Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or working at a big company, everyone has a personal brand at work. And everything from your LinkedIn profile to your resume to your interview style adds to that brand. So this week, we sat down with the master of creating a personal brand, Paris Hilton, to talk about how she built hers. She’s not only the OG social media influencer, but she also created a persona that took the world by storm. And spoiler: investing in her brand paid off. Now, she’s got dozens of businesses, not to mention a new hit TV show on Netflix.
Paris: Just as a teenager, just going through what I went through at all these really terrifying boarding schools where they were very abusive.... It was a way where I just kind of invented this Barbie doll persona, like perfect life fantasy character. And then when I came into this industry, my first thing I ever did was 'The Simple Life.' And the producers said, "We want you to act like a dumb blonde, pretend you don’t know anything, and kind of just play that up." So I think it was kind of like a shield, or like a protection. And then getting that reality show and then having to continue with it season after season, it kind of just became this character that I got kind of stuck in.
Carly: What is Paris Hilton the business woman actually like?
Paris: I'm very responsible, hardworking, smart, not a dumb blonde. Just good at pretending to be one. Determined. Just a workaholic, working nonstop.
Paris: It's very hard for me to trust people, just especially from growing up in LA and just seeing so many things. So it's definitely hard to let people in, especially in my personal life, but in my business life, I always do my research. I always make sure to look into people that I partner with because I don't want to associate myself with someone who maybe is not a good person or has a bad reputation. So I always call around to other people. I'll have my team, you know, look them up, investigate them and see, because I just don't want to partner with anyone that doesn't have my same values.
Paris: My advice is just to really find what your special talent is or something unique that you do. It's something that's one-of-a-kind or something that no one's ever done before and showcase whatever that is on your social media platforms or get a publicist and do interviews and just get your face out there. And I think that could help you.
Skimm'd by Alex Carr, Andrew Callaway, and Ciara Long.
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"I was broken in 2014. Building Bumble and finding a way to build this product that had intention, purpose, passion — that rebuilt me. It literally put me back together."
"You in your own mind have to figure out what you want, what you will accept, and what you won't accept. And be prepared to walk away if they're not going to meet what you want."
"I fell flat on my face. I got back up and I finished my routine and for the very first time in my life and career, I had a standing ovation."