Tory Archbold is one of Australia's most renowned publicists. Having worked with globally renowned brands with her Communications Agency TORSTAR, Tory has now launched her platform @PowerfulSteps to encourage & drive female empowerment & success. X Files speaks with Tory about her illustrious career, how to stay feeling empowered & of course, what is next.
Please tell us about your early life and career. What was it that got you to where you are now?
I always knew I wanted a global business – it’s in my DNA – I love the excitement of being first to market with a brand or business idea that deliver’s impact. I fell in love with media and entertainment after a stint in the UK with Viacom and a licensing company responsible for Lucas Films and 20th Century Fox productions in my 20’s where I had the opportunity to learn from those at the top of their game – the innovators and the disruptors. MTV led that charge and I was in a support role thinking maybe one day soon I can also create and build powerful brands. I returned to Australia and translated that dream into reality by starting my own brand communications agency TORSTAR which attracted and partnered with the world’s top performing retail brands, celebrities and influencers.
You ran your successful PR agency TORSTAR for almost 20 years. What made you decide to step away from the PR world?
I truly believe you know when one journey is about to end and another to begin. I trusted my gut instinct which had been sending me signals for a few years prior that it was time to pass the baton to the next generation of communication experts and that moment came when we launched Drew Barrymore’s beauty brand into Australia in 2019. I was listening to her speak about female empowerment and in that moment knew it was time to trust that instinct and leave PR at the top of my game. I will always be grateful for that moment in time as it led me to make a very brave move and one not many people action – closing a successful business with a global reputation and start another – Powerful Steps.
Is there a standout project or campaign that you have worked on?
Launching Zara into Australia was a professional highlight. It is often referred to as the most successful launch in retail history and my agency in partnership with Inditex was responsible for delivering that retail impact through teamwork, passion and commitment to ensure that the customer experience was one nobody would forget. We had 22,000 people walk through the doors on day 1 and delivered $1million in sales. Every person was treated to the same experience and that is what I loved most about working with their team – they were humble, yet driven to ensure that nothing was short of exceptional in everything that they touched because the customer always came first.
Powerful Steps now has amassed over 11,000 monthly downloads. What has made your podcast so successful?
Thank you, I feel very humbled by this question. Our success comes from the women who have shared their powerful stories that touch the hearts and minds of others. I wanted to create a podcast based on authenticity and trust. Every guest we have is someone who I have met along the highway of life and that just happens to be extraordinary women who have owned their story and are able to shine a light for others to see that challenges will always translate into possibilities’. Highlight guests have included the gorgeous Eva, Melissa Doyle, Danielle Cormack, Pip Edwards, Leah Simmons and next week we interview Rachel Hunter out of LA who is on the most incredible soul journey transformation. It feels like a daily treat to enjoy these powerful conversations and share them with others.
What would you like your listeners to learn from Powerful Steps?
That every step you take is a step towards your future self. Make it real and most importantly make it powerful.
Now that you’re totally in control of creating interviews, is there any person in particular that you look to for inspiration?
I look for inspiration from our guests as believe we are connecting for a higher purpose – to shine a light for others who may be going through a transformational phase in their life and looking for answers from someone who has been there, conquered the challenge and translated it into a possibility. Every guest I interview teaches me something new about life, business, how they followed the signs to become the person they are today through the power of their story. When we listen, we learn and that’s an incredible way to level up so I find my inspiration from this international community we have the privilege of interviewing.
What has been the most meaningful Conversation you have had on Powerful Steps?
There have been so many as our guests dig deep. The common thread is they have all been at the top of their careers and a game changing moment or struggle transformed into a live or die moment where they had to dig deep to seek out the answers and translate that challenge into a possibility. The conversation’s become relatable to our audience because they then see these guests as ‘real people’ with ‘real problems’ just like them and it empowers them to take their next powerful step and ownership of the challenge they are facing because they can see clearly that someone else has already walked the path they are currently on and got the breakthrough they are looking for.
