Posts in Learnings
On maintaining a healthy relationship with... our phones.
Drawing by Becky Rui

Drawing by Becky Rui

When I started properly reading fiction books a couple of years ago and had to keep looking-up what new words meant on my phone 🤔, I would find myself replying to messages that had popped up on my screen instead. So I’d stop reading my book for a while, get back to a friend, think about how to respond to something else, and then I’d go back to reading. Oh, and then look up what that word meant again! And then I'd try and get back in the flow of my book. Repeat.

I realised my peaceful reading time was getting all eaten up by distractions and requests every time I looked up a word, and it felt so wrong! I mean, the answer really is: get a dictionary babe. But it wasn't until I started Googling words when I was reading that I realised how often I must be interrupted by phone notifications day to day. I guess I just thought that seeing and responding to things on my phone was a totally normal thing, and for most people, it is.

Even though having a smartphone is super great for so many reasons, I am relieved that we’re all starting to become more aware of how our usage can also:

📱 Massively distract us from pretty much anything we’re doing
📱 Create an unnecessary feeling inside of urgency to respond to people immediately and be available to them at all times. (This is without saying anything on the effect that social media/the way we consume information online has on us emotionally and mentally. You can read my musings on this here.)
📱 Take us away from the initial reason we went on our phone and get sucked into the digital vortex (like, really)
📱 Create or feed into addictive behaviour and constant, unthinking phone-checking
📱 Act as an acceptable way to put a wall around ourselves when we're out and about, makes us appear unavailable when we're using them (so sad when that becomes a default way of being - yes there are often valid reasons for wanting to blockade yourself, but I think much of it is literally just phone addiction)
📱 Limits our observation of, and engagement with, the 'physical' world around us and our fellow human beings

This is not how it has to be.

And it's okay if we're choosing to 'browse' or scroll or look into things and go down those rabbit holes; that's part of what the internet is for. I just feel it's just a problem when it becomes an unconscious activity that is having a detrimental effect on our mental health, sense of presence, peace and community.

My aim is to protect myself, at least a bit, from the the negative impacts of it and increase my flow and productivity in my personal life and working day. Some of these ideas below for making that shift are obvious and common and you are probably already doing a lot of them, but for anyone else, here are some ideas!

Tips on managing our relationships with our phones as entrepreneurs:

  1. Switch on flight mode when you go to bed. (This way, when I check the time in the morning etc, I am not immediately drawn into messages from people, or what I might have to unexpectedly do that day, etc. If we’re able to take the time, our early mornings can be personal, sacred time to be chill, set our vibration for the day ahead and clarify our intentions, before opening ourselves to any media or communications.)

  2. Only go on social media/maybe news etc once you’ve gotten yourself grounded in the morning or set up for the day. Be patient. For me, this is def after my morning-pages-journaling and after getting clear about what’s most important for me to focus on that day. Then I can go online and see what's up. If I don't have my own clear intentions first, I can honestly get kinda overwhelmed with all the messages and swept into the current of seeing what other people seem to be doing and the troubling news. It's so much more manageable when I enter from a more centred place.

  3. I turned off notifications, except phone calls and SMS messages (which I have to actually unlock to open and see the content of, because... might as well make reading messages a conscious choice, too). Radical. So I just don’t see a lot of stuff until I choose to check my apps (admittedly probably every 1-3 hours most days). You might think you’ll miss out on potential work or things going on with your friends, and maybe you will, but people will call you or text you if it’s genuinely important or time sensitive. If you’re getting all FOMO about it, just tell your real life friends, family and clients to give you a call or text if they need to get hold of you.

  4. I keep my phone on silent pretty much all of the time, except when I’ve got calls booked with clients or something like that. Because, if I’m in the middle of something and I hear a ‘ding’, of course I look at my phone. And I have known myself to get distracted for a minute. Or ten, or twenty.

  5. I arrange set times to speak with my lovely clients. We check in to arrange a time to talk (I use the calendly site), so that we don’t play phone ping-pong and waste time (which you might spend on your phone). This wouldn't work for all types of businesses, but I’m okay with it and it has always worked for me.

