Best Practices for Landing Retainer Writing Gigs

Last week I gave you my top three picks for retainers you should set up in the New Year. Today I’m going to give you some best practices you should follow to ensure you land and execute them with ease.
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Set up retainer deals so that you have ongoing work, month after month, and a steady income.

Last week I gave you my top three picks for retainers you should set up in the New Year – including how much you can expect to make and how to land them.

And today I’m going to give you some best practices you should follow to ensure you land and execute them with ease…

First up, talk about retainer deals with every client.

If there’s an ongoing need for copy or content, a retainer deal could very well be used. And a client may not even realize it!

The key is to understand their need/volume before pitching. Take the time to learn just how much copy or content they need, and then determine where retainers could fit in.

Then, simply go over the benefits of working on an ongoing basis, and show them why a retainer is a true win-win for both of you.

No retainer deal is too small …

It may seem silly to set up a retainer with a company who only needs one article a month. But hey, it’s still one more project you can count on month-after-month!

Plus, it could very well be a way to get your foot in the door. You can always increase the retainer at a later date, and it will set you up for other projects that arise in the company.

Evaluate retainer deals regularly …

Any time you set up a deal, you’re basing it on what you both “think” the scope of the project will be. But that could very well change once you get underway …

So always plan to evaluate your retainer deals at 60 days, 6 months, and then annually. And when evaluating, look for ways you can provide additional value, and then propose a new deal that shows how much more value the client will receive.

Sell benefits other than cost savings …

Clients know — and expect — to save a little money on retainer deals. So you shouldn’t focus your pitch on the savings.

Focus on the bigger benefits that are invaluable:

  • You’ll know their products and services deeply.
  • You’ll understand their target audience inside and out.
  • You know how they operate, and therefore can turn things around faster and on schedule.
  • You’ll be able to offer up other ideas that will make their business more successful.

And then remind them they’ll also save some money. J

Be mindful about what you charge …

Pricing is often a big challenge for writers. There are a lot of factors that should go into the pricing of a retainer deal. Make sure you’re thinking of the big picture …

  • Your time — both spent and saved.
  • What the regular rate would be if each item were contracted individually.
  • The value to the client (the Return on Investment).
  • How much the client saves in exchange for guaranteeing you work every month.

At the end of the day, retainer deals are usually good for both the writer and the client. As long as you’re happy with the fee for the work you’ll put in every month, and the client gets the return from the monthly expense, it’s a win-win.

I hope you found this series on retainers helpful…

But, regardless of where you are in your freelance writing career, I highly recommend setting up some retainer deals for yourself. They’ll give your business some stability and allow you to rest easy month after month.

And if you’d like a little help …

Earlier this year I did a webinar on the best retainer deals – and how to land them – on Wealthy Web Writer. The webinar was exclusive for members only, but I’ve asked the Managing Editor to unlock it for you. You can access it here until the end of the month.


And as usual, if you have any questions for me, feel free to connect with me on Facebook, or post comments below the webinar on the Wealthy Web Writer website.

To your success,

P.S. Until December 26th, AWAI is offering up to 50% savings on its most popular writing programs. You can get all the details here.

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