COVID-19 has been an ongoing health crisis since March this year and its impact means we’re living in a far more ‘virtual’ world. We connect online via Zoom linkups and we engage via social media. Someone who knows how to make sure you deliver a standout brand in this virtual world is Tory Archbold, because she’s run successful campaigns for major fashion labels over the past 20 years.
If anyone has a proven track record in turning a product into a standout brand, it’s Tory. Her own company, Torstar, was known the world over for the innovative campaigns she ran for major fashion brands such as Seafolly and Zara. These days, she runs a business and leadership mentoring company called Powerful Steps and this time around, she’s helping others navigate the business world.
When it comes to social media, Tory says this business tool is “absolutely critical” to your brand: “You have to have a standout brand in an online world,” she says. “In a virtual world, you can’t just sit back and wait for things to happen – you’ve got to make them happen.”
LinkedIn is a “vitally important social media platform for business”
When asked about the different social media platforms, Tory is clear that LinkedIn is one of the most critical for business. She points to the fact LinkedIn’s membership has increased worldwide from 675 million people in January to 690 million people right now.
As well, Microsoft has reported Linkedin’s usage has continued to rise, up 26% for the last quarter globally (as reported by Social Media Today).
Tory adds: “At the moment, LinkedIn’s traffic is booming with three million users sharing content on a weekly basis here in Australia. This platform is driving 50% of the social traffic to B2B sites and it’s considered to be one of the most credible sources of content.”
“If LinkedIn is one of the most powerful content tools in the world right now, jump on board – create your own content,” she adds. “Build your community and build your network. It’s a unique opportunity to show people what you have to offer.”
And LinkedIn is not the only social media platform being used far more since the pandemic. Australians are among the most active users of social media in the world. Around 60% of our population actively uses Facebook and 50% log onto Facebook at least once a day.
As Tory points out: “Living in a virtual world – as we’ve had to do lately – has shown people the possibilities of having a side hustle. They’re quickly realising that side hustles can become a business – and they’re backing themselves. They’ve come to understand the online world is such a pivotal part of what they want to create. Because they can have a business and they can work from anywhere in the world if they have the right technology.”
When asked to explain more about the importance of how you present yourself on LinkedIn, Tory says: “For instance, if someone wanted to have a meeting with me, then the first thing they’re going to do is Google my name. And what’s going to come up? If you’re an ordinary, entrepreneurial or corporate woman, then guess what? The first thing that’s going to come up is LinkedIn.”
“So, what they see on LinkedIn is going to be your picture,” she adds. “In a snap second, people will look at the image of you and ask themselves, what’s the authenticity of this person? Are they looking into the camera? Are they confident? Or is their image a chopped-out piece of their head with someone’s arm around them? It’s that first impression that counts. So you have to have a standout personal brand in terms of photography.”
You need to have a standout personal brand in terms of photography
“So, in essence, your virtual presence is the face we present to the world,” says Tory, “… and because we’re virtual a lot of the time, it’s the only face a lot of people see. Now, unless you’re brave enough to dabble in Instagram Live to create digital content – or Facebook Live and LinkedIn Live, your personality is not going to come to life – so the photo you present on your social media is so important.”
“You have to ask yourself – what does that photo say? What’s that spark in your eye? Why do they want to connect with you? The whole idea is, if you want to have a standout personal brand, you’ve got to show your authentic talents to the world,” she adds.
Tory says she’s holding personal branding shoots in Sydney at the moment, for her clients at Powerful Steps. “I guess, from two decades of working with all of these top-performing retail brands and celebrities and influencers, I understand what it takes to have a standout brand,” she says.
“So a good example is a client might come to me with a really frumpy image but they actually have a magnetic business and they have a magnetic personality, plus they’re highly skilled at what they do. But they’re not standing out, they’re not popping on the page because of the way they’re presenting themselves.”
“So what I’ve done is I’ve pulled together the best photographers, the best stylists, the best hair and makeup artists – and I’ve packaged things up so people can get a bit of that ‘wow’ factor – that magical ‘Torstar’ factor that I managed to show the world for the last two decades.”
“If you want to attract and retain success, you have to remain visible. You have to show your value and your worth. You have to show your authentic self – otherwise people are not going to connect with you,” she says.
A changing world means you need to transform as well
Tory adds the world has changed so much this year and with everything that’s been happening, people need to feel that great energy that everyone have to give. She says with all of this constant change, it’s important to update your LinkedIn and your other social media every six to 12 months because as she says: “Not only have you evolved, the world has evolved.”
“For example, at the beginning of the year, my LinkedIn shots were really relevant and credible, to who my personal brand was and what my business was at that point of time,” she says. “But now, I’ve had to go for the wow factor – because you know what? The world needs more people stepping forward and being authentic and showing us the possibilities.”
