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DotCom Secrets Summary: 12 Lessons for Entrepreneurs!

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Are you an entrepreneur looking to grow your online business?

If so, you’re in the right place!

My book, DotCom Secrets is packed with valuable insights, strategies, and practical advice tailored to help entrepreneurs like you take the digital world by storm. The lessons presented are critical for understanding the foundations of online marketing and mastering the game of sales funnels.

In this guide, I am going to take you through 12 of the most important lessons inside that book! from DotCom Secrets. Whether you're just starting out or already running an online business, these lessons will help you better understand the mechanics of a successful business!

By the end, you'll have a basic roadmap for how to harness the power of online marketing, build better customer relationships, and supercharge your business growth.

Let's get started and uncover these 12 indispensable lessons from DotCom Secrets!

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1. The Secret Formula

“These questions eventually became the outline for what I now call ‘The Secret Formula,’ and it’s really the first step that you HAVE to take before you can grow a company… The secret formula consists of four simple questions. These are the same four questions that I ask anyone who hires me for personal consultations.”

As an entrepreneur, understanding this formula is essential for the growth and success of your online business. Here are the four critical questions to ask yourself!

  • Who is your dream customer? First and foremost, you need to identify your dream customer. This means being specific about the type of person you want to serve. Who are they, and what do they need? By knowing your target audience, you can create targeted marketing strategies that speak directly to them.
  • Where are they congregating? After figuring out your dream customer, the next step is to locate their gathering spots. Are they hanging out on specific social media platforms, engaging in specific online communities, or attending certain conferences? Knowing where they are allows you to become visible in their space and start building relationships.
  • What bait will you use to attract them? With a clear understanding of your dream customer and their whereabouts, you need to create an irresistible lure. This could be a high-value lead magnet, a free webinar, or something else that will genuinely serve your audience. Entice them by offering value upfront, which will help establish trust and ensure they're more interested in what you have to offer.
  • What's your result you want to give them? Finally, be crystal-clear on the end-goal for your dream customer. Are you looking to help them start a successful business, change their lifestyle, or solve a specific problem? Establish your unique selling proposition and communicate it with conviction.
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2. Value Ladder

“One of the first things I explain to people when I start working with them is the concept of a Value Ladder, and it’s the first thing you have to build out before you can start working on any sales funnel.”

A value ladder refers to a lineup of services and offers that steadily increase in price and value throughout a customer's journey.

Here, for instance, is what a value ladder might look like for a dentist’s office.

value ladder dentist

So, how can the value ladder help grow your business?

Attract Customers: Start by offering a free or low-cost item to attract potential customers. This initial offer will pique their interest and encourage them to try out your product or service.

Gradually Increase Value: As your customers move up the ladder, they will be introduced to higher-value and higher-priced items. This progression provides a sense of increasing value, building trust and loyalty.

Maximize Profit: As customers continue to climb your value ladder, they will be more likely to invest in higher-priced products or services. This increased spending can significantly boost your profits.

Here’s what our value ladder looked like when we launched DotCom Secrets!

dotcom secrets value ladder

To create your own value ladder…

  • Make each step sequential and logical, so customers naturally progress from one level to the next.
  • Ensure that each offer truly adds value, solving a different pain point for the customer.
  • Regularly evaluate and refine your value ladder as your business and customers evolve.
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3. The 7 Phases of a Funnel

“The real difference between a six-, seven-, or even eight-figure business is whether you understand the phases of a funnel and can successfully monetize the different points along the line.”

How do you take random people and turn them into customers? Here are the 7 phases of a successful sales funnel that I outline in DotCom Secrets!

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Phase #1: Determine Traffic Temperature

Imagine traffic like a visitor walking into a party. You've got your cold traffic – they're like strangers who've just stepped in, not knowing anyone, what to do, or where to go. Then there's warm traffic; these are folks who might know a couple of people at the party, but not the host - that's you. Finally, hot traffic, they're your buddies. They know you, trust you, and are ready to do what you ask.

Understanding this temperature is crucial because each type of traffic needs a different conversation. Your message, your ads, and your landing pages need to adapt to meet them where they're at.

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Phase #2: Set Up the Pre-Frame Bridge

Once you've determined your traffic temperature, it's time to set up the Pre-Frame Bridge. Now, think of this bridge as the entrance to your party. It's the first impression, and we all know how much that matters.

The pre-frame bridge is your opportunity to change the state of mind of your visitor before they step into your sales funnel. It's like preparing them for what's about to come.

If you've got cold traffic, you've got to warm them up, make them feel comfortable. Show them why you're a trustworthy host. For warm traffic, remind them why they're here and how they can benefit. As for hot traffic, it's all about giving them the VIP treatment.

