Lessons I Learned from Paris Hilton – Confessions from a Strategic Hotel Marketer
Okay, I must confess. I was running hotels before Paris Hilton was born. Even then, I knew that some self-promotion was important to help build your yourself and your hotel business.
However, today I want to talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! And the lessons I’ve learned over the years from Paris Hilton; an American business woman, socialite, television, media personality, model, actress, and singer. And oh yeah, the great granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels.
We could learn a thing or two from Ms. Hilton whose admirers have said she is famous for being famous. It’s all about self-promotion!
Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know. Madonna, Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Bill Clinton, just to name a few.
And we all self-promote. Let me ask you, did you ever raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course, you did! I’d argue that was self-promotion. Now, this is the kind of self-promotion I am talking about. Self-promotion with dignity, with class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.
I must confess that I prefer the former, the natural self-promoters as part of my hotel leadership team. I look for three major traits or characteristics they have and use to build themselves and their hotel’s book of business.
The first trait is Position. I watch these natural self-promoters as they position themselves around people who can make a difference in their life, and they do this frequently. They have a deep-seeded need to wake up every morning and ask themselves, “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, some of them go a step further, they write it in big, bold letters and tape it on their bathroom mirror or post it in their work area.
They also consider:
Who can help me meet my goals?
Is it a prospective hotel customer/corporate client? Is it a colleague with contacts? Is it an association I have with key members who may become prospects?
The key here is these individuals do not settle into interacting with the people who are easily accessible. They prefer to reach outside their comfort zone where they know they will find a wealth of new connections who will bring them great success.
Another characteristic I look for in these natural self-promoters is style. And no, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it was almost considered a uniform at several of our luxury boutique hotels). What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in the hotel industry. What makes you memorable with hotel customers and guests?
These natural self-promoters know if they are meeting a lot of people who don’t remember them once they leave the room, they have a serious problem! But what this really means is they have an opportunity to present themselves in a more memorable way.
There are lots of little subtle changes you and your team of self-promoters can make.
Maybe even your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)
Okay, well you get the idea. There are lots of little ways these natural self-promoters find to work on making their image and business more successful. They also consider how they sound on the phone and how they greet people at meetings or other events. These individuals are always thinking about and tweaking their 30-second elevator speech.
The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. They can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would we remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if we only saw it once, no! We see it over and over and eventually head out to the store.
And finally, natural self-promoters know instinctually they must make multiple impressions on those they are networking with to build brand awareness for themselves and their hotel. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Natural self-promoters are the best because once they find people to network with, they reach out and connect with hundreds more who can help them, and their hotel, achieve success.