This is an excerpt from our new podcast series, Unfiltered, and has been edited for length and clarity.
Full Interview Video
Instasize: Hey, everybody. Today on Instasize's podcast, we have Courtney Steeves with us, here from Vietnam.
Courtney Steeves: Hi!
IS: How are you?
CS: I am good. How are you?
IS: Good, so happy to hear you. Look how cool... Look where we are right now.
IS: Can you tell us where we are?
CS: Well, we're in a rice paddy field, or a rice field, one of the two.
IS: Pretty legit.
CS: Rice paddy or just a rice field.
IS: Pretty legit, I've got to say. This girl has been killing it on this content creation trip. It's been... This is the Instasize creator tour, and she's just been amazing, an amazing model, amazing person, and so I'm thrilled that we're interviewing right now.
CS: Oh, my sweet Brooke.
IS: She's amazing. Courtney?
IS: Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started doing this Instagram thing?
IS: I mean, it's all the rage right now. I'm just curious. What's your story?
CS: Yeah, how did I get into this world? Let's see. My freshman year of college, I was taking all general courses, math, science, the things that's just not really my vibe, so I needed a creative outlet. I had a lot of friends that were into photography. I worked at Free People as a sales associate, so I was in all the cool clothes, or the type of clothes I liked, at least, and yeah, so we'd just get together, get creative. They'd shoot me.
Instagram was just coming out, and I started posting, and I'm in college. All of a sudden, brands are reaching out saying, “I'll send you free stuff.” Okay, as a college student, like sign me up, yes.
CS: That's how that started, and here we are, four to five years later, and we're doing it full-time.
IS: Amazing. Tell me how many followers you have right now.
CS: I think it's 85K or something.
IS: Amazing. Tell me a little bit how you feel like you were able to grow, and that you're still able to grow today. People love your stuff. You have high engagement rates. It's amazing. How do you do it?
IS: What do you think the secret is?
CS: I just try to be me, to be honest, but then I feel like, just like any other profession, networking, collaborating is key, right? There's so many incredible people in this world, so yeah, just getting out there, meeting them, seeing what they're doing, and meshing it all together, right? Because putting them on my feed, and vice versa, we can all help each other grow. I'd say, how did I grow my audience? That's how.
IS: That's amazing. That's amazing. What advice would you give to someone that's doing this. There's a lot of you out there that are trying to do this Instagram thing, so what is Court's advice?
CS: Totally. I'd just say be you, right? I mean, part of Instagram is kind of like being a brand, if you will. Mine tends to be more outdoorsy and mountainy, but those are things I love, and travel, road trips, that type of stuff, so just whatever it is that you're passionate about, whether that's sustainability or food or travel or whatever. Be true to that. Just be you, and if that comes across, you're good.
IS: Amazing. Okay, so for you, I feel like it's really cool, because you have this unique look, and you're outdoorsy. You have all these amazing photos.
IS: I'm the biggest fan of Court. I love... I literally love this girl. She's amazing.
CS: I love her.
IS: Amazing, so what do you think it is, that creativity? What inspires you to create?
CS: I mean, I feel like a pretty typical answer is travel, but it's kind of true. Being in the outdoors, nature, that is just my happy place. I live in Colorado, so mountains are accessible, and I find myself on a lot of hikes and sunset and sunrise on the mountains, and just being out in it. I don't know. It brings me joy, and yeah, I guess that's where I find a lot of my inspiration.
IS: Amazing, so get outside guys. Get away from your house.
CS: Get outside!
IS: Just go outside and create some content, because man, Courtney does it so well. If you need some inspiration, it's... What's your handle?
CS: Courtney Steeves, just my name.
IS: Courtney Steeves. She's amazing, so look her up. Get inspired. She's amazing.
CS: Oh, my sweet Brooke.
IS: Thanks for joining. Oh, you're so amazing. Thanks for being here today, and thanks for joining the Instasize Podcast.
CS: Thanks, guys.