Transcript: Expert Secrets & Online Strategies with Russell Brunson

April 20, 2017

AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, Amy Porterfield here. Welcome to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Today I have a special guest. His name is Russell Brunson. 

You likely already know Russell, but just in case you don’t I wanted to share with you how I found out about this guy many, many years ago. You’ve probably already heard me talk about this program called The New Money Masters. I worked on it right before I left the Tony Robbins Company. 

In this program Tony interviewed different internet marketing entrepreneurs to find out about their business, tips and tricks for internet marketing, and he really talked about their lifestyle as well. I was hooked on internet marketing when I started to hear from some of the experts he brought on that episode. 

I was intimately involved with The New Money Masters because I worked on the segment with Marie Forleo and that really sealed the deal with my friendship with Marie because we got to go back and forth. She was the only woman featured on the program and that was really cool. 

The youngest person featured on the program was Russell. I don’t remember how old he was at the time but looking at him now and listening to him, the sound of his voice, he sounds like he’s 16 years old. I wish I could look that young for that long but this guy has a special gene for sure. 

Beyond looking and sounding young, he has actually been in business for about 14 years. He has started and scaled many companies online. He’s a best-selling author, owns a software company, and you likely heard me talk about Click Funnels before, that’s Russell’s company. He has a supplement company, a coaching company, and that’s just to name a few. 

The guy is definitely a powerhouse but he’s also completely down to earth and a lot of fun. Even though I’ve never hung out with him, he seems like a guy that I would like to hang out with or, better yet, he seems like a guy Hobie, my husband, would love to hang out with. They seem very similar in terms of their personalities. 

I also love that Russell was a big-time wrestler in high school and college. Hobie was as well and now Hobie is so proud because Cade is following in his dad’s footsteps. He went through his first year of high school wrestling and god MVP for Freshman so we’re on. It’s all about wrestling in the Porterfield house these days. 

I got to spend some time with Russell and I think you’re going to love this interview. He just came out with a book called Expert Secrets. It is fantastic. You know I would never recommend something I didn’t think would really add value to your business. You’ve got to get this book. 

I read the entire book from start to finish and absolutely loved it. I took tons of notes and I want you to get your hands on it. First of all, to get the book for free, you just have to pay shipping and handling, go to  and it will take you to the page so that you can get the book. 

I hope you get the book because I think I’m going to be talking about it a lot over the next few months, different strategies and tips that I learned from it and am applying to my own business. I want to share that with you and I want to be talking the same language so grab the book, for sure. 

Inside the book, Russell talks about creating a mass movement. That’s what this episode is all about. We’re going to get into becoming a charismatic leader, creating a cause, and creating a new opportunity, which has to do with your market and your niche. We’re going to get to that, for sure. 

I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s bring Russell on. 

Hey Russell, thanks, so much for being on the show. I’m really excited to have you here. 

RUSSELL BRUNSON: Thanks for having me. I’m excited too. 

AMY: Before we get into all the details, I wanted to ask you about actually writing another book. I know the process was not easy for you and I heard you even started from scratch after you had written a bunch. What was that all about and why did you feel like you needed to write this book? 

RUSSELL: It’s funny because a lot of my friends who write books consider themselves authors. I’ve never really considered myself an author but I’m somebody that has stuff I want to share stuff so bad. That’s been my big focus. I wrote the first book and it turned out really good and it’s helped a lot of people. But I swore I would never write a book again. It was a one-time deal. 

For me, I wanted to write a really good book and there is a lot that goes into that. So I took two years off swearing I would never write a book again. Then one day a lightning bolt of inspiration hit and I knew I had to write the book. 

I knew exactly the title and it became super clear and I thought, “OH NO!” 

AMY: I don’t want to do it! 

RUSSELL: I started it and I don’t think I was quite ready for it yet but I jumped in and started writing it. I got to the point it was about 240 pages and it was almost ready to send for a first draft to the editor. I was on a family vacation and it was about two in the morning and it was good but it wasn’t great. 

I didn’t really want to write a good book. I didn’t want to do it unless it was great. I had just learned Snapchat at the time and I had a couple of hundred people following me. I was going to make it real so I got on Snapchat and said, “Everyone, I’m going to delete this entire book right now.” 

I highlighted all 240 pages and clicked “delete.” This was eight months into it. 

AMY: Okay, that’s crazy. 

RUSSELL: It was so scary. I’m not going to lie. 

AMY: So you completely deleted the whole book, on Snapchat, no less, which was even cooler. And then you just started over. It wasn’t what you wanted it to be and you just had to start over. 

RUSSELL: Yeah. It’s funny because a lot of times we’re not willing to do that. I don’t think I was going to do that but I just thought if I was going to do it, it was going to have to be awesome or what was the point of doing it. 

I started over and it was kind of cool. Since I had done it once I knew the pieces that were impactful but I knew a lot of it wasn’t. So I had to decide how to structure it the right way and it gave me a lot of time to reprep and plan. Then I spent the next seven or eight months writing it again. 

The second time I am really proud of what came out at the end. 

AMY: You should be. The book is awesome. I absolutely love it. I loved the first one but I feel like this one is even better. 

RUSSELL: Well thank you, that’s awesome. 

