From Dead Broke to Thriving Software Business

From Dead Broke to Thriving Software Business: How FunnelDash Came to Be (And How You Can Get in on the Action)

Written by: Zach Johnson

Every company has an “origin story.” Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in Jobs’ garage. The first Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream shop was a renovated gas station in Burlington, VT.

FunnelDash grew out of Zach Johnson’s Facebook Ads agency, GameChanger Profits.

The Spark of an Idea

Zach had previously worked for Ontraport, as Director of Community, and Leadpages, as Director of Business Growth, so he knew a thing or two about SaaS companies. But instead of launching his own right away, he decided to open a Facebook Ads agency.

At both Ontraport and Leadpages, Zach had spent a lot of time selling himself off of what he refers to as the “what have you done for me lately” problem. He repeatedly had to prove his value, and the value of his team, to the CEO.

The easiest way to do this was to show the data for what he and his team had been doing. That meant spending hours pulling that data and assembling it into spreadsheets that the CEO could easily understand.

Let’s face it. No business owner wants to get bogged down in the numbers. They want a quick, comprehensive snapshot of what’s going on, whether their campaigns are working, and what needs to be done to improve the situation.

This gave Zach an idea.

When he left Leadpages, Zach knew he wanted to do something to make it easier for business owners and agencies to see the data they needed to be successful. But first, he wanted to prove his concept, for himself and his new product.

Thus, GameChanger Profits was born.

Running a Facebook Ads Agency

Convincing potential clients to sign a retainer agreement is hard work. It’s not enough to tell someone what they need to do to improve their ROI, you have to show them how you’ll do it.

If you stumble through a presentation talking about strategy and tactics, without having a clue about their current campaigns, the likelihood of getting a potential client to sign on the bottom line goes down drastically. Most people (especially marketers) have a low-tolerance for “sales talk.” They want to know what’s in it for them.

Zach decided to create a data-driven approach to his presentations, and his company. When he approached prospective clients, his message was:

“If you want to put $1 into FB ads and get $3 out, you have to have the right funnel, get the right metrics, and run the right ad campaigns. Here’s how I can help.”

This message set him apart from his competitors and new clients quickly signed on. He continued to prove his value to his clients, by running campaigns that increased their sales and improved their ROAS. Gradually, he raised his retainer rate from $2,500 or $3,000 a month up to $20,000.

(By the way, if you’re an agency owner, we can show you how to do this for your business. More about that later.)

Along with his original clients, like Healer’s Library, he added clients with a much larger reach and much higher spend, like Dr. Axe and Divine Living. They saw the same success with their campaigns, and Zach’s notoriety as a Facebook ads genius spread.

Now, Zach had proven his concept. He could show anyone that if you have the right data, you could see which Facebook ad campaigns were doing well, and which were not. This empowered business owners to make decisions that let them scale their campaigns quickly, instead of throwing money at them, hoping that something would catch.

But Zach still had the same problem. He and his team were spending upwards of 20 hours, per month, pulling together spreadsheets to give their clients a comprehensive view of how their campaigns were performing.

It was time for the next phase in Zach’s plan.

It was time for FunnelDash.

Building a New SaaS Analytics Platform

While working for Leadpages and Ontraport, Zach saw how popular the whole idea of “templatizing” had become.

Business owners didn’t want to take the time, or spend the money, on building many of the assets they needed to promote their companies. They just wanted a “plug-and-play” system that would let them add the information they needed to market their products and services, then get that system in front of their potential customers.

Leadpages did this with landing pages. ClickFunnels did it with funnels. Digital Marketer did it with emails.

But no one had really done it with analytics software.

Kissmetrics, MixPanel, HotJar and other companies have software platforms that show some of the results Zach was looking for. But they’re large, expensive and don’t drill down to the level he was looking for.

Wicked Reports and ConversionFly give a good overview of where your traffic is coming from and how customers are likely to behave as they move through your funnel. But you have to know your metrics in advance to get the information you want.

Facebook pixels don’t always fire when they’re supposed to. Lifetime value of a lead or a customer can be hard to calculate, if you’re not using the right tracking systems.

In short, if you’re not careful, you could be basing your campaigns on the wrong data.

Zach wanted a platform that answered this important question:

What is the value of a click, a lead, and a customer at 30, 60 and 90 days?

As far as Zach was concerned, this was the information every marketer needed to be able to see which ad campaigns were working, and which were failing miserably. He also knew this information is the secret to being able to profitably scale the good campaigns so they would double and triple sales.

He also wanted templated dashboards that would quickly show this information, and much more. Instead of having to hunt for data, he wanted to create a system that would pull and display the data he was looking for quickly and easily.

Finally, he wanted to integrate Facebook Ads Manager and his clients’ CRM accounts with his platform, and incorporate a JavaScript tracking code. That way, he could literally track the progress of an individual contact through a particular funnel to see how long it took them to convert, and where the conversion occurred.

No more hours of poring over data from several platforms and doing your best to merge it all together and create pivot tables that might make sense, if all the data was correct.

No more frustrations over the fact that Facebook only gives you 28 days of data.

No more worrying about whether your tracking system was set up correctly.

Zach would create a product that served the end-user, at every level:

  • The business owner who just needs a snapshot of what’s going on in their campaign.
  • The agency owner who needs a solid platform that will let them show their current and prospective clients exactly how they would improve their clients’ bottom lines.
  • The marketer who wants to wade into the data and get all the answers they need to make the next campaign perform at peak efficiency.

