Hi, welcome to another Facebook live. Welcome to the profitable PR pros community and welcome to the pitching powerhouse podcast. I'm Jen Berson. I am the founder of generation PR. We are a full service PR and social media marketing agency based in Los Angeles. And I am also the founder of the profitable PR pros community and the creator of the agency accelerator and the pitch lab. And I am the host of the pitching powerhouse podcast. That's a lot, I have so much help you guys so much help. I always say that I never try to be like I'm doing it all myself, because that would be absolute insanity. Um, and I certainly do not. Um, but if you are watching on the replay or you are live here, I can see you guys. Um, let me know who's here. Hi. Hello, Candice. What a babe? I love Candice.
Um, okay. Uh, hi. Okay, cool. Um, I'm just stuck a little out of sorts today. We, um, our street was like graffitied up last night, um, with like gang graffiti and it's kind of crazy cause we're very remote, like up in the Hills. Um, hi Jennifer Yi. Hi. Nice to see you, Jane and Natasha, you guys are the best. All right. Um, everybody wants to talk about retainers and I think this came up, actually, we had a coaching call this week, um, for the pitch lab and it came up in our discussion. Um, usually that's agency accelerator talk, right. Um, we are focused all on prop, uh, Oak park. Oh, close. Yeah. Close to me in Sherman Oaks park. Yeah. You're like north valley, like, um, Westlake. Is that, where is that? Where that is? I don't know. I don't get out much these days, but, um, so the discussion was around somebody who, what is with my voice?
Yes. Okay, cool. That's um, oh my God. I don't know if it's like this latte, like a almond milk latte, but it's so good, but it's like making me like, um, okay, let's start over. Um, in our profitable or I guess it was the pitch lab. Um, somebody was coming in and offering services, totally brand new, um, uh, kind of pre-established relationship to the perspective clients. And we had a really good discussion and there's a lot of helpful information about, um, how to price services when you're starting out, um, what she should and could be considering. There's so much that goes into it. And I, and I love this aspect of running your own business because it's where you find your profitability. It's where you find your expertise. It's where you are able to set yourself up for leveraged growth. Okay. So, um, uh, Ainslee hi, welcome.
Let me just answer her question. Hi guys. I'm a PR grad. I always watched the videos. That's so awesome. Look at you continuing education. What group is it that I need to join? If I'm looking at how to start my own agency, you know, the best thing for you Ainsley right now is sign up for our path to profitability training series is, um, it's free. Um, and it'll get you where you need to go, but we're going to be doing this later. Um, well I guess in September, so later this month, um, and Natasha saying agency accelerator will change your life. So path to profitability is kind of like the pre-training before the paid program, it's free, it's all like foundation setting and it's very, very good. It's a, three-part free training series. Um, I'd love to see you all there, but that's what we talk about in the agency accelerator.
The very first part, um, is about setting your rates, figuring out who's your niche and, um, what you ultimately want to make, how much you want to be working. Um, bringing in a team, all of those things are considerations. So we cover it in depth because it's one of the most important things that you need to learn and to consider. And it's not as simple as you think. Um, you know, there's a lot of consideration that goes into it, but I wanted to talk today about retainers, how to set up your prices and stick to them, um, how to price your PR retainer services. This question comes up all the time and what typically happens when you are just starting out and if this resonates or you've done this, or you are doing this, um, a lot of people will price their services out of fear.
Like the fear that the client will leave or go away because the rate is too high or fear that they look greedy or fear and maybe imposter syndrome that they don't deserve to make that much, or that it's going to look kind of shocking that maybe a smaller agency or a solo practitioner is asking for that retainer. Excuse me. And I know I did that in the beginning. I was like, well, that sounds really high. Like in your mind, you say that sounds really high. So you want to discount it or you want to cut it a little bit, you know, closer to where you think the client can pay. Even if you don't have an idea of what their budget is. We talk all about what you need to ask on sales call. So one of the things is, make sure you ask them if they have a budget, a lot of times they will tell you and it'll be very helpful.
Um, but yeah, nobody on this call has ever done that. Been like, oh my God, this sounds really high. I'd probably have to cut it down. Um, I am very surprised that does not, that doesn't seem possible because basically everyone does it. But anyway, um, beginners, Ooh, let me just make sure there's COVID at my oh, guilty. Yeah. Okay. There you go. Hold on guys. There's COVID at my kids school and I just want to check there. I'm sure they're fine. I'm sure. So me a few months ago. Yeah. Um, hold on just one sec. I mean, you can understand, I wanna make it sure. It still says pending. Oh my God. Okay. Detected on one kid. Okay. Yeah. Sorry. This is a whole thing. We just got an email. Okay. Yeah. Look at that always. But this year I have started there and added a thousand dollars per month and got every one of them.
Jane is in the agency accelerator. Good for you, Jane. That's awesome. Totally. Of course, of course. They're going with you. You're like a total pro um, yeah, definitely was me. Shonda Shaundra is saying that hi Shaundra, Candice says guilty here, destiny. I have felt that way. Guilty to Natasha. Definitely guilty. Yeah. So me a few months ago, Christine says Ashley's guilty too. Okay. I knew it. I was like, there's definitely some of you who have experienced that. Um, so hold on one sec. I lost my notes here when I looked up the COVID test. Okay. Um, so beginners and kind of even experienced parapros cause I'm seeing in here very seasoned pros that have done that. Um, sometimes they don't know how to set up and price their retainer services, but this is the key to growing your business successfully scaling. Oh God, Christine. Um, yeah, no, the, uh, yay agency accelerator, the less you charge, the less they value you.
