How to earn money on Upwork by using excel

How to earn money on Upwork by using excel

A brief description of Excel

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program for data visualization, analysis, and documentation. It uses columns, rows, and cells to accomplish the organization of data. It allows the use of functions and formulas to perform queries and update data. Excel was launched in 1985 by Microsoft to compete against Lotus 1-2-3, the leading spreadsheet program by then. Microsoft Excel is widely used across many businesses due to its versatility for handling financial and accounting data.

Read this article if you want to start offering your services as an excel specialist through Upwork. You’ll learn some tips on how to start winning projects and how to make your services profitable.

How difficult is it to learn Excel?

Excel being a difficult software to learn is a myth that you hear very often from people. Although extensive, Excel learning is not a difficult task, moreover if you’re good at numbers. Having said that, it’s a good idea to segment the learning of Excel in lessons from basic to advanced. By doing this, you’ll be able to scale up your knowledge by performing simpler tasks at first. Then, after a few months, you’ll master the software.

Is working as an Excel specialist worth it?

According to ZipRecruiter, the estimated annual pay for an Excel specialist in the US is around $47,500 per year on average. But it can go as high as $90,000 USD per year. This is very good if you consider that the job can be made as a part-time job.

Is Excel specialist a good job to be done as a freelancer?

If you are thinking of working as an Excel specialist, freelancing is a great way to start. This is for many reasons but the first of them is that you’ll have more options available. There are many people searching for freelancers that can help them with simple tasks such as data entry, or basic bookkeeping. You can also find more complex ones like market and financial analysis.

What jobs can you get by mastering Excel?

There are infinite job opportunities you can get by dominating Excel, most of them related to finance and accounting. Although you’d think you have to be very proficient in those disciplines, this is not always the case. Here are some of the jobs you can do by being skilled at Excel:

Data entry jobs

This is a very common job and can be performed by beginners. The tasks required involve the preparation of documents (physical or electronic) to transfer into Excel. The data have to be organized accordingly to the parameters the business or entity requires.

People management jobs

Another basic job that can be performed by using Excel. This job requires capturing the data from employees, customers, and providers. The data is usually related to contact information, salary, and payments.

Stock inventory management

Another very requested job for freelancers. It involves the entry of data related to business products such as the quantity, description, price, variants, and upsells. This job can be a little more complex if formulas are required for estimating shipping and discounts.

Administrative assistant

This job requires support in business management tasks such as financial reports, business operations analysis, people management, and performance reports. It involves the use of more complex functions and formulas related to statistics.

Project planning

There are many businesses and entrepreneurs that use Excel for project planning. The tasks required for these projects require data statistics, and calculations like market analysis, income estimation, and resource cost.

Is Upwork a good place to find Excel jobs?

Upwork is one of the best platforms for finding all types of freelance jobs. But Excel is one of the most required jobs. The reason for that is that many of the Excel jobs are short in time. This means that many people or businesses looking to get the job done need someone who can complete specific tasks fast without having to be hired as part of their business. This can be beneficial if you are planning to offer your services as a business: you’ll have the opportunity to offer your Excel services to various clients, some of which will be recurring. On the other hand, if you are hoping to get hired in long term, you also can find those jobs (although scarcer).

Upwork Tools

Upwork also offers some functions and utilities that make the job experience more pleasant for both clients and freelancers. For example, their job search is optimized so you can find jobs according to your experience, hourly rate, and location. This is great because you can narrow your job searches according to your job expectations. Also, Upwork has some mechanisms that ensure the payments. As a freelancer, you can track your working hours to save evidence of your work. As a client, you can agree on milestones and deliveries to make sure the freelancer is working properly on the project.

How to get hired as an Excel specialist on Upwork

Bear in mind, before starting your journey on Upwork, that the first job is always the most difficult to get. This is due to the fact that your track record inside the platform will be empty: You won’t have any proof that you have experience working as a freelance on the platform. You would think that if you have a strong resume would be enough to compete for a job. Well, that’s not the case when working on a platform like Upwork. Take into account that many freelancers have the same level of experience but they have more qualifications inside the platform: positive reviews, previous earnings, and hours tracked. These things make the difference when clients are deciding which freelancer to hire. Here are some tips that will help you get your first job on the platform when your account is blank:

1.- Create a solid profile

When you are just starting on Upwork, your profile will be your most important asset. A strong profile that shows that you are an outstanding Excel specialist is what you need to be able to compete with other freelancers. Consider adding your most important achievements, certifications, and qualifications. Since you won’t have any jobs/ earnings showing on your records, it’s a good idea to add them to your profile (if worthy enough). For example, adding something like: “I have worked on more than 50 projects related to accounting analysis by using Excel macros”.

