Dr. J.J. Peterson - Building A Business Beyond Hourly Billing

Dr. JJ Peterson, head of StoryBrand, joined me on Ditching Hourly to explain why he says, “You can't build a business on hourly billing.” JJ emphasizes the importance of value pricing and project-based billing for delivering results and customer satisfaction. He offers advice on storytelling and differentiation, finding your target audience, and building an email list for lead nurturing.

Talking Points
  • Building value-add strategies is crucial to satisfying your customers
  • Professional pricing is focused on value for each project, not solely billable hours
  • Value pricing involves reverse engineering and scoping based on different budgets
  • Productized services can help predict income and make services profitable over time
  • Storytelling is a powerful tool for making sense of information and engaging customers
  • Mailing lists and podcasts can increase awareness and trust
  • Find platforms where your target audience hangs out and offer value before selling
Quotable Quotes
  • 07:16 “Showing clients what kind of return they're going to get is a huge way to position yourself as value in the field.”
  • 22:00 “Story takes a bunch of information that's out there and puts it all in a form that makes sense to somebody.”
  • 29:00 “It's not about you, it's about what your skills and experience do to solve their problem.”
  • 35:28 “Clarify your message first. Figure out what your messaging is gonna be before you do spend money on anything, creating anything else.”
  • 37:33 “You wanna be on those stages. Then the second part about that is once you figure out where you wanna be, you wanna go into those places, and you wanna add a ton of value, don't wanna actually go in and sell.”
  • 39:25 “Building your audience with free stuff and then charge quote unquote for the next level, which is to get your email address.”
  • 47:07 “What you bring to businesses and the problems that you solve and the value that you bring is huge. So don't sell yourself short.”
J.J.'s Bio

Dr. J.J. Peterson has used the StoryBrand Framework to help thousands of organizations clarify their message in order to grow their business. He teaches leaders how to leverage the power of story in marketing and messaging to get results through his Marketing Made Simple Podcast. J.J. holds a Ph.D. in Communication and has spent the last 20 years practicing and teaching communication theory. He has studied C.S. Lewis in Oxford, debated theology with filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival, directed a documentary, served in marketing and PR for two multinational non-profit organizations, is currently an adjunct professor at the Owen School of Business at Vanderbilt University, and has spoken to thousands of people about creating a clear message. As the Head of StoryBrand, J.J. travels around the world facilitating StoryBrand workshops and keynotes, helping people grow their businesses.

J.J.'s Links


Do you have questions about how to improve your business?

Things like:
  • Value pricing your work instead of billing for your time?
  • Positioning yourself as the go-to person in your space?
  • Productizing your services so you never have to have another awkward sales call or spend hours writing another custom proposal?
Book a one-on-one coaching call with me and get answers to these questions and others in the time it takes to get ready for work in the morning.

Best of all, you're covered by my 100% satisfaction guarantee. If at the end of the call, you don't feel like it was worth it, just say the word, and I'll refund your purchase in full.

To book your one-on-one coaching call, go to:


I hope to see you there!

Creators and Guests

Jonathan Stark
Jonathan Stark
The Ditching Hourly Guy • For freelancers, consultants, and other experts who want to make more and work less w/o hiring
J.J. Peterson
J.J. Peterson
Most companies struggle to talk about what they do. At StoryBrand we've created a story framework to help people clarify their message so their business grows
Dr. J.J. Peterson - Building A Business Beyond Hourly Billing
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