Expert Secrets, Russell Brunson (8/10)

A guide to finding a niche community online and selling them information products such as guides and courses

Expert Secrets, Russell Brunson (8/10)

Rating: 8/10
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🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences

  1. This book is about finding a niche community online - specifically those who would be looking for your advice
  2. The book is packed with actionable tips and templates
  3. It's a guide for selling information products online - guides, courses, etc.

🎨 Impressions

I quite liked this book from Russell Brunson, though not as much as his previous book, DotCom Secrets. The subject matter, for me personally, was less applicable for me personally. But, the subject matter itself is far more interesting from an objective perspective. It discusses broad theories like creating a mass movement or the power of story telling, which I found fascinating. The book, and Russell's narrative throughout, however, have somewhat of a sadistic and overly "money-grabbing" tone. Despite the insincerity of his strategies and narrative, I do believe it's worth reading and understanding them - if not for personal use then at least to analyse your competitors and competitive landscape.

🔍 How I Discovered It

I've followed Russell and ClickFunnels for a while and have previously read his books. They're highly rated on Goodreads.

🥰 Who Should Read It?

Anyone interested in building a brand online and leveraging the power of the internet to selling information and digital products online.

☘️ How the Book Changed Me

The book's really opened by eyes to how easily people can be manipulated at scale on the internet... you really do only need 1,000 true fans and if you're a polarising and charismatic leader, that's not that difficult to obtain and monetise with some of the strategies in this book. I can really easily see how some of these course selling guys have become multi-millionaries overnight by playing to people's evolutionary traits and psychology.

✍️ My Favourite Quotes

  • "You'll get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want." — Zig Ziglar
  • “Thanks to the internet the money is NOT in the submarket. The riches are in the niches.”
  • "Our goal is not to fix what's not working. Our goal is to REPLACE what's not working with something better."
  • "If you truly believe what you have is useful and valuable, then you have a moral obligation to try to serve them in every way possible." — Jay Abraham
  • "You don't have to be the most knowledgable person or expert in your topic, you just need to be one chapter ahead of the people you're teaching"

📒 Summary + Notes

Section One: Creating Your Mass Movement

Introduction

You'll get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want. Zig Ziglar

Two types of expert businesses:

1. Sell information products

  • Taking life lessons you've learned → packing them into info products, coaching, consulting
  • Don't need VC
  • Need passion for what you're teaching
  • Must tell stories that get others excited
We get excited about a topic and geek out on it. We learn, read books, study examples, listen to podcasts, etc. After using it for ourselves, the way to grow is to shift focus from personal growth to contribution... we coach others, create information products, and contribute to other people's lives.

2. Leverage information products to grow existing company

Secret #1: The Charismatic Leader / Attractive Character

Leaders of mass movements have 3 things in common:

  1. Charismatic leader or an attractive character
  2. Focus on future-based causes bigger than themselves
  3. Offer audiences a new opportunity
You don't have to be the most knowledgable person or expert in your topic, you just need to be ahead of the people you're teaching

WHO DO YOU WANT TO SERVE?

  • Typically people just like you, before you became an expert
  • Lead these people on the path you've walked before

Almost all expert businesses are based on 3 core markets within which there are multiple sub-markets:

  • Health, Wealth, Relationships

Blue Ocean Strategy: Look inside your sub-market. Create a new niche!

Core market → submarket → niche

  • Health → nutrition → high-fat diets
  • Health → weight loss → weight loss for college students
  • Wealth → real estate → flipping houses on eBay
  • Wealth → online business → Facebook traffic for e-comm products
  • Relationships  parenting → dealing with teenagers
  • Relationships → dating → how to recover after a breakup

After identifying your market, ask:

1. Is this sub-market excited about the market new opportunity I'm presenting in my niche?

  • Nutrition → high-fat diet. Real estate → flipping houses on eBay
  • You're pulling people from submarket → your niche; they must be excited about what you want to share

2. Are the people in this market irrationally passionate?

  • Communities? Events? Proprietary vocab? Other experts, celebrities, gurus?

3. Are they WILLING and ABLE to spend $ on information?

WHO MUST YOU BECOME AS A LEADER?

If you truly believe what you have is useful and valuable, then you have a moral obligation to try to serve them in every way possible. — Jay Abraham

1. Become an attractive leader and live the life your audience wishes they could live

  • The gap between where they see themselves and you moves them to action and change
  • You must show them both sides - where you came from and where you are now - for them to take action

2. Maintain absolute certainty

  • Publish your messages and stories daily
  • Use podcasts, Facebook, YouTube, Facebook Live, blogging, Snapchat, etc.
  • This helps you discover your voice
  • Daily means you gather data and improve iteratively

3. Don't be boring

  • Cause polarity - it attracts attention and people will pay for it
If you haven’t offended someone by noon each day, then you’re not marketing hard enough. — Dan Kennedy

4. Understand how to use persuasion

People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies. — Blair Warren

5. Care... a LOT

They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
  • Get your your audience to pay you because: i) Those who pay will pay more attention, and ii) Puts barriers on your time

6. Offer value from the perceived relationship with you

  • If they listen to your podcast, read your blog, they must see value in return for their time as THEY define it

Secret #2 The Cause

People want to plug in to something bigger than themselves, so it’s your job to create that vision.