AMY: It’s so good. So we’re going to dive into some of the specifics of the book. You start things off with this idea of creating a mass movement. It includes become a charismatic leader, creating a cause, and identifying a new opportunity. 

I want to break this process down with you because I think mu listeners are going to find each of these different sections incredibly valuable. If you’re cool, I want to just start at the top. 

RUSSELL: That would be awesome. 

AMY: Okay, cool. You start with talking about becoming a charismatic leader. Right at the beginning of the book, I don’t want to give it all away, but you mention the idea of 1,000 true fans. I know my audience would love this concept, especially as you explain it to them. 

They don’t have huge lists just yet, they don’t have big social media followings, and you are saying you only really need 1,000 true fans. How can that be true? 

RUSSELL: It’s funny because the first time I thought of that  process,  there’s  a  guy named Kevin Kelly that wrote an article called 1,000 True Fans. I thought the same thing when I first read it. You always hear about people who say they have a million followers on Facebook and they have all of the numbers. 

As I was reading the article there is a little excerpt that I would love to read, “A true fan is defined as a fan that would buy anything you produce. These die hard fans will drive 200 miles to see you sing, they will buy the hardback, paperback, and audible versions of your book. They will purchase figurines sight unseen. They will pay for the best-of- DVD version of a You Tube Channel. They will come to your chef’s table once a month.” 

It goes on and on with all of these things. These are the people that love you. It’s not like just a customer. That’s one thing. But it’s a true fan that connects with you and you have had an impact on them. They keep coming back to you and will buy over and over and over again. 

It was interesting. As I started looking at our customers, we started looking at all of our databases, and it was interesting how the point where I broke to become financially free was the point where I had about 1,000 fans. I kind of define fans as people who have bought more than one thing and they show up to things and are doing things. 

For me, it was liberating, 1,000 is doable. Maybe a list of 100,000 or a million is not but if I connect with 1,000 people and serve them at my highest level that’s really what you need to get to freedom, where it can become your career. That’s pretty exciting when you realize that. 

AMY: It really truly is. I love that you started there by saying you don’t need huge email lists to make this work and you don’t need tons of social media followers, you just need to be really good at what you do and make that connection as a leader. I love that’s where we’re starting. 

A lot of my listeners are incredibly hard workers. They are willing to do whatever it takes to build their dream business. But right from the get go they get stuck trying to figure out what an ideal niche is for their business and how to attract their perfect audience. 

You have a solid strategy. So, can you break down your process of how this works and how to find your niche. Do you say “nitch” or “neesh”? I hate the word. 

RUSSELL: I say “nitch.” 

AMY: Let’s say “nitch” because I kind of hate the word altogether. I just don’t like saying it so we are just going to say “nitch.” I feel like a fake when I say “neesh” anyway. 

RUSSELL: It depends on where in the world you live, I think, as to how you pronounce it. 

AMY: I agree. Okay, so talk to us about this process that you write about in the book. 

RUSSELL: It’s funny because when I got started I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I was just kind of like, I’m going to be in “this” business and I started throwing out ideas. I had no idea if it was good or bad. I had no idea. 

As I started going deeper into the book and was trying to figure out how to help people find the right things…I do everything from a whiteboard. In front of the whiteboard I’m sketching out all of these different things. 

I started to realize that if you really break it down there are three core markets that almost every business is based off of. Those three are health, wealth, and relationships. Right? 

AMY: Yep. 

RUSSELL: What is interesting is that whoever the first person there ever was that was a health expert or wealth expert or relationship expert, they were the first ones so they came out and, like Tony Robbins was probably like the first personal development guy and everyone comes to him. It was there. 

But eventually everyone starts looking around seeing there are a lot of people making money in health. They jump in and there gets to be more competition and it gets harder and harder. 

From those three core markets, health, wealth, and relationships, it breaks out into a submarket. For me, a submarket in the wealth market might be finance, investing, real estate, sales, internet marketing, etc. There are submarkets within wealth. 

In the relationship market there are submarkets like love, dating advice, marriage advice, and the same thing inside of the health market. Eventually people started kind of breaking down and going into submarkets. 

Again, first it was like a blue ocean. The very first sales trainer was the only person there and made a ton of money. But then all of the other people started looking and saying they could do sales training. Then it got bloodier and more people came into the market so it got harder to compete. 

We go from the three core markets of health, wealth,  and  relationships  to  a submarket and then for you to really carve out your spot it’s going one level beyond that. Let’s say you are in wealth and then in real estate. In the ecosystem, what is the niche that you own inside the ecosystem of real estate or inside of sales or inside of dating advice or whatever it might be. I call that the niche. 

We go from the three markets to the submarket to the niche. The niche is where you kind of find your sweet spot and where you can own some territory and be the person in that market and be unique and not be competing with hundreds of other people. 

AMY: I love this concept and I love how you break it down. But I know so many people are going to ask how they figure out what their niche is supposed to be. What kind of advice do you have for people there? 

RUSSELL: One thing I talk about in the book, a lot of people will say they need to pick their own niche. They will decide they are going to be a weight-loss guru. 

AMY: Right. 

