8 Things I Learned From Ramit Sethi

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with the article. I just find Japanese (?) architecture impressive and soothing.

Do you want to become a best selling author, get a 6-pack or make $5-million in 7 days?

Then keep on reading.


I’ve been follwing Ramit Sethi for over a year. He sends me a lot of email. I searched for “Ramit” in my inbox and found more than 500 emails.


Is it possible to send that much email without being a spammer?


I think it is and it’s simple, but not easy.


The key is to ALWAYS deliver value. Ramit always shares an anecdote, a lesson learned or a joke. He also sells his courses like a mthr-fer, but that’s okay.


Below are 8 things I’ve learned from Ramit the past year.


1) Negotiation

You can negotiate anything. Your phone bill, your mortgage and the price of your clothes. Negotiation is a science, or according to some – An art.

The most important part of negotiating is having the guts to do it. If  you try negotiating you’re already ahead of 80% of the people.

Remember that negotiation is a skill. It’s something you can practice and become better at.

To become better at negotiation follow these 2 steps.

  1. Start negotiating – Go down to a local farmers market and try to negotiate the price of a cheap shirt or an apple. Don’t be rude, have fun with it.
  2. Become incrementally better – Read the book Influence, read James blog post and browse Ramits tactical tips. Then repeat step 1.


  1. BONUS CHALLENGE: Next time you go to a coffee shop, ask for 10% off. Don’t give a reason. Don’t be rude. Just say “could I have 10% off?”. If they ask you why tell them “I just would like to pay 10% less”.

    2) Say no to customers

    Ramit does not accept any customers with credit card debt. According to him it costs him hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.


    He also charges premium prices, excluding a lot of potential customers. His rhetoric sounds something like this:


    “Look, this is not for everyone. If you are serious and what to commit and have astounding results, go ahead. Otherwise, feel free to browse my free content”.
    There are a couple of reasons why this counter intuative advice makes sense.


    Scarcity – It makes the product (in this case an online course) feel more exklusive.
    Credability – If he can afford to turn down customers he must be really good!
    Integrity – Ramit has a background as a personal finance blogger. Putting people deeper in the hole does probably not converge with his values.


    3) Don’t listen to what people say, watch what they do

    I was at a meeting with a great salesman when I was 21. He was older than me. Maybe 26. Me and my friends were trying to start a company and wanted to sell our services to him.


    I was in the middle of a nervous rambling about our idea when he reached inside his jacket and braought out a pen (This was pre Wolf Of Wallstreet).


    Then he taught me a lesson.


    “Is this a pen you think you would want to buy?” He interrupted me.


    “What? Umm, yeah sure.”


    “Then give me $2.” (Actually he asked for 20 Swedish kronor)


    I did not want to give him my money. We were both quite.


    After a while he smiled and took back the pen.


    There is always a discrepancy between what we say and what we do, what we want and what we say we want. Watching what people do does often give you more valuable data than asking them.  

    4) The Power of copywriting

    Copywriting is an underestimated super power in the online marketing sphere. The reasons copywriting is so powerful are threefold.


    1) Scale – If you are a great telemarketer you can call 20-30 people an hour. If you are a great copywriter you can reach, well, a lot more people.
    2) Wide applications – Copywriting can be used as a swiss multi-tool. Coywriting is the tool to use if you want to increase email signups, email opens, email clicks, sales. comments, recommendations and responses on OKcupid.
    3) Returns over time – If you invest in better copywriting the effect lasts for years. See the example below.

100 000 visitors/ month + 0.5% increase by better copy

1% sign up -> 1000 signups/month -> 12000 signups/year
1,5% sign up -> 1500 signups/month -> 18000 signups/year.


5) How to write MOUTHWATERING copy

Did your mouth fill up with saliva? Maybe it’s just me.


Anyway, you don’t have to be a good writer to be a great copywriter. These are two different skills. There are copy-writing frameworks you can use to go from clueless to a copywriting PRO.


Three fast tips:
1) Find the voice of the customer – Use words and phrases your targeted customers use. Go out and find these words.
2) Be specific – Make your copy as concrete as possible. Example: “I’ll help you become more efficent” vs. “Want to spend more time with your kids? I’ll help you save 5 hours a week.”.
3) Don’t talk about yourself – Don’t talk about your features. Don’t talk about your story. Not until you have talked about the customer.


I cover these points to a greater extent in this post.

6) Online courses are a powerful business model

With all the free material that is out there, can you really make money selling online courses?
Well, Ramit can. He can make 5 MILLION in one week.

7) Create An Email List

Ramit often says that his biggest mistake was to not create his email list earlier. There are a number of reasons for this.
  • Reach all your subscribers You own your email list. You decide who the emails go to. Most social media sites have algorithms that filter the content for the users. In some cases you might just reach 10% or less of your followers.
  • Easy to track – There are great tools for using and tracking email. I like mailchimp.
  • Timeless technology – Email has been around for 50 years. To signup to social media sites you need an email address. It will be around for quite some time.

    8) Don’t sell cheap products

    The hell-zone is products in the $1-$50 segment. Customers are price sensitive and generally has a higher probability of asking for refunds. You also need super high volumes to make it work financially.


    Summary and Next step

So the 8 things I’ve learned from mr. Sethi are:

  • Negotiation
  • Say no to customers
  • Don’t listen to what people say, watch what they do.
  • The power of copywriting
  • How to write MOUTHWATERING copy
  • Online courses are a powerful business model
  • Build an email list
  • Don’t sell cheap products

What can you do with this today?

Pick the topic that interests you the most. Then write down 3 ways you can use the knowledge in your life or business.

Then email me your ideas at hello@mannelarsson.com 🙂

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