Expert Secrets: What’s it all about?

Russell Brunson's Expert Secrets

You’ve probably heard about Expert Secrets and Russell Brunson.


In this review, we’ll take a closer look at Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook by Russell Brunson, the founder of ClickFunnels.


Considered the informal sequel to Dotcom Secrets, and seen by many as a must-read for entrepreneurs, we’ll delve into what the book is all about and whether it lives up to the hype.


We also answer the question — is this book still relevant in 2021?


Let’s get started!

1. Who is Russell Brunson?

Russell Brunson

Source: Foundr.com

Marketing books are a dime a dozen these days, so before we dive into the book itself, we need to consider whether or not the author knows what he’s talking about.


Russell Brunson made his first million selling a series of DVDs titled “How to build a potato gun.”


Does that make him an expert in marketing and potato guns? Definitely.


Experienced marketers know him as the founder of ClickFunnels — a Software as a Service (SaaS) company that’s all about increasing your revenue using sales funnels.


Launched in 2014, ClickFunnels is still one of the most used funnel software builders out there.


However, if you’re looking for a powerful service that covers everything, not just sales funnels, we recommend you take a look at systeme.io.


Brunson has been busy. Along with launching several successful products, he has also authored and co-authored a number of books that have sold over 400,000 copies.


Brunson’s first success in online marketing happened back in 2003 with ZipBrander — a marketing tool created to drive traffic to your site.


Now, 18 years later, he’s still going strong, so clearly he’s doing something right.


Let’s take a look at what expert secrets Brunson has to share with his readers!

2. Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook

Published in 2017, Expert Secrets: The underground playbook, is all about how to build a following and how to sell to your loyal following once you’ve established one.


While most marketing books age quickly, the concepts presented in Expert Secrets are adaptable and still relevant today.


The book is available for $29,98 on Amazon or for free on Brunson’s website, you only have to pay for shipping.


There’s also an audiobook version available for those who don’t have the time to read it.


With Expert Secrets, you’ll learn:

  • How to create a movement with a loyal fanbase
  • How to use storytelling to build a brand
  • Techniques and strategies to overcome barriers and get customers to engage with your product and become passionate about your brand

People invest time and money into their passions, so using storytelling and emotion to get people excited and invested in what you do is a great way to grow your business.


The book is part of the ClickFunnels sales funnel, so expect some ClickFunnels upsells.


The concepts used in this book can be applied to any SaaS you use, so the same results, or better, can be achieved with other software, such as systeme.io.

2.1. Who’s this for?

Who's it for?

If you ask Brunson’s fanbase: everyone.


But that’s a little broad, so let’s narrow it down:


Expert Secrets is all about building a following and selling your products and services to your loyal followers.


After all, creating a loyal fanbase is how you build a brand — just ask Marvel.


With that in mind, this book can be quite valuable for influencers, marketers, and entrepreneurs.


For those involved in sales, regardless of product, service, or location, the book also provides useful tips and scripts that can be used in online and face-to-face sales.


However, the book is written with online businesses in mind, so it’s not aimed at brick-and-mortar businesses.


If you’re considering expanding your brick-and-mortar store toward the online world, this book will give you some insight into online marketing and how online entrepreneurs approach business.

2.2. What’s it all about?

Expert Secrets is all about the Expert business model, aimed at those in the information business, such as coaches and consultants.


According to Brunson, Expert Secrets will help you find your voice and become a leader that people look up to.


The main idea is to find a niche and become the go-to expert in that niche.


Once you’re considered an expert, you can start building a following to further sell your products and services.


The book is divided into five main sections


Let’s take a quick look at what you can expect to find in each section:

2.2.1. Section 1: Creating your mass movement

Creating your mass movement

The first section of the book is all about finding your audience or tribe and how to build a following once you’ve found them.


Brunson discovered the value of cultivating your movement — in other words, your target market.


According to Brunson, there are 3 core markets — wealth, health, and relationships.


In order to find your tribe, you need to pick a niche — the more specific the better.


For example, "marketing" is a very broad field, so focus on something specific, like "email marketing".


Successful movements have 3 things in common, and Brunson teaches you how to create and cultivate such a movement using these 3 concepts:

1. An “Attractive Character”/Charismatic leader

Also considered the expert or guide that people look up to and follow.


It’s important to create a persona that people want to follow and want to be like.