  6. Turn off WhatsApp read receipts. Just, so much better.

  7. I tend to keep my phone out of sight and face down when I'm not using it. Because sometimes when it's in my peripheral vision, I get drawn to checking it out of interest. If we look to the science, it's obviously because we are itching for that little endorphin rush you get when a message has appeared. Over and over again. I don't want to be slave to that and I don't think we should allow ourselves to develop that habit, or set that example. I basically get shit done better if I'm not checking my phone every 15 minutes! And, my sense of validation is not dependent on people messaging me on my phone.

But, isn’t this what phones are for? Contact and sharing and staying connected with people? Why even have a smartphone if this is such a big deal for you?

I believe we should each have a say in how we interact with technology, and the freedom to engage with it on our own terms.

Some people might feel this is over the top and strangely controlling, to filter the way I do. But if other people are okay with being on their phones a lot, being constantly interrupted with updates and messages, and if that actually works for them, then I guess that's cool. It's not for me to say what is best for others.

Technology moves so quickly, and I personally want to keep being conscious about my own usage, about where my energy goes and the way it affects my life. If we can be aware of how our phones impact us and the people in our lives, we can consciously adapt our usage and notification settings to serve us.

P.S. I understand that not all of these things are available for everyone to do all the time (phone on silent etc). In certain situations, and for parents, for people who are working on-call, etc you need to receive the notifications. But we can still intend to bring awareness to it.

What do you think? How do you maintain a conscious healthy relationship with technology?

Have you tried any of these things? I’d love to hear from you!

Comment or email me at becky@beckyrui.com

On Social Media and it's Impact on Identity, Our Relationships and Mental Health

I posted this on my personal Facebook page and appreciated the feedback and conversation it started, so thought I’d share on my blog too as the themes I am exploring are important and something many of us are facing.

Social media plays such a huge part in our individual worlds, if you’re on it most days (or all day). There are things that are amazing about that, and aspects so concerning to me, that are coming to light in research more and more of the time and being talked about. I wrote most of this over a year ago to clarify my feelings just for myself, but didn’t share it at the time because I was confused about it and felt paradoxical to post, but now it feels like I should.

This post is not to belittle the positive aspects of our online culture, but to bring awareness to its impact on our mental health, and really to think openly and talk about it.

I feel some fear to share what I have to say because of the work I do as a personal brand photographer; specifically helping people to represent themselves online, and not wanting to put down the validity of my own work or make it less credible. I have always held the values of love, truth and integrity above all, and have never been supportive of telling any story visually for a business or a person that is untrue. If anything, the work I have been doing for these past seven/eight years has given me so much insight to examine the phenomenon of social media as I have used it in such a big way, and look into how to get this right for ourselves and for the people we impact by being involved with it. As someone who is having conversations about ‘how to show up online’ most days, I feel like this is more important for me to talk about than hide from.

BeckyRui2018(124).jpg

So… Social media has created a kind of reference point for everyone using it, about what is ‘normal’ through what we see from each other, yet as we all know, this is based only on what people choose to share, and we don’t always remember that. We’re overloaded with information about the people we’re connected to online when we use Facebook or Instagram for example, and the wider world , a lot of the time without even realising it because it's so 'everyday', with information that tells us little bits about what’s happening in other peoples personal lives, relationships, businesses, travels etc. These are things that can help us feel connected and inspired, and things that can create feelings of being totally inadequate, far away from ourselves, our dreams and each other, when we forget that we're not seeing the whole picture or hearing the full story.

We see a curated world, based on how we’ve been interacting online since we started playing with social media, and since the internet was a thing. What you’re looking at is a uniquely refined feed of what algorithms understand that you, personally, will most engage with, enjoy, find of interest — and will keep you online (and I think I think it’s not unfair to say - addicted and buying). I feel that the world we each experience online has been being carved out slowly but surely, like a river, over the years we’ve been using it, and it has affected our interpretation of what the world is, and most likely our tastes and opinions and the way we use our brains, as the river gets deeper, it’s current stronger.

We are each seeing a body of content that is filtered specifically for us, based partly on our choices and interactions, and a partly automated never-ending stream of content. With the amount of time many people spend online, it’s become a huge part of our daily life, our reality. I can't help but ask myself the questions... is that okay? Can this be a positive thing? Can this be a bad thing? Is it just the way it is now? Everything seems totally fine with social media when we’re doing well and have things ‘in balance’. But so many of us just don’t, are struggling with this, and are afraid to say that. Some of us find balance only in going through periods of engagement and then abstinence to be okay. Why is that? And what is it that tips us from one way to the other and back again? I’m curious about how everyone is finding it all, and how we each are developing ways to live with its very real presence.

