Designer, Business Owner, and Former Freelancer Bart Anestin sits down with Sam to share his story of spinning a career in freelancing into a full-scale digital marketing agency that works with big-name clients like Youth Unlimited and the Toronto Raptors.
[Designing Growth introduction plays]
[00:00:00] Sam Chlebowski: Happy Thursday everyone, and welcome back to Designing Growth. Last week on the show we had automations and systems expert Krystal Clark joining us. If you haven’t listened to that episode, highly recommend you go back and check it out. This week I’m super excited to have Bart Anestin.
[00:00:26] Joining us on the podcast, Bart is the owner and founder at Creative Partner, where he conceptualizes digital products for clients like Maple Leaf Food, the Toronto Raptors, and Youth Unlimited. With that, Bart, so happy to have you with us. How you doing today?
[00:00:42] Bart Anestin: doing great. Thanks again for having.
[00:00:43] Sam Chlebowski: One of the things that I mentioned, something that we’ll get into a little bit later in the episode is talking about tech stack for a marketing agency, I had the pleasure of talking with Bart about a week and a half ago, and we quickly got into a very detailed discussion on all of the different things we’ve been using over the years and what he’s doing currently. And it was, a really fun conversation to kind of nerd out. So we’ll get into some of that. But first part I would love to ask, what is your background and how did you start building up creative partner to where it started, to where it is?
[00:01:18] Bart Anestin: Yeah. Yeah. I was a young whipper snapper, and I knew I wanted to be in the design. I’m a designer by, trade. even that was kind of like destiny. Like I was doing a lot of graphic design for my local church that I attended, and I would make posters and stuff. I was just stuff that I learned from like how to use Photoshop and stuff from like the yearbook committee at. Back in, you know, 2003 and four, churches had horrible designs and they didn’t really know how to make something that looked good and, you know, anywhere close to industry standard. And that was just like a hobby. I still thought that I was gonna go into business administration. Or into music. I’m a drummer and I was applying at different programs all over the board from admin, business admin to music, to digital marketing, to design. And I ended up getting in and a few of those programs. And I chose to go to the design school at university. And after one semester, I drop. And then I went to the college that was associated with the university. Cause I thought it would be a little bit more practical that it would help me hone in my design skills. And it did not, It was, it felt like university still. It wasn’t practical enough. So I ended up looking up the Adobe certified courses. And they listed another local college for me, and that’s what I ended up going. I signed up for this certificate and much to my mother’s chagrin, she was not happy that her son was not gonna be a university graduate or a college diploma graduate, but he was gonna end up with a certificate. And as a child of an immigrant, that’s not necessarily what you’re supposed to do to keep your parents happy, but I thought it would be the best thing to help. Do the things that I wanted to do. And it was an advanced program where you had to apply, you already had to have skills, you already had to have a portfolio just to get in. It was more of their advanced learning program, and it was exactly what I was looking for because I already had design skills just by being enamored with magazines, just by television and media. that changed my life where I went into this very intensive program and learned from industry professionals who are practitioners and not just teachers, show you exactly what it would be like to work inside of an agency exactly what it would look like to work out in a corporate position. And it, became really, really cool coming out of. I was lucky enough to be one of the top of my class. I think I was like second, The first person that was like best we’re, we’re still friends now. She was hired by the program director to work at his agency and that was kinda like a little carrot at the end of the stick that was hosted for us. And I got second place and he was a partner at this print shop. And I I was lucky enough to get a job there right outta school. I got a job as a pre-press technic. Pre-flight, a little bit more technical than what I understood, but all my graphic design skills were very much needed and I was a press plate technician as well, all that kind of stuff where you’re basically making people’s ideas and designs and artwork come to life on these different machines and making sure that everything is color set and pre-flight checked, basically meaning like the color that they. Intended to be designed to show up, it will actually show up on the printed material. And you have to have specific skills with like Work Express and Photoshop and Illustrator and stuff like that. All of that to say I started, that’s kind of how I started in this design world. And then I worked for two corporate. Jobs, Walmart, Staples in their