We are excited to provide an update in this Q&A interview on Aliza Licht who is an award-winning marketer, bestselling author, podcaster, personal branding expert, and the founder of LEAVE YOUR MARK, a multimedia brand and consultancy who has written a new book, “On Brand: Shape Your Narrative. Share Your Vision. Shift Their Perception”! Aliza was named one of “America’s Next Top Mentors” by The New York Times and Business Insider’s “Top 20 Most Innovative Career Coaches.” As a social media pioneer and one of the first fashion influencers, Aliza created and was the voice of the anonymous social media phenomenon DKNY PR GIRL. You can learn all about her first book, “Leave Your Mark,” here.
Do you think you unconsciously understood the importance of Visual Branding before that was a term? For example, you’ve always worn red lipstick and painted your nails red. I have never seen you on camera or in person looking anything but super polished and professional.
My mom influenced my style growing up. She was always decked from head to toe with a full face of makeup- even to the gym. We grew up with the understanding that when you go out not looking your best, you will run into the last person you want to! Not kidding. So yes, that was ingrained in my brain. But truth be told, being put together was always my superpower. It’s how I felt most successful. I got dressed up for exams in college when everyone else rolled out of bed in pajamas. You can never go wrong looking your best. Visual identity is a powerful weapon in personal branding. I’m known for my red lip now, but that’s because it’s what I always wear. It’s caffeine for the face! Repetition is reputation.
As a wardrobe stylist, visual branding is what I do every day. So many people come to me, thinking that it doesn’t matter or that it’s shallow, but when they realize it’s not about fashion as much as it is about not sabotaging yourself in front of your audience. How important do you think it is to have your insides match your outside? And is this only for your professional life?
Fashion is the most visual way for anyone to express their personal brand. It has the power to change your mindset and grow your confidence. In On Brand, Elizabeth Holmes and I dive into the visual cues of Royal fashion because every single look they wear is incredibly thoughtful. What you wear speaks volumes about you before you’ve even had a chance to open your mouth. You’re telling a story with your clothing. It’s not shallow; it’s strategic. *Learn more about fashion diplomacy & how/why royals & politicians wear what they wear here.
That’s a remarkable story about your experience with your friend who is also a psychic. I love it! How long does it take to write the book once you made that decision to go ahead with it?
I was not planning on writing a second book, but when my friend Heather, a psychic, told me I would write one on personal branding, I laughed it off. When my former editor for Leave Your Mark texted three weeks later and said the same thing, I knew it was the universe speaking. I got the book deal in December 2022; the manuscript was due June 1st.
I have read both of your books, and have found them immensely helpful, even though I am older, and have been in my career for a long time now. Do you feel like this book and even your first book can be helpful to people who have been in their careers a long time, even though some of it may be focused on people just starting out?
Thank you! Absolutely. Leave Your Mark was intended for young aspiring professionals. Still, many people beyond that age have found it enormously valuable and fun to read because it’s personal and, like The Devil Wears Prada, meets career advice. The Leave Your Mark podcast has extended the book’s life and grown a much wider audience. On Brand is for everyone and picks up right where Leave Your Mark left off. It’s for the new graduate seeking her first job, the middle manager looking to level up, the executive who wants to become more notable, the entrepreneur building from scratch, the person who wants to pivot to a new career, the influencer who is their own brand—it’s for anyone who wants to change the way people perceive them. In the hybrid and often virtual world we now work in, people need to be able to convey who they are no matter what the medium. Gone are the days of hoping your credentials speak for themselves. We communicate nonstop in obvious and subtle ways, so getting your message right and learning how to market yourself is paramount to success.
One of your most admirable traits to me is that you are happy to connect people, and give back to people who have helped you along the way. Can you explain the importance of doing this? It can be difficult, especially for women in executive positions where the competition is tight.
Thank you for that acknowledgment. There is always room at the table for everyone, and what people don’t realize is that the more you put yourself out there to help others, the more social capital you build. That comes back in spades. In On Brand, there is a whole chapter on how to earn social capital and cultivate authentic relationships. Your network is your career currency.
You have so much knowledge to share, can you tell people where they can find you?
Instagram and TikTok: @alizalichtxo
*Headshot by Monica Farber
The Style That Binds Us