I’ve built my entire business on funnels. 

But this might be the end of funnels as we know it (and I feel fine).



I built my entire career around funnels. I’ve written a book on funnels, hosted live events on funnels, digital workshops on funnels. And I’ve got a wonder, is it the end of funnels as we know it? Well, we’ll explore that question and more on today’s episode. See you there Wouldn’t know what it really takes to build a thriving profitable business from the ground up.

Hey, I’m your host Cody Burch. And this is the Cody builds a business podcast, your unfiltered front row seat to watching me build a seven figure online business from scratch or die trying let’s get started. Hey, Cody Burch here. Hope you’re having a good week. It is Thanksgiving week here in the U S and I hope you are traveling somewhere safely,

enjoying time with loved ones and remembering what all we have to be grateful for. And if you’re like me, if you’re a solo preneur, entrepreneur, digital marketer, whatever that looks like, there’s a lot to be grateful for, including the ability to pack up and leave. In our case, we were going to leave on Tuesday, but it’s supposed to be snowy here in Colorado.

So we chose to leave on Monday and it’s nice. I’d have to go to a boss and say, Hey boss, do you mind if I leave a day before we were planning, we just could pack up and go. And that’s one of many things that I’m thankful for. Well, as I teased in the introduction is at the end of funnels,

our funnels don’t or funnels over. I had kind of a sinking feeling in my stomach as I came to this realization that that funnels, as we know it, as I’ve been looking at them as I’ve been analyzing them, as I’ve been creating them, as I’ve been letting people pay me to build them funnels, wondering, am I looking at this all wrong?

Do you ever have that feeling where you think every piece of the foundation that you stand on of your perspective or your worldview might not be what you thought it was? It’s a little bit unsettling. And let me explain so funnels, I’ve done it for a long time, right? I’ve literally built hundreds of built, probably hundreds for clients, or at least over a hundred.

And I’ve watched as millions and millions of dollars have been generated through the funnels that I’ve built, that I’ve worked on, that I’ve marketed. That I’ve promoted mainly for my clients, obviously, but in my own funnels as well, a lot of people coming in, I get extraordinarily high conversion rates and had close to probably 12,000 people go through my funnels myself.

And so I get it. I love it. It’s amazing. The definition I get a lot. Well, what do you mean as a funnel, as let’s just revisit this real quick, a funnel is a step-by-step hold your hand journey to take somebody from a complete stranger to a buyer or to a raving fan. Okay. So for me, it’s typically Facebook ad to a lead magnet,

PDF checklist, cheat sheet, download free course to then a low ticket offer to then periodically making bigger offers, like paid workshops in person events, virtual events, joining the membership, things like that. And that’s how it goes. And it hit me recently. I’ve watched lots of funnels come and go, and I’ve coached lots of people in their funnels.

And there’s a difference between some that really succeed and some that don’t. And so if it’s all in the funnel, the lead magnet upsell one-time offer order bump, like whatever your traditional, as a funnels, there’s a lot more to it than that. Have you ever launched a funnel, a promotion? Maybe you said like, Hey, I wrote a book or an article.

I’m going to do a, an opt-in funnel to like a low ticket offer to an upsell. Let’s just see how that goes. We’ve ever launched that before, and it didn’t work. The opt-in rates. Weren’t what you expected, the take rates. Weren’t what you thought they would be on the sales page. The take rates were what you thought they’d be on the,

on the thank you page for whatever reason, it just didn’t work. I’ve done that lots of times. I would guess that maybe, I don’t know, it’s hard to put an exact number, but maybe 60% or 70% of my funnels have quote, unquote failed. They haven’t worked. They didn’t do what I thought they were going to do. And the recent realization I came to,

and if, if you’re with me, if you’ve ever launched something on the internet, unless you’re some freak weirdo, statistically, you have had more, that didn’t work than those that did work. So what’s the deal. Is this the end of funnels? Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Why do we keep making stuff and promoting stuff? And it not convert.

Like we thought it was going to what’s the deal? Well, obviously funnels. Aren’t everything. They’re not the entire reason that people will buy from us. There’s a lot more that goes into it than that. Now my, my bigger, so zoom out a little bit and go, okay. I think I know, I think I’m tracking. What do you mean?