Remember, the goal here is to make sure they're primed and ready to receive your message. You've got to set the stage, and that's exactly what the Pre-Frame Bridge does.

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Phase #3: Qualify Subscribers

Alright, here's where we start sifting through the crowd at our party. In this phase, we want to identify people who are willing to engage, to listen, to participate — in other words, people are willing to subscribe to our email list.

Your squeeze page, the free content you offer, the value you provide up front — all of this is designed to attract people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. If they're willing to give you their email address, they're showing that they're open to hear more from you. They're allowing you into their inbox — and that's a big step.

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Phase #4: Qualify Buyers

In this phase, it's about identifying those who are ready to invest not just their time, but their money. It's not about the amount they spend, but the action they take. Even if they purchase a low-priced offer, they've crossed a significant threshold. They've become a customer.

This shift in relationship is crucial. They're now more likely to buy from you again because they've seen the value you provide. In this phase, your goal should be to provide an irresistible entry-level offer that gets them to take this step.​

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Phase #5: Identify Hyperactive Buyers

Now, within your customer base, there will always be a subset that's more engaged, more eager, and more willing to buy - your hyperactive buyers. They're not just attending the party; they're dancing on the tables. They consume more, they engage more, and they buy more.

These are the folks who will jump on your upsells and higher-ticket offers. They'll be your most vocal advocates, spreading the word about your business. Identifying them lets you offer more value and, in turn, generate more revenue.​

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Phase #6: Age & Ascend the Relationship

We're not done after the sale. In fact, we're just getting started. Now, it's about deepening that relationship. 'Aging' here means letting the relationship develop over time. 'Ascending' means offering more value and helping your customers ascend up your value ladder.

Give them more opportunities to engage with you. Show them more ways your products or services can help. Let them see the depth and breadth of value you can provide. This phase is all about transforming one-time buyers into repeat customers, and repeat customers into raving fans.

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Phase #7: Change The Selling Environment

Sometimes, to close the bigger deals, you need to switch up the environment. This could mean taking the conversation off your sales page and onto a phone call, a webinar, a live event, or even a private meeting.

This change of environment often means you're dealing with a high-ticket offer. It's a bigger commitment from your customer, so they need a more personal touch. It's your chance to address their unique needs, overcome their specific objections, and close the deal.​

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4. Converting Your Value Ladder to a Funnel

“Now it’s time to bridge the gap between a value ladder and a sales funnel.”

Imagine taking your well-crafted value ladder and transforming it into a sales funnel that effortlessly guides your customers to their desired product or service. It's time to turn your value ladder into a funnel that not only provides value but also helps your business grow exponentially.

value ladder vs sales funnel

To do this, start by choosing a step from your value ladder for which to build out a sales funnel.

Here are some things to keep in mind during this process…

Understand your audience: Each step on your value ladder appeals to a different segment of your audience. It's vital to tailor the sales funnel to the unique needs and expectations of this segment. The better you understand your audience, the more effectively you can meet their needs at every stage of the funnel.

Map out the customer journey: A sales funnel isn't just about selling. It's about guiding your customers on a journey. For each step on your value ladder, map out the path you want your customers to take. Identify the key touchpoints, the decisions they need to make, and how you can help them move from one stage to the next.

Craft compelling offers: The offers you present in your sales funnel should not only reflect the value ladder step but should also be irresistible to your customers. Think about how you can bundle your products or services, add bonuses, or provide discounts to make the offer as appealing as possible.

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5. Funnel Hacking

“If I can’t find other businesses, then I won’t continue to move forward. But if I can find others who are already successfully selling to the chosen market, then I can reverse engineer what they’re doing and figure out where they are getting their traffic.”

Funnel hacking is an essential skill for any entrepreneur looking to grow their business online.

First, understand that a sales funnel is the sequence of steps a customer goes through when interacting with your business. It starts with a hook that grabs their attention, then leads them through a series of offers, upsells, and cross-sells that maximize your profits.

​Funnel hacking is all about reverse engineering what your most successful competitors are doing. Here are the basic steps…

  • Study the best: You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Find successful companies in your niche and analyze their sales funnels to identify the most effective techniques. This will give you a solid foundation to build upon and save you valuable time in the process.
  • Map out their strategies: Dive deep into your competitors' funnels and identify each step they take to drive customer behavior. This includes the hooks they use to capture attention, the stories they tell to build trust, and the offers they present to create irresistible buying opportunities.
  • Experiment: Once you've studied the best and mapped out your strategies, it's time to put funnel hacking to work in your own business. Put your newfound knowledge into action by experimenting with different hooks, stories, and offers, and continually refining your funnel to optimize conversions and grow revenue.

Remember, funnel hacking is a continuous learning process. Keep refining, testing, and iterating to stay ahead of the competition and cultivate a successful online business.

