Is Shiny Object Syndrome Blinding You From Building A Sustainable Business?

A business built on flimsy foundations will soon crumble.

How do you know if that is your business?

Here are some clues. If your business is built on tactics and not strategies, the newest “push button” software, a “loophole” to exploit Google or Facebook or any dodgy marketing tactic that misleads people, AKA, a shiny object.

The Internet Is Awesome For Start Ups

The great thing about the Internet is that it allows easy and quick set up of a business with relatively low start up costs. The downside is you now have people with no idea of marketing or business trying to make money. That’s a recipe for disaster.

One common issue new people starting out online is distraction by “shiny objects”. Just like a real shiny object distracts the mind of a child off the task at hand, the Internet marketing “shiny object” distracts the would be entrepreneur from proper business foundations.

The problem with shiny objects is that they are not long term solutions. It would be great if you found a way to exploit Google’s algorithm… until they changed it. And then what? You are back to square one and you can start your “business” all over again.

Don’t get me wrong I am not saying all things we buy are shiny objects. My premium wordpress theme has been something that has saved me countless hours and money because it’s ease of use, but it would be worthless if I didn’t know my market and how to effectively communicate with them and establish relationships with them.

Inside The Mind Of A Millionaire Marketer

Recently, a pretty historic event happened on the Internet: Dan Kennedy did a product launch.

For those who don’t know Dan Kennedy is a very famous direct response marketer and is often referenced as an influence by everyone from Frank Kern to John Carlton to Dean Jackson. His marketing teachings and philosophies are legendary and have shaped many a successful marketers mentality.

The funny thing is Dan admits to not having a cell phone, never using email, Facebook or Twitter. If you think he is old school you are right! So why does Dan think that despite the fact he may seem technologically out of touch that he can help online businesses with his marketing principles?

Because solid fundamental marketing is universal in it’s application regardless of the medium you choose to apply it in.

Case In Point

When selling first started taking off on the Internet, master copywriter John Carlton laments how he use to have to argue with clients to remove all the fancy graphics on sales letters and just go back to the tried and true solid text of direct response advertising.

You can still see the same today.

Even though we have crazy capabilities to do fancy graphics and really jazz up a website, you will find most successful online salesletters consist of very little graphics. A product photo, testimonial photos and maybe an author photo or header is all that you will see.

Simple time tested marketing principles still work in today’s whizz bang technological society.

The Basics Of Marketing Are Still The Same

Look at all the successful marketers online – they do time tested formulas. I see pattern interrupt and attention grabbing by Frank Kern on Facebook. I see Ryan Diess with banner ads claiming the Internet is dying and you can steal his business secrets.

These marketers use the secrets of attention and headlines to draw you into the ad. Then they capture leads and deliver value to you and eventually promote a product. It’s not rocket science and once you know how to do it, it isn’t that complicated.

No fancy equipment. No whizz bang software. No secret “loop hole”. Just a great sales funnel.

The time tested formula of getting traffic, capturing leads and converting those leads into customers.

But like I mentioned before beginners get so caught up and distracted with shiny objects that the fundamentals of business and marketing are often overlooked.

Where To Get Great Marketing Advice

1. You are here on this website and that is a good start.

2. I previously mentioned the “i love marketing” podcast, which is so good it should be a paid resource.

3. If you are an infomarketer you can check out my FREE no optin Infomarketer’s Gameplan Report on Facebook for a start.

4. And here is another one of my favorite marketing resources, Andre Chaperon’s Autoresponder Madness, where I learned a lot.

Steal Dan’s 7 Golden Keys Of Business Success

During his product launch Dan reveals his 7 golden keys for helping your business. Funnily enough I think I have covered these in previous articles.

Gold Key #l: It’s about the customer – not the product.

I have spoken at length about market research, knowing your prospect and finding a hungry audience.

Gold Key #2: You will NOT win by catering to the majority.

Don’t be afraid to polarize people and not include some people in your marketing message.

Gold Key #3: People want something new, unusual and different.

Once again it is about having a unique selling proposition . It doesn’t always have to be completely new. You can take an old product or service and just do it better.

Gold Key #4: People buy stories, not things.

It is in human nature that we love stories. I have previously written about popular stories to sell and how stories are used in copywriting.

Gold Key #5: Money is the thing.

Deliver something worthwhile, help people on their journey and you will get rewarded.

Gold Key #6: Money and wealth is in the list and the relationship with the list.

Online this boils down to email marketing. Learn about email marketing here and discover how to do email marketing correctly, unlike a majority of marketers out there.

Gold Key #7: Create sustainable assets – don’t merely make money.