RUSSELL: The definition of picking a niche, by default, means you did it wrong. It means you are jumping into a place where there are a whole bunch of other people already in and that’s why you picked one. I am a big believe in not picking a niche but creating one. 

One of my first mentors said every market has an ecosystem and you are looking around. Let’s say we are looking at the ecosystem of weight loss. There are people talking about high-fat diets and low-fat diets. There are people talking about cardio and all of these different people. 

Look around because people are doing all sorts of things. What can you create that compliments this but is different so that you can be the person that’s unique inside of the marketplace. That’s what I am always kind of looking at. 

I always look at potential customers, people who are going to be coming to you. They are already trying to get the result they are looking for. If you are in the weight loss market people are already trying to lose weight. They are already trying some opportunity or vehicle to do that. 

You are kind of convincing them that the thing they are doing is not working an they should try yours instead. You need to have something different. But it is hard to say that. You can’t say, “You’re doing a high-fat diet, so do I! You should try mine instead.” 

That’s not a very good argument. It’s got to be something unique and different that you can create for yourself. 

AMY: I think this is one area that people want to quickly identify something and move on and do the cool marketing stuff and all that. But, I think they’ve got to spend some time here for sure. They need to really dig deep and do the research. 

RUSSELL: For me, my research base is being in the market and looking around. What are people talking about? What are they excited about? How can I add something unique to this conversation that gets people to connect with me? 

You are right. Sometimes it takes a while. People think that’s a two-minute question but I know people who have spent months trying to figure that out. When you get it right it makes the rest of your business moving forward so much easier. 

AMY: So much easier, that’s for sure. I know you have many different businesses. You said once you identify a niche you ask yourself a few questions to make sure that particular market will be able to sustain your main niche. Can you walk us through these questions that you actually ask yourself in your own businesses? 

RUSSELL: One of the first questions I like to ask is  whether  people  are  in  the submarket. Let’s say I am going to be in real estate and will be teaching people how to flip houses on eBay. I actually know someone who does that. It’s a cool business, right? 

I’m going to come back to the submarket. In the real estate market if I came to all of those people and said I was going to show them how to flip houses on eBay, would they be extremely excited about that or would they say they had heard it before and would be bored? 

I want to be able to come into a room of people in that market, tell them the concept, and have them go crazy with excitement. If they’re not excited they aren’t going to give you money. That’s just kind of how it comes down to it. That’s #1. 

The next thing is that I want to ask myself if the people in this market are irrationally passionate. I heard that initially for the first time from Frank Kern. He said, “irrationally passionate.” 

I started thinking about the topics in my life that I’m irrationally passionate about. There are things I am passionate about and that I care about but there are four or five things that I’m irrationally passionate about where money is no object, time is no object , I would do anything to spend time and learn and geek out on these things. 

I want to find a market that feels that way as well. If you’re going to be prolific and create a lot of stuff and do all of the things that go into it and the people aren’t passionate about it, they’re not going to keep coming back over and over and over again. 

Where are the markets that people are irrationally passionate? You can tell those markets because there is usually a lot of stuff happening. There are events and telesummits. There are people selling products. There is stuff happening already and that’s a good sign that people are really excited. Their free time is spent here talking about “this” and doing “this.” 

AMY: That’s a good indicator. A lot is going on around that specific topic or market. That’s cool. Okay. 

RUSSELL: People always think they have figured out a market and nobody is in it. They are all excited they have found a gem. That’s typically going to make it way harder. I want to find somewhere they are already passionate and then I come in with my new message that gets all of those passionate people to look at me  and  come  over towards me because I have the new shiny object they are excited about. 

AMY: This is what I love about your content in this book. You are saying there is a market they are irrationally passionate about but then your niche will be the new opportunity for them that they haven’t thought about. 

You are kind of taking it up a level and you are asking if they are irrationally passionate about the market in general. That would be the submarket, right? 

RUSSELL: Yep, exactly. 

AMY: Cool. 

RUSSELL: That’s the big thing. People think that they will create desire. People already have desire. You just have to come into that desire and tell them they are trying to get a result for the thing they want and that you have found a better way, “come over here and let me show you.” 

You are just channeling that excitement into what it is you are doing. That makes it so much easier. I remember a guy I worked with a long time ago. I asked him how to create traffic. He looked at me and said, “Dude, traffic’s there. You don’t have to create it. You just have to find the traffic that wants what you have and step in front of it. That’s the big secret.” 

AMY: Yes! 

RUSSELL: I was like, “Ohhh”, that’s way easier than trying to create this. The desire is there. 

AMY: Amen. Yes, I love that. So what is the third question you ask yourself? 

RUSSELL: The third question is important. There are two things. Are the people willing and able to spend money on information? Sometimes people are willing. I have a friend who was in the video game market. He sold a course for $1,000 to teach people how to play Halo better. 

Those kids are very willing to buy that course. They just aren’t able and their parents aren’t going to give $1,000 to learn to play a video game better. In other markets people are rich. I have a friend who tried in the engineering market for a while. They were all able to spend money but they are not irrationally passionate about anything. 

They were not willing to give him money so he struggled. So you have to find markets where people are both willing and able to spend money. One of the rules inside my company and my inner circle…We had one guy who was guilty of this and we actually wrote it on his arm in a magic marker at the last meeting…Do not sell to broke people. 

