Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson Summary

How to succeed in making content and selling products online.

Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson Summary
Source: Russell Brunson

Rating: 10/10

The book in one sentence: How to succeed in making content and selling products online.

Section 1: Creating Your Movement


Secret 1: The 7 Steps to Becoming an Expert

  1. Find your passion. What topic could you talk about for hours?
  2. Read every book and listen to every podcast on the topic.
  3. Interview people who are better than you. You can start a podcast and invite authors—more info in Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson.
  4. Develop a framework and test it on yourself. A framework is a collection of principles and patterns. When you teach someone a framework, you position yourself as an expert. That makes people more likely to buy the products you recommended because they are custom-made to work with the framework.
  5. Test your frameworks on other people. Refine them.
  6. Teach. (1) Post on YouTube, podcast, or blog every day for at least a year. (2) Document, don’t create. (3) Test your frameworks to make sure they get results. (4) Polarize. Be contrarian. Nobody will pay for mainstream ideas. (5) Use persuasion and apply it to your content. (6) Share your backstory and flaws.
  7. Care about your customers. (1) You have to charge them money so they take your courses seriously. (2) Use time effectively. Either give value away on a large platform or charge for consulting.

Secret 2: The 5 Step Guide for Teaching Frameworks

  1. Say the name of the framework and its sub-name. Ex) The Finance Master Plan: The 10 Step Guide to Mastering Personal Finance.
  2. Share how you learned it. Talk about the money spent, the books read, the interviews, the time lost, the self-testing, the tests with other people to make sure the framework works, and the iteration cycles. Give credit to the people that you got ideas from.
  3. Share the strategy. The outline. The steps of the framework.
  4. Teach the tactics. The specific how of the framework. Go into more detail on how you will execute your strategy.
  5. Show that it works for others. If it only works for you, people will assume you’re special and that your systems won’t work for an average person like them. Get video or text testimonials from regular people.

Secret 3: Markets, Sub-markets, and Niches

The 3 core markets:

  1. Health
  2. Relationships
  3. Wealth

Sub-Markets

A sub-market is a smaller section of the 3 markets. Ex) Sales is a sub-market of wealth. Diet is a sub-market of health.

Find a submarket related to your passion. Then, ask yourself:

  1. Are there communities? Forums, Facebook groups, etc already teeming with irrationally passionate people?
  2. Does it have its own vocabulary? Like how crypto has DAOs, blockchain, fiat, and a bunch of other jargon. If so, that’s a good thing.
  3. Are there events? If so, that’s good.
  4. Does the market have its own celebrities and gurus? If so, that’s good. There must be established experts already thriving and selling information products in your market. You don’t want to be the first celebrity in a market. You want a topic or niche with its own subculture already established.
  5. Are the peoples willing and able to buy your course? Ideally, you want many affluent customers who can afford your products.

Niches

Below sub-markets there are niches.

Examples:

Health (market) -> nutrition (sub-market) -> paleo diet (niche)

Health -> weight loss -> weight loss for women

Health -> weight loss -> weight loss for college students

Relationships -> dating -> how to ask someone out

Strategy

  1. Create your own niche. ClickFunnels could have been marketed as a landing page or a website builder. Instead, they made their own category: sales funnels. Analyze all of the niches in your sub-market and see if there is something new or overlooked that you can create.
  2. Switch people from one niche to another. Ex) Take them from online business to investing. This is especially effective after you make your own niche.
  3. Periodically go outside of your niche into sub-markets. There you can find frustrated customers whose problems have not been solved by the traditional methods. Brunson calls this “fishing in red oceans.” Catch the frustrated by telling them that there is a better way. Have a contrarian perspective that works.
  4. Analyze all of the gurus and teachers of your market, submarket, and niche. There could be a massive hole or a perspective not being talked about online. Fill that hole.
  5. Wait for a new platform (like TikTok in 2019) to come out and then you can be the first person in your niche on that platform (you might even be able to take markets or sub-markets).

Secret 4: Frameworks + Offers = New Opportunity

Don’t just try to make a product 10% better than the competition. You need to make a new opportunity (or at least frame it as such). Either make a new category or frame your product as a new category. The iPod, the iPhone, and the Telsa Model S are new categories. A 10% better product is not exciting and there is a cost of switching (monetary cost + most people don’t like change).

