DotCom Secrets - Critical summary review - Russell Brunson

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DotCom Secrets - critical summary review

DotCom Secrets Critical summary review Start your free trial
Marketing & Sales

This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: DotCom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online

Available for: Read online, read in our mobile apps for iPhone/Android and send in PDF/EPUB/MOBI to Amazon Kindle.

ISBN: 978-1401960469

Publisher: Hay House Business

Critical summary review

Whether you are thinking of founding a business or you are already running one, at some point you will have to confront the question about how to grow your business and generate more revenue. Serial entrepreneur Russell Brunson believes the solution lies in utilizing your online presence to scale for growth. Branson has generated several millions using his DotCom secrets, so get ready to learn how to make more money with your business!

The key to growing your business

Once, Russell Brunson was hired to work for The founder Drew Canole had built a following of 1.2 million on Facebook, but because of some changes Facebook implemented, traffic on Canole’s page dropped by 90%, which meant he was now spending $116 to sell a $97 product.

Canole approached Brunson to get help with increasing his traffic and conversion, but Brunson quickly pointed out to him that neither of those was Canole’s problem. Rather, Canole had a funnel problem. According to Brunson, “The reason Drew’s business wasn’t making money was because he wasn’t able to spend enough to acquire a customer.”

By fixing’s sales funnel, the company would be able to make two or three times as much money per sales. Sales funnels are a sure way of making profit, even when outward parameters such as Facebook or Google algorithms change. Sales funnels are the secret to getting your customer to spend more money on your products.

The author became interested in direct response marketing as a child. He would call the numbers on classified ads and order whatever people wanted to sell him. He would collect his “junk mail” and make careful notes on the techniques people employed to earn money. Later, he did the same for online marketing and managed to become a multimillionaire. It all starts with understanding the basic concepts. 

The secret formula

The secret formula to growing your company is to start by answering four crucial questions:

  1. Who is your dream client?
  2. Where can you find them?
  3. What bait will you use to attract them?
  4. What results do you want to give them?

Start with the basics. Think about who the ideal client would be for you – who is it that you actually want to work with? You are likely going to spend more time with your company and customers than with your own family, so you should think carefully about the kind of people you want to surround yourself with. Think about what your dream clients would be passionate about.

Once you have established this, it’ll be easier to answer the second question of where to find your ideal customers. Do they have a Facebook or Instagram presence? What kind of newsletters do they subscribe to? You can use all this information to target your ad campaign later on.

Now it is time to decide what bait to use to attract your customers. This can be anything ranging from CDs to physical books. The author uses a book as his bait: “DotComSecrets Labs: 108 Proven Split Test Winners.” Only his ideal customers would know what a split test is and be interested enough to order it. Brunson provides the book for free in order to lure potential customers: they only have to cover the shipping costs of $9.95.

Finally, think about the end result that you want to give your customers. For example, the author’s ultimate aim is to have his team go into a company and build out their sales funnels. This is not cheap: he charges clients around $1 million for this service. Obviously, not everyone can afford such a service, which is why the author has created a value ladder for his company.

Climbing the value ladder

Imagine you have recently signed up for new dental insurance. As a welcome gift, you are offered one free teeth cleaning. While you are at the dentist, he notices your yellow teeth and offers you teeth whitening trays. You accept. He then notices that you could do with retainers to straighten your teeth, and before you know it, you have paid more than $2,000 for his “free” service!

This is a clever example of using the value ladder. At the bottom of the ladder, you have the bait, which in the dentist’s case is the free teeth cleaning. The higher you step up that ladder, the more expensive his services become: first, it is the teeth whitening, then the retainer. The ultimate aim for the dentist would be to get you to his highest (and most expensive) level of service, which would be cosmetic surgery.

The secret of any good business is to create a value ladder. Customers start at the bottom, and when they are satisfied with your service, they will naturally want more. With each increased service, you also increase the price. The problem for many businesses is that they only offer one product or service, and when customers want to spend more money, they do not have the option.

Any good value ladder also includes a continuity program: something that your customers have to pay for every month. This can be something along the lines of ongoing coaching or a membership site. For the author, it is his software ClickFunnels, which allows anyone to create sales funnels online. Clients pay monthly to use this service.

Sales funnel

Now that you have established your own value ladder, it is time to turn it into a sales funnel. Your sales funnel will help you do two things: It provides value to each customer at the level of service they can afford, and it is profitable while also identifying your dream client who can afford your highest offer.

