The Danger of Novelty (and the Most Disturbing Marketing Trends I’m Seeing This Year That You Need to Avoid)

Let's talk about some shiny brand new stuff. Some of you are already excited, right? You don't know if I'm talking about hip new social media site, the latest WordPress plugin or the next edition iPhone, but you're ready for it! Screw that old stuff, it never worked, I want something new!

The reason the old stuff didn't work is because you either didn't apply it or you were eager to throw it all out in favor for the latest and greatest thing.

You'd be surprised how many people don't get this. Especially the ones who respond to something like this with, "I've heard of that... that's Bright Shiny Object Syndrome." Ok, you memorized the words but did you actually implement? Do you actually connect the phrases, facts, and figures you memorized (not sure why'd you do all that) to the actions you actually take or don't take? (Don't answer that.)

When Lance and I check in on the support desk for Backup Creator, you would be SHOCKED at how many people are moving their sites from one web host or another (sometimes the same people every month) because this other web host is 1 dollar a month cheaper or has a 1 month trial or has some new feature that I know I won't use but I think I might need.

It's fine if you've already done that, but I've caught you red-handed and it's time to stop.

The way I've always done business is... I try a few things out, repeat what does work and I don't repeat what DOESN'T work.

Direct response style sales letters, 1-hour webinars, 4-week webinar classes, emailing every day, those are all things that MAKE ME MONEY. I know everyone thinks they're special and that they're the one to business where sales letters don't apply or webinars don't apply – and yet, if you look up your most successful competitors, they're probably doing those things.

Danger #1: Google+ Hangouts on Air

Whether you do or you don't have a product or course yet, but you have a niche, you have a skill, and you have something to say, condense your "greatest hits" down to a 45 minute presentation (preferably with a live demo or magic trick) in there, mail every day for 5 days about it, do whatever you can to get 1000 people to view the special link to your live webinar presentation.

1000 eyeballs means you'll get about 500 people to register, and 166 people to show up. If you're "on a budget" so to speak, then register for GoToWebinar's 30-day trial or go with the lowest price packaged so that 66 out of your 166 people will actually be locked out of your webinar and you'll present to your 100 best people. Record it with Camtasia (also has a free trial) and post it online, email for that one for at least once a day for 5 days after you run it. Promote either your existing course or book, or promise the course you're about to create, at the end of that presentation.

Running a webinar usually means that you're 100% live on the spot, people can see your screen (so you should show a PowerPoint presentation and flip to your browser or to whatever you're showing on your screen) and speak your voice out live. Answering questions doesn't matter as much as you think it does. Running a "Q&A" session at the end is a really bad idea, makes your presentation way too long and gives people lots of reasons NOT to buy.

If you've heard of Google+ (Google's social network) they have added a feature called "Google+ Hangouts" for video conferencing, and "Google+ Hangouts on Air" where people can VIEW that video conference.

The problem with Hangouts:

  • It shows up in a browser tab (instead of an actual program like GoToWebinar) so people can easily close it – even on accident
  • It either shows your screen in a really tiny window (so no one can see what's going on)...
  • OR most people opt for the web camera option, so I can see you drinking your bottle of water, I can see the stuff on your bookshelf behind you, I can see your bad lighting, I can see the reflection in your glasses and all your facial expressions, it's way less professional and way more distracting than  a PowerPoint presentation

The best reasons I've heard for running a Hangout instead of a webinar have been:

  • It's free (you don't have 100 bucks a month to spare to grow your business?)
  • The recording appears on YouTube instantly (you can't click the "Record" button on Camtasia?)
  • I can show my face to you (I actually don't want to see your face)
  • I can have multiple speakers on my Hangout (so you want a messy recording you can't control?)

The problem with running webinars for longer than an hour, running so-called "Q&A sessions", going for 4 or 5 hours, showing your face or answering every possible question under the sun, is that you're either talking to people who have no intention of buying (they're trying to squeeze all the information out of you in pieces) or you're talking to the people who can't buy it and are looking to justify a reason to NOT buy it. They'll keep asking until you give them the reason.

That's why I don't like Google Hangouts and you should instead run a real business, sign up for that GoToWebinar account and PITCH a real product instead of being a chicken. (Sorry if that seems harsh.)

Danger #2: Automated Webinars

The average marketer doesn't do webinars. Of those marketers that run webinars, I would say they run one webinar per YEAR on average. Why? It's awkward, they dread everything leading up to it, they dread running it, they don't want to go through that hell again. (Until a year later and they want money and forget how much they suffered through it.)

Condense your webinar down to 1 hour and find a way to have fun doing it, run at least 5 webinars per year (instead of just once per year) to work up that webinar muscle.

I see people hesitate with their webinars because they want to make sure they can "play that evergreen webinar 3 times a day afterwards."

They want to present once, record that webinar presentation, then put it online using a special service so someone sees a page that says... free training on this subject, coming up at this date and time, register here. That person enters their name and email address, then it says ome come back at this date and time to watch the live webinar.

The problem is the webinar isn't actually live, you're not on there at all, it's just a special video player that only streams the video once per day.

I know some people swear by automated webinars, but I don't use them and I don't suggest you use them either. Don't even get near it.

Why? Because you're LYING on an automated webinar. If someone registers and comes back at that special date and time, watches your stream and you claim to be live, you're actually lying to your webinar attendees.

I've heard some really bad advice about automated webinars including:

  • Record about 10 minutes before the webinar starts so it looks like you're getting ready (what???)
  • Make sure you play special sounds at the end of your call so it sounds like sales are coming in, or call your office phone from your cell phone so it sounds like people are calling to place their orders (your merchant account wouldn't like to hear that you do that)
  • Use a countdown timer in your auto-webinar to "trick" people into thinking your offer is about to expire! (that can't be legal)

And you might say... but Robert, that's why I run automated webinars and I let them know it's automated. In that case, just put a video on a web page! When I tried out fake webinars a few times, here were my numbers:

  • 50% of people opted in
  • 33% of people actually came back to the webinar at the right time
  • 6% of those people stayed till the end

When you combine those numbers, we're talking about 1% even looking at that offer. You send 1000 clicks to that fake webinar, 990 dropped off after jumping through all your hoops. If you convert at 10% at $100, then congratulations, you just made one sale.

