LEAVE YOUR MARK community is teaching young professionals how to build their brand and crush their career goals
Featured in this Story of Awesome: Leave Your Mark
LEAVE YOUR MARK is a paid community that offers immersive mentorship and professional development bootcamps, coaching, and networking opportunities for young professionals.
The Spark: After a best-selling career success book and a popular podcast, Aliza Licht sought to build an online space with a new generation of young people in mind — particularly those looking to crush their career goals and connect with like-minded young professionals.
Aliza’s Mighty Moment: "It's great not to have to fight against an algorithm. That's a big selling point because, at the end of the day, organic social is basically dead. Being able to curate a room or a group or community whereby you have a hundred percent share of voice when you want to have a hundred percent share of voice is a luxury."
Creating popular social brand personalities, mentoring young professionals, and being a successful entrepreneur are all things Aliza Licht excels at. For proof, look no further than the mark that her social media brand personality, DKNY PR GIRL left on the fashion industry. Through that Twitter account, Aliza—who once worked as Donna Karan International’s SVP of global communications—accumulated over 1.5 million followers providing career advice, and more.
Through her experiences in business and marketing, in 2015, Aliza wrote a best-selling book called Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill it in Your Career. Rock Social Media. It became incredibly successful, was translated into multiple languages, and even was taught at universities across the United States.
In 2019, Aliza followed that up with her own podcast called LEAVE YOUR MARK: Freshly Brewed Career Advice where Aliza and her guests give career advice, inspiration, and new insights for succeeding in the working world.
Now, in 2021, Aliza has taken the LEAVE YOUR MARK brand into a new frontier with her online community on Mighty Networks. Her community focuses on mentoring the next generation of young people looking to succeed in their careers.
Ahead, we chat with Aliza Licht about her journey with LEAVE YOUR MARK, curating an awesome online community, and more.
Take us back before you started using Mighty Networks. What sparked this journey?
So a friend of mine, Ross Martin, had Gina Bianchini on his podcast. And I had listened to the episode and I was so impressed by what she had to say about the platform and the power of online communities on Mighty Networks. And we had one month between when Founding Director, Eliana Meyer, and I decided we were going to do this and when we figured out that we could do it on Mighty Networks. From there, we just hustled and basically created an entire curriculum in that time. It was a bootcamp that we established, which would run from April to June.
What was your Mighty Network community like in the beginning?
Our community started as free to join, but was completely vetted. There was a questionnaire you had to fill out, and then we determined who we think would be the best fit. We wanted to get the people who are really motivated and have serious goals. We didn't want to just have anyone.
So, we curated this amazing group of 160 people pretty evenly split between college students and recent graduates, and they hailed from over 130 universities around the world. From the US to Kenya to India. It was astonishing to have so many diverse people coming together all because they wanted to succeed in their careers.
There were daily posts which functioned as self-paced virtual courses. And we also did a lot of mentoring through guest mentorship groups. We had guest speakers come and speak to members, and it helped me realize I wanted the community to be free, but experiences like the mentoring to be paid. So the guest mentor series was our first test into how monetization looks for LEAVE YOUR MARK.
How does your Mighty Network fit into your overall business plan for LEAVE YOUR MARK, right now?
So I wanted the community to be different from other parts of my business.
We’re seeing a lot of unique opportunities pop-up in the community currently. People will contact me and say that they are hiring for different roles and are looking for candidates because they know the people in the community are vetted and great already. So that’s exciting.
We're still a fairly new community though, so right now it’s about ironing out what works and what we want to do. We’re excited about starting our next bootcamp October 18th through November 19th, and it's paid. It's $49.99 for US and international people, $55.
"For me, it’s really about members posting, talking to each other, making connections, and networking."
For me, it's really about members posting, talking to each other, making connections, and networking. The posts can be anything from a recent career win, a challenge you’re facing, something exciting you’re working on, or even asking for help with something you need. That's the goal for that group.
You kind of need a healthy balance of people who are posting a lot to make the community feel robust, in addition to the people who are quiet and enjoy observing instead of posting.
How are people finding your community? Is it through the podcast? Your book? Something else?
I think that it’s a mixture of things. There are people who already know my brand through my social media content. But then there are others who find it through the podcast or other ways. We have a leadership committee with members who are always posting and that definitely drives some engagement.
Also, an interesting place people find us is through Linkedin because when you’re accepted into the community you can add the LEAVE YOUR MARK community to your Linkedin as something you were accepted into. It’s an accomplishment. And everything links back to our Mighty Network. So it's all organic.
What are some challenges you’re facing with your community?
For me, it is challenging if we don't post often. When my business partners or other leadership committee members don’t post, sometimes it can be a bit quiet.
It’s not even that people aren’t consuming it. Thanks to your awesome analytics, we can see what people engage with, but that doesn’t always translate to more interactions in the community. People have a lot of different social channels, and also are really busy, so you have to figure out how to get them talking.
What has been the biggest surprise since you launched your community?
It's great not to have to fight against an algorithm. That's a big selling point because, at the end of the day, organic social is basically dead. Being able to curate a room or a group or community whereby you have a hundred percent share of voice when you want to have a hundred percent share of voice is a luxury.
Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs interested in starting or adding an online community to their business?
I think it's really important to have a content strategy for your community and to schedule out your content. We did that with a month of planning, and when you do that, really thinking through the content strategy, it then opens you up to actually be a participant.
Being disciplined about your content strategy is important. That's something we did really well with our community so far, we just busted ourselves to get all the content in there, baked, locked and loaded, scheduled.
"The content is the fire pit, and if you post it, people will join around the fire and have a conversation. I think that's really key to success."
And because of that, every day we were able to be participants in a very natural way. There was less of that constant pressure of, “oh my God, we need to post something!” So I think the content strategy is the most important thing you can do aside from having the actual community members.
Yes, you can always add things on the fly, but I think you need to give people something to join around. It's almost like a bonfire mentality. The content is the fire pit, and if you post it, people will join around the fire and have a conversation. I think that's really key to success.