design spaces. And again, it was just more straight up and down graphic design. And I thought that that would be fulfilling and it was not. They sell you that in school, you know, working an agency, working corporate, That’s where you get the money, that’s where you get the experience and it’s very life draining working in, Multinational conglomerate type organizations, you’re like painting by number. There’s not a whole lot of freedom or creativity that’s allowed unless you are a senior designer. And, and I’m not a junior designer at this point, so you’re just basically told what to do all the time. So I took this job for a lot less money, working at a church where I could be the boss, They had no budget, they had nothing. But it, it worked out great and I, and I had my first taste. Organization planning art direction, creativity building brief proposals, quotes, all these different things because it was all encompassing. And when you’re working for a small, not-for-profit type organization, you don’t necessarily have. Systems, processes, budget or anything. So that was like my first taste at it. And then I worked at another really big church. This is a church of, you know, 5,000 plus. That’s where I was given a budget and I had a little bit more Organizational control, but also a lot more responsibility. And after I did three years there, four years there that’s when I started Creative Partner, which was kind of always the goal to kind of freelance. And I tell people all the time the business aspect just happened. I was look actively looking for work. I have a, my second child was just born. And I was let go from that job at the church. Nothing bad, it was just they were moving a different direction so they started hiring me to hold them over while the new person that was gonna be coming in. that was like my first freelance client. And from there, while I was finishing that project, another project came up and another project came up. And before I, I knew what I was freelancing without even trying to freelance. So that’s kind of the long story, long of how I kind of got into this space. And then I finally found a business mentor on Twitter that I had read some of his blogs, you know, many years before, and he put an open call out saying, Hey, do you make, think it was one to $5,000 a month and you’re trying to build a business. And I’m like, I think I’m trying to build a business.
[00:07:07] Cause I, I kind of thought like, maybe I’m not a freelancer. Maybe this is gonna be a business shout out to Dave Shrine. I got on a call with him real quick and I joined his his round table and he kind of showed me the difference between a freelance business and a actual business.
[00:07:22] The rest with history. That’s when I started saying, Okay, this is the pathway that I’m gonna be on. I’m gonna. Business. Business. And I’m gonna try to build something that’s bigger than just myself.
[00:07:31] Sam Chlebowski: Amazing to hear. And it’s funny, One thing I was thinking in the back of my head, how frequently I speak with people not only designers, but even entrepreneurs more broadly, who have some sort of musical background. I think, at least for me, that there’s something there. And you had mentioned you were a
[00:07:49] drummer. You know, you probably see all these guitars around me. There’s something there that’s. When you are playing an instrument and you are in total control and have that total creative freedom, I think it really leaks out to other parts of your life and pushes you in certain directions. Maybe you weren’t expecting
[00:08:09] at least my take on it.
[00:08:10] Bart Anestin: A hundred percent. music changed my life. I was a very troubled child when I was in high school. And then I got expelled from school. I got kicked out. And then when I came back my. Music program. I had dropped outta music by, you know, the first year of high school. Cause that was not cool. But when I got in trouble, kicked outta school and I, I appealed and came back to school. That was my safe place. I, I just walked into the music class and the teacher recognized me. from before. he just gave me the nod like he understood I needed a place to hide out cause I couldn’t hang out with the people that I was getting in trouble with. I don’t know if you had that, you know, when you were in high school, people ate lunch in practice room, they would practice and eat lunch. And so I just kind of started eating my lunch in the practice room I never thought music was gonna be, A big part of my life.
[00:08:56] Up until that point, I was a hip hop kid. I grew up in the nineties, grunge rock and hip hop. That was kind of that, that era. And then all of a sudden I’m thrown into class. I asked to join the class, and then he allowed me to join. And he, I know this, I know this is not what we’re talking about, but this is a cool story.
[00:09:12] He asked us all as like a little project that he, at the time, streaming music and stealing and pieing music was really popular. And he was like, Hey, here’s your challenge for the. Go to a store and buy an album, you’ve. Heard of before in a genre that’s not a genre you listen to. I went to a bookstore of all places to buy a cd.
