Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson: Summary and Notes

expert secrets book cover

“How much money you are able to make as a business is in direct relationship to how simple you can make the process for your customers.”

Rating: 8/10

Related: DotCom Secrets, Traffic Secrets, Launch, The Millionaire Fastlane, 12 Months to $1 Million

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Expert Secrets Short Summary

In Expert Secrets, Russell Brunson helps marketers master the art of converting online visitors into lifelong customers. As you become an expert, you’ll find yourself moving away from just selling a product or service, to creating offers, and finally to leading a movement.

Section One: Creating Your Movement

Creating a Movement

expert secrets summary

To create a movement, you need 3 things:

  • 1. An expert or guide
  • A new opportunity
  • A future-based cause that unites the tribe

The expert offers someone a new opportunity and then guides them to a result with a future-based cause.

“We help (dream customer) to achieve (result) through (new opportunity).”

Secret #1: Finding Your Voice

The 5 phases to become an expert:

  • 1. The Dreamer: Fascination + Mastery = Passion
  • 2. Reporter: learn everything about your topic from multiple points of view
  • 3. Framework Creator: identify patterns for success and build your own frameworks to help facilitate that success for others. Your product is likely just a piece of that framework
  • 4. Servant: test your framework on yourself first and then on others to perfect it and ensure it produces the same (or better) results
  • 5. Expert Guide: start leading others to their destination. Your results are your certification

Your job now as the expert is to become a framework creator. You do this by taking the information you’ve learned from tons of different sources and other people’s frameworks, looking at it, and organizing it into your own personal hypothesis for the perfect framework.

How to create frameworks:

  • 1. Create your framework hypothesis: make a bullet list that you would want to teach yourself before you began this journey. Organize it into an outline in an order that makes sense
  • 2. Test your framework hypothesis on yourself
  • 3. Give your framework a proprietary name: give it an easy name so people can remember the process by the name itself
  • 4. Create a description: “(Framework name) My X-step framework/system/process) for (result).”

“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.” (from The One Sentence Persuasion Course)

Secret #2: Teaching Your Frameworks

expert secrets teaching your frameworksStep #0—Introduce the framework

  • Tell the audience the name and description of your framework

Step #1—Share how you either learned it (your knowledge) or earned it (through your experiences)

  • This preframe creates the value of what you’re sharing
  • Acknowledge the giants that you learned any piece of your framework from. Whenever you share something that you learned from someone else, give them credit

Step #2—Share the strategy (the what you do)

  • Strategy is [an] overarching plan or set of goals. Tactics are the specific actions or steps you undertake to accomplish your strategy.
  • Give the outline of the framework.

Step #3—Teach the tactics (the how you do it)

  • This is where most of the content is taught. What are the principles and tools that you’ve learned and how can people use them in their lives? Walk them through the step-by-step process, just like you were teaching yourself back when you got started
  • Ask yourself: “If I were to suddenly lose (the results I’ve achieved that others are coming to learn from me), and I only had my framework left and I was starting over with no advantages, what would I do from day 1 to day 30 to get (the big result) back?”

Step #4—Show them how it works for others

  • Showing them that it didn’t just work for you, but it also worked for people just like them, is the key to getting them to believe in your framework.

Secret #3: The Three Core Markets or Desires

The 3 core markets or desires that every product is marketed through:

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Relationships

When people purchase a product or service, they’re hoping to get a certain result in one of these three areas of their lives.

Many products can be marketed toward getting a result in more than one desire, but your marketing message can focus only on one of them.

What new category can you create and become its category king? The goal for you is to identify the niches in your submarket and see what you can create that is truly new.

The market is a location, not a person.

Your job is to first know who your dream customer is and then find out where they’re already going to exchange money for products or services(online or offline).

It’s not “Who is your market?” but rather “Where is your market, and who is your dream customer who’s already going there?”

The 3 core groups of people in each marketplace:

  • “The Diehard” is in love with the current product. Switching a Diehard to a new product requires a major identity shift
  • “The Satisfied” uses the product they bought but isn’t in love with it. Switching the Satisfied to a new product requires a significant price or value benefit
  • “The Frustrated” also use the product they bought, but they hate it. They’re actively seeking a better product that can fit their desires. Switching a Frustrated person to a new product requires finding them, gaining their trust, and giving them a small amount of education

Competitive or complementary: The offers you create will either compete with or complement the things that are already being offered in the marketplace

Secret #4: The New Opportunity

Rather than trying to improve on someone else’s product or service, create your own new opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition.