You c an do that but it’s hard. I want to sell in markets where people actually have money and they are excited about spending money. Then you don’t feel guilty taking money from them. It’s exciting for them and for you. You don’t sell to broke people. You want to find people who are willing and able to spend money on what it is you’re trying to sell. 

AMY: That’s a good one for sure. Once you’ve decided on the specific niche you want to go after you hit home the importance of becoming a charismatic leader. In the book you’ve got these rules for becoming a leader. 

I’m not going to give them all away because I definitely recommend that my listeners check out the book. But there are two we’ve got to talk about because they are so good. The first one is “Don’t be boring.” 

When I heard that I thought, “yeah, yeah, it’s been said before.” Obviously, you don’t want to be boring. But then I started to read that chapter and you talk about this thing called the prolific index. I read it and I was on a plane. We were coming back from a family vacation in Aspen and I was on the plane reading it and put the book down. 

I let out a big sigh and my husband, Hobie, asked, “What’s the deal?” 

I told him “this guy” is so smart. This book is so good I was reading it too fast and felt I was going to skip some stuff I was devouring. This was probably one of my most favorite parts of the book so can you walk us through this prolific index and what it means? 

RUSSELL: The first time I mentioned prolific people, I think there is one definition of prolific meaning that you create a lot of content. That’s true but this is a little bit different. This is creating content that is unique and different. 

If you can envision the index. In the middle there is a thing called the mainstream. On the side there is a thing called the crazy zone. Let’s just go into the health and fitness market. The middle, the mainstream, is what they teach you in school that the government issues. 

You get the four food groups or I guess it’s food pyramids now. I remember learning that in school. 

AMY: The super boring stuff. 

RUSSELL: Yeah, exactly. If I go and create an info product telling them I am going to teach them the food pyramid and I am all excited, guess what, no one else would be though. They would tell me they got that for free in school. It was kind of boring then and it’s still boring today. 

Then you go on either ends of the spectrum and it’s the crazy zone. A good example of the crazy zone in weight loss, I tease about this but I actually really liked it a lot, there is a documentary called “Eat The Sun.” It is about Indian tribes that haven’t eaten in 20 years. They just look at the sun. They are sun gazers and they get all of the nutrients they want from the sun. 

AMY: What? 

RUSSELL: First off, we should all watch the movie because it’s fascinating. But, if I was to come out with a program and said you were going to lose a ton of weight. Here’s the deal, you don’t eat, you just look at the sun for 30 minutes a day. 

AMY: I would say you are crazy. 

RUSSELL: No one is going to give you money for that either. In the mainstream nobody gives you money. On the crazy zone nobody gives you money, but in between there is a spot that I call the prolific zone. You share ideas that are unique. 

In the weight-loss market, one of my favorite ones is what my friend, Dave Asprey, came out with. If you’ve heard about bullet-proof coffee  or  bullet-proof  diet  or anything like that, his origin story talks about how he was hiking in the Himalayan mountains and was hungry and cold. 

He went into a place and some guys gave him some tea that had yak butter in it. He drank this stuff and it made him feel full and healthy. His brain lit up and he asked why yak butter made him feel good. He went home and realized if you put butter in your coffee you can lose a bunch of weight and feel awesome. 

It’s kind of crazy. If I told my mom that she would think I was insane. But it is interesting enough that people would put butter in their coffee to see. It is in the prolific zone. They try it and whatever result they get, if it’s something positive, then they buy in and all of the sudden they become irrationally passionate. 

If you watch the bullet-proof coffee movement, it’s insane. There are people on Jay Leno talking about it or… 

AMY: Howard Stern? 

RUSSELL: Yes, on the talk shows they are always talking about it. It’s interesting. That’s the key, finding the spot in the prolific zone where you share things. It’s not crazy with the discount unit. It’s not mainstream where it’s boring but it’s an interesting idea. People have never looked at it that way before. 

That’s what gets people to pay attention. Those who pay, pay attention. That’s where the money is at right there. 

AMY: I think that is so smart. When people are thinking about their ideas they have got to look at the index that you’ve created in this book and weigh against it. I loved it because I, too, always thought prolific only meant churning out content.  You  are saying it has to do with being inventive and I think that’s really cool. 

You have this rule about not being boring. But you have another rule, to care a lot. But there is a great twist with it. You say that charismatic leaders show people they care and part of caring is charging for your services. 

I love that you make the alignment between caring and charging. My audience definitely struggles at times with pricing their programs and charging enough that they are actually earning what they are worth. Talk to me about this connection between actually caring for your customers and charging for your stuff. 

RUSSELL: I totally get that. I think most of us who have expertise in something don’t get into it because we want to make money. We get into it because we are obsessed with it. It has had a result on us and it changed our life. Initially when you want to share it with other people and you start going out and are sharing it we have an underlying guilt of charging. 

I feel that often. I know other people. But I look back on my career. When I first started having success with the marketing stuff I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to do it. I got so excited. I started telling my mom, my dad, my family, my friends, and everyone who would listen to me that I wanted to explain this thing to them. 

