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Frankie Greek is a freelance journalist, digital video host, Snapchat star, and all around social media whiz kid based in New York City. Oh, and she's 24.
On carving out your own path (and owning it).
I have a degree in broadcast journalism from Penn State. I had a five year plan: I was going to graduate, work behind a desk for a while, move up and work at E! News, become the next Guillanna Rancic (laughs). It didn’t really happen that way, but I’ve done a lot of other cool things that I may not have been able to do if I'd taken a more traditional path.
I studied journalism, had multiple internships in theatre, television, and radio all throughout college, and worked at a local news station for a summer. But I fell in love with radio right after I graduated. I interned at a radio station my senior year of college, and they offered me a job co-hosting and producing their morning talk show before moving to New York. That's when I really started to focus more on social. Everything I’ve learned in media has been totally applicable to what I do. I created a lane for myself, and recently began to own it. I started referring to myself as a Snapchat journalist. So that’s what I do now. I specialize in social video (like Snapchat), Periscope, Facebook Live, etc. I understand social video as the future of television, and coming at it from the perspective of a journalist or a host.
I usually wake up, check every form of social, my work emails, and then I try to take care of my personal emails. I do a bit of everything at Fuse TV, my main freelance client for the past few months, but when we get artists to come in for interviews, I get to jump in and do mini-interviews on Snapchat. We’ve started getting into Facebook Live, which is fun. But when I’m at Fuse, there’s no typical day! When I’m at home, or working for other clients, I’m running around from meeting to meeting, working from a Breather, or traveling. I’ve been getting some really exciting opportunities to travel, covering every major music fest this summer through Snapchat story telling, and speaking at conferences.
On working remotely.
I've wandered NYC so many times looking for a quiet, peaceful place to be productive… I don’t want to work in a coffeeshop, pay five bucks for a latte and use terrible WiFi with 75 other people, so I started using Breather spaces every once in awhile! Whenever I was out and had some time to kill, or something to finish up, I would get one.
For instance, the other night I had a presentation to prepare, and was really struggling with it. The deadline was coming up quickly, and it started to feel like homework (I hate that feeling). So, I got a Breather and started plugging away. It took me about a quarter of the time I thought it would. It’s really important to give yourself the mental time and space to focus on something. It makes all the difference, and Breather helps provide that crucial atmosphere.
On describing the Millennial.
It’s tricky… It seems like “millennial” has become such a dirty word when in reality, it’s just the years you were born. My Twitter bio says I’m a "Professional Millennial," which is kind of tongue-in-cheek. Sometimes when older people ask me what I do, their first response is “oh, that’s so millennial of you.” To me, that means we grew with certain skills we honed through being around technology, and I’m not afraid to take full advantage of all of it. I love social media, but it can be really annoying at times. The 24 hour news cycle, for instance, can be problematic. However, for all its negative aspects, we are more connected than we've been, and we can use these tools to self-promote to whole new audiences.
On growing up in a small town (and the internet).
I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I think it comes down to wanting something a little bigger for yourself. The internet became something of an escape for me. I love where I’m from, but I knew I wasn’t meant to be there forever. The internet gave me a window into a larger world; the things I wanted to do and the places I wanted to go suddenly became attainable. I built an online community for myself. I think living in New York makes me spend even MORE time online because of my job. I’m never not working. Always checking emails, replying to tweets, approving designs for a sticker collaboration while at a Yankees game, that sort of thing. It’s a lifestyle I’ve adopted.
On separating the personal (account) from the business (account).
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot. From my work in social, I’ve built a decent following. When people hire me, it’s great to have people looking at the things I’m commissioned to do. But I’m not interviewing celebrities on the red carpet everyday. I’m not going to music festivals everyday. Sometimes I wake up, get on the subway, sit at a desk, work out, and get home to watch a bunch of episodes of Real Housewives—how do I make that interesting for people on the internet? Or, do I even have to? This stuff has really been on my mind. I’m big on transparency, but I’m not big on life casting. I don’t think that every inch of my life needs to mediated and public, but whenever I do something that's sponsored, or for someone else, I tell people. I'm not trying to fool anyone!
I love Snapchat because there’s no real ego there. All the numbers are behind the scenes. I hate having to think “what should I post today... should I post that? what time should I post it?” I like to use social media as naturally as possible. I hate forcing anything, or posting when I really don't want to. Snapchat's interface allows this realness. Even if I’m getting commissioned to use Snapchat for a company, I keep my personality up front.
Get out there and freelance.