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When you negotiate contracts with clients, do you choose a retainer model or do you agree on a fixed % of the sales which were generated by you? Why do you prefer your chosen model over the other?

Answered by Thalassa Van Beek, content marketing expert

This is a topic I feel very strongly about and it's one of the biggest sections in my Client Acquisition course. There are of course exceptions, depending on the work you do, and there are so many different ways to structure your fee, that I can probably talk for two hours just about that. However, in general, for my type of work, I would usually advice to work with a monthly fixed price. The main reasons for this are over time, you'll notice you'll get quicker and more efficient, while your work quality actually improves. With an hourly rate, that would mean that while you would deliver more value and a higher quality, you would earn less. Not a fair situation!

When it comes to commission-based rates, the problem is that it's not only in your hands, and it's not always easy to track. You can never really tell how much sales a specific blog post brings, or exactly how valuable a certain Instagram post was. And even if you track it, for example with Facebook ads, you're not the only person responsible for the sale. You can target the perfect audience, create the best ad, but if then the landing page sucks, your effort doesn't matter anymore. Only when you control the entire funnel, from first impressions in the ad, all the way to the final sale, then I would consider commission-based work. Of course, when you know the company well and you trust their work on landing pages and other parts of the funnel, then it may be worth considering it as well.

Then there are also exceptions where hourly rates make sense, for example when a clients asks you to do something new and you have no idea how long it will take. Another example would be when you can expect a lot of editing rounds requested by your client.

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