💲Monthly retainers

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Mentioned in today’s edition: Gen Z, Reddit, Meta, and Google. Plus how to go from one-off projects to monthly retainers, why you should forget time management and do this instead, and service agreements your freelance biz can count on.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes and 45 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Gen Z begins to replace their parents on social media. According to eMarketer, 2022 will be the first year where the total number of Gen X users on social media declines. Meanwhile, Gen Z’s social presence keeps growing with Reddit, TikTok, and Instagram projected to see the biggest gains.
  • Meta shuts down Novi crypto wallet without explanation. The pilot project let users make fee-free payments using stablecoins. But with stablecoins in regulators’s crosshairs after the collapse of Terra/LUNA, along with the overall crypto crash, we can hazard a guess or two as to why Novi was shut down.

  • Google agrees to pay $90M to settle with app developers. The settlement is similar to Apple’s $100M settlement in 2021: in addition to the payout, Google will reduce their service fee from 30% to 15% on the first $1M in annual revenue for app developers. 

Working With Clients

How to Go From One-Off Projects to Monthly Retainers

No freelancer wants to spend all their time prospecting.

But if you’re stuck doing one-off projects for clients all the time…

You don’t have much choice.

That’s one of the reasons why monthly retainers can be so attractive:

It doesn’t take many to fill up your calendar.

Which means less time spent prospecting and more time spent doing work that pays.

Plus it gives you some predictable income you can use to budget, save, and invest with.

But how do you make the shift from one-off to ongoing?

Well, the playbook is the same pretty much regardless of which service(s) you provide:

STEP 1: Make sure one-off projects are successful

You can’t expect to upsell clients into ongoing arrangements if the initial project isn’t successful.

So make sure you’re doing everything you can to get your client a big win first.

You need a solid foundation to build on if you want them to pay you every month.

STEP 2: Identify ongoing work you can take off their plate

Start by thinking about it from the client’s perspective:

What ongoing work are they doing on a daily or weekly basis that you could take off their plate?

Some examples:

  • Writing emails
  • Running split-tests
  • Managing ad campaigns
  • Creating social media posts
  • Etc

Unless these activities fall within your client’s zone of genius, chances are they’d appreciate you taking it off their plate so they can focus on more important things, like leading the company and being a real CEO.

Often, the question isn’t “do they want to hire someone” — it’s “will this pay for itself?” and “can I trust you?”

STEP 3: Explain why it makes sense

Even if you’ve created some goodwill with your client, you still need to make a strong logical case for this new arrangement:

– How will it make them money?
– How will it save them time?
– Why is it a smart decision?

Don’t be afraid to explain why YOU want it too.

Make it clear how much you enjoy working for them, how much you love their products, why you align with their values, etc.

Then position it as a way for them to lock down a fixed amount of your time every month.

Just keep in mind that not every client will be a good fit for a monthly retainer.

But for the right ones, it’s a win/win.

Working For Yourself

Forget Time Management (and Do This Instead)

Ever heard of Parkinson’s Law?

It states that work expands to fill the time allotted for it.


If you give yourself an hour, it’ll take an hour.

If you give yourself a week, it’ll take a week.

And in our experience, we’ve found this law to be pretty accurate.

That’s why time management is the wrong area to focus on if you want to increase your output.

Instead, focus on energy management.

Energy is the true constraint to productivity, not time.

So here are three of our favorite tips to help you better manage your energy:

1 – Put your phone on Do Not Disturb

2 – Listen to non-lyrical music (lo-fi, chillwave, binaural beats)

3 – Go for a walk as soon as you hit a wall

Your mileage may vary…

But the more you focus on extracting the most out of yourself, the less you’ll have to worry about time.

Tools We Love

Signed Service Agreements Your Freelance Biz Can Stand On

Managing contracts is a key part of running a freelance business.

Since you don’t have a company legal or HR department looking out for you…

Your legal protection is entirely up to you.

But asking a prospective client to print out a contract so they can sign it and send it back to you is so 2004.

Enter HelloSign.

HelloSign lets you send out contracts and request legally binding signatures in seconds.

With it, you can set up templates, streamline the signature process, and easily access every signed contract you’ve ever received from anywhere.

Start your free 30-day trial of HelloSign today.

Quote of the Day

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

— Thomas Edison