[00:09:32] And if you don’t know what that is, you might have to Google it. And I, and I, I found a CD called Head Hunters by Herbie Hancock. And that, changed my whole world. And I, I became a jazz head and started listening to jazz music when I turned 17 and I didn’t stop and I haven’t stopped. And that. Put me in a whole new trajectory of trying to find music and trying to find different passions.
[00:09:53] It’s pretty, pretty powerful.
[00:09:55] Sam Chlebowski: first of all, I, I love this story, but you were ahead of the curve with Herbie Hancock too, because those two worlds ended up intersecting where I know that Herbie’s been featured on a couple of Kendrick Lamar
[00:10:06] Bart Anestin: A
[00:10:07] hundred percent jazz and hip-hop have like the same roots. I don’t wanna go too deep. I don’t know how your
[00:10:12] audience might like this, but Jay Di used to flip Miles Davis and count Bey tracks for songs for Wutang clang and for Rizza and for, you know Tribe called Quest. So if you’re listening to early. Nineties hip hop, a lot of the stuff is just slowed in pitch. So if you were to slow down any number of songs from like Wutang Clan or or from Tribe Called Quest and just pitch it up or down, you’ll probably start hearing jazz.
[00:10:41] And that was like the sound of what’s called now, like Boomba rap, which is like early nineties. Rap
[00:10:47] Sam Chlebowski: I did not know that about jazz and like the depth of the connection. That’s really cool. I’m definitely going to probably quote you on that
[00:10:57] Bart Anestin: yeah, yeah, yeah. There, there is no hip hop without J a hundred.
[00:11:00] Sam Chlebowski: One of the things you mentioned that I, I wanted to dive. Back into as well. Circling back around to
[00:11:07] of your agency and your freelance work, you’d talked about
[00:11:11] the distinction and how you had to learn that distinction between freelance and a business.
[00:11:16] What does that mean to you now?
[00:11:19] Bart Anestin: there, man. It was a big learning curve because I just thought, you know, you do stuff and you get paid like what, what are we, what are we doing here? Like, what’s the difference? And The, the the way someone explained it to me before I even had the business mentor was basically, How are you gonna hand this off to your kids? And I was like, What do you mean? He was like, Well, are you building this just to pay bills or is your goal to like, make a life out of this so that you can. Transfer it. , and the person I was talking to is also a child of an immigrant.
[00:11:53] We’re both black people living in Toronto, Canada and we’re both first generation Canadians and he’s like, Hey, we’re the first ones at an opportunity, at a wealth. Our parents came here for an option for a better life. So it’s better to build a business while building freelance can solve a problem right now, but you always have to be working. And that’s when I started to think about things a little bit differently. And once I started talking to a business mentor, somebody who lives in this world, who was already an agency owner and miles ahead of me, that’s when I understood. I said, Oh, business leaders. Are looking for ways to remove themselves from the business. I need to build a system and a process. I now am managing people and people are doing the work, and that’s the biggest misconception people have even to this day when I talk to them let’s say, if they hear that I’m a baker they expect that I make bread every day and no, if I own a bakery, I, I’m worrying about, My p and l reports, I’m worrying about scheduling, I’m worrying about food ordering.
[00:12:52] I’m worried about all these other things be to make the operation of the business work. It does not mean that I have to be the one who makes the bread every day for me to be the baker or the baker owner. It’s the same thing with a business versus an agency. An agency is gonna be able to allow you ultimate freedom, especially when you’re young.
[00:13:10] You can be a digital nomad, you can be anywhere. It solves an immediate problem. A business, a true business solves a future problem if you don’t have an exit strategy at the beginning of your business journey, then you may not have a. The whole point of a business is that you are a figurehead that manages the operation of the business. And if I have to be the person always inside of all these different spaces, I’m gonna be the one who’s the bottleneck nine times outta 10. And I don’t wanna be the bottleneck. And there are many people who are smarter than me, who are better designers than me. So I want to empower people, manage people, and then they’ll be able to accomplish the system that we’ve then built. I.
[00:13:56] Sam Chlebowski: Such a powerful story too, being a first generation immigrant and then going out and building this business What do you see as the first steps for somebody who has a freelance business right now to move into a business?
[00:14:10] What does that transition look like early on?