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6. Seinfeld Sequence Emails

“My emails switched from 100% content to 90% entertainment and just 10% content, and my readership, opens, clicks, and sales all skyrocketed with the change.”

Imagine captivating your audience with entertaining yet informative emails; that's the essence of Seinfeld Sequence Emails!

Inspired by the Seinfeld TV show, these emails strike a perfect balance between 90% entertainment and 10% offer, keeping your subscribers engaged and anticipating your next email.

As an entrepreneur, you understand the importance of nurturing relationships with your email list. By incorporating the Seinfeld Sequence, you're sure to pique their interest without overwhelming them with sales pitches. Instead, focus on storytelling and weave your product promotions subtly within these tales.

daily seinfeld emails

Wondering how to start? Here are a few tips:

  • Find your hook: Identify a relatable topic that resonates with your audience.
  • Share personal stories: People love learning about others' experiences. Don't hesitate to share yours!
  • Connect the dots: Relate your stories back to your product or service, showcasing the solution you offer.
  • Inject humor: Laughter is a powerful way to bond with your audience.

By incorporating these tips, you can craft captivating Seinfeld Sequence Emails that transform subscribers into loyal customers. Remember, the key to success is consistency, so aim to communicate with your audience regularly, building trust and rapport over time.

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7. The Attractive Character

“In my experience, the missing link is this concept of the attractive character. It’s about the persona you’re sharing with your audience and how you communicate with your list.”

One of the most critical lessons from DotCom Secrets is the concept of creating an Attractive Character for your business. As an entrepreneur, the Attractive Character serves as the face and persona representing your brand. This could be you or it could be someone else. This character will engage with your audience, build trust, and ultimately persuade them to purchase your products or join your cause.

the attractive character

To create an effective Attractive Character, consider these key aspects:

Backstory: Your character should have a relatable backstory that resonates with your audience. This will help create an emotional bond between your character and the customers.

Identity: Define a specific identity for your character. It can be an expert, a leader, or a relatable individual who has struggled through similar challenges as your audience. Choose an identity that aligns with your brand and appeals to your target market.

Values: Your character should have strong values that your audience can relate to and admire. This will build trust and credibility.

Here are a few tips to remember when crafting your Attractive Character:

  • Focus on authenticity: Your character should be genuine and believable, reflecting the core values and mission of your brand.
  • Be consistent: Ensure that your character behaves consistently across all channels, whether it's on social media, blog posts, or videos.
  • Share real-life experiences: Don't hesitate to share your character's struggles and achievements. It will make them more relatable, and your audience will be more likely to connect with them.

By creating an Attractive Character, you're giving your audience someone they can identify with and trust. It's a powerful way to establish a connection with your customers and keep them engaged with your brand. So, take the time to develop this character and watch as it drives the success of your business!

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8. The Soap Opera Sequence

“In your soap opera sequence, you’re going to introduce your attractive character and build up an open-ended dramatic story that draws the reader in.”

You might be wondering how to create an instant bond with your audience while keeping them engaged and excited for your next email. The answer is the Soap Opera Sequence — this is exactly how you turn new subscribers into paying customers!

epiphany bridge sequence

This powerful marketing strategy uses a series of 5 emails that tell a compelling story. By incorporating cliffhangers and intriguing hints, you'll have your readers hooked and eager to learn more.

To create an effective Soap Opera Sequence, here’s the basic format to follow…

Set The Stage — Picture the first email like the start of a thrilling soap opera series. Your goal is to grab attention, create a bond, and set the scene for the story you're about to tell. It's about sharing your background, your journey, and even your struggles. You want to hook your readers and leave them eagerly waiting for the next episode.

High Drama — Just like any good soap opera, you need a dose of high drama to keep the audience hooked. In the second email, you dive deeper into the story, particularly the challenges and conflicts you've faced. This helps to build empathy and shows your readers that you understand their struggles. But don't forget to leave them on a cliffhanger, as you want them to eagerly open the next email.

Epiphany — The third email is all about the "aha" moment or the epiphany. This is where you reveal the solution that helped you overcome the challenges discussed in the previous email. It's your opportunity to introduce your product or service without making a direct pitch. You're simply sharing how this solution changed your life, subtly hinting at how it could do the same for them.

Hidden Benefits — Now, in the fourth email, you reveal the hidden benefits - the ones that your readers might not immediately see. These benefits are often related to emotional needs, such as confidence, happiness, freedom, etc. By highlighting these benefits, you're showing the depth of value your solution can provide, going beyond just solving a problem.