In this section, you’ll learn how to find your target market, how to understand and appeal to your followers, and how to write marketing messages aimed at your audience.


It’s important to be persuasive, so don’t be boring!

2. A future based initiative or cause

It’s up to the leader to present their vision for the future and show their followers how to get there.


You’ll learn how to clearly communicate that vision and show your customer how to realize that vision and create the future they want.


As a leader, it’s your job to help people go from where they are to where they want to be — if you show people how you plan to do that, you’ll win some followers.


Here you’ll learn how to get people to believe in, and be passionate about, your cause and how to get them involved to grow your movement.

3. A new opportunity for your followers

The new opportunity is your offer that clearly provides a solution to whatever problems your customers might be facing.


Brunson explains that it’s all about status — in this case, how people perceive themselves.


Simply improving on an existing product doesn’t work.


To improve requires hard work, and people need to admit that everything else they’ve done up to now has failed.


No one likes admitting failure.


But a new offer that promises to increase status, and allows your customers to become as successful as you, is far more appealing.


Brunson clearly explains how you can get people interested in your offer and how to convince your followers to switch from whatever product they're currently using to your offer instead.

2.2.2. Section 2: Creating belief

Creating belief

Creating belief in your product and your cause is a powerful tool.


People are more likely to purchase your offers if they believe in what you do and what you stand for.


Brunson looks at 5 ways you can create this belief in your followers:

1. Big Domino

This is the one big thing people need to believe in order to knock down any other objections they might have about your offer.


If your customer truly believes that your offer is the key to what they desire most, and that they can only get the result through you, they have no option but to buy your offer.

2. Epiphany Bridge

Brunson learned that logic doesn’t sell, but emotion does. The Epiphany Bridge is the bridge between emotion and logic.


In order to get your followers as excited about your offer as you are, you need to use a story to lead them down the same path and reach that emotional “a-ha” moment for themselves.


Once your customer reaches that epiphany, they’re emotionally invested, and they’ll fill in the logic behind buying the offer for themselves.

3. Hero’s Two Journeys

Here Brunson expands a bit on the value of storytelling and how to use it.


He shows the reader how to use the different elements of a story — plot, character, and conflict — to tell a compelling story to help followers cross the Epiphany Bridge.


The Hero’s Two Journeys are:

  • The journey of achievement — As a leader, you’ve reached a goal that your followers can see. Your customers relate to the story because they, too, want to go on a journey of success
  • The journey of transformation — The hero’s identity changes as his old beliefs are challenged and altered. This structure allows you to overcome existing beliefs and objections

This formula works pretty well for Pixar, so Brunson might be onto something here.

4. Epiphany Bridge Script

This section is more practical and combines chapters on the Epiphany Bridge and the Hero’s Two Journeys to create a script that you can use for every aspect of your business.


With practical questions to get you thinking, and using the story structure covered in the Hero’s Two Journeys, Brunson guides you in writing your own Epiphany Bridge.


Once you know how to do this, you can adapt your story to your offer and your target audience.

5. False belief patterns

Belief in your cause, or offer, is a vital part of Brunson’s strategy. So, identifying people’s beliefs is an important step.


Beliefs are formed from experiences people have and the stories they tell themselves based on those experiences.


In this section, Brunson explains:

  • How to identify the possible objections people could have about your offer
  • Where those objections and beliefs came from
  • How to use the Epiphany Bridge to overcome those objectives and replace people’s old beliefs with new ones

2.2.3. Section 3: Your moral obligation

Your moral obligation

Now that you’ve learned the basics, it’s time to apply what you’ve learned.


This section is all about how you present opportunities to your followers.


An important concept in this section is the stack slide.


Essentially, the stack slide is where you stack everything your customer will get when purchasing your offer.


This shows the customer just how much value you will be adding to their lives.


Brunson gives a detailed outline of what exactly to include in your stack slide to make it most effective:

  • Opportunity Switch Masterclass where you teach your customers about the opportunity
  • The tools they can use to help them succeed
  • Tangible 1 to overcome doubts regarding the offer
  • Tangible 2 to overcome doubts your customers might have about themselves
  • Tangible 3 to overcome outside obstacles
  • Exclusive bonus to create urgency that'll entice your customers to buy

Once a customer has a clear idea of just how much value you add, they’re more likely to buy from you.


The rest of the section focuses on the perfect webinar and how to use it as a selling tool.


