2 Do not sign up for or attend interesting looking webinars unless you believe you will use the information in the next month. When you’re ready, you will find it again.
Trust yourself and your process. Nothing will be lost that is of importance.
#3 Set a timer when you get on Facebook or Youtube, or any social media and give yourself a specific amount of time.
C. Shiny Object #3: New Business or money making Opportunities
You’ve found a health and wellness company you’ve decided to build a team with. Someone else calls and wants to show you why theirs is better.
You’ve decided to market a particular affiliate program. You haven’t made any money yet and someone says you should market this one instead.
You’ve decided to master affiliate marketing and someone shows you a fool-proof money game that will mean you never have to work again…
…You get the point.
A standard prospecting question is, “You’ve been in XXX before. Let me ask you, do you keep your options open?”
The answer is, “Not really.” If and when you are looking for something, don’t you think you’d want to speak with someone you have come to know, like, and trust because of the value they’ve been sharing? You could probably assist that poor bloke who is dialing relentlessly for dollars by sharing this post…again another digression for another post.
Tips for Handling:
#1 Create 90 minute focused work periods. Take a break, then come back to work.
#2 Don’t answer the phone at all during your focused 90 minute work periods. You can return any calls you want to later.
#3 Set up everything you need in advance for a 90 minute work blitz.
If you’re going to make several videos, set up the lighting and space. Write an outline of what you’ll say.
If you plan to create content, do your research in advance.
So you might do a 90 minute blitz of creating the advance material for your real work.
When you’re focused on purpose, moving towards your goal, it is much easier to say “No thank you” to distractions.
In Summary, Shiny Object Syndrome shows up in many ways:
A. New courses, webinars, the latest greatest Must-Have done for you tool….
B. Your emails or social media feeds.
C. New Business or money making Opportunities
You now have 9 tips, 3 for handling each one.
It was tempting to digress several times–did you notice all three of them? That is how Shiny Object Syndrome sneaks in.
However, I will keep my promise to complete the story we started with: How did SOS become the distress signal and what does it mean?
In 1906 the second Radiotelegraphic Conference was held and after much discussion, SOS was decided as the official distress signal because of it’s unmistakability and ease of three dots, three dashes and three dots. In 1908 it became official, though not used in the U.S. until 1909 and officially adopted in the U.S. in 1912.
Marconi was waiting in New York to board the Titanic before it went down. At first the captain used CQD with the Titanic’s MGY call letters to signal distress. As the situration got worse, he added SOS to his distress calls. CQD MGY SOS. Over and over.
How does this relate to avoiding Shiny Object Syndrome?
–We want to stay current with what is going on in the world of internet marketing, without getting lost in a maze of studying useless information.
–We don’t want to be so focused on our particular path that we fail to account for conventional wisdom and adapt to it. We don’t want to be so arrogant (as the captain of the Titanic) to think we’re immune to unforeseen circumstances.
–Marketing is all about strategies and tactics that change constantly, but if we understand the principles and are learning from masters, then we can set ourselves up for success.
After 15 years and probably $100,000 lost in shiny objects, Tim Erway and Ferny Ceballos have shown up as the teachers who care and can take you from zero to 6, 7, or 8 figures if that is your desire.
p.s. When you get the Attraction Marketing Formula, you’ll have free Ignition Coaching live one to one with real coaches to get you out of the gate.