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A community for freelancers, consultants, and other independent professionals who want to make more and work less without hiring.

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“I’ve been mainlining Jonathan’s content since joining Ditcherville last month. The ability to search topics in Slack is so useful. I’m continually blown away by the quality of the content!!

Jon Heraty

Have you wasted months (or years!) stuck not making forward progress?

Your business is stuck. You feel like you’re on a hamster wheel. You’re working harder than ever but not getting ahead. You’re facing the same problems over and over again. You know you need to make a change but you’re paralyzed by uncertainty.

You’ve tried to educate yourself about how to get your business out of this rut. You’ve read all the articles. You’ve listened to all the podcasts. You’ve attended all the webinars. You’ve read a small mountain of business books – but you can’t figure out how to apply any of it to your business.

You are sure that hiring a business coach would get you unstuck, but you just don’t have the time or money to make that big an investment.

Never waste time being stuck again

Imagine being off the hamster wheel. Imagine working smarter, not harder. Imagine seeing those familiar old problems disappearing in the rear-view mirror. Imagine having the confidence to act decisively on growing your business. Imagine getting access to an expert business coach and an active community of like-minded business owners without a huge investment of time or money.

Welcome to Ditcherville

Jonathan Stark

Get the answers you need at a price you can afford by enrolling in my business coaching membership community.

When you join your colleagues in Ditcherville, you’ll get:

By popular demand, I added a private audio podcast feed of past group coaching live sessions so you can binge listen to the back catalog while walking the dog, washing the dishes, or whatever else you do while listening to podcasts :)

Ditcherville also includes a searchable library of all my email sequences, business templates, coaching questions, daily emails, and more.

Ready to get started?

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Join my group coaching program and get your burning questions answered.g

$295 /Quarter $695 /Year $995 lifetime

Don’t worry, there is absolutely no long-term obligation. You can cancel subscriptions at any time and your card will not be charged again.

Here’s what people are saying

From the #wins channel in the Ditcherville Slack:

  1. Both my value based clients from last quarter extended their engagements for the next quarter. Not that I am using hourly as a metric but if I look at the amount of time actually required to service the client compared to my previous highest hourly rate it’s over 10x the highest dollar per hour rate I have ever charged.
  2. Got my product ladder setup and lunched on my website starting with the free opensource scripts and videos, and pushing people towards the discord / group coaching then eventually to the full value based consulting engagements.
  3. Successfully set aside Mondays/Fridays for customer acquisition activities: Marketing, Authority Establishing, Cold Outreach. Was doing really well up until this week where my pup had to be hospitalized for 2 days, don’t worry he is doing well now.

Loving this community, Thanks everyone!

They signed off! :tada: But it was Option 1, not 2. However, I priced it such that it fits my availability and they can upgrade if they want so it’s still definitely a big win. It means I don’t have to dust off the resume yet

Two wins: An article I wrote is #5 on Hacker News right now. Second win: A founder I know both noticed and took a screenshot and sent it to me, otherwise I would never have known.

Sent a proposal today for a PURE consulting gig (with one report deliverable), also unrelated to my current positioning :sweat_smile: I give it a 50% chance of acceptance.

A milestone: I just won my first project where the lead came from my podcast! The lead was a guest speaker many months ago. Then we met in person a few months later (we would not have met if she wasn’t a guest). Now she referred me and we are working on a project together. It’s a fixed-price discovery project. A very healthy amount, and in Euros. Perhaps 6-8 weeks of work. :tada:

We just sold our first $5k/mo dev-as-a-subscription client (and we don’t even have our site updated). I had an inbound lead, explained how it works, and they said “send us the link to signup”

I’ve been thinking about and planning a daily list since December and I just pushed the button in ConvertKit to fire off my first welcome sequence tomorrow! Finally!

2 wins today:

  1. The first client that I got on a value based proposal just asked me to send over a proposal for a second engagement starting when the first one ends.
  2. My last hourly client has been informed that we will no longer be doing business hourly and have been presented with a proposal for a value based engagement. I am pretty certain they will bite, the question is how soon.

So pretty happy with that.

Per the daily emails, I just locked in my first advisory offering.