Your product needs to be a new opportunity, a new category. Because this allows customers to not think about past failures.

The biggest friction you will have is status. How your customer perceives themselves (more like self-esteem). If a person has done 21 weight-loss diets and they failed every time, they are going to be scared that your product will fail too and that will make them lose even more status (self-esteem).

How to create a new opportunity:

  1. Position yourself as an expert with proprietary information and tools by posting on blogs, YouTube, and podcasts. Information products (like books) indoctrinate your potential customers about why they need your products. Potential customers will only know your framework, so they will only want your products (so you can charge more). This is how you make a new opportunity.
  2. Find a contrarian solution that works. This will attract customers who are frustrated with the mainstream solutions.

Highlight the status increases that your product will bring over time. Minimize risk by giving money-back guarantees.


Secret 5: Use the Same Frameworks for All of Your Content

People will pay more money for the same information in a different format. A $10 book can be turned into a $1000 video course.

The most common way to increase perceived value is to change the experience of how someone consumes it: Written word -> audio -> video -> live experience

Information product ideas:

  1. List out the steps of your framework as a hook. Twitter or Instagram post.
  2. Teach one of your frameworks as a lead magnet. Post on YouTube, podcast, and blog.
  3. Book. (free + shipping) This allows you to do a 1-click upsell on the next page.
  4. Membership site. ($10-$100 per month) Like a video course but customers keep paying monthly.
  5. Online course. ($100-$1000) Same info as the book but video.
  6. Seminar or workshop. ($500-$5000) Offline and in-person.
  7. Mastermind. ($10,000–$100,000) Mastermind groups are usually smaller events that aren’t focused as much on teaching new frameworks, but instead on implementing existing frameworks that the group has already learned. About 30 people per group.
  8. One-on-one. ($10,000+)

Tool ideas:

  1. Software. Is there a website or program or app you can build that makes your framework easier?
  2. Supplements. Is there a supplement that makes your framework easier?
  3. Clothes.
  4. By-products. Scripts, templates, cheat sheets, checklists, timelines, and schedules are examples.

The Stack Slide

A stack slide is a list of information products and tools bundled in your offer.

  • Only put 1 or 2 information products in a stack because it seems like too much “work.” Often times you only include the essential framework or groups of frameworks necessary to get the intended result.
  • Tools have higher perceived value. So bundle a lot of these in your offer.
  • The products on your stack slide should add up to 10x what the purchase price is. If you’re selling a $97 course, the stack slide total value should be $997+.
  • Look at other people in your industry and see what they bundle to get ideas about what you can bundle.

Secret 6: Have a Hopeful Future-Based Cause. Not a 10% improvement of the current situation.

Create a name for your tribe that allows them to identify as someone who does the framework. For example, someone who has limiting beliefs doesn’t think of themselves as a business person. You, as the leader, need to get them to identify as a business person. Russell calls his tribe the Funnel Hackers. This reduces churn (keeps your customers buying from you). Make a T-shirt that has your tribe name on it.

Make a manifesto for your business. Make a phone background that has your manifesto on it.

Make awards for people so they feel like they accomplished something. They should be hard to achieve. Like how YouTube has awards for reaching 100,000 and 1,000,000 subscribers and ClickFunnels has awards for making $1,000,000 in a year.


Section 2: Creating Belief


Secret 7: The Epiphany Bridge

The epiphany bridge is a story that you tell about your experience of how you fell in love with your passion/product.

This will get people to emotionally buy into your offer.

Keys:

  • Make the story simple. Like you’re speaking to a 3rd grader.
  • Get people to feel emotion. You have to explain how you were feeling.
  • Make emotional parts like this: “But as I slowly stood up, I felt a shooting pain in my stomach. It felt like a heart attack, but it was lower in my gut. On top of that, I felt a pressure coming down on my shoulders; I felt like someone was sitting on my neck. It got so heavy that I couldn’t lift my head. The only thing I could see were the palms of my hands, and they were sweating, yet I was freezing cold. What would my wife say when she found out that I didn’t have any money for Christmas? What would the kids’ faces look like tomorrow morning when they found out that Santa hadn’t come this year.”

