Steffen W. Smith Jr.
Creative Director & Copywriter
There’s a reason any writer worth his fee follows the tried-and-true principles of marketing and communication … because they work! But here’s the problem: There are a lot of us out there playing by the same rules and using the same marketing tools we’ve all been taught. The key is to know when to break the rules — when to try something totally unexpected and out of the box — and how to pull it off with success.
Great ad copy doesn’t confuse features with benefits. It knows its audience and speaks their language. Every line paints a compelling picture. Just as important, great ad copy doesn’t forget to ask for the sale!
To beat the control, everything has to work together — an OE with an irresistible tease … a can’t-put-it-down letter … a get-out-the-checkbook ask … lift notes, johnson boxes, engagement devices and all the tricks of the trade.
Associate Creative Director
Steffen’s gifted storytelling is part of the secret sauce that bonds attendees to the clients’ missions — and makes a powerful case for major giving.
Accomplishments: Millions of dollars raised for clients of all shapes and sizes.
Content Creative, LLC
Creative Director / Owner
At this boutique creative shop, we handle everything from branding and digital to print and broadcast. The client list is focused, and we enjoy doing breakthrough work with some very smart people. Clients include Chick-fil-A, Comfort Inn & Suites, Ensono, Orkin Pest Control and Pulse Medical.
Accomplishments: Incredibly strong client retention and referrals.
Bennett Kuhn Varner
Creative Director / Senior Copywriter
Everything was tested and re-tested at this top direct response agency. Only the strongest concepts and copy survived. My book includes a great mix of hard-core direct mail and DRTV spots for major nonprofits like Save the Children and Foundation Fighting Blindness, along with plenty of hardworking creative for national clients such as Dirt Devil, Stanley Tools and Six Flags theme parks.
Accomplishments: Managed and mentored a fairly large creative staff, oversaw the agency-wide creative process, drove business development, created internal marketing and, most important, kept Account Service at bay.
First Marketing Company
Senior Account Executive
FMC is perhaps one of the few places in the universe where AEs handled clients and provide creative. I was happy working both sides of the fence producing highly targeted custom publications for clients such as Delta Air Lines, Best Western Hotels and leading banks and credit unions.
Accomplishments: Managed key clients, traveled extensively on client calls, sought and developed new creative talent, and consistently led the company in billings.
The Suncoast News
General Assignment Reporter
I started out as a journalist covering a VERY small town in Florida. I learned to write compelling articles about fish fries.
Accomplishments: Covered city hall, police, school board and water management issues in Southwest Florida.
University of South Florida
Bachelor of Arts: Mass Communication
In between shucking oysters and waiting tables, I found time to earn a degree — a BA in Mass Communication.
Accomplishments: A staff writer’s position on the USF Oracle and a practicum at The Tampa Tribune helped sharpen my chops and channel my inner Lou Grant.
Words to Live by:
Breakthrough communication entails not only having something unique to say, but also saying it in a unique way. I pride myself on an engaging, conversational voice.
The Client Is (Mostly) King
I’ve been known to hunker down and fight for a killer concept or a favorite line. Part of my paycheck comes from sharing knowledge, expertise and, yes, opinions from 30 years, hundreds of clients and thousands of projects. But, a big part of my reward comes from wonderful relationships, mutual respect and repeat business … so expect to be treated like the king (or queen) that you are.