Each year, as a business, you should look at your processes find what works, what doesn’t. You find the gaps and strategies to fill them. You make goals and targets and put in place strategies to achieve them. One of my strategies to add value and build relationships with my clients, and to have a steady monthly budget from which to work from, is to introduce a retainer system of working with me.
There are many positives to this system of working with a freelancer. I looked at the pros and cons before making the leap, and I would like to share them with you.
For the Client, you’re guaranteed work from the freelancer. And often, as a regular client, you are prioritised over the lead chasing opportunities which may take up far too much time for too little return.
Another advantage is the chance to build up a great working relationship. As a client, once you have established some ground rules and ways of disseminating information, you learn each other’s styles and ways of working. For example, are you the one who likes to come into work on a Monday, fresh from the weekend, brimming with great new ideas and need the day to write them all down? So then you send your ideas through to your freelancer writer or graphic designer and you know within the week you will have the first drafts of your ideas looking and sounding fabulous.
And over time, the brand voice, the personality of the business, will become second nature to the freelancer, and less effort will be required by the two parties to find common ground.
The retainer system also allows for great forward planning. If you have a long-term project, such as a large website or an e-book you want to be written, rather than shelling out a large amount of cash for a short-term project, you can break it up over a few months, freeing up cash flow in your business for other things, such as stock or marketing.
A good retainer model will still allow for short project work of course, but knowing you can stretch out your budget to achieve the same ends, often with more strength as you spend more time with professionals honing the idea, it makes good financial sense.
The sense of support that you have with a retainer system is also a plus. You often find that the freelancers who offer this service are quite happy to lend you an ear, offer advice and more, as it strengthens the relationship between client and service provider.
Of course, retainers aren’t for everyone. Short, one-off projects such as websites, or press releases, may not fit under this umbrella. But if you have a longer plan, a long-term goal you wish to achieve, and all the business coaches I have ever known have all said to plan for one year, two years, five years, then having that professional who is like an employee but without the desk and pesky salary, would be a great advantage to your business.
And this is who I am looking for. I am looking for those businesses who are growing, who know they’re going to be around for many more years to come and want to build a marketing strategy, a branding strategy, a content strategy. They have a story to tell now, and one which is evolving. Call me sappy but I do enjoy working with businesses who grow and find success. I love working with people of different skill sets and talents and enjoy learning from them. So too I enjoy giving back to my clients, my marketing expertise, my writing and editing skills, and my ideas.
So if you are putting off a content plan, if you have ideas you want to get down into words, a story to tell, as they sing in the classics. Or if you’re wanting to have some experience in your team around marketing and writing, then may I suggest checking out my packages and choosing one which is right for you –