Why a Commercial Retainer Client is the Most Awesome Thing in the World

Hey guys, Clarke Scott here from Next Level Filmmakers. So in this video I wanted to talk about why retainer clients are so awesome. Retainer clients that aren't the old-school retainer clients, the ones that make you do a whole bunch of videos for cheaper than they would because they're retaining you. That's the only reason why a business would retain you in order to create video content, is because they can get a better deal. So it's just bulk buying, I mean that's very obvious that that's what's taking place.

This retainer model is very different. What they're buying is a result.

So, I wanna ... There's a couple of things that are really cool about this model. One is that you stop swapping time for money. And so swapping time for money is, the only way that you can make money is that you're on set and you're shooting videos. So, that takes your time. So what you are therefore doing is you are getting paid essentially an hourly rate, and it doesn't really scale.

This particular model, because we're creating a thing that a business owner is actually interested in, and that's a business result. One, there's more inherent value in that. They see the inherent value in it, but the real power behind all of this is it decouples you from the swap of time for money. So if you have one client paying you 5,000 a month for this thing, obviously they have to get a positive ROI on whatever that thing that is. So content, distribution channels, and you're maybe thinking, "Well this is just a sales funnel."

It's not. It's not just a sales funnel. A distribution channel is not just using click funnels to push content. It's not just uploading stuff onto Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and then boosting posts. It's not that. It's far more sophisticated than that. You need to be able to get a business result; if you can't get a business result that equates to business growth, then they won't pay for it, because they won't ... Somehow it'll be making their life more difficult or what have you. It's a distribution channel, part of which is the content. That's the fun part, that's the creative part. The rest of it is the business thing. It's the entire thing together that really creates a result that they will pay for in an ongoing basis. 

So once it's, you bring a client in, you pitch, you sell them on the concept of a distribution channel, and in order to get the business result, first off, and to maintain the campaign so you can continue to get the business result, they need to retain you. So you create this thing, and there's the cost of the production, there's the cost of the setup, and then there's the retainer. So you build this thing, and then you set it up, and you get it to work, right? And then once it's working and generating and almost like a self-perpetuating, like a water wheel, right? Something that is self-perpetuating.

You pick it up and you stick it over on the side, and then you've just gotta maintain that on an ongoing basis to make sure that it's still working. Things break. The algorithm on Facebook or YouTube changes. Things change, and so you need to maintain this.

While this thing's still working on its own, you can then go back and do whatever. That could be finding more clients, it could be writing a feature film script, it could be working on a feature documentary. Could be workin on art pieces, it could be just getting more clients. So scaling the business up. So you know you've got one at $5,000, you've got two, that's 10, you've got three, that's 30 ... 30? No, that's not 30. What am I talking about? Four of them at five ... If you've got four clients at all paying you 5,000 a month, that's 20,000. That's just shy of a quarter of $1,000,000 a year, which is a good little business. It's not a lot, and as a freelancer you might be thinking, "Wow, well that's four times more than I make now."

Clearly, that's not possible. So if you're thinking that, then you're actually thinking ... You're thinking too small. You've gotta remember that one of the beauties of this system, this methodology, is that it is a win and a win. The filmmaker wins, the business owner wins. So as long as you can continue to get a positive return on investment for them in a way that doesn't create more problems for them, that's about business growth, they will continue to pay it.

So the analogy that I use for this is imagine you and I have coffee every single day. And you give me $100, and I hand you back $200. Would you have that coffee every day, or every week? So you give me $100, and I give you $200 back. Would you have the coffee? The answer would be yes. Everyone would say yes.

Okay, let's say it's $1,000 and you give me $2,000 back. You'd still have the coffee? Of course you would. $10,000, $20,000. 100,000, 200,000. 1,000,000, 2,000,000. You get it, right? It scales. The whole thing scales. So it works on small productions, works on larger productions. So as long as you can find clients where you're able to get them a positive return on their investment that's at a minimum of two X, then they will pay for that, whatever that two X is. So if you're making them $100,000, then if you go in with a retainer of $500, they're gonna wonder why ... How can they make $100,000 from spending 500? Something's wrong, right? 

So you've gotta make sure that you're pitching yourself in the correct way. The way to do that is not to have a small mind, but to have a very open mind, and to let data dictate what the retainer client should actually cost, what it should cost them. And the way to do that is to really understand business, to understand the distribution side, not just the content. 

So, if you're able to do that and go into a business, you are literally a unicorn. You are someone that can tell a story in a compelling way, and also translate that into a business result so that the business can grow. If you can do those two things, then that's the way that you can scale in a way that's predictable, and it's methodological. There's a method behind Next Level Filmmaker, and it's not madness. It's pure method, something that's been born out through my business, battle-tested through my business for a long time.

So, for me the real benefits, however, are that it is something that we can build equity around. So being able to build a business that has actual equity, that's not only profitable, it's still business, right? It's not ... This is not a magic pill. This is not a magic button, 'cause there is no fucking magic button anywhere. Anyone that tells you that there is a magic button is either deluded or trying to sell you on something, or deluded. And trying to sell you something on it. There is no magic button.

However, this particular model is far superior to any other filmmaking ... Whether it's freelancing, whether it's being repped by a production company, whether it's any of those other things, this is the model that works the best, and the reason for it is that when we go out direct to brands, and we're able to get them a business result, the thing they're actually interested in, the only reason why they're getting videos in the first place is to drive a business result. So if we can get that for them, and then make them pay for that in a way that they are getting value, remember the coffee analogy, then they will continue to pay for it, month after month after month until it stops working.

So, for me the number one benefit in my own career, in my own life, is the fact that I've decoupled myself from the silly time for money swap. So I've got time to write scripts, I've got time ... I edited, we spent eight months in editorial for 1,000 Moments Later, probably longer than that actually. Well, it was over a 12 month period, I probably spend eight months of that, probably 18 months, maybe 16 months, I spent eight months, eight solid months in editorial for my feature film. Yet, I still had a family to feed, I had all of that. I was able to do that under this model. Couldn't do that under any other model. It would've taken years to complete that film.

So, for me, I'm never going back to freelance. I'm never going back to the old way of doing things. This is the new model, and it's fantastic. And so that's what the Next Level Filmmaker programme is all about, it's about implementing the Next Level Filmmaker methodology into your video production company, into your career, so that you can go and shoot the stuff you wanna shoot, or you can scale a business.

This is the way I say it, that time and money is like a seesaw. More money, more time. So if you want more time to go off and shoot your feature film, your doco, what have you, go and surf, climb a mountain in Tibet, whatever, then you're gonna have less money, right? 'Cause you got less clients coming in. If you want more money, then you're gonna have less time. So less time to do the things like feature films, climb a mountain, go on a retreat, et cetera. 

Sophie ... And my wife, Sophie and I are going on a retreat actually next week. What's today? Today's Thursday my time, obviously you're gonna be watching this later, so it's Thursday, so a week and a half. In a week and a half we're going on a retreat for a week, and I can afford to do that. There's still money coming in because of the way I've set my business up.

So it's a fantastic model, and yes, I do have education behind it. Yes there is a business behind it. But, this is not me trying to sell you on the programme; but, this is me trying to sell you on the model, 'cause the model is fantastic. Regardless of whether you take me up on joining the programme ... And here's the other thing. I don't let everyone in. It has to be a good fit for both of us, and so that's what booking the call's all about. But anyway, that's an aside.

I think that's all I wanted to say. It's a really cool model, so go and check it out,.


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