My new course has increased my monthly passive earnings by about 5X last month with only one week being live, and is on track to 10X my earnings this month. We are talking around $1k but that’s HUGE for me because 6 courses were only breaking $100-200 per month.

I just got my first major potential client outreach from a person who only knows me from the newsletter and podcast that I have been running for 6 months. Those are brand-new channels for me, and my list is still tiny. I had no idea who this person was, and they are not connected to me in any other way. It won’t be a major project any time soon, but this was unexpected proof that writing and speaking work.

Since starting in this group, I’ve converted an hourly client to monthly retainer, signed on another monthly retainer, and scaled back my remaining hourly client from 75% to 60% of my work time. Still have a ways to go, but the progress feels great! Thanks for all the helpful advice!

I’ve been sitting on the idea for five years to create a newsletter! I started a blog 15 years ago and it tanked. This iteration of TPS certainly put my solar system in place and I managed to post 71 articles in the last 76 days. Progress report below. It’s crazy good! And I’ve been sitting on ZERO for five years! Hands down, the most impactful change for me professionally in this year so far.

I typically work with recurring clients on retainers, so I’ve never had a chance to use JS’ three option proposal until now. My client went with the lowest option, but it’s still much more than what I would have charged in the past for quite a simple job for me. Even laying out the options helped me to gain a bit more clarity around how I could help the client, and I’m sure I can reuse a lot of it for future proposals too. :raised_hands:

Fam - Celebrate with me. I just published the 100th issue of my tech newsletter DINT!

Just finishing up my first paid proposal I don’t know why I ever did it any other way. To really get to the “meat” of what you need to do its a good bit of work, especially if you are evaluating previous work etc.

Just finished a half day workshop. The third time I’ve done this one. And the first time I’ve charged what I think is a fair price. 1500 EUR for 3 hours.

I got my first organic inbound lead!!!! :tada: After 9 months! It came in through a new community I joined filled with my ideal buyers :smile: Wait, what, I got a SECOND LEAD. This one actually had a first touch in my webinar back in February. They originally seemed to want to have a call then didn’t, went quiet, and now they seem to be ready again to have a call :hushed:

I hosted my first CFO Group Office Hours call this week expecting ~4 friends and family to come just to help me test the format/platform. Instead, 11 signed up, most attended, and ~5 more have messaged since saying they want to join the next one! :tada:

Similar to another recent Ditcherville resident, I had my eye on a potential guest for my podcast. This individual is definitely above my weight class, with 30k followers on LinkedIn and a previous TEDx speaker. I was planning to connect with him after reading his book, but 2 days ago he requested to connect with me! I jumped on the opportunity to ask him to be on my podcast and today he said, “yes”! :grin:

Win! We interviewed Seth Godin today without me sounding like a drooling super fan :wink: LOL

Okay, that last one was from me ;-)

Still have questions?

Got questions? Great! I’ve got answers:

When are the group sessions held?

Group sessions are held on Thursdays at 1pm ET (America/New_York timezone). If there is demand, additional sessions may be added at alternate times.

What if I’m in a different time zone?

I want to accommodate folks in all timezones, but I am not prepared to guarantee regular meetings outside of my normal working hours.

If there is a lot of demand for alternate times, I’m open to discussion with the community to see if we can work something out.

In the meantime, the best option if you can’t join live is to submit questions in advance and watch the recorded reply when it’s convenient.

How many people will be on each group session?

Not too many. If sessions get overcrowded I will happily add meeting times to accommodate demand. My intention is to keep meetings to 60 minutes or so.

Will all my questions get answered in the group session?

Yes. I’ll keep answering as long as it takes to get through everyone’s questions. If sessions are regularly going over 60 minutes, I’ll add sessions to accommodate demand.

Are group sessions private?

No. There will be many people joining you live on the session and many more will potentially view the recording later. If you need to share private information with me, my 1-on-1 coaching calls or private coaching program are better options.

How is group coaching in Ditcherville different from your private coaching program?

Group coaching is not private and you have to wait up to 2 weeks each time you are in need of my input. My coaching program is private, gives you unlimited 24/7 access to me via Slack, email, and phone, and requires a four month minimum commitment.

Is group coaching like 6 months and then starts over again?