I would tell them to come to my house. I would just do it for them. They would be all excited and they would come over but it was so frustrating because nothing ever happened. I couldn’t get people to take action and I was just giving the stuff for free. 

I cared so much about doing it that I couldn’t understand. It had dramatically changed the quality of my life and it would for them too but they have to do something. They just wouldn’t. It was frustrating. And then a little while later I started doing seminars and workshops and things like that and I would charge people for those. There was a really weird correlation between what I charged and people’s ability to follow through and actually get the result they wanted. 

The things were not that expensive and I would do stuff. Some people got results but it was harder. But then I started raising prices and every time I raised my price the people who were able to come in, because they paid more, they paid more attention. 

Like I said earlier, people who pay, pay attention. They paid more attention.  I remember a couple of years ago I had my very first $25,000 workshop. Looking back now, I never even though that was possible. It scared me. But I did it and I had a whole bunch of people came to it. 

By that time I had a couple of people I knew in my life who were asking questions about how the whole thing worked. I told them these people pay $25,000 to come to the workshop. So they did it. They came and listened and went home. 

The success rate of the people that paid $25,000 to be in the room is 100%. Every single person got their money back plus a huge return on their investment. The failure rate that I allowed to come for free was also 100%. Not a single person who didn’t pay did anything with it. 

It is such an interesting thing. I look at my life as well. Whenever I want to change a part of my life I hire coaches for everything else that I’m screwed up with in my life. I hire a coach and the first thing I do is write him a big old check. If I give him a check and give him money there is accountability and I am actually probably going to do it now. The other way, it seems we don’t. 

I realize that the more I charge the better result people get. I always struggle with that. But I see that if I really care about my people I have to get them to invest in the sales. 

AMY: For sure! I don’t think there’s any surprise that the people that pay me $1,000s have the best testimonials versus my $97 program. It is so much agony trying to get a great testimonial out of that because they aren’t doing the work. 

I love the quality of people I attract with my higher priced products. I am totally with you there. So, I’m going to keep remembering that, that those that pay, pay attention. You also said the more success you have in your own business the less time you have. You’ve got to charge accordingly. That’s so true. 

RUSSELL: When I first started my business I was so proud that I answered every single question’s support email. That was a badge of honor for me. Eventually I was spending all day every day doing that and I couldn’t serve and help other people. If I really want to have the impact on the most amount of people I have to create barriers. 

You filter people through money and the price tag. Again, with my books, I try to give them for free or as close as possible because I want people to have an impact. But the people who really want results pay and they get closer to you and you can focus more time and energy on them. But you have to be a guardian of your time and that’s one of the easiest ways to do that. 

AMY: So very well. I am going to switch gears a little bit because we talked about being a charismatic leader. But the second part of the whole idea of creating a mass movement is to actually create a future-based cause. 

I want to pull from your own experience because I love your stories throughout the book and the examples you share. You told a big story in the book about coming up with the tagline, “You’re just one funnel away.” 

I thought that was brilliant. But, it is really cool that what that did for you and why you came up with that and the fact that you now have a culture of funnel hackers that are incredibly passionate, I see them all over the web, so talk to me about the whole idea of a future-based cause. 

RUSSELL: When I was writing this book I was studying a lot about different mass movements, everything from super positive things to really, really negative things from business to religion and everything between. I was looking at the commonalities and like you said before, everyone of them had a charismatic leader and the second thing they had was a future-based cause. 

Most of us with our products and services are selling something and we kind of give it to them and it’s a transactional-based thing. I started realizing that all of these mass movements had a cause like that. I starting wondering what our cause was. 

We were selling software or selling books but I want my true fans to be bought into more than just this, more than just a software product or a book. We started trying to create some things and before our last event I was sitting there trying to write a headline for the page that sells our event and I was looking through swipe files and trying to find the headline that spoke our message. 

If you have ever studied some of the old-time marketers there is a guy named Gary Halbert an he had an ad with a headline like, “You’re one sales letter away from being rich.” I read that and it didn’t really inspire me but I thought it was kind of cool. 

I wrote the headline of the page, “You’re one funnel away from being rich.” I thought it was so shallow. I deleted “being rich.” Then I questioned what my people want. For some people they are one funnel away from getting their message out to more people. So I wrote that. It was more inspiring but for some people it’s not about getting a message out. 

For some people it’s about leaving a job they hate. I deleted it again and changed it to “one funnel away from quitting the job you hate.” That’s wasn’t everyone either. I did that four or five times and eventually I deleted the end of it and just had, “You’re just one funnel away.” I was thinking and thinking and looking at the screen. 

I thought, “You’re one funnel away.” Then I got the chills. I thought, “Oh my gosh, that’s it!” I want my audience to understand that wherever they are in their business, whatever they are trying to do, if they are trying leave a job, if they are trying to make money, if they are trying to get their message out, they are literally one funnel away. 

I started thinking about my own personal life. For me to get where I got to, I had launched so many things. I had failed over and over and over again. Then there was one thing that broke. In fact, in my live event I did a 90-minute session and told every one of those stories of how I almost went bankrupt. 

AMY: Oh my gosh. 

