Excel is the most widely used spreadsheet around the world with 1.5 billion users. Thousands of companies regardless of their economic sector or size use this software, due to its flexibility and functionality for data analysis. Large and small businesses use Excel to manage accounting, finance, inventory, sales, production, and many other things.
There are many companies looking for Excel experts, but how exactly do you freelance your Excel skills to reach those potential clients?
It is beyond just knowing how to use excel, it involves learning to promote your skills, looking for work on and off job platforms among running a business and more.
However once you understand it all, you become a much more efficient and a valuable freelancer as Excel experts are very much so necessary for the operation of many companies.
Treat It as a Business
If you plan to use your Excel skills to generate a stable income, the first thing you should know is that it is completely possible. However, how far you can go depends on you.
To turn your skill into a job you must treat it as such, and invest time and effort in it as if it were a business. There are things that are essential in a business, such as having a name and a logo.
Those are simple steps you can take to start adding more professionalism to your business.
Basically, it is like creating a brand with which other people can recognize you and your services. You can create a name for your business or use your own name for it.
Apart from that, you can also set goals, such as getting or managing a certain number of clients by a certain date or generating a certain amount of profit within a period of time.
It all depends on what you consider most suitable for you. Setting goals will help you stay motivated and work hard every day to achieve your goals.
The most important thing for any business to work is to treat it seriously and responsibly. To carry out your work, you must establish a schedule and respect it, meet deadlines, and even include hours of rest.
Establishing all those rules will help you be responsible to your clients and take care of yourself so that work stress does not affect you. If you treat your own business with professionalism, you will obtain efficient and quality results, which will allow your business to grow.
Viable Career Paths
The sheer number of tools and commands available within Excel could intimidate any user new to the application, but the reality is that Excel is one of the most widely used applications in the workplace today.
Excel is not just an application for accountants and financiers. Excel has become a data processing tool that goes far beyond accounting as it facilitates data handling and processing.
For this reason, it is almost inevitable that, regardless of the profession you dedicate yourself to, it is very likely that at some point you will need to use Excel.
You can check it out for yourself and search online job boards and you will see that mastering Excel is a highly sought after skill.
There are many professions or trades that require extensive knowledge of Excel and here are career paths that you can take if you want to dedicate yourself to work using this program.
1. Administrative assistants and office clerks
In an office numbers are always handled, so Excel has become an essential tool in secretarial, office, or administrative staff jobs. Both to prepare documents and to organize reports.
2. Freelance advisor
Freelancers have to save money and time wherever they can, so you can provide services like invoice creation, supplier and customer management, expense and benefit accounts, taxes, among others.
3. Excel Teacher
Just as many need Excel experts for their businesses, many want to learn how to use Excel to work for other people.
4. Auditors and Accountants
These are the original professions Excel was created for. The idea was to replace the ledger with a computer program. In fact, Excel spreadsheets are still called Books.
If you are looking for a job as an accountant or auditor, you need high knowledge of Excel. It is used in tax management tasks, balances, etc.
5. Sales and Marketing
Sales managers, classic marketing, or company training and event scheduling are all professions that require knowledge of Excel.
Business analysts are dedicated to making predictions and advising bosses on strategies to follow, based on sales data, customers, market trends, etc. Excel is one of their basic tools.
7. Cost Estimation Specialists
Many companies organize the manufacture or sales of their products based on an estimated cost. The specialists calculate the manufacturing or management costs of a product before creating it so that those who are in charge can make decisions that include everything from investments to the hiring of labor.
8. Financial Analysts and Banking
All professions that handle money are related to numbers, and therefore to a greater or lesser extent Excel is used as a standard to create spreadsheets that can later be shared, or used as a basis in other more complex economic applications.
Ways to Sell Your Services
The key to growing your business is learning how to promote it and sell your services.
There are many ways to do it, you just have to find the strategies that seem best to you or that suit you best. You can implement several and thus increase the chances of getting new customers.
1. Blog on Your Website
Writing posts on your website is a great way to attract people. When you create useful and quality content, people will come to your website to find information that helps them. By writing articles and optimising it for search engines (SEO), you become a lot more visible for for potential clients to find you on the web.
In your blog, you could write about many things, such as tips, tutorials, frequently asked questions, things that very few people know, among others.
There are a lot of options to attract new customers, you just have to think about what they would like to read or what information they should know and write about it.
Having a website where you can show your work or provide useful information that makes you gain recognition is something that every freelancer should do.
This is easier than you think because there are currently many options to create a portfolio website. If you still do not have a website you can read this guide on how to build a portfolio website and understand how much of a great tool it is to grow your business and increase your online presence.
2. Create a Youtube Channel
Currently, there is a wide variety of YouTube channels that are dedicated to teaching about different skills and many people go to that platform when they need a tutorial to learn something.
You could open a YouTube channel on how to use Excel and make tutorials that make people understand how necessary it is to know how to use this program.
By showing yourself to the public as a teacher and an expert in this software, you will gain credibility and surely many people will want to contact you to help them in certain jobs and to work for them.
3. Use TikTok
Surely you will be surprised to find this recommendation here, but you should know that this application is not only for dances but there are also profiles that are dedicated to teaching skills, such as how to use Excel.
It is currently one of the applications that are booming, so it is a great option to make your content well known and even viral.
