To make this my best possible article, along with details about the book, I will share with you some more personal details to explain why it is that I think the way I do about this book. Here’s a quick video review of DotCom Secrets:
DotCom Secrets is unassuming…
DotCom Secrets seemed salesy. Hype-y. I read a lot of chatter on line about the book before I bought it. People used the words “mind-blowing” “amazing” and “life changing.”
I was curious.
So I read it.
DotCom Secrets didn’t change my life. I didn’t have a spiritual awakening while reading it. I didn’t find a religion or nirvana within its pages.
Here’s the thing. It wasn’t written to touch my spirit. It was meant as a tool. A tool for me to use to improve my business. Something for me to use to put more money in my pocket. A tool for me to use to succeed.
If I was ready and willing to pick the tool up and use it.
A little about me…
I recently came into the online business space. A long time ago in a land far, far away, I went to college the usual way, then to professional school, and then into the office. Despite the fact that I had great clients, great co-workers, it wasn’t quite the right fit for me. But I stuck with it because the pay was good and it was very challenging.
As time went on, and I felt like I wanted more. More control. And as life changed, I needed more control. With the busy schedule of a family, I wanted to be able to work on my own time. My daughter was just learning to walk, holding onto my finger. It was a sunny day, with bright blue skies. She chattered and I helped her. It was then that I knew, and then that I decided that I wanted to change my business. I wanted to do something else. Something that would allow me to be present for moments like that one.
Then I came to online business…
Thus, I came to online business. I had received no formal education about doing business online, though I was well versed in basic business principles from my previous experience. My social media profiles were already set up. I understood cloud storage and conferencing. PDFs.
I thought, I am smart. Capable. I can figure this out.
I quickly learned that when you start trying to figure out how and where to do business online, you find yourself in a vast, open sea of knowledge, often disguising a product someone wants you to pay for. Free ebooks, training videos, and consultations teaching you to make money online abound. Working alone from your computer at night when the kids are asleep, you wade through the various sites and personalities trying to find information you can rely upon. It is difficult to know who to trust, and even harder to verify.
Getting started means failing…a lot…
Inevitably, you will have to try and start something. With the online space, just about everyone begins in the same way. You start something and fail, over and over again, before something clicks. A reason for this is that each “try” and “fail” is a necessary learning experience. The “fail” is the result of a missing piece that must be learned.
Multiple failures might feel soul crushing. (They did for me, who had almost never failed at anything). With the benefit of time and perspective, I would suggest that you think of each of those experiences like a class, seminar, or training course. You learn something important and valuable with each “try” and each “fail.” Over time, you learn what works, and what doesn’t. You meet people and network online, and find your “tribe.” If you are smart, you start your own “tribe.” Gradually you build the tool box, and fill it with everything you need to succeed.
This journey will look different for everyone. You might start and shut down a Shopify store (I did). Next, you dump hundreds of dollars into Google ads or solo ads (I did). You might run Facebook ads to sell a handful of necklaces made in China (they were cats sitting on the moon). After all that, you don’t make money. You probably lose money.
This is a common experience. Most people who go online to try and build a business have this experience. And when they don’t succeed right away, they decide that it must be impossible. They tell everyone that the results people post online are inflated or altered. Then they throw all of their hard fought training and experience gained in the “fails” and shelve it, and go on and do other things.
Build a runway for yourself…
This brings me to a critical point in my story, if you are reading this and going through what I am describing. Starting a business requires a runway. You need time, lots of time, and money, to start a business. This applies to any kind of business. Plumbing. Auto parts. Dentists. But people think that they can start a business on the internet and invest nothing! Expectations are set that are completely unrealistic. I am guilty of doing this time and time again. By sticking with it, I have learned that you need a long runway in the online business world to gain speed, and if you give yourself enough time, then you can take off.
In the middle of building my own online business toolbox, I decided that I was going to quit. I needed more of something, but I didn’t know what. While I was progressing, I felt like I had spent just about all the money I was going to spend on my online business experience. I felt like I was wasting my time, and my money.
Then I found it…
Then I came across this book called DotCom Secrets. I had heard about this book from several different sources. It is referenced in blogs, and on YouTube videos. I am very stubborn, and I eschew almost anything that seems like a “fad” or the “bandwagon.” But on a whim, I decided to see what the fuss was about. The book is advertised as “Free” and “You Pay Shipping.” The book costs less than ten bucks, so I wasn’t terribly bothered that the company was calling it free when it was probably recouping the printing cost of the book that was supposed to be free from the “shipping fee.”
I got the book and sat down to read it. With a nice cup of coffee, some snacks available, I was ready to see what the fuss was about.