“I realised I just had to go and have fun with the personal brand that I wanted to put out there, because I want to attract people that have that inner power, ready to be ignited and unleashed into the world. But if I’m just projecting myself as another corporate success story, how am I different from anyone else out there? What’s my super attractor, what’s my power?
“So I decided to look back and go OK, where does my passion lie? And what’s missing in this equation? For 20 years I worked with all those incredible brands, stylists, models and celebrities – and I love fashion. So I decided to bring that fashionable element into the shoot I just did when I overhauled my LinkedIn.”
“The response, since I put my new photos up last week is that people are saying ‘wow’, look at those images! How did you create them? How can I do that for myself? And so what I’ve done acts as a super power – a super attractor. If you have the right image, people are naturally attracted to you because they want some of that magic, they want some of that ‘Aha!’ feeling, and they know you can create it for them if you created it for yourself,” says Archbold.
You need to share a powerful story
Archbold says after the photos, the second thing that’s most important on your social media platforms is your story: “You need to be able to share a powerful story. Because in the first two sentences of your bio, that’s the same thing that comes up when someone does a brand SEO Google search. So, you want to make it a standout.”
“What are those two or three sentences going to say about you that makes people want to connect? They’re going to look at your photo and they’re going to look at the words – and I don’t care what anyone else in the world says – those two factors are incredibly important,” she adds.
“The words need to punch out of the page – they need to tell a story – they need to show what you can deliver. We do LinkedIn overhauls at Powerful Steps because it’s so important you get it right. You need to pull out the key points and deliverables so your star shines. Then people can see how they can connect with you and how they can partner or collaborate with you,” says Archbold.
Keep posting original content and building up your connections
Once you have your photos and your story right, Tory says it’s important to be active on your social media platforms, connecting with other people and creating as much original content as possible.
“People sometimes tell me they have these great pieces they want to post and I ask them how many connections or followers they have and they tell me 40. With 40 followers, that’s not going to get the engagement they’re after. So it’s important to build up your power base of connections, so that you have a larger amount of people in your virtual community. This way, when you do post something that has relevance to them, they’re going to like and engage,” she adds.
But she points out it’s also all about building a brand and it’s not just about “you, you, you.” It’s more about building your audience and your community so you can naturally exchange:
“The best way that you can start getting noticed, once you’ve got your great image and your story, is to like and engage with other people. Because the more your name pops up on other people’s feeds, the more people are going to look up your profile and see what you have to offer them.”
Tory adds being active on social media is about showing the world who you are. But she points out: “It’s not about likes – it’s about engagement. You can keep building your followers but what matters is if they’re engaged with your product and if they take action when you post.”
She adds: “You need to step up – to lead and disrupt – to have an opinion. Now is the time, more than ever, to step up and show the world who you are. It’s not the time to be invisible. It’s a time to show what your capabilities are, how you can partner with people, how you can be a team player, how you can be a super connector. Because, that’s what the world’s looking for. People are looking for the people who can lead and shine and hold a team together.”
Show another side of yourself – talk about your mistakes or your vulnerabilities
Tory says it’s important to show other sides of yourself and not to be afraid of showing your vulnerabilities: “It’s not all about your success stories – one after the other. You could show how you failed at something but here’s what you learnt from it.”
She says when you do this, you show your community you’re on the journey with them: “The more authentic you are, the more drawn to you people are. Of course, people are going to be drawn to people who’ve been successful and that’s normal, but they’re also drawn to people who are not afraid of their disabilities. Some of the best posts I’ve seen have come from minority groups posting about their experiences on LinkedIn – I’ve absolutely loved them,” she adds.
All the other social media platforms are important as well
Tory says that while LinkedIn is critical for business success, Facebook and Instagram are also important: “I think Facebook’s definitely an important tool. Facebook is more consumer based but it’s still a vital community to be involved in. I think the closed Facebook groups generate a lot of good conversations and engagement but the public ones many not be as engaging,” she adds.
“Instagram and Facebook Messenger can be very good business tools as well but not so much Twitter any more,” she adds. “Sometimes business people will look at your Instagram and they won’t like or engage, but then they’ll message you for more information.”
“So, you have to make sure all of your social platforms tell a very strong brand story. I also love podcasts because they harness the power of storytelling to build your audience. You can create your own podcast or go on a show and talk and I find this a really, powerful business tool,” she adds.
“In the last seven days, I’ve done three podcasts to three very different audiences, with three very different conversations. These high-volume podcasts have built my network and opened up opportunities for my business,” she says.
If you’re running a business or thinking of starting one, you can book in a free 15 minute Discovery Call with Tory Archbold from Powerful Steps by clicking on the link below. Or take a look at the other links below for more information: