I joined Ramit’s Zero to Launch course a couple years ago. His initial book on money management and index funds helped me understand finance a lot. Hence, I followed him on and off for years. I joined ZTL because his email funnels were awesome and the amount of effort put into the landing page and the marketing funnel on the whole was great. I decided to purchase ZTL because they allow 12 months payments. However, finally, I realized that the product didn’t match up with the marketing.
In hindsight, that’s really clever marketing. $199 US a month couple be better allocate elsewhere, rather than a program that was kind of ineffective.
The Good: Zero to Launch Review
The biggest takeaway from the program is: you must be able to write persuasively and talk about the hopes, pains and fears of your target audience. You must do customer research by reaching out to your audience and asking them if they have a willingness to purchase. That’s the biggest takeaway I got from the program. The rest, such as WordPress hosting and etc were rudimentary and basic.
The presentation of the program is also professional. There’s clean presentations and Ramit looks really professional speaking into the camera. (note: I’ll 10 times rather the product be effective than looks professional.)
I also used the private Facebook community to ask a couple of questions that’s unrelated to the program (Google sheets hacks) and got that little spike of value add from there. Other than that, there’s absolutely no need to spend $2000 odd US dollars on a program that all I got out from was fundamental copywriting and how to do market research.
The Bad: Zero to Launch Review
Ramit Sethi, despite being a Stanford graduate, doesn’t really encourage independent thinking in his community. ‘You just need to follow the system’. This is an advice that can be really harmful due to opportunity cost of following the wrong system. If the system isn’t working despite you following it, then there must be something wrong. It’s not about you being a top performer or not.
The main traffic generation for ZTL is through guest posting. You ‘need to forget SEO, Youtube and FB ads, if not, you’ll end up chasing shiny objects and hence, you’re not a top performer’. Here’s why guest blogging no longer working by 2017-2018. Firstly, big influencer sites no longer accept guest articles. Secondly, from a traffic generation stand point and SEO stand point, guest post is a crappy strategy: it has no scalability.
There are many members in the Facebook community that are stuck at phase one or two: idea generation and traffic. This is evident from the community support in his Facebook group. If most of your students are stuck in phase one or two, then it’s not a successful product. You then keep telling them to ‘follow the system’ and ‘be a top performer’. Part of being a top performer is ability to question a model or a system and try/ discuss new possible business growth strategies.
Since guest posting didn’t work out for me, I attempted something else. I turned to Facebook ads. I managed to grow my offline dating coaching business using Facebook Ads (something Zero to Launch and Ramit disagrees and advices against) to 10k a month. Of course, I used some concept from his course: positioning and copywriting alongside running Facebook Ads.
Ramit closed Zero to Launch and the Facebook community in late Feb 2020 and told his clients to download the course material as it’s no longer going to be hosted. That’s the deal breaker for me that sparked me to publish this review. He eventually went agains that decision as he got angry emails from his students. However, the decision to archive the Facebook community and not let anymore engagement stayed. This is in lieu of his launch of his new program: Earnable. I might be wrong, but you could smell another marketing strategy here: you want support and community? Then buy another of my program.
Final Thoughts on Zero To Launch and Ramit
I enjoyed Ramit’s earlier work on money management, implementing systems and index funds: on using social psychology to shape behaviour. On using systems to manage money. I also became a better persuasive copywriter because of his work. I also became a more accountable person because of him: his notion of being a ‘top performer’.
However, Zero To Launch is extremely overvalued in itself. There was a huge opportunity and time cost of using a method that doesn’t work: guest posting and reaching out to mega influencers. That’s the one that angered me the most. It’s a poor traffic generation strategy and there’s opportunity cost of ‘sticking to the system because you must be a top performer to succeed’. You’re better off learning search engine optimization and systems thinking from Ahrefs Youtube channel, Authority Hackers and Ryan Stewart.
I also lost trust in Ramit as an authoritative source. I won’t be purchasing any of products again. He recently Zero to Launch and launching a brand new program Earnable. I won’t be partaking in any of that. I initially desired to publish a review article much earlier before this. However, for some reason I always held back. I Googled around for other negative reviews and I saw a couple of Quora and even one from his ex-student. So I decided I wasn’t alone in this finally wrote one.
In conclusion, there’s are some of Ramit’s works that are useful: such as his book and a couple of articles on his site. However, be independent in your decision making and make the right correct purchasing choice.