To create a mass movement, use a future-based case - show them a version of the future and their lives when they get there.

Fear of the future causes us to lean against and cling to the present, while faith in the future renders us perceptive to change.
— Eric Hoffer

1. Where can they place their hope and faith?

  • What do your people want? Where do they want to go?
  • Capture this in a simple calling that you could put on a campaign sign
  • Imagine you're running for President - what's your campaign slogan?

2. Help them break their 4-minute mile

  • What's the 4-minute mile for your audience? Their big result? 1-million-dollar-funnel?
  • Ideally something you've already accomplished
  • Shift your focus to help others accomplish the same results

3. Let them self-identify

  • When someone joins you, they must be able to identify by saying "I'm a ____"
  • "Funnel hackers"... "I build funnels"
  • "I'm a funnel hacker"... "I'm a lady boss"... "I'm a bio-hacker"

4. Create your own Title of Liberty

Title of Liberty #1: The Mini Manifesto. Summarised pages and phrases to help people identify with your group and remind them of your core values

Title of Liberty #2: The Manifesto. Create a manifesto - something your members can print and frame next to their computers or make their backgrounds

Title of Liberty #3: Video Title Sequence

  • Identify the charismatic leader. Who are you?
  • Identify the movement
  • US vs. Them. Take a stand
  • Why are you different?
  • Who or what are you collectively fighting against?
  • Who you ARE!

Secret #3: The New Opportunity

Our goal is not to fix what's not working, it's to REPLACE what's not working with something better.

WHY PEOPLE DON'T WANT IMPROVEMENT OFFERS

1. Improvement is hard

  • People have tried to improve (make money, lose weight) and failed
  • New opportunity - they don't know the process, don't have to go through the known pain to get the result
They must be wholly ignorant of the difficulties involved in their vast undertaking. Experience is a handicap.
— Eric Hoffer

2. Desire vs. Ambition

  • All people have desire, but <2% are ambitious
  • Improvement sells to ambitious people
  • New opportunity sells to everyone

3. Memories of Poor Past Decisions

  • Improvement admits past failure
  • New opportunity justifies past failure

4. Commodity Pricing

  • Get out of the red ocean
  • If you can't be the cheapest, you must become the most expensive

5. [MOST IMPORTANT] Status ( only thing that causes people to move)

"Will this increase or decrease my status?"

  • appearance of intelligence (anything that makes them look smarter)
  • appearance of wealth, power or happiness
  • physical appearance (weight loss, makeup, supplements, etc.)
  • style (mac vs pc)

CREATING THE NEW OPPORTUNITY, THEIR VEHICLE FOR CHANGE

Opportunity Switching: Moves from current to new vehicle

  • Weight Loss: Atkins → Paleo
  • Real Estate: Flipping → Short Sales
  • Can be [niche → niche] or [sub-market → sub-market]

Opportunity Stacking: After they switch, all future sells are opportunity stacks, not improvements... they now look for other new opportunities within this opportunities. You'll offer this to serve at a higher level

Secret #4: The Opportunity Switch

To create the opportunity, consider:

  1. What result do you want for your people?
  2. What vehicle or process will you take them through to get that result?.

1. Get early results, work for free

  • Work for free, get results, captures stories & testimonials
  • Use these to attract & convert your dream clients

2. Design the vehicle (your new opportunity)

Where do you find people to serve? What should you teach them?

  • Why/What statement. "I am going to teach ____ how to ____."
  • Teach [sub-market] how to [your niche]
  • Teach [real estate investors] how to [make money flipping houses on eBay]

Opportunity Switch Headline

  • How to [result they desire most] without [thing they fear most]
  • How to [create a 7-figure funnel in >30mins] without [hiring a tech guy]
  • How to [make $10k this weekend by flipping your first house on eBay] without [getting a bank loan]

Use the 5 Curiosity Hooks

  1. Little-Known, Big Differences**:** Little-Known thing called Ketosis...
  2. Well Known, Little Understood: Everyone's talking about low-carb diets, right...? But...'
  3. This Changes Everything: Are you trying to stick to this diet, but ...? Do you start every Monday..., but...? You need to learn about ketosis... this changes everything!
  4. The Crystal Ball Theory: Are you tired of... but not seeing the scale budge? The diet of the future...
  5. Revisiting fundamental: Do you track calories, exercise, water, etc.? It's got out of control. Let's get back to the basics. You just need to drink ketones and sleep....

