Here are the 5 steps to a successful online business, for anyone who has these 2 things:

#1: A product, service or idea.

#2: An audience you feel called to serve.

FIRST: Know our market.

I mean, REALLY know the market.

Know them so well that we could explain them in vivid, vibrant detail.

Know how they describe their pain and problems to their friends and loved ones.

Know them so well, that if they heard our description of them they’d say, “have you been reading my diary??”

There are 2 ways to do this to make it easier on us.

(We have businesses to run after all).

Method #1 – The Sideline Reporter.

This is super simple and works like crazy.

First, search social media for groups where your perfect audience hangs out.

Join the group, listen and pay attention to the conversations. 

Pay attention to the words they use (especially when they are discussing a pain point or frustration).

What words, phrases, and themes come up over and over again? 

Last year I was sitting in a group and noticed that 7 people over 12 days were complaining about webinars.

I have a super high-converting and thoughtfully designed webinar funnel template and one day just dropped the template in the group.  

Pain points: noted.

Value: added.

Method #2 – The Investigator

This method works even better but we gotta get out of our shell.

It goes like this.

Interview 3-5 members of your perfect audience and ask them about their pain points and problems.

To be clear, we’re not there to sell anything. 

We are simply investigators trying to better understand their problem.

Again, take special note of their words, phrases and themes around your area of expertise.

For me, I could say, “When it comes to Online Advertising… what has your experience been?”  

Get it? 

Pretty straightforward. 

Recap, the script is “Hey, when it comes to [my area of expertise], what do you find most annoying/frustrating/scary?

Doesn’t matter if you help people with crochet or crossfit, woodworking or crock-potting… these 2 methods will help us know our market better than before.


SECOND: Make awesome offers.

An offer = something of value that our perfect audience wants (see my example of a webinar template above).

The more irresistible the better.

We already know our market better than ever before…

And I know this is going to sound too simple to work but…

We just…. Make them an offer that will ease some of their pain and frustration.

(I know. It’s not rocket science).

There are 2 kinds of offers: FREE and PAID.

In my experience, top-converting free offers are: cheat sheets, scripts, templates, or recipes that get them what they said they wanted.

(In exchange for their email address).

PAID offers can be whatever they need: consulting, coaching, memberships, mentorship, courses, done-for-you, etc.

It depends on what kind of business you’re in and what you want an average day to look like.

Oh! Last thing – be uncomfortably generous. 

Like, make it hurt a little bit.

Last month I launched a free 5-day course.

When I showed my free mini-course to people in my mastermind, they automatically assumed I was gonna sell it for a couple hundred bucks…

But I just made it free.

It might have hurt my pocketbook but it got a LOT of people results and generated a heap of good will.

It’s about the long game.

THIRD: Funnels

Ah, yes, funnels. 

Once we have our market dialed in, and an irresistible offer queued up we need to put it somewhere so people can see it, and we can serve them.

Luckily the technology to make an opt-in or sales funnel makes it so easy. 

(I use ClickFunnels but there are a ton of good solutions out there).

Don’t overthink this. 

Grab a software, grab a template, and be done with it.

If our offer is AH-MAZING it doesn’t quite matter what our funnel pages look like (yet).

Start simple, get fancy later (maybe).

FOURTH: Traffic

There are lots of sources for traffic for our newly minted offer.

Organic methods include: blogging, social media, SEO and the like.

(I’m way too impatient for those).

My hands-down favorite is Facebook Ads.

It’s kinda like going to the eyeball store and putting eyeballs in a cart and checking out.

And when we know our market, make them awesome offers in a funnel and send paid traffic to it???

Whoa, baby! 

That’s when it can get really interesting.

So, use whatever traffic source you have available to you and drive those eyeballs to your offer.

FIFTH: Nurture those that don’t buy (yet)

Think about it – people opt in for our awesome offer and join our email list.

We present them an offer to work with us BUT they’re not ready to buy (yet).

Maybe the timing is off, or financially it doesn’t make sense, or they lack time freedom or we didn’t package it in a way they wanted it.

Or whatever…

Luckily, “NO” doesn’t mean “no”… 

It just means “not now” or

“Not this way” or

“Not at that price”…

Got it? 

So, what are we to do?

Luckily when we gave them an irresistible offer they gave us their email address.

Email is like “the cockroach of communication…” it ain’t going anywhere.

And I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: 

It’s called “The 9-Word Email.” (shout out Dean Jackson).

It goes like this.

Wait about 30 days after someone opts in to your freebie (the exact number of days doesn’t matter).

Then send an email like this;

Subject: ~Their First Name~


“Hey ~First Name~

Are you still interested in [thing they said they wanted when they first opted in]?

~Your First Name~”

It’s so personal. It’s conversational.

And (here’s a college word for you): it’s colloquial. (meaning it’s how our mom might email us).

Emails from our mom have a 100% open rate

And marketing emails have an 8-18% open rate.

So…. We gotta stop marketing our business like a pizza company or an electronics dealer on Black Friday.

And the 9-word email is perfect to re-engage our future customers in a normal, friendly conversation.

So let’s recap:

  • FIRST: Intimately Know Our Market
  • SECOND: Make Awesome Offers
  • THIRD: … via Funnels
  • FOURTH: Send Traffic To Our Funnels and
  • FIFTH: Nurture Non-Buyers
FAM Success Path
For those that prefer a graphical format

(I tried to think of a 6th step but I legit couldn’t think of one).

Temperature check: how do you stack up in those 5 areas?

Be honest!

Want some help?

I’ve created an online community called The FAM (which stands for Funnels + Ads Mastery) where we go deep in those 5 areas.


+ Unlimited video feedback (paste a link and I shoot you a video)

+ Monthly expert ask-me-anything (copy, ads, funnels, social media, sales…)

+ Funnel Deep Dives (complete funnel + ads review for 1 member a month)

+ Ongoing funnel + ads support, coaching and mentoring via video trainings (100+ in our growing library)

+ In-person meetups and events

And a bunch more stuff.


This gave me so much clarity that I’d been looking for for months!” – Tijana from Toronto

The conversion rates on my landing page are going UP after I implemented the tweaks you suggested. WOW!” – Polina from Crestone, CO

“Shortening my learning curve is worth gold to help me get where I want to go faster…The FAM is where you want to be.” – Alison B from Toronto

The FAM is priceless and needed for anyone serious about upleveling their online business and who needs personal support in a group environment” – Jenn from an RV park near Orlando (last time I checked)

Cody is pure gold. He makes things I normally can’t wrap my head around obvious and clear. I LOVE working with Cody.” – Ryan from California

Slowly I am understanding what a funnel is. LOL. And how to create my very own. So empowering!.” – Jill S

Here’s the deal – ethically growing your business with funnels and ads can feel hard and discouraging.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Join The FAM.   

We’ll do it together.