When I chat with clients, potential clients, and fellow solopreneurs for long enough, eventually I stumble on a pattern in the issues they have with marketing.

Here's one I've been hearing about: "Shiny Object Syndrome." 

Shiny objects--I'll admit! They're distracting. 

Shiny objects--I'll admit! They're distracting. 

I think this means that the person has trouble executing one new idea from start to finish because they get distracted by another great idea. This happens all the time in marketing--

  • "Should I install a pop-up on my site?" 
  • "Or should I re-do my site homepage first?" 
  • "Or maybe I need to re-do my lead magnet so I can collect more email addresses." 
  • "But I should also probably be reaching out to those new email subscribers with an amazing autoresponder where they get to know me???"
  • "And meanwhile, ugghh, I haven't posted to my Facebook page in weeks!" 

And on and on. Sidebar: It reminds me of how I'll take "5 minutes" to unload the laundry from the dryer and half an hour later I'm late for wherever I was going or exhausted because on my way to laundry room I noticed that the dishwasher also needed unloading, and while I was unloading that I noticed how grimy the backsplash looked behind the sink, and then I noticed that actually the sink could use a deep-clean...

STOP. 

You may have all kinds of reasons for having shiny object syndrome. Maybe you LIKE juggling lots of tasks in your business. Maybe you just don't want to miss out. But here's the issue with SOS

Unless you are tracking results of each new marketing tactic, you don’t know whether it’s working.

And if you implement a dozen tactics at once without coming up with a way to measure each one, I guarantee you, you will be wasting time.

I know you--you love trying and testing new things! That's why you run your own business and don't work for someone else. That's why I do it. You get to try whatever you want! But I bet as a business person, you also like making sales. And prioritizing your time to do the things that will make you the most money. Anyway, I'm not telling you to ignore the next shiny object or great idea. 

I'm telling you to include a way to measure results in with trying the next big strategy.

So, how do you decide what to measure? Well, each new tactic should be tied to one of these things: 

  • Getting new leads
  • Deepening your relationship with your leads
  • Getting more sales

Before you decide to try a new shiny object, figure out what the shiny object is supposed to help you do, and then measure that.

Take Instagram. It's my new favorite topic. :) Let's say you find out about a new strategy for choosing your Instagram post hashtags. (This is actually a true story that happened to me when I talked to the great Talia Koren of @workweeklunch on Instagram.)  

What does having a good Instagram hashtag strategy help you do? It helps you get found by people to whom your content (and therefore your content and products) are relevant. So if you apply this new, more time-consuming hashtag strategy, you need to start seeing results. Results can be: 

  • More real people (not bot) followers that you're starting conversations with on Instagram by commenting on their photos or DMing. 
  • More people clicking the link in your Instagram profile (you can track this through Google Analytics.) If you're really far along, that link takes people to your lead magnet so that you can capture their email addresses as well. 

This is different from just posting on Instagram so that people (whoever, you don't know) randomly know that you exist. You can't measure whether random people know you exist AND you can't turn random people into contacts who then become customers or referrers down the line.

What do you think? Are you falling victim to shiny object syndrome too often? Do you think having a plan to measure the impact of tactics can help you? Do you have questions about how to do it? Let me know in the comments. 

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