Compare that to a video on a web page. My webinar replays tend to convert at 2 to 3 percent. I don't track how long people stay on the videos but I know that, because there's no opt-in, 100% of the people who click get to the web page (instead of 50%). 100% of people start watching the video (instead of 33% of 50%).

If you're interesting, it won't matter if you're showing it on a video or a webinar replay. But if you're uninteresting, an auto-webinar isn't going to save you! No one cares how beautiful the soufflé is, if the appetizer is turds in a blanket.

Danger #3: Busybody Marketing

There's nothing wrong with getting traffic. There's nothing wrong with getting your name out there. There's nothing wrong with presenting an offer and making sales.

Do you see some marketers who seem to be everywhere? You ask what's the best WordPress plugin for this, they're there. Ask on a forum the best way to do this thing, that person's there. It's almost like you're following you around the internet!

That's how they make sales. Spend most of their day on Facebook closing one-on-one. I have no problem hopping on Facebook every now and then to help out, but it's time consuming and I tend to get in a lot of fights. I also feel bad about being a broken record and promoting myself in someone else's group or thread.

But it doesn't stop after the sale. The current "trend" is to add a private Facebook Group as a bonus to a product or member's area. You buy that course about YouTube traffic, they link you to a Facebook group where you can ask any question about YouTube traffic at any time, or show your videos and get advice.

Sounds good... but the PROBLEM is that these groups are full of questions that are already answered in the product. Instead of saying... go to module 1 or page 12, they keep re-teaching the course over and over, one person at a time.

Once again, I have NO ISSUE answering questions, but if it takes that much time, and it's already covered, why repeat myself?

  • Instead of Google Hangouts, run a 1-hour pitch webinar using GoToWebinar.
  • Instead of automated webinars, place a video on a web page... we have a plugin called Paper Template for that.
  • Instead of being a busybody marketer, make a product based on the activities YOU perform, that YOU reference, so that others will as well.

Can you please comment below, not just about your thoughts about Google+ Hangouts, fake webinars, and busybody marketers (whether you agree with me or not), but also... how do YOU PERSONALLY avoid shiny object syndrome? I look forward to seeing your comments below.

Filed in: Archive 1: 2012-2016Mindset

Comments (126)

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  1. Manny Wood says:

    I just tell myself if i dont get this done i just might get hungery 🙂

  2. Cathy says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t 🙁

  3. Neil says:

    I’m with Cathy on this one i’m afraid. I get distracted very easily. Just wish I could stay focused for a little longer then I do. I was working on my website when your email came through. BAM I’m here writing a comment 😉

  4. Russ says:

    Having a goal and a plan and sticking to them. Spending only 30 minutes a day on email – and ignoring EVERYTHING that doesn’t fit into my plan.

    (Unless it’s from you, Robert…)

  5. Kathy Mason says:

    By planning and staying on focus until projects are complete. I am finding that I want to simplify my business and life so I’m being more selective on what I purchase. I ask myself “Am I going to use this item this week?” If I say no, I don’t purchase it. Robert- how do you stay away from shiny objects?

  6. Earl says:

    Focus on one task for two hours max at a time, take a break, go at it again. During the two hour time block, do nothing else, don’t answer the phone, don’t check FB or email, just kick butt and get stuff done for a focused period of time. Do this twice a day and you’re more productive than most people who are distracted for 8 hours a day 🙂

  7. Chris Grable says:

    I wasn’t aware that I did… : )

  8. Dion Wright says:

    I ask myself am i being a businessperson or a customer?

  9. Alan says:

    Always keep in mind how the task at hand will effect my bottom line.

  10. Richard says:

    I love shiny objects… So, I simply include shiny object distractions in my daily plans. I save them for later in the evening before bed. Good ones will keep me up, and if they’re not that good, then I get more sleep 😀

  11. I ask myself the 5 questions (click my name) before buying any product. It saves me a lot of distractions because I don’t buy nearly as much as I used to. So I’m able to focus on what I really DO need to get done. After a while, it becomes a HABIT.

  12. Bob Marconi says:

    To date, I have not learned how to do this 🙁

  13. Richard says:

    I get distracted because you keep sending e mails !!!

  14. It’s been tough. I’ve bought much less of late. I now ask myself if this is something which will aid moving me forward, it would it require taking time to learn something. That has been helpful and I’m buying much less… although you have been tempting me at times.

  15. Suzie says:

    Ask myself will this moved me towards my goal our pull me away!

  16. You need to have a plan, stick with it and focus on one thing rather than flitting from one thing to another and never really committing fully to anything.

  17. John says:

    Choose a handful of people I know I can learn from. Unsubscribe the rest, especially those that do nothing but promote other people’s (anyone’s) latest shiny object. I now get through my emails in minutes not hours and I’ve got my life and my productivity back.

    So why am I wasting time commenting here? ‘Cos you send me good stuff Robert, thanks.


  18. Anastasia says:

    Having deadlines really helps, especially ones like the broadcast of my radio show and I need to have my offers and website ready to go. Creating deadlines whether they are real or not has moved my business to growing rapidly. I also enroll in courses and coaching, and attend consequently, getting whatever homework done that I need to do. Both those has served me well. I have also discovered that all good coaching has increased my bottom line much more than the coaching ever cost. So, I’m in it for the long haul.

  19. George says:

    Our economy is based on distraction by shiny objects. Every business wants us to leave whatever we’re focused on and come over to look at theirs. They hire the best advertising agencies to do this, and the ones that fail in their task get replaced. Even internet marketers stay up late planning the next day’s subject line for their morning e-mail. They use greed, curiosity, sex, humor, whatever it takes to get attention. Unfortunately for us, it works.

