“Expert Secrets will help you find your voice and give you the confidence to become a leader…”
“Expert Secrets will show you how to build a mass movement of people whose lives you can affect…”
“Expert secrets will teach you hot to make this calling a career, where people will pay you for your advice…”
These are the promises that the back cover of Russell Brunson’s Expert Secrets proclaims, which are some pretty bold claims.
After finishing the book, would I say that I’m ready to start my own business and become a successful business owner? Absolutely not.
But, that’s not to say that there is some really sound advice in Expert Secrets that can help you on your journey to entrepreneurship.
So — without further delay — let’s jump into the book as I put on my best New York Times Book Review hat.
Finding Your Niche
In the first third of the Expert Secrets, Brunson spends a lot of time talking about the importance of identifying your target market. More specifically, he talks about the importance of finding an untapped market (i.e. Blue Ocean Strategy). You don’t want to start a business in a congested market that will make it difficult for you to be successful in, let alone enter it all.
This is sound advice — and something that we employ here at Hook. The more narrow your niche, the better you’ll become in servicing those clients or customers. And, if you can find a large enough ‘blue ocean,’ then you are on your way to having a successful business.
“I suggest that you look at your submarket and try to create a new niche, a fresh blue ocean for yourself. Create a new opportunity for people so they’ll want to dive in,” says Brunson. Again, sound advice.
The Epiphany Bride Script
Now, I’m not going to discredit Brunson too much here, but the Epiphany Bridge is basically a carbon copy of Donald Miller’s StoryBrand script. That being said, I’m not sure whose framework came first — and as far as I’m concerned, all these marketing guru guys steal one another’s ideas regularly and then repackage them as their by coming up with fancy, catchy names. *shrugging emoji* So let’s just take it for what it is, which is a great script.
End of rant.
Here is a drawing of the script, courtesy of the book:
It’s pretty straight forward, but let’s break it down step-by-step. Keep in mind we’re applying this script to an ideal client/customer, so let’s say that we are a shoe manufacturer and our blue ocean is people who bike to work. Our product is business casual to business professional shoes that work well for biking in but still looks good in the office.
Backstory: So, our ideal client is professionals who bike to work.
External Desire: They want to continue to bike to work because it helps them stay fit, but it’s such a hassle to bring two pairs of shoes to work every day, and they get frustrated when they forget their work shoes at home.
Internally Desire: They love biking to work because it makes them feel good that they are reducing their environmental impact, but once again, they wish it was easier.
Wall: Our customer’s wall is the fact that they don’t want to bike in their work shoes because they don’t want them to get dirty and also don’t feel secure driving alongside cars when they aren’t wearing their biking shoes.
New Opportunity (epiphany): Our ideal customer comes across a podcast ad (that’s right, my company is hip enough to market on podcasts) and learns that they are able to easily solve their problem by purchasing our shoes. They learn that our shoes are made of a material that makes them easy to clean dirt and scuff marks off. Our shoes are also shaped to fit well with bike pedals while still looking great at work.
The Plan: As outlined in our podcast ad, the consumer can then visit our website where they can look for shoes that fit their style and order up to three of them to try on (thanks Warby Parker, I’m stealing your business model).
Conflict: Along the way, maybe our customer isn’t sure if they want to buy our shoes or not. They think to themselves, is it really that big of a deal that I bring two pairs of shoes to work? Perhaps they doubt that this is a solution.
Achievement: Our customer makes the purchase and is ecstatic with the results. They love the shoes and how they feel biking, as well as how they look at work.
Transformation: Our customer has a better experience biking to work.
Again, this framework closely resembles that of the StoryBrand nearly step-for-step, but it is wise to use one of them if you ever plan on starting your own business.
Closing Thoughts on Expert Secrets
Expert Secrets is a good, quick read and there is a boat-load of more information in the book than what I mentioned. However, it is wise to go into reading these books by marketing gurus that in the end, while they are trying to help the reader, they are also trying to market themselves. Brunson spends a lot (and I mean a lot) of time talking about his own business. And while he frames it as examples that pertain to the lessons in the book, it’s pretty clear he is trying to sell you on his services.
Hey, can’t fault the man for shooting his shot.
Overall, if you’re interested in starting your own business, I’d recommend giving Expert Secrets a read.
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