3. Give them what they want

Find a hot market, ask them what they want, give it to them

Because you're an expert, it's easy to assume you know what people want. You must ask them!

Get your first 100 responses

  • Tell everyone you know
  • Spam the threads and places they hang out
  • You'll realise there's 8-10 things people want to know
  • Make these the titles of your videos, podcasts, masterclass course modules

Deliver your free masterclass

  • Set up a FB group for your beta members
  • Start super budget and deliver it free using FB live, YT live. etc.

Section Two: Creating Belief

Secret #5: The Big Domino

The Big Domino Statement:

If I can make people believe that (my new opportunity) is key to (what they desire most) and is only attainable through (my specific vehicle), then all other objections and concerns become irrelevant and they have to give me money

This is NOT true:

If I can make people believe that (cutting calories and exercising) is the key to (losing weight) and is only attainable through my new weight loss course), then all other objections and concerns become irrelevant and they have to give me money.
  1. You're in the mainstream - you're NOT prolific
  2. There's 1,000's of identical programs crowding "cutting calories and exercising". This is NOT a new opportunity.
  3. They could buy 100s of products to satisfy this belief. This is NOT a blue ocean.

Change it to:

If I can make them believe that (getting their bodies into a state of ketosis) is key to (losing weight) and is only attainable through (drinking Pruvit's ketones, which put the body into ketosis within 10 minutes), then all other objections and concerns become irrelevant and they have to give me money.

Secret #6: The Epiphany Bridge

Epiphany Bridge = simple story. Takes people through the emotional experience that got YOU excited about YOUR opportunity.
  • It's your "Aha" moment. Share it. It's an emotional connection
  • It's why you started geeking out on the topic... after which you became 'logically sold'
  • Logic doesn't sell, emotions do
  • Go back to the time before you were 'logically sold'... what happened...? what was happening around you...? how did you feel...? These are important details
  • To tell a good story... Use oversimplification. The 'kinda like' bridge
  • Add in feelings and emotions. 'I guess you had to be there' - get them in the emotional state and position you were in at the time!

Secret #7: The Hero's Two Journeys

Good stories are simple, built on the plot:

  1. Character → red riding hood
  2. Desire → get cookies to grandma
  3. Conflict → big, bad wolf
Every good story is about a captivating character who's pursuing some compelling desire and who faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieving it.
— Michael Hauge

Your Plot Statement

  • The first epiphany bridge story you tell is the one that got you excited about your new opportunity. Think about the plot (character, desire, conflict).
  • You're the character... but what desire did you start with? What did you want to achieve? What conflict did you experience on the way?

Now dig into each element...

1. Build rapport with the hero

  • First 10% of any movie...
  • Fastest way to do this is connect with >2 of these core identities:
  1. Make them a victim of some outside force, so we want to root for them
  2. Put them in jeopardy, so we worry about them
  3. Make them likeable, so we want to be with them
  4. Make them funny, so we connect with them
  5. Make them powerful, so want to like them

2. Introduce desire for something more

To Pleasure

  • To Win - (i.e. an increase in status) win fame, money, competition, the heart of someone they love
  • To Retrieve - obtain something and bring it back

Away From Pain

  • To Escape - get away from something upsetting or causing pain
  • To Stop - stop something bad from happening ****

In every good story, the hero is actually on two journeys - the one we see (Journey of Achievement), the one that's hidden (Journey of Transformation)

  • Journey of Achievement - everyone's aware, visible goal and finish line, reason they set out on the journey in the first place
  • Journey of Transformation - more important. possibly a big change in identity, new set of beliefs. death and rebirth in identity (think of Cars movie)

3. Introduce the conflict

  • In pursuing the goal, there must be seemingly insurmountable objects
  • Use conflict to elicit emotion
  1. New opportunity - reason why they set off on the journey
  2. Change of plans - desire transforms into specific, visible goal with clearly defined end point. here, the hero's outer motivation is revealed
  3. Point of no return - hero must fully commit. do-or-die situation. results in moving into more complex situations with higher stakes
  4. The major setback - something happens. all is lost. no chance of success. glimmer of light. one option. all-or-nothing shot.
  5. The climax - biggest obstacle of story to determine fate. journey of achievement is then resolved and journey of transformation revealed. then we move into aftermath

Secret #8:The Epiphany Bridge Script

An Epiphany Bridge has 8 core sections that pull you through the hero's journey.

1. The Backstory: gives a vested interest in your journey

2. Your Desires: what do you want to accomplish?

  • External: what's your external struggle?
  • Internal: what's your internal struggle?

3. The Wall: what problem did you hit in your current opportunity that started you on the new journey?

4. The Epiphany: what epiphany did you experience? what new opportunity did you discover?

5. The Plan: what plan did you create to achieve your desire?

6. The Conflict: conflict you experienced on the way?

7. The Achievement: end result?

8. The Transformation: transformation you experienced?

Draw your Epiphany Bridge story back to your Big Domino statement (section 5)!

