DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson: Book Review 2021

Dotcom secrets book review

If you’re in business, you need to know how to market yourself online. It’s fair to say the author of DotCom secrets, Russell Brunson, is up there with the very best online marketers.

I’ve just finished reading it and as someone who has read a lot of marketing books, this is one of my favourites. There was a great mixture of both theory and actionable steps. After every chapter, I’d sit down and make a list of things to go and do… not many books have made me do that.

I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit wary that the book might be too guru-y… but it wasn’t at all, thankfully.

In this article I’m going to share my top three takeaways from DotCom Secrets, by Russell Brunson.

The Importance of the Value Ladder

One of the biggest issues businesses face when advertising online (Facebook or elsewhere) is coming up with an offer/message that is enticing enough for someone to click on.

Often businesses will go straight for the sale, advertising their main product (to people that have never heard of them).

Then… they see no results.

Because people aren’t going to whip out their wallets and pay a lot of money to someone they don’t know or trust.

Therefore when we’re advertising online, we need a process/funnel to bring people through in order to get them to trust us enough to buy from us.

And that’s what the value ladder is all about.

Value Ladder diagram from DotCom Secrets

Rather than going straight for the sale, we might give something away for free, to get people through the door. I spoke about how local businesses can use Facebook ads by embracing this tactic here.

I work with a lot of chiropractors and often they come to me struggling with their Facebook advertising. When I take a look at their ads, they’ve been advertising to an audience of people who have no idea who they are, trying to sell a $99 consultation.

That’s like standing in the middle of the street asking random people if they want to buy your product… no thanks.

So, what do we do?

Rather than trying to go for the instant sale, we want to offer something for free, to start the conversation. For a chiropractor that might be a free massage. We serve and ad to people in the local area offering free massages.

That’s a pretty enticing offer, right? Who doesn’t like a free massage!

Then, when the patient is in the practice receiving the treatment, the chiropractor will have a chance to upsell that person to something, such as a $99 session or a health programme, if that’s what the patient needs (the chiropractor would be able to tell from the massage).

That patient is much more likely to pay the chiropractor because the chiropractor has already provided value.

And that’s the value ladder.

You offer something for free, then something for cheap and you continue upselling to that person as you continue to provide more value.

Funnel Hacking

Before you start to build out any sales funnel, you want to find people who already have a successful funnel in place and are targeting the same people you want to.

For example, I might want to look at people like Russell Brunson and other internet marketers to see what their funnels look like: what words they use, what colours they use, what are they selling, how are they selling it etc.

Because if someone like Russell Brunson is running a funnel, you can almost guarantee it’s working… he’s the founder of ClickFunnels and will have an enormous amount of data on what works and what doesn’t.

If I then find a funnel I like the look of, I can mimic it. This is called ‘funnel hacking’.

Now you’re not going to go out and copy everything word for word, you need to make it your own. But it’ll give you a good understanding of what’s already working… so you have a better chance of succeeding faster.

Not only can you look at how their funnel is set up, but you can use tools like SimilarWeb to look at competitor websites, to see where they get their traffic from! How cool is that?!

Funnel hacking steps:

1. Make a list of your competitors
2. Find the URL of each landing page they use and take a note of them all
3. Use something like SimilarWeb to get an idea of how they’re getting traffic
4. Dig deep into everything… maybe even buy their products to get an idea of the emails you get
5. Take what you’ve learned from them and build your own funnels in something like ClickFunnels

The One Hundred Visitors Principle

The one hundred visitors principle is so simple yet so effective.

Whenever you build a new sales funnel, even if you do ‘hack’ your competitors funnel, you’re still guessing. You don’t know if it’s going to work or not, and so you need to have some way of monitoring the success of it.

The hundred visitors principle is a way of doing that.

You send 100 visitors to your landing page and you see what happens.

In DotCom Secrets, Russell gives the example of a $197 product. For every 100 people they sent to the landing page for that $197 product, 1% purchased. So for every 100 people, they made $197.

Then they started experimenting by offering something for free. They took a part of the $197 product and offered it away for free, as long as the consumer paid the shipping cost.

As soon as someone signed up for the free-plus-shipping offer, they were upsold to the same $197 product.

On average 8% people signed up to the free-plus-shipping offer (because it was less a commitment) and 25% of those people then purchased the $197 product!

So for every 100 visitors, they generated $394. Pretty much doubling their money by offering that free-plus-shipping offer.

The 100 visitors principle gives you a benchmark which allows you to determine the success of your funnel before making changes. Don’t make any drastic changes or decisions until you’ve had that 100 people land on the first page and go through your funnel.

In Summary

A really great book and definitely worth the read. Like I said, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be over the top guru, but it wasn’t and it’s actually got a lot of great actionable content. I’ll be picking it up regularly to look back on as I build and tweak my own funnels. For example, there’s lots of scripts for sales pages and emails in there that’ll be helpful.

Please note: some of the above links are affiliate links… essentially they help me buy beer. I haven’t been paid to write this and I can assure it’s non-bias 🙂

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