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Consultants are experts in their respective fields who provide advice to companies or individuals. Over the past two decades, consultants have become more sought after by big businesses. In the mid-to-late 1990s, consulting was a $10 billion-plus industry. Since then, it’s only gotten bigger. Consultants help companies chart their course, adapt to new technology, and understand how to get the best results from their marketing strategies.

To start a successful consultancy, people need to have expertise. Becoming a consultant is an excellent way for experts to control their income and the number of hours they work. Consulting can also be a way for retirees to continue earning money. However, because consulting is so attractive, it’s also a crowded field. That means that people who want to become consultants need to find a way to set themselves apart from the crowd.

Sometimes, people go into consulting and expect that they’ll make it based on their connections. And often, the first client or two will come from referrals. Some consultants even find themselves working with their former employers on projects. But to thrive as a consultant, it’s crucial to niche down. Potential clients will be looking for very specific services from a consultant. That means consultants need to be clear about exactly what they do. They can’t market themselves as generalists and be successful.

To understand this, take the client’s point of view. If they’re looking for someone to help bring their ROI for marketing to the next level, they want to see evidence of real expertise. They’re more likely to talk to someone specializing in marketing than someone who does a little marketing, a little fund-raising, and a little recruiting. Specificity is key when marketing consulting services.

In determining what kind of consultancy to open, look at what the market is asking for. Business writing, advertising, and accounting are some of the most in-demand fields for consultants. Some more unexpected areas, like landscaping, are also ripe for consultants right now. Almost everyone has interests and experience that can be spun into a consulting business. It’s all in the way entrepreneurs think about themselves. Mindset is key for consulting.