Suggestions on creating "monthly retainer/subscriptions" for clients?

Hello All!

Let me start off by saying “hello” to the community. This is my first post.

I have been doing web design on the side for a few years, and have built over 20+ clients. I would like to start thinking more seriously about my business, and generate a steady monthly cash flow. Up until now I have been designing one-off custom design website. Afterwards, I charge hourly if and when the client needs updating or changes.

I don’t want to get in the business of hosting websites. But I do feel I can offer my clients consistent services that will improve their site and business. Some services include but not limited to -

1.) SEO
2.) Backup
3.) Security features
4.) Site maintenance
5.) Analytic reports - who is viewing the site
6.) Marketing suggestions to help improve functionality and hits
7.) 6 to 8 hours handling requests monthly requests.

My questions are -

1.) Do any of you have a similar business-model set up with your clients?

2.) If so, what services you provide on a continuous basis?

3.) How do you charge for these services? What are typical rates?

4.) In your experience… what do you find that works best, and what does not work?

If this has been discussed in a previous post - please point me in that direction. Also, let me of any good articles that addresses this subject.

Thanks in advance for your advice and wisdom. I look forward to being more involved with these forums.

All the Best,

Hi and welcome to the SitePoint forums.

I used to be on a sort of retainer relationship with a client 7 or 8 years ago but it was something I used to do after my full time job so I don’t think it really qualifies for your situation.

I do happen however to have a bookmark on this very topic, which I find very interesting and helpful. I didn’t got to put that into practice, as I never reached that level of self-sustenance, but it was a great read and the ideas there sound great.

Here it is:

It goes into great details on how to approach clients for retainer (and which clients to approach), how to cover all points from a contract point of view and how to keep your clients happy with this situation. Hope you enjoy reading it and you might find something useful there to apply to your situation.

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I have found that adding upsells for websites is the easiest way to get monthly revenue. When we create a website we offer monthly maintenance, much like an MSP in IT Consulting where you provide a monthly option that will cover all their support, updates, maintenance and gives them an overall “I’m covered” feeling. We also provide the options for an SEO package, which you can outsource if you want, where you add them to directories and add links on other websites. There is also the option to do their social media management where you create the accounts and then they submit their content to you and then you submit it to the platforms and do a newsletter.

If you provide solid services, test them on your own business and then add those check marks in your proposals people will signup.

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