I finally picked it up (ordered it online actually).
DotCom Secrets is a book by Russell Brunson that you get for free but pay for the shipping. Having it shipped all the way to Malaysia, of course, costs more than what people in USA would pay. But I am OK with that.
For delivery within USA, it costs $7.95 USD and everywhere else around the world, you would have to pay $14.95 USD.
Honestly, I knew about this book years ago when the ad appeared in my Facebook Newsfeed. And later, a colleague in the office got it and always had it on his desk.
My first impression, “It’s a book about squeeze pages… OK…”
And with that, I went on my merry way. I didn’t think much about it then. OK, I admit it. I was ignorant. I also was into my work as a CTO to a startup in Malaysia during that time that I didn’t even consider taking the time to read it. That was my lose.
A couple of years later, I heard about a software company that grew into its $100-million sales mark within just three years. And what’s more amazing is that this company did it without any venture capital funding.
I am really into those kind of stories. I like the story of Nathan Barry who built ConvertKit, also without venture capital funding. I like the story of Brandon Pearce who developed MusicTeacherHelper.com, which was featured in Tim Ferriss’ book, the 4-Hour Work Week. I like the book $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. And I frequent the IndieHacker.com forum and interviews.
I am all for the indie software businessmen and women…
So when I heard about a software company that did $100-million sales in just three days, without VC funding — I have to know more.
And it is ClickFunnels.com.
I know that ClickFunnels.com is by Russell Brunsons. To my normal definition previously, it is a landing page builder software. Much like its competitors like LeadPages.net and Instapage.com. But Russell Brunson would never call it a landing page — it’s a funnel!
Now, this company did $100-million in sales, beating its other competitors to the mark. And his other competitors are all backed with 8 and 9-figure US dollars from venture capital investors.
ClickFunnels? Just with whatever Russell had at hand. Not 7-figure, let alone 8-figure investment. So how does it do it? That is what I went out to figure out.
In the last couple of months, I have immersed myself into Russell Brunson’s content so much that sometimes he even appeared in my dreams at night (ohohoho). I have not only read DotCom Secrets book, I have undergone the One Funnel Away Challenge, a 30-day live coaching program. I have tried my hands on ClickFunnels. I have watched so much YouTube video by Russell and his team. I have read his other books and more.
So how does he do it? Russell would say, “Funnels”
Russell believes that funnels is the only way to sell online.
A funnel, unlike a traditional website, is focused on getting the sale. There is no menus to click, there is no navigation to browse through, there is no search function, there is no list of articles to read.
A funnel is focused on getting you to do one thing. It will direct you from one page to another until it gets the sale from you.
So how does funnels made Russell Brunson over $100-million in sales?
While I kind of get the idea from his videos on YouTube about funnels, the DotCom Secrets book made it clearer.
When you really look at how Russell Brunson promotes ClickFunnels, he rarely promotes ClickFunnels itself. Very seldom he would create a campaign to market ClickFunnels.
What you see he does is this — he educate people about how to use funnels to promote their business. By business, Russell means online business, offline business, e-commerce business, affiliate marketing, networking marketing, coaching, consulting, freelancing, brick-and-mortar business and many more. A funnel is for all of that.
So Russell went on to create funnels to promote ClickFunnels.
What are his other funnels? Well, you see him promote DotCom Secrets. Which is a funnel that giveaway a book for free, plus shipping. Of course he has upsells, order bumps and one-time offers along the way. So even though he is giving the book away, he still makes money with DotCom Secrets.
But that money is not for profit. Whenever somebody gets the book, he becomes introduced to ClickFunnels. Russell Brunson is actually finding customers for ClickFunnels using other funnels. When he makes money with the DotCom Secrets funnel, he can dump it all back into getting more traffic.
If you have something like that, how much money can you put into traffic back again? If you have a machine where $1 makes you $2, then would you put that $2 back into the machine to make $4?
For as long as the funnel is making money, right? He can do it all day, all year long. And continously “funneling” customers to ClickFunnels with DotCom Secrets. ClickFunnels is where he makes his actual profit.
Now imagine if Russell has more of those funnels, which all are cashflow positive, and all indoctrine their customers into becoming ClickFunnels customers.