Absolutely. We talk about that. That's absolutely true. And Christine is saying, I currently estimate how much time it will take me to do the task and then $75 per hour. No, um, that's like a great start, but let's talk more about the retainer model. Um, if you do it that way, you're still dollars per hours. Okay. And you're limited by how many hours you have in your day and you can't scale. So we're going to shift from that, uh, time calculation to a value based calculation. Okay, Christine, um, and you might want to consider joining our path to profitability training series. Um, it's very good. So, okay. Um, this is where your revenue and profitability kind of serves as the scale, um, foundation to scale the business and having retainers as your foundation for how you price your services versus project-based versus hourly. That's going to make this opportunity for you to grow in scale and be more profitable and work less.
It's going to make that possible. So I want to share how to set up retainers, how to price them and then answer some FAQ's frequently asked questions that all things I'm all about, all things PR retainers and pricing. So, uh, let's just jump in here. Um, if you're brand new to setting up your retainers in your business here is what you should do. And I'm thinking how many steps do we have here? We have three steps. Just kind of how you should think about it. The first thing is know your niche, like research and understand your niche. What is your specialty? Who do you serve and how do you serve them? And that's one of the very first things we focus on in the agency accelerator. Um, yeah, don't sell yourself short. Natasha says I charge a hundred dollars an hour for freelance writing gigs.
Yeah. Um, yes. And that's somebody who understands writing for conversion and writing for attracting and being compelling, telling a compelling story because obviously she's a seasoned PR pro and a former journalist, so she knows all sides. Okay. So yeah, if you're a skilled writer do not sell yourself short. Um, but we talk about niching down because that's the way to make more money. You will be a sought after expert and it's a way to, um, it's a way to leverage, um, expertise. It's a way to leverage contacts. This is how you get in a flow state and make the most money possible. So think if there is an industry standard for the kind of niche that you're working in, and this community is very helpful for that, especially the agency accelerator plus on the coaching calls because people share their rates on those calls. So you don't have to be in the dark anymore and kind of fly blind and wonder how everyone else is doing it.
Because, because those days of like taking a stab in the dark they're over, because now you have a community that wants to support you and will help you with that information. Um, step two, here is keep your level of experience in mind. So are you basing your rates on your level of experience? Are you brand new to PR if you're just starting out, you're really looking to gain experience and sometimes you should price accordingly. Not that you won't crush it or do a fantastic job, but consider offering somebody a lower rate to get started for a limited period. And that's the key. We talked about that on the coaching call, a limited period of time. They need to understand that this introductory rate does not so on and on and on, but yeah, it allows you to get in with them and start to work in that niche, start to develop some relationships, some case studies.
This is how I very first got my start and how I carved out my expertise in the baby and kid space. And we are now a sought after PR agency that is focused on maybe in kids, beauty and cosmetics. And that came from starting and having expertise in the baby and kid space for a reduced rate for a short period of time, because I ended up supporting my very first client for 11 years. Obviously I couldn't keep them at the introductory rate, you know, for very long, but we raised them several times. We also, we also offered additional services. So unless you have a pre established timeframe for the introductory rate or they want additional services, it's very hard to go back and just be like, it's more now, they'll say why, you know, why, what you're doing, you doing anything different? Why would you do it for this much then?
And now it's more so it's just challenging. So limited time period, make sure they know. Um, step three is, consider your own financials. What do you want to make in a year? What is your revenue goal? And then break that up over clients and consider how many clients you can serve that one time, how many hours you want to work and figure out, oh, your profit margin, how much does it actually cost for you to provide these services? And if you bring in a team, how much will it cost for them to execute these services? So this requires you understanding in advance having the, uh, foundation and, um, infrastructure on your business set up in advance. So you can price out your services, knowing what it's going to cost for you to implement. That includes freelancers employees and includes any kind of, uh, costs that are associated, that you maybe are sunk costs like, uh, Cision or Meltwater or our database.
Like you can obviously spread that out over multiple clients, but other things too, that you're going to be paying for, um, like reporting services, um, other subscription-based services, even the pitch lab, that's definitely something that you can have in your business that is going to serve multiple clients. Just those execution plans alone. It's a hundred bucks a month. It's less than a hundred bucks a month, but that's an expense in your business. You need to build in and then have that as part of your, um, your expenses that offset your income, your, uh, revenue right now. And that's how you figure out your income. Um, and then having it built in where you can then bring in a team and then have a pretty significant profit margin on the team executing. And I don't typically, I don't typically look at it like a percentage increase over what they're making.