If you want people to buy, you have to show them how your product or service will increase their status.

When marketing, focus on as many status increases as you can that apply to your product or service.

Your goal is to load up the status-increase side and minimize the status-decrease side.

Factors that elevate status:

  • Appearance of intelligence
  • Appearance of wealth, power, or happiness
  • Physical appearance
  • Style

How to create a new opportunity

Step #1: What is the result your dream customers are trying to achieve?

  • Create a new way for your dream customers to achieve their desired results
  • “If we were having this discussion three years from today, and you were looking back over those three years, what has to have happened in your life, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy with your progress?”

Step #2: What is the“vehicle” they are currently using to try to get that result?

  • Write down all the other vehicles that your dream customers have been using (without success) to try to get what they desire most

Step #3—The Opportunity Switch

  • Provide an entirely new vehicle for your dream customers to get to their desired result
  • You can move your dream customers from one niche or submarket to another

Step #4—The Opportunity Stack

  • You should offer only one opportunity switch (new opportunity), but you can offer as many ways as you like to package that same opportunity
  • Look at the result your dream customers desire and the new opportunity you have offered them, then package that opportunity in different ways to help them reach their desire

Secret #5: More Money for the Same Framework

Step #1: Increase the Value of Your Frameworks

  • Change the consumption experience: Written word → Audio → Video → Live experiences
  • Change how you fulfill on the framework: Do It Yourself → Do It With You → Do It For You
  • The 8 most popular ways to package frameworks
    • Pre-funnel content (free)
    • Lead magnet (free)
    • Book (free + shipping)
    • Membership site($10–$100 per month)
    • Online course ($100–$1,000)
    • Seminar or workshop ($500–$5k)
    • Mastermind ($10k–$100k)
    • One-on-one ($10k+)

Step #2: Turn Your Frameworks into Tools

  • How much money you are able to make as a business is in direct relationship to how simple you can make the process for your customers
  • Create a shortcut to success by providing done-for-you-tools from your framework. E.g. software, by-products (scripts, templates, cheat sheets, checklists), supplements, physical products

Step #3: Turning Your Frameworks into an “Offer” with the Stack Slide

  • Wrap your product or service inside your frameworks
  • Every item on the Stack Slide has a value attached to it. Show that you’re giving 10 times as much value as you’re asking for in price

Secret #6: The Future-Based Cause

Our job as an expert and guide for our audience is to help cast a vision for what is possible and bring our people to higher ground, to move them from where they are to where they want to be.

Your job as the expert is to guide your dream customers on a journey of both achievement and transformation.

Step #1: Launch Your “Platform” to Be Your Dream Customer’s Guide to the Result

  • Deciding that you want to create a movement is only half the job. The other half involves campaigning to your dream customers about why you are the expert or the guide to lead them
  • What do your people really want? Where do they want to go? How can you capture that in a simple calling you could put on a campaign sign?

Step #2: Give Them an Identity Shift

  • When you give your customers a new identity, they will become your true fans
  • Create a name for your tribe that will make them want to belong. E.g. Funnel Hackers
  • For customers to be able to self-identify with your movement, they need to have an “I am” statement that quickly describes who they are. E.g. “I am a Funnel Hacker.”
  • Create a “Title of Liberty” or manifesto that will rally them to your cause.

Step #3: Create Milestone Awards (Journey of Achievement)

  • What is the four-minute mile for your movement that you could create an award around for your people?
  • People usually come into a community for the expert, but they stay for the community

Step #4: Unite with a Social Mission (Journey of Transformation)

  • If the only thing you do with your tribe is helping them achieve a result, eventually they will leave you

Section Two: Creating Belief

Secret #7: The Epiphany Bridge

Your goal isn’t to try to sell anyone anything. Your goal is to guide them to their own decision.

If you want people to adopt a new concept and want to get their buy-in, you have to lead them to the answer, but you can’t give it to them. They have to come up with the idea themselves. You plant the idea in their minds with a story, and if they come up with the answer, they will have sold themselves.

Epiphany Bridge: a story that takes people through the emotional experience that got you excited about the new opportunity you’re presenting. Your epiphany is the aha moment when you learned about your new opportunity

You have to step away from the technobabble, meet your dream customers where they are, and help them feel the emotion you felt when you had your epiphany so they can move with you.

