Tory Archbold wears many hats, among them CEO, entrepreneur, and business coach, with her success in promoting some of the world’s top brands and business leaders earning her the label of PR Powerhouse.

She founded her global brand communications agency TORSTAR in 2000, which masterminded the Australian launch of fashion brand Zara. “It attracted 22,000 shoppers and $1 million of sales on day one, Tory says. “It was the most successful retail launch in Australia’s history.”

Tory took a different direction in 2019 when she founded Powerful Steps. “I knew I had the ability to create and build brands, but I wanted to do that for people.”

The logic behind personal brand

Both personal brand and business brand come down to getting the scripting, the storytelling and the positioning right to connect with like-minded people. “People will not connect with you unless they feel that you are in alignment with the values, the intent and the purpose of their business or service,” says Tory. “So, your personal brand must showcase what you want to attract into your life or business. It needs to reveal who you are.”

Tory had to do exactly that when she moved from her TORSTAR business to found Powerful Steps. It is a platform to inspire, encourage and guide women through life’s various challenges, launching their own business, and building a successful brand. She had to demonstrate she could do this for her own business. This required attracting corporate warriors, women leaders and entrepreneurs, big thinkers, and people ready to step outside of their comfort zone into their power zone.

The power of connection

Over the years, Tory has built a formidable global network by committing to at least three “coffee dates” each week. One date must be with a member of her own tribe or community, another with a desired partner, and the third must take Tory out of her comfort zone, such as the head of an agency in Los Angeles. Two years later, that saw Tory launching Drew Barrymore’s beauty brand, Flower Beauty, in Australia.

Whether face-to-face or online, these 15-minute “mutual exchanges of energy” would not eventuate without Tory’s presence on LinkedIn. There people can discover her foundational values and the intent and purpose of Powerful Steps. It takes them on her journey, describing where she came from and five transformational moments that led her to where she is today. Her profile is a way of connecting or “like attracting like”.

Tory helps many people to rewrite their LinkedIn profiles. For example, one banker Tory is mentoring started her career on a superyacht pouring champagne for billionaires. So, rather than describing herself as a leader who has achieved, X, Y and Z, her profile begins with the unusual career start. Tory says it is a great conversation starter because people will be very curious about the experience on the yacht.

Advocate for others

Tory explains that a standout LinkedIn profile requires an amazing photo, plus the right energy, look, feel and representation of your brand. She suggests, as in the banker example above, revealing something about yourself that people don’t necessarily know but that they will connect with, and that takes them on your journey.

“Share your challenges and let people see your raw side. Rather than looking down at you, people will look up to you,” Tory says. “Switch up your LinkedIn profile every three months. Don’t be like everyone else and leave a flattering photo from years ago.

“After all, your LinkedIn profile should not be all about you but about what you have actually done for other people. Never hero yourself. Hero yourself with your connections. That becomes the best advocacy for you, so celebrate your community’s successes.”

“In essence, be disruptive, and be a leader. Most importantly, stay in your lane and don’t try to be something you are not”.

Unlocking your personal brand done well

Tory’s approach is to aim high. When she launched Powerful Steps, she benchmarked the brand with those like Zara that have attained true alignment between their values, intent and purpose, and have never wavered from them. But launching a new business also meant reinventing her profile.

“I had to get uncomfortable to get comfortable, Tory says. “I had to redo all of my personal branding shots. I had to reintroduce myself as the business.”

“You have got to get your story right whether you are talking about personal brand or business brand. You have got to get your positioning right. You have got to get your intent, right. But most importantly, you need to take people on the journey.

“Just as crucial is knowing your audience and understanding their journey as well. Because when you understand what they value, the pathway for your professional or business growth will become very, very clear.”

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  • This article represents opinions and views of the interviewees personal experiences only.  It does not have regard to the situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as advice. It is not intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product or service. Before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124.