[00:14:13] Bart Anestin: Yeah. The best thing that you can do is document everything. And it might sound daunting, but even when you’re first starting out. If you don’t have to go super detailed, just start by writing out everything you do every day. Do it for a week, Do it for two weeks. If you can do it for a month, even better. And then within there you’ll probably start to see sub things that need to get Itemized as well. And those are probably gonna be the processes when you’re talking about, Oh yes, this is where I sent out a welcome email and this is when I reached out to 10 different companies to see if they needed help. And this is when I did this. I’m like, Okay, so what’s the process for the welcome email, and what’s the process that you actually go through when you’re doing your outreach? The best thing to do is have documentation, and from there you have to start to think of what, how can I automate or how can I systematize these things.
[00:15:13] The goal I always tell people when I, I talk about this, the goal is to remove yourself. If you are the smartest person in your business, then that’s a problem. I, I never want to be the smartest person in my company or in my business. I want to be the most encouraging leader in the business. I wanna be the person that is going to champion those that can do it better than I can and hear the little side piece. If you don. Write out everything that you do, then you’ll never know what you need and what you don’t need. So by having an audit of your time you’ll be better poised to be able to be like, Oh, these are the things that I could probably hire a VA on Upwork for. I can now have how much time I have it written out here that I spent 30 minutes doing this, an hour and a half doing this, two hours doing this.
[00:16:06] Wow, I’m gonna get back 10 hours out of this week by paying somebody probably a hundred bucks, a hundred bucks. US is not that much money to remove that type of stuff on a consistent basis from your calendar. And now you’re in the position where you’re like, Okay, so if I can pay somebody. A hundred dollars to do maybe 10 hours worth of work. You know, maybe on Upwork, maybe they’re in another part of the world maybe that they’re, they’re doing it more efficiently than you could do it because they, they don’t have to hold as many thoughts in their brains. Now you’re opening up another opportunity here. Well, what else, if not super important that I can still make a profit on? You want to be left with only the things that only you can. Only the things that will generate the type of revenue that you can make a profit off of. That’s the type of work that a leader is supposed to be. Regular stuff. The way I see it now, design work is like lay work. It’s not that it’s not inspired or important, it’s very important, but they’re the plethora of designers. I’m not the only person with an idea. I’m not the only person with thoughts or creative direction, so I hire someone to do. Design work, and then I mark up their price of their cost to my price, and now I’m making a profit on the work that they do.
[00:17:26] They’re getting paid a fair wage better than a fair wage, and the client is happy because the work is being done more rapidly. Now, I’m not the bottleneck. A lot of times when freelancers are trying to start something is because it’s a place of frustration and they have. Put any thought into what they’re doing. Not in a bad sense. They’re just moving along, and I think that’s where it’d have to start. If you gotta make a lift, you gotta have an audit as to what’s going on inside your business.
[00:17:51] Sam Chlebowski: Incredibly insightful advice and what you just shared, Makes me think that, you know, documentation in a lot of ways is the first step to scale because without that, without knowing your dependencies, your time commitment, you are unable to onboard people to help you with those things and take more off your plate.
[00:18:11] I think even going a level deeper, Towards the next part of scale. If documentation is your first step, I would say, and let me know if you agree or disagree with this, that hiring for project-based work versus task-based work is your next
[00:18:28] step, where once you have a list of tasks you can hire, you can outsource for that.
[00:18:33] Your next hires should be people who can run projects from end to end without necessarily needing your.
[00:18:39] Bart Anestin: Yeah, you, you have to, to be able to differentiate those different types of roles because you need to have people who can. See the finish line and those are the people that you want to keep close to you. So we have people that we hire on Upwork that work for us. A VA works for us through Upwork. Our developer works for us through Upwork, but our project manager and our designer, our creative strategist. The other people that I pour vision into. So I tell them what matters about the company. That’s people that I sell to. I sell them the company when I’m trying to recruit them, when I’m trying to hire them. Neith are just part-time contract workers, but they work in my country in Canada, and they’re not on a platform on another part of the world.
[00:19:27] They’re here with me I recruit. I share with them the value that we have, that we care about people. We wanna deliver the best work. We always want to be learning. That’s the type of work that we want to do. And continually through their. Career with Creative Partner, I am consistently investing in them to continue their learning, their education to see that they’re becoming better as well.
