Marie Forleo introduction


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You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching Marie TV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. And this is Q and A Tuesday, except it’s not a normal Q and A Tuesday because I am not answering the question today. Once again, I have a special guest. He’s been on the show before and I am so pleased to have him again. It’s my friend, New York Times bestselling author, Ramit Sethi who wrote, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Ramit, thanks for coming back on.

How’s it going?

It’s going awesome. And we’re going to have some fun today because, one of the things I love about you, you’re a great entrepreneur, you’re a great teacher. You sell information products and training programs and you’re quite successful at it. So congratulations, and I know your products and your services… You actually don’t have services. Your products help a lot of people.

I have a lot of folks in my audience who also would like to sell information products and training. And one of the most common questions I get asked is “Why is my product not selling? I’ve put so much work into it, so much heart and soul, no sales.” And I have a feeling that you may have an answer that can really help people out.

There’s a lot of reasons and I studied them systematically over the last few years. My first info product was a $4.95 ebook.

Was it really?

Yeah, it was called Ramit’s 2007 Guide to Kicking Ass. And I still laugh at how naive my marketing was and my pricing. And recently I sold a product for $12,000. So along that entire gamut of understanding what works and what doesn’t, I’ve been watching and learning and testing different approaches.

One of the biggest things I find is, we are not specific enough with who it is we’re going after and what our product does. So for example, I have a course that is called, Earn $1K on the Side. And it’s helped a lot of people earn $1000 to $5,000 a month on the side while they keep their full time job. It took us six months to get that name.

You would think we were just sitting around drunk in the back of our office, “Oh, Earn $1K on the Side.” No. Think about it, when you’re talking about earning more money, there’s an infinite number of possibilities. Make more money, there’s those scammy get rich quick things, live a better life through more income. Why did we call it Earn $1K on the Side? And then I’m going to tell everyone how to apply this to their own life. Earn $1K, because many of my successful readers end up earning tens of thousands of dollars. But if I say earn $10K, what do you think people think?

No way impossible. I can’t do it not going to happen.

I’m not the kind of person that could earn $10K. But $1K, yes. And by the way, $1K for most of us, $1K a month is life changing. Then on the side, what we discovered in our research was, people believe if you talk about earning more money, they have to quit their jobs and start the next Google. Wrong. You can earn money on the side while you have a full time job. So, this radically changed our positioning and it enabled us to really do well with that course and help people earn a lot of money.

When I look at some of the products and I’ve done a lot of research on your students and your readers and when I gave a talk last year at RHH, I studied them very carefully. And I noticed that a lot of them use very similar phrases. And a lot of the courses and products and services are in the relationship or financial area. So help you get your business up, help you find love, et cetera. And not many of them were as specific as they could be.

So, I will challenge your readers right now. If you are trying to help your clients with their relationships, I would say, “Who are you targeting?” And when I asked this question at the talk I gave, many people, said, “Women.” I was like, “That’s not specific.” So I said, “How old are these women?” And they said, “25 to 54.” Okay. There is virtually nothing identical about a 25 year old woman to a 54 year old woman. Nothing. In fact, if you’re talking about love, a 24 year old woman thinks of love totally differently than even a 34 year old woman. And by the way, what if the 34 year old woman went to an Ivy League college? She thinks of love even differently.

So getting really specific. To be able to say, for example, “I’m targeting, let’s say 24 to 29 year old young women, who are interested in X, Y, Z and this is what they’re doing.” The second question to ask is, “Who am I not targeting?” And that brings us to a whole other question of why we don’t get specific.

Yeah, let’s talk about that for a minute. Because every time, in many of my programs, when I talk about being specific and drilling down, people freak out because, “I don’t want to leave anyone behind.” And, “My information can help everybody.” And I understand that the intention behind that is very admirable, because they believe in what they do and they really do want to help as many people as possible. But from a business and marketing perspective, it’s shooting yourself in the foot.

Yeah. In a world of infinite choices, when you see something that is not directly for you, you close the window and move on. So if I am, let’s say, a young man and I’m looking for some shirts and I go onto this website, or whatever, and I see the shirt, so I click to zoom in and there’s a guy modeling it. And it’s a guy that kind of looks like me. He’s young, he’s wearing these kinds of shoes. I’m like, “All right.” Then I click to the next photo. The next photo. There’s this 16 year old little punk with a skateboard and now I’m like, “Wait a minute.” And then I click to the next one and there’s this grandpa who’s on the beach with Dockers-

And socks.

And some white socks and I’m like, “What do I do?” Close the window, because it’s not for me. What this site has tried to do is appeal to everyone, but ironically, they’ve turned us all off. 16 year old punk doesn’t want me and he definitely doesn’t want Gramps. And Grandpa doesn’t even know how to use this computer, so he’s not even looking at this website. So we have a big problem here. We have a really big problem.