I try to get the retainers as high as possible and get the execution as low as possible. Meaning I will bring in my team that does our media outreach. They're all very seasoned. They're all 10 plus years, but I give them, I give them a lot of work and, um, and I, um, give them scale, you know, like all scale, because they'll give me a discount because I'm giving them volume. Um, and so I'm able to get access to really great people for a reasonable rate because they, um, are counting on us. And they also like working with me cause I'm very hands off. And like you do you, and especially to contractors, keep in mind if they are independent contractors in California, they have to be corporations. So my individual and independent contractors are incorporated and you have to leave them alone. They have to be in charge of their own, um, activities.
And I have no problem with that. Um, there's also a question as to whether having an independent contractor perform the foundation of the services that you offer. Like the core fundamental service is PO you know, uh, kosher or not. Um, but, um, but, um, sorry, I have like, um, so much going on with all the COVID the moms are like, there was COVID last week. It was just a whole thing. Anyway. Um, yeah, so, uh, I don't remember what I was saying, but I think I was done at that point and I don't need to hit it over the head Nelson saying, tell everyone to start at nothing less than $5,000 per month with a six month, you need to educate the client to understand that it takes time to get momentum going. Yes, yes. To all of that. That's wonderful. Um, in the agency accelerator, our goal is to get you two clients at $2,500 a month minimum, if you are just starting out because people just starting out, I think 5,000 a month is an amazing goal.
Once there are some case studies and, um, some, you know, results to share some expertise to leverage and a niche that you are known for. And obviously you're well beyond that at this point, but, and that's, my goal is to get everyone to 5k a month, for sure. But for those that are just starting out, maybe like, um, uh, I'm just looking back and Ainsley, um, she probably would want to start at a lower rate to generate those case studies testimonials just to get going and could offer that at 2,500 a month and then increase the 35 and the new clients coming in, paying a higher retainer out of the gate. Oh no, the video paused. Oh no. Can you see me? Um, God today feels like just a show. Um, am I there? Can you guys see me? Give me a heart, thumbs up something it's going in and out. Oh, darn it. Ugh. That's so annoying. You can see me. Okay. Fine. Okay. I'll just keep talking guys. I'm so sorry. Um, okay, good, fine. Um, yeah, let's get back to it. So to expand on Nelson's point, I 100% agree to answer this question. How long should retainers be? A retainer should be for a minimum of six months approach every relationship great. Like it's an ongoing partnership and always try to vet whether a client thinks that this is a quick expense, a little quick shot in the arm.
Uh, Sally, what do you mean? Where can I go to find seasoned pitching pros? Oh, you mean freelancers this group, talk to people in this group. Um, so it depends Ashley, she's saying $2,500 for six months. It depends. Um, uh, where you, um, so, oh gosh, there's so many good questions. Let me answer some of these at the end. Um, so it depends Ashley 2,500 for six months. If you are just getting started, start there. If it's for a limited time, uh, like you just want to get your foot in the door, you can say three months, and then it goes up to your normal rate, which is offered as like an introductory discount for three months with a minimum commitment of six months and the rate increases. And that gives you an opportunity to get your foot in the door and start generating momentum.
Um, you know, I would, um, start with a lower rate if you are just getting started for a limited amount of time so that people feel like the commitment is low. Yeah. Um, in England posted in the group, you might find, we do have some members in the UK. Um, and then how does it work tax wise in the U S if they're independent contractors, you 10 99 then, so you don't, you don't withhold any money. You pay them directly, you submit a 10 99 for them and you get their w nine, you submit a 10 99 and then they can submit their own taxes on their own, pay their taxes. Sometimes for new contractors, you have to tell them, you have to put money aside to pay your taxes because it's not coming out of your paycheck, but they also get the benefit of writing off a ton of expenses. Yes. 10 99 is the form for tax purposes for contractors. Um, and some of your clients will issue you a 10 99. It's an incentive W2 as a, um, we have to pay like 50%. Where are you located Sabrina?
Yeah. So, um, and then in some states, if you have a contractor in that state, you may have to file a business license. Belgium. Interesting. Yes. 10 99 is like an IRS us IRS tax form. Um, we don't pay, you know, we're paying a lot of taxes on income and everything, but 10 99 contractors serve as an expense that comes off the top of your revenue. Um, yeah. Okay, cool. Um, okay. So six months retainer. I like to approach every single relationship that I talk to perspective clients. Like they are going to be an ongoing partnership. I don't want people coming in for a quick shot in the arm. They just think it's a quick expense, just like let's PR. And I hate when people say that we're just going to PR it. It's not going to work. Like we will tell them we are looking for ongoing partnerships.
Our clients have the best results when we build momentum. And we expand on that momentum. That's the goal is to keep these relationships ongoing. You don't want to be looking for clients all the time. One of the pillars I teach inside the agency accelerator, there's four. And I'll talk about them on the path to profitability training series. You guys should all sign up for it. It's super duper good coming up in a few weeks, but, um, I'm going to post it here, sign up. It's rad. Um, but one of the pillars is sales and it's all about getting consistent, predictable, recurring retainer revenue. You can't be searching for new clients all the time when one leaves, because they're going to leave at six months and you're constantly on a hamster wheel. Okay. So blah, blah, blah. Where'd I go here? Uh, there we go. You want to have them renew?
