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Expert Secrets Book Summary, Review, Notes

Expert Secrets is a book about creating a marketing plan and executing on it. The book helps you pack your knowledge, skills, and expertise into a buyable format for your audience. A lot of tactics in the book are unethical and immoral, but unfortunately, all of this works and is being used by a lot of (scam) artists aka contrapreneurs.

Book Title: Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Creating a Mass Movement of People Who Will Pay for Your Advice
Author: Russell Brunson
Date of Reading: October, 2017
Rating: 8/10

Table of Contents

What Is Being Said In Detail:


Expert Secret is divided into five sections and each of those contains chapters called “secrets” for a total of 22 secrets. Each secret teaches us a new marketing tactic (step-by-step process) and the author shows us how he implemented each and every one of them.



  • Secret #1 The Charismatic Leader / Attractive Character. This secret talks about creating a persona (brand) out of yourself. Pick out one of three areas (health, wealth, relationship), and a sub-market out of it, and then in that sub-market, find your niche.
  • Secret #2 The Cause. This secret is about building a CULT (or as the author would say CULT-ure) through your “holy” cause.
  • Secret #3 The New Opportunity. This secret is about creating the vehicle of change which is a term for your product. Here, you need to connect their desire for change and the tool for change— and that tool is your product.
  • Secret #4 The Opportunity Switch. This secret is about getting early results, building up your vehicle of change, and giving people what they want (instead of what they need).



  • Secret #5 The Big Domino. The Big Domino is the one thing that you need to do for everything else to become irrelevant.  If you make people believe that only your vehicle of change can give them results, then all other objections will simply fall into the water.
  • Secret #6 The Epiphany Bridge. People buy with emotions, but justify with logic. So explain to them how you went from their position (what they understand) to your position (what happened after you’ve used the product).
  • Secret #7 The Hero’s Two Journeys. The two journeys as the journey of achievement (what you did differently) and the journey of transformation (exchanging old belief systems for new ones).
  • Secret #8 The Epiphany Bridge Script. The script is the following: backstory, internal and external desire, the Wall (a major problem in the path), the epiphany, the plan, the conflict, the achievement and the transformation.
  • Secret #9 False Belief Patterns. This secret is about changing their false belief patterns by explaining how you once had a similar belief but changed it using your product.
  • Secret #10 The 3 Secrets. The three things that can stop customers from buying: questions about the vehicle, internal struggles (“Am I able to execute on it”), and external struggles (economy, time investment, etc.)



  • Secret #11 The Stack Slide. List items on a “stack” to create massive value and then demand 1/10 of it (total price of $11,552 but you can get it for $997…)
  • Secret #12 The Perfect Webinar. This secret is about building the perfect webinar with 4 elements: build rapport, emphasize the One Thing, the Three Secrets (vehicle, internal and external struggles), and stack the deck for sale.
  • Secret #13 The One Thing. This is also about the perfect webinar— a plethora of tactics to use on the webinar to make your audience buy your product
  • Secret #14 Breaking and Rebuilding Belief Patterns. Also about the perfect webinar— tactics to use to rebuild their belief patterns and slow transition into sales.
  • Secret #15 The Stack. Also about the webinar— tactics used to make the customers buy your product.
  • Secret #16 Trial Closes. Also about the webinar— all the different ways you can get people to buy your product by explaining that the trial period ends soon.



  • Secret #17 The Perfect Webinar Model. Promote Monday-Wednesday, have a live webinar on Thursday, a replay on Friday, and send tons of emails on Saturday and Sunday to emphasize scarcity and urgency. Repeat for an entire year.
  • Secret #18 The 4-Question Close (For High-Ticket Offers). The questions are about: the desired future, the Wall (the challenge/problem), unused resources from the client in time, skills, knowledge, etc; and “do you need my help? If so, my fee is $___.”
  • Secret #19 The Perfect Webinar Hack. The cheat sheet is: new opportunity, big Domino, special offer for those who purchase, origin story, dismantling false beliefs about the new opportunities (three epiphany bridge stories to dismantle three false beliefs).
  • Secret #20 Email Epiphany Funnels. This funnel is about 5 emails that explain the following: origin story, new opportunity, internal belief change, external belief change, the Stack (sales).
  • Secret #21 Epiphany Product Launch Funnels. The same as above, it’s just about the product launch.