The point of this is you have to be able to say who you’re targeting as well as who you’re not targeting. And while on the firsthand, it does seem like, why would I want to shut people off? You have to understand that you’re not trying to appeal to everyone, you’re trying to appeal to the right people. And when you do that, when you can get deeply into their mind and understand what it is they want, you can tailor your product and service exactly for them. You can use the language that they use. Again, a 24 year old young woman looking for love, her language around relationships, totally different than a 45 year old looking for love. Totally different. We all know that.

So, put yourself in the mind of your client, if they’re 24 and they’re looking for X, what language are they going to use? What are they going to look for? How much are they going to be willing to pay? And if you’re looking at helping 44 year old clients, they have a totally different mindset. They’re probably willing to spend a lot more. They probably have very different phrases and words that they use. And when you can reach directly into what they want, in fact, you will find that not only will your clients become happier, your business will dramatically grow because price will become a mere triviality. You’re actually solving their problems by getting specific.

Love it. Ramit, this is genius. So let me give you a typical example of something that I often hear in the words of some of my clients and some of my readers, and I know they need to drill down to be more specific, so I’d love to hear how you handle this. So, many people want to build their business around empowering women and empowering women to find their life purpose and live it out and have the life of their dreams. What would you say to someone who wants to do that, because it feels very general, how would you get them more specific?

So… hold on.

I love that we kind of fried your brain for a second.

I’m speechless for the first time in 30 years. So they want to empower women to live the life of their dreams?


Okay. So let me tell you, and I just heard this for the first time just now, let me tell you five ways that I believe these clients might be empowered to live a better life. They might buy a nicer shirt. They might get a better haircut. They might get a better car. They might make more money. They might find the life partner that they deserve. Okay. So are you selling cars, or are you selling relationships, or what is it that you’re selling?

Empowering is a good word, but it’s so general that without some kind of additional positioning, it is meaningless. And what happens is, a lot of us will look at really large companies and say, “Well, wait a minute, Coca-Cola they sell happiness.” Well, Coca-Cola has been around for over a hundred years and they have a multibillion dollar market cap. So they can do that because people know what Coca-Cola represents.

When you’re starting off, nobody knows who you are. So, if a client or a potential client, a prospect goes to your site, put yourself in their mind, what are their hopes, fears, and dreams? And when you say empowering women, let’s get really specific. Are you talking about helping them with their relationships? Or with their job and their career? Or their finances? If so, I would suggest starting off with one of those, nailing it. Because one of the best things you can do when you’re getting specific, is to show three or four testimonials of before and after. You know who does this really well is, P90X, the workout regimen.


Love their site because it is so simple. It’s not particularly beautiful, but if you go there, you see ultra ultimate specificity. You see the skinny guy who got big. You see the fat guy who got toned. You see the post-pregnancy woman who got back to a pre pregnancy weight. You see every single specific niche and you’re like, “That’s me.” And you click it and you read it. And you said, “That’s me again. Buy.” So what could you do on your site and in your positioning to make somebody come and say, “That’s me. She described my problem. She described a potential solution. And best of all, she showed me an example of two or three other people who went through this process and came out on the other end and they’re exactly where I want to be in my life.”

So, I love what you just said. So why don’t you come up with our Marie TV challenge for today? And it sounds like it’s a little bit of a before and after.

Let’s do a classic before and after. I’ll challenge each of your readers to take their current positioning, whether or not they have a business, even if they just have an idea for a business, what is it right now? What’s your before? So I want to help empower women to live their authentic lives and authentic best selves and whatever that phrase may be. Now, let’s take it to the after. Let’s get really, really specific. We did, instead of make more money, we did Earn $1K on the Side. Instead of helping you find true love, maybe it is helping you find your perfect relationship for the ambitious career woman. Niche it down, get ultra specific. And I think it’s hard, it’s not easy, but when you do that you’re going to see the power of how specific you can get and now you know exactly who you’re targeting.

Love it. Ramit just laid down an amazing challenge. And remember, the best action happens after the episode at So make sure you go take our before and after challenge, leave a comment below, and we will see you there.

Like this video? Then subscribe and share it with your friends. And if you want even more insights from me, resources, all kinds of great things to create a business and life you love, get your butt over to and make sure to sign up for email updates. Ramit, thank you so much for being here, it was awesome.

Thanks for having me.

Now you need to stay on your game and keep going for your dreams. The world needs that special thing that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and we’ll catch you next time on Marie TV.

I’m a soft, sensitive soul inside this hard exterior.

You actually really are. That’s why you’re my friend. I think you’re really mushy inside.

You have a specific blow dryer?

Yeah, who blows out my hair.

He doesn’t just cut it? He just…

Just one guy that blow dries it.

Wow. That’s some niche (beep) right there.

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