January 27, 2022

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Miss Excel Has Some Advice For Those Who Want To Be A Social Media Influencer

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There’s something about a success story that is inspiring to all of us.

We imagine the “what if” scenarios including more respect and recognition. We picture what it would be like to not worry about our jobs and making a living. We start dreaming about a future where we can call the shots and not always live under corporate edicts.

For Kat Norton (also known as Miss Excel), her success came after she took a big risk trying something new outside of her comfort zone (hint: it involved making videos and dancing). For anyone thinking of becoming an influencer in 2022 on social media, this might be your wake-up call.

“When I first got the vision of me dancing on TikTok with an Excel screen over my head, everything in me wanted to resist this crazy idea,” she told me recently. On her channel, Norton explains obscure Microsoft Excel features and now has almost a million followers. My favorite clips involve an alter-ego named “boss” who often doesn’t understand the hacks.

“I did not know how to video edit nor did I have any fancy equipment,” she explained. “I also didn’t even have the TikTok app on my phone at the time. My mind was yelling ‘you are 27 years old with a corporate job, you cannot dance on TikTok’ but my gut was like ‘make the TikTok!’”

Her first video was posted in June of 2020 and she never looked back. “If I had chickened out that day, my whole business would not exist.”

That business has grown into quite the lucrative endeavor. According to one report, she makes around $250,000 to $300,000 per month (and once made $100,000 in 24 hours).

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Her advice to anyone debating whether to become an influencer is to take what she calls “messy action” (e.g., taking the step without waiting). “It is important to realize that it will always be easiest to stay in your comfort zone and to talk yourself out of acting now. Your subconscious mind will try to make a compelling argument to keep you in place! It takes a conscious and consistent effort to compete with those subconscious patterns and push out of the stagnancy.”

“The more you take messy action, the easier it is to propel yourself forward,” she added. “Taking messy action has been the catalyst for scaling my business within a few months.”

One “messy” step she took was to also start an Instagram. Her TikTok videos have many thousands of views and a few sponsors. Her Instagram grew by 200,000 followers in only 10 days. Entrepreneurship is the same across many different business segments in that there is always an inherent risk. I’ve written before about how those risks are sometimes not worth it, but for Norton, explaining Excel hacks made perfect sense. She does an amazing job explaining intricate Excel maneuvers while dancing and having fun at the same time. 

She mentioned how viral content is the secret. Making videos everyone wants to see can help. She also has a recipe for success. Norton says to do something creative and new, to take a risk with a brand new idea (like dancing to Excel hacks). Next, she says to offer something practical and useful (what she calls utility). She says content must have an educational element.

Third, she mentioned polarity. This one is interesting because it seems to be the spark that ignited her own success. “The polarity that was created when I combined a program traditionally viewed as boring with energetic dancing to trending songs is what initially got my content off the ground. By combining two things that are polar opposites, it created conversation,” she says.

Norton, who is self-taught (e.g., the hacks, making videos, and even the dancing), says the main impediment to starting something creative like Miss Excel is not believing in yourself. She says everyone has creative ideas, but some of us just don’t know it yet.

“I learned it takes me at least an hour of brainstorming to get into a creative flow state,” she says, looking back on making her first videos. “Throughout my corporate career, I never allotted myself such time. Thus, I was never tapping into my full creative potential. I did not realize how creative I was because I never gave myself the space to be.”

Once she had the idea, the next step was to create a following.

“I focused all my energy on creating free content that helped people,” she says. “In turn, that grew a massive audience and built trust with my community. People were already learning with me (and having fun with it too!) so by the time I launched a course, my community was ready to dive in! I set out to create impact before wealth, and the business naturally followed.”

In the end, it’s not an easy road. Being an influencer has a bad name, and it’s hard to build a followig initially. It often means being famous already and then mentioning products. What Miss Excel proves is that you don’t need to be famous before you start. Mainly, you just need to come up with something new, interesting, and incredibly helpful. Once you do that, the sky is the limit.

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