What Tim Tebow Can Teach You About Marketing…

By: Dan Kennedy on: May 9th, 2013 17 Comments

Lately, the recently waived NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has the media discussing where his next job should be.

He’s one of the most talked about players in the NFL. And whether you love him or hate him, you’ve probably talked about him too.

What’s interesting is how this player who has shown less than spectacular results in his NFL career, is one of the most popular players, not only in the NFL, but perhaps in the history of the NFL.

When Tebow arrived in New York, there was plenty of fanfare. There were billboards that welcomed him. Sandwiches were named after him.  And his jersey was one of the top sellers in the league before he even made his first snap in the NFL.

The question is why?

Over the past decade or longer, there certainly have been football players and coaches that have had far more success who never made it to the spotlight…and the money, the way Tebow has.

To prove my point, yesterday a football coach by the name of Larry Kehres stepped down as the head coach of Mount Union college. During his 27 year career, he has coached 359 games.  His record is three games ending in a tie,  24 games ending in a loss, and an incredible 332 games resulting in wins. And he won 11 Division III national championships.

He is the most successful football coach of all time, yet most people have never heard of him.

There is a lesson here if you look for it. What made Tebow into such a media sensation? What has made him one of the most talked about players of all time? And what has kept Kehres relatively abscure and unknown?

He’s an underdog. He’s likeable. He has a personality that is consistent and unwaivering.

One comment from a writer sums it up, “In America we love the story about the little guy. The guy who people believed couldn’t get the job done and then finds his way to do just that, and in dramatic fashion.” And this is what makes Tebow so memorable.

It’s an important point and one that Dave Dee made at SuperConference this past week.

If you tuned in to SuperConference via the web Saturday or were at the event itself, you heard Dave reveal the precise steps to take to dominate your market and transform your business.

You may have missed it when Dave revealed this secret during his presentation…

It came right at the beginning of Dave’s talk when discussing my number one recommendation for client retention – the print newsletter.

During his discussion of newsletters, Dave shared GKIC reader’s favorite part of the No B.S. newsletter.  You love to read the stories and political rants I write at the beginning of the newsletter… about what “pisses me off.” (I believe those are the words Dave used.)

This “reader favorite” is what has allowed me to keep customers hanging around for years.

Here’s the thing. The information you provide your customers won’t keep them for life. But the clue I’ve given you here is what keeps people coming back again and again and gives your business longevity.

In fact, adding a consistent personality to your copy is my number one copywriting secret that most marketers will never know.  It’s provided me with the privilege of keeping  customers for decades.

But it’s not just in your copy where you will benefit from capitalizing on your personality.

If you want to make your products and services more memorable and add longevity to your business, you have to inject it into everything you do.

In Florida there is a deckhand on a ferry boat named BJ Hart. Hart is a real character. He jokes with passengers, salutes people, sings, dances and is in my mind a big reason why the ferry, which is in danger of going under, is still operating. People ride the ferry just to see this guy.

Now I’m not saying you have to be the underdog like Tebow or sing like Hart or go on a political rant like I do, but you do need to develop consistent  interesting character.

Because if you’re going to go to the trouble of getting a customer, you want to keep them for life. And if you don’t inject personality into your business, then you’ll keep customers, clients and patients for maybe a couple of years. But if you want to keep them for life, you better figure out what Tim Tebow already knows—that to be memorable requires personality.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

17 Responses

  1. Mike Martel says:

    Great article. Too many people feel they have to be like – Tony Robbins, Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dan Kennedy, etc. The problem we run into is that there is already one of these and many more trying to sound like them. Your own personality doesn’t come out and people can sense this.

    We each have a story that resonates with others. If we just let our hair down a bit and let go our personality will attract others to us and keep them coming back for more.

  2. Nita Couch says:

    I agree totally with you. Thank you for bringing it out. I like to read a blog that is interesting, and brings out a persons personality.

  3. Jule Colvin says:

    Thanks for grabbing my attention with two of my favorite topics…..Tim Tebow, who I admire immensely and Mt. Union, the wonderful, small college I attended for my first two years of undergrad work. This article will stay etched in my memory as I continue to build my business.

  4. Hal Wechsler says:


    Luv your strategies because they work. Need your advice.
    I am stuck on titling my book on Speedreading101.

    a) “ZEN & The Skill of SpeedReading101.org”
    b) How to triple your reading speed & double your
    memory for School & Career – in 21 Days.

    Like you, we have been in business training folks
    for decades. The contents are “science”, and the
    style is street-corner friendly.

    We graduated a multitude of students: we teach
    a one-day-workshop at Columbia University, and
    have licensees & affiliates internationally.

    Can I impress you by the fact we trained the White
    House staffs of four U.S. Presidents?

    I like both titles, which would you recommend?