  • Secret #22 Fill Your Funnel. This secret is about finding your Dream 100 (your 100 dream clients) and serving that market first and foremost.


Most Important Keywords, Sentences, Quotes:




“But as most experts soon find, no matter how much personal development you achieve, there will be a point where you can no longer progress. The only way to continue to grow is by helping others become like you. Yes, true growth and fulfillment comes from your contribution to others.”

“As cool as Jacob’s story is, it’s not unique. Another one of my friends, Jermaine Griggs, struggled with reading sheet music and became great at playing piano by ear. He now makes millions a year from helping others learn how to play piano by ear. My student Liz Benny was an amazing social media manager for herself and others, but when she became an expert and started teaching others how to do it, she made millions.”

“By teaching, I had to dissect what I was doing and learn WHY it worked.




“In 2008, Kevin Kelly wrote an article called “1,000 True Fans”. In that article, he said:”

“A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe reissued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.”

“I ask them, “Well, I’m curious. You paid me $25,000 (or $100,000) to teach you this stuff. What do you think my credentials are?” They think about it and usually say something like, “I don’t know. Do you have any marketing degrees?”

“I say, “Nope. I barely graduated from college, and I got a C in marketing.” I didn’t get good grades, and I don’t have any certifications to my name. But guess what? I’m REALLY GOOD at what I do. My results are my certifications.”


Russell Brunson Quote: “So if you aren’t willing, or don’t show them, both sides—where you came from and where you are now—then they won’t take action.”


”But Russell, what if others know more about my topic than me?” There’s a book (and a movie) called Catch Me If You Can that illustrates this point pretty well. It’s the story of a famous con artist, Frank Abagnale, a brilliant high school dropout who masqueraded as an airline pilot, a pediatrician,and a district attorney, among other things. There is a point in the book where he starts teaching a sociology class at Brigham Young University. He teaches the whole semester, and no one ever figures out that he’s not a real teacher. Later on when they finally do catch him, the authorities ask, “How in the world did you teach that class? You don’t know anything about advanced sociology.” He replied, “All I had to do was read one chapter ahead of the students.”

“Sometimes people are WILLING to spend money, but they aren’t ABLE; they are broke. Other times people have all the money in the world; they are ABLE, but NOT WILLING to part with a dime. Your submarket must be both willing and able to spend money.”

“So if you aren’t willing, or don’t show them, both sides—where you came from and where you are now—then they won’t take action.”

“Jay Abraham said, “If you truly believe that what you have is useful and valuable to your clients, then you have a moral obligation to try to serve them in every way possible.”

“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.”

“While millions cheer Dr. Phil as he tells people to accept responsibility for their mistakes, millions more are looking for someone to take the responsibility OFF their shoulders. To tell them that they are not responsible for their lot in life. And while accepting responsibility is essential for gaining control of one’s own life, assuring others they are NOT RESPONSIBLE is essential for gaining influence over theirs. One need look no further than politics to see this powerful game played at its best.”

“One big key to growing your following is creating “Us vs. Them” within your community. Take a stand for what you believe, why you’re different, and who you’re collectively fighting against. Why is your movement better than the alternatives?”

“Help Them Break Their 4-Minute Mile I’m sure most of you are familiar with the story of Roger Bannister who broke the 4-minute mile on May 6, 1954. Prior to that, everyone thought it was impossible, and after Roger broke it, proving it was possible, many people since then have been able to do it. The certainty people get when they see someone else do something they thought was impossible, gives them the belief they need to also achieve that same goal.”

“What is the 4-minute mile for your movement? Initially, the 4-minute mile will need to be something that you’ve already accomplished, so you can show them it’s possible and give them hope and belief that they can do it as well.”

“As you shift your focus to helping others accomplish the same results, and breaking their 4- minute mile, you’ll notice something strange will happen inside of your movement. Your focus will be taken off of you making money, and into giving results to others, and for some odd reason, as soon as you make that shift in your thinking, almost instantly you’ll start making more money.”