[00:19:51] A, it creates this great relationship where they are very appreciative of the stuff that I do for them, and b, it inspires them to work harder and they understand the real purpose as to what we’re trying to do. because I can’t be at all places at all times. I’m entrusting my business with these people to kind of push it to the finish line. I don’t have to you know, coach or hold hands as much because they understand what Bart would want and. more times than not, they do a better job than if I was the one who was going to do it. They are more focused in their skills and their crafts, and so it’s not as much, you know, well, I have 10 things in my mind.
[00:20:31] I have to do payroll, I have to do this, I have to do that. I gotta do ordering. I gotta do all these different things, prospecting, talking to people, sales, all that kind of stuff. And then I also have to send out a welcome email and the packet and all that kind of stuff, Or, or what’s the content gonna be like? No. Have somebody who understands the purpose, the vision, the value, the mission of the company, who can then walk into a room and confidently share those things with a client. I’ll say one more thing about that. Clarity is how you. Confidence. If you don’t feel confident in your approach, it’s probably, cuz it’s not clear, If you don’t feel confident in hiring somebody, it’s probably because you don’t have an itemized lift out. if your people that you are hiring are not able to communicate clearly how they want uh, onboarding to go how they’re gonna be talking with clients. If this is a project manager per se, it’s because they’re not clear on the objective. And if anything goes wrong, it’s not my project manager’s fault, it’s my fault. My job is to be the Chief Clarity Officer. I’m supposed to make everything clear for them through the vision and the mission of the company so that they understand exactly what they’re supposed to do. The systems and the processes are only a framework. The. Of this whole thing is the mission. What are we solving? What are we solving for people? How are we making the world a better place through our company? And that only comes with being crystal clear. So not everybody who’s associated with you, whether it’s your sales team, your operations team, customer service team is clear and confident because they know what they’re supposed to be doing.
[00:22:05] Sam Chlebowski: Your leadership philosophy is something. Has really only within the last year or so, been something that’s surfaced for me
[00:22:14] personally but
[00:22:16] has really started to make an impact as I’ve learned these things and I align myself almost identically with what you had shared with clarity, being confidence, and being clear.
[00:22:27] Throughout every aspect of your business because when you are able to share the mission of your company with those that you’re hiring, they feel confident in the direction that they’re going.
[00:22:36] So I love that. It was incredibly powerful to hear.
[00:22:40] Bart Anestin: The more you read more about leadership and, you know, creative thought and how to be mindful of others, you realize that you can’t do it on your own. And, you know, old school business mentality is no one’s gonna care as much as you care. No one’s gonna be able to hold the weight of a company or the, the value of a company the way that you do. But it does not mean that you can’t try. It doesn’t mean that you can’t try and instill that passion and that fire. You know, you know this, you guys are launching something from scratch, so you care deeply about it and it’s hard for somebody, let’s say a developer in Columbia or India or China, who is gonna be joining your team remotely to support.
[00:23:18] It’s hard for them to care as much, but it doesn’t mean that you. don’t share the vision and that you don’t help them along the way, and that you don’t pour into them to say, Hey, this is why we do X, Y, and Z and here’s how your contributions help. There’s nothing lost by having additional context that provides people with a certainty or you know, a a foundation like, Oh, I get it.
[00:23:41] I get it. This is why we’re doing X, Y, Z, and those people perform better that statistically. That’s true.
[00:23:46] Sam Chlebowski: What are some of these systems and approaches that you use to give your clients that same clarity that you share internally?