From my own experience and through conversations with friends and clients, I know that so much of the time we are comparing ourselves to what we see of the lives of others online, and so much of that is unconscious. As I mentioned, we can forget that we're only seeing parts of the lives that friends/creatives/entrepreneurs/influencers are choosing to make public. We accidentally idolise and unthinkingly figure that other people have got it sorted and we are failing behind when we’re not in a good place. We don’t see any of the other stuff going on in their day, the human issues they face, that we all share and don’t always know how to talk about. (I am aware of some amazing users and influencers who really do share the very difficult or weird times too, so I know this is not 100% of people, but it is the majority.) I want to draw more attention to it so we can be aware of how it’s affecting us personally and culturally, and aim to have a healthy relationship with it if we are to continue using. I’ve got some thoughts on that later.

Then it comes to our contribution. Social media is an amazing tool, AND we I feel need to be responsible about the way we interact; personally and in business. Once you add the ‘cultivating of an online personal brand’ and having a service based business that you may feel dependent on for your income, there’s another layer to it all that can be very challenging as you are forced to go within, clarify your identity and message on a public platform and decide how much to say. We as business owners obviously must be true and real at every touch point we have with our followers and clients online and IRL, as ever, but how does having an online presence that you use to represent yourself personally and professionally affect your deeper sense of identity on an ongoing basis?

I don’t mean to blow this out of proportion or scare anyone, but I really feel its important to look at this.

I have been using social media to grow my business for years, and hadn’t had any real trouble with this in my heart. It wasn’t until I was very low for some time, that I questioned what I have been doing, as I realised I felt unsafe to say how I was actually feeling during that time. I touched on it in some of my posts, but I felt way too vulnerable to really share about depression and what was going on… I had been through some pretty big life changes and was finding myself again, and that was my personal journey. It felt messy though, because I thought I needed to keep using social media to run my business but didn’t feel I could be fully honest without damaging what I had already built. It was like flipping between being different people depending on how I was feeling that day… I stayed true in what I did say and still did a great job in my work (my work with my clients and our photo shoots inspire me and add to my creative energy), but I felt unsafe to tell the truth online in my darker times. I felt guilty about that because I was projecting a version of myself that was not whole. I also questioned how much of our full experience is appropriate to be sharing when we have no obligation to say anything at all. If it is acceptable to post only when you’re happy, then what are we using social media for? Who are you writing to? What is it doing to us? And what online identity had I created if I couldn’t be completely honest within it?

I know we wouldn’t walk down the street talking to strangers, friends or clients about everything difficult going on inside for us, so we shouldn’t feel we have to do that online either, but I’m curious about where that line of privacy and self preservation is for each of us, if there is one.

Overall I believe we do have some responsibility to use our social for good, and to be open about the shadow side to the online world. I’m seeing so many business owners trying to find ways to express themselves with their full spectrum of human experience - that the shiny happy posts are not the whole story of every single day, that there are difficult times too, and they’re doing their best to keep it real AND position themselves in their expertise. I think that is really great to see and a relief for many, it starts a healing process.

Every single profile has opened a door to the once private world of each person using it, and no matter how well intentioned we are in our posts, I think it is healthy to question what we’ve been sharing, the stories we are telling, and what ripple effect that causes.

What representation have we crafted about ourselves and our lives over the years of having a personal brand? How connected do we truly feel to the version of ourselves that we share online? How does going on social media make you feel most of the time? How do you feel social media is affecting you?

For the people using it/sharing regularly, as I used to and probably will again, we are posting in the first place to contribute, to stay in touch with those we know, to share ideas... and then we find over time that we have formed an avatar of who we are, an impression of our lives and thoughts based on what we were comfortable sharing or proud to say in that moment. This is happening on a mass scale. I’m not necessarily saying that it’s bad or wrong, it is what it is… we are learning… but by using it at all, we are contributing to the positive and negative effect it’s having on us, our people, children and planet. (And there is so so much good