People don’t buy logically, they buy based on emotion. Then they use logic to justify the purchase decision they’ve already made.

Your Epiphany Bridge story provides the emotional connection and bridges the gap from the emotional to the logical side.

Effective Storytelling:

  • Oversimplification: speak at about a third-grade level
  • “Kinda like” bridge: if you need to teach a concept that’s past a third-grade level, say It’s kinda like…” and relate it to something customers already know
  • Making them feel: add feelings and emotions. Your customer needs to be in the same state that you were in when you received your aha moment

Secret #8: The Hero’s Two Journeys

Inside every great story is an even more important second journey: the journey of transformation.

The Hero’s Two Journey Framework:

The plot of every good story has three simple elements:

  • Character
  • Desire
  • Conflict

Phase #1: Separation from Ordinary World

In order for the character to go on a journey to achieve his desire, he has to separate from his ordinary world.

During this separation, it’s essential that the storyteller gets the audience to care about the hero. We do this through two things:

  • Build rapport with the hero
  • Introduce the desire

We build rapport with the hero by giving our hero at least two of the following things:

  • A victim of some outside force, so we want to root for them
  • In jeopardy, so we worry about them
  • Likable, so we want to be with them
  • Funny, so we connect with them
  • Powerful, so we want to be like them

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:

  • Win: the heart of someone they love, or fame, money, a competition, or prestige
  • Retrieve: wants to obtain something and bring it back
  • Escape: desires to get away from something that’s upsetting or causing pain
  • Stop: bad things from happening

Phase #2: The Journey, the Conflict, and the Villain

The villain’s role in the story helps us root for the hero to achieve his desire.

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.

We are all rooting for the hero to accomplish this journey. While this journey is what drives the story forward, it’s the second journey that matters the most. In fact, in many stories, the hero never actually achieves their end desire. Or if they do, they give it up for the real transformational journey that they’ve been on throughout the story.

Phase #3: The Mentor/Expert/Guide

During the journey, the hero meets a mentor or guide to help them along the way.

For our purposes with storytelling, the guide is the person who gives us the epiphany and the frameworks.

The journey then becomes the hero using the plans/framework they receive from the guide to defeat the villain and achieve their desire.

Phase #4: The Achievement

As the hero finally ends their journey, they’re transformed into a new person.

Sometimes heroes get what they have been trying to achieve throughout the story, and oftentimes they don’t.

This is the hero’s second journey. Who have they become and how have they evolved? This journey is the death of their old identity and their rebirth as a new person. This invisible journey is the real journey that our hero has been on the whole time.

Secret #9: The Epiphany Bridge Script

Phase #1: The Backstory

  • 1. What is your BACKSTORY that gives us a vested interest in your journey?
  • 2. What is the DESIRE or result that you want to achieve? External: What are your external desires? Internal: What are your internal desires?
  • 3. 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

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

Phase #3: New Opportunity

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

Phase #4: The Framework

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

Phase #5: Achievement and Transformation

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

To share a shorter Epiphany Bridge story, simply skim the surface of the five core steps.

Secret #10: The Four Core Stories

Our only real goal in any of our marketing is to identify the false beliefs and false stories our customers are telling themselves—the ones that are keeping them from success—and to rewrite these stories inside their minds.

The 4 core stories to break false beliefs:

  • 1. Your origin story with the new opportunity. This is the Epiphany Bridge story that tells how you discovered your new opportunity
  • 2. Vehicle framework story (how you learned or earned it). How I learned or earned this framework, and then I share the strategy (the what) of the framework.
  • 3. Internal beliefs story. My Epiphany Bridge story is about how I discovered that I could actually do it and share examples of how others just like them have as well.
  • 4. External beliefs story. Here I tell an Epiphany Bridge story that will break their false beliefs that some external force will keep them from being successful.

