Why a creative retainer works better than ad-hoc feature requests

Evolve is our take on the traditional retainer. Evolve subscriptions redefine ongoing working relationships with SMILE, all at a no-brainer price-point.
A member of the SMILE team planning out work using post-it notes

Over the years, we’ve worked on a multitude of web projects: From flagship websites to events platforms – we’ve done it all! One thing that is consistent is that clients always require ongoing work after their projects have finished. This can be because of the natural evolution of content or because of a new marketing strategy that requires changes to their existing system.

These ad-hoc requests can sometimes take a lengthy period of time from initial briefing through to quoting to getting the request designed and built. That’s where Evolve comes in. Evolve allows our clients to subscribe to a creative retainer, deciding exactly the amount of hours they would like to pay for. We then schedule monthly calls to plan out the Evolve time and discuss the priorities of the institution and how we can best assist them in achieving their goals.

A graph of the number of tasks scheduled per client in July 2021
The number of tasks scheduled per client in July 2021

There are benefits for both parties when it comes to a creative retainer. One of the main benefits is being able to set out a clear plan for work over the coming months. With a roadmap, SMILE can work with our clients and plan large pieces of work for multiple teams across multiple months using Asana. This then sets our clients’ expectations so they know exactly when they will receive pieces of work, allowing them to plan their time around when they will have access to complete work. With a better plan in place, we are able to report on completed and upcoming work, which is beneficial for all parties.

A graph of the amount of tasks spread across multiple teams
The number of tasks spread across multiple teams

Along with vastly improved planning, Evolve also grants our clients guaranteed hours per month. This increases the accuracy of target deadlines, meaning most customers’ programmes of work can be scoped, designed, built, tested and released all within the same calendar month.

Finally, Evolve is cheaper. An Evolve subscription uses our lowest hourly pricing. So, for example, you could book in 4 hours of consultancy work for just £60 per hour which would normally be charged at £100 per hour! In fact, for most customers, Evolve is a viable alternative to employing an additional member of staff.

Are you interested in an Evolve package?

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Jon Bates