Well, here’s what I mean. We have to have a few different things to make our funnels work. And then there’s a fourth key piece that I just realized recently that I’ve been missing in some of my funnels, especially the ones that didn’t work. So here’s the three pieces. Number one, we’d have a great offer that people like to engage with that we like to sell,

that they like to buy, that they think is a great deal. That makes us a ton of money. And there’s other characteristics I’ll be talking more about in the coming weeks, have a great offer, but we have to have a great offer. And then we need a funnel to promote the offer. Right? So whenever I launched the fam last August,

I did a virtual summit as the promotion, as the funnel to then launch the, the fan, the membership site. Then it again with the five day challenge that then launched the fame. After that, then I, you know, I launched a coaching program with virtual events or in-person events, right? That’s what I did last June and December of 2019,

the funnel was there’s an event. And then at the event I would then sell my offer, which was my group coaching program. Does that make sense? So you need an offer and then a funnel to promote the offer and then a traffic source. So traffic to your funnels to sell your offers. And that’s really it. And if you have all those things done really well,

then it’s going to work. You’re going to make money. You’re going to help people move towards their goals and away from the pain they’re trying to avoid and it’s going to work. But the end of funnel part is as a fourth key piece that’s missing. And that is, I’m just going to call it promotion. It’s missing a lot of promotion. Now what a lot of us want to do is want to secretly work on our funnels and our projects and our courses and our offers.

We want to see really work on them in secret, close the door, draw the blinds, turn off messenger, turn off, zoom, turn off, chat, turn off our phone and secretly work on our stuff. When we go to promote our stuff, some people are like, Hey, what’s that? What’d you got? What is that thing?

Oh, this is a book that I wrote. Well, why didn’t you say anything? I didn’t know. I was writing it secretly in my office. I didn’t want to tell anybody about it. I was afraid people might judge me. I was afraid they might leave a negative review on Amazon. So I just didn’t talk about it. So I secretly wrote this book and that’s it.

Or I secretly built this course. And then your course is done. And you say, Hey world, my course is done. And they say, what? Course we didn’t know were working on a course. We don’t know what’s in your course. We don’t know why we would ever want to buy your course. We don’t know anything about it. We didn’t watch the development of it.

We didn’t see anything happen. We weren’t part of any kind of promotional campaign to understand that there was a course coming on a certain date with limited attendees or limited seats available at a special price or early bird discounts or ribbon cutting ceremonies. We just didn’t know that it existed. If you noticed this before, take a minute and analyze back. Oh yeah.

The last time I launched a funnel, I secretly built a checklist and I secretly launched the funnel and I ran a Facebook ad at $20 a day and I got $2 leads. So I got 10 leads and then nobody bought my thing where they did or whatever. And then a week later I’d spent $200 and I’ve gotten a hundred leads, but still only maybe one or two sales.

And you just, I don’t know what you do. Keep it on. You, turn it off. Maybe turn it off and go. This doesn’t work. What are people talking about? Funnels for this isn’t even I made a funnel and it didn’t work. We’re missing the promotion part. We’re missing the promotion part. And that’s something that we’ll be talking about a lot more in the next few weeks,

the next few months, because I have two big things coming that I need to start the promotional path for. I need to start getting people talking about these two offers coming up. One is my wife’s course, the virtual event playbook. And she just finished module four over the weekend. There’s only five models in it. So she’s forfeits. So the way done,

we’re watching some of Amy Porterfield stuff. We’re going through some models and framework on how to launch her course out to the world. But I’m just watching my wife experiences this. And she’s like, this is uncomfortable. Like I’m not ready to talk about this. I don’t want to Instagram story. My course, I don’t want to let people know a lot about my course.

And I just kind of laugh thinking, well, how are you going to sell it? Like, what’s the plan to actually sell this thing. What’s the plan to actually sell this course to build all that expectation and excitement leading up to that day, let’s pick some random examples. The first one that came to mind is when you find out that you’re pregnant with your first child,

if you and your you and your spouse or partner pregnant with your first kid, what happens at some point you tell the world, Oh my gosh, we’re pregnant and you’d have a little cute t-shirt and you say expecting this day to, you know, the babies come in and the two will become three and there’s two pairs of shoes. Now it’s a third little tiny pair of shoes.

