Client Retainers: Holy Grail or Route to Fail

Client retainers are billed as the holy grail for creative agencies. New business can be unpredictable and often introduces a feast or famine cycle to both work volumes and cashflow through the agency. Retainers are a great way to bring stability-they help with a regular stream of income and build strong relationships with your clients. Or at least that's how retainers should work. The reality is that retainers are disruptive, increase your responsibilities to your clients and require you to think more about your offering for them.


I’m 38 years old and live my wife, 2 young daughters and our flat coated retriever in a region called the Lake District in the NW corner of the UK. I started working on the web with MS Front Page back in 1999, and all these years later, its still a medium I love working with every day. Away from work I’ve been a windsurfing instructor and love to get out in the mountains when I can, with one of my most memorable achievements being reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

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