Building a story inventory

  • 1. Chains of false belief. List all the false beliefs your customers might have related to your new opportunity, followed by the vehicle frameworks, their internal false beliefs, and their external false beliefs
  • 2. Experiences. Next to each false belief that you listed, write out what type of experience they may have gone through that gave them that false belief
  • 3. Stories. Next to each experience, write down the story that the experience created in their mind
  • 4. New Epiphany Bridges. Think about your own Epiphany Bridge story for each of these false beliefs

Section Three: “10X Secrets”: One-to-Many Selling

Secret #11: The Perfect Webinar Framework

The Perfect Webinar framework has 3 main parts:

  • Big Domino
  • Three Secrets
  • Stack and Closes

When I have 90 minutes, the timeline looks like this:

  • First 15 minutes: Intro, Big Domino, and Origin Story
  • Next 15 minutes: Secret #1—Vehicle Framework Story
  • Next 15 minutes: Secret #2—Internal Beliefs Story
  • Next 15 minutes: Secret #3—External Beliefs Story
  • Last 30 minutes: Stack and Closes

The Big Domino

  • The entire presentation is designed to get them to believe just one thing: that your new opportunity is the key to them getting the result they desire the most.
  • The idea is to have a single point of belief that your message is built around and is emphasized over and over and over again from a variety of different angles.
  • Your first attempt to knock down the Big Domino is by telling your origin story about how you discovered the new opportunity

The 3 Secrets

  • Teach your frameworks, but not the tactics (the what 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
  • When you’re sharing your three secrets, you’ll share the framework’s name, Epiphany Bridge story, strategy, and social proof/examples
  • The three secrets are designed to break your customer’s false beliefs and rebuild them into new beliefs so they’re ready to take action with you

Stack and the Closes

  • What will help persuade people to act on your offer

Secret #12: The Big Domino

The first step to creating belief is figuring out the One Thing you have to get someone to believe that will knock down all their other objections and make those objections irrelevant, or disappear altogether.

Who/What Statement: “I am going to teach (submarket) how to (result) through _(niche).”

The Big Domino Slides

  • 1. Title. “How to (result they desire most) without (the thing they fear most).”
  • 2. Intro/Rapport. Justify their failures, allay their fears, throw rocks at their enemies, confirm their suspicions, and encourage their dreams
  • 3. The Ruler. Who your new opportunity is for
  • 4. The Big Domino. “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.”
  • 5. Qualify Yourself. Share your backstory and qualifications
  • 6. Epiphany Bridge Origin Story. Tell the origin story that helped you discover this new opportunity. Normally at least one slide for each of the 14 steps in this script

Secret #13: The Three Secrets

The 3 reasons (false beliefs) why people don’t buy from you:

  • 1. “I don’t believe this vehicle (your new opportunity) is the right vehicle for me.” What tangible thing can you create to help them change their belief? E.g. case studies
  • 2. “I believe this is the right vehicle for some people, but I don’t think that I could be successful with it.” They don’t believe in themselves. So you need to create something specific to help them overcome these false beliefs about themselves
  • “I believe that I could have success, but I have an external force holding me back from success.” Create something to help eliminate or minimize each excuse

Find the Epiphany Bridge stories that will break their core chains of false belief and create a new story for them.

Rewrite each of the false beliefs with their accompanying Epiphany Bridge stories into a “secret” using a “how to” statement that hints at your framework being the key to their desired result.

The 3 Secrets Slides

  • 7. Transition to the 3 secrets. List the 3 secrets.
  • 8. State Secret #1.
  • 9. Introduce the Framework (the vehicle).
  • 10. Share Learned or Earned Story.
  • 11. Teach the Strategy. The what of the framework
  • 12. Case study.
  • 13. Share other supporting Epiphany Bridge stories.
  • 14. Introduce your second set of framework.
  • 15. Introduce your third set of framework.

How to bust every objection: “You’re probably thinking (insert false belief), right? Well, (tell quick Epiphany Bridge story).” Repeat for each objection.

Secret #14: The Stack and Closes

The only thing prospects remember when you sell is the last thing you show them.

The last thing you show your audience before you reveal the price is the full Stack Slide with the entire offer. When you present it this way, the audience associates the price with the full offer, not just the last thing you mentioned.

