The reality TV show explosion runs the gamut now from fashion, food, music, art and dance to business!

What I love about it is that these are real people, real talent literally unknown and making sandwiches in a town of 250, to being on the national stage with millions of viewers! Talk about viral, overwhelming and the opportunity of a lifetime!

The things that all the judges on these shows look for when picking the top contenders is a combination of talent that is unique, stands out and has a variety of assets.

Randy Jackson often tells the American Idol contestants to figure out what kind of artist they want to be, where they fit in musically and to be unique in that niche. The top chefs are not only creative with cooking but they must be good leaders that can run a restaurant. The fashion designers are innovative stylists whom must have business sense. The Apprentice winners all lead, create, sell, market, network, and organize their teams to win their challenges.

In the business world, styling your professional brand follows the same process. The combination of our unique talents, skills and expertise, combined with our creativity, personality and spirit all combine to help us stand out, get noticed and succeed.

Styling your personal brand

Here are 5 Keys to styling your personal brand:

1. Find your ‘Sweet Spot’ and live there.
Always be true to yourself and be the best you that you are. Find your key qualities and intangibles and use them to lead and live your life. Ask people who know you what they think your sweet spot is, if you don’t have a clear perception yourself.

2. Look like a million bucks.
Invest in and be up-to-date with your marketing, messaging, and web platforms. Stay current on your blog posts and social media activity. Having social media icons on your sites that are outdated or have no activity for months does not position you as a serious player in that space. Always dress for success and the cultures you want to interact with.

3. Serve more, sell later.
The only way to build loyal customers and community, and sell anything today is by establishing a connection of like, know and trust. Provide value, useful content and care about helping people and they will notice you and often want to reward you.

4. Be more, do more.
It’s just not enough to be in business today. We are all tasked with providing high levels of customer service, communicating in multiple ways and platforms, and continuing to learn new things. All these tasks we do are so that we can serve our customers and followers consistently, effectively and authentically. Ask yourself in what ways can you do more and be more.

5. Suit up, show up, speak up.
Forget about goals. Create your intentions, what you want to happen, and be relentlessly preparing yourself for those intentions to happen. Be prepared, get ready and stay ready. Use the social platforms and networking in person to share your voice and support others who you respect and that resonate with you.

How do people describe your personal brand style? Perception is reality, so be clear and be real.

It’s a your runway, kitchen stadium, stage and studio, so go out there and strut your unique stuff!


Deborah Shane is an author, media host, speaker, writer and branding strategist. She hosts her Toolbox Blog and is in her third year of hosting a weekly business radio show called Deborah Shane’s Metropolis that has over 32K downloads! She is a regular contributor to several national business, career and marketing blogs and websites. Her new book Career Transition-make the shift is available on and all major book sellers. Deborah delivers smart, no-nonsense ideas and solutions, which make her a popular go-to resource for clients, national media and influential blogs. Visit her at