Secret 8: The Hero’s Two Journeys

All you need is 3 things to make a good story: character, desire, and conflict.

“Every good story is about a captivating character who is pursuing some compelling desire and who faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieving it. That’s it. If you’ve got those three things, then you’ve got a good story.”

Step 1: Build rapport with the hero. If we don’t build rapport with the hero in the story, then no one cares what else happens to them on their journey. If you do a good job of building that rapport up front, the audience will be engaged throughout the story. You want people to build rapport with the hero quickly. We do that by giving our hero at least two of the following things:

  1. Make the character a victim of some outside force, so we want to root for them.
  2. Put the character in jeopardy, so we worry about them.
  3. Make the character likable, so we want to be with them.
  4. Make the character funny, so we connect with them.
  5. Make the character powerful so we want to be like them.

Step 2: Introduce the desire. Every story is about a journey either toward pleasure or away from pain. There are four core desires that drive most heroes: to win, to retrieve, to escape, or to stop. Two desires move the hero toward pleasure, and two desires move the hero away from pain:

Toward pleasure

  • To win: The hero may be trying to win the heart of someone they love, or they may want to win fame, money, a competition, or prestige. But as you now know, they are really looking for an increase in status.
  • To retrieve: The hero wants to obtain something and bring it back”

Away from pain

  • To escape: The hero desires to get away from something that’s upsetting or causing pain.
  • To stop: The hero wants to stop some bad things from happening”

Step 3: Introduce a conflict or a villain. “The villain can be a person, or it could also be a false belief system. Our job is to vilify the belief system and defeat it so we can give our audience the truth.” The conflict in your story is the key to emotional connection. You have to describe how the conduct made you feel.

Step 4: A guide/expert helps the hero achieve their desire. Luke has Yoda. Frodo has Gandalf.

Step 5: The hero transforms as a person because of their journey. They may or may not achieve their initial desire. This is the hero’s second journey. Who have they become and how have they evolved? The personal journey rather than the physical journey.


Secret 9: The Epiphany Bridge Script

Phase #1: The Backstory

  • What is your BACKSTORY that gives us a vested interest in your journey?
  • What is the DESIRE or result that you want to achieve?
  • External: What are your external desires?
  • Internal: What are your internal desires?
  • What are the OLD VEHICLES that you tried in the past to get this same result that didn’t work for you?

Phase #2: The Journey

  • What was THE CALL or the reason that made you start on this journey?
  • Who or what is THE VILLAIN that is keeping you from having success?
  • “WHAT will happen if you don’t have success on this journey?

Phase #3: New Opportunity

  • Who was the GUIDE who gave you the epiphany?
  • What was the EPIPHANY you experienced?
  • What is the NEW OPPORTUNITY you created from this epiphany?

Phase #4: The Framework

  • What is the STRATEGY or frameworks you developed to get you to the desire you wanted to achieve?
  • What were THE RESULTS you got by following the frameworks?
  • What were OTHERS’ RESULTS from following your frameworks?

Phase #5: Achievement and Transformation

  • WHAT end result did you accomplish or achieve? (External Desires)
  • HOW did you transform during your journey? (Internal Desires).

Section 3: 10X Secrets: One-to-Many Selling


Secret 11: The Perfect Webinar Framework

The big domino: what is the ONE big idea that you are trying to get your audience to believe. For Russell, it’s that sales funnels are the key to business.

Your three secrets are the tools you use to attack the domino from a variety of angles.

“[The 3 secrets are] the content section of your presentation. I mentioned earlier that if you teach too much it will hurt, if not kill, your sales. This is where most people get tripped up, and the better teacher you are, the more you will struggle making sales because of this.”

“The 3 secrets are similar to what you learned in Secret #2 of this book, with one exception. When you are teaching a course, you tell your story, explain the strategy, teach the tactics, and provide social proof. When you are selling, you do not teach the tactics. You teach the what (strategy) but not the how. Your audience’s desire for the how is the reason they are going to give you money at the end of your presentation.”

