Building a Sustainable Agency Business: The Power of Post-Project Reviews for Recurring Revenue

Building a Sustainable Agency Business: The Power of Post-Project Reviews for Recurring Revenue

What is the average lifespan of your client agreements?

If your typical client relationship is a one-and-done arrangement, you’re missing out on easy revenue for your business.

Many creative agency owners make the mistake of prioritizing accumulating a larger quantity of clients instead of maximizing the quality of their current relationships. When a project finishes, they shift their focus to finding their next client and fail to see the opportunity right in front of them. 

Instead of entertaining the constant grind of finding and forming relationships with new clients, consider the new goals your clients will develop after your initial project finishes. Chances are, their business won’t stop after they work with you, leaving a plethora of new opportunities you could be taking advantage of. 

Why You Should Care About Recurring Revenue

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It’s common to feel like you don’t have enough leverage with potential clients to negotiate long-term projects, especially in the early stages of your agency. In fear of over-pitching (and overwhelming) the prospect into a “no,” you pitch lower-risk project-based agreements instead. 


While using a project-based pricing model can produce satisfactory short-term results, it will become increasingly difficult to scale your agency with these types of contracts. When you charge your client a flat fee for each project or campaign you complete, it’s impossible to make more revenue without also taking on more work. 


As enticing as “easier” revenue may seem, the project-based pricing model presents potential risks like:

  • Spending time constantly sourcing and nurturing new clients to meet revenue goals that could be otherwise spent on other priorities.
  • Fluctuating revenue levels due to a fluctuating client roster.
  • Difficulty differentiating yourself from competitors who offer similar services and pricing.


Instead, aim to have as many clients as possible on a recurring-revenue agreement, where you are charging your clients a regular fee for ongoing services or products, such as monthly retainers, subscriptions, or maintenance plans. 


When you adopt a recurring-revenue model with your clients you can:

  • Increase forecasting accuracy thanks to more consistent revenue streams.
  • Service your clients more effectively when you build deeper relationships with your clients over longer periods.
  • Offer additional value and upsell opportunities to your clients, such as add-on services, training, or exclusive content.

Create a more stable, profitable business by using a recurring revenue model and working smarter, not harder.

Breaking Down the Post-Project Review

So how can you turn your current, project-based clients into future (ideally recurring) revenue? 

At the end of the project, take the time at the end of the project to review with your client their satisfaction with the results and inquire about new goals they now have. This gives you the opportunity to identify ways to help them get there, and uncover a new layer of potential work.


In this post-project review meeting with your client, you should:

  • Review the final delivery and discuss what went well and what did not.
  • Review the initial goals and objectives and assess if they were achieved.
  • Update the client on the progress made and the results achieved based on their initial goals.
  • Inquire about the client's future goals and challenges and strategize how you can help them.
  • Brainstorm new ideas and strategies to support the client's business objectives.

This meeting will prove to your client that you care about their success and satisfaction, and uncover potential new work opportunities (without having to spend time sourcing and onboarding a new client in their place). 

Remember, this meeting should not become a sales pitch. It’s your chance to listen, learn, and collaborate with your client to foster a long-term, successful partnership.

How to Avoid Making the Post-Project Review Meeting Too Salesy

Worried that you’ll come on too strong when inquiring about future work opportunities? 

To conduct a successful post-project review, remember these key tips to keep the meeting from sounding like a sales pitch :

  • Prepare an agenda and share it with your client beforehand so they know what to expect.
  • Follow the 80/20 rule and ask open-ended questions. Ensure you’re actively listening for 80% of the conversation.
  • Offer suggestions and solutions based on your expertise and experience, but don't oversell.
  • Be transparent about your pricing and deliverables for future work to avoid surprises or hidden costs.

Remember, the key to success is to keep the conversation goal-oriented and focus on how you can help achieve their new/future goals to build trust and credibility with your clients. You can promote positive relationships and open doors for future opportunities to work together just by scheduling a post-project review with your clients. 

When you shift your focus from the constant chase of new clients to nurturing the relationships you already have, you will save valuable time AND generate more revenue for your agency.


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