[00:23:53] Bart Anestin: We do a lot of brand strategy. . And a lot of times I see companies that are larger and the, SVP of marketing or communications and marketing is like five or six levels away from leadership. And that’s a big problem because if the head of the company, the owner or the founder or the president, the ceo, if the head of the company is the vision, Then the marketing and communications department is the mouthpiece, and you can’t have your mouthpiece be that far removed from decisions that are being made because they’re the ones who are gonna have to make this work and shoehorn it in to some type of strategy. So you need to have people that are closer to where decisions are being made. So when we talk with clients and we’re dealing with people who are working in different boutique agencies, we work with a lot of interior designers and construction workers and architects, that’s where we start. We start with, Okay, do you understand who you are? What is your mission? What is your value? What’s your brand heart? How are you going to get a, a customer that if you don’t understand yourself now, once we understand you, we start working immediately on them. Who are you serving? And once we go through those two different ideas of the target audience, the brand heart, we start looking for the intersect. Where do I match exactly where they are? Oh, that’s where we’re gonna start building our brand messaging. And once you have brand messaging, now you can start to leverage your content. You can start to leverage your marketing to talk to people in a way that leads them towards baking a purchase decision, which is ultimately what they.
[00:25:33] Sam Chlebowski: One of my favorite videos that you have, and I talked about it at the beginning of the episode, is Marketing Tech Stack. And one of the things that we’re doing [email protected] is working to improve the tech stack for marketing agencies, creative agencies, designers but I’d like to know. Your iteration and where you’ve got to with your tech stack and the things that you are automating within your business.
[00:25:56] Because I think especially for newer business owners or freelancers who want to start taking their business to scale, that’s a big piece of the puzzle and it can sometimes be hard to choose from all of the options or even know what you have to automate or develop systems for in the first place. So we’d love to hear at a high level your sort of overview of what you’re doing and what you’re automating within your.
[00:26:17] Bart Anestin: Yeah. So we’ve started really with small stuff. We were with fresh books and they had basic automation stuff there. And then we moved to Dub sodo. I forget when it’s been a while. Maybe like two or three years ago we moved to dub sodo and they had basic automation stuff there. They tout themselves as a all around crm and. they are, but they’re not, they’re not for agencies. The, the technology not necessarily there. And I openly talk about dub sodo every chance that I can to tell people that it’s great, but it sucks to save time. We, I use it still only because I have to, and because it does one thing extremely well. in terms of automation and planning, we started this whole process by writing everything out first. So like, what is our onboarding process gonna be? How are we gonna do our welcome? How are we gonna do this, you know, and get people towards the finish line. And we started looking at what tools are most important to us that we have to have.
[00:27:12] And for us, Asana is like our project management tool. So, The central hub for everything. And as we got more and more involved or growing in our agency, we needed better tools to do better work. I took sales more seriously, so I started playing around with HubSpot the free version because the, the paid version gets crazy. And I didn’t have the budget to have that in my life. I started, you know, getting more and more induced or seduced by HubSpot and a lot of their stuff. So we use a lot of HubSpot with VAPs and with their builtin integration. And that’s kind of how we do a lot of our integrations right now.
[00:27:51] And we still use Calendarly just because it integrates better with more of our tools. And we try to. As much as we can built in integrations with the tools that we have. So all of our forms, regardless of what it is, it’s in the sauna. So even if it’s a survey of something, we’re not using Survey Monkey, it’s gonna be a sauna and we’re gonna manage it through an Asana form. I run a podcast called The More Life Podcast our podcast intake for our guest Isana. So basically we can categorize a lot of our stuff in three ways. It’s gonna be our top of funnel stuff, which would most likely be Google products and HubSpot. our middle of the funnel stuff is gonna be a lot of. Dub, Sodo and Asana. And then the bottom of the funnel where we actually do the creative transformation stuff, that’s gonna be a lot of Figma and Adobe products. And that’s kind of how we’ve, mapped out a lot of different things.
[00:28:43] And ultimately I want to make my project manager’s life as easy and simple as possible. Again, cuz if not, I’m gonna be the bottleneck. I’m the one who’s gonna be holding all these cups that are half empty because I can’t keep my focus on one thing. So it’s better to eliminate As much of the clutter as possible. I recently heard a podcast of Kevin O’Leary who was on Logan Paul’s podcast, and this is a billionaire who’s involved in a million different tech startups and he still have a very large fund here in Canada that he manages in, which is his principle way of making money. And to hear how few things he does in a day is unbelievable. And that’s the level that I want to reach. I want to reach the point where I’m. I’m gonna get up and I’m gonna do the three or the five most important things for my company, and I’m out. Everybody else can handle the rest. I’ll go in just for one second cuz he talked about how he gets up around four o’clock because of where he lives and what the time difference is.
