As I wrote about in my article Build Good Relationships with a Good B2B Client Proposal, submitting proposals at the outset of new projects is beneficial to both you and your clients. But scoring a retainer? That’s the absolute ideal type of arrangement — also beneficial to both you and many of your clients.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine having a handful of projects in your pipeline every month. You receive a few lump sums in your account from a few great clients, month after month. The same amounts, month after month.
Here’s the best part. All this is without having to prospect for new clients.
That’s why if you land even one retainer, it’s time to break open the champagne. Better yet, have your pals also pop open a bottle on the other end of a Zoom call, and 1, 2, 3… bottoms up in unison!
If you’re freelancing full-time, though, an ideal number of retainers is anywhere from 3 to 5, depending on the time commitment for each one. But let’s back up.
In case you’re new to the concept of retainers, I’ll take a moment to clarify the meaning. Retainers are work arrangements whereby clients pay you the same amount every month for giving them the same amount of project deliverables or time every month (time that you fill with project work for them).
But don’t rush into this. It’s important you take the necessary time to first build solid relationships with clients. Allow time to get to know and trust each other. That way, you’ll also get to know, in the process, whether or not working on retainer would be suitable for those clients’ businesses.