  20. Greg Vinson says:

    Great question Robert. I am hardly a shining example of total focus; closer to the opposite. However, when I do get things done, it is most often a result of hooking up with an accountability buddy.

    My distracted “monkey mind” can’t be tamed with a mere phone call a day however. For me to get substantial amounts done requires that I get my buddy lined up for a call every hour or 2, where we start by setting intentions on the first call of the day, agree on a time to follow up, and each subsequent call starts with a progress report followed by new goals, or recommitting to the previous ones, if they have not been completed.

  21. Terry Johnson says:

    I ask myself if this shiny object will move me closer to my goals or just distract me.

  22. Sergio Felix says:

    I simply ask myself this question: “Am I really DONE with this current training I’m taking already?” If not, then I don’t have time for another one. Same goes for services, software and everything else.

  23. Miguel says:

    Hello Robert. Set-up the day the night before; then create your prioritized list of the 4 most important things you want to accomplish the following works day. Use your productivity tools, tips and ideas.

  24. Dan Martin says:

    If I’ve purchased from someone before I usually remember their names. If they start to pitch, pitch, pitch, I eliminate them. There are a few that I read each time they email.

  25. Reg E. says:

    I either don’t read the marketing emails or I unsubscribe.

  26. Robert says:

    I seek to connect to my vision and mission first thing each day. This the the BIG WHY which filters the offers which come my way each day. If the offer is in alignment to my BIG WHY then I will consider taking it to my next filters of time/money investment required. This process helps me to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  27. Bl**dy easy made, Robert:

    Accountability for every minute spent.
    A minute wasted = a minute lost FOREVER…

  28. Howard says:

    I second the motion that Terry Johnson made. I evaluate every “shiny object” in terms of whether it fits the goal that is currently on top of my list.

    Per Reg E., if I find myself deleting 3 emails in a row from the same person after reading only the 1st paragraph, I unsubscribe (and add to my reject filter).

  29. Philip says:

    I put myself all in with a task list to be ticked off daily.

    Sometimes the 4 tasks have a chunk of time others have a counter timer allotted to them.

    Either way it gives me a kick to check off something rather than chase a rainbow of this or that golden opportunities which are other people’s interruptions of what should be done…that perfection isn’t attainable no matter how bright or shiny the object is.

    My task list has been running since November 5, 2012 and my bright shiny objects syndrome? Well I’m recovering nicely thanks to you, Robert;)

  30. Joyce Amri says:

    Make a list of what you need and stick to it.

  31. I buy a lot less products now but I still buy a lot of high quality PLR as I use them to help with research.

    Re other products I ask myself when will I be able to implement as I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on products that became outdated before I actively used them.

  32. les says:

    I’m like a magpie love shiny objects

  33. Bert says:

    I’ve learned that if I read the email or sales page, I can be easily hooked. Therefore, unless it’s from someone I already know has good products (like yours) and have bought from before, I do mass deletes. I don’t have time to evaluate them singly anymore. I have to force myself to follow my To Do list, written the night before. I don’t even have time to unsubscribe, I get so many.

  34. Knowledge is power. Google or do a YouTube search before you rush and chase the shiny object. You may find the answer you seek. This is my method to justify that purchase.

  35. Heather says:

    I set a timer to go off every 15 minutes.

  36. Mike C. says:

    You have to stay away from all the regular haunts – Warrior Special Offers – JVzoo – Forum Special Offer and on and on.

    If you’re like me and over the years bought several thousand dollars of “Product” it’s time to cut the cord like I did.

    AND . . . unsubscribe from all IM’rs email lists except for 5 or 6 you have come to trust not just because they have produced stuff you actually benefited from for yourself or your clients but the one’s that don’t hammer your inbox with a bunch of other peoples product offers.

    If you decide there is some kind of marketing tool you don’t have, then visit your regular haunts, but a time limit on the project and don’t get lost while you’re, “researching”

    After you’ve done all that, don’t open your email first thing. I don’t open mine until after I’ve reflect on and adjusted my game plan for the next day.

    I wrote a blog post about not getting lost down an Internet Rabbit Hole last year on a friend’s site you might relate to:


    Mike C.

  37. I have a solid game plan, and follow it.

  38. I just keep my nose to the grindstone – no secret to that. Hard to get distracted when you’re too busy working to notice…

  39. Yancey says:

    I try to remind myself that……


    …..spells FEAR! So when the next MUST have, GAME CHANGER comes along I step back take a deep breath, step back again and take another deep breath. Realizing that no matter how much gloom and doom the developer spews if I don’t bite there’s always tomorrow.

    I then go to forums like the WSO and watch the spectacle of intensely scything reviews of the next “shiny object” before I get “caught up” in the sales hype.

  40. Benson says:

    I am allowed 10 minutes each morning to check email, if it doesn’t pertain to project on hand “delete”.

  41. bruce says:

    a great new invention for smart phones…

    help find lost things.

  42. Trevor Baret says:

    Keep the goal in mind and remind myself to keep to only those things which help to achieve that goal in front of me and turn away from everything else

    … except Robert’s emails…

  43. I put my empty wallet on the keyboard.

  44. 7 years ago I was at 80,000 a Year income on the internet. Then the company went out of Business and have not got back to that Level since. So I am still looking to get back there. So far I have not found the right shiny object

  45. Brandon says:

    I have to shut down my internet connection completely, and don’t have my phone anywhere near me.

  46. Pat says:

    I list my four things to do today, and I like Jeannette Cates answer too.

  47. David Ashton says:

    In the past I’ve been enticed to buy the next shiny object or two, thinking they’ll come in handy one day. Well that day never arrived but your training and super tip re the 4 to do items are helping me get into the habit of ignoring the shiny objects – for now – until everything up and running properly – then I’ll reconsider them.