I didn’t stop reading it until I had finished the entire thing. Reading pretty quickly, it still took me a couple of hours.
Finally, some answers…
The book had the ANSWERS to the holes I knew existed. While I had been trying to put all of the pieces of information I had collected from around the internet together, but I hadn’t been able to do it on my own. Quickly, I realized that I had been doing a puzzle without the benefit of the box with the photo showing me what I was building. I had a lot of pieces that I was just grinding away at, trying to make SOMETHING.
The forward was written by Dan Kennedy. He called the book “[A] solid book about reliable marketing ‘secrets’ that can be applied to ‘dot com’ business activities–and that are ‘secrets’ to many who’ve come of age only paying attention to what they see occurring online. In truth, it is a proven playbook for growing your company with effective lead generation and sales/conversion methods, which can be used online and offline.”
As I read, I learned, and could then extrapolate back and see why my previous online ventures had been unsuccessful. I had started with my products, my ideas, my sales, before I thought about my customer. Embarassingly, I was going about everything backwards.
I could see the box, finally.
Instead of quitting, I decided to soldier on, but with close attention to the principles set forth in the manual.
Now, I’m glad I did.
Section One: Ladders and Funnels
For people new to business, I feel that Section One is particularly valuable. Brunson spent several pages breaking down how to start a business. He pointed out (correctly) why most businesses fail. You see, most of us start something because of something inside of us. We say, I want to:
- own a business
- have my own business
- sell a certain product
- sell a certain service
- be a certain professional (lawyer, doctor, masseuse, chiroporactor, designer…
None of these things have to do with running a successful business. A business succeeds because its clients and customers get what THEY want from us. Not because we are sell what WE want. Focusing on US in business is the fatal flaw in most cases. We sell what we think our customers need, while our customers will only buy what they want. Brunson makes these points efficiently, before going on to talk about where he starts.
Brunson’s secret formula for starting a business is asking and answering four questions:
- Who is my dream client?
- Where can I find my dream client?
- How will I attract my dream client?
- What result do I want to give my dream client?
Once you have answers to those four questions, you can produce and sell any product that fits within those guidelines.
Client first, product last.
(Whereas most of us do the opposite–(Product first, client last).
Section Two: Your Communication/Follow Up Funnel
In Section Two, Brunson explains many of the basic components of successful email marketing. While the email breakdown portions of this section are awesome, the important section is the discussion about the “Attractive Character.”
Those who are experienced in sales know this one simple fact: people buy people, not products. In most cases, people will buy because of WHO is selling the product, not because of the product itself. To sell a product, you have to be able to sell YOURSELF. Brunson’s section on the Attractive Character is a great tutorial almost about selecting an appealing attractive character to use to present to your audience. You might not actually be that person in real life, but from a sales perspective, that persona is what you can use to achieve your goals.
Section Three: Funnelology…Leading Your Customers to the Sale (Over and Over Again)
This is where the book becomes more of a manual. Brunson gets specific about what a business, product, and website needs to be online to succeed. He says that if something isn’t working in his online business, it is usually one of five things:
- Landing Page
- Traffic Source
- Ad Copy
Then he breaks down in detail each one of these variables with examples of how he overcame the issues in his businesses.
The next topic in Section Three is also valuable. He calls it the “Seven Phases of a Funnel.” He explains the concept of “pre-framing,” which is the state of mind you strive to put someone in before they go on to the next step in your funnel. Many online marketing or sales trainings teach conversion (the sale) as it relates to the landing page or the sales page only (split testing, ad copy, offers, etc). Brunson’s point is that his success has more to do with the state of mind his customers are in at the time they arrive at the sales page, which he has carefully and with intent created with his funnel.
Section Four: Funnels and Scripts
In this section, Brunson breaks down several funnels, to help readers understand how each works and what it would be used for. Here are the funnels he reviews:
- Two-Step, Free-Plus-Shipping Funnel
- Self-Liquidating Offer Funnel
- Continuity Funnel
- Perfect Webinar Funnel
- Invisible Webinar Funnel
- Product Launch Funnel
- High Ticket, Three-Step Application Funnel
Have I said the word “valuable” too many times in this review? Well, it is the word I think of the most when I think of DotCom Secrets. For the cost of just a few dollars, you can jump far, far ahead of most of your competition. Most people are stuck, making the same fatal mistakes over and over again. Even successful businesses hold themselves back from even greater success by failing to follow the principles and guidance of this book. I can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone in business.
Before you go…
If you are looking to start something in the online space, we invite you to head over to our Freebies page to get access to some really useful resources (free or very cheap).
Here’s some other articles you might enjoy:
***Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click-through and make a purchase.