Uh, Nelson was just able to get one of his clients to renew for a higher rate and gave them a year. Never take anything less than six months. My client just renewed last night after seeing the results from six months. Absolutely. And what you tell them is that his six months minimum is generating interest leads, momentum runway. You can see things start to come to fruition it around that period of time that you will see shortly stuff placed already, and you will start to see some long lead features rolling in. And sometimes you can justify a whole year, um, emphasize the importance of this continuing partnership and not having interruptions and your services. Um, so Sabrina is saying not every client will generate continuous media coverage. When we are on retainer. It is our job to find the angles, to keep the brand relevant at all times.
And the, I have them in the eyes of the media. So even if it's not a product launch, even if it's not a brand launch, even if they have nothing new, we still need to come up with interesting stories, angles, seasonal trends, um, is the retainer for six month, a monthly fee. Yes, monthly retainer, six months. And you build on the first Ashley you bill on the first of the month for that month. So you get paid September one, you invoice September one for September, because we get paid in advance of services regardless of results. And I know that sounds crazy, but that is an industry standard. And you can tell your clients that that's how it's done. That's I promise you, you don't feel after the fact you bill, first of the month for that month industry standard, um, and Sabrina, it's our job as the spokesperson for the brand to generate interesting angles.
And if you haven't checked out the pitch lab, that's what we, yeah. Jen, it does not sound crazy. Yeah. For anybody that's new to it. They're like, wait, what? Um, and the reason that we can do that is because you get results or you get kicked to the curb. So your reputation will catch up with you if you're not getting results and clients are leaving. Um, but in the, um, pitch lab, Sabrina, we give out these monthly execution plans, um, monthly execution plans with constant ideas that are timely and relevant for long and short leads that you should be focusing on at that time. And she saying yes, but that's why I would suggest to keep some brands on a project basis, because I don't want to be a, I don't want to force a feature when I've done all I can for a brand.
Sometimes you've done all you can and that's that. And we just let a client go for that reason. Um, but for the ones that are most of our, um, opportunities coming to our agency, our established brands, maybe they don't have a product launch all the time, but there's something that we can tie them into at any given time, the founders, the S the trends, the seasons, the, you know, times of year or relevant topics. So we're, we don't do projects because it's so limited and there tends to be scope creep. So we don't want to get ourselves in a situation where we're doing more for less money. So I do understand that there's sometimes reasons to let clients go. Um, we also just fired a client because of bad behavior, and they were treating my, they were kind of abusive to my team and I won't stand for that.
Um, but for the most part, we look at everything as ongoing, and we want our clients to roll over and we just find new ways to talk about them. And if it's a dud, we usually know in advance, like we can usually be like, ah, this is going to be hard. And we'll say, we'll give it a shot and see what happens, but it's all about setting those expectations and then giving the client and out, or giving yourself an out for sure. Um, yeah, you don't want to keep having to look for new clients all the time. You can also mention potential rate increases and how with a year long contracts. Now we're talking about what you could say to get a year long contract is your clients will be grandfathered in at your original rate. Um, so there's incentive Adrian. Hi, nice to see you.
She says abusive clients are the worst. Had to fire one earlier this year, too. Good for you. Good for you for standing up for the way that you deserve to be treated and realizing that getting paid does not allow a client to be crappy to you and to treat you poorly or your team it's unacceptable. It's unacceptable. You do not have to like want to be, um, you know, want to be like abused and just kowtow to everything the client wants. Christine said I had to fire a client because his ex wife would call vendors and media. After my client goes on TV, that's very white. Weird. What, what client's ex-wife followed me home with a gun. Okay. That's a new one for me to hear. That's that? Sorry. That's crazy. Oh my God. Thank God. Nothing happened. That's insane. Okay. That's an extreme example for sure.
But yeah, you don't have to stay on board with something, um, try to get a restraining order. Wow. That's insane. Um, so listen, if you guys want to go after the, um, the, we always do six months. If you want to go after a year, you can say that you really want the momentum, that a lot of things are gonna start to build. Um, and you need the continuing partnership and not have interruptions in your services. And you can then also mention that the potential rate could increase at six months, but for a year they're locked in. And, you know, maybe as a courtesy you'll, you'll grandfather them in at that rate. Um, because they're committing for a long time and that's, that's a benefit, right? So, um, and then you want to bill monthly for your retainer services, no matter the length of the contract.
So again, you bill on the first of the month upfront, before starting your services, that's to protect yourself and monthly invoicing will protect your cashflow and sustain your business. Um, one of the other things I'll point out is that my team gets paid, whether I get paid or not. So you have to pay your people. You have to pay your bills, obviously. So that requires obviously vetting clients that you believe will be paying you, and also being brave enough to stop work when you do not get paid and using that stopping and starting, losing momentum as an opportunity to tell the client that they need to pay, or the work is going to cease, and they will be missing opportunities that you've worked so hard to build. Um, you cannot let it go more than a month without getting paid. It's, you know, very hard to Sue and recover.
