UGC retainers are not your run-of-the-mill collaborations. They’re long-term contracts between creators and brands, where content keeps flowing like a non-stop party (and the money does too).
We’ll show you why they’re a must for UGC creators: financial stability, scalability, and a chance to level up your skills. But hey, don’t get too starry-eyed; there are challenges too, like creative blocks and the hunt for the perfect clients.
Stick around as we spill the beans on landing those retainer clients, setting your rates, and how to deliver. Let’s dive in.
What Is A UGC Retainer?
UGC retainers are contracts between you, the creator, and a brand, to produce a predetermined amount of UGC content over a specified period. Unlike one-off collaborations, where a creator produces content for a single campaign, a UGC retainer establishes an ongoing partnership where the creator consistently creates content for the brand on a regular basis.
This might be for paid ads, or for organic social media posts. Occasionally, brands will have a creator on retainer to act as the face of the account. The retainer may cover various social media platforms or marketing channels, ensuring a steady stream of fresh and diverse content to maintain the brand’s presence and engagement with its audience.
Pros and Cons of Retainer Clients
Retainers are great. Full stop. That’s the post. They offer financial stability, scalability, and the chance to become an expert, but they don’t come without challenges. Retainers can lead to creative block, burn out and frustration.
So, let’s weigh up the pros and cons.
Why You Need Retainer Clients
Financial Stability: One of the significant advantages of having retainer clients is the predictable and stable income they provide. With a retainer agreement in place, you can count on a steady stream of revenue, which offers financial security and reduces the uncertainty of one-offs.
Scalability: Retainers allow you to plan and allocate your time and resources more efficiently. With ongoing projects and predictable workloads, you can scale your operations more effectively, ensuring you have the capacity to deliver high-quality work consistently.
Less Time On Client Acquisition: Retainer clients offer the benefit of long-term partnerships, meaning you spend less time on constantly seeking new clients. This time saved can be redirected towards delivering excellent results for your existing retainer clients, deepening the relationship and fostering client loyalty
Skills Improvement: Working with retainer clients often involves delving deeper into their specific needs and industry. This continuous involvement allows you to gain valuable insights and expertise in their domain, enhancing your skills and making you a more valuable asset to future clients.
Sounds perfect, right? There’s no denying retainer clients are a great way to build your business, but they don’t come without their own cons.
Cons of Retainer Clients
Creative Block: If you’re creating 30 videos per month for a client, you need to be a creative person. If you’re not, the need for continuous content creation may leave you with creative block or burnout. The pressure to consistently deliver fresh and innovative ideas can be challenging, leading to creative fatigue.
Harder To Land: Securing retainer clients can be more challenging than landing one-off projects or short-term gigs. Brands and clients may have specific criteria for retainer agreements, and competition can be fierce, making it more difficult to secure long-term partnerships.
How To Get Retainer Clients
If a client has come from an inbound, we’re going to follow the following steps:
Set Up A Call: I know you don’t want to do this (heck, 9/10 people don’t want to do this) but it’s a must when we’re trying to consistently land retainers. For organic retainers, the clients are essentially handing over the keys, you’re becoming the face of the brand and they need to know you. It’s a much easier sell post zoom call, trust me.
Find Out Their Pain Points: Is it organic content they need? Are they struggling to grow an account, or do they not want to be in front of the camera? They might be lacking a cohesive voice, or they might just need more variations in ad content than they currently have. Find out, and then you can solve it.
Sell Them On The Service: You need to be the one who tells a client about a monthly retainer, they won’t often ask the question. They know they want content for social media, but do they know the benefits of having the same face? A consistent voice? The ability to A/B test? No. So tell them.
If we’re talking about converting a one-off client, it often means going above and beyond the scope of your original arrangement. Create additional organic content along with your one-off, or variations of hooks and include them in the folder watermarked. If they choose to purchase these, raise the option of a monthly retainer, which would work out significantly cheaper and give them X, Y and Z benefits.
How Much To Charge For Retainer Clients
How long is a piece of string? With a bulk order, your standard UGC rates will be heavily discounted, and that’s ok. Often, a retainer is organic content and therefore doesn’t require as much scripting, filming variations and editing, but that’s not always the case. You’ll price each retainer individually based on the workload and estimated time.
As a ballpark, retainers generally bring your cost down by about 50%. If a single UGC video is normally $200, you might offer 30 UGC videos for $3000 per month. If these videos require more creative strategy or heavier editing, increase your rates.
If you can get one organic retainer that performs consistently well, you have the evidence you need to charge more in the future, so over deliver where possible.