Richard Robbins International is a massive in force in real estate sales training. These people turn decent sales agents into maestros of their trade, whether through massive events or one-on-one workshops—and they've got the numbers to prove it. I was lucky enough to take RRI on in the spring of 2018 upon a request to have "edge and character" added to their voice—both digitally and in print.
With my first campaign, I was tasked with personifying who they are and what their unique position entails in their niche industry, only with one line.
I came up with "Your last stop before the top," plus a few more concepts.
- Cannect (a fast-rising home equity loan lender based in Toronto)
- Social Media Campaign (Instagram)
- Spring 2018
Cannect is a young company, but their CEO and founder, Marcus Tzaferis, is no neophyte to the finance game. Tzaferis' company specializes in helping people use their current home equity to get a loan, and in a few easy steps online, no less. Tzaferis hired me to create their inaugural social media campaign that would simply, but compellingly introduce potential home buyers to his vision.
Check out more of my work for them via Instagram at @cannect.ca.
Here’s another project I penned for Richard Robbins International. The company holds these massive workshops every so often. RRI calls them “Masters Academy” events, and they’re one of RRI’ strongest offerings; Agents who want to up their game learn a ton at these things. I had to write up a simple, yet bold magazine ad for one of their masters academy events that took place in Toronto in the fall of 2018.
- Website rewrite | Instagram revamp | Total rebrand
- Spring 2017 - Spring 2018
In May of 2017, I got hired by a local Toronto barbershop called "Garrison's by the Park" to take over all things copy. I took on everything that had to do with text—from social media to in-store signage. I also wrote a new website for them that launched in the winter of 2017, and between the site and the blog I’d created, I made sure to inject a healthy dose of keywords for better search engine optimization. My work imparted a memorable and distinct voice to Garrison’s during a crucial re-branding period. Thanks to my solid background in grooming content and a love for all things barbering, I was able to nail it for this business, and I helped them land a substantial amount of followers along the way.
This one’s pretty unique: In late 2018, an Italian family in Le Marche, Italy, needed a digital facelift for their hotel business, and the hotel itself is a centuries-old castle in the quiet, yet breathtaking hills of Montappone. The hotel’s primary owners, Franco and Gabriella Riccucci, requested that their business’ image be modernized so as to freshen things up. I rewrote their entire website, plus I added some bonus content that would enrich their offering, like an “Explore” page that talks up Marche’s most beautiful sites.
- Select projects produced during my first job as an Editor
- Sharp magazine (a Canadian men’s lifestyle publication I helped launch in ‘08)
- 2008 - 2012
Way back in ‘08—when the first iPhone was the biggest thing next to that blasted recession—I got recruited to help start a high-end men’s lifestyle magazine called Sharp. As an editor of many hats, I cut my teeth at this job, seeing as it was my first after completing journalism school. From story planning to interviewing high-status fashion designers to tooling around Mongolia’s Gobi desert in Land Rovers (for the sake of automotive journalism, of course), I had a blast at Sharp. But most of all, working at a start-up publication helped me hone my storytelling skills.
I had a great team around me, too. That’s why it wasn’t surprising when people like Gillette, Audi, and Panasonic came knocking. Believe it or not, I was writing content for the aforesaid brands almost a decade ago, when terms like “branded journalism” and “branded content” were new to the publishing world. It was a time of flux and widespread worry. Articles warned of an impending collapse in print, and big names like The Globe & Mail were shrinking the size of their papers just to save cash.
At the same time, a demand for a smarter, more sophisticated form of marketing and advertising had arisen, and industry giants—ones like Audi—began to take notice of outfits like Sharp. After all, Sharp had created an attractive environment for brands to reach their exact target demo—men with disposable cash.
So, the brands turned to editors and journalists, society’s bastions for rich, consummate content. Before I knew it, I was writing branded campaigns all the time for companies like Panasonic and Gillette.
Good thing, too. I got to broaden my horizons and develop all-new skills in content production, skills I get to employ today.
Here, you’ll find a few samples of my proudest work from those magazine days.
1. First, there’s a printed campaign that appeared in the spring 2010 issue of Sharp. Audi, who’d partnered with Toronto’s Interior Design Show at the time, needed short, yet clever write-ups for pieces that were to showcased at the eponymous event. Sharp designed an elegant gate-fold that was flanked by Audi’s adverts, and I helped with the words.
2. Panasonic really dug the grooming content that I was producing for Sharp at the time (razor reviews, shaving how-to’s, that sort of thing). They ended up enlisting me to produce a guide to living well for the modern man in the 21st century, which showed up in the fall 2010 issue of Sharp.
3. Speaking of, my grooming writing at Sharp is some of my best stuff, not in the least because Gillette liked it and invested in the magazine’sad space as a result. I even won three consecutive Procter & Gamble Beauty & Grooming Awards awards in 2008, 2009, and 2010 for best men’s grooming article, all three of which appeared in issues of Sharp.