Miss Excel is her name or at least how TikTok users know her. Kat Norton, a popular TikToker, and Instagram influencer, promotes her courses via social media. She leads users to online courses for Excel, as well as other Microsoft and Google products. Kat Norton, Miss Excel’s real name, now generates as much as $100,000 per day by using social media to create fun, humorous, and very helpful videos.
Six figures per day, selling online courses.
Even more amazing is the fact that she started her venture in June 2020, after returning to her parents’ house and creating videos from her childhood home.
We were left wondering how Norton managed such rapid growth. What does Kat Norton do to sell in the age for creators? How does social media like Instagram and TikTok help her bring in more business opportunities?
How Miss Excel All Started (And the Growth That Followed).
Kat Norton’s rise as Miss Excel began in March 2020. Protiviti was a consulting company where she assisted banks in improving their security procedures. She was required to travel a lot and completed weekly in-person interviews with clients of banks for more than four years. During her four-year tenure at Protiviti she created an Excel training course. Excel use is quite common in consulting jobs. Protiviti liked the course, so she presented it to them. She was sent all over the United States to hold Excel training sessions for many of the current clients.
She was unable to travel due to the pandemic and had to return home with her parents. She kept her job but worked remotely from her home. She claims that she was able to focus on her internal work, such as mindfulness and meditation, while being at home gave her the confidence to be herself online, make silly social media videos and feel comfortable with all of it.
June 2020: Miss Excel is Born
After a lot of research (self-focus exercises, experience with Excel videos) Kat Norton founded Miss Excel. Her idea was to list the online video courses and promote them through social media.
At that time, she didn’t even own a TikTok. Miss Excel had no online presence. She told her mom that she would soon be famous and rich, half-jokingly. Many creators know that serious projects are often shared as jokes or hobbies.
Norton was told by her internal blockages that she was too old to upload videos to TikTok at the age of 27.
Norton, however, launched Miss Excel as her brand and continues to be a great creator with her TikTok posts.
These are the first few weeks of it:
- Norton uploaded one video per day for TikTok.
- Her first video explained Excel’s left/right function and she danced to the music below.
- The fourth video was eventually viewed over 100,000 times. She knew that she had something.
These first four videos are great to look at from a business/creator standpoint, as they are simple, informative, and entertaining. The growth in views can also be seen. This article is now complete:
- Her first video has 29.2k hits.
- The second video has been viewed 25.7k times.
- Her third video was viewed 33.8k times.
- Video #4 has been viewed a remarkable 225.3k times.
This fourth video is an exception. Her average view count had been smashed by the xlookup tutorial video, which remained at around 30k-40k even after the fourth. It’s possible that she gained popularity through a prominent person sharing her video or she may have won the TikTok algorithm lottery. Despite the increase in views, 40k videos per month is still quite impressive. This is a large following that you can monetize. Her 11th video has now been viewed 490k times. The numbers keep rising as the time goes by.
This is how social media networks work. It’s important to grow views and followers gradually while still hoping for occasional spikes in views. That’s what Kat Norton did.
- June 6, 2020: 74.7k Views for a Video on IF Statements
- June 23, 2020: 66.2k Views for a Video on Excel Shortcuts
- June 27, 2020: 3.6 Million views of a video about Excel’s Left and Find functions
- July 23, 2020: 118k Views for a Video About Xlookups
- October 26, 2020: 466k hits for a video on rainbow spreadsheets
- September 30, 2021: 5.4 Million views for a video on how to impress people using an Excel auto-fit trick.
Kat Norton, like all social media influencers sees the peaks and valleys in her video timeline. For most of her views, she averages between 50k and 250k views. However, it is not unusual for her views to soar into the millions when she posts a TikTok post.
Kat Norton Already Made Money on the 6th Day
After her sixth video, it was June 2020. The CEO of an IT company reached out to Norton to ask if she would make G Suite training videos. This was for his education clients, such as parents, students and teachers. Despite having more experience with Microsoft products, she accepted the position and quickly learned. She was soon earning a living producing content from her home.
