Raelyn Tan: Blogging & Digital Marketing Strategist

Tackling Shiny Object Syndrome Once And For All

internet-marketing-buyer-bewareBe a smart buyer online.

If you’re one of those people who’ve been bouncing from purchase to purchase online, this one is for you.

There’s even a term for it nowadays: Shiny Object Syndrome.

I feel your pain and insecurity. As an online entrepreneur, you may find it difficult to discern which investments are the best for your business. You don’t know who to trust. You don’t know what are really the products or services you need.

This post is gonna divert a little from the usual no-fluff approach that my content normally has, simply because I believe that this article is going to help a lot of online entrepreneurs.

Be a smart buyer online. If you're one of those people who've been bouncing from purchase to purchase online, this one is for you. After reading this, you’ll be ALL PREPARED to make good purchases that will turbo-charge your business rather than deflate your confidence.

It is sad having to see people give up due to shiny object syndrome…

I’ve seen countless of people bouncing from magic pill to magic pill trying to figure out their online business. I once knew a fellow entrepreneurial buddy who spent TENS OF THOUSANDS on digital products and coaching, and she’s still nowhere in her business.

I once had a mastermind with 6 of us (we met on a Facebook group, and all wanted some accountability) and as far as I know, none of my mastermind group members aside from 2 of them and I are still going at it. The group has since disintegrated. From 6 people with so much passion to build a great business online to having 50% of the group giving up… By the way, the fastest way to lose hope and give up is wasting money on useless stuff and not seeing any returns from it.

It makes me pretty sad because an online business is awesome, but it is also hard to get it to the point of success. Getting an income online is easy if you follow the right people. And here’s how to sieve out the best from the frauds.

Okay, I should probably stop ranting. Let’s dive right in.

So What Are We Trying To Avoid Here?


Well, quite a few things:

  • Buying something and realizing that it has no (or little) helpful content that can help your business
  • Hiring your coach but realizing that he/she doesn’t have the expertise to help you

Disclaimer: This may potentially offend some people. Please know that I simply want the best for all buyers out there (especially those that read my tutorials). This encompasses MY views on how we should be making purchases. We’re all free to conduct businesses however we like. Peace! 🙂

 1. No Value From Free Content..(But They Have a Good Sales Page)

Have you learnt anything from this person from his/her free content? Or are you just enamored by the copy on the sales page?

I’m not talking about how inspired you feel. I’m talking about real solid things that have actually helped your business. Note: I’m talking about strategies that have helped your business. Not will help. 

This is also one of the reasons why I wanted to base my business around targeting bloggers. I love that the inherent nature of running a blog and how you have to GIVE VALUE first through your free blog posts or freebies. I love bloggers and the value they give to the world. This is unlike other forms of making money online (which I shall not name here). The main focus of a blog is always to give value first because that’s the entire basis of a blog – content. Sf you’re a blogger, kudos to you!

2. All Mindset, No Strategies

I have nothing against mindset. I think that mindset is extremely important when it comes to setting up a successful online business. However, all mindset and no solid strategies make Raelyn an unhappy girl.

Let me explain. If you sign up for a webinar on “How to make 131k in 3 months” and then all you get are tips like “release your fears” or stuff like “invest in yourself” followed by a pitch to “work with them to build your lifestyle business,” think twice.

Think about this in real life. If you attended a (free) seminar promising to show you “how to make 131k in 3 months” and all you get are a couple of mindset tips telling you to “stop procrastinating and invest in yourself,” do you really believe that they’re gonna show you how? You’ll more likely throw eggs at them for wasting your time. So why doesn’t this apply to the online scene?


3. No Specifics

Before I buy anything online, one of the things that I have to do is to check what the course actually offers. Some digital products focus more on selling you the dream rather than selling you the goods. That’s how marketing works – and rightly so.

Telling people how a product would improve their life is totally needed for them to be enlightened on how their lives will change for the better. But it’s only cool if you have a good product to back it up.