“In The True Believer, Eric Hoffer says, “The practical organization offers opportunities for self advancement…a mass movement…appeals not to those intent on bolstering and advancing a cherished self, but to those who crave to be rid of an unwanted self.”

“Another amazing quote from The True Believer: “They must be wholly ignorant of the difficulties involved in their vast undertaking. Experience is a handicap.”

“Improvement offers sell THROUGH the pain, where new opportunities sell AWAY from the pain.”

“It matters less what product they are buying; it’s more important to understand that they are leaving behind whatever old beliefs they had about how to achieve their desired results and putting their hope and faith into this new opportunity.”

“So where do you start? How do you create that new opportunity? Well the hardest way, where most people seem to start, is by writing a book. When you think about experts, that’s usually what you think of first, right? They must be authors.

“The manager replied, “Why would you want to do that?” My friend said, “Just because it looks like you need some help, so I thought I’d help you out.” The manager looked at him funny and said, “All right, if you really want to.” So Alec spent a couple of hours folding clothes and sweeping up, just generally helping out. When he was done, he said, “Thanks so much,” and he left. Everyone at the store was kind of confused, but they were grateful for the helping hand. The next day, Alec came back to the store and started folding clothes again. He spent another two or three hours helping these guys out. Then when he was done at the end of the day, he thanked everybody and started walking out. The manager stopped him and asked, “Do you want a job?” My friend smiled and said, “Sure, I’d love one.” And they hired him on the spot.”




“The first section of this book was all about understanding who you must become and what you must create to start building your mass movement. In this section, we shift focus to how you create certain beliefs in the minds of your followers. These beliefs allow them to be more receptive to the opportunities you’re offering. When people have absolute belief in what you are telling them, you can positively influence them.”

”My whole goal is to slow down and look around. Instead of looking for all the tasks that I could do, I try to identify the one Big Domino— the One Thing that, if I could knock THAT down, all the other dominos would either fall down or become irrelevant.”

“If I can make people believe that (my new opportunity) is / are key to (what they desire most) and is / are only obtainable through (my specific vehicle), then all other objections and concerns become irrelevant and they have to give me money.”

“So what is an Epiphany Bridge? It’s simply a story that takes people through the emotional experience that got YOU excited about the new opportunity you’re presenting to them. There’s a reason you got excited about your new opportunity, right? Something happened to you at some point in your life. You had an amazing experience that caused an epiphany. You thought, Wow, this is so cool! The first time I learned how to sell things online, I had an epiphany. The first time I learned about funnels, I had an epiphany. We’re having these little “aha” moments all the time.”

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

“ Using big words may make you feel smarter, but it will not influence others.”

“Every good story is built on three foundational elements (Character, Desire and Conflict), also known as “the plot.”

Every good story is about a captivating character who is pursuing some compelling desire and who faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieving it. That’s it. If you’ve got those three things, then you’ve got a good story.”

“Make the character a victim of some outside force, so we want to root for them. • Put the character in jeopardy, so we worry about them. • Make the character likable, so we want to be with them. • Make the character funny, so we connect with them. • Make the character powerful, so we want to be like them.”

“No one cares about Superman until we introduce kryptonite.

“Our primary goal as storytellers is to elicit emotion, and you can’t do that without conflict. Michael Hauge showed me the patterns of conflict that are consistent with almost all Hollywood movies.”


Russell Brunson Quote: “Improvement offers sell THROUGH the pain, where new opportunities sell AWAY from the pain.”


“They desire the same result that you have already achieved. But when they see you as the expert and see what you’ve accomplished, it can be really hard for them to relate to you and trust you. That’s why you must come down from your positioning as an expert, and return to the beginning where you were struggling with the same things they are. When they see that you were once where they are now, they will have faith that you can take them where they want to go.”

“People are usually willing to share their external struggles, “I’m trying to lose weight, but I can’t give up carbs.” Or “I want to start my own company, but I just can’t find the time.” But these are rarely the real issues they are dealing with. To find out the true cause of their pain, you need to dig deeper and share your internal conflicts.”

“The internal struggle is the journey of transformation from fear to courage—the hero’s second journey. This is the root cause of your struggles.”




