The cover of Expert Secrets
Table of contents
I just completed Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson, and I must say – at the very least – it was thought-provoking reading material.
If you haven’t heard of the book, it’s one of the resources that’s seen as somewhat of an entrepreneurial bible, of sorts.
Other reviews do claim that Expert Secrets uses a versatile approach to guide readers on becoming niche experts.
It also focuses on building a loyal following that feels connected to your message and, therefore, wishes to purchase your products.
My review will be divided into three sections:
Section 1: I’ll be offering an overview of Brunson and his company, ClickFunnels, to provide some context for the philosophies promoted by Expert Secrets.
Section 2: I’ll be delving into the main points and core principles discussed in the Expert Secrets
Section 3: I’ll offer a final, brutally honest verdict about Expert Secrets.
And when I say brutally honest, I MEAN brutally honest.
Whether I rate this piece of business-based literature favorably or not, it’s going to be my rawest truth, and I don’t plan on holding back.
So, read on, and I hope you enjoy the wild ride that is this book review.
If you’re reading a review about Expert Secrets, it’s only natural that you’d want to know about the author.
After all, we live in a world where anyone can write a book, and those who can’t, teach.
Think about it, anybody can take a few smooth looking headshots, do a press tour, and release a book.
That doesn’t mean the words they speak possess any amount of truth or value.
There’s an abundance of charlatans out there. For you to make it in business – especially in this line of work – you have to know the difference between useless jargon and the real thing.
On top of that, just because someone is successful with their own business pursuits – thus, making them a credible source – doesn’t mean they can teach.
All the practical experience and real-world success don’t amount to being able to offer actionable insights.
With Russell Brunson, you’ll find someone who can back up the talk.
And his own personal story should be an inspiration to anyone looking to launch an app or just their own business in general.
After all, he’s a man who embodies the entrepreneurial spirit.
Therefore, before examining Expert Secrets and all that it brings to the table, we’ll discuss the story of its author.
I’m not one to throw the term guru around recklessly—but that’s the word which is regularly bandied about with Brunson.
It’s universally accepted within the industry that his level of knowledge, combined with his teaching methods are highly reputable.
Even though Brunson is the head of systeme.io’s competition, ClickFunnels, I must give credit where credit is due.
The fact is that Russel Brunson is a worthy adversary—which makes it all the better when I hear about clients preferring and referring our services over his.
To Brunson’s further credit, ClickFunnels is currently the fastest-growing non-VC-backed SaaS around.
He launched his startup with a strategy centered around enticing sales copy and savvy emails.
It attracted over one million people on his list to hop aboard the ClickFunnels train.
Imagine an email list that’s in the seven figures. It’s a notion that’s really quite gobsmacking.
The software removes the IT and web development middlemen from the equation when you’re aiming to build online sales funnels.
Whether you’re looking to launch a product, register people for webinars or you’re merely trying to sell regular products, sales funnels are extremely valuable.
There’s no doubting that ClickFunnels has made an impact on the market when it comes to sales funnel technology.
It’s helped thousands upon thousands of businesses succeed in both strategy and, in turn, their bottom line.
Expert Reviews isn’t the only book written by Brunson. Throughout his literary exploits, he’s been able to provide clear, actionable terms for readers.
All it takes is looking at reviews on Amazon to see how much the self-funded founder has helped online businesses thrive.
Brunson is versatile and understands how to combine his incomparable business, sales, and marketing acumen with specialized knowledge.
I want to reiterate that Russell Brunson must be respected for everything he’s accomplished.
He’s a 100% self-made man and has accumulated a net worth of $37 million.
As such, there’s always going to be something that someone with such a transcendent resume can teach.
However, does that mean that Russel Brunson is some infallible ‘Yoda’ when it comes to all-things sales funnel?
After all, one person’s guru is another person’s double-talking salesman with little to no substance.
Yep, there’s no doubting that for – at least – specific types of the businesses we’ve discussed, Brunson’s approach is valuable.
Still, it’s always been clear to us at systeme.io that the methodologies involved with ClickFunnels and Expert Secrets aren’t suitable for all businesses.
In fact, there’s one story highlighting how ClickFunnels lost one person’s business $10,000.
The scathing article is highlighted by poor user experience and overall functionality problems.
Also, it’s worth considering that ClickFunnels is expected to hike its enterprise rate to $697 per month in the near future.
For some additional context, at systeme.io, it only costs $97 for the enterprise package.
Therefore, despite my initial gushing over the accomplishments of the author of Expert Secrets, I’ll now look at matters through a different scope.
Namely, in reviewing Expert Secrets, I’m doing so with a very critical eye and contemplating whether its ‘actionable’ advice is relevant to all manners of business owners.
So, with all that in mind, let’s jump into the review with an objective, unbiased eye!
It should come as no surprise that Russell Brunson’s intent with Expert Secrets was to reach the same audience as those interest in ClickFunnels.