  48. Capt Sekhon says:

    I was a chaser of shiny objects and couldn’t control the urge to spend money after reading the sales copy without thinking whether that product will be used or will it lie untouched on my HD. Found a Way out. I cut up my card which I used to buy with (I used to buy with a pre pay card). No card, No buy. My life is much easier now and get to focus on what I need to do with what I have.

  49. Josef says:

    I installed BoxBe on my main email address. Unless your autoresponder double opts into my email, you don’t appear in my inbox. Best thing I have ever done. If the email is not in my inbox it has come from an autoresponder or the sender has not bothered to verify they are a real person, so their email doesn’t get opened until the BSO offer is closed, so I can’t buy.

    Your emails only come through because I have emailed you or Lance.

  50. Josef Lele says:

    If I didn’t invest in useful tools,plugins and themes from the warrior forum or JVzoo, I wouldn’t have a business at the cutting edge. Buying these same or similar products from Internet Marketing Gurus means you spend way more to get the same, because they trade off their name.
    Before I buy I check out the credentials of the person making the offer and read the threads. I may not always get the lowest dimesale price but I save a lot by not buying crap!

  51. Erin says:

    I have to set a timer to work on a project, say email. I get so many I only look at the one’s I know I need to respond to or from someone I am expecting. Every other email can wait till late night when I cannot sleep or while I watch tv. If it is an “OFFER” I ask myself do I really want another email and will it help me FIRST is it inline with what I am doing now, does it simplify my business, take something off my plate or make me money. If the answer is yes I will evaluate it more later after 6pm. Hope it helps.

  52. Ignore opening my opt in emails just scroll down quickly to view anything that is pertinent.

    If opened i save it to a folder for later inspection. If i am serious about buying a perform a due diligence back ground check on the product owner and product offer.

    Other wise I brand my name promote myself and learn from my existing purchases.

    Barry Anderson aka Holistic Chef Barry

  53. pat says:

    Use what you have and you will realize that you have more than enough information to get the job done.

  54. Rolf says:

    Hi Robert,

    Indeed a good question! I have this problem and here is how I going to “fix” it:

    I have got myself a mentor who will create a written plan together with me based on my goals. One of them is to replace my 9 – 5 before year end – preferrably sooner.

    Then this will be broken down to daily actions and I will print the page (a bit old-fashioned but I like it that way).

    I think it will work this time! This British Gentelman appears to very talented.

    Best wishes

  55. As has been covered before – planning is the most effective. If you hit a snag in your schedule then envision yourself as a teacher who has a classroom of students and you need to show them what has to be done next (you may feel a bit daft but it works).

    For emails – I set aside a time to go through them as I like to know what others are promoting and what the ‘hot’ topic is at the moment. I try to only purchase if it will really help my business NOW… although that doesn’t always work 😉

  56. Ron says:

    If I get tempted I usually research the product via the WF. I also try to avoid the ‘Special Offers’ forum and unsubscribe from most of the clutter in my inbox.

  57. Glad you asked Robert!

    I try to stay on the cutting edge, as my clients and students expect me to provide solutions, know what is happening and what is new. If they find I am unaware of a product or service. I lose credibility, because the world of IM changes daily if not hourly.

    Knowing the BS from the Not BS is what they are looking for. I have learned you cannot stop people from getting “shiny object syndrome” when most everything on the market promises riches overnight. With IM’ers stating they make 5 and six figures overnight from just one mail blast. LIARS like these never say well I have been doing this and it took me 5,6,7 years to build up to such a feat. these liars don’t share the truth because their business models depend on the gullibility of their lists. These types send out a daily email, maybe have some content attached (most don’t) to it, but its always “Hey, You have to pick this one up for your business…… yada yada yada” they always have a new app, tool, e-book, some silly half baked piece of software with 20 upsellss and OTO’s attached. Its madness!

    I have begun to say to folks, UNSUBSCRIBE from all lists, except mine and 4 or 5 others that actually share real info and not always selling you on something new. I may even make recommendations as to what lists I use and subscribe to.

    I know you wanted One Sentence so here is mine……….
    “Unsubscribe from the WSO purveyors along with the CB, and JVZoo pushers”.

    They know the shiny object syndrome is hard to break and they know a certain percent will buy just because they are afraid of being left out..

    Jim Allen III

  58. Steve says:

    Hi Robert,

    This is an ongoing battle for me but the best thing for me to do is stay off email and try to be very strict about when and for how long I do open up Outlook.

    I regularly unsubscribe from many of the marketers that initially attract my interest, but this is an ongoing battle as some people use the same list for support as well as ongoing marketing. This makes it hard to keep just those connections you want for support on the good products that you really use.


  59. William Frederickson says:

    Like Cathy it is a challenge. All the promises in the sales letters than when you try
    get past the first offer there are so many up sales and down sales it just makes you sick.
    So John I am going to need to follow your lead and start unsubscribing.

  60. Mylinda says:

    I work hard at not looking at shiny objects to buy.. I wait 24 hours to buy. Sometimes that helps. I work on priorities first so I have little time to chase shiny objects.

  61. Shelley says:

    Purge my email lists periodically and only search for what I’m working on (i.e. only look up Kindle products and avoid everything else).

  62. Neil Warner says:

    I still read the WSO description, to see how it is presented….but I’m developing a very critical eye towards buying. I ask myself: is this going to help exactly with the issue I’m working now? or does it has some value for the future? (like a collection of images)
    Otherwise, is a NO BUY!

  63. Nigel says:

    I think you need to prioritise and schedule a block of time to complete your work

  64. Byron says:

    Accept that most shiny objects just ain’t.

  65. Paul Saunders says:

    For me the only way is to turn off email completely that way I can get stuff done – plus I schedule 2 days per month as off the grid and spend the time disconnected allowing thinking time

  66. John Racine says:

    I turn off all distractions and work for 50 minutes non-stop then reward myself for 10 minutes with a drink, a snack, some sunlight etc.