RUSSELL: I was in tears half the time and everyone said it was the most inspiring thing. I realized I didn’t know which funnel it was or which thing it was that was going to get me to success but I kept doing it and all of the sudden, Boom, looking back that was the one that did it. 

For me that was the cause. One of these things is going to hit and it’s going to work. For us that became this calling card. I remember after putting it out on the page and it was live, a week or two later on our Facebook group I saw a message from someone who said he woke up depressed, sad, and ready to quit. 

He was planning to cancel his Click Funnels account and be done but he saw the headline and realized he hadn’t hit it yet but could be one thing away. He was so close. The guy’s story was so emotional for me and everyone else and he got it. Now everyone is kind of moving toward this thing. 

It was interesting, in the book I shared some of this, but if you look at the political elections, I did research all the way back to George Washington. I was looking at the campaign slogans from the winners and losers. Almost every time the winner’s campaign slogan was something about a future thing, one  funnel  away,  make America great again, change. 

It didn’t matter if you were Democrat or Republican but the person who won was the person with the message or campaign slogan about the future and where they were trying to go. For us to talk about the book, you need to almost kind of pretend you are running for president of your little tribe. What’s the slogan that is going to get people inspired to follow you and listen to you and immerse themselves into what you are doing and saying so that they can get the result you are promising them? 

It is kind of cool when you really start digging deep into it. 

AMY: It really is. I feel this is the part of the book that really got me inspired. I don’t really have a cause around what I do. I’ve been really fortunate to be successful and impact lives. But this cause, this idea of the funnel hackers, that you’re just one funnel away, and in the book you talk about writing a manifesto and the fact that people wear t-shirts with these slogans on them and are part of your tribe. 

They feel like family to you and that’s what I truly want. It really inspired me. I think my listeners, when they grab the book, will want something like this. You give a lot of different examples throughout the book that I don’t want you to give away but I think it’s going to get people to thinking how they could do it in their business. 

RUSSELL: That’s cool. 

AMY: My very, very, very favorite part of the book…I know I’m saying that with every chapter, but my very favorite part was when you talked about the idea of bringing the four-minute mile concept into our own businesses. 

You tell two stories and I know you’re going to share them with us here. John Reese, one of the stories you’re going to talk about. Internet marketing was a really big, big deal in me coming and creating my own business because he was part of the Frank Kern and Jeff Walkers and Eban Pagans and you when we did the New Money Masters with Tony Robbins. 

Since I got to work on that product I started to know all of you guys. To know that he really made a difference in your life too, I thought was really cool. So explain the concept of the four-minute mile and how that works in our own business. 

RUSSELL: The concept of the four-minute mile, and I am sure most have heard this story before, but up until Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile everyone thought it was impossible. Everyone would try their best but nobody was able to do it. 

Then one day he broke the four-minute mile. All of the sudden it became possible for all of the other runners everywhere else in the world. He had done it so they could do it. After that I don’t remember the exact stats but tons of people have broken the four-minute mile since. In fact, the first one happened just a couple of months afterwards. It was because it was real. 

Think about for the mass that was running how it affected people and gave them a dream and something to move towards. When I got started 14 years ago I was learning about the total internet marketing thing. My only goal at the time was to make $1,000 a month. 

That would have almost replaced what my wife was making while she was supporting me while I was in college. If I could make $1,000 a month I would be the man and help provide for our little family. That was my goal. 

As I was moving toward the goal, this guy you and I know, and someone I look up to immensely, John Reese, put out a thing where he was going to try to make a million dollars in a day. No one thought it was possible except for him. 

He put a campaign together and launched a product called Traffic Secrets. He launched it and sure enough in about 18 hours he did a million dollars. I remember I was on a family vacation in a little tiny town that didn’t have internet access. 

I went to the local library to check my emails and there was an email from John. The subject line was “We did it”. I read it and he talked about how he made a million dollars in 18 hours. I remember sitting back in my chair thinking my goal was $1,000 a month. This guy made a million dollars in a day. 

All of the sudden what was possible in my life, my whole vision changed. If he could do that, I’m not even going to do that, what if I could make a million dollars in a year? What if that was even possible? He sold a $1,000 course. He sold 1,000 copies in one day. If I did that over a year that would be three sales a day. 

All of the sudden it became real to me and tangible to me. As soon as it became real my mind shifted how I worked. Everything shifted. I went out there and within about a year and a half I had made a million dollars. 

The next year I tried to make a million dollars in a calendar year and I missed it barely. The next year I was able to do it in a year. From them I did it in a month, I did it in a week, and I’ve done it a couple of times in day. 

It was all because he made it possible. I didn’t think it was until he did it. For us as we were building our own hacking movement I asked what the equivalent to that was. How do I inspire everyone to believe the could be more and do more? 

Initially we had testimonials we could share out there but it’s kind of hard. A testimonial is one thing but people think it’s because someone else is great and they aren’t. They can discount it. 

I started asking how many members of Click Funnels had made over a million dollars in a funnel. I went back to the database and we found at the time that maybe 60- something people had made a million dollars in a funnel. 

Are you kidding me? This wasn’t a rarity. It was happening all the time to people in our community. So I wanted to make it a thing where everyone put us on a pedestal. First off, these people who have done it will get some recognition. Second  off, everyone will see them and realize this is not an impossibility; it is not impossible, it is happening to their peers right now. 