If I can make people believe that (my new opportunity) is key to (what they desire most) and is only attainable through (my specific vehicle), then all other objections and concerns become irrelevant and they have to give me money

Secret #9: False Belief Patterns

People will bring 000's of preconceived beliefs when you speak to people about your new opportunity

  • Must combat this to make the sale
  • We all create belief systems to support our decisions, from the day we're born
  • Two people can have the same experience, but different beliefs due to the different stories created

Use Epiphany Bridge stories to replace their old stories, create new ones, and break false beliefs

1. Identify their false chains of belief

  • Think about the false beliefs that you had before your big epiphany.

2. Identify the experiences that caused their false beliefs

3. Identify the false story they're telling themselves that's creating doubt about your opportunity

4. Find an Epiphany Bridge story that shows how you once had a similar belief, but now have a new belief pattern, because of this story, and the old story you were telling yourself was wrong

  • Usually your own story, but other people's stories can also work

BUILD AN INVENTORY OF STORIES

List the false beliefs your customers might have RE your opportunity.

  • Think about your initial false beliefs
  • Try to list >10+

1. What experiences might have caused the false beliefs?

  • List an experience for each false belief

2. What stories do they tell themselves because of those experiences?

  • it’s important to know their stories
  • Your new Epiphany Bridge story will replace those old stories

3. Think about your own Epiphany Bridge story for each of those false beliefs

  • What happened to change that belief for you?

Secret #10: The 3 Secrets

Once you change a big belief, they may come up with other concerns. This is especially true with more expensive opportunities and big life changes

Three core beliefs that regularly come to surface are:

  1. The Vehicle: false beliefs they may have about the opportunity you’re presenting
  2. Internal Beliefs: false beliefs about their own abilities to execute
  3. External Beliefs: false beliefs about outside forces keeping them from success, beyond their control, e.g. the economy, time, etc.

In more complex sales, imagine and allocate their false beliefs related to each of those three things.

Section Three: Your Moral Obligation

Secret #11: The Stack Slide

Before selling, first create an irresistible offer...

  • Write everything you could create for your dream customer to get them their desired result
  • Then create the 'stack slide'... the goal is to show you give 10x value as you ask in price. For example, $97 product → stack slide = $997+

Six elements that work best in funnels.

1. The Opportunity Switch Masterclass

  • system teaching the new opportunity
  • it's what you teach your beta group/free masterclass
  • after free masterclass, flesh it out for your paid course or use beta recordings

2. The Tools

  • tools to help them succeed during your masterclass
  • tangible assets that make the core training easier to implement
  • could be something complex, e.g. software
  • or something simple, e.g. scripts/cheat sheets/timelines/templates/checklists to follow/fill-in
  • extra training isn't good - people assume it's more work
  • tools have higher perceived value than the masterclass itself - invest time and make them awesome

3. Tangible #1 (related to the vehicle)

  • consider their false beliefs related to the new opportunity
  • what tangible thing can you create to help them change their belief?
  • case study booklets, success examples, video trainings
  • can watch/read as proof your vehicle works and offers insight on how others are doing it

4. Tangible #2 (related to their internal struggle)

  • once they believe it's the right opportunity for them, what false beliefs do they have about themselves? what tangible thing can you create to help overcome this struggle?
  • specific training that goes beyond the masterclass
  • tangible tools or templates to give them confidence to realise they can actually do it

5. Tangible #3 (related to an external struggle)

  • they believe in the vehicle and that they can do it... but there's an outside force - economy, time, etc. something outside their control
  • think about what outside things keep people from success, then create something to help eliminate or minimise that excuse

6. Exclusive Bonus

  • Create something to cause urgency and scarcity
  • Upgrade accounts for those who sign-up before a deadline
  • First X people get a consultation

Secret #12:The Perfect Webinar

  • It doesn't need to be a webinar, it can be a video sales letter, tele-seminar, presentation, email sequence, etc...
  • The idea is to have everything covered thus far be put into one succinct script
  • Have a single point of belief that your message is built around and is emphasised over and over and over again from a variety of different angles

There are 3 Major Parts:

1. The Introduction/Building Rapport

  • Welcome people, build report, pique their curiosity
  • Start persuading people

2. The One Thing

  • Identify the Big Domino
  • Tell them your first Epiphany Bridge

3. The Three Secrets (Breaking & Re-building Belief Patterns)

  • Content section
  • Must identify false beliefs around: the opportunity, internal beliefs, external beliefs

Rest of book (Secrets 13-22)

The rest of the book is basically Russell's scripts for doing and executing all of the above. If you ever want to start a specific Expert business, I'd recommend simply reading this part of the book.