This week’s featured media mogul in the making is content curator and podcaster, Courtney Shav. Shav is not only the co-host of popular podcast The Grown Folk Table, she’s the creativity force behind the growing social media show, Spicy Poll. Learn more about Courtney’s creative journey below.
You are a multi-talented individual dipping and dapping in a bunch of other expressive fields. So, what was it about journalism or media that piqued your interest?
“To be honest, I never thought I would be into media as much as I consumed it. I was on social media religiously, just taking it ALL IN. I was so far removed from the content creating part of media, I didn’t think I would have any interest in it at all. Until I did it as a hobby.”
How did you get your start in the media field? Did you study communications in college? Internships? Hobby writing?
“This all literally started off as a hobby, something I wasn’t taking too seriously. I went to college and received my BA in Biochemistry, what a 180 right? Anyway, I liked it so much and opportunities presented itself that it transferred into wanting to put both feet into media. I never thought I was creative person, and it took me to stop doubting myself to realize that I’m pretty creative and I come up with dope content.“
Tell us how you built up your platform. What’s your mission/goals? Who’s your audience?
“I had just ended a 5 year relationship and I wanted to speak about my healing process and things I have discovered about myself. I decided that I would create my own podcast called Conversations with Courtney to speak about these experiences. Hindsight it was therapeutic for me as well.
Then creator and producer of The Grown Folk Table, Templeton Wright, reached out to me and asked if I wanted to be apart of his podcast as a co-host, and now part of the creative process. I was shocked because I didn’t realize how much of an impact my lonesome, one-man podcast did for him. This is why I always say, ‘keep going, you never know who may be watching.’
After getting a a few months on the podcast and gaining a following, I decided I wanted to do something fun and raunchy on my personal IG stories. It started off with me being nosey and asking other people about how they deal with relationships and sex. I stayed consistent every week with a new question and it transformed into – Spicy Poll Wednesday. I eliminated the relationship questions and solely focused on the sexual questions, as those were getting more engagement.
I was consistent with Spicy Poll Wednesday for a least a year and was ramping up to do a Spicy Poll Wednesday meet-up live event but then COVID-19 happened. I had to change gears to get my audience an interactive experience while we were all inside. I decided to go live on Instagram because I saw how much media success it brought to smaller platforms.
I ultimately decided to make an Instagram page dedicated to Spicy Poll Wednesday called @OfficialSpicyPoll. I was doing the lives on Instagram for awhile and decided that YouTube live was the better platform for our content. Now you can catch us every Wednesday @ 7PM on YouTube Live.
Our mission is to eliminate the fear about talking about sex casually and to break taboos about sex. We do this by expressing how much anonymity means to us. However, if you’re feeling comfortable, break the anonymity and get spicy with us! My audience (The Spicy Society I like to call them) … well lets say they do not mind talking/hearing about raunchy explicit anonymous sex stories. It’s for that man/woman over the age of 21 who want to talk freely about sex, and for those who want to become less shy talking about sex.
Lastly, with having this YouTube page, we are coking up some more original content. Stay tuned, I think people will enjoy this.”
So far throughout your career, what has been your proudest personal media moment?
“I think my proudest moment was shifting Spicy Poll Wednesday platform from my personal page to its own. I was scared that it was not going to get the same amount of engagement that it did on my personal page. I had to take a leap of faith and said f*ck it and created the page. I said to myself, ‘keep consistent and the page will build the engagement and followers as it did on your personal page.’
Sometimes numbers isn’t everything when you have good quality content. The people will follow if you stay consistent in good quality content.”
What advice would you give aspiring mediapreneurs looking to enter the field?
“Stay authentic and true to yourself. Do not doubt yourself and idea, you have all the tools, you just have to use them correctly. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stay consistent. Every day you are not going to wake up and LOVE what you do, but never quit. Keep going. A pivot is not a failure. My favorite quote ‘What if I fall? But my darling what if you fly?'”.
Connect with Courtney Shav on Instagram to keep up with her. Follow Spicy Poll on Instagram as well. New episodes of Spicy Poll starring Courtney Shav are uploaded every Wednesday at 7 pm eastern standard on YouTube Live.
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