Um, it's very hard. Um, I don't know for there's a lot of new people here. I'm an attorney, that's my background. Um, and I would just not want to get involved. I did have to Sue somebody once it was small claims court. And I, you know, wasn't even able to get her through collections because, and I had a judgment and it was in another state and they were like, she declared bankruptcy and that's just like, get in line. So sometimes it's just not worth it. So you have to stop work. You need to make sure you're paying your team and you can't go deep into a hole because you let it go on too long. Okay. Um, and Sally says, yes, the work will stop without getting paid, uh, when you're, when you're not paid. Yeah. Um, okay. Make sure how to make sure your current retainers are profitable. Oh, Christine, that is painful. She says $10,000 not paid. Ugh, painful. You can't let it go on too long.
Everyone who's on here. 16 of you. That's a lot, people like this topic. Hi. Um, thanks for sticking with me, even though I'm kind of like squirrel, I'm like in a million directions today, um, promise me that you will stop the work or give them a warning in a very friendly way that you're going to stop work and lose momentum and lose opportunities unless the invoice gets paid. Um, because I can't have you go into a whole like Christine dead for $10,000 and she had a team, you know, you got to pay those people. Um, uh, yeah. And if you give an inch, they take a mile. Yes, Adrian. Absolutely. Um, Natasha and I were just talking about that today about something else, but yeah, totally. That's just always how it is, um, how to make sure your current retainers are profit, profitable and scalable.
If you have already set rates for your retainers, there's a chance that they are not high enough or scalable. And you heard Jane at the top of the call say, after being in the agency accelerator, this is me trying to be the emoji that it's like, she raised her rates a thousand dollars. Um, and you guys should listen to my, listen to my podcast. I'm so proud of it. Um, I'm gonna put a link here, listen to this episode. It's 20 minutes long. It's Aaron Carey. She is traveling the world on a yacht running her PR agency. And when she came to us a year ago, her rates, oh, the podcast was epic. Wasn't it so good. It was so good. Sally rate my podcast. If you like, what you hear, click that link and just please rate it because then more people can find us, but in anyone on here, I would love it.
It's a way to really support my men. My mentor told me about your podcast. Who's your mentor? Tell me Ashley. That's so cool. Yeah, please do it helps me. Um, it's a very nice freeway to support a business or an entrepreneur you believe in, always think about writing their podcast. Um, Ashley, who that's so cool. It was so good. Hi Kelly. Yeah, it was so great. Oh my God. Oh, the podcast. Oh, Reagan. Awesome. Oh, she's she's awesome. That's so wonderful. I am going to like that. I appreciate that. She did that. Um, hi. Niasha we were just talking about you yesterday. Um, oh, you did. Okay, cool. Awesome. Uses subscribed a little bit ago. Um, I was saying, I haven't seen your face around here in a while, and I'm so glad that you're here, uh, Miranda and I were chatting about you. So, um, yes, listen to that podcast.
It is so, so good. And Aaron said that her rates were embarrassingly shockingly low. She had to go back and reconsider it. Um, and she's getting amazing results and she has such a specialized niche. Like she kind of can write her own ticket there. So if you'd raise your rates, um, uh, okay. Yeah, this is my next point. But if you raise your rates, you will have more opportunity to bring on a team to leverage, um, popping back in. Awesome. Okay. And another question we get asked all the time. Should you discount your retainers? And one of the biggest pricing problems I see, even with established PR pros is that we tend to set our retainer rates a little lower, or we offer discounts to seal the deal with the client.
Raise your hand, give me a comment. If you have done that at any point, I'll raise my hand. I have done that and I still do on rare occasion and there's reasons why Nelson. I am moving up from six. I don't know what's going on to 7,000 a month for new clients. I was able to reassign a current client at seven K based on that success. No fear asking for it. Yes. Give it up for Nelson. Natasha's done it. Shaundra Kelly. Jen, we've all done it. Um, no. Well, Ashley, some instances we talk about that in agency accelerator. I do feel it might make sense, but not for these reasons. Fear of losing the clients.
Um, you know, thinking that you're gonna, like, if you price your services and then you discount it, but you don't take any services away. It seems very arbitrary to the client. Sometimes we'll add in, oh my God, Christine. That's. That's why you're here. Sign up for a path to profitability. That's why you're here. I teach all of this stuff. I know it's right here. I don't know what's going on with me. I hope I don't have like COVID or something. This is like, oh my God, no, it's at my kid's school, but not in it. Wasn't his class last week, but they all tested and they all tested negative except for like the girls that were quarantining. And my son never even saw them. It was the first day of school. Um, yeah, no, and I don't go anywhere. [inaudible]
Jane said, I didn't really raise my rates. I take whatever I think they can pay or say they can pay and add at least a thousand dollars to that. Then if they want a discount, I give them 10% discount for upfront or quarterly or for upfront quarterly payment. I don't have to bill every month and I don't have to worry about being paid. They feel good that they got a discount. I feel good that I'm paid. Yeah. That's a, um, a great like strategy to get paid up front. Um, you know, and Jane and I have both had experiences with larger companies that have different payment terms than your payment terms like net 90, because they're huge billion dollar publicly traded companies. And it's a risk because you are not getting paid upfront, but the prestigious higher, the retainers higher. So it's scary. Um, but just know that that sometimes happens. There's different terms with bigger clients. Um, but the rates are higher and all of that net 90 sucks. And we've talked about that. Yeah. It's really just a bummer, um, to have to, you know, wait that long and then if they don't pay on time to have to like go after it, it's very sorry.