What is something that surprised you about being in control of creating your own interviews and conversations rather than only being the observer?
I spent two decades curating the answers for other people’s interviews and fell in love with the power of storytelling to create and build brands. Swapping seats and seeking out who to interview and what to ask them for my own brand was a natural switch and when I launched Powerful Stories I wanted to anchor every interview to my value set – passion, integrity, delivery – to create and deliver conversation’s with impact. The kind of first-hand experiences I wanted to hear about when I was going through my own professional and personal transformation that motivates you to switch your thinking and propel forward even though you may be experiencing tough times. Through this interviewing process I was surprised by just how many people felt judged about opening up to their truth, how their biggest fears became their greatest strengths - it made me realise just how important it is to crack open conversation’s that at times are taboo because when you shine a light for another you can truly make a difference.
How do you come up with the themes for each episode on your podcast?
I lean into my intuition. You have to be able to read the room no matter what profession you are in which means be aware of what is happening in the world right now, what do people need to hear that will deliver impact so that they can take their own powerful steps forward in life. There is a common theme of game-changing moments, the powerful steps our guests took to get there, wellness and mindset rituals so they can lean into the possibilities’ in their own life. Oprah’s former Chief of Staff Libby Moore turned executive coach, being interviewed said she felt it was ‘the Studio 54 of podcast experiences’ being in ‘a galaxy of conversation and connection’. I guess that nails it!
Do you have any powerful women you look towards either personally or professionally?
There is power in every woman I know.
Do you have any personal or professional mentors?
I have had some incredible mentors throughout my career, and they were always based in the US – Chicago, LA and NYC. I loved tapping into their expertise to drive my global ambition and forever grateful for the wisdom they shared as it allowed me to become the woman I am today. The best part is I now share the wisdom they taught me with others through our business and mentoring programs for high octane entrepreneurial women and men.
Powerful Steps is now featured in the top 1% of of Apple Podcasts in Australia (congratulations!) What do you attribute this success to, and in what direction do you see Powerful Steps moving?
Success is never attributed to one person – it takes the power of connection and team effort to deliver a product people are engaged with – you have that with Parlour X and I have that with Powerful Steps. I am truly grateful we have created a podcast that resonates with others and will continue to form part of people’s daily routines as they seek answers to life greatest questions. Powerful Steps is now a global brand, and our signature Business Attraction Program is attracting women in AUS, Singapore and the US to join our powerful community. These women are ready to step outside of their comfort zone and into their professional power zone by tapping into the power of their story and intuition which shows there is a great appetite for those in their 30’s 40’s and 50's who are ready to level up in life. We are building out the platform to include more online masterclasses and a book will launch March 2023.
What do you think the key to successfully growing and connecting with your audience is?
Listening to feedback – every day we have people leave reviews or send DM’s about these powerful conversations and it’s what fuels the content.
What advice would you give someone wanting to work for themselves?
The greatest life gift is to back yourself. Focus on the opportunity and the outcome. You will never look back because the go forward momentum is so awesome.
My second piece of advice is a happy heart is a magnet for miracles. When you work on yourself from the inside out everything will fall into alignment, and you will be in a position to attract what you deserve.
What’s something you wish that 20-year-old Tory knew?
Those that judge are often reflecting on their own issues.
Could you describe your personal style? How has it evolved with you?
My style has evolved as I have evolved. For two decades I was the woman with 60 black designer dresses blending in because I didn’t want to be seen yet I was the one making the power moves for others propelling them forward in business and life. I was living two lives and Marie Claire Magazine best described it as success and survival. I am no longer that woman and live-in alignment with my truth and that means I can wear what I want whenever I want. I stepped forward and into my power to shine a light for others.
My daughter Bella who is the light of my life.
What can we expect next from Tory Archbold?
My next powerful step is to launch online programs for female entrepreneurs who want to claim their power in 2022. Watch this space!
To connect with Tory for a coffee date to learn more about her programs and podcast www.powerful-steps.com