Some of other funnels that Russell has are:
- DotCom Secrets book
- Expert Secrets book
- Affiliate Bootcamp
- Funnel Scripts copywriting software
- 30-Days Summit book
- One Funnel Away Challenge
You see, while his competitors spend $60 (negative) to get a new free trial user, for Russell, even before they become a customer at ClickFunnels, through DotCom Secrets, Expert Secrets and all of his other funnels, he already netted $30 (positive).
Imagine all that funnels, never ending, qualified buyer generator, self-sufficient at making money and funding traffic costs itself, all funneling new customers to ClickFunnels…
Imagine that… and that is before his speaking engagements, live events, consulting gigs and more.
That really explains the $100-million sales as a software business.
And it opens up a whole new world for me when it comes to promoting a software business online, especially SaaS. When you really look at what Russell does, and then look at his competitors, your thought would be, “They don’t stand a chance…”
While others have $XX-million in their bank to spend on traffic and marketing, Russell has endless of cash from his funnels. Remember, his funnels are forever generating new money to pay for more traffic, and also converting those traffic into customers, and later being funneled back into ClickFunnels. It’s an endless cycle!
OK, right! Back to DotCom Secrets Book…
You know when I said, I thought DotCom Secrets is just a book about building squeeze pages, I wasn’t kidding. So I was in for a big surprise when I started reading DotCom Secrets.
My initial thought after the first few chapters, “These are some sophisticated stuffs…!”
I have had some serious thoughts and questions when it comes to online marketing. For example, you know that you can make more sales when you promote offers to people who already know and trust you. But in this internet age, and you want to convert sales quickly, how do you generate traffic and establish instant rapport with them. Well that is just one of the questions that I got the answer from through DotCom Secrets.
Reading this book, it will convince you that if you are not using funnels in your business, you are really missing out on a lot. Russell has planned and laid out the content for DotCom Secrets so well where he started with the core foundation to building a funnel.
Through DotCom Secrets, Russell shares 13 secrets to help any business grow using the Internet and sales funnels. These secrets are grouped into 3 sections. And then there are two sections that covers about the type of funnels that you can use, and the last section is solely about ClickFunnels.com.
Through out the book, all the ideas, secrets and concepts are well illustrated with stories, examples and also Russell’s doodles. All these help in making you understand the concept that is being explained to you. I find myself have multiple “ah-ha” moments, and also the long “Oooo…” moments when you start get something.
Let’s skim through the chapters quickly.
- Section One – Ladders & Funnels
- Secret #1 : The Secret Formula
- Secret #2 : The Value Ladder
- Secret #3 : From a Ladder to a Funnel
- Secret #4 : How to Find Your Dream Customer
- Secret #5 : The Three Types of Traffic
- Section Two – Your Communication / Follow-up Funnel
- Secret #6 : The Attractive Character
- Secret #7 : The Soap Opera Sequence
- Secret #8 : The Daily Seinfield Sequence
- Section Three – Funnelology Leading Your Customers to the Sale (Over and Over Again)
- Secret #9 : Funnel Hacking
- Secret #10 : Seven Phases of a Funnel
- Secret #11 : The 23 Building Blocks of a Funnel
- Secret #12 : Frontend vs. Backend Funnels
- Secret #13 : The Best Bait
- Section Four – Funnels & Scripts
- Frontend Funnels
- Funnel #1 : Two-Step, Free-Plus-Shipping
- Funnel #2 : Self-Liquidating Offer
- Funnel #3 : Continuity
- Funnels for Middle of the Value Ladder
- Funnel #4 : The Perfect Webinar
- Funnel #5 : Invisible Funnel Webinar
- Funnel #6 : Product Launch
- Backend Funnel
- Funnel #7 : High-Ticket, Three-Step Application
- Frontend Funnels
- Section Five – ClickFunnels
- Conclusion: Ignite Your Funnel
This would not be a review if I tell you everything about the ebook. So I am going to share some of the valuable lessons I have got from DotCom Secrets.
The Question That Haunted Me For Years — Answered in DotCom Secrets
A few years ago, I was able to generate $276 in affiliate commission in just a week, without any list, paying for ads, utilizing any high trafficked website or seeking favors from anybody. How did I do that? I just posted a few updates on my Facebook feed.