Come in February 20, 21, right? There’s some law or some like announcement, boom. People do what? On social media, Instagram, Facebook, they freak out, Oh my gosh, you get you’ll. That’ll probably be one of your biggest posts of your life. The day that you post that you’re pregnant with your first child, really any kid,

but especially the first kid, people go bananas and then people are aware of it. So then if you think about how that goes, if you’re a social media, you have to post every day, but every now and then cute little baby bump or, Hey, we’re going to pick out what’d you guys think in green or blue for the paint for the baby room,

you know, we’re going to find out the gender of the baby on this date. And we’re going to do a gender reveal party and do that. And you post that. And that gets hundreds of likes as well. And it’s all leading up to one, it’s leading up to a due date. And then when you get really close, you’re like this friend of mine did this.

Now Jamie’s like two weeks out or something like that. And she’s like two weeks out that hundreds of likes and comments. Oh my gosh, you’re getting so close. You look so beautiful. It’s so amazing. What a miracle? What are you going to name it? Like there’s all this attention that goes towards getting closer and closer and closer to that date.

Does that make sense? If you’ve had a kid before, think back to what that was like, the other thing might be like getting engaged, right? You post a few pictures. Maybe the guy is posting. Like I’m getting ready. I got the ring. Oh my gosh. Don’t tell anybody. I’m so nervous. Posts, stories, videos,

announcements, flowers, bouquets, diamonds, excitement. Right? My wife and I got engaged in 2000, I think in 2000, 2001. I can’t remember. And if I’m playing my cards, right, I’m going to be listening to this episode with my wife there. So love you, sweetie. I know exactly when he got engaged and never forget it.

And it was 2001. Okay. Got it. So there wasn’t Instagram, there wasn’t Pinterest. There wasn’t Facebook. But imagine that you make the announcement. Hundreds of likes all this engagement. Oh my gosh. Congrats. You guys. This is so exciting. And then there’s always announcements. You pick out the flowers and you pick up the dress and you pick up the honeymoon location.

You pick out the venue where you’re going to get married. You pick out the tuxedos and you post this stuff and you tell the story of people know like our anniversary is December 28th. So, you know, December 28th, 2002 Cody and Chris are, you’re going to be getting married. And there’s this date of this thing. That’s coming invites, go out decorations. And the church food gets selected for the banquet afterwards,

all this stuff happens. And then people show up and they throw rice and they have sparklers and they eat finger foods and people get married. And it’s amazing. Think of all that goes into that. It’s a lot of work. That’s kind of what our funnel launches should be. Like. That’s kind of what it should be like, announcing something. I’ve got this new course that’s coming up.

And what do you guys think logo a or logo B helped me name it. I’m going to name it this. What do you guys think? And getting social engagement that a big announcements coming that a big date is coming, that you’re so excited about that you can’t wait that you’re anticipating for weeks and weeks and weeks. And then the day finally comes and you’re documenting and you’re telling stories and you’re letting people become a part of that journey.

That’s what our funnels are missing. If your funnel flopped, I guarantee that’s what you’re missing. I was on an event this last week, where this comes from, I was on this event. It was called the offer launch pad event. It was hosted by Steve Larson. He used to be Russell Brunson’s right-hand guy for a couple of years, sat right in Russell’s office and built a lot of funnels.

And he was talking about launching our offers. That’s where this, the scales came down from my eyes. And I was like, Oh, I can see it now. Like I’ve done that kind of. When I hosted my events, I would do like a live stream to promote the event or challenge promote the event, or like all these campaigns to promote that I was doing an event.

We’d go look at the venues and the hotels and post the social media. People get excited quick tour of the room. And whenever the stage got ready or we hired a vendor, we were talking about that stuff. And so people were really bought in to the event that we were hosting. And now they couldn’t all find a Denver. So that’s not great.

But whenever we’re hosting stuff online, like an online launch of a program, everybody’s got the internet and they can be a part of the launch. But Steve was talking about this, the necessity to launch this and he had a guy speak, his name was Blake and Blake showed this whole campaign. He did to launch a Facebook group in August of 2018.

I think maybe August of 2019, I think launched a big Facebook group, grew to thousands of people kind of organically. Then he launched this course and he showed all of these steps. He did to launch this course how he was weaving in this narrative. And he was letting people become a part of the journey and how he was. He had his way that he got a rumor mill started.

