A marketing retainer agreement is an agreement in which one party will retain accessibility to another party, typically the ongoing freelancer, on an ongoing basis. They are important, as many freelancers face the challenge of maintaining a consistent schedule. This means that often a freelancer will incur regular bills but only get money when work has been completed. This can cause stress for a freelancer and make it difficult to maintain a business, as there isn't regular income flow.

Likewise, a freelancer is often faced with the "feast and famine" syndrome where they will find themselves swamped with work and sometimes find themselves with little to no work. To combat these problems, it is important for freelancers to have a number of types of agreements where they can gain recurring income, such as through marketing retainer agreements.

What Is a Marketing Retainer Agreement?

You may often think of lawyers when you think of a retainer. You never know when you are going to need the services of an attorney, so you can pay them on a monthly basis through a retainer agreement to keep them in an ongoing commitment to work with you.

When a retainer agreement is set up between a client and freelancer, it will be structured by selling future availability at a fixed monthly rate of discounted fee. If you have a good relationship with a business, they will value your work and want to keep you available to them when they need new work or tweaks to current work.

An example of how a retainer agreement could work is where a freelance charges $100 an hour and averages 10 hours a month with the client. In the agreement, they could charge $80 with a guaranteed monthly minimum of $800. This will give the business the comfort of having the freelancer available as well as a discounted rate. For the freelancer, they will have a guaranteed monthly income from that client.

Retainer agreements can give you the financial freedom to maintain your business even in times of lower income. It is essential to have a well-worded retainer agreement to avoid putting you in the position of being taken advantage of. Also clearly define the expectations and services being offered to avoid ending up with a contract that is hard to fulfill.

What Should You Offer in a Marketing Sales Agreement?

The first step in creating a retainer that will work for you is deciding on the time and services that you can realistically offer to that particular client. Some work is not fit to be included in these type of agreements, as it can lead to more work than you have set aside for the content.

You will also want to make sure that your retainer is very specific, as an ambiguous one can sometimes amount to an untold number of requests, calls, and emails. For example, if you were a content strategist, you might include in your retainer the delivery of two articles of 1,000 to 25,000 words and two blog posts of 500 to 750 words. This way, you have clearly defined the number of pieces and word content that you will be producing for the amount.

The Benefits of a Marketing Retainer Agreement

Though it is common for a business to express some hesitancy when asked to consider a retainer agreement, they are not as scary as you would think. It is vital for a business to realize that instead of being bound to a contract, you are in effect enabling the business to create a more customized hands-on marketing campaign that can help them better reach their goals. Some of the services you can expect to enjoy in a marketing retainer agreement include:

  • Dedicated Account Manager.
  • Strategy Consultant.
  • Project Management.
  • HubSpot Management.
  • Training.
  • Support.
  • Website Management.
  • CRM Assistance.

There are many other benefits to having a marketing retainer agreement some of which include:

  • There are no surprises.
  • You enjoy a set rate.
  • You will know your annual marketing costs.
  • You won't be nickel and dimes for each item.
  • You will have set goals and follow that direction.

If you need help with a marketing retainer agreement, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.