The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team. Jacob Burt is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jacob Burt and I am the Founder / CEO of BURT. , a media company based in Raleigh, NC. We help individuals and brands build their own media brands.
What did it take to get your first handful of customers?
I had 3 main “buckets” for where my first clients / gigs came from. Initially I was freelancing and side hustling video for fun. I used to shoot concerts for free to build my portfolio and was able to get noticed on social for a few random paid gigs. I also was doing some podcasts and community videos for the startup I was at. Some of the people I met there turned into clients after that startup had folded. Some of the other employees at the startup I was at after school went on to other companies and they recommended/hired me to do some gig work.
Have you had to pivot the business to get to where you are today?
For sure, our biggest pivot to date was really in what services we offer. At first we were a “full service” type of agency doing really anything “digital.” Last year we simplified to media brand building + video work and that focus has been refreshing. We also expanded to have our own media brands that we own and operate primarily on Snapchat. It’s not exactly a pivot but was a new opportunity we stepped into towards the end of last year so now we have an owned media side and agency side to BURT.
What drives/motivates you on a daily basis?
To put in simply, the pursuit of excellence. I think I’m addicted to winning for our clients and every day I try to keep that in mind. I also love learning and discovering new angles so that keeps the energy high. Also, I’ve genuinely loved content ever since I used Windows Movie Maker to make tubing videos of my friends and I. The fact that I do it for a living now makes me smile.
When will you know that you've "made" it as an Entrepreneur?
I struggle with this sometimes in terms of mixing my emotions and thoughts with the online image of this, but honestly I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and our team that I try to not focus on the idea of a revenue number or company size. I try to focus on the work and I love the work we do. In my opinion entrepreneurship should be about building something you love to do and I do that today.
What has been the hardest part of your business journey?
Hiring. So tough but can be so exciting when it works. Our work is only as good as our people so finding good people we can afford and grow with is vital. Thankfully we’ve found some amazing people but it’s a constant battle.
Who or what has helped you the most in your journey so far?
My Creative Director, Sammi. Idk if she’ll see this but she’s a legit gangster. Believed in me from day 1 and signed on to build this thing when all we had was a few clients. Don’t know if we’d be here today without her energy, enthusiasm, and support. Huge shouts to her, she also just had her first child and came back to work after 3 months with the same level of excellence. It’s pretty incredible.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
I got a few books: Shoe Dog, Extreme Ownership, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Creativity, Inc., The Ride of a Lifetime, The Story of Lululemon
List the founders
Jacob Burt (Jeb)
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
No money raised
Any call to action?
I'd love to find a mentor in the media company field and we're always on the lookout for people / brands that want to build online