Meaning, readers of the book either sell information-related products – such as eBooks, courses, coaching, or consulting – directly.
Or, it’s for people who wish to use those products to market and grow their business.
He’s attempting to bestow all that he learned when turning ClickFunnells into a $360 million enterprise.
The first chapter looks at how you, as a business owner, can spark your own mass movement.
Of course, when you see businesses take a market by storm and really begin to make waves, it doesn’t happen on accident.
Brunson notes that three aspects are involved in all mass movements.
Namely, all mass movements occur in companies with charismatic or attractive leaders.
They’re focused strictly on the big picture, with an eye that’s fixated towards the future.
And lastly, these organizations successfully provided their audiences with a unique, brand new opportunity.
In this chapter, Brunson goes onto explain that establishing yourself as that charismatic/attractive leader necessitates the selection of a market into which you’ll hone.
According to Expert Secrets, health, wealth, and relationships are the three core markets from which to choose.
While this approach appears to be limited, beneath the umbrella of each core category is 100 submarkets.
To offer an example, online marketing, stock market investing, and bitcoin are all subcategories that comprise the wealth market.
The founder of ClickFunnels points out that those submarkets are still too vague and that there’s too much competition for you to make industry waves.
Therefore, you must continue to keep digging until you’ve landed upon as lucrative a niche as possible.
Keep in mind, this is a delicate balance—because something might be too niche and generate zero interest as a result.
So, provided you’re involved in online marketing, you should take it one step further and become an expert in daily emails, organic Instagram posts, or marketing automation.
These markets aren’t dense with competition – you’ll have a chance to find that unique space where you can thrive, that will also generate attention and buzz.
From there, it’s time to develop your attractive or charismatic persona.
The crux of this “character” is figuring out how to act in a way that others wish to emulate.
Also, you’ll want to position yourself as an authority or leader that your audience wants to follow.
One of Brunson’s primary focuses is attracting your original, diehard fanbase by being persuasive instead of dull and wooden.
When you’ve established such a following, your content can revolve around the demands of that group—making movement-building far more straightforward.
It’s all well and good to obtain a large group of followers.
But it’s possible to have big numbers in social media engagement without being able to monetize your powerful voice successfully.
When running a business, you must convert people who read and reply to your posts into people that pay for your products or services.
Brunson notes the need for you to land upon the one thing, or ‘the domino,’ that’s able to knock down all potential customer objections.
According to the esteemed author, one unique entity will transform how you go about your business.
The following step that Brunson lists for connecting with your audience is constructing your epiphany bridge.
In this section of Expert Secrets, Brunson highlights the value of your own ‘aha’ moment.
Now, why would other people care about your own epiphany or the emotional experience that you endured to get excited about your business?
Well, if all things go according to how Expert Secrets maps them out, your audience will experience something of a vicarious “aha” moment.
It’s so that your audience will connect with the story and see it through their own eyes—which will, in turn, entice them into learning more on their own.
From there, they’ll be enthusiastic about purchasing what you’re selling.
This part of the book possesses the fundamental storytelling framework that’ll establish an engaging narrative surrounding your business and products.
Brunson discusses something called the “kinda like” bridge. It’s a technique that helps your break down challenging ideas into more easy-to-digest terms that help people “feel” the stories you’re telling them.
After the above step, it’s time to learn about the Hero’s 2 Journeys—a pivotal story framework utilized by every Hollywood flick imaginable.
The structure is versatile enough to be applied to almost any narrative.
Still, one of the more impressive features of Expert Secrets is Brunson’s ability to simplify everything into understandable terminology.
As such, the Hero’s 2 Journeys has been simplified through the Epiphany Bridge Script.
Upon answering eight questions presented by Brunson, the story will take shape.
Russell Brunson then introduces his Stack Slide philosophy—a method dedicated to helping you boost the value of your products.
When used on a sales page or inside a webinar, the Stack Slide is an incredibly critical marketing tool.
Brunson’s focus is on building your own Stack Slide and making it into an offer that your audience can’t refuse.
Then, with the system in place, it’s possible to sell via webinar.
Since you can run multiple webinars per day, as frequently as you want, they’re likely the most optimal method for selling your product.
As pointed out in Expert Secrets, webinars don’t have to be live. In fact, you can record a single presentation before selling it for months.
And with Brunson’s expert formula that he’s crafted over a couple of decades, he believes you’ll be making regular sales every day.
For the founder of ClickFunnels, his technique did result in millions of dollars in his bank account.
Brunson refers to this as the Perfect Webinar, and in Expert Secrets, he delves deeply into the structure.
He provides a detailed overview of how to convert interested prospects into enthusiastic customers willing to spend their hard-earned cash.
The script does fit almost all products and highlights the value they’ll provide to your customers.
Russell Brunson always has marketing on the brain and is using Expert Secrets in conjunction with ClickFunnels.
