Brad’s a healthy sounding board, a calming presence, and he doesn’t use any pressure tactics.~ Bryan Vanderwarker, Founder and Principal, Seedhouse
Seedhouse is a boutique brand design firm that delivers big agency perspective with small agency agility and responsiveness. They’re focused on helping challenger brands stand out from the crowd by honing in on competition, defining targets, and looking for opportunities to craft story and design that result in differentiation. Our favorite client testimonial: “Seedhouse? F*** Yeah.”
How did you hear about Anchor Advisors?
I’m not entirely sure how Brad and I first met. We had a few friends in common, and at some point, I started paying attention to his blog posts; I really appreciated the tone. When we met face-to-face, I immediately felt a like-mindedness, a kindredness. He felt like someone I could trust.
What were the initial goals of your work together?
When Brad and I started working together, I was really hungry for some outside perspective. Our firm had been around for almost fourteen years; we’d survived two recessions and a pandemic. For years, most of our work had come from referrals, which was amazing but also a little naive for a firm looking to level up and grow.
Coming out of the pandemic, I wanted to double down on some of our strategic efforts to make sure we had a strong outlook. I knew we needed to make a plan and execute against that plan, but first, I wanted to get a little feedback and guidance. Brad provided that and more.
What’s different at Seedhouse because of your work with Anchor Advisors?
Brad helped bolster my confidence and better define my role. He helped me see that as we continue to grow, I can’t do all the things. I have to trust in the awesome people we have on our team and let them do all the things they’re fantastic at—I don’t have to be part of it all.
The most immediate thing that changed for me: I now reserve 1-2 days each week to do very specific activities that aren’t about day-to-day business. I get out of the office, explore new opportunities, talk to people, and spend dedicated time on future-focused activities.
Brad also helped us see some opportunities that we were missing. After working with Seedhouse for a few months, a lot of our clients want to expand their initial scope of work. In the past, we’ve sometimes been reticent to take on the next phase and instead referred the work out to other firms. But our clients want to work with us—they like our product and are comfortable with our team.
So, with Brad’s guidance, we’ve been shifting from a project-based model to a retainer structure. Our goal is to help clients grow. When they grow, they continue to need our services. Maintaining client relationships over longer periods of time is proving to be good for everyone.
How would you describe Anchor Advisors to a colleague?
Working with Brad is like talking to one of your best friends who also geeks out about business. He’s a healthy sounding board and a calming presence and doesn’t use any pressure tactics.
Who do you think Anchor Advisors is best suited for?
Any creative services provider who’s looking to level up could benefit from working with Brad. The only thing is, I don’t want him to work with too many of my competitors; he’s my secret weapon. Just kidding. Sort of.