Urgency & CTA — Finally, the fifth email is where you create a sense of urgency and include a strong Call to Action (CTA). You might introduce a limited-time offer, an exclusive bonus, or a special discount. The goal is to push those who are on the fence to take action. You want to compel them to grab this opportunity before it's gone.

Remember, the goal of the Soap Opera Sequence is to form a strong connection with your audience and keep them engaged. By offering exciting and useful information while building trust, you'll pave the way to a successful online business.

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9. The Three Types of Traffic

“Once you understand how each type of traffic works and how they tie together, you will have the ability to direct the right traffic to the right offers, and convert the highest number possible into buyers and repeat clients. Your one and only goals is to own all the traffic you can.”

One of the key lessons you will learn as an entrepreneur from DotCom Secrets is understanding the three types of traffic. Knowing these traffic types is essential because it helps you strategize your marketing efforts effectively.

three types of traffic

The goal is to push the first two types of traffic toward becoming the third type (traffic that you own)...

Traffic you control: This traffic comes from sources where you have the power to guide your audience towards your sales funnel. You can achieve this through paid advertising, like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. The goal is to drive potential customers to your landing pages and start building relationships.

Traffic you don't control: This consists of visitors who find your online presence through channels that you don't directly influence. Sources include organic search results, other websites linking to your content, and social shares. Although less predictable, you can optimize your website and content for search engine visibility and increase your attractiveness to this audience.

​Traffic you own: This is the golden group of potential customers you've already built a connection with through your email list. You now have direct access to them and can communicate regularly, offering valuable content and exclusive offers.

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10. Self-Liquidating Offers

“Typically, we use the self-liquidating offer funnel when we are trying to sell a product that’s priced anywhere from twenty-seven to ninety-seven dollars. The main goal is to have this frontend product cover the expenses of buying traffic.”

A self-liquidating offer (SLO) is a product or service you sell to build your customer list and email list… while also having your advertising costs covered by the sales you make.

self liquidating offer

Picture this: you set up an online campaign to advertise your SLO, and the sales generated cover the expenses of the campaign. In other words, the campaign pays for itself, and you gain a new customer at virtually no cost!

To kick off a successful SLO strategy, start by identifying a product or service with high demand in your niche. It should be something low-cost but valuable to your audience—think of an e-book, online course, or membership in a continuity program. The key is to draw people in with something free or cheap (your bait) and then offer them the main product as an upsell.

Your main upsell offer can be anywhere from $27 to $97. Do it right and the purchases should cover your advertising costs!

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11. The 100-Visitor Test

“I don’t know what it is about buyer psychology, but once you get someone to say the first yes, it’s so much easier to get the second yes. It’s a slippery slope. You can get them started by saying yes to a small thing, then they are much more likely to say yes to a larger thing later.”

It turns out how you offer a thing is just as important as the thing you’re offering.

​The 100-visitor test is a simple way to test and think about your offers. In the below graphic, you can see an example where I was able to make more money on the same offer — and with the same traffic — by offering a free lead magnet upfront and then upselling my main product.

100 visitor test

Instead of offering your main product upfront, it can sometimes be more effective to offer that product as an upsell to a very low-cost product.

The key here is to provide immense value at a very low risk for the customer and get them to pull out their credit card for a small commitment. Once they’ve done that, they’re much more willing to buy your upsell offer (which is the main thing you actually want to sell!) because they already jumped the big hurdle of entering their payment information.

This is a simple tip that can have a HUGE impact on your sales funnels.

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12. Order Form Bumps

“We found that by adding a small box on the order form AFTER someone fills in their credit card information, but BEFORE they click on the submit button worked miracles.”

You know when you're in the grocery store, and you're in the checkout line, and there's all these little things you didn't know you needed, but they're right there and just so easy to add to your basket? Chewing gum, a magazine, a candy bar. That, my friend, is the offline world's version of an order bump.

In the context of a sales funnel, an order bump is a small, usually inexpensive add-on product that a customer can add to their order with just one click. It's presented on the same page where they enter their payment details, so they're already committed to buying something from you.

bump test

Order bumps can be incredibly effective for boosting your average transaction value. It might seem like a small addition, but these little bumps can really add up.

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Final Thoughts

We've walked together through the pivotal points and lessons from DotCom Secrets. We've explored the secrets of attractive character, value ladders, communication funnels, and more. These strategies, at their core, are what have revolutionized online businesses and opened up new realms of possibility.

These are not just my secrets. They're the secrets of countless other entrepreneurs who have transformed their ideas into successful online empires. They represent a pathway to not just survive, but to thrive in the digital economy.

As I always say, you're just one funnel away. The right funnel can make all the difference, turning your business into a wildly successful venture that not only generates income, but impacts and changes lives for the better. Remember, entrepreneurship is a journey and not a destination.

The secrets are now yours; the next move is yours as well!

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