Understand that we are in things for the long term. The time and effort you put into some short term money maker could be invested into a more profitable long term business, which then transforms into a more profitable asset that pays you over and over again.

Believe it or not but many of the “secrets” of a master marketer have been shared on this website. They may not be “sexy” and take a bit more effort but think about where you want to be in the longer term. Still chasing shiny objects? Or reaping the benefits of creating a profitable online business built on solid marketing and business principles.

Yaro Starak



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I learned early on that growing your traffic by trying to ‘be everywhere’ is too hard. Instead I focus on just one simple goal when it comes to getting customers online. Learn a smarter traffic strategy in my free email course, click here to sign up.

Photo courtesy of Urban Woodswalker on Flickr.

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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  • Hi Leevi

    You have to help me with something here which I have never fully understood and that is: ‘People but stories, not things’ – because I really do not get it.

    I’m a academic student of advanced marketing and I have practically seen the opposite so often wondered if I am misunderstanding what it means.

    Of course stories can help with marketing as it can explain a need well, however the fundamentals of business are simply to explain to a customer that they need the product, that they need the THING, regardless of whether you use a story or any other tool to get the information across.

    None of the bigger manufactures seem to use stories, they are always product based promotions, and I know a lot of software vendors also are less story marketing orientated, so where does this ‘rule’ come?

    I agree some people can sell perhaps easier through stories, but the basic objective is to sell, and a story is simply a tool, not the objective for good copywriting… all the other points in the list I totally see as universal, this one I have seen mentioned a few times and I cannot see its credibility as a universal rule.

    • Hi Dee,

      Great question.

      I recommend you check out Seth Godin’s “All Marketer’s Are Liars” (aptly renamed to “All Marketer’s Tell Stories”) book.

      You should also check out Peter Guber’s NY times best seller Tell To Win.

      Peter Guber is Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment. Films he personally produced or executive produced have earned over $3 billion worldwide and include the box office hits The Color Purple, Midnight Express, Batman and Flashdance. Guber’s personal films have been honored with more than 50 Academy Award nominations, including winning Best Picture for Rain Man. In 2011, Mandalay’s The Kids Are All Right won the Golden Globe’s Best Motion Picture and is nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture. Peter Guber is a full professor at UCLA and is the owner and co-executive Chairman of the NBA franchise the Golden State Warriors. Peter Guber’s third book, Tell to Win, became the #1 Best Seller in the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal.

      Listening to stories and connecting with them are part of human nature. Getting engaged and emotional when hearing an interesting story is something we naturally do.

      Talking about an interesting story is something we also naturally do.

      Remember people buy from people they “know, like and trust”. I feel that stories help foster that connection.

      Look at TOMs shoes for example.

      Sure some of the big companies who have deep pockets for brand advertising can get away without using stories.

      But consumers notice more and more. And it does not have to be “a story” in the traditional sense.

      As this article points out:

      This is how consumers are reacting to the image companies are portraying.

      Maybe some of the “non-story” telling companies could improve their bottom line by adopting a story.

      • Thanks for the reply Leevi and I’ll be sure to check out that book.

        I’m still not convinced as people selling fruit and veg definitely do not need a story, nor do many major clothing manufacturers. Also many of the ‘stories’ in the article you link are actually a matter of consequence and not something that was planned. People buy needs, stories are simply a tool to create that need and it definitely works for some, but I personally would never class a story as a necessity.

        Alas that is only my opinion and we are all allowed to differ, and we shouldn’t allow that to distract from what is an interesting post.

  • Hey Leevi,

    That’s a nice set of keys! 🙂
    I guess I see where Dee is having a little bit of problem understanding the “People buy stories, not things” theory.
    Here is my take on it:
    In my opinion it is all psychology. People buy because they are driven by the things they read in the sales copy, or saw on the video that Frank Kern made to look good so awesome. I mean, you are watching Frank driving a Rolls, playing the guitar and walking on the beach like somebody who got lost or something 🙂 and he does all this on a MONDAY and before you know it your emotionally captivated, saying: ” Damn, I wanna live like that”. So you go out and purchase whatever he has to offer (which by the way worth every penny) because you THINK in your mind that it will take you closer to YOUR the dream life he’s living. …

    I loved the content, Leevi!
    thanks for the share!


  • I think you are right Leevi. We should start business of a niche in which we are good at. Like people who are tech savvy, should rather go for tech blogs and not enter health niche.

  • […] one site and no more. I need to force myself to zero in on a single project without falling for shiny object syndrome. I have a fairly good idea which site I want to do (think video + Drudge Report style in a […]

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