And, it would answer that question every one of these people want to know: “Which Facebook ad campaigns are actually making me money?”

Please note: FunnelDash still helps you answer the question of “Which Facebook ad campaigns are actually making me money?” However, you can no longer track Customer Lifetime Value with FunnelDash. Our Beta version did this, our current version does not.

The Evolution of FunnelDash

While running GameChanger Profits, Zach and his team managed over $26 million in ad spend and more than 1.8 million leads. This gave them insights into what kind of data they, and their clients, really wanted access to.

And, instead of just going it alone and assuming everyone would need the same data, Zach consulted with leaders in the info-marketing and SaaS industries to design his dashboards.

This lead to the idea of templated dashboards that are easy to use and give you different perspectives on your campaigns. These dashboards let you hone in on what’s really working and iterate from there.

In June of 2016, Zach hired his first developer to launch the FunnelDash project.

After 2 months of hard work, the first, private beta release of FunnelDash was offered to GameChanger Profits clients and list subscribers in August.

Gathering their information from the private beta, Zach and his team decided to focus solely on integration with Facebook for its advertising platform.


  1. 80% of the available marketing ad spend is currently devoted to Facebook.
  2. Internal Facebook reporting analytics can be confusing, and don’t always give accurate data.
  3. There was no analytics platform that gave marketers a deep dive into Facebook data.

Armed with the data and ideas mentioned above, Zach laid out his next set of plans for FunnelDash and started building.

In February of 2017, the public beta platform was released, and a free, 30-day trial of FunnelDash became available.

We released our latest version of FunnelDash in June of 2017. This version allows you to adapt your own dashboards with the metrics you want to see.

It will also give you more in-depth Facebook metrics, so you can drill down to exactly what is (and isn’t) working in your campaigns.

We’re optimizing the entire platform for mobile. You’ll be able to check your campaigns from your mobile device from wherever you happen to be and still get to all the data you need to see.

June 2016 to June 2017. That’s a year from initial concept and design to first commercial version release.

We’re pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Plus, during our initial startup period, some of the biggest names in the industry used FunnelDash, including SamCart and Amy Porterfield. Right now, we have numerous industry names and companies like James Wedmore and BigCommerce. 

Hundreds of agencies use FunnelDash to manage their customers’ ad campaigns.

And, everyone who uses FunnelDash, from small businesses to major players, absolutely loves the campaign results they’re getting, now that they can quickly tell which ads are worth scaling and which should be turned off.

“Real excited to be working with FunnelDash! Simply put this powerful software gives you confidence and freedom. You owe it to yourself to check this out.”

– Dustin Mathews,

“I’m loving FunnelDash so far. It’s allowing us to have way more insight into our FB ads data and make better decisions on which campaigns are worth continuing.”

– Jefreaux Peairs, Smart Marketers Mastermind

Plus, we’ve recently introduced Messenger Funnels so agencies can easily set up a way to grow their list of leads, contact them in Messenger and offer a free Facebook ad audit to convert those customers into high-paying clients.

The Perfect Tool for Agencies


Zach and Agency partner, Molly Richardson of Totally Infused Digital Marketing.

One of the many things Zach and his team discovered with GameChanger Profits was, if they had access to a potential client’s data, they could show that person exactly what they would do to improve that person’s campaign performance and increase their ROI.

The most common lead magnet for any digital marketing agency is an audit.

FunnelDash makes doing client audits easy. Just connect a potential client’s Facebook ads account to your FunnelDash account (which we make ridiculously easy to do) and you’ll be able to review their data.

During the audit, you’ll be able to show your potential client which campaigns are performing, and why. You can explain how you would scale these campaigns for success and give good estimates of the results you can get for them.

Most people will stop you part-way through the audit and say, “Great, how do we work together?” When you pitch a retainer agreement and give them a price, they’re much more likely to sign on the dotted line with no complaint.

We’ve helped numerous agencies get their first high-ticket client, not to mention their second, third and fourth clients. These new clients are happy to pay between five and six figures, because they can see the value you’re bringing to the table.

And we know this works, whether you’re an established agency, or you’re just starting out and need to land your first client, ever.

We want to add more agencies to our partner program.


Because we understand how important it is for you as an agency owner to be able to prove your value to a potential customer, instead of just give vague ideas of how you might run their campaigns. 

We know how powerful it is to be able to look at a client’s ad account and make suggestions for improvements before they even sign on with you. It instills confidence in your skills and appreciation for how you can grow their business. That makes them more willing to sign a high-ticket retainer contract.

We’ll train you to perform Facebook ads audits using the FunnelDash platform and coach you through your first client pitch.

You’ll learn the same techniques Zach used to land major clients when he started GameChanger Profits. These are the same techniques that landed clients who pay $20,000 a month on retainer.

Plus, we’ll help you position yourself, so you’re always attracting the right clients for your expertise.

Most importantly, we’ll show you how to avoid the 4 common mistakes agencies make when it comes to getting clients.

By this time next month, you could have the first of many high-ticket clients paying you for your services.

Ready to land your first high-ticket client? Find out how to do it during our online training, 4 Brutal Mistakes that Marketing Agencies Make and How to Avoid Them. Click on the button below to save your seat.

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