[00:29:44] He does a couple spots on TV pretty much every day for MSNBC or CNN or whatever. And he also has his show later in the afternoon, so he does that. He’ll read tons of newspapers or news articles that get sent to him through the assistant. because he still has to be the leader of this fund and talk with analysts that are managing billions of dollars. He does that until like seven to 8:00 AM. After that, he takes a long break. He goes out, he goes to film his show, the Shark Tank thing. And maybe he probably did a couple of calls with a few of the startup businesses from Shark Tank. And that’s it. Like I do the thing that I’m supposed to do.
[00:30:22] Everything. Is managed. And that only comes with being extremely clear with what your purpose is in the company. And the only way that you can automate something is if you are clear on, okay, here are the things that I need to make sure that they work. And here’s how I’m going to connect them all. Here’s how I’m going to make sure that they are all taken care of, so that you can now perform at your peak or at your best.
[00:30:46] Sam Chlebowski: I thought was really valuable when you had shared that, your first step when you were determining your sort of text act that was going to enable you to scale up, to do more and to allow you to step out of a. Individual task or
[00:31:00] individual project level.
[00:31:02] Your first step was documenting all of
[00:31:04] that and aligning yourself with tools that fit into that process as opposed to just finding a tool that says they can do everything and trying to use it for everything. I really love the way that you were intentional about, Here’s the way that our process works.
[00:31:21] Now we need to find tools that fit into it versus the other way.
[00:31:24] Thank you so much, Bart, for sharing you know your story, but also your expertise and your tips for going to scale. I want to end this episode with two questions. One is a business one, one’s a fun one. First, what’s new in your business? What are you working on lately at Creative Partner that you’re excited about?
[00:31:42] Bart Anestin: There’s some stuff I can’t, necessarily talk about, which sounds always ominous when someone says that. But we are in the talks with helping a media takeover in some way. So we’re, we’re gonna be involved in A different space as, as well as food and beverage.
[00:31:56] We’re kind of expanding that way. That’s like big stuff that’s like, ooh, that sounds very tasty and tantalizing. As well as for the more operation heavy people, the nerds who love the, the small things, the details. we just finally are are about to publish. It’s gonna be happening while I’m away next week. Are case studies. We’ve been working on case studies for a long time. We’ve never actually done that. We’ve been using portfolios on our websites, but we’ve got them designed and optimized and testimonials and all that kind of stuff. And for us, that’s a big win. It’s something we’ve been. Looking and working towards all summer with working with a writer and trying to get proper case studies that we can show case our work, and tell people about how we leverage their relationships and their business style towards left to right and go from, from point A to point B. So that’s kind
[00:32:43] of how we’re growing right.
[00:32:45] Sam Chlebowski: Very cool, and the case studies in particular are something that is so incredibly valuable, but is one of those things that are so easy to put off doing. I think case studies are so important just because it helps so many aspects of your sales and marketing. It’s something to talk about on sales calls, but it’s also something that you can use in a variety of marketing channel.
[00:33:06] Bart Anestin: Oh yeah, like we have a capabilities deck that we send out to PR companies and having case studies that are more in depth and detailed helps so much so that they understand, okay, this is their ethos or their process and how they care for, the client and the client’s needs.
[00:33:22] Because a lot of times we get referred through pr. And they’re looking for people that will make them look good as well. So if they can see the intentionality and the creativity that way, and the written word, and with the examples and the sketches and all that type of stuff that we do, from taking people from point A to point B, it kind of helps them a lot to, to confidently say, Hey, we’re gonna partner with these people and they’re gonna take you the whole way.
[00:33:45] Sam Chlebowski: Very cool. So to end the episode with my fun question, we talked about music a little bit earlier. Top three artists of all time,
[00:33:53] Bart Anestin: All artists. Oh my Lord.
[00:33:55] Sam Chlebowski: all artists. Yep. Distill it down to me of putting you on the spot,
[00:33:59] Bart Anestin: All artists. Okay, again, this is Bart Anton’s take I think Kendrick Lamar is the Bob Dylan of our modern era. That’s one.