The End of June
Kat Norton didn’t make any money from Miss Excel, but she kept going and created videos on TikTok. These videos brought her a paid gig so it’s certainly worth something.
One of her videos had nearly 4 million views by the end of the month. Rumours circulated about TikTok’s possible ban in the United States. She also created an Instagram account, in case of emergency.
Although she only had 2,000 followers when she moved from TikTok to Instagram, the rise in Instagram Reels allowed her to share the same video format with Instagram users and engage them similarly.
After several weeks of hard work on Instagram, Kat Norton has reached 50,000 followers.
Now she has quite a few more.
Norton had no online video revenue by October. However, she did gain traction with viral videos and a steady flow of TikTok viewers, even though they weren’t viral.
Morning Brew wanted to feature her story. A business coach suggested to her that she have a product to promote if she was featured on Morning Brew. You’ll be just another viral video story, which will not allow you to monetize your message and create a larger following of paying customers.
Although she had previously created training courses for her previous job, she was now compelled to create her own. She could then sell the Miss Excel brand. Norton began work on her first course for “a few weeks”.
She had an Excel course that she was ready to sell on Black Friday 2020. It sold quickly.
It took her two months to get to a point in which her online courses were more profitable than her day job, thanks to the help of TikTok and Instagram users.
Kat Norton decided to quit her job two days later after consulting with business coaches.
Norton created a second course after a few months and put it up in her online shop. This was the moment she made her first $100k monthly in revenue. Microsoft approached her to help them with their products and create a new revenue stream.
Miss Excel Today
Kat Norton is:
- TikTok: 1.4 Million Likes (Her most popular TikTok videos may receive as high as 2,000 comments).
- TikTok has 705.5k followers
- Instagram has 569k followers
- Instagram: 116 posts
- 6,300 Twitter followers (her tweets receive hundreds of retweets and comments each time).
- She has over 10,000 LinkedIn followers (she also receives hundreds of comments and likes for each LinkedIn post).
Miss Excel’s revenues have also grown quickly:
- She started to register consistent six-figure days for sales of Miss Excel courses.
- Norton says that Norton doesn’t make that much each day. There are high and low earning days. However, Norton hedges her course revenue by selling webinars, personal training calls and what she calls “Excel Parties.” These parties create a high-energy environment where small groups of Excel enthusiasts can get excited about Excel.
What does Kat Norton sell that brings in $100k each month?
We want to examine the content Miss Excel sells in order to create such attractive numbers from an ecommerce/content-creation perspective. We all know a lot about the effectiveness and efficiency of ecommerce tools such as Thinkific, stripe and WeVideo (all which Norton uses). We’ve seen content creators make hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars using platforms such as Udemy, which is not used by Norton but is a popular course selling platform.
What are Miss Excel’s actual products and what is their price? Are there any drip content, lesson plans or media elements that she uses to attract more people to her space?
Here are the results:
The Miss Excel website she hosts on Thinkific has no custom domain. Although she appears to be the owner of miss-excel.com, she doesn’t use it in any way on Thinkific. She instead chooses to keep the.thinkific.com domain. This is great news for content creators who are worried about using a custom domain. While we think they are great for branding, Miss Excel proves that having a great website is just as important as having great content. She also has “miss Excel” in her Thinkific domain. A custom domain name is something else to consider.
The Thinkific online course website by Norton is modern, inviting, and free of any fancy logo. Visitors are shown a photo of Miss Excel (the company’s obvious face), as well as an explanation about the site and sections about Miss Excel that can help boost her credibility.
You can view a listing of all Miss Excel products here.
Norton currently sells 16 products as of the writing of this article.
Some of these items are product packages. She may offer individual training courses on Microsoft Office products, but she also bundles them together for customers who need them all.
