Ramit Sethi - CreativeLive - How To Earn Money On The Side

Posted on October 18th, 2012

Notes from the CreativeLive Course Money + Business: Essentials for Creative Entrepreneurs by Ramit Sethi - October 18, 2012

How to turn your creativity into income

Simply following your passion is not enough.

Session 1 - The Power Of Earning More

  • Think of how to create systems rather than just rely on your will-power.
  • There is a limit to how much you can cut but there is no limit to how much you can earn.
  • People believe that to start a new business, they have to quit their job and become the next Google.
  • Most people waste money on the stuff they don’t really need when it comes to building their own business.
  • Keep your language simple when it comes to communicating with your clients.
  • Get into the mindset of your client. Really.

Where do you want to be spending your money?

Ideas: how other people started earning more

  • Everybody starts at one place.
  • Focus on the path the people you admire took.
  • Think in terms of adding more skill sets into your life.
  • If you keep on doing what you do, you’ll keep on getting what you get.
  • It is easy to keep doing more of what you know.

Think - what your clients really want from you?

  • Quality work
  • Delivered on time

Think - what do your clients fear the most?

  • Know your clients more than they know themselves.
  • Focus on delivering massive value to your clients.
  • Understand your customer’s hopes and dreams.

Focus on Big Wins

  • Negotiation your salary
  • Find your dream job
  • Make more money

Why turn creativity into income?

What are your barriers of turning your creativity into income?

Popular mental barriers:

  • I am not an expert
  • I am not as good as…
  • I’de like to do it but I need more time
  • I am not experienced enough
  • I am only 22
  • I am still learning
  • I don’t look like an expert
  • I feel weird charging people for something I enjoy doing anyway
  • I hate selling myself (I feel like a car salesman)

Massive Value

  • Over deliver quality value
  • Take care of your client’s needs
  • I am going to come to your office instead of you driving here
  • I will give you a free DVD

Case Study

Video interview available on www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com

  • Violin instructor
  • Was teaching everyone
  • She identified who her real client is
  • Ambitious mothers of ambitious children
  • Ethnic mothers
  • Created references based on needs for her clients
  • Price is irrelevant as long as it takes care of the need

Focus on Value

  • Differentiate between getting more degrees vs really listening to your clients’ needs.
  • Address your clients on the level they care and understand.
  • Find your ideal clients.
  • Figure out their hopes and dreams.
  • Clearly communicate your value.

Ask without selling technique

  • Why do you want your child to start playing a violin?
  • Why did your child quit playing a violin?
  • Why did you join this course?
  • Why did you not join this course?

Where are your clients?

  • Where do your clients hang out?
  • What sites do they read?
  • Most of us are targeting everybody. Big mistake.

When you get too many clients, you can:

  • Increase your price.
  • Start working with groups.


  • Write a guide - 8 things to learn before you hire a photographer.
  • Encourage people to join the lowest model (free) that you have and then encourage people to go for more.
  • Correct me if I am wrong but your probably (address their problems).
  • Think in terms of niches.

Web Design Example

  • You probably want to get people sign-up to your email newsletter.
  • Different clients have different levels of sophistication.
  • Focus on solving specific problems.  

Session 2 - How to find a profitable idea

  1. Profitable Idea
  2. Profitable client

Your friends and family are not your clients


  • What are your challenges?
  • Who is your clients?
  • What are their challenges?

Real Idea Examples:

  • Create Powerpoint for other peopel if you are goog at it.
  • Indie wedding DJ.
  • You don’t have to be the most unique person on the block but you have to be niched.
  • Don’t force yourself to be too clever.
  • If you see competition, that is a good thing.
  • What niche within this area of competition can you create?

Find a $100 idea and tune it up into a $10,000 idea.

Niche Your Ideas

1. Get specific

“I am a web-designer” - is not specific

  • In a world of infinite choice, if something is not made for me, I’m gone.
  • Most of us server clients that will never pay us.

Step 2 - Pay Certainty Technique

  1. Think of your client - your target market.
  2. Does this client have the ABILITY to pay? Do they actually have money?
  3. Do they have the WILLINGNESS to pay? Do they want to pay?

Step 3 - Go external - validate your ideas in the real world

  • Actually asks questions.
  • Run a survey.
  • Before you can offer something, find out war they care about first.
  • If you keep it random and assume, you may be way off.

People see your behavior, not your attitude.

Ideas Breakdown

Photography Example

  • What are you looking for in a wedding photographer?
  • I have a million questions for you, but I first want to know how did you meet? I would love to hear your story.
  • Get interested in the person’s life.
  • Understand their emotions and their story.


  • If you don’t learn how to be proactive, you’ll be out of business in 6 months.
  • Examine people who do similar work and examine what they do different/better.
  • Know your competition.
  • Study your competition but don’t become your competition. Become better.
  • Niche is power. Focus.

I can hep you with X so that you can Y

I can help you with video marketing so that you can get more clients in a shorter period of time.

Martial Arts Example


  • Men
  • Fans of MMA
  • He chose police and SWAT officers
  • Six months boot camp


  • People have their own code words for their needs.
  • Where do you want your clients to come from?
  • What kind of language do they use?
  • What kind of language can you use?

Session 3 - How to land you first 3 perfect clients

Don’t Do This

Instead of wasting time on networking events, research 3-4 specific people, study them, contact them, and build a meaningful relationship.

Do This

1. Focus on reaching out the right people - identify who they are

  • Who is my client?
  • Age?
  • Gender?
  • Fears, Hopes, Dreams, Aspirations?
  • Focus on reaching out the right people
  • Study them
  • Talk about them

Personal Organizer Example:

  • Target women
  • Age 40-45
  • Married
  • Has kids
  • Work
  • Husband works
  • Busy working women/mother
  • Stressed out
  • Want to spend time with my family instead of taking care of home mass

Personal organizer sells:

  • Service that provides a peace of mind that will allow you to feel free.
  • Understand your client’s problems and goals. Connect with them.
  • Concerns come first. Price comes later.

2. Reach out to them directly

  • You need to be proactively reaching out to people
  • Script: Pitching a prospect (website or book)
  • Who specifically can you connect with that can potentially give you a referral

3. Chat over coffee, lunch, or email

  • Focus your emails on the convenience of the recipient
  • You cannot create a meaningful relationship just by sitting on the Internet
  • Connect with people on levels greater than just email
  • Making a connection in person is one of the best ways to make a meaningful connections

From having a conversation to selling

1. You don’t have to be the best, you just have to solve their problems

2. Be an advisor, not a salesperson

  • I can help you out.
  • When someone wants one thing, they probably wants something else too.
  • Ask questions to identify the real value.
  • Being an advisor also means knowing when to tell somebody NO.
  • Show your clients what you can do for them.

3. Remove all risk

  • Offer a full refund - money back guarantee.
  • Eliminate commitment fee - no phone call needed.
  • Record a Youtube video and address your client’s possible risks or fears.
  • Tell a story behind your work: this is what happened when you take it with a regular camera and here is what happened when I did work on it. After the work has done, this photo looks flawless.

Should you ever have to work for free?

  • Free work can work strategically.
  • Free work works when it is done correctly.

  • Do free work if the person you will work for is massively influential: famous, author.

  • My normal rate is but because I really enjoy your work, I am willing to work for free if you are willing to give me a referral/go back to my normal rate when we are done.
  • The are more valuable things than money in a short-term

How to go form 1 client to many

  • Make an agreement - if I do an extraordinary job you will agree to give me 3 referrals.
  • If you have clients - ask them how they found you, what sites do they read, and go there.
  • Learn to tell stories (narrative).

Questions or comments? Send me an email