Her terms are 10 days, 10 business days or 10 days, whatever. But, um, clients usually set it up and just direct deposit. Um, if they do a credit card, I asked them to do the payment. Most of them don't anymore of it. I don't want to pay 3%. Think about that. That's 3% of your income. I don't want to pay 3%. I already pay enough in taxes. So I'd rather get a check check. It's like, sounds like an lady, or I want the money just in my bank account and they can do that for free ACH transfer. Um, so you're going to avoid giving discounts and like Jane does, once you've set your retainer rates and Nelson, who just said, you need to be confident in them. You're the one in charge of your business. You guys, yeah. Natasha net seven, you are the one in charge of your business. You get to decide how you run your business and what it's going to cost to work with.
So you're the expert. That's why when you niche down, you become more valuable. Don't negotiate, don't negotiate. There are instances where it makes sense when it's a client you're desperate to work with. Like, you love it so much. It's going, it's like you want to get into a certain niche and they would be the perfect client to veer you in that direction. Um, it's going to build your reputation, your portfolio make you look super, super good. Um, you know, and find out their budget because you may discount your services without even knowing how much their budget is, um, find out and you may not have to discount your services. They might just be so excited to work with you because you're awesome. And you won't have to, but if there is one that you want to ensure that the price, isn't the thing that keeps them from working with you, if you're the right fit and they love you and you love them, figure it out.
You need to figure it out. Maybe cut services. I hate saying that. Cause I like to just be kind of all inclusive for earned media, um, P you know, PR outreach, but cut services, or let them know that maybe reporting our calls, aren't going to be as, um, you know, frequent something to get the possibility of working with them, but be confident in your pricing. When you have a niche, you're going to be worth, whatever you charge based on the value you bring. Um, you're the expert. Don't negotiate. Keep that in mind, once you've set your rates, be confident in them because you are in charge of your business. There's somebody that is posted in the profitable PR pros Facebook group, about like a token or point system for earned media, which is like a very, very old school way to do it. And it's stupid.
And I just hate it. And it's dumb. And the answer that I would give that client is that's not how we do it. That's not how we run, how I run my business. No one gets to tell you how you run your business, how you get your results, what goes into it, that's for you to decide, okay. Um, it's important that you know, your worth and your be selective about who you work with. You need to charge what you're worth in order to grow and scale your agency. And that's one of the very first things that you need to do. Um, and Jane is saying never forget the pain in the premium. Yeah. There's always a Pete attacks. We call it. Yeah. If somebody in the sales process is a total nightmare, they will be more of a total nightmare. When you work with them, keep that in mind, they don't get like magically better.
Um, and you can price it extremely high. And that way, if they go for it, you know, because then you're not saying no, and you're kind of positioning yourself as a premium option. Um, and that way, if they go for it, you have some money to pay some people to deal with their BS, honestly. Yeah. And there's, you know, a pain in the premium, Ashley, she says, does the course mention for recent PR graduates help determine your niche? My course is not for recent PR graduates. Anyone can benefit them no matter where they are in your PR journey. Um, I have a really wonderful course called lead to landed super affordable. It's I think it's under $50. We talk all about niching down in that course that is designed to help you find your very first clients. Um, it's really good. It's quick. Um, very, very good.
So if I can walk and talk at the same time here, let me see if I can pull it up for you, Ashley. Um, but it's very good. I'm not, I'm not doing a good job here. Okay. I could probably put around, um, yeah. So Nelson saying don't ever be afraid to charge what you're worth. We are valuable and clients need us. Don't ever forget that. Yes. What we do is a highly sought after skill. It's like a highly sought after skill that not everybody knows how to do. Um, oh, Sean, tra I saw you bought it. You bought it like today, right? She said just bought it and love it already. Um, here it is for you, Ashley, check it out. It's literally like a no-brainer I that's what we did. We do. We want people to come into our world and get familiar with the quality of our products and content and my teaching style.
And, you know, so there it is. Um, yeah. Check into that. You'll you'll like it. Um, and Sally, is it in your folder? I don't know, but if you want it, just tell me, um, it should maybe should be, but if not, we'll add it for you. Obviously. Sally's an all-star you guys, she's an all-star around here. She like literally has bought everything we've ever put together, so, okay. Let me just get through my notes here. Um, okay. You should only make exceptions when something is really aligned with the direction that you want to take your company in the niches. You want to really make a name for yourself, or if the client can really beef up your portfolio, give you a killer case, study testimonial and PR results. Like if this will allow you access to top tier outlets, you know, made in your niche, consider that.
And if you want to give a discount to incentivize, it can be a good strategy, but you want to build a discount into your price so that there is a cushion. Um, I love Jane's strategy for building in additional cushion and then offering a discount if they pay in advance, um, or they get locked in for a longer contract. Um, if you're doing discounts, make sure you still have a consistent monthly fee. Okay? So what I want you to avoid here is pricing that undercuts the value of your service. That would be like sign up for a year and pay for 11 months and you get the 12th for free. You never want to be like, get it for free it's instead you're offering a percentage off of your per month for longer retainers. So you give a discount. If someone books a year retainer instead of a six month retainer, and that is spread out equally every month.
