Reality check time: Courtney Kerr is not your typical reality star. In fact the days of reality TV are behind her, and the Southern charmer is now calling all the shots.
After the premiere of Most Eligible Dallas in 2011, Courtney’s life landed on the national stage, but that was just a jumping off point. Today, the Dallasite has created her own brand, become her own boss, and is focussing on expanding her digital presence with her online publication KERRently.com and her YouTube channel.
From reality TV to entrepreneur, we caught up with Courtney to chat in anticipation of #CreateCultivateATL where she'll be joining us on stage!
Coming from the world of traditional media, what would say are some of the things you had to adapt when going digital?
Going to digital, you have to figure out clever ways to tell stories and weave your personality into your content. Everyone can take pretty pictures these days, but it is more difficult to infuse your personality and tell your specific story. This is something that not only readers want to see and feel, but clients who choose to have you represent their brands do as well.
If clients just wanted a pretty picture, they would hire a professional model. Clients want to push product and engage your readers with an emotional "OMG I HAVE TO HAVE THAT" feeling attached to their product. You as the influencer are responsible for delivering that.
Everyone can take pretty pictures, but it is more difficult to infuse your personality and tell your specific story.
Was there ever hesitation about sharing yourself with the world?
Well, once you get in a hot tub on reality television, the hesitation to share is out the window, and I have Bravo to thank for that! (LOL)
As I have grown and my brand has developed, I have definitely learned to edit what I share with the world. I have purposefully kept my romantic life private because I have to have something that is mine...something that I choose to not share. Granted, if the day comes and I get married, you'll probably hear about it. But for now, it's not something I'm ready to offer up.
You’ve had multiple platforms where you are able to voice your opinions and show who you are as a brand. Have you ever felt restricted?
No. I have never felt restrictions because I own KERRently. It’s mine and it is my space to do with as I please. As long as my readers, audience and clients are pleased, then I am happy!
What would you say was the push that convinced you to launch Kerrently.com this year?
Readers constantly wanted content that I knew didn't fit into a traditional style site. They asked about my beauty regimen, where I was traveling, what I was cooking, etc., so I knew there was definitely an opportunity to expand. Thankfully, there's been nothing but incredible feedback. Still, I know I couldn't have done this if their trust wasn't there to begin with. Luckily they trust me, and that's valuable to me.
If I’m starting my Instagram tomorrow, what should I focus on? Should I go hashtag crazy? How do I stand out?
PHOTO QUALITY IS EVERYTHING! No one wants to look at a blurry picture, and no one cares what you ate for breakfast (leave that for Snapchat). Understand that in addition to your site, your Instagram is an online portfolio easily accessed by anyone and everyone.
"Understand that in addition to your site, your Instagram is an online portfolio easily accessed by anyone and everyone."
You've touched on everything from fashion, lifestyle, travel, beauty, and shopping. What is another topic you’d like to cover?
Entertaining is something I’d like to share on my site eventually. I LOVE throwing parties and hosting friends, so finding a way to incorporate those into my site without making my friends feel like they are being subjected to be on KERRently would be a fun move!
Describe your brand in three words.
Realistic, Trustworthy, Colorful.
What is the smartest business decision you've made thus far?
Hiring a team of employees whom I trust and knowing when to delegate something to them.
Flip side— what’s the craziest business decision you’ve made thus far?
Honestly the smartest business decision I have made was also the scariest/craziest for me. Since launching my blog in 2011, I have always been a one woman team, so sharing the work load, delegating tasks, and having multiple people represent me and my voice was a scary thing to me.
I see KERRently continuing to grow as a destination that people trust as a go-to resource for fashion, beauty, travel, and shopping. I would also love to bring on more team members to help enhance each category of the brand.
A lot of entrepreneurs tell us that if you can’t answer a simple ‘why?’ you’re on the wrong track. What’s your ‘why’?
So why do I do what I do?! I do it because I found something that:
- Inspires women
- Pays my bills
- I really freaking love. (I mean, I get paid to play dress up and help women feel more beautiful. What else could I want?! )
Are you more of a ‘go with your gut’ or ‘go for it”? business woman?
I definitely 'go with my gut' everyday! My friends and family tell me that I would be a horrible poker player because you can read every single emotion I have on my face! Trust me, if I feel it, it shows, so I can't possibly ignore my gut!
Make sure to catch Courtney on panel this fall at Create & Cultivate ATL - grab your tickets now before they sell out!