In November, Tiger Woods announced that he’d hired a new golf-swing coach to help him with his game. The coach’s name: Chris Como.
Ninety-nine percent of the golf world said, “Who?” I published a golf-swing website for three years and I admit I’d never heard of Chris Como.
Today while I was eating my breakfast and reading about Como in Golf Magazine, I wondered: “How did this guy snag the most high-profile job in his field?”
Here is what I learned.
His Marketing Was All Wrong
Como, who’s 37 years old, was working as a golf instructor in Plano, Texas when fate tapped him on the shoulder. Como did none of the things that today’s conventional marketing wisdom commands:
• He had a terrible website.
• He had a place on his website for a blog, but he never posted. Not once.
• He had no YouTube channel (YouTube channels are fundamental marketing tools for golf instructors).
• In five years on Twitter, he tweeted only 545 times. And 90 percent of his tweets were RTs, offering no commentary or opinion — a HUGE no-no.
• He never played on the PGA Tour.
• He didn’t have a TV show or podcast.
He did everything wrong?! He wasn’t supposed to land the most prestigious teaching job in golf!
But he did.
So how did he do it?
The solopreneur life is an heroic quest, and you’re the hero. Como is doing what questers do:
• He is an unrelenting seeker of truth. The New York Times wrote:
Como is a seeker on a utopian quest for clues to unlock the mysteries of the golf swing. That search has consumed his 20s and 30s and led him all over the country to learn from the top instructors, including Foley. He has taught lessons by day and taken classes for his master’s degree in biomechanics by night, in an ascetic existence driven by curiosity.”
• The quest is more important than money. “He did what a lot of people aren’t necessarily willing to do,” says Chris Zembri, Como’s longtime friend golf coach at the University of Southern California. “Move around the country, not make a lot of money, and study under guys considered to be elite instructors so he could expand his knowledge.”
• Como didn’t sell a “system.” Instead, according to Trevor Immelman, a Masters champion and Como student:
The thing that intrigued me about him is he doesn’t teach a method or have a strategy. He has just studied and watched great players through the history of the game, some with so-called orthodox swings, some with so-called unorthodox swings. He understands how pieces of the puzzle work together.”
• He’s a very good teacher. I’ve spent hundreds of hours studying the golf swing, and I think I’ve read everything there is to know about it. But in the first two golf videos I watched that feature Como, I heard instructional tips I’ve never heard before. And he taught the information well, in terms any golfer could understand, including the video below that demonstrates the importance of ground forces in the golf swing. The video seems like a stunt, but it’s a lesson no golfer could forget:
At some point, someone at Golf Magazine must have noticed the quality of Como’s teaching, because they named him one of the country’s top 100 golf instructors and they’ve featured his teaching in the magazine and in online videos.
• Como shares what he learns. Immelman again: “He wants to help players play to their full potential, and by that I mean he won’t quit working until he feels like he’s exhausted all options trying to help you.”
• He developed strong relationships. It appears that the people Como has worked with are his biggest promoters. Eventually one of those people, Notah Begay (one of Tiger’s best friends), introduced Como to Tiger.
• Como loves the quest. I don’t have proof of this, but I’m going to presume that he loves what he’s doing.
The world has always been fascinated by sincere people who are on a quest for truth. The questers often develop huge followings without even trying. I think that’s beginning to happen with Como.
The Ultimate Chris Como Lesson
I do not recommend that you have a god-awful website, that you don’t have a blog, that you not try to connect with potential customers on social media. If you don’t have those things, you are really pressing your luck.
The ultimate lesson to be learned from Como is that unrelenting seekers of the truth are on an outrageous, life-changing quest. The rewards seldom are what you expect, yet they are great.