The 3 secrets are the false beliefs that people have about your big idea (big domino).

Secret 1: Story—how you learned or earned your knowledge.

Secret 2: Strategy—list out the framework.

Secret 3: Case study—social proof and examples.


Secret 12: The Big Domino

“If I can make people believe that (my new opportunity/category) is the key to (the result they desire most) and is only attainable through (my specific products/frameworks), then all other objections and concerns become irrelevant and they have to give me money.”

Bad example: “For example, I’ve seen statements that say something like: If I can make people believe that cutting calories and exercising is the key to losing weight and is attainable only through my new weight-loss course, then all other objections and concerns become irrelevant and they have to give me money."

That statement is not true. Because you are giving mainstream advice. Nobody will pay money for common sense/mainstream advice. There are thousands of identical programs crowding the niche of “cutting calories and exercising.”

This is not a blue ocean. Customers could literally buy one of a hundred different products to satisfy the belief you created.

The niche and opportunity would need to change to something like this:

"If I can make them believe that ketosis is key to losing weight and is attainable only through my proprietary framework that gets your body into ketosis within 10 minutes, then all other objections and concerns become irrelevant and they have to give me money.”

Step 1: Fill this out: I am going to teach [submarket] how to [insert result] through [niche].

Step 2: Make a title: How to [result they desire most] without [thing they fear most].

  • How to create a seven-figure funnel in less than 30 minutes without having to dire, or be held hostage by, a tech guy.

Step 3: Build rapport by using one sentence persuasion by Blair Warren.

  1. Justify their failures: Now I’m guessing for a lot of you this is probably not your first webinar. The first thing I want to mention is that if you’ve failed at ________ in the past, it’s not your fault. There’s a lot of information out there, and it can be confusing. Many times that information overload keeps you from success. It’s okay.
  2. Allay their fears: If you’ve been concerned in the past that you just can’t succeed with ________, I want to put those fears to rest. You can do this. You just need the right person to explain it to you.
  3. Throw rocks at their enemies: The big corporations want you to think that you need a lot of venture capital or some fancy college degree to be successful. I’m here to tell you they’re wrong. They have their own reasons for wanting you to think that, but it’s not true.
  4. Confirm suspicions: If you’ve ever thought that the government and the banks want you to fail, you’re probably right. They don’t benefit from you succeeding. They want to keep you in debt and in need. The difference with us is that we actually care about your success and truly want to see you living the life of your dreams.
  5. Encourage their dreams: So that’s what we’re here for. I know you have a dream to change the world and make an impact, and I want to show you how to make that happen during this webinar.

Step 4: The goal slide. Tell them what the presentation will be about and set goals for what you want to achieve.

  • “My goal for this presentation is to help two types of people. For those who are beginners, you’ll get (what the presentation/ new opportunity will do for them, or how it will fulfill their desires). For more experienced people, you’ll get (alternative”
  • “Sometimes my inclusion is for beginners versus advanced, but other times it’s based on different parts of the market who may be watching. For example: If you own a retail store, you’ll get ________ from my presentation, but if you own an online store, you’ll get ________ from the presentation.”

Step 5: Tell them the “Big Domino”.

  • “If I can make them believe that (new opportunity) is key to (what they desire most), and/but it is attainable only through (specific vehicle), then all other objections and concerns become obsolete.”
  • Script: “In [this video] or [the next 10 minutes], my goal is to get you to believe that (new opportunity) is the key to unlock (what you desire the most), and I’m going to show you my proprietary frameworks that will make it simple for you to achieve that result.”

Step 6: Say why you’re qualified to teach

  • “You have to be careful here, because one of the fastest ways to break rapport with your listeners is to talk about how great you are, but it’s also essential for them to know that you are qualified to lead them. I talk briefly about one or two things from my highlight reel, and then I quickly move into my backstory to show that I started in a place just like them.
  • In the past __ years I’ve had an amazing chance to (cool thing you’ve done because of your new opportunity) and I’ve also been able to help other people to (awesome thing you did for others), but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, just a few short years ago I was just like you . . . (transition into backstory).”

Step 7: Tell your back story (Epiphany bridge).


