The Benefit of Working on Retainer

Why Digital Agencies Need To Work on Retainer

20-Feb 2019
Client Relationships

Loyalty, cash flow, and growth. These are three key benefits that come when you set your clients up with a retainer.

What’s a retainer?

A retainer is a fee paid in advance that secures services. It shows that the client is serious about working with that service professional, and it’s money that will be put towards their invoice and work.

Why are they important?

Retainers make it easy for business and client work to be repeatable and predictable. A number of different service professionals work on retainers; for example, lawyers and accountants. However, Inbound Marketing firms and Digital Agencies are businesses that don’t necessarily work on retainer and can boost their business, revenue, and client roster by implementing this type of billing practice. Retainers can even save them from ebbs and flows of droughts that are come with creative work.

Cliptoo, marketing company and a client of HubSpot, says that 95% of their clients are on retainer. At the start of the year, they already know where 60% of their income is coming from. With this insight and security, business costs, like payroll and rent, are no longer a worry.

Let's get serious.

Additionally, retainers increase the probability of long-term client relationships, which benefit both the client and the agency. Long-term relationships lead to better communication-- both sides know each other well. Definitely much better than they would if working on a one-off contract. When there is a history behind a relationship, it shows in the work that's produced. Both sides have information that just isn’t possible otherwise. For agencies, you'll be comfortable with their branding, messaging, and tone. You will know their short term and long term goals and where they’ve been.

The unfortunate reality for agencies is that relying on one-off projects isn’t a sustainable business model. To boot, it’s common for agencies to over-deliver on one time projects with the hope that it will bring them more business in the future, but this can be a wasted effort. If you’re an inbound agency, why not start clients on retainer? If you’re new to this model, take a look at how it can increase your revenue by starting a free trial today.

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