The goal of the webinar is to get the customer to believe in one thing.


Brunson goes through the four steps of putting together a webinar to get the best results:

  • The introduction/building rapport
  • The one thing
  • The 3 secrets
  • The stack

He shows the reader how to use the various concepts, like the Epiphany Bridge, the stack slide, and breaking down and replacing beliefs, to create a webinar that sells.


It’s a versatile script that can be used for video sales letters, teleseminars, and stage presentations.

2.2.4. Section 4: The funnels

Conversion funnel

Now that you have a niche and a loyal following, it’s time to create a sales funnel to guide those customers to your offers.


This section is all about the different types of sales funnels and how to use them.


There are 5 funnels Brunson looks at in more detail:

1. The Perfect Webinar Model

Brunson takes the reader through each of the 7 steps needed to create a perfect webinar.


He also shows the reader how to drive more traffic to the same webinar every week to boost sales.

2. Four Question Close (for high ticket offers)

Selling high ticket offers is much easier in person or over the phone.


Here Brunson discusses the four questions to help your customer:

  • Understand what they want
  • Realize what’s holding them back
  • Understand how to overcome that obstacle
  • Realize they want your help

3. The Perfect Webinar Hack

Creating the perfect webinar takes time.


If you’re running short on time, Brunson shows you how to create an effective webinar in a much shorter time by simplifying the Perfect Webinar model.

4. Email Epiphany Funnels

The Epiphany Bridge is an important concept which Brunson uses a lot.


Here he teaches the reader how to adapt the Perfect Webinar model and Epiphany Bridge story to an email campaign.

5. Epiphany Product Launch Funnels

Finally, Brunson shows his readers how to use the webinar and Epiphany Bridge structure within a product launch funnel.

2.2.5. Section 5: What’s next?

By now you know what sales funnels are and how they work, you have the niche, you have the following, so what’s next?


In the final section, you get to fill your funnel.


According to Brunson, the traffic is out there. You just need to find them and get them to follow you.


This section mostly looks at:

  • Where to find your audience
  • How to find and work with others in your niche to promote your offers and build your brand

In this last section, you get to put everything you’ve learned into practice to see how it all fits together.

2.3. What’s great about the book

Expert Secrets has a lot of valuable information, and there’s much to learn from it:

  • Creating a brand and building a loyal community are vital when it comes to business, and this book will help you do both
  • The book provides actionable steps to take you from point A to point B
  • The book can teach you how to monetize your valuable online content
  • The suggestions are applicable to both existing and new businesses

2.4. What’s not so great about the book

It’s a great book, but nothing is perfect. Here are a few things to keep in mind when reading Expert Secrets:

  • The book is very much a part of the ClickFunnels sales funnel, so be prepared for upsells
  • It’s free on Brunson’s website, but you still need to pay for shipping — great if you’re in the US. However, if you’re outside the US, shipping can be expensive
  • Some reviews state that Expert Secrets is for any business, but a small brick-and-mortar store is unlikely to find much value in the book, as the book is mainly aimed at businesses with an online presence
  • While the concepts are sound, building a cult-like following and manipulating people’s emotions may not suit everyone’s style and approach to business

3. Is it still relevant?

Is it still relevant?

While the book came out in 2017, it didn’t age like most books on business and technology would.


The main concepts discussed in the book — building a brand and a loyal community — is rooted in human psychology rather than technology.

Human psychology, for better or worse, doesn’t really change that much.


So, the short answer is that the principles are still relevant for your business today.


As an added advantage there are far more platforms available now to help you make use of sales funnels and run your business, so you’re not limited to using ClickFunnels (regardless of what Brunson wants you to believe).


In fact, you can open a systeme.io Freemium account to get started and use all the advice from Brunson, and systeme.io’s powerful business tools, to build a successful business.


With systeme.io, you are not limited to sales funnels — you can do email marketing campaigns, build a website, run a blog, sell online courses, and much more, so visit systeme.io to see what else is on offer!

4. Conclusion

A good entrepreneur never stops learning, and there’s much to learn from Expert Secrets.


Building a brand, building a loyal community, and communicating effectively with your customers are incredibly valuable tools.


Is it a good book to read if you’re serious about business and marketing? Absolutely.


Once you’ve learned all you can from Russell Brunson, open your systeme.io Freemium account and put that knowledge to good use!

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