An Influencer Introduction With Andrea Feczko
Andrea Feczko shares their favorite tools, how they grow their audience, how they find sponsors, and more.
1 of 12What inspired you to create your first piece of content?
A desire to graduate! :) I studied broadcast journalism at NYU. I can’t remember what my first piece of content was about, but I remember that it took me 8 hours just to figure out how to import the footage into Final Cut. Editing programs were not as intuitive as they are now! Eventually I figured it out, but I must say, I am still a very slow editor.
2 of 12How do you position yourself for brands to find you?
I am a content creator first, businesswoman second. It’s important to be both, but why I am in the industry is because of my desire to tell stories. So, I would say, I position myself to tell stories and create content that is missing in the market. That has a ripple effect of differentiating myself for brands. Specifically, since I am a woman in the travel space, I feel there is a huge void to fill. Mainstream media travel shows are filled with middle-aged adult men, generally with military careers or survival instincts, and that is not who I identify with as a person or as a traveler. Don’t get me wrong- they are fun shows- but not what I want to create. I travel to learn about cultures, see interesting sights, meet new people, and have fun! And that inevitably leads to content that’s different from the rest.
3 of 12What advice would you give to brands that want to work with content creators in your space?
Understanding Corporate Culture vs Social Media Culture. This has been the biggest culture shock of how social media has changed in the last few years. Brands and companies tend to be very PC and are all about selling (obviously!), whereas social media was created as an anti-establishment medium- the place where being edgy made you stand out, where you can say things that corporate America is afraid to say. These can feel incompatible, but they are not. As you phrased it in your question, when brands and creators work WITH each other to create something, that’s when there is great content, not just using creators for their audience.
4 of 12What one tool do you rely on that might surprise others in your industry?
My brain. Although, I hope that wouldn’t be surprising. ;)
5 of 12Do you have a favorite mistake? Something specific that helped put you on the path you're on now?
I love happy mistakes! Well, that’s what I call them. There have been so many! I think the most important aspect of a mistake or a failure is that you need to learn from it. If you can learn a lesson and become better/stronger/smarter/wiser from it, then it was worth the pain. If you don’t focus on how you can grow, but instead focus on what you lost, that mistake can turn into a reason you stop trying- and then you will 100% not succeed in your vision. And this goes for everything in life. My favorite mistake is my next one, because I know I’m going to be even better when I learn from it.
6 of 12What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome when starting out?
The biggest challenge was that no one was hiring female travel hosts. I was told by everyone that I will NEVER host a travel show. EVER! To which I replied with a Jim Carrey-style “Alrighty Then!” Well, in my head, of course. So that is why I started posting travel content on YouTube. Travel is who I am and will always be my passion, so I needed an outlet to tell these stories and share my videos! I started posting online, built an audience, and six years later, now I’m here! Weirdly, my “Hail Mary” dream job ended up becoming my brand- and my job!
7 of 12What keeps your content true to your voice when creating sponsored content?
I write it, or I’ll re-write it in my voice. That’s also a skill that’s essential to hosting- how do you make other people’s words sound like your own? It took years for me to master. I must say, I’m still working on it. But being able to write and produce allows you to have greater control- whether it’s sponsored content or creating a brand.
8 of 12What unexpected challenges do you face now that you have an established audience?
Time management! When I started, it was just YouTube. It’s a lot of work! Now there are so many different mediums and the algorithms are constantly changing- it makes it very difficult. It’s something that really puts creators at a disadvantage.
9 of 12Given unlimited time and budget, what piece of content would you love to create?
I have a few ideas I’m working on. :) And that’s something that’s really important to me: to be passionate about work. I am always thinking about “well, if I had a trust fund, how would I fill my day?” And I always think, “I would still create my content- just more of it! And have a team!” Of course, you need to make money and be smart (hence why I can’t spend money on a team yet), but you’re only going to really succeed in something if you’re passionate about it. That doesn’t mean that I am not the Queen of Procrastination, but it does help you get through the times when no one is calling and the money isn’t coming in.
10 of 12How do you get through days where you don’t feel like creating content?
It’s hell. And that’s normal. We all go through it. But now I follow my “rabbit holes”, as I call them, instead of fighting them. For example, if one day I’m feeling really jazzed about tackling my e-mails (I know that sounds strange, but sometimes I get into Marie Kondo mode!) or editing photos or videos, I ride that wave! Even if it’s not what I planned in my schedule for the week, I need to stop fighting with myself, and let those creative juices flow! So it’s important that I set goals, but also allow myself to be flexible and create space to be creative and work on different aspects of your business.
11 of 12What is your most defining piece of content in your opinion? Why?
I’m still a work in progress! But I would say, I am really proud of my YouTube videos. If you check out my channel, I hope you see all the research, hard work, and creativity I put into every single second that goes online.
12 of 12What sponsorships have been the most fun for you? Why?
Well, my TV show “Vacation Creation” on ABC is sponsored by Carnival Corporation. It is the best! I cruise around the world for 8 months of the year giving deserving friends and families the vacation of a lifetime- how is that not fun?! It’s the best. It’s my dream job. I am so proud and humbled to be doing this show. And it’s a culmination of years of creating a travel brand online that has paid off!