I don't want you to like, have to have a month where there's nothing coming in to me, this is just common sense, but it needs to be mentioned. Um, and then this was a, this was a question that came up in our community and, you know, we have the best community anywhere for PR pros, online, helpful, best community. Um, it's called, um, profitable PR pros. If you guys are not in there, check it out. So the advice that they gave on offering discounts, Tamryn topian who is fantastic. She's a member of our programs. She said, I only discount for three reasons. One they're paying everything upfront and I give them a three to 5% break. Two, they're bringing me multiple projects. Yes. We have talked about that. We did a live about that maybe a month ago. Um, three they've referred me out and that landed me a new client.
And in that case, they will give, they will get a small referral fee off of their next month's retainer. Um, Nelson is saying, and it's not a good idea to give discounts. The reason is that clients will then expect you to keep giving it to them. And that is not what you want to do. And there is the risk of looking like you're a budget option. Um, but there is a way to do it. Like how Jane does it, where she says, I give a 10%, 10% discount. If they pay upfront quarterly, that's a great way to do it. Um, because it's tied to the, um, you know, prepayment revenue. It's just tied to that decision to pay early, not to the level of service or the fact that she offered something higher and then just agreed to discount it for no reason other than she wanted the client.
Um, uh, bill Byrne. Who's also very active in our group, but I don't know that he ever comes on lives, but he said discount a yearly retainer if they pay upfront, but not more than 5%, which seems really aligned with what Jane and tamarin are doing. And then carry what said offer the same price, no discount, but do an extra something to get them to commit to 12 months like an extra mini campaign or something that won't take too long, but has huge value to the client depending on what they want or need, um, like, uh, create social posts for a few weeks or design a press kit PDF, create their website, press area, et cetera. Yeah. So that's offering an additional value, add as an incentive to sign and commit for a year. Um, it's like a gift with purchase or something, right? Um, yeah.
So there's so much that goes into pricing your retainers, um, yesterday or today, yesterday on our coaching call. Um, Layla penny said that she, when she was first starting out, gave three rates for three options and let the client choose. And she that's like price juxtaposition. That's putting your desired price in the middle, giving them a high price option that seems pie in the sky and sane and getting a low priced option that just really doesn't get the job done and being very clear that it's just like not going to yield the results they want and then yours in the middle, which is what you really want to make. Looks like a very attractive option. So that's how she was doing it in the beginning. And she ended up getting a client that shows the pie in the sky option. You never know. You just never know Kelly, my awesome, awesome Kelly, who I love so very much.
I love these ideas. I'm getting ready to renegotiate my six month contracts. Boom, baby, go get it. Kelly's a star student. You guys she's in all our programs. Mother of five. Are you mama five or is it six and shows up, puts in the work, thinks creatively problem solves for her clients. It's really like mind blowing to me. And Kelly has special needs kids. Like my son is on the spectrum. Seven literally like blew me back. Oh my God, Kelly. I knew it was a lot of kids to me. Like three is a lot said in children. You're a mazing. You are amazing. Amazing, amazing. Um, we have to get you on the podcast. Have you, um, filled out the application yet, please reach out to Miranda.
Seven kids and Nelson is offering to help you. What an awesome community. You guys. Okay. I think I need to run. I have a call at noon. I don't know how I'm going to do it. Prospective new business call a little outside of my niche, but a really cool brand. Um, there is work out there. There's a lot of work out there. Um, but anyone who is not reminded me. Okay. Oh yeah. Yeah. Just do quick. Doesn't have to be. We're going to talk. Don't worry about it. Okay. Just quickly fill out the form. Okay. Awesome. Sally, I'd love to, I'd love to talk with you.
You guys, there is this video series coming up. I will not be like this. Um, and if you want to feel confident in working with your dream clients, we're going to talk about how to do that. Setting your rates so that you attract your dream clients, building a profitable agency that you love, that you're obsessed with. I've been doing this 16 years. I'm obsessed with my business. I love my business. Make sure that you sign up for this free live path to profitability training series happening soon. Um, it is, I need a shot of whiskey. Somebody delivered like a very fancy bottle of tequila. It's like a white and blue with a silver top. And it's like a, do I have a coupon code for rent the runway still? Oh, you must have my, um, try it. Yeah, it should work. Try it. I don't know.
It's been awhile. Um, I'm not doing rent the runway anymore because I don't go anywhere. I'm still on the campaign trail. Oh, you need outfits. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wow. Um, no wonder you had someone chase you with a gun you're in politics. Kidding. Um, I understand now why the retainers are hired to cover the folks we hire. Yes, absolutely. Yup. You have to have margin to execute these services. Okay. That's how you scale your business. Um, sign up, get on the path to profitability. I have a framework that I teach. It's so good. It's a four pillar framework that will take you into your agency and you'll understand how to run it where you're not on a hamster wheel. It's geared towards creating consistent, predictable, recurring retainer revenue. And we give you everything you need. Um, in our program, uh, I just did Sabrina for the, um, I posted the link for the path to profitability. Oh, that's what you meant. Let me know if you need a link to anything else, but um, yeah, it's really good. And we give you resources. We just added new resources, Natasha shared with us. Um, some onboarding questionnaires. Um, what? Yes. That's what we got. Julia. Yeah. That's exactly what we got. Um, should I sit here? Right?
