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Almost every creative entrepreneur faces the same challenge. How can we create consistent, projectable, recurring revenue?
Most freelancers and agency owners operate project by project. When project load is heavy it is a time to feast! When project load is light it is a time for famine. Let’s look at a few ways you can level the feast/famine roller coaster and improve your projectable, recurring revenue.

Option 01: Monthly Marketing Retainer

  • Client pays you a monthly fee.
  • You analyze their traffic, sales, and marketing performance.
  • You meet with the client 1x, 2x, or 4x per month.
  • You walk them through your analysis and provide ideas for improvement.
  • The client gets ongoing access to your ideas, analysis, and observations. Marketing is all about pivots and pivots come from regularly analyzing performance metrics and ideating new strategies.

Option 02: Monthly Brand Management Retainer

  • Client pays you a monthly fee.
  • You provide art direction for projects created by the client’s internal designers.
  • You critique any of their internally created design materials.
  • You ensure that their brand stays consistent across all marketing materials.
  • You meet with client 1x, 2x, or 4x per month to discuss audience, competitors, and the client’s brand.
  • You get become the “owner” of the client’s brand, which deeply roots you in their business.
  • The client gets ongoing design direction from you and improved brand consistency.

Option 03: Monthly Website Maintenance Retainer

  • Client pays you a monthly fee.
  • You analyze website traffic and page performance.
  • You make recommendations to improve page performance.
  • You manage website updates, bug fixes, and hosting.
  • The client knows that someone is monitoring and managing the success of their website.
  • The client also benefits from frequent analysis and changes to the site to improve performance.

Option 04: Monthly Digital Advertising Retainer

  • Client pays you a monthly fee.
  • You ideate ad ideas.
  • You place ads and manage ad performance.
  • You report on ad performance 1x per week.
  • You recommend ad changes to improve performance.

The Benefits to Your Agency

Each of these engagements will provide you with consistent monthly recurring revenue as you provide consistent value to your client. They also give you a “seat at the table” Which usually allows you to scoop up every project opportunity before anyone else is even considered. This level of entrenchment with clients has enormous future value to your business.

I hope these strategies help you consider new ways to engage with your clients in an ongoing, consistent way.

Michael Janda

I am Michael Janda, an executive level creative leader with more than 25 years of experience in both in-house creative departments and agencies working with some of the greatest brands in the world including Disney, Google, Fox, ABC and NBC. I create books, courses, workshops, lectures and other training materials to help creative entrepreneurs run successful businesses.