  67. To each his own; I constantly review my “getting things done” GTD horizons and next actions + Evernote App to stay focused.

  68. Jackie says:

    I put blinkers on and stay focused and refuse to move off of my path by limiting all the email I get and refuse to read of go for offers that detract me – I may put them to one side but I wont get involved until I am ready….

  69. Sandy says:

    I suffered badly from shiny object syndrome in the early days. This was mainly because I could not figure out where I belonged in the world of Internet Marketing.

    These days before deciding whether to purchase or not I ask myself several questions before deciding whether to buy or not.

    1. Is this product directly related to my current project and/or expertise? I am happy to buy competing products to make sure I stay on the cutting edge.

    2. Does the person selling the product have a good and ethical reputation? If I don’t already know, then I will research him or her and will also contact the various people I know in order to get their opinions.

    3. Do I have time to actually put the item to use immediately? No sense in buying if I can only (maybe) get to it in a couple of weeks time, by which time it will probably be out of date and something similar will be available.

    4. Is this a product that my list will find useful – can I and/or my list actually earn some kind of income from it? I never recommend products that I have not actually used nor those that I do not believe will actually be helpful.

  70. Tom Allen says:

    When you decide to put yourself in state of focus of your decision of what you want to do or be, only then can you proceed

  71. Alan Bond says:

    I concentrate on value and innovation. If you’re not sure about the product and the claims about the product, check it out in the Warrior Forum. There’s probably some good intel on it there.

  72. Sam says:

    Still working hard to master this skill, very challenging indeed lol…it’s in the human nature to chase the shiny object isn’t it haha…

  73. June says:

    I’ve tried just staying away from email outside of a allotted time each day, but it seems that much worse to sort through when it piles up. And Shiny Object launches now seem to go on for a week or more at a time…. So far have not come up with a workable solution.

  74. Janet says:

    It’s like dieting..there’s always room for improvement and eating more healthy. I’ll be interested to hear what suggestions you have.

  75. Trish Jones says:

    Turn off Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and only check at certain times during the day.

  76. Lyudmila says:

    To reach the goal I should have my plan and follow it exactly as it is. The main problem is the traffic and how to get it There is a lot of recommendations online but I cannot find yet the right one. Thank you.

  77. Hey, great question Robert!

    Before I consider buying any product, training, marketing tool or software. I ask myself these three questions:

    1: Will this help me achieve a specific result that I want?

    2: Will this help me get my offer in front of more people who are already interested in it?

    3: Will this help me to get more of them to take me up on that offer?

    If I can’t answer yes to one or all of those questions, I don’t buy it, no matter how “cool” it appears.

    A clear focus on measurable goals and
    developing the habit of buying – and using – only what will move me toward them are the surest indicators I know of likely

    Know your goals, and ask those questions. Every time.

    Ricky Britton

  78. Nancy says:

    Only if it meets 2 criteria do I hit the “buy now” button:

    1) I need it to complete THE one main priority project I’m working on that has a good chance to bring in additional income streams (as verified by current customer feedback)

    2) I have the unallocated funds to make the purchase

    One thing I’ve learned (well, this is several things, actually) by doing business over the years have REALLY helped me combat my eagerness to spend money I shouldn’t, for things that don’t solve a current problem but that are very interesting and that I do want to learn.

    First of all, if it’s software it’s not going away. There is no such thing as a limit, no matter what they say. Yes the price may go up but by then maybe I will be able to afford it better. There are other “artificial” limits announced that can be negotiated if you are sincere.

    Next, my hard drive was cluttered with things I didn’t use. That’s just a waste of my time and money.

    When I “hit the wall” last fall with a sudden loss of a key supplier for one part of my business, while my cash flow suffered overall it’s been a good thing because I got to rebuild my business stronger, and make EVERY purchase pay for itself — which I hadn’t been doing to the extent I wanted previously. The discipline is paying off — and I’m getting way more done, too 🙂

  79. J Freeman says:

    All I have to do is remind myself of why I started this in the first place and then look at my grand children’s pictures and a promise I made to them.

  80. John Antaya says:

    You need to learn how to use what you already have before you try and venture forward with something shinny and new. All new and shinny items are a complete distraction from what you are suppose to be learning and doing. I have to admit that I am guilty of this shinny and new syndrum and it is very hard to bread away from once you get started with it.


  81. Marian says:

    I want to live my dream life and that’s only possible by doing the stuff I know that works – but takes some effort! 🙂

  82. Martin says:

    Clear, written goals with set deadlines for achieving each task helps me stay on track. Brian Tracy has some great videos & info on motivation and focus that I’ve implemented over the past year. I reward myself for tasks finished and goals achieved – for a smaller task something as simple as watching a TV program I like, if it’s a bigger goal maybe a day out with my family or weekend away etc. If I have something fun to work towards & look forward to it helps me stay on track.

  83. Sheri says:

    It’s still hard, but I try not to open anything that I haven’t already decided I need. For example, I recently wanted a way to quiz my readers and right after that an email appeared with an offer for a good solution.

  84. Donna White says:

    I try to have a really detailed todo list to help keep me focused on what I truly want.

  85. LaurieMills says:

    I try to ignore the email if it doesn’t have a great headline, sometimes it works but sometimes curiosity gets the better of me.

  86. Tony says:

    When I figure that one out, I will be more then happy to share it.

  87. Len says:

    Keep trying things and nothing works, only thing that had made me a few bucks is my own site, selling a weight loss product.

  88. steve says:

    But, I like shiny objects.

  89. Never influenced by anything shiny… ::: wait what’s that over there? ::: , er, where was I? Oh yeah, never influenced by anything shiny…

    (actually I learned how not to be by Robert and Lance)

  90. Sharon Deloy says:

    I, too, am distracted by every new bright shiny object. I have, in the last few days, unsubscribed to all of the email message that I never read and probablly never will. That will save me from some of the BSO’s.