We created the two comma club. In a million dollars there are two commas. We made huge trophies of a big gold record with two commas etched into it. It has their name and at our last Funnel Hacking live event, by the time it happened, almost 100 people had won it. We brought them on stage and gave everyone trophies. It was crazy. 

We had 1,500 people in the room and it was a session where we were just giving away awards. I thought half the audience would go sit in the hall but that session was the most packed session we had. Nobody left as they were giving awards. 

I started watching how crazy people went after the event. There was one guy in our group that made a video post. He said he went to Funnel Hacking and was so mad he didn’t get an award. He then said he was going to make it real. 

He walked into his kitchen in front of his wife and pulled out a magic marker. He drew a picture of our award on his wall in magic marker. He said he would see it everyday until he got in the two comma club and that it would bug him until he got it because he knew he could now do it. 

I started watching and all of the sudden if you looked at our community, that is everyone’s goal, “I’m getting in the two comma club.” Now they are all shooting towards this thing and know it’s possible. They know the path and have seen other people doing it. Now we are going back and telling the stories of these people. 

Now that the four-minute mile has been broken it’s not hard for them. It’s so real and tangible. For anybody’s business it’s the same thing. How do you create something like that for people to aspire to? If you create that people will move towards it. It is one of the coolest things ever. 

AMY: It is so cool. I can’t wait for my students to start figuring out what that four- minute mile means for their students and how they can show that they can break it as well. I’m totally excited about that one. We could end the interview here because it was so inspirational. But, I still have a few more for you because I want to dive into the last part of this whole idea of the mass movement. 

You teach people how to create a new opportunity for their audience. It’s different than anything I would have thought so talk to us about this idea of a new opportunity. 

RUSSELL: I am glad we have time to talk about this. This is probably my favorite part because when I got it, it changed everything for us. It starts back at my research in mass movements. We are looking at the positives and negatives, businesses, religion, and everything. 

Every single mass movement that blew up had “this” thing. It was a new opportunity. Probably the easiest way to explain new opportunity is to explain the opposite of that. The opposite of a new opportunity is an improvement offer. 

I learned this from Perry Belcher. He would talk about trying to sell improvement. He said it was the hardest thing in the world to sell. If I’m going to make you smarter or better or stronger it usually has an “er” at the end, like better. 

There are a lot of reasons for that. If I’m going to admit to you that I need to become smarter I have to admit that I’m dumb. I have to make a huge thing about that. The other thing is that most people in life have desire but most people aren’t ambitious. I would say 2% to 3% of the world are actually ambitious. But everyone has desire. 

If I’m selling improvement the only people that will buy improvement are people that are ambitious. 98% of the people in the world who need what you have will not buy it because you are telling them it will help make them better. You are helping to improve them. 

The only people that buy improvement are super ambitious people. You have to understand that the way we get people to buy is not by playing on their ambitions, it’s playing on their desires. The desire they have is what’s going to actually propel them forward and move them. 

Instead of offering them a way to improve themselves and make themselves better, we offer them a new opportunity. This is something new. The way I figure out what my new opportunity is going to be, I look at my market and see what result they are trying to get. 

My customer is trying to lose weight or make money or whatever the big result they want. They are currently sitting in some vehicle to try to get to that result. If I’m into weight loss they may be doing the Atkins diet and are struggling and not getting the result. 

If I come back and say that the Atkins diet is awesome but I will help them implement it and make it better. If I say my version of the Atkins diet does “whatever” they will look at it and think that they are in the Atkins diet. It’s horrible and they hate the whole thing. They have a lot of knowledge for why this thing isn’t working for them. 

If I try to make it better for them it doesn’t matter because they already don’t believe it works. I have to say, “Look, for the vehicle you are currently in, trying to get that result is wrong. No matter how hard you try that vehicle will never work for you. You need to get out of that vehicle. Here’s a new opportunity. Step in with me.” 

If they step into this new opportunity they will now get over there and get the result they are looking for. Any product or offer we are selling needs to be a new opportunity. When you do that it gets rid of all of the problems because it plays on people’s ambitions. They don’t have to admit that what they are doing is wrong. 

They are saying that the system they have been using is wrong and they take all of the personal blame and responsibility off of themselves. They are able to make  the changes they need. There are a dozen other things we talk about in the book. But that is the key, to understand that in all mass movements the charismatic leader offers people a new opportunity that gets them to make the change. 

Think about the corporate world. It is the opposite of that. You come in at whatever level and then work for two years. Then you get a raise and you get in the dance within the company. That’s how the corporate world works. 

In movements it’s never about advancement inside of a thing. It’s like, “Boom” this is a whole new opportunity. It is a different thing. When you have that piece of it that’s when you get the people to come to you. That’s when it changes everything for you. 

AMY: I love the psychology around this whole idea of improvement versus new opportunity. You get even more into the psychology because you say that the #1 reason people don’t want improvement and the reason they will or will not actually join your culture is because of status. 

I thought, “really?” But then when you got into it, it made sense. Talk to us about that. 

RUSSELL: We have an internal dialogue always happening with every choice. You think you want to do “this” thing. In your mind, your subconscious mind asks, “If I do that is it going to increase my status or decrease my status?” 