These are the prices for the following products:
- For 8 courses, complete Microsoft Office Suite $997
- Microsoft Essentials Bundle $597 for 3 courses
- The Excelerator Course: 297 for 91 Lessons
- Advanced Excelerator Course $397 for 107 Lessons
- Ultimate Excelerator Bundle $497 for 200 Lessons
- Sheet Smarts (for Google Sheets): $297 per 100 lessons
- Miss Excel’s Workplace FUNdamentals for students 12+: $497 for 118 lessons
- PowerPoint with Miss Excel: $297 per 120 lessons
- Word with Miss Excel $297 for 156 lessons
- Family Style Bundle $597 for 2 Courses
- Additional Office Apps Bundle $597 for 5 Courses
- Double Trouble Bundle $397 for 2 Courses
- Outlook Mini Course $149 for 82 Lessons
- For 33 lessons, the Teams Mini Course costs $99
- OneNote Mini Course: $99 – 33 Lessons
- Dashboard Mini Course $44 for 6 Lessons
Norton’s pricing starts from $44, but this is only for one mini-course. Full courses start at $99-149. This gives you an idea of the potential profit when you sell individual courses that have 33 to 82 lessons. The best thing about the lessons is their short duration. While some lessons can be quite long, you don’t have to make every video 20 minutes long.
Her prime-time lessons, such as “PowerPoint with Miss Excel”, and “Sheets smarts”, sell for $297. She then offers discounts for people who want to purchase more products using a tactic known as bundling. This can reach up to $500-1,000 per bundle.
To make six figures per day with a $1,000 course, she would have to sell 100. We assume it is a combination of her entire lesson collection, with more sales of each.
What about the course content?
Norton’s courses can be taken in 6 to 200 lessons, depending on the product.
She does an excellent job explaining each page of the course. A brief outline of what you can expect is included, along with a button to start the course, and a detailed course curriculum that includes details for each segment.
The Excelerator Course Package, for example, includes all the videos.
- More than 100 Excel training videos. She also explained that the training videos are fun and similar to her social videos.
- You will find a practice workbook of over 50 pages to help you follow the training and complete tasks.
- This collection contains PDF guides that can be used to quickly and efficiently reference functions and shortcuts.
- An extensive library of her Excel templates.
- Access to the Excelerator Lounge, an exclusive community where she answers customers’ questions.
It is also great that she elaborates on each lesson on the product pages so that customers know exactly what they are paying for. Module 12 of the Excelerator Course, for example, contains downloadable workbooks, several videos, and documents with the subject matter (such as What is VBA? Relative Referencing and Macro Buttons).
How does Miss Excel use TikTok to promote her Thriving Business on Instagram?
This one is simple. This is how she creates viral content for Instagram and TikTok. These videos are quick and free and explain one or two Excel tricks, but they also include lots of dancing and music. She then links to her paid online courses from TikTok or Instagram. In most videos, she mentions that her followers can access detailed tutorials by clicking the link in her profile. This link will take users to a Linktree landingpage where they can access all her links and sign-up for the email newsletter.
What makes Kat Norton stand out?
We can see that Kat Norton’s social media content and online courses are unique from her own statements and comments, as well as simply by watching her videos.
- Her unique selling proposition was to combine the complex, but often fascinating, world of Excel with the vibrant, youthful, and quick-video environment that you can find on TikTok.
- Kat keeps videos lighthearted and fun, and she is easy to get along with.
- She frequently shows herself in her home to give her followers a glimpse into her life.
- Her viral videos often feature her overlaying an Excel tutorial over the video, either explaining it or dancing to music.
- She edits videos with precision. This makes it easy to understand the content.
- The buying funnel is as straightforward as it gets. Learn more about Miss Excel on TikTok and Twitter, click the link to visit her site, or watch her free content. If you want to master Excel, you can purchase an online course. It’s that simple.
What Tools Does She Use?
