Creative Retainer

for on-going production

This agreement is best served for the client who needs on-going intense marketing and content creation help over a long period of time. Agencies offer creative retainers just like any other retainer. Its an up front payment at a reduced rate for a monthly on-going work.

What are creative retainers?

A creative retainer is an agreement between your business and House of Sticks that allows you access to our billable hours for a set period of time at a discounted rate. In simple terms, you, the client, pay us to act as your in-house creative department for a set period of time and for pre-determined hours. A creative retainer gives you first rights to a wide range of professional creative services we offer without the overhead associated with a permanent employee on your end. Our goal with a retainer is to have an agreement thats good for both parties and if its not good for both, its not good for either.

Is a creative retainer right for you?

Meeting the advertising and creative needs of clients business can be tricky. Most companies have waves of needs, not a steady flow. So, If your needs vary throughout the year, arise unexpectedly, or you have ongoing needs for communication services but don't necessarily require having a full-time designer, a creative retainer might be the perfect solution.

What are the advantages of a creative retainer?

Typically our creative projects are bid on a per project or per line item basis. We calculate our expenses on hourly rates but bill turn-key prices because we want to deliver our creative agency packages to clients for exactly what we said we would. A retainer allows us to do that. We really do think its all about relationships, and we know what its like to think you're getting a project for one price and then get billed for another. Go Retainers.

By getting a creative retainer, our agency will provide exactly how many hours of work we provided . Having a retainer will provide you with first rights to our entire design staff. This means our agency gets to your jobs more quickly. Plus, since our agreement is for a set number of hours, we can offer creative at a discounted rate. The more hours you commit to, the lower your hourly rate. With a creative retainer, House of Sticks retains a pre-determined number of hours exclusively for you. Digital agencies like it because, if you have rush work, or an unplanned need, our creative associates can respond immediately. All of our graphic design business, marketing and advertising packages, associates and freelancers are at your disposal. Its really like having us in-house. Retainers are awesome for agencies and the client.

If you have multiple small projects, we eliminate the need to seek estimates, manage multiple contracts, and pay multiple invoices. Basically, you are pre-purchasing the time to accomplish the work you need. A retainer makes it easier for your business to go faster. It's typical for people to need stuff on impulse, retainers make that possible with a monthly service terms.

creative retainer brain on coffee

What should you expect?

Since you are essentially pre-purchasing time, by having a retainer, we will provide the number of hours we worked on your projects each month. Typically, the number of hours in the retainer agreement isn't perfect right off the bat, so to find the right balance for both of us we make the first 3 months somewhat variable and then base the remainder of the contract figures on our history. If your need increases our program scales so your team stills gets great digital agency service at an expected rate.

What happens if I don't use the exact amount of hours?

You never will, but the hope is that once we find the right baseline for your needs, the retainer changes and over the course of a year be within 10%. If clients go over the budgeted number of hours we will alert you and charge at the pre-determined rate or give you an estimate for the project at our retainer partner rate which is normally about 20% lower. If you don't use all of the hours unfortunately you lose them. With a retainer, we have been known to roll over hours from one month to the next but after the second month, we have to let them expire. You will know exactly how many hours got lost and hopefully that doesn't happen often. Retainers are only good if both parties get great benefit.

What types of services to I get with a retainer?

Creative design services, UX design, website design, long term creative consulting, website maintenance, email template design, research, writing, editing, print management, story boarding, URL procurement brokering, video editing, VFX program, color correction, photo retouching and some others. Whats important to know is that video production time on set is not included. There are just too many variables for us to be able to include such a large task. Clients can roll unused hours into the following month.

What services are not included?

We don't offer services that highly variable expenses associated with them, which is why video production hours on set aren't covered. A creative retainer does not cover the cost for printing, licensing, procurement, or subcontractor fees. Our Creative Director will consult with you before beginning work to identify any fees or costs that may be billed in addition to your creative retainer agreement. Orthodontic stuff is not covered in any monthly contract. Ever. FYI.

Questions?

If you have more questions about retainers feel free to ask. Chances are if we don't already have a relationship, you won't be calling to ask about a retainer immediately. We can agree to any number of deals, a number of different ways. Just let us know what you have in mind even if you're in Miami.

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