No. This is a membership, like a gym (but for your business). It doesn’t have a start or end date.

Do you have a syllabus?

No. The format is unstructured Q&A and community discussion.

What kinds of questions can I ask?

You can ask anything you like. Here are some examples of from group coaching participants:

“I want to get completely away from project work and get into consulting (just like you). I’ve never had a consulting / advisory gig before but am very confident I would do well at it. What’s something I could do daily to reach that goal?”

“I’ve identified a potential target market that I want to provide consulting services to. They are essentially my competitors. What’s the best way to show my strengths while giving them confidence I won’t steal their business? (I’m a WordPress developer).”

“I’m having a tough time deciding on a target market. What things did you consider when deciding on credit unions for your market for mobile consulting? Any tips on choosing a market, other than just choosing something, reaching out to that group, and testing the waters? (I’m a Rails Dev / AWS engineer)”

“I get a ton of referrals from internet marketing / SEO companies. Is it feasible to find other internet marketing agencies who have a WP dev service who might build sites just to get the SEO business? If I can help them build better sites, they might be able to retain SEO clients longer.”

“Should I pick a vertical based on who I have connections to, or based on ideas I have about solutions I could provide to various industries?”

“I have an idea on how to turn my services into a product, but I don’t want to spend too much time working on it without knowing that other would buy it, I’m thinking of starting small, but struggling on a good approach, kind of open ended question.”

“I’m setting up a productized service. I have a flat rate price. What do you suggest on offering bulk discounts? For example - a 5 pack at 25% off each?”

“I noticed you exclusively offer productized services on your website (jonathanstark.com). Four questions: 1) Is that how you value price? 2) Don’t you feel like you leave money on the table in some cases? 3) Do you find these easiest to sell? 4) Do you ever do custom engagements? Thanks!”

“I’ve recently incorporated roadmapping services into our web development business and I’m curious what type of format/info you provide. If you have a sample or a template you wouldn’t mind sharing - even better :)”

“Many of my family, friends, and colleagues are not people who make decisions to purchase services such as I might offer. Will this limit the effectiveness of my “magic wand” interview with them?”

“I’m struggling with managing my time. I have a couple of ongoing hourly customers with lots of deadlines. Moving off of hourly feels like it is going to take a very long time. Any suggestions or tips on how to overcome this?”

“Do you find that there is really a minimum company size, whether it be head count or yearly revenue, necessary to offer our services, otherwise, it’s not worth the time and energy?”

“Is it possible to do retainers for implementation work without falling into the hourly trap again? Or should implementation work typically be value-based?”

“I have two target markets. One is $5-50mil+ companies looking for the equivalent of a digital marketing manager/advisor, and the other is small businesses who tend to DIY. Do you think it’s confusing if I target two very different markets like this?”

“Do you have ideas on switching existing clients to value pricing?”

“How do you respond to the ‘But what happens when you’re hit by a bus’ objection? Particularly when selling a large project with some amount of support required down the road.”

“What do you think is one or some of the best ways to get street cred for any given industry?”

I still have questions?

No problem! Please email your questions to me at jstark@jonathanstark.com and I’ll get you the answers your looking for.

Who wrote this page, anyway?

Hi! I’m Jonathan Stark and I was a software consultant for the better part of fifteen years. I’ve given sold out talks on three continents, I am the author of five books, and I have helped brands like Staples, Time, T-Mobile, and others with their software strategy, tactics, and training. (You can check out my press page for more info.)

Jonathan Stark

In my first year as a solo consultant, I doubled my income by ditching hourly billing for value pricing. I have over a decade of real-world experience successfully applying value-based theories to my own consulting work and that of 100+ business owners I have coached. These days I routinely command an effective hourly rate of $2000+ per hour.

The unconscious acceptance of hourly billing as the best and only option for selling services is a collective hallucination that literally keeps me up at night. In fact, I consider it my mission in life to rid the earth of hourly billing. Care to join me? You’ll be glad you did. 🙂

You’re running out of web page!

Don’t waste another day moving one inch in every direction. Join us in Ditcherville now:

$295 /Quarter $695 /Year $995 lifetime

Don’t worry, there is absolutely no long-term obligation. You can cancel subscriptions at any time and your card will not be charged again.