It’s further highlighted by the fact that if you purchase the book through Brunson’s website, it’s free—other than the shipping cost.
That’s compared to the $13.56 on Amazon.
The strategy is savvy because it gives readers a chance to how the successful methods in Expert Secrets work in a practical sense.
Also, it’s available in audiobook form—something that any person that’s continually on the move will appreciate.
I’ll eventually give you my take on Expert Secrets.
However, I’m only one person—and I’d prefer to provide you with a full scope of the consensus on Brunson’s work.
For one thing, differing opinions can provide you with a different perspective from which you can approach the material.
They tend to make you more analytical and discerning about the content.
So, before giving my final thoughts on Expert Secrets, I’m going to examine what people are saying on review sites.
Throughout eCommerce sites like Amazon and GoodReads, it’s averaging about 4.4 stars out of five. Thus, you can assume that it’s quite well-liked.
I find that, in many cases, positive reviews can be manufactured.
As a result, even if there is 99.99% fantastic feedback, it could be that 0.01% what tells the most authentic truth.
First, I’ll jump into some reader feedback from all over the spectrum.
I’ll start with a four-star review from somebody who wasn’t interested in webinars at all:
“I’m glad I read Expert Secrets because, despite many blatant negatives, I discovered some powerful insights. For example, the concept of opportunity vs. improvement (see comic below, which I wrote about here). Concepts like this actually changed the way I market my product, which is something other more “respectable” marketing books didn’t do for me.”
Here’s an individual that understands, like any teachings, you have to apply the learnings in your own way.
You’re not always going to agree with everything. In fact, it’s better to go into these kinds of books with a somewhat cynical eye.
It’ll keep you alert and able to decipher what material seems like shameless selling tactics versus what are valuable, actionable insights.
Now, I’ll delve into a not-so-glowing one-star review:
“I’ve never seen anyone else recommend that people dip into their savings or charge it to credit, but Russell will encourage you to push your prospects to spend money they don’t have on your product.”
For me, there’s a certain degree of truth to this criticism and part of what’s at the crux of the issues I take with Brunson’s tactics.
If you’re a smaller, boutique business with limited funds, do you really fit the vision of ClickFunnels and – by proxy – Expert Secrets?
If Brunson is willing to push financially vulnerable people towards dipping into their savings, can you really trust his advice?
Remember, Expert Reviews is, in and of itself, advertising and marketing for ClickFunnels.
He’ll be using those powerful sales tactics on you as you read the book—so, it’s necessary to weigh his motives.
Still, I think the one-star review is quite harsh.
Lastly, here’s a five-star review of someone who really felt the power and benefited from Brunson’s work:
“Honestly, I like the book, even though Brunson spends most of the time selling his Click Funnel’s service, and why do you need a funnel.”
Even with an outright love of the book, this reader still acknowledges that Brunson is schilling his products. There are both positive and negative aspects of that fact.
As mentioned before, it can be challenging to take something to heart when you know something is being sold to you.
However, it’s not like Brunson makes any bones as to what he’s all about. And that’s converting prospects into clients.
If those tactics happen to work on you, that’s first-hand proof of their effectiveness.
For the sake of standing out from the crowd, I’m going to give Expert Secrets a letter grade instead of a star-rating.
And I’m going to give Russel Brunson’s Expert Secrets a B+.
It’s a compelling, straightforward read that keeps the reader engaged throughout, and I felt engrossed while learning about that man’s processes.
In a sense, it reminds me of the movie The Founder, about McDonald’s CEO Ray Kroc, who was self-made just like Brunson.
And in both pieces of material, you see first-hand how they were able to amass their impressive empires.
Interestingly, it’s in this avenue where Expert Reviews loses its ‘A’ grade and gets knocked down to a B+.
Just like Ray Kroc, there are specific tactics pushed by Brunson that just don’t sit well with me.
As I mentioned in the section above, forcing people to dip into their life savings lacks the human element that I think is so crucial in sales.
I think this shortage in scruples is what’s making ClickFunnels lose touch with those smaller businesses.
For those small businesses, it’s vital to be empathetic towards potential clients and work within their budgetary limitations as much as possible.
Also, when you don’t have a large-scale empire, you must be wise about your own spending.
That Brunson spends the whole book pushing ClickFunnels and suggesting that his insights are only actionable via ClickFunnels is another negative.
I’ve no issue with selling your products in this manner, but to suggest his solution is the only one out there is obfuscating the truth at best.
That’s part of the reason why you end up hearing about clients with disappointing ClickFunnel experiences.
The bigger the company has grown, the more Brunson is concerned about selling versus the user experience and fitting his clients’ needs.
Truthfully, with software – such as systeme.io – it’s possible to apply the core lessons learned from Brunson’s work with funneling tools that are more suitable to your business.
On that note, if you do have a smaller business and are looking for an equally powerful, easier-to-use all-in-one marketing platform than ClickFunnels, contact systeme.io today!