January 21, 2021

Reader follow-up: “What exactly is a monthly retainer?”

Longtime list member Frederick Buskey wrote in with a follow-up regarding my recent message about monthly advisory retainers (shared with permission):


Maybe one other thing to write about is the value of peace of mind. I know you emphasize it all the time, but it is a concept I am always having to remind myself of. I breath easier when I remember that my clients value that they can get my help almost as much as when the do get my help, but I always need to resell myself on that understanding.

Somewhat related, most of my clients are on my daily email list and I have discovered that they do not separate the value of the free email from the value of the paid gig. I am in front of them every day giving them something good to think about or use and they associate that with my support. I can go weeks without talking with one of them and pick up the phone and they say, “Hey, thanks for that tip on Wednesday, it was really helpful!” For my peeps, this would occur in a strictly retainer situation as well.

Really enjoying 10DSC, thank you!


Great point, Frederick!

Monthly advisory retainers are a lot like travel insurance.

Clients who are facing a big/risky/scary undertaking often want to decrease the risk and increase their peace of mind.

Knowing that they have an expert on speed dial can be very valuable to people in certain situations.

The “trick” to advisory retainers is:

  1. Finding people who are facing risks that they’d happily pay to mitigate
  2. Positioning yourself as the go-to person for mitigating that risk