Using video marketing as a tool of empowerment – Francois Smith

By Okon Ekpenyong

Francois Smith is a Minority-owned business owner passionate about helping other entrepreneurs succeed through business video marketing and much more. He was excited to be part of the Arise JPS Print first cohort program.

The program offers free business development training to fellow New American and Minority-owned business owners. Smith believes the Accelerate Columbus Scale-Up & Grow program is an excellent opportunity to help these business owners succeed. He was born and raised in Chicago with Haitian parents.

“The Accelerate Columbus program’s first cohort started May of 2023, and graduation was July 19th. It was fantastic, and I can’t wait for the next session, which begins in September,” said Smith. When did your company launch?

Smith Says International LLC, owned and operated by Smith Francois, was founded in 2019. With over 10 years of experience in social media marketing, the company has successfully collaborated with businesses ranging from small startups to large corporations.

Young boys Dream

My experience with videography began at the age of 10 when I picked up my father’s video camera, and from that moment on, I fell in love with recording. Ever since then, my passion for video production has only grown stronger.

Learning Approach

I have taken a hands-on approach to learning and honed my skills through practical experience, allowing myself to improve my craft continuously. My expertise lies in utilizing the power of video to help businesses effectively reach their target audiences through social media. Also, I have a particular passion for live event production and media production.

First professional experience

My interest in media production began with the A/V team at Bethlehem French SDA Church in Chicago. Since then, I’ve worked with various media production companies and volunteered with local church organizations’ media teams. Currently, I am a self-initiated videographer based in Columbus, Ohio, where I collaborate with photographers and videographers from all over the United States.

The company’s primary focus

As a videographer, my primary focus centers around live event production, showcasing my extensive experience in equipment setup and video editing. Also, I excel in collaborating within church settings and lively party events, bringing a unique touch to each project.

Long-term Plans

Devoted to delivering high-quality services, I am driven to build a strong and proficient small production team. In addition, my dedication to capturing the essence of every moment ensures that my company creates enduring memories for my clients. Whether it’s a live event, a church gathering, or a lively celebration, I strive to produce videos that leave a lasting impact on those who view them.

Why choose us to do your project?

We take great pride in our work and consider it a privilege to contribute our videography skills to various projects. Our commitment to excellence and genuine love for the craft have allowed us to establish meaningful connections with team members and clients alike.


With each project, we continue to grow as videographers, eagerly anticipating the possibilities that lie ahead. We are also enthusiastic about the prospect of collaborating with your organization and contributing our creative vision to support your mission.

How did you hear about the arise with JPS print?

I heard about Arise with JPS Print through Alpha Tongor, the Founder. He reached out to me via a phone call, expressing his interest in having me contribute my skills and expertise to this project. When presented with the opportunity to serve fellow New American entrepreneurs who are looking to elevate their businesses’ online branding, I gladly accepted the mission. It is a blessing for me to share my expertise with new business owners who are dedicated to providing quality services to those in need.

Advise for the incoming business owners who will participate in the fall sessions

Be prepared to embrace the expertise of Columbus, Ohio’s best joint marketing team, who will elevate your business’s digital marketing to a whole new level of excellence. Get ready to absorb valuable insights and strategies that will help you establish a strong online presence and reach your target audience effectively. The sessions offer a great opportunity to learn and grow, so come with an open mind and a willingness to implement the knowledge gained to take your business to the next level.

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Deba Uwadiae
Deba Uwadiae is a Nigeran American international journalist, Editor-In-Chief and publisher of the New Americans Magazines, Columbus, Ohio, United States. He has reported events and stories from different countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America.

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