    Other than that, I think only my will power is going to prevail, and the fact that the closer is get to the end of the month, the less money I have to spend, until I reach No Money At All.

  91. Roy Roy says:

    I tell myself, “Try only one thing at a time. Only one project at a time. If you try to, you’re going to have to split your time – and this means you’re only going to give and get mediocrity.

  92. Jay says:

    Unfortunately I seem to be having a bit of trouble with this one…

  93. Carl Dickens says:

    Robert and all,

    That is something I suffer from but not in the normal way. My normal J.O.B. is a support position and I am frequently pulled into issues that are complete interruptions to a normal schedule.

    However, I basically right down at night what I MUST do tomorrow and a few items that I want to do but lower priority. I do the list of MUST DOs first thing in the morning before I ever open an email or look at the phone or voice mail. I have some online software tools to keep track of ideas that pop into my head and I write them down and come back LATER only after the tasks are done.


  94. When writing I simply turn off the internet. It’s a big and easy distraction. When researching it’s essential, but not when writing.

  95. Stephen Bray says:

    It’s very simple, I make a plan and execute it. If a shiny object
    falls in with the plan I investigate it, but most don’t.

    If a shiny object looks really compelling, but doesn’t fall into
    the plan then I note its details, but return to the plan.

    If my daughter wants to go swimming, play tennis, or get help
    with her homework then I go swimming with her etc. Then I
    return to the plan.

    If the plan takes longer than anticipated I break it into small
    chunks and execute these a couple of steps at a time.

    It’s really not rocket science, although an understanding of
    the science of advertising helps, because once you know
    the persuasive emotional techniques marketers are using
    to compel you to purchase their stuff it’s easier to uncouple
    yourself from offers, and be objective about them.

    Does that help?


  96. Margaret says:

    i Delete all emails that is not needed and
    keep the ones that i am working on

  97. Steve says:

    1.) I spend less time in my email.

    2.) If i”m tempted by another shiny object, I ask myself, ‘Is this REALLY going to help me achieve my goals or is this just another distraction?”

    If I”m honest with myself, I usually don’t fall for the pitch.

    It takes practice.


  98. Cararta says:

    Hi Robert!
    Hi Steve…

    Stay out of my email, Plus my computer is
    overloaded with junk….free and paid.

    So…I’m working on a project right now. Rule is: No Can Buy anything until this is
    finished and makes MONEY.

  99. Johann says:

    Have a solid Plan
    Unsubcribe to all e-mails

  100. B Wall says:

    When i first read the sales page for a new shiny product i am tempted by i take a deep breath and go away from the page for at least 24 hours. If i can still remember the product i go back to it and do another quick read. If it doesnt tie into what im doing at the moment then i dont buy. I have eliminated 95% of impulse buys just by doing this.

  101. Adam Porter says:

    I typically save the link to Evernote and sleep on it. I’ll revisit the site the next day with a fresh head and re-read the copy and/or re-watch the video. Typically by that time, my mind has a better understanding of what the site is selling, and I realize that I already know enough about the topic to not buy in.

  102. Ken D. says:

    When I get tempted by a new Shiney Object, I ask myself if it can help me with what I am working on Right Now and if not I just click away. And I block a large number of people that send me useless junk.

  103. Mk Akan says:

    1. pick an online business model…follow it till you succeed. Only buy stuff that will help you succeed in the model.

    2. Follow 1 or 2 mentors …unsubscribe from other email list.

  104. Mike G. says:

    I have a list of tasks that actually are the things that make me money. I can’t have my next cigarette until I do that next task, be it write a blog post, post some backlinks, do a certain amount of keyword research, etc. Then I take a smoke break. Then the next task.

  105. James says:

    I use a variety of tools and techniques.

    Some have already been mentioned, but one I haven’t seen is the pomodoro technique (this doesn’t help me not buy new stuff, but it does keep me focused on completing a task). As part of this technique I allow myself “play time” on the breaks and then I can go for a walk, hug my wife, pet my dogs, answer emails, make a call etc.

    I also use to help with periodic or scheduled tasks that i want to become habits. During those breaks I form habits that are linked to them. Such as look for 5 positive things, or practice a skill 10x every break, etc.

    The general rule is for buying the shiny objects is: If I can’t use it within a few days, or if I won’t implement it, then I can’t buy it. This means I buy some stuff still, learn a bit from the information, and don’t’ use it fully, but I’m still growing. I justify it as the price of education, but the distinction needs to be very clear about using it or not within a few days.

    I like all of other suggestions and appreciate people sharing.

  106. mike says:

    Stick with a proven plan.

  107. christian says:

    Hello All,

    I know what I need in my business. So I have a plan of action. I split each section into categories. Then I monitor my emails and if a new product comes up that fits exactly what I need in my category. I look at it and if it ticks all the boxes I purchase it. Eventually I end up with everything I need. If I have any technical issues or training videos are no good or support is slow. I cancel and get my money back because I know there will be another offer around the corner. I still look at emails because its important to always be at the cutting edge so that you are offering your clients the latest and the greatest. But I only buy 1 product for each category and stick with it. The grass is always greener on the other side – maybe for a short time but you always end up in a similar position. So better to stick with what you know and make it work!

  108. Sorry but I just cannot understand why you think that Hangouts are a waste of time!

    People actually like to buy from people – faceless presentations – not being able to connect with a real person, interact and see their eyes, their body language – if they are being REAL or faking it per se…… that is a turn off – seeing them – getting to know who they really are – that is completely different and is the most proven and effective way to do business – the difference is that we are now doing it in a technology driven world and that is opening doors and connections that were just not possible to open and create before.

    faceless presentations have their use – and if you don’t want to see the person sharing their knowledge with you – then thats fine – but there are a LOT of people who do want to see the people that they are about to potentially buy from!

    Being able to showcase products live on-air – you really cant do that on a powerpoint presentation…….. you can on a hangout!

