Could a retainer save you money?

WLC Business Excellence Awards 2016-1.jpg

New Year revisiting a new idea. Last year I introduced the idea of a retainer to my business photography client options. It was new to me and I wasn’t entirely sure how it would workout for either me or the client. The only ‘retainer’ type structures I could find online were either similar to a shoot deposit or were guaranteeing availability, whether work was carried out or not. The latter usually being fairly expensive for the client.

I wanted to do something that both saved clients money and made it easier for them to include photography in their annual budget and I hoped gain a slightly higher overall spend and a more steady income throughout the year. I was pretty sure it would be very cost effective for the client and that the regular payments would be good for my cashflow, but I was a bit fuzzy on the details.

My usual approach would be not to take an idea forward until I had every detail perfected with the consequence being never taking any action. This time I decided to suck it and see!

A big thank you goes out to West Lothian Chamber of Commerce for being the first to take me up on the offer…the guinea pig so to speak. We sat down and came up with a budget, event list and a few other details to build flexibility and reliability in to the agreement. Now with 3/4 of the year through I’ve done a quick audit. 10 events have been covered from the launch of the Developing Young Workforce programme, annual awards to the monthly breakfasts. When the normal fee is compared to and the amount paid through the retainer the Chamber has so far saved 60% and been able to build a great stock of images of all their events for PR and future promotions.

I’d love to hear about any successes and failures you have had with similar or new pricing structures. Or for that fact any time you’ve introduced new concepts to your clients that they might not be familiar with. How did you go about it? What did you find that did or didn’t work?

And if you’d like to talk through how a retainer might work for your business give me a call and we can grab a coffee and a chat.

Contact me on 0776 309 2221 or email


Getting started: taking action and setting goals

I have been meaning to do Sarah Arrow’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge for months. My excuses/reasons (depending on your perspective) for not taking the plunge have been vast and varied. My main question has been do I blog for the existing commercial photography side of my business or the new portraiture studio I am in the middle of setting up? I have been going round in circles on this for much more time than is productive. In the end the decision is obvious. The setting up the new side of the business and the existing commercial work have a common business based theme and are things I am constantly dealing with, so are both the most useful things to reflect on and easiest to come up with topics for.

Lesson 1: Stop wasting time (procrastination cost money)

Lesson 2: Often the obvious answer is the correct one (stop over thinking and trust my gut)

Lesson 3: Sometimes the path of least resistance is the one you should take, despite most of the motivational pictures on the internet say the opposite!

Day 1 Getting started STARTING POINT…Where does my online promotion currently stand?

  • Blog: Current number of posts 12. Frequency of posting: once every 3 months. Commenting on other blogs: almost never…hence the uninspiring screen shot.

Day1 Stats

  • LinkedIn: Blog posts once…maybe: Comments on other people’s posts once a week
  • Twitter: Erratic…not always relevant

Day 1 Twitter GOALS (measurable things for the next 30 days and final numbers)

  1. Blog everyday (Total 42 blogs).
  2. Comment on at least 2 other blogs.
  3. Post content (blog or other relevant content) on LinkedIn everyday (30 posts).
  4. Tweet relevant content 3 times a day (total tweets 3,152<).
  5. Follow 5 other bloggers on twitter every week (Total following 1,980).

NICE THINGS…stuff I’d like to happen but as I have no control over how other people will act I’m not including them in goals.

  1. Have 50 people reading my blog by the end of the 30 days.
  2. Have 3 pieces of work directly linked to the blog.
  3. Have a group of online blog based friends who I can bounce ideas off when needed and vice versa.

Woohoo! 1 down only 29 to go!