I don't know the rent, the runway code. I'm not sure. Um, the programs are 100% worth it. Sign up. Thank you, Kelly. But you have to do the work like Kelly does. You have to put in the work. There's a lot. There's so much. It's insane. We've been building these programs over years, but it's all searchable and it's all available. Yes. It's all available on an app on your phone. Um, everything we've ever done. Um, scroll it's in the comments, uh, Sabrina, um, email us [email protected] If you need help, that's Miranda. We'll get it to you or you can DM me. Okay. I want to make sure you see it. I don't know. Maybe it's blocked because you're in another country. I don't know. It's weird, but it's here. Should I? I should take the tequila shot for my throat Mac books. I don't have a Mac book. I have a 27 inch iMac. It's huge. It's beautiful. I love my screen. My family, they have, um, Mac books and the new ones are terrible. My husband hates it. He went back to his old computer. He does not like his new, um, Mac book. Um, but I have an iMac. I love it. And I have an iPhone and I was actually in an apple campaign.
Make sure they've worked out the kinks on the new devices because my husband got it right when it came out and it's totally buggy. Um, I was in an apple campaign for my, my business. I'm going to show you guys, um, why not? Uh, where is it? I agree with your husband. Yeah. Returned in a new one and hated it. But you got a better one. Um, hold on. Let's say, do you guys want to see it? It's really cool. Let me see if I can. Um, do you guys want to see it? I mean, just switched. Okay. Let's do it. Hey, wait, hold on one sec. Hold on YouTube. Well, hold on, hold on. Let me see if I can even get you guys on it. Okay. Hold on. Let's see. Oh geez. Why am I a hot mess? All of a sudden, where is the okay. Hopefully I can share go here. Oh, you're seeing it all. Okay. Ready?
My name is Jennifer Bersin and I'm the president of gentlemen. PR generation PR is a boutique public relations firm. We also specialize in marketing and we represent beauty fashion and lifestyle brands. A typical day for me starts with returning a lot of emails. I tend a lot of networking lunches, looking for new clients. I'm really on the go. When I first saw the iPhone, it was kind of love. At first sight. I purchased my iPhone and have been using it everyday in my business. Ever since the iPhone is just the coolest piece of technology that I've ever owned. It is so, and it just works well. Everything that I need it to do, it just does. And it's beautiful. The quality of the images on the screen is just exactly what I'm looking for for my business. I proved a lot of different things on my phone when I'm on the go, whether it's a press plan or a marketing piece, and I could see what the colors are going to look like, and the PDF's always open.
And I know exactly what it's been to print, like discovering the app store on my iPhone really sold the phone to me. You hear about an app, you're talking to a friend and boom, you just touch the phone. And there it is. You're you're you own it. That app is yours as a small business owner. I'm always looking to keep my costs low, keep my overhead low for my business and the iPhone. It really isn't affordable technology that really does everything I needed to do. My iPhone actually serves as my laptop. I don't travel with the laptop. I have my Mac mail, my calendar, my address book, all of my music with me. I had the web in my hand and it looks how it looks on the computer by phone is honestly the best $200 I've ever spent. And when I phone for two minutes, I would suggest to any small business owner that they should have an iPhone. My iPhone is my secret weapon and it really helps me stay connected and be an effective communicator and a reliable source. And that's what it's all about. It is the most powerful smartphone that you can have. The sky's the limit with this device. I can make it anything I needed to be.
Okay. Wait, let me see. Hold on. I think this is going to hold on. How do I get this to go? Okay, cool. Um, it's going to start talking to us. Yes. The iPhone was $200. So you guys, this is a long time ago. So that sat on the, um, on the apple website for, uh, no, I did not get paid for this. No. Um, I didn't even get to keep the phone. It was like a prop for a new phone. I didn't even get to keep it. It was awesome. They followed me around the city for like two days. Um, and oh, it was just honestly, one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me. Um, it sat on the, uh, apple website for about five years. Um, and there was other companies like Nike, Nestle, um, like a major healthcare company and, and little me isn't that cool.
So, yeah, that was really cool. Um, and it's on my website still, so, um, and now iPhones are $1,500 back then. It was 200. Uh, okay guys. Um, thank you so much for being here. Um, I know we went over and I have a weird cough. I think it's okay. A dry cough, but um, this topic is so important. You have to price your services the right way. Um, what year was that? Um, it was maybe 2009. I wasn't even a mom yet and I wasn't pregnant. So it was probably like 2009. Um, cause my son is, was born in 2010. Oh Christine. Awesome. She said I'm so glad I came. I'm so happy that you came to welcome. This is rad community. Um, I try to come on and just give as much value as possible. Our paid programs are so good. I cannot tell you how much effort is put into making them awesome.
And I would not put my name on anything that wasn't exceptional. Um, and I just wished that I had something like my programs when I started my own business, it would have just made me way more money, way faster. So welcome Christine. I'm so glad you're here. Um, check out, you know, check out what we have to offer and definitely sign up for the path to profitability training series because it's going to be super duper, duper, duper good. An extra deeper in there. Really good. Okay guys, have a great day and I will see you soon. Bye.