Based on Kat Norton’s interviews and our research on platforms Kat Norton uses, we discovered that these are her primary tools for Excel influencer operations.
- Thinkific is her website and online store. It allows you to display, market, and sell her online courses. Thinkific functions as her online store and website. However, Thinkific offers features such as sending completion certificates, creating a community, and marketing through subscriptions and coupons.
- TikTok is her primary method of marketing.
- Instagram is another important form of marketing.
- Twitter, LinkedIn are less well-known forms of marketing.
- Flodesk to give away her Excel functions guide, and collect email addresses. She also uses Flodesk to sign up for bulk discount. The email list is used by her to send promotions, newsletters and information about her courses via emails.
- Linktree – This mobile-friendly compilation of all her links is available at one URL on social media.
- WeVideo to edit videos and find useful templates to brand her posts.
- Her iPhone, a lighting set, and other basic filming elements such as a tripod were all provided by her.
Miss Excel’s Expenses
Kat Norton lists her monthly expenses at $500. Although it sounds unlikely, when you consider the creator economy and the growth it has experienced with simple, free tools, it is not impossible.
Here are her expenses.
- It’s easy to share and promote her courses online.
- All payments processed by Stripe
- WeVideo is her video editing software
- Her iPhone to record and post to social media
Let’s get down to it.
- Thinkific: We know that she uses at least the $39 per monthly plan from Thinkific. However, it is more likely that she’s using the $79/month Pro plan if she has been offering completion certificates and hidden courses as well as live lessons. If she wants to grow the business, there’s a chance Norton will eventually upgrade to the Premier 399 per month plan by Thinkific.
- Stripe: We are a bit confused by her calculation of Stripe expenses. Stripe’s standard transaction fees of 2.9% + $0.30 per month for $100k in revenue would cost her $3,490 per monthly (assuming $100k is profit and not revenue). We don’t know how many transactions she processes so that $0.30 transaction is not included.
- WeVideo: She could be using the Unlimited plan at $15.99 per month, but it seems more likely that she would opt for the Professional plan at $39.99 per months to receive premium templates and brand management.
- The iPhone: Assume she is referring to an ongoing data plan as well as the initial purchase price of an iPhone. Let’s say that the iPhone costs $500 to $1000 (one-time fee) and $70-90 each month for a Verizon data service plan.
Are there any other expenses she might have forgotten or should she plan for in the future?
- It appears that she owns a domain name (Missexcel.com), which would run around $10-15 per annum.
- Although she mentions purchasing lighting and equipment for iPhone filming, it is not included in her expenses list.
- We predict that she will need assistance in the future. She currently has no employees but she may need to hire a web administrator or site developer as part of her growth strategy.
- Future upgrades to APIs in Thinkific, and the ability for her to create her own templates using WeVideo are possible (if she hasn’t already).
All of this aside, Kat Norton’s expenses remain incredibly low. We don’t believe that Stripe expenses are even close to $500 per monthly. These expenses may also be a reflection of her initial costs, rather than what Stripe has become.
We project that Kat Norton’s monthly expenses will be at least $3600 per month, with a revenue stream of $100,000. This includes the initial iPhone purchase, lighting equipment, and potential upgrades to Thinkific or WeVideo.
Can you market a business similar to Miss Excel’s?
It’s obvious. It’s something that people are doing already. Kat Norton is the latest exception. She found a unique angle for her content by combining two worlds: TikTok’s upbeat and youthful music and dancing world and Excel’s interesting but tedious professional world.
It takes time to create a unique selling proposition. Her selling process, tools and marketing methods are not new. Social media offers a unique way to connect with potential customers. Online courses can be sold on many platforms. The tools she uses to create those courses are long-established consumer products.
We encourage you to keep up with Kat Norton and other course creators online, to learn from their successes. If you have any questions regarding Miss Excel’s rise to prominence in course selling, please leave them in the comments.