[00:34:10] Sam Chlebowski: Did you see Kendrick’s Saturday Night Live performance recently?
[00:34:14] Bart Anestin: No, I heard he was on there, but I have not
[00:34:16] Sam Chlebowski: It was incredible We watched Saturday Night
[00:34:19] Live quite a bit around here. My wife loves it and we were watching this episode. I’m used to the musical guest, like having such a heavy backing track or it’s outrightly clear that their lips singing the entire
[00:34:31] time with Kendrick’s performance.
[00:34:33] It was no backing track,
[00:34:35] totally raw, and it was perfect. Like he did not miss a beat or a word. Yeah.
[00:34:42] Bart Anestin: I went to his concert in 20 17, 20 18 when he came to Toronto. Oh man. He did be humble in the entire arena. Did the entire song acapella. He started just with one sound. one hit like orchestra hit
[00:34:56] bam, and then,
[00:34:58] The whole crowd just went nuts. I remember SE sandwiches and grandma ly and everyone, that’s all he said in the microphone. And he put the mic down. We did the entire song live I heard his latest album. I. 10, 20 years from now, that album, Mr. Morale and the Steppers is going to be viewed as probably the most influential hip hop album of this era, of the 2020s or the 20 teens, or whatever you want to call it. It is artwork uh, the lyricism that he’s putting out there and the vulnerability that he’s using. Okay, I’m gonna go through the other ones. I gotta go with Herbie. He changed my life
[00:35:39] at the real musician.
[00:35:41] I’m trying to, and I’m struggling with musician versus a vocal artist, like
[00:35:47] somebody who sings. I’m gonna go with a, a songwriter and I’m gonna go with James Taylor on that one. Okay. That’s, that one might be controversial. But there’s so many songs that he’s helped written. just, this little sidebar, I’ve been ont talk lately and I’ve been seeing. A Canadian artist that you might not know who’s Chan Kra.
[00:36:05] She was popular in the late nineties and like grunge pop type stuff. I think a Levine but nicer and she’s come out lately on TikTok and she’s sharing stories. This is like somebody who would be like your local hero talent type of person. She’s in her, probably her,
[00:36:21] late forties by now, and she starts sharing stories of. Career cuz she kind of had like one or two song hits and disappeared. We never heard from her. And she’s sharing the stories of how she’s helped write songs for a lot of artists and she starts dropping like, The names and telling us the stories of how these songs have come about. And I never knew this, but she’s written for Drake and for Kendrick and for Shakira and for Carrie
[00:36:45] Underwood and for so many ginormous stars, Pit Bull, Christina Aguilera. So this little home ground Canadian girl is out here making wave in the hip hop and rock. Pop music. But yeah, those are my three. I’m gonna go with James Taylor. I’m gonna go with Kendrick and who did I say in the middle? I forget Herbie. Yeah. I can’t forget Herbie
[00:37:04] Sam Chlebowski: Amazing, and thanks for distilling that down for me. I know that’s sometimes tough, but Bart, such an awesome time having you on the podcast. Thank you so much Again, if people wanna find out more about you wanna check out your work, where should they go?
[00:37:18] Bart Anestin: The easiest place is just to go to bart andon.com and I know you’ll put that stuff inside of the description below. You’ll
[00:37:24] find my agency there. You’ll find my podcast called The More Life Podcast, all there and the links to everything. So BartAnestin.com is the best place. Or just Google Bart Anestin online.
[00:37:33] That’s me.
[00:37:34] Sam Chlebowski: thank you so much everybody for tuning in. This has been an absolute blast to record this episode with Bart. Check out those links in our show notes. And as a final note, if you are enjoying the content on this podcast and finding value in it, we would love for you to go to either Apple or Spotify and leave us a five star review.
[00:37:52] you don’t even have to leave a note with that. You can just click the five stars and that’s Also, if you want to find out more about motion.io and the product we are building. Head to our at Motion.io and click that button to sign up for our launch list. We’re giving out free early access and beta test reviews through that list.
[00:38:10] So go ahead
[00:38:11] and sign up with that.
[00:38:13] Take care of everybody and see you next Thursday.