    • Mike Stodola Admin says:

      Hal – First off congrats and good luck. Secondly my thoughts. In the first title get rid of the .org If they are buying the book anyway, you’ll have plenty of places to plug your website (which you should be doing by the way…several times…pick up my books at http://www.nobsbooks.com and see how many different resources I offer my readers. Secondly, just given those two options I like B better with the caveat that you get rid of school/career and focus on one or the other and then just have two books instead of one. Also, instead of for school/career, that’s not what people are looking for, focus on the benefit like instead of school say “for better grades” or for career say “for a faster promotion” or “for a higher salary” or something.
      While I should be charging you for all of this, and I’m not, but I hope you’ll come see me at our event in November as appropriate payment (http://www.dankennedy.com/infosummit) another option you have to see what others think is write a free report or give away the first chapter of the book and by some PPC ads and test the two titles and see which one get’s higher number of clicks and more importantly a higher number of downloads. That way you can get thousands of eyes on this. Perry Marshall is an expert at this and highly recommends testing titles via PPC ads so you can spend a couple hundred bucks and have some solid answers. See you in November?

  5. Jake says:

    I am first an engineer, next an entrepreneur, and pretty far down the line before I get to anything like marketing. But I have been reading your stuff and Perry’s for a really long time.

    This one really hit me. We are launching a new company and product. My company has 2.5 people and we hope to sell to every guy (or gal) who does concrete work.

    I have taken this suggestion to heart with the genesis story of our company on our website and naming our company Happiness Tool Co because happiness is what my world is about. But I sell the world’s first air powered tool for pulling double headed nails. Once they buy one, what would I have to tell them more that would give them an opportunity to even encounter my personality again?

    Perhaps I do not really understand the concept.

    Thank for all your writing. We appreciate it!

    Happy day,

    Happiness Tech LLC
    Happiness Tool Co., Inc.

    • Mike Stodola Admin says:

      Jake…do you have a newsletter. This is one of the best ways to retain clients and get referrals all while reinforcing your personality. If you need help with a newsletter go to http://www.dankennedy.com/newsletterbp and you’ll have everything you need. Make sense?

  6. Dan, I sell windows for the largest window sales company in America. They are branded, I’m not. I would like to be branded just like them. Branded like Tebow would be nice too. I challenge you to help me.

  7. I didn’t even know if myself until I read this post, but the personality I weave into everything I write for my clients is the secret sauce. Thanks DK you ol’ walrus you…

  8. Dan, I’ve got 600 women coming in 10 days to The 7th Women’s Success Summit. Would you record a video for us talking about this VERY topic for 10 minutes? Literally, exactly what’s in here would be GREAT!! Dr. Ivan Misner did this for us last year and the audience LOVED it. Email me if you can do it so we can give you details. We’d need the video in “hand” by next Thursday or Friday.

    • Mike Stodola Admin says:

      Michelle, we’ll see what we can do. Please send your current contact information to Mike Stodola at mikes@dankennedy.com so we can be in touch with you.

  9. Chesney says:

    Thought provoking piece. How far do you go in letting out your personality without turning readers off? Should you “manage” elements of your public/commercial personality to fit an audience’s expectations?

    • Mike Stodola Admin says:

      Chesney – By turning the wrong people off, you’ll be more likely to turn the right people on. Dave Dee, GKIC’s Chief Marketing Strategist, created a product called something like “10 Minute Yoga For Golfers.” While this certainly turned non-golfers off…it attracted the exact crowd he wanted to attract. Think of using your personality in the same way. Another example I’m sure you’re aware of would be people like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck or Bill Maher. While they certainly turn most people off with their personality (which they purposefully exaggerate to be sure) they’ve all made hundreds of millions by turning the right people on. Does this help?

  10. Rich S says:

    The fact that people will follow you just see hear / see what you’ll done t is absolute. I’ve seen even our competitors talk about what we’re up to when we interject Personlity in Copy and do so consistently.

  11. Doug Grady says:

    HI Dan,

    Interesting points. I am a Dan Kennedy fan as well as a Tebow fan. You seem to be discounting the fact that Tebow won the Heisman and a national championship, and is considered even by detractors to be one of the greatest college players of all time. Without that, do you think he would receive even a fraction of this attention and money? Tebow is interesting not just because of his polarizing personality and underdog status, but because he has accomplished what few in the history of sports ever have. He was brought into the spotlight through achievement, not personality. When it comes to effective marketing, how do the factors of achievement and personality relate in your opinion?

    Thanks for your education through the years.

    • Mike Stodola Admin says:

      Doug – Great points and accomplishment certainly plays into all of this. The thing though is there are a number of others with similar accomplishments and maybe even better NFL careers but who didn’t capitalize on their personality to get and stay in the lime-light. (Troy Simth and Cam Newton both got more votes for Heisman than Tebow, but I’d argue don’t have nearly the same name recognition or probably endorsement power that Tebow has) Tebow was a polarizing person even in college and helped to contribute to people watching him and probably in the end voting for him for the Heisman. The thing is, I’d trade being GREAT at something and just being an GOOD marketer of that, for being simply GOOD at something and being a GREAT marketer of that because being able to sell yourself and your service or product is far more lucrative. Hope that answers your questions and thanks for writing.

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