That’s the dilemma we are always facing. It’s a little more complex than that but that is what the basis is, “If I buy this product will it increase my status or decrease it?” 

The first thing we look at is buying the product. Let’s go back to weight loss because it is easy. If I buy this, will I increase my status? If I lose weight, yes I will increase my status. But what if I don’t? Then I just fail again and decrease my status. 

I am actually paying money so this money is literally coming out of my bank account, therefore, my bank account is getting smaller and my status is decreased based on that. Then the argument is whether the potential increase of status that you could have will offset the decrease that you have immediately. 

There are so many things, like putting in guarantees and stuff like that, even if you fail it doesn’t matter because we will give you the money back. That takes away the risk so there is no way they could decrease their status even if it doesn’t work. There are a lot of things you can do but it’s all about status. 

What is interesting, every time I have shared this with almost anybody they always argue with me. They say it’s true for a lot of people but not true for them. I ask what they mean. I have shared a story. Someone buys a Ferrari because they want an increase in status. If you are driving around people will notice you. You have a Ferrari and your status will be increased. 

These people tell me they would never buy a Ferrari. So I ask them if they were to pull up in a Ferrari to their kids’ school what would people think about them. They tell me people would judge them. Okay, so they would judge you and  then  what  would happen to your status? The people feel their status would decrease. 

That’s weird. Someone drives a minivan also has to do with status. It’s because of what they want people to perceive them as. You went to the school you went to and you married the person you married or didn’t go to a school or didn’t marry someone, the reason why your kids dress a certain way, all of those things are a thing about status inside of our head that’s always happening. 

We have to understand that as we are making offers to people, that’s the real conversation they are having in their mind. We have to structure things and frame things in a way that the only thing possible is for them to increase their status and not decrease their status. 

If they think there is potential that doing “this” thing is going to decrease their status, they will not give you money. They will not make the changes they need. 

AMY: That’s so good, so good. Okay, I just had you give away some of the juicy details of your book because I wanted to get into some specifics. I love the stories you told throughout the book. But there is so much more that you offer. 

Obviously, people can get the book for free if they pay shipping and handling. I want all of my listeners to get the book at But tell us a little bit more about this book in general. It is so, so good. 

RUSSELL: I am so excited for you guys all to get it. That was basically just the first section we talked about so far. It was about creating your mass movements. 

AMY: It was like a tiny section. 

RUSSELL: Yes, it’s the first 63 pages. We start on a rollercoaster and it keeps getting better. The second step after mass movement is how to actually create belief in the people that are listening to you. We don’t create belief by trying to  sell  them something. We create belief by the stories we tell. 

The whole next section is how to tell stories the right way. We call them epiphany bridge stories. We go deep into why to tell them, how to tell them, how to build your story inventory, and it is so exciting. I cannot wait for everyone to have that part. 

AMY: So good. 

RUSSELL: Section three is called Your Moral Obligation. Again, it comes back to us as producers and experts. We’re nervous to get somebody to give us money. But when you understand you have am oral obligation to change people’s lives and when you believe that you see you need to understand how to persuade people so that you can help them and get them to take the actions we need. 

That’s all about how to persuade people. We do it through one type of funnel that we create. We basically go through the way we structure our presentations. I go slide by slide by slide in the book on how to take all of the stories and which story you put in what order. 

I tell why the origin story goes “here” and why a story about false believes about their vehicle versus the false beliefs about themselves and where they go. It kind of maps out the structure of how you tell your stories in a way to get people to give you money and to move forward with you. 

Section four talks about the funnels. That’s how I geek out. I tell how you actually structure the funnels so that when someone comes in they don’t feel like they are being sold, they feel like they are getting value in every single step. 

They get excited to give you money throughout the process and then because of the way you do it they are more likely to actually listen to what you say and implement what you say because it’s not that much fun to be an expert who makes a lot of money if the audience isn’t getting the results you desire for them. 

How do you do it in a way that you get money but you are also able to give them a huge impact and result so that you can have 100 people a year joining your two comma club or whatever your equivalent is of your four-minute mile. 

As a producer and an expert that’s honestly the most fulfilling part. We all know it’s not the money, it’s seeing the people we serve actually having those results. That’s what motivates all of us and it’s why we get up in the morning. 

That is what’s in the book and I can’t wait for everyone to read it. 

AMY: It’s so awesome. I feel like the book gives people a huge shot of confidence. Once you know how this works, how people think, and what you need to do, you are well on your way. I know so many of my listeners are looking for more confidence in their marketing. It is definitely in this book. 

Russell, thanks so much for being here. It’s such a treat to have you. 

RUSSELL: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. It was a lot of fun. 

AMY: There you have it. I hope you loved this interview with Russell. I absolutely did. I think this book is fantastic. You already know I think that because I gushed about it, probably embarrassingly, with Russell. But when I find something good and it’s all about internet marketing, which you know I’m obsessed with, I just devour it. 

I hope you will do the same. Go to to grab your copy before you miss out. We can then talk about it online. Let me know what you think. 

I can’t wait to see you again next week. Thanks for being here. Have a wonderful week. Bye for now. 

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