The sales happened because I have people on my friend list that know and trusted my recommendation. So this method is really scalable. When I think about scaling, I started to ask questions about how can I build instant rapport and trust with a stranger online, so that he or she will immediately take my advice and suggestion, ie, buy a certain product through an affiliate offer?
I never got an answer for that — until now. Until I read DotCom Secrets.
Have you ever read a blog post and suddenly you feel so drawn into the blogger him/herself. After that one blog post you read, you have the urge read the About page. And after that other blog posts. And later you find yourself subscribing to his/her newsletter.
What was it that made this person so attractive?
Russell has the answer for that in Secret #6 : The Attractive Character.
So it is not just about the funnel. A lot of foundation stuffs need to be done before you get into the funnel building. Building your Attractive Character to engage and relate with your audience is key to a better performing funnel.
And you thought you can just “tell your story” and it will be enough. No…! there are ways to crafting and telling your story to make it more engaging. Russell even went on to share some scripts, personality and many more little details when it comes to building your Attractive Character.
Secret #7 : The Soap Opera Sequence continues on with the Attractive Character on how you should introduce yourself. The Soap Opera Sequence is a list of five emails that you should have in your autoresponder that every new subscriber should go through. There are tips and tricks to getting readers engaged to, making them eagerly anticipating your next email.
Reading through what is explained and the psychology behind every email amazes me. Boy, have I been doing it all wrong.
Another Ah-ha Moment — Traffic…
First of all, Russell simplifies traffic in Secret #5 : Three Types of Traffic. There is only three type of traffic:
- Traffic you control
- Traffic you don’t control
- Traffic you own
Traffic you control the traffic that you can work on like paying for them, or working with affiliates and joint-venture partners. Traffic you don’t control are like Facebook shares and tweets on Twitter. Or when something goes viral.
But the general idea is convert all these traffic into traffic that you control, which is people who are on your mailing list. With people in your mailing list, you can create content and promotion and drive them to any website that you want.
But later in Secret #12 : Frontend vs. Backend Funnels, Russell categorize traffic into three other different types. These types determine the work and treatment required for each of them. These three types are based on how aware they are to your product or services, or what Russell calls Product Awareness Continuum.
There are five level of Product Awareness Continum :
- Problem Aware
- Solution Aware
- Product Aware
- Most Aware
Any consumer in the market move from level 1 to level 5 when they acquire a product or services. But to further simplify this, Russell categorize this into three different type of traffic.
- Cold Traffic
- Warm Traffic
- Hot Traffic
Each of these types of traffic requires different treatment and approaches. It all depends on how you acquire your traffic. For example, if you are targeting people who have never heard of you before, those are Cold Traffic. If you are being promoted by somebody else that has authority in the market, then that could be considered as Warm Traffic. And Hot Traffic is those who know, like and trust you, or even better, have bought from you in the past.
Based on these types of traffic, in Secret #11 : The 23 Building Blocks of a Funnel, Russell has outlined 23 different types of funnel blocks (or tactics) to deal with them. For example, for Cold Traffic, you need to pre-frame their minds into being aware about their situations and problems. When the prospects are pre-framed, you get less resistance when you introduce your product.
If you are going to promote a product for joint pains, you can create a blog article or maybe a quiz with questions like, “Is it difficult for you to get up after sitting down in a chair?”
While the quiz helps you to identify and recommend better products, you are also actually pre-framing their minds into being aware that they have a problem that they need to solve.
Apart from that, towards the end of the book, Russell outlined seven different funnels and how you should use them. And it is also packed with scripts and copywriting templates to get you started.
I am learning so much from this book. And it was my mistake a few years ago ignoring this and thinking that I already know everything about squeeze pages. In this review, I can only share with you some of golden nuggets I have picked up from the book. But I have learned a lot more.
So my verdict is — if you want to get into online marketing for whatever business you are in, get it! It’s free. You just pay for shipping.
You will be glad that you did.
And for further learning experience, I highly recommend the One Funnel Away Challenge that is happening every other month or so.
Well, I guess that’s it! Let’s go make some money!