“I still remember the first time I saw somebody sell a product onstage. They did a 90-minute presentation teaching about a concept, and then at the end they made the crowd a special offer. I watched in amazement as hundreds of people ran to the back of the room and gave this person thousands of dollars! It was so exciting and, as I was counting how many people signed up and multiplying it by his program fee, I realized that he had made over $100,000 in just 90 minutes! I knew at that moment that I HAD to master that skill.”

“What I discovered from the best people in the business was that teaching the best content actually hurt sales. But learning how to identify, break, and rebuild false belief patterns got people to take the action they needed in order to change. I learned how to tell stories.”

“The teaching is what you do AFTER they have purchased. Teaching does not have a place in the webinar.”

“Instead, people told me my content was amazing, but then they just left with all the cool new stuff they had learned. They never actually implemented what I had created for them. While I was trying my best to help them, it actually hurt them because they didn’t shift their beliefs, didn’t buy anything, and never changed their lives. I was a failed expert and coach. I honestly believe that the greatest service you can provide for someone is getting them to buy something. The act of buying creates a commitment that causes them to actually take action.”

“Do you see how this works now? You mention an element, then add it to the stack. Mention another element and add it to the stack. Sometimes you may feel you’re getting repetitive, but that is the key. It helps your audience understand the offer completely. The first few times I did this, I felt silly each time I re-stacked it. But after I added it, and started closing 300% more people during my presentations, I quickly stopped feeling silly. This is the KEY to success when selling to the masses.”

“Before you reveal the actual price, ask them what the end result would be worth to them. So if you had a successful funnel today that was making you money, what would it be worth to you? And then I STOP and wait for them to answer that question in their minds. How much would you pay to have that one successful funnel? And then I STOP and wait for them to think about it for a few seconds.”


Russell Brunson Quote: “ Using big words may make you feel smarter, but it will not influence others.”


“He then went on to explain that the reason I didn’t get a table rush was because the first time I asked the audience to say yes was when I was asking for their money. “When you watch me speak, you’ll notice that all the heads in the audience are nodding the entire time. I am constantly asking simple questions to get people to say yes over and over again, so when I ask them to give me money at the end, they’ve already told me yes hundreds of times before that.”

“That webinar went from making $9.45 per registrant to $16.50 per registrant—just by me adding in the trial closes.”

“Other than that, there is no real value in money. You can’t use it to stay warm, you can’t eat it, you can only trade it for something else that you want. Just think, everyone who exchanges money for something does it because they feel that what they are getting in exchange is greater than keeping the money or using it for something else. At least that’s what I expect when I buy something. I don’t actually know for sure until I do buy it and try it out, and can see the results.”

“Us vs. Them The goal for this close is to call out people as either do-ers or dabblers. I’m guessing there are two kinds of people listening to me right now. You’re either a do-er or a dabbler. The dabblers love to sit and listen and learn, but they rarely ever do anything and often look for any excuse not to move forward. Some of you are do-ers. You’re not sure how this is going to work for you, but you see how it’s worked for me and for other people, so you have faith that it will work for you as well. And what I’ve found is that it’s the do-ers who get ahead in life, while the dabblers don’t ever really seem to progress.”




“Yet this model took my company from $0 to $10 million within 12 months, and then to $30 million just 12 months later.”

“Four hours later, I delivered this revised presentation to about 500 entrepreneurs, and this time we sold $120k live! I repeated this same process 60+ times over the next 12 months—doing a live webinar, exporting questions, and adjusting the presentation.”

“What will your close rate be? At first, it will probably be pretty low. That’s why you need to do it live so many times. When you have a 5% close rate, you have a good webinar and are likely going to be profitable on the front end. When you get it to 10%, then (I believe) you have a million-dollar-a year webinar. When you get above 10%… Well, I’ll just say that at 15%, we did just shy of $10 million the first year. So it pays to keep refining your conversion rates by tweaking and presenting live presentations.”

“No one showed up for Liz Benny’s first live webinar. She had a few hundred people registered, yet for some reason no one showed up. She had spent months preparing, and not a single soul attended. But she didn’t give up. She kept refining her process. And she wound up making just over a million dollars in her first year.”

