How To Get Retainer Clients For Your Video Production Company

Hey guys, Clarke Scott here from Next Level Film Makers. So in this video, I wanted to talk about how to get retainer clients. First off, a retainer client is obviously a client that retains you to create multiple pieces of content for them, and they can do that on an ongoing basis. 

So you could be getting paid monthly, or yearly. I've heard some clients have a yearly contract to produce a certain number of videos per month. It seems like a fairly good idea, but if you think about it more deeply, why would a company do that when they can get it pretty cheaply already. 

So, as we know, video is somewhat of a commodity these days, and so most businesses can get work done fairly cheaply. Certainly ten years ago, a million dollar budget is now at about 150,000, $100,000 for the same kind of job. So, the budgets for productions have become a lot lower and everyone, including myself, we kind of pine for the old days. 

They're never coming back. And so, the only reason why a company would retain a video creator or a film maker is because they can get them even cheaper than what they could if they didn't retain them. 

So retainers have been around for a long time. Particularly in the ad world. Ad agencies would retain clients and they would have an account. So if you watched Mad Men, the great, I think it was HBO, series. Fantastic series, it's all about the ad agencies. So, absolutely, that's where retainers first started, and we're still kind of dealing with them as well. 

But the problem is that when something's already a commodity, I've said this before, I feel like the chef Muppet from The Muppets. Oh my god, I'm doing it again. 

The benefit of having retainer clients from our perspective, is that it's cash flow. The downside of this kind of retainer client is that we are working for cheaper than what we normally do. So it's really a balancing act between the two. 

It does potentially allow us to shoot more often. However, there is in fact a better kind of retainer model, and that is, again, when we shift away from being just a dude with a camera, through to being someone that can provide a business result for a business owner. And then what they end up doing is they retain us for that thing. 

The real benefit in this model, as opposed to your kind of old school retainer model, is that you can build this thing for them. And this is really where it's the combination of content and distribution channels. When these two are coupled together and the whole thing drives a business result, that what the business ends up retaining us for is this thing that we've built for them. 

And so in the video that I've got in the free training, I go into detail in how I did that back in 2012 with my first commercial campaign client, and they ended up retaining me for two years. I shot six videos for them, about a month's worth of work over a three month period, and then for two years they paid me a certain amount of money every month for this thing that I built for them. 

And the reason why they did it was that it was continuing to work in terms of value, basically they were getting a positive ROI, so they continued to pay for that. So that meant that I still had cash coming in, and the real power in this is it decouples you from the swap of time for money. 

So this thing's just sitting over here and it's kinda working away, I can then go over here and go and find new clients; and can go and shoot a feature film. That's what I did with A Thousand Moments Later. So I had a retainer client, built this thing and it's just over here, chugging away, getting them a positive ROI. And so I've got money coming to the business. I was able to then go off and shoot A Thousand Moments Later and still have money coming in. 

That's a real retainer client. Retaining someone for what it is they actually want, 'cause I've said it before, business owners don't care about videos. They know that it's important, but it's important only insofar as it drives a business result. The business result is the thing they're actually interested in. So we can do that in a way that decouples us from the swap of time for money, then that's fantastic for us. 

So, how do you get those kind of clients? Well, the first thing you need to do, is you need to stop speaking like a dude with a camera, you need to stop relying on hope marketing, and you need to start to begin to develop our voice as an entrepreneurial film maker, a trusted business advisor. 

And so, I can help you with that. That is something that we do through the Next Level Film Maker methodology. It is about creating both the education and the support to enable you to scale your business from where you're at to wherever you wanna be. So whether that's multiple six figures, that can be anywhere between 100,000 and 900,000. So multiple nine figures into the seven figures. 

But I don't want to make that claim here, although I just did. 'Cause it kind of sounds all markety and a little bit of [badass 00:05:55], and a lot of people don't believe it. But the numbers are real. 

So, how do you get those kind of clients? You must learn to speak like a business person. Think like a film maker, I say this all the time. Think like a film maker, speak like a business person. So when you think like a film maker and you're able to translate that into business, so they understand the value that they are going to get from you, then they will sign that retainer very easily.

Sales in the end becomes, not about trying to sell something, it becomes about trying to show someone in a convincing way the kind of value that you can get for them by creating distribution channels. 

So, that's all I wanted to say in this video, I think. I pretty much covered everything.

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