Today I have a special Success Story interview. The original influencer himself, Perez Hilton, has kindly agreed to share his advice on building a business and a blog.
PEREZ HILTON: The Original Influencer
The original influencer, Perez Hilton, has changed the culture and has been trailblazing since 2004. A New York University-trained actor, he entertains millions daily on his eponymous website and social media channels.
Over the years, he has written three books, launched two YouTube channels, and one successful podcast – The Perez Hilton Podcast with Chris Booker. Perez will be starring as a special celebrity host of Chippendales this summer in Las Vegas.
The interview was recorded; I had the interview transcribed and did minimal editing to preserve Perez's personality. My questions are in bold, and His response is below.
What is one thing you have learned from running a successful blog and brand?
I would say there are no shortcuts. It's all about the hard work. You have to be willing to work harder than everybody, which also means that there must be a great sacrifice. Your friends, your family, your personal relationships, that all must come second to work.
Is there a mistake you made starting that you wished you could change?
Absolutely. I wish that I would have just gotten other people's money to play with in the past (laughs). You know, um, one of the things from business is, when you make money, you should invest it back in your own company, and in hindsight, I wish I would've invested other people's money. (laughs) Um, yeah.
What advice would you give to somebody starting?
Just do it. You don't need a business plan. You don’t need anything. Wasting time is just that.
As a blogger, what are you most proud of?
The fact that 14 years later, I'm still here.
Any upcoming projects you're working on?
I'm really working on building and growing my podcast, the Perez Hilton Podcast, with Chris Booker. You can listen to that on iTunes or directly at perezpodcast.com. And I'm also working on growing my two YouTube channels. The Perez Hilton, for everything family, related. And Perez Hilton, for everything pop culture.
What is your social media strategy look like? Any tips for aspiring bloggers?
The only strategy I have is consistency, and clearly, making sure that it's content I find interesting. Algorithms or numbers do not drive me. So, the best tip I can give any aspiring social media person is “just be consistent.” That's the most important thing.
Any mistakes you see people routinely make with social media?
Yes. Ignoring it. Like, I don't wanna name names, but, you know, it's fascinating to see some big YouTubers ignore YouTube, and then their YouTube suffers, and then everything else starts to suffer, too. You cannot ignore that which got you success, and you have to continue to work hard and have that incredible work ethic.
Running a business, managing social media marketing can be a challenge. How do you manage it all? Any advice, books, or tips?
I manage it all by scheduling very well. I don't do spontaneously. My weeks and months are very scheduled and super structured, and they need to be.
What is the best advice you've received?
The best advice I have received … I don't know. I honestly … I mean, I guess the best advice is to listen to your gut.
Do you have any advice for people that may feel discouraged about reaching their goals?
Yeah, you have to [be] realistic. I think young people, and maybe some older people too, want too much too quickly. It's not gonna happen that way. You have to pay your dues. You have to work hard for things, and it will take time.
How important is fitness?
Very important. I have definitely found along the years that the healthier you are, the happier you are.
Do you enjoy working out?
No. I don't enjoy working out, but I do like results, and results keep me motivated.
What is the one thing you wish everyone knew?
Um … Oh, gosh. I wish everybody knew about my two YouTube channels. (laughs)
If you could hang out with one superhero, who would it be, and why?
I would say I would hang out with the Genie from Aladdin because I would want three wishes.
All right, thanks.
I want to thank Perez Hilton for this amazing interview! I hope that you subscribe to his YouTube channels and podcast.
This interview was particularly special to me; it was an enormous honor to get a recording from Perez, as I could hear his youngest in the background. Those that follow Perez on social media know he is hands down one of the proudest fathers around. The fact that he would give up a few minutes to help out a fan is one of my career highlights.