Your sales funnel moves your clients through the sales process by allowing them to climb the value ladder. They start out as prospective customers (or traffic), and with the help of your sales funnel you can then transform them into repeat customers. The author has a sales funnel for every product he sells online. He makes sure that people are offered an upsell immediately after they have made a purchase and uses other methods of communication as well to continuously encourage customers to buy more.

In order to get your customers to the right place, you need to first understand that there are three types of traffic you will encounter: the traffic you control, the traffic you do not control, and the traffic you own. Traffic you own is the most important kind, as it is the kind of traffic that you can create without a middleman such as Facebook or Google. It is your email list, your followers, and your readers. You should aim to get any kind of traffic coming to your website to become traffic you own.

Once you have people’s email addresses, you can add them to your list – the author is averaging an income of $1 per month, per email address on his list, which, for him, means $500,000 every month.

Traffic you control is any kind of traffic that is paid for. If, for example, you buy an ad on Google or Facebook, you have controlled traffic. You want to convert this kind of traffic into traffic you own, so use your ad to send people to squeeze pages where you can get their email address.

Finally, there is traffic you do not control – these are the kinds of people who come to your website through Google searches, articles and social media linking to you. Again, you want to convert this kind of traffic into traffic you own: that is why the author’s top third of his blog is essentially a squeeze page, aimed at getting people’s email addresses.

Communication funnel

You can use the emails you have compiled to create a communication funnel and get more people interested in buying your products. Many companies try to compile lists and send out emails to attract customers, but then fail to make the profit. If that sounds like you, you are probably missing the attractive character (AC) in your communications.

This is your main persona, a character that speaks to your customers and thereby sells your product. Take Subway as an example: their attractive character is Jared, a guy who used to weigh more than 400 pounds (181 kilograms), but then started eating Subway twice a day and lost a lot of weight. Obviously, this sends a positive message to potential customers and elevated Subway above other fast-food chains. 

Your AC should have four traits: he should have a compelling backstory, he should speak in parables, he should share his character flaws, and he should harness the power of polarity. Share your backstory so people see where you came from, and somehow link this to the product. In the case of Subway, the backstory of Jared’s incredible weight loss made people want to buy subs.

Your AC should also be telling lots of stories or parables to drive home your point, but he should also be vulnerable. To create a truly three-dimensional character, you will need to introduce some character flaws. It can be tempting to stay neutral in order to not offend anyone, but that will not make you more believable, and people will not buy your product. So be willing to take a stand, even if that alienates some people, because it will create a loyal following as well.

Use your AC in the email communications you send out. The author sends an email every day, simply relating something that happened on the day. He noticed that the more frequently he contacted his followers, the more money he made.

Copy your competitors

The author creates successful sales funnels by copying what his competitors are doing. He says, “I prefer to find out where the traffic already exists and then just plunk myself down in front of it and send it on a little detour to my site. Why work hard to generate traffic when it’s already out there waiting for you?” When he enters a new market, he studies what his competitors are doing, and he suggests you do the same.

When you enter a new market, reverse engineer your competitor’s sales funnel. Look out for five key elements: demographics, offer, landing page, traffic source, and ad copy. Who do your competitors target and what do they offer them? Most importantly, what does their landing page look like?

The landing page might just be the most important part of your entire sales funnel, as it is the page that convinces possible customers to opt in or out of your offer. Also, where do your competitors’ customers come from, and how do they get to your competitors’ websites?

Finally, what do the competitors’ ads look like, and where do they advertise? Once you know how your competitors deal with at least four of these elements, you can simply copy what they do and easily make money!

The author even goes as far as buying products from the competition, as that is the only way he will know about their value ladders - since they will obviously try to upsell him once he has bought one of their products.

Final Notes

Creating growth for your company comes down to creating a value ladder. Always offer your customers more opportunities to spend money on your products or services. Frequently communicate with them and keep a close eye on the competition: by copying what your competitors do, you can create a successful sales funnel model for your own company.

12min Tip

Think about the products or services you already offer and how you can build a value ladder out of these.

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Who wrote the book?

Russell Brunson is an American entrepreneur. While wrestling at Boise State University, he started his first online company and had already created $1.5 million in revenue a year after graduating. He has started... (Read more)

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