Last year, I was fortunate enough to participate in the beta of Ramit Sethi’s new flagship course: Zero to Launch.
I feel super lucky to have been invited because I was “playing” online business before the beta, but now I understand how online businesses really work.
I also got to join a group of serious top performers like Primoz, Maria, James, and Chris. Getting and giving feedback with the Zero to Launch private community was one of the most valuable parts of ZTL. I talk to some of these people as often as every week to give share feedback, exchange ideas, and keep each other accountable.
Now, before I start describing the course, I should mention that none of us beta testers have seen the final product yet. All Ramit and his team have told us is that many things have changed after studying our successes and failures.
In terms of course content, it has the usual stuff you’d except from an online course about starting an online business. Things like how to quickly put together a website, how to validate a product idea before you make it, how to get email subscribers, etc. are all in there.
But there are several things that make ZTL truly stand out. I’ll highlight 3 of them here.
1. Discovering how Ramit and IWT do market research
You can hear Ramit talk endlessly about “getting inside the mind of your customer” but a lot of people don’t know how to translate that into action.
Ramit thoroughly covers this in Zero to Launch where he reveals his process for understanding his customers better than they know themselves.
If you’ve ever read a Ramit Sethi blog post or sales page and thought, “THIS GUY IS READING MY MIND!” then you know this guy is up to something clever.
In ZTL, he’ll show you how to do this.
2. Ramit’s blog post writing framework
Following Ramit’s blog writing framework makes it straightforward to craft blog posts that people find both compelling and actionable.
This is his own method for writing content that sticks and gets people to take action. He gives it up in the course so you can write content like he does.
And here’s a hint, he’s going to stop you from writing yet another shitty list article that people consume and quickly forget. (Btw haters, I don’t need you to point out the irony that this is also a list)
3. How thoroughly Ramit and his team studied our failures
As a group, we failed at a lot of things. We got stuck. We procrastinated.
Throughout this process though, Ramit and his team deeply studied us. They analyzed why we failed at certain things. They dove into the psychology of why we struggled with some tasks.
For months after the beta finished, Ramit would come back to us with new probing questions and solutions.
All in all, they invested a huge amount of time studying how we screwed up so they could make the final product truly amazing.
How many other companies go this deep?
My high level thoughts on Zero to Launch
At a high level, the course is great because you’re learning Ramit’s system for developing killer courses. Even if you’re a Ramit Sethi hater or skeptic, you can’t deny how massively successful he has been.
I’m genuinely amazed by how much he shared about his business strategy, and I know it’s legit because I see the exact stuff he was teaching me being used by him. I see the framework he uses to write content because he’s taught it to me. I see the way he uses customer research in his marketing and product development because he’s taught it to me.
By joining Zero to Launch, you’re learning his framework for
- Coming up with an idea
- Understanding the market and customers
- Writing great content
- Getting the right subscribers
- Validating a product before making it
Learning and internalizing how Ramit does even 1 of those things is probably worth the whole course price itself because it will set you apart from all the losers who endlessly create crap.
2 things I wish we spent more time on
There were a couple things that I wish Ramit had covered more in depth though.
First, I really wish we could have gone deeper in sales strategies because we didn’t deeply cover things like building a great autoresponder sales funnel or how to do webinar sales which is what you see the info product leaders doing.
That being said, a lot of us asked questions about this in the last couple webinars of Zero to Launch’s beta so I’m pretty sure Ramit has added a lot more sales strategy and tactics to the final product.
The second thing, and this could be my fault, is that I felt like we weren’t rigorous enough in validating the market and product idea in the early stages.
We did a lot of customer research to get inside their heads, but we then quickly moved on to building a website, writing content, and promoting.
I think I would have been better off spending more time doing the upfront work because I ended up developing and promoting a website targeting a market that wasn’t a good market to work with.
It’s like Gary Halbert’s story about if you were opening a hamburger stand, what’s the 1 advantage you’d want over your competitors? Most people would say a better tasting burger or having the best price. The best answer is a starving crowd though.
Now, Ramit did talk to us about finding “eager buyers” with a “burning problem” so I know this is partially my own failing. I wish I had spent more time finding and validating that starving crowd.
I realized later on that a lot of the research I did at the start was focused on confirming my own beliefs about this market. I desperately wanted this market to be the right market so I searched out everything to confirm that rather than trying to prove myself wrong.
(After Publish Edit: I’ve just learned that the final ZTL product will cover this stuff a lot more so it seems this problem has been fixed!)
Even with this market positioning failure, I still made some cash as shown below. These sales were were directly related to things I applied from Zero to Launch:
I’m still getting new customers on a regular basis from my Zero to Launch created travel business Get Your Getaway, but I’m not sure if travel is honestly the right long-term business for me so I’m going through Zero to Launch again right now with a new niche. Follow this website if you’re interested in seeing how I’ll be applying ZTL concepts on a totally new website.
Who is this course right for?
This course will be great for people who have a rough business idea and don’t know what to do next. Following the ZTL program will guide you through the whole process of making this business idea real.
It will also be great for people with too many ideas that don’t know how to pick the right one. ZTL might not help you the pick the right one the first time(it didn’t for me), but the ZTL framework will help you re-position with another idea or target market if needed.
In either case, ZTL will be awesome for people who want to be told exactly what to do to create an online business without all the bullshit that most people waste time on.
Who is this course NOT right for?
This course is not for people who want a quick and easy fix that just requires them to throw up some Facebook ads pointing at a sales page.
You’ll be doing real work in ZTL! ZTL requires at least 5 hour per week, and it is not for people who think they can spend only an hour a week creating an online business that makes $3k a week. If you want that, go buy one of those scammy “get rich while sitting on a beach” courses.
This course is for people who want to create a real online business that you’ll be proud to tell people about.
Advice for future ZTL Students
Go into ZTL with a “beginner’s mind.”
If you come in with deep assumptions and attachments to your existing ideas, you might end up wasting time and money.
Be extra rigorous and thorough with any business ideas you’ve had for a long time and feel attached to.
Like a good scientist, you want to try to prove your business theory wrong before wasting a bunch of time and money on it.
Finally, think hard about whether you want to work in a particular niche. You’ll be a lot more successful if you work in an area you’re truly obsessed about and can’t stop talking to your friends about.
I’m happy to answer some questions from people considering buying ZTL as long as you ask good questions and are respective of my time.
I can’t promise I can respond to everyone, but what I can promise is dumb questions and shitty people will be ignored.
Worried about burning out by doing Zero to Launch AND managing your existing work?
It’s easy to burn out if you’re working a full time job, have a social life, and are trying to start an online business with a course like Zero to Launch.
It doesn’t have to be this way though.
By taking care of yourself and managing your life and work better, you can avoid burnout and maintain high levels of productivity for the long-haul.
I’ll show you exactly how to do that in my free Email+Video Course “Reload Your Mornings” where I’ll show you 5 simple habits you can do in the morning so you can
- Prevent burnout
- Gain extra hours of productivity every day
- Unlock your peak performance state
Enter your email below to get Free Access to Reload Your Mornings
Wanna check out other Zero to Launch reviews? See the list below: