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Beware the Shiny Object Syndrome – SOS!

Are you one of those people in the front of the line for the next iPhone? Did you upgrade to Windows 10 the day after it was released? Do you lease your car so you can get a new one every two years?

If you answered yes to any of these you might suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome (S.O.S). You see, or someone tells you about, the next BIG THING and you’ve got to have it RIGHT NOW!

SHINY OBJECT SYNDROMES.O.S. raises its ugly head in my world all the time – the newest plugin, the latest app, the flashiest website layout are things that some people just have to have. Some of the “newest” and “latest” features of modern websites are indeed worth pursuing:

  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Schema markup
  • Social media integration, are all worthwhile.

Most others are generally not so worthy of your time and effort.

I came face to face with S.O.S. this week when a long-standing client pulled their website from me – they’d been wooed by a shiny object, in this case the offer of a “free” makeover, converting their site to one with a trendy, long scrolling home page. This particular client has been spectacularly successful with their website traffic, getting thousands of views a week. After I gave them a blueprint to follow, they did all the hard work with constant and consistent updating of their blog and then relentlessly directing traffic to the site from their social media platforms.

I tried to explain that it was these actions that had made their site so successful, not a trendy look. But they succumbed – “It looks so shiny! I must have it”.

My world is full of clients arriving and leaving, it’s part of the business model to pick up clients from other providers – but losing a client to S.O.S. is way more galling than it probably should be! My connection to my clients is very strong, I want them to succeed and I get really bummed when I feel they’re being scammed or forced into something that’s not necessary. And quite honestly, I want to be the last website guy they’ll ever need. I could have done this makeover for the client but they followed the shiny object and all I can do is wish them every success – he said through teeth clenched and fingers crossed behind his back!

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