The big storytelling mistake I made in 2023 that tanked sales

In 2023 I started experimenting with storytelling in my CopyHour emails and made a giant rookie mistake in the process: I told stories that were fun or entertaining but didn’t sell.
Quick backstory: I’d sold CopyHour Inc (the business) in late 2022 to someone who is a close friend, business partner, and former CopyHour student. In all honesty – I sold because I’d been running the business 10+ years, it was starting to feel stale to me, and I felt I needed to move on. I’d started the process of moving on to other ventures when, for a variety of reasons, I ended up buying the business back a few months later in 2023.

I decided I’d "un-stale" CopyHour by running it totally differently this time around, including a more story-driven approach to my daily emails.

The end result? All-time lows for revenue in 2023… by far.

And what made it extra painful was the fact that I know better when it comes to storytelling. I’ve seen this play-out again and again in the other businesses I’ve been apart of.

It’s okay to experiment sometimes, but at the end of the day, when you’re telling a story it needs to lead logically towards a sale.

In other words, you can’t just randomly tell a story and then expect your audience to learn a lesson or connect it to their problems or their desire to purchase your product.

Everything changed at the end of 2023 when I looked back at my emails from the year and realized my storytelling mistake. I ended the "experiment", learned my lesson and went back to writing stories the RIGHT way.

It’s no surprise to me that revenue in 2024 is already at all-time highs. That’s the power of storytelling done right. Your stories don’t have to be epic or anything like that – they just need to be structured in a way that ultimately sells your product.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to show you step-by-step how to write stories that (actually) make sales.

If you’ve been struggling to a) come up with stories for your copy and b) make money when you tell stories then this series should clear almost everything up for you.

Do me a favor though, in order to ensure I answer your most pressing "sales storytelling" questions, fill out this quick form. (It’ll take under 30 seconds to complete.)

Talk to you tomorrow!

– Derek