On the sales page, does the seller specify what you’ll be doing week to week? We’re talking about features here. For example, “how to use the Facebook Power Editor.”

Taking a closer look at what they’re actually offering (beyond promises of what results it’ll bring to your life). Then make a balanced judgment on whether you’ll benefit from it or not.

It’s the job of all copywriters to sell on emotion and not features. That’s what they teach every single student at business school.

It’s for you, the buyer, to focus on the features and look beyond the promises (and look at solid content).

4. Old School “Internet Marketing” Sleazy Sales Tactics

  • False scarcity
  • One Time Offers that are not one time
  • Making crazy claims that are too good to be true (be a millionaire in 1 year, yay! / learn his millionaire secrets, yay! / first spot on Google, yay!)
  • Autoplay videos (sorry, personal preference here.)
  • Exit pop-ups
  • Every single email is an affiliate link and has 0 value.

These stuff drives me nuts I swear. It takes me back to an era of internet marketing with bright red fonts and autoplay videos trying to get you to buy a $47 product. May I take the time now to tell you that you don’t need any “overnight Google ranking boost” or “link building networks” as well.

If the person treats you with such disrespect by employing such tactics before the sale, would he/she take care of you after the sale?


5. Take Testimonials or Income Claims With a Pinch of Salt

Because everything can be photoshopped or bought on Fiverr nowadays. Seriously. Every time I see someone’s income claim I’m like YAWN! I’ve heard of countless stories going on in this industry about how that person claimed to have “made 20k last month” lied. Maybe 20 cents, lol.

Sorry if I sound so skeptical. I’m totally cool with people stating their income claims because it inspires other people, but it’s a buyer beware situation too 🙂 So it’s really up to you to believe or not.

Many years ago, I was randomly surfing Fiverr when I that people SELL video testimonials! They pretty much sell anything as long as there’s demand. I’ve also seen gurus that teach people to purchase these stuff. Please no.

Of course, most testimonials are real – but just be careful.

6. Never Believe The Reviews Of Affiliates Fully

Simply because they get a commission for selling stuff to you. There will, of course, be some affiliates that are truthful, but don’t take what they say as personally as a neutral review from a third party!

This is especially so if the review showed up when you’re googling the product’s name. It’s a strategy to rank on Google and then earn affiliate income under the guise of “reviewing a product.”

If You’ve Been Succumbing to The Shiny Object Syndrome, Please Take This Article To Heart

Be smart! (Alternatively, you can just buy my stuff, and you’re safe. Hahaha.) I’m sure you can succeed online with the right guidance and information. I hope that this list of stuff to be careful about will help you tremendously in your purchasing decisions.

And if you’ve anything to add, let me know at the Blogging on Turbo (our Free Facebook Mastermind Group!)

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Yay! I’ve just switched comments on. Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:

Hey Raelyn, thanks for sharing your insights, this article was an eye-opener for me! Is it really true that some bloggers lie about their income? Can you shed some more light on this?? Thanks! 🙂

Raelyn Tan

Hey Tina, you’re welcome!

Yes, some definitely do! But most do not. The best way to see is through their free content and whether it’s valuable or not. 🙂

What a wonderful blog you have here Raelyn, makes me jealous. You should be proud with what you have achieved.

I received an email from Twitter (like we do) and it was you following me.
Well at this stage of my journey I generally never look who it is but this time I thought I’d take a peek. So I arrived at the subscriber box and signed in.

And here I am. By the way your image was not showing on the thank you page. Plus I didn’t receive a freebie, not that I need a freebie I have enough of them.
So you may want into those couple of things.

Anyways all the best with your blogging business and I will visit again sometime soon.

Raelyn Tan

Hey Bruce, thanks for your kind words! I’m wondering – did you check your spam? 🙂 I think it may be there… Thanks for letting me know about the thank you page image! I am going to fix that as soon as I can 🙂

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