“Imagine you and I were to start working together today. I teach you everything I know and do everything I can to help you get results. Now imagine we’re sitting in a coffee shop a year from now. What would have happened in your life, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy with your progress? What would make you believe that this was the best decision you ever made?

“In fact, if you try it and it doesn’t work, I can tell you from experience it’s probably for one of these reasons: 1. You picked a bad market and no one wants to hear what you have to say. 2. You built an improvement offer and no one wants to buy it. 3. You slipped into teaching mode and didn’t create an environment for change.”




“Then Chet got smart. He did some research and discovered that out of those 2,000 advertisers, 167 of them were spending 90% of their advertising budgets with his competitors. So he defined those 167 as his best buyers—the ones spending all the money in the industry. Once he figured that out, he stopped marketing to everybody and instead focused his time and efforts on those 167. He sent out direct-mail pieces with lumpy objects in them every two weeks, then he followed up with a few phone calls. Twice a month he’d mail, twice a month he’d call.”

“But he didn’t give up. After four months of following this strategy, he got zero response. (Pretty discouraging, right?)”

“Then in his fourth month, something changed. He landed his first big account—Xerox. It was the biggest advertising buy ever for the company. By the sixth month, he had landed 29 of the 167. And with those 29, Chet doubled the sales over the previous year. They went from #16 to #1 in the industry in just over a year. And he kept doubling sales for the next three years.”

“Well, when I first heard Chet explain how the Dream 100 worked, I realized that there were probably 100 people who already had MY dream customers. They had the traffic. I didn’t need to create it, I just needed to figure out how to get those people to come and see my new opportunity instead. The first step in this Dream 100 process was going back to Secret #1. Remember when I created my new niche? We started with the three hot markets (health, wealth, and relationships).”

“I quickly realized that the people who controlled that traffic were typically one of four types: list owners, bloggers, podcasters, or social media influencers (including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) I started searching and found list owners with email lists of 20,000 to 200,000 or more of my dream customers! Bloggers and podcasters who had millions of readers and listeners and social media influencers who could drive tens of thousands of clicks to anything they wanted to talk about. I saw their power, so I started to build out my Dream 100 list of these people and companies. Initially, I tried to find 25 list owners in my submarket, 25 bloggers, 25 podcasters, and 25 social media influencers.”

“Dig Your Well Strategy #3 Now that I have a basic relationship with them, one of the main things I like to ask (and I learned this from Sean Stephenson) is what project they’re working on that is most important to them at the moment. After they tell me, I figure out what extra value I can offer to help them reach their goal. And that’s it. It’s simple, but it’s how great business relationships are built. I’m digging my well BEFORE I’m thirsty.”




“1. Become VERY clear about who you want to serve and what new opportunity you will create. 2. Get results for your beta group. Your results will become the foundation your expert business will grow from. 3. Become a master storyteller. This is the most important skill you can learn. 4. Change the world. Your message has the ability to change people’s lives, so use it.”


Book Review (Personal Opinion):


After you read this book, there will be no way that you will ever buy anything from a scammer or a contrapreneur on the internet. Expert Secrets tells you all the sales and marketing tactics that work without any concern for morality or ethics. This guy literally has a section called “indoctrination emails”  in his book. The only reason why I gave this book an 8/10 is because all of this stuff works and SOME of the things in here are ethical to use. But in the wrong hands, it will just damage quite a lot of people. Read it if you want to know how to protect yourself from online contrapreneurs.


Rating: 8/10


This Book Is For (Recommend):


  • Anyone who was a victim of a bad online course, product, or service
  • A young professional looking to learn the basics of marketing
  • A writer who wants to learn how to create great headlines and good article outlines


If You Want To Learn More


Here’s an interview with Russell Brunson on Expert Secrets.
Attraction Marketing TV


How I’ve Implemented The Ideas From The Book


I tried one of the ethical tactics from the book (called The Title of Liberty). I wrote a small text on a personal website and share The Title of Liberty on my personal Facebook profile. It got over 130 shares from my personal Facebook profile so I knew this stuff works.


One Small Actionable Step You Can Do


Double-check, no, triple-check any promise an online influencer makes about their product or service before buying.


Expert Secrets by Russel Brunson - Book Summary Infographic