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Elevate your narrative, or die in obscurity. 

“You need to stop telling me how much I can’t spend, and start telling me how much money I need to make!” Lori yelled into the phone as cars whizzed by her on the Congress Street Bridge. 

She turned around and gave me a look: Can you believe this shit? 

Actually, I was getting used to it. 

Lori kept yelling into the phone as she clomped toward the Hyatt in shoes that cost more than the laptop slapping my side while I kept pace behind her.

We were in Austin for the second ever Traffic and Conversion Summit. It was 2010, three years before I would move to Austin, and about ten minutes before Lori dropped $25K for a mastermind, right after her COO called to let her know their accountant was spitting nails about how much she was spending. 

My first copywriting mentor was remarkable at making money, and even more amazing at spending it. Lori is still one of the most brilliant salespeople I’ve ever known, especially when she’s selling herself. 

Check out the reframing here: You need to stop telling me how much I can’t spend, and start telling me how much money I need to make!

That’s the moment when I realized that the secret to marketing (and life) was getting great at the reframe.

I had pressed pause on my dream of writing fiction to write copy for Lori. But after attending that mastermind, and soaking up insights from people doing things I could only aspire to, I realized I had to make a reframe of my own. 

I wasn’t pausing my storytelling to write copy. My innate storytelling talent was something that could be used to make my copy stand out in a sea of SEO and algorithm-driven bullshit. 

Good marketing is storytelling.

About a year after Lori’s already-infamous one-liner on the Congress Street bridge, I got a frantic message from someone in desperate need of emergency help with an email campaign. 

NOTHING IS WORKING!!! But said in a multitude of ways and with mucho cursing, plus like ten times as many exclamation points. 

The big problem? They were dealing with a time-sensitive launch and needed a Hail Mary email sequence to drop over the weekend to fix a sinking ship by Monday. 

This was a financial product, so not something I really understood, and even though I had already been ghostwriting marketing emails for years, I’d always had time to do my research. 

“It’ll be easy!” they promised me. “We have templates!” 

The templates were terrible. 

No wonder their campaign was failing. There was no love and no story. I stayed up late into the night digging into their product offering and reading between the template lines to unearth a rather excellent offer that was waiting to be found. 

But even though it was a clearly good product from great people, I still said no, because they weren’t coming to the table with any story. And I wasn’t willing to write a subpar email campaign. 

When they said pretty please with sugar on top (that’s not how they phrased it), I agreed on three conditions: first, that they would dedicate a day to answering my questions; second, that I would write the emails however I wanted; and third, I got a percentage of whatever the product made. 

Done and done. 

I knew I could tell a story in three emails that would make sure their potential customers opened the vital one on Monday. I just needed to find the right story to start with, then another story after that, then one last time to wrap a bow around it. 

You need to stop telling me how much I can’t spend, and start telling me how much money I need to make! my first email read.

I sent my clients that story about Lori and asked if they had a similar story about their product, one that demonstrated where conventional wisdom could be proven wrong while showcasing the abundant mindset necessary to unlock true financial freedom. 

Of course they had stories. 

A whole stream of them. Not only a fantastic version of that same story, but one directly tied to their experience and the product they were selling. After several hours on the phone, I had more than I needed, narratives that had moved beyond the “ideal client” to real people they had personally helped. 

I got to work on the rest of the sequence.

Email Two featured a single parent, barely making ends meet. The third email was about a lawyer who left their job to become an online entrepreneur, lost everything, but then found an earlier version of the product and made more in the next year than they ever had as a lawyer. 

The launch wasn’t just salvaged, it was a smash hit. And I made more money for those three emails than I had for the last book I’d fully ghostwritten. 

I loved the narrative puzzle of putting stories together to drive action more than any other kind of marketing copy, so I kept writing killer autoresponders for other people until I finally decided the time was right to launch my own publishing company (and finally add fiction to the mix, using all the ninjitsu I’d learned from copywriting about keeping readers on the page). 

The last autoresponder I wrote for a client before closing my copywriting business to outside clients was a 31-email sequence with a 94% completion rate. 

I loved copywriting for others and it loved me right back, but I needed to focus my skills on growing my own business. 

After making that decision, my continued focus on story-copy helped me: 

  • Found a pioneering indie publishing company.
  • Grow the world’s biggest self-publishing podcast (in its time) and co-write the seminal guidebook, Write. Publish. Repeat.
  • Publish 400+ books, including 70+ chart-toppers.
  • Partner with Niamh Arthur to evolve our publishing house into an IP incubator, now flanked by 100+ Hollywood relationships.
  • Co-found Invisible Ink Media, an elite ghostwriting firm that services celebrities, thought leaders, and 7-figure businesses. 

I’ve never stopped attending elite masterminds ever since that first one 14 years ago, sharpening my narrative marketing skills to  diamond clarity while getting intimately familiar with every industry and brand-type imaginable. 

I’ve loved keeping my skills sharp by going beyond the confines of my own industry and helping out friends with their brand stories, but I had not planned on ever offering to write copy for others again. 

Until running Invisible Ink Media got me onto LinkedIn

I immediately noticed that there were two types of businesses in my feed: those using story in their marketing and creating buzz around their brand. And those still trying to preach at their audience, hoping that logic would reel people in — businesses that need narrative help. 

That’s why I decided to add StoryStreams to Invisible Ink Media’s suite of offerings. 

The digital wilderness is vast. StoryStreams carve a path through the rocky terrain, directing attention where it’s most needed as it cuts through the noise, making your message not just seen, but felt.

More than narratives, stories are currents that can propel your audience toward your business. Each story in a sequence builds momentum, pulling your audience along in a powerful flow that’s both engaging and transformative by creating a narrative force so compelling that your audience can’t help but follow, eager to see where the stream takes them next.

StoryStreams might have just been named, but it’s rooted in the same strategic storytelling that turned an impending failure with that financial product launch into a spectacular success. 

Introducing the StoryStreams Workshop!

For a limited time investment of $20,000, the StoryStreams workshop includes: 

  • An in-depth discovery session to unearth your brand’s core stories 
  • A portfolio of polished, powerful narratives tailored to your business
  • Guidance on the best contexts and channels to share your stories
  • An email sequence with stories to keep your audience hooked

If you’re in Austin, then HUZZAH!, we’ll get together for an all-day-in-person. There will probably be tacos. If not, we’ll connect on Zoom for two three-hour sessions (because Google Hangouts hates me) and have tacos delivered to your home or office (sorry if they’re not as good).

If you would like us to write ongoing emails for you, our team at Invisible Ink can help you with continuous support for an additional cost. 

Niamh Arthur and I bring over 30 years of combined experience in narrative marketing to your story. We’ve helped hundreds of brands, from bestselling authors to 7-figure businesses, harness the power of compelling narratives to skyrocket their success.  

If you can easily picture the difference that having a stream of stories can make for your business, and you have a product or service that makes the $20K investment a no-brainer, we would love to help you attract leads on autopilot so your audience will want to be taken on a journey through your content.

Last thing to know: 

This is a pilot offer, and as part of my 17 Offers Series, this opportunity disappears at midnight on May 17th to make way for the next idea. After that, StoryStreams will evolve to a $50,000 investment, with all workshops conducted in-person.

If you would like to be one of the 5 pioneering brands getting their StoryStreams first, please send me an email and I will get back to you within 24-hours.