With a TikTok account, you can create content that is very useful for work and university life and you could teach everything from how to insert a graph in Excel columns to complicated formulas.
As these are short videos, the explanation can be very simple and you can teach quick tricks that will facilitate the work or homework of your followers; since they will be able to apply it in reports, dynamic tables, databases, and much more.
4. Sell Courses
There are online course platforms where you can also offer your courses, sell them, and generate profits. It is a great option because you can create your courses, host them on a page, and earn income without having to actively do anything on the platform.
That is, you can develop other activities or do other jobs while your course generates income. For this, there are two platforms that you can use: Teachable and Udemy.
This is a software tool that you can use to create and sell your courses. You simply upload the content of your courses and they will take care of processing sales and refunds, which is great but you should keep in mind that if you are going to use Teachable you will have to do your own marketing to get students in your course.
This is not necessarily a problem, but it is something to keep in mind if you are starting your online course business.
Teachable has several pricing options for using its platform. They start with free use of the platform, but there are different price tiers that allow access to more advanced features and lower transaction fees.
Teachable currently offers a free account of $ 0 per month + 10% commission for the sale of each course + the commissions that Paypal or Stripe charges for the use of the payment method (which is typically 5.4% per transaction + 30 pennies).
When it comes to getting new students without making any marketing effort, Udemy is the ideal platform as they have more than 9 million students registered on their platform.
They are a very active learning community and most of the sales you will make here can come from organic traffic that comes directly. However, there are a ton of different marketing strategies you can use to win more students on Udemy.
The more effort you put into marketing, the better your results will be, as on any platform.
Udemy is free to use, which means that it is free to upload and sell your courses on the platform. This is because Udemy makes its money by splitting revenue with instructors.
Currently, when the student purchases one of the courses on the platform, the revenue share is 50% for the instructor (if the student buys organically through Udemy) or 97% for the instructor if the student purchases through a code from the same instructor or a link on your site.
5. Freelance on Job Platforms
There are many online platforms to search for freelance jobs and that is a good way to enter the world of work. There you will be able to find your first clients and you will be supported by the platform, so in case you have a problem with a client, you will have support to solve that situation.
In these freelance platforms, it is most likely that you will have to pay a commission percentage for each payment you receive, but it is what you have to give back to these pages that help you get a job.
On freelance sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and People Per Hour you will find many data entry job opportunities where clients need freelancers who are Excel experts to carry out jobs.
6. Design, Build and Sell Templates Online
There are people who do know how to use Excel but who simply find it a very tedious task. One way to streamline the whole process is by using templates and that is another strategy you can use to earn money.
You can create your own templates for different purposes and sell them on platforms like spreadsheetnut.com or Etsy.
There are many types of templates that you can create, from templates strictly dedicated to business or even some about sports statistics and to evaluate how stable your mood or emotions have been.
From spreadsheetnut.com you can take some examples to create your own templates and you will find ideas as creative as an Excel spreadsheet for playing European roulette.
Be Efficient with Your Time
Being a freelance you should learn to manage your time in the best way since there will be no one that will direct or ask you to get to work.
By managing your time well, you will notice that the workdays will not feel so demanding and that you will have time for other things.
Something that can greatly improve your workflow is learning how to use Excel shortcuts. When you start working and using the shortcuts, you will find that all the work becomes much faster and less tedious.
This software has a large number of shortcuts that you can use but that you will learn and memorize as you use the program.
You can also look for a guide that explains all the shortcuts there are, but putting it into practice is what will help you memorize it.
Make sure to keep updating your knowledge and learning new skills that allow you to offer a broader catalog of services to your clients.
Just like you, many other freelancers are working in the Excel niche and if you want to stand out among many, you should keep learning and improving as a freelancer.
With adequate knowledge of Excel, you can not only create spreadsheets that keep accounts or balances with simple operations.
You should build applications robust enough to perform highly complex tasks, for example: automating tasks through Visual Basic for Applications and creating dashboards using pivot tables, pivot charts, and Power Pivot to name a few.
The more you upskill the more complicated services you can offer, which means that you will also earn more money.
To improve your skills you can take online courses on a platform, so you will see what other colleagues in your niche are training in and you can keep up with them, or improve.
Here are some courses you can take:
- Excel video training by Microsoft
- Microsoft Excel – Advanced Excel Formulas & Functions
- EXCEL at Work – Complete MS Excel Mastery Beginner to Pro
- Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365)
- Cert Prep: Excel Associate – Microsoft Office Specialist for Office 2019 and Office 365
- Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel
- Advanced Excel: data import and analysis
Practice is Key
Excel is a program with many possibilities and tools, so many that the best way to memorize them all is to constantly practice using the program.
By practicing you will improve all your skills, you will see how you can perform all the tasks more quickly and that you will recall all the shortcuts. You must keep using the program constantly so that you become an expert using it.
Get the Most Out of Your Excel Skills
Being an expert in Excel will open the doors to the professional world since this knowledge is necessary for any company. Either working for the accounting department of a company, in administration or being able to better know the data, graphs, and how to interpret them.
Being an expert in Excel is an excellent job to freelance and a skill that many companies seek.
Apart from that, you can also sell spreadsheets or templates on certain topics. If you want to expand your knowledge in this field you can take online courses, that will make you grow as a professional and it is an experience that many clients will appreciate.