    Being able to optimize the replay and have it all there waiting for you at the end of your presentation – not with GoTo (without a lot of editing and fiddling around to get it up online and optimized)

    You can probably tell I am quite passionate about connecting with people and interacting with them and allowing them to interact with me and see that I am passionate about what I am sharing and adding value for them too and whilst yes you can do that with powerpoint and audio – when you can mix that and real people – that makes a real difference to peoples lives.

    Consider those who cannot leave the house, but can watch a live stream video and feel a connection to the presenters who are sitting in their own home office (without all the disorganisation in the background – because that isn’t always the case when people create a professional environment for their hangouts)

    Imagine being able to share experiences with people live on-air who cannot create those experiences for themselves.

    Imagine being able to save yourself time and money on travelling to meet potential clients, but still be able to talk to them face to face.

    And a whole lot more ……..

  109. Robert Plank says:

    I can still “connect” with people just fine with PowerPoints and their live voice.

    I can’t help but watching hangouts and thinking… THIS person is supposed to be a multi-millionaire?

    Reflection on the glasses aside… mess in the background aside… the body language I’m seeing is making me NOT want to buy (genuine or not).

    Product demonstration… I’ll exit the PowerPoint and show the screen to do that.

    Recording the video… easy, no editing involved, very few steps as long as you record it on your own and don’t use GoToWebinar’s recording.

  110. Rob says:


    I agree that Google Hangouts are a poor substitute for professional webinar platforms, but that doesn’t mean they are useless or to be run from. I have seen them used as JV sales letters disguised as amicable chat sessions on a given topic among friends. These pseudo-webinars establish the authority of the participants, provide teaching on the selected topic and allow an offhand mention of an offer that each participant can mail out subsequently either as the merchant or as an affiliate of their friend/colleague. Low key, cordial, educational and darned near subliminal. Using the right tool for the job is the key to success. Used wisely, Google Hangouts can be highly profitable. It’s up to you to decide whether this style of “webinar” fits into your business model.

  111. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Joe, I honestly don’t believe ad swaps and hangouts are SUSTAINABLE things to base your business on.

    If I see someone running lots of hangouts I can’t help but think… if they applied that time and energy into webinars, imagine the extra sales they’d make by having that more salesly environment.

    Ad swaps… great way to churn and burn a list you built from other methods. Why even mess around with mediocre traffic sources when there are better ones to use?

    I just don’t want people to even waste their time with it.

  112. Philip says:

    While hangouts look impressive with two or more actually commentating on screen we have to log into a chat system rather than one system take all and collate. With a webinar/conference system there is opportunity of interaction with hosts whether prompting or discourse.

    Usually the chat is recorded on some too. By contrast the sales pitch of a hangout is more usually in my experience to do the ego of a product of service or presenter which goes against my natural interest in learning about something that might impact on my decisions. I am not interested in how many sales so far or how good a person is in making money as all such results are never to be relied upon and are always disclaimed for another person.

    What I learn about is what could work for me given its success as a system used by real successful people. The pitch of fame is not in how new a screen presentation is but in how successful the product or service really is if it’s possible to duplicate for one’s own needs. Some of the motivational speakers from many years ago have surfaced on some videos as being relevant to today’s marketers after all.

    While everything has a place successful things rise above place and survive the test of time. I know from following your blogs Robert you have worked out not only what works for you but you’ve condensed it for all who are motivated to follow in your foot steps.

  113. randy says:

    I totally agree with the ‘shiny object syndrome’.
    I interpreted hangouts though, as a ‘possible’ tool to use since Youtube was giving high rankings to videos on handgouts compared to similar regular youtube video AT THIS MOMENT. This may not last. (we will see)
    That is what I have been taught.
    Is this correct?

  114. Preston Rahn says:

    Hey Robert,

    Good to see you again in Denver.

    I don’t like the automated webinars, to do or watch.

    I know they are a lot of work, but I prefer to do them live and attend them live.

    Thanks for posting this and sharing with us.


  115. Pat says:

    Further to what Carol Dodsley said:
    1) You don’t want to see a person’s face, that’s okay, that’s you. But in the long run, periodically seeing the person’s face creates “engagement” and more sales in the long run when people feel they have more of a relationship with you, or more accurately feel more connected with you.
    In my opinion, you are missing on half your potential market that way. That’s your prerogative of course…. but if you want to dramatically increase your sales… who knows?
    And perhaps it’s a female thing… maybe a non-techie thing…
    2) Creating products from your own processes is a good idea, but I found in some of your courses that to be tedious since it was all about your wonderful products and you didn’t give other examples. Great for you since you were doing it anyway, but not always so great for your audience who are not all creating what you are creating.
    To be fair, I find your products to be excellent, over deliver, etc. (with that one exception, you don’t create relationship, guess you have Lance for that lol)

  116. Brian says:

    Good copy always sounds like it’s product is better than the rest. Follow a system that works. Any system that works. What matters is that you don’t change just because something else also works. Keep your focus on improving your skills and tweaking your system – if you change, you start all over. There must be a very good reason, based on solid logic, before adding or switching. Something like a complete lack of positive results…

  117. Joe D says:


    I like your emails, I;ve been on your list a long time, i’ve bought a few things from you, and I think you’re a great marketer, a smart guy, and you produce good stuff.

    That being said, I think posts like this, and the one you did on ad swaps are kind of fake. It’s clear you only do it to stir the pot, or to discredit whatever the new fad is.

    I understand you run your business a certain way, and obviously it’s worked well for you, but to say google hangouts don’t work, when I have seen them generate hundreds of thousands of dollars, and to say that ad swaps don’t work at all, when I’ve seen people use them to quit their jobs, is asinine,

    I’ll agree BSO is a problem in this industry more than others, but most of the BSO’s out there will serve a purpose, and normally work as advertised, the problem is 99% of people who buy them won’t use them. The same thing goes with what you sell. As I stated your products are good, but most of your customers wont use them, that’s the reason people in the “IM” niche stay in business. You’re no exception, if all of your customers hit it out of the park after buying your stuff, you’d be in a world of hurt.

