I've talked to dozens of aspiring consultants and freelancers who delay, hesitate, and sometimes never start their business because they believe they have to be an expert to be a consultant or freelancer.


You do NOT need to be an expert to have a profitable consulting or freelance business.

This isn't a scam, and I'm not telling you to misrepresent yourself to clients. On the contrary: you should always be honest and act with integrity in your business--that's how you build a sustainable, profitable business.

But, you don't need to be an expert.

There's actually a 2-part secret to creating a profitable consulting or freelance business, BUT expertise is NOT part of the secret. I'll get to the secret in just a minute, but first wanted to highlight my own experience as an example to show you what I mean.

I've seen this formula work for dozens of successful consultants, and it's worked for me as well. Since I started my consulting business several years ago, I've QUADRUPLED my former salary, have been able to quit my day job, and have more financial security, flexibility, and freedom than I've had at any "real" job.

But I'm not an expert.

Let me tell you what I mean. I work as a consultant with law firms, helping them manage their data for their business. A lot of the work I do is technical, and I deal with a lot of accounting-related issues. But, I'm not an accountant or attorney, and don't have a degree in computer science or even business. (My degrees are actually in psychology and, um, recreation. Yes, recreation--there really is such a thing.)

However, my clients pay me upwards of $175/hour for my services.

How can I charge over $175/hour and routinely earn over $100k annually--even though I'm not an expert in law, accounting, computer programming, or business?

Well, here's the 2-part secret: To create a successful consulting or freelance business, you need to (1) be in a profitable niche, and (2) provide exceptional value to your clients.

It's deceptively simple, but it works.

Let's talk about the first piece: being in a profitable niche. A niche is simply a small, specialized market. So, you want to identify a niche where people are willing to pay for something you can help with. In my case, I work mostly with mid-sized law firms, and many--though not all--of them are quite profitable. Another key criterion for a good niche is that your potential customers must be willing to pay for your services. If a niche has neither the money or the desire to part with it, then move on.

Now for the second piece: provide exception value. In virtually every instance, this means solving the client's biggest problems. Often, those problems are focused on increasing revenue, increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and ensuring regulatory compliance (which keeps them in business). If you can target those key areas and solve your clients' biggest problems in those areas, you can create a profitable consulting business--no matter what your background.

The bottom line: people will be happy to pay you to make their problems go away. But remember: you do NOT have to be an expert to create value and build a profitable business.

To find out more, you can check out the short video where I talk about the details:

Author's Bio: 

Greg Miliates started his consulting business in 2007, QUADRUPLED his former day-job salary, and ditched his day job along the way.

His blog (www.StartMyConsultingBusiness.com) gives specific tactics, strategies, and tools for starting and running a successful consulting business on the cheap.