The Stack and Closes Slides

  • 16. The Transition to selling. Recap everything your audience has learned
  • 17. The Question. “Let me ask you a question…”
  • 18. What you’re gonna get (the core product).
  • 19. You’ll be able to…/You’ll be able to get rid off… How the product/service will move your customers away from pain and toward pleasure
  • 20. The problem this product solved for you. “I didn’t know how to . So I had to create for myself.”
  • 21. How much time/money this product will save them.
  • 22. Break related beliefs about the product
  • 23. Stack Slide #1. This slide lists the value of your core product/service
  • 24. Introduce Element #2 (the frameworks).
  • 25. Quick high-level recap of deliverables.
  • 26. Case-studies.
  • 27. Who this works for (all-inclusive). Make a blanket statement about all the different people it works for.
  • 28. Destroy the #1 reason people don’t get started.
  • 29. Stack slide #2.
  • 30. Repeat this process for all other elements of your offer.
  • 31. The big Stack slide.
  • 32. If all statements.
  • 33. I had two choices.
  • 34. What would the end result be worth.
  • 35. Price drop.
  • 36. Price reveal.
  • 37. Price justification.
  • 38. You’ve got two choices.
  • 39. Guarantee.
  • 40. The real question is this.
  • 41. The last Stack.
  • 42. Urgency/Scarcity bonus.
  • 43. Closing call to action/Q&A.

Secret #15: Trial Closes

Trial closes and mini closes will help persuade attendees to buy your offer.

It’s asking dozens of little yes-or-no questions where the only answer is yes:

  • Are you ready to get started?
  • Are you all getting this?
  • Is this making sense?
  • Can you imagine if that happened to you?
  • Would you like to be our next case study?
  • You’ve heard them talk about this before, right?
  • Isn’t that cool?
  • Am I right?
  • Can you see yourself doing x?
  • I’m sure you’ve noticed this too, right?

The most powerful times to use trial closes are right after you’ve shared a case study or success story from one of your students.

16 mini closes to use during the Stack:

  • 1. Money is good
  • 2. Disposable income
  • 3. Money replenishes
  • 4. Break old habits
  • 5. Information alone
  • 6. Money or excuses
  • 7. Your two choices
  • 8. Their two choices
  • 9. Us vs. them
  • 10. The handhold
  • 11. Say good-bye
  • 12. Now and later
  • 13. Only excuses
  • 14. Reluctant hero
  • 15. If you only got
  • 16. Close close

It’s even more powerful to start developing your own closes. A good close in its more pure form is just an Epiphany Bridge story to break a false belief about why they shouldn’t buy.

Section Four: Becoming Your Dream Customer’s Guide

Secret #16: Testing Your Presentation Live

Focus on one funnel until it hits the two comma club.

Do your Perfect Webinar live every week for a year:

  • Monday–Thursday, you’ll promote your webinar and warm up your registrants with your follow-up funnel.
  • Thursday you’ll hold your webinar.
  • Friday–Sunday you’ll promote the replay. On Monday, start the process over.

Step 1: Send Traffic to the Webinar Registration Page

  • Use a curiosity-based headline (“How to x without y”)
  • Find a picture of you that’s kinda related to the topic but kinda strange to help increase your conversions dramatically

Step 2: Send Registrants to a Thank-You Page with a Self-Liquidating Offer

Step 3: Send a Series of Indoctrination Emails

  • I send registrants videos to help introduce them to my philosophy, get them excited about the webinar, and presell them
  • Don’t answer the questions, just increase the curiosity for what they’re going to learn on the webinar

Step 4: Send Reminders

  • One the day before we go live, one the morning of the webinar, one an hour or so before we start, another about 15 minutes before, then a final one when we’re live

Step 5: Present the Webinar Live

Step 6: Send Follow-Ups and Create Last-Minute Urgency

  • As soon as a webinar is over, I shift focus to the replay campaign. The basics are urgency and scarcity
  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I deliver follow-up emails that include the webinar replay link
  • Sometimes in my follow-up sequence I’ll send a PDF cheat sheet that briefly summarizes what we covered in the webinar

Step 7: Close the Cart

Step 8: Repeat

Secret #17: The Perfect Webinar Shortcut

If you’re short on time, you can prepare a Perfect Webinar in as little as 15 minutes:

  • Question #1: What’s the new opportunity I’m offering?
  • Question #2: What special offer can I create for those who purchase?
  • Question #3: What is the one Big Domino for this offer?
  • Question #4: What is my Epiphany Bridge origin story to attempt to knock down the Big Domino?
  • Question #5: What is the framework I’m teaching and the false belief I’m trying to break? (Vehicle)
  • Question #6: What is the framework I’m teaching and the false belief I’m trying to break? (Internal Beliefs)
  • Question #7: What is the framework I’m teaching and the false belief I’m trying to break? (External Beliefs)
  • Question #8: How can I structure the Stack and close to increase my sales conversions?