    So to me it;s unfair to criticize these tools, when really it’s the responsibility of the end user to decide if they need it, and if they can make buying it worth while.

    Don’t take this comment the wrong way, I like you and your stuff, but to me it’s like the pot calling the kettle black.

    Oh and newsflash, if we never had fads, BSO’s, or new stuf, than nothing will ever change. I remember when webinars were the ‘fad” or “BSO” of the week, and they are a staple of your business. Obviously, some of the new things coming out in this industry will stick, and people won’t know if it will work for them if they don’t try.

    you accomplished your goal of stirring the pot, generating comments, and flaming new products to make your own look ever more valuable, you’re a genius marketer and that’s why I stay on your list.

  118. Howard says:

    I agree with the 1 hour pitch webinars, 4-part webinar classes, and using paper template both for the sales letter and to post the recorded video of the pitch webinar. Why do I agree? Because Robert and Lance taught this method to me and I’ve used it to actually make money. Thanks.

  119. I find that a good TO DO list still works for me. I update each morninn with accomplished tasks and new ones for that day. Not hi-tech but it keep me on track. Michael James Jr.

  120. Most of the Google hangouts I have seen were not that impressive so never really tried to do one. I have some Internet marketing friends that do the Google hang out thing. Not sure if its working for them to get conversions. I am working on a New Shining object membership sites. I really think membership sites are the way to go so am going to stop looking for the shining ones and go at it full boar. Its always better to do your own thing.

  121. Marilyn Kay says:

    I would agree with Carol Dodsley and Pat that hangouts can be a powerful way to reach clients and customers and gain more sales. This is something I am working on right now for a new business, so I admit to being slightly predjudiced.

    I’m going to be perfectly honest about my feelings of the no-face, powerpoint webinars. Webinars, unless they include video, are becoming white noise. I generally no longer feel engaged with them. In fact, I answer and delete emails while listening to them. Only when something really captures my attention, do I go back and actually look at the slides.

    I am going to give you a great example of the power of hangouts, however. Although I missed most of Marisa Murgatroyd’s Video Super Heroes Summtt in May, due to a personal situation, I did catch an amazing hangout with Andy Jenkins. He stood at a whiteboard and taught for most of three hours — yes, three hours. In fact, I bought the new product he was still in the process of developing with Mike Filsaime. The product wasn’t even ready to be launched until June or July, so I was buying sight unseen, without a product launch, on just his word that it would have the components I wanted. Note, too, I had never bought a product from Andy before. The product launch was awesome, but what’s more were the HOA free trainings that he and Mike ran after the launch. The engagement was truly incredible.

    Hangouts are not bright shiny objects. They are a potent new way to market and really connect with people.

  122. Robert Plank says:

    Marilyn, someone convinced you to buy a product and you weren’t exactly sure what was in the product (“sight unseen” as you say)… does that mean that person is good at social proof or they’re bad at presenting an offer?

    I wonder what their merchant account, payment processor would think? What their accountant, the IRS, BBB, and FTC would think about a web page that doesn’t adequately describe what people are buying?

    3 hours in front of a whiteboard, sounds like a great thing to do. It also sounds like lot of work. I wonder if he decides to promote it next month if anyone will sit through that 3-hour video, or if he will have to spend another 3 hours in front of a whiteboard. I would rather compress that down into a 1-hour webinar and show only the most important things that 80% of people need to know.

  123. Marilyn Kay says:

    I see your point, Robert, in terms of those examples. That’s why I bought Andy’s program. I want professional looking video.

    It doesn’t matter whether you have a regular video or Hangout video, crap is crap. I come from a print background and I mean linotype, when type in publications was beautifully set. Hangouts do remind me of the early days of desk-top publishing. Much of what was done was crappy. A lot of YouTube videos also are poor. It will take time for people to learn how to create professional looking hangouts.

  124. Ira MCCOY says:


    I totally agree with the ‘shiny object syndrome’.
    I interpreted hangouts though, as a ‘possible’ tool to use since Youtube was giving high rankings to videos on handgouts

    I think you have a lot of people that can’t stay with any program long, When they are
    jumping from programs like MLSP, Empower Network , .Pure Leverage next big
    thing that pops up in there inbox hell Goggle is fixing to bust there bubble look
    out its coming. As for me I am cleaning my inbox out only keeping a few that will
    help me.

  125. Marilyn Kay says:

    I wouldn’t call Andy Jenkins “some guy”, given that he has been a major force behind many of the most successful product launches. I admit, I have followed Andy for a couple of years now, not only for his video brilliance but his marketing ideas. He and Mike did host a series of hangouts after the Video Genesis product launch. He continues to add value in our Facebook group, too.

    I would agree. There is a huge attraction to BSOs (bright shiny objects). I find your products offer great value and are not of the BSO variety, by the way.

  126. David Hunt says:


    I agree with you on almost everything you say usually, but I have to take exception on Google Hangouts. When GoToWebinar drastically increased their prices a couple of years ago (and you did warn your loyal customers), I could not help but feel that they were ripping off the market after becoming the dominant player.

    It wasn’t just a small increase. It was a huge increase. I thought at the time that someone would soon come out with a competing product at a reasonable price. There were a couple of attempts, but it didn’t take. Remember GVO Conferencing? There are still a couple of no cost webinar websites, but any presentations I’ve seen on them have look very amateur and primitive.

    Anyway, I’m sorry in a way to see that it’s Google offering an alternative, another dominant player, but maybe that’s what it takes to get saturation or to get people to pay attention. GTW is still the gold standard, but as long as GTW is charging like it’s made out of gold, I think Hangouts is a great way to do webinars at a reasonable, actually zero, cost. Folks just have to decide if the zero cost is worth what they’re giving up by not using GTW.

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