Secret 13: The 3 Secrets

The 3 false beliefs that your 3 secrets address:

  1. The vehicle: other false beliefs they may have about the vehicle framework or new opportunity you’re presenting
  2. Internal beliefs: beliefs about their own abilities to execute on the new opportunity
  3. External beliefs: false beliefs they have about outside forces that could keep them from success; things beyond the individual’s control, such as time or the economy

Now that I have the three core false beliefs, I have to find the Epiphany Bridge stories that will break their core chains of false belief and create a new story for them.

Examples of secrets:

  • Secret #1—Funnel Hacking: How to Ethically Steal More Than $1,000,000 Worth of Funnel Hacks from Your Competitors for Less Than $100
  • Secret #2—Funnel Cloning: How to Clone a Proven Funnel (Inside of ClickFunnels) in Less Than 10 Minutes
  • Secret #3—My #1 Traffic Hack: How to Get the Exact Same Customers Who Are Currently Going to Your Competitors to Start Coming to Your Funnel Instead!

“Epiphany Bridge origin story vs. Epiphany Bridge vehicle story: Many people get confused here because they are not sure how this story is different from the origin story you told during the introduction. That story is your origin story about how you discovered the new opportunity and turned it into a framework. This story is about how you actually developed the framework.”

“You’ll notice that I showed may audience what to do (find a funnel, buy the product, create a blueprint, and build the funnel in ClickFunnels) but I didn’t show them the tactical how. The how would be me showing them where to find a funnel, the criteria of a good funnel to model, things I look for in a funnel, such as structure, design, etc. That stuff—the how—is reserved for the training they are buying. If you spend time in the weeds teaching the tactics here, you will lose them. Once again, your only goal is to get them to believe the strategy will work for them. After they believe, then you can teach them the tactics inside your training.”


Secret 14: The Stack and Closes


The stack is a list of all the items included in your offer.

The stack is essential. it will increase your sales more than almost anything else you do.

Say that back when you were learning this stuff, you had to do all the work yourself. But you don’t want them to have to recreate the wheel, so you have information and products that can help.

“When you have this product, you’ll be able to ________.

When you have this product, you’ll be able to get rid of ________.”

Remind people who the offer is for (hint: everyone). Business example: “It’s for people just starting out AND those who are already successful and want to scale.”

Then say that there are 2 options they can take: (1) Do nothing and get no results. Or (2) buy the product and change your life. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. I'm removing all of the risks and giving you a 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked. Just send me an email with proof of purchase and I’ll personally refund your money.

Give them a deadline to buy the offer. If you’re doing a webinar, only give the discount to people watching live and only give them a certain time window to buy.


Secret 15: Trial Closes

Trial closes: ask little questions where the only answer is ‘yes’. Like "Is this making sense?" or "Are you ready to learn what’s next?"

After case studies always use a trial close. Isn’t that amazing?


Section 4: Becoming Your Dream Customer’s Guide


Secret 16: Testing Your Presentation Live

Keep using the same funnel/presentation until it stops making money.

Perfect your presentation. Give your presentation live every week for a year until it’s perfect. This is how you make a perfect funnel and start a business.

If you do it live you can actually test it and figure out what the sticking points are. Most people record a presentation once, link to their funnel, and call it a day. Don’t do this. Perfect your presentation. Perfect your stories. Study Russell’s framework. Do the same live webinar every week for a year. Focus on improving your presentation and finding objections that you can preemptively address in your next webinar. Test with a small group because you will be bad in the beginning.

Sell something on your thank you page when people sign up for the webinar. The product should be low-ticket ($37-$47) or a Free/$1 membership trial to a website.

Send emails and videos to them before your webinar to get them excited about it. Send reminder emails. One the day before. One the morning of. One an hour before. One 15 minutes before. And one when you go live.

You need to do paid ads to get people to sign up for the webinar.

After you’ve perfected the pitch you can automate it. Run webinars that play a pre-recorded presentation.

If an offer doesn’t work you probably did one of these:

  1. You picked a bad market and no one wants to hear what you have to say.
  2. You built an improvement offer and no one wants to buy it.
  3. You slipped into teaching the tactics before you sold your audience on the strategies.