And even maybe like with this episode, maybe you saw the title. And like, as Cody stopped, as he stopping funnels, like is he wrote a book on funnels, is he done with funnels? What’s going on? And so that’s, that’s my attempt at starting the rumor mill going of like, I’ve seen the light, I’ve got this new way of looking at all my business,

but this guy Blake was talking about this huge promo campaign. And then he launched this course. He launched it live from a hotel in Las Vegas. And did it via a live stream. I think you said there were hundreds of people in the live stream and he made that weekend, like half a million bucks. I forget the exact numbers, but it was a great launch.

And he just showed all of these steps. He took to do that. And so it was amazing. And he gave his whole keynote speech and it was really great. It took a lot of notes. It was really interesting, but what was really interesting is it the end somebody he was taking Q and a and somebody said, Hey, what did you sell?

Like, what was the thing that you were selling made 400 grand? And he was like, Oh, Oh, it was like this, like this course, you know, it was like, what is this? This course? And then he blew that off and he gets to the next question. Does that make sense? Like, did you catch that?

So the success of that campaign, the success was in the promotion. It wasn’t that he had the most amazing office. Did you catch that? I’ll say it again. It wasn’t that he had the most amazing offer. It was that he had the most amazing promotional campaign leading up to it, selling the offer where thousands and thousands of people were aware of it.

They knew what he was doing. They knew what he was up to. They were paying attention. They were waiting and watching, and then it became live. And a lot of people engage with it. A lot of people bought it. He made a lot of money, but he was almost dismissive. That’s how I heard it. At least he was almost dismissive of the,

of the, what like of the offer. It was like, Oh, it was awesome. It was six modules. And it helped them make a million bucks and help them get through law school in a weekend. It was a super awesome product that people really needed. He was like, Oh, it was this, this course thing. And it was this course thing.

Right? Next question. So is it in the promotion? So w w will you will, you might do what you and I might be doing is the opposite work toil and secret and make our secret awesome, amazing course. And we launch it and nobody buys it and we know it can help people and we know is better than our competitors, but our competitors are making more noise in the marketplace.

They have a more robust campaign promoting their thing. And so if you have ever launched a funnel and you didn’t get a lot of attention, probably because he didn’t spend enough time on this last piece. So the funnel is like a net and it catches the money that falls out of the promotion of the campaigns of the attention. And so I got to get something going and you’re going to be witnessing in the next,

I don’t know, 60 days our campaign to launch my wife’s course. And I went to launch a signature course that talks more about this, how to create a great offer, how to create a great, the funnel and how to create a traffic source that fills the funnel that promotes with the campaign that sells the offer. Last story, I had a phone call last week,

a prospecting call, and this guy’s hired the best of the best, help them with help him with his course. This is like proof time. He’s hired an amazing company to help him make his course really great. And when his course comes out, I have no doubt it’s going to be incredible. And so I was talking to him as the marketer,

instead of cool, what’s the plan and to sell it. And he’s like, I don’t know. That’s why I’m calling you. I was hoping you would tell me that’s a great, well, there’s, you know, there’s challenges, there’s summits, there’s lead magnets. There’s different funnels to create all leading towards a launch and open cart data, close cart date.

And we talked about the founding members launching what that was never heard it before. And so I coached them through that. And he’s like, that makes me kinda nervous. You’re going to make me get out there now and start talking about this thing that I’m making have. You’ve done that. You’ve done it before and felt a little bit nervous. I got to go tell somebody about this thing that I’m working so hard on.

I really keep it to myself. I rarely keep it to myself and just keep it in secret and not make a big campaign. So now I’m introducing this guy to what we’re talking about here on the show, launching campaigns, promotions, expectations, think of it like getting pregnant, thinking of, think of it, like getting engaged. What’s that like,

you have to go step further. You’ll get far less people that care about the launch of your funnel. Yeah. And they do your engagement and to get married, but it’s worth noting the structure, the emotional arc. We take people through the story that we tell them, we invite them in and let them give us feedback and let them be a part of our story.

And part of our journey doing that with our funnels makes all the difference. So it’s Thanksgiving week, this week, hope you have an amazing week. Hope you stay safe. Hope you eat a lot of food. If you’re doing a black Friday promotion, the funnels get it started right away because that the ad world is all backed up. All jammed up with a lot of advertisers trying to compete for ad space and the newsfeed from black Friday to cyber Monday,

especially since most of black Friday stuff is not happening in person anymore. So congratulations. You’re now competing with Walmart and target and home Depot and Lowe’s and best buy. And all those stores that are taking all their black Friday stuff onto the internet will be, have a great week. And then I’ll see you in the next episode.