2.- Bid on small projects

When you are searching for your first job, it’s better to start bidding on small projects with little competition. This will increase your chances of getting hired, moreover if your profile is strong enough. Consider searching for jobs/projects with a low budget and with less than 5 proposals.

3.- Send short, concise proposals

The proposal is the first contact you’ll have with your potential client. Therefore, you better send a  proposal that makes a great first impression. Consider sending a proposal that contains just the relevant information for the project you are bidding for.


Some recommendations for your proposals

Consider these recommendations while working on your proposals:

1.- Don’t repeat information already on your profile

Considering that if clients are interested in your proposals, they will take the time to review your profile, it’s better to see your proposal as an appendment to your profile. This means that you can complement information already on your profile that’s worthy enough to mention on your proposal. For example, if you show on your profile that you worked on “x” project, you can explain the results of such a project in your proposal.

2.- Make it clear and short

Consider that your proposal won’t be the only one that the client will review. Most of the time clients are busy with other tasks of their business. They won’t have the time to read dozens of long proposals. Therefore is very important that you consider adding the most relevant information in a few paragraphs.

3.- Show that you are an expert

When writing your proposal show that you know what you are talking about. Don’t show insecurities about the project or about your skills or expertise. If there are some things you feel unsure about, it’s better to avoid mentioning such things in the proposal. Later, you’ll have more time to explain further details in the interview. Consider that this doesn’t mean you have to lie but to show your best face so you can be considered.

A proposal template for Excel specialists

If you don’t know how to start writing your proposal for getting your first job as an Excel specialist, feel free to use this template. This was created to give you an idea of how to show the most important aspects we mentioned above. Edit the parts in bold so it adapts to you. Remember not to send the same proposal for all of your job biddings since this will make them automatically rejected.

Hello first name of the client,

My name is your name, an Excel specialist with write here years experience (avoid years experience if no more than 1 year) years experience providing my services for data entry, data analysis, macro creation, and consulting.

Three key aspects about my career:

First short relevant aspect of your career as an Excel specialist relevant to the particular job. Don’t include information already on your profile.

🏆 Second short relevant aspect of your career as an Excel specialist relevant to the particular job. Don’t include information already on your profile.

💵 Third short relevant aspect of your career as an Excel specialist relevant to the particular job. Don’t include information already on your profile.

Regarding your project, the way I can handle it is by explain in a few words how to properly execute the project. I think this will make the project succeed as I have used it many times before.

If you are interested don’t hesitate to request an interview so we can discuss this proposal in detail.

Kind regards, your name

Other tips to start earning money by using Excel

1.- Get certified

Getting a certification will give you more chances to win Excel jobs on Upwork. Even though the certification you are trying to get isn’t verifiable by Upwork, you can mention them in your proposals and add a link to them. There are many courses on the internet that can get you a certification. You can find certifications of all ranges from Udemy courses to University programs. Even Microsoft has its certification for Excel (Microsoft Office Specialist Master certification).

2.-Show off your skills

Use the portfolio for showing off your skills as an Excel expert. There are many ways you can take advantage of the portfolio to show what you can do through Excel. For example, you could record your screen performing complex formulas and macros. Another good idea is to show real-world applications by showing case studies of your services for different clients.

3.-Specialize in something

In order to have more chances of getting a job, you should consider specializing yourself in a high-demand topic. Take these steps as an example of how you can start specializing:

1.- Make a list of the most requested industries for Excel. 

2.- Then select the most requested skills/tasks for each. E.g. data entry specialist, eCommerce inventory management, etc.

3.- When you have them all, select the one that you are more comfortable with.

4.- Use that skill/task as your specialization. Your profile and portfolio should be centered on that. 

5.- Bid on projects as a specialist.

4.- Get training

If you wish to take your Excel career to the next level, you should consider getting some training from the most experienced people. Ross Jenkins, our founder, and CEO, is one of the best freelancers on Upwork. He’s expert-vetted and has been featured many times by Upwork themselves. He offers his experience and expertise through his mentoring service. By getting it, you’ll discover some secrets and tricks on how to become top-rated and expert-vetted on the platform. You’ll also know how to launch your own agency and get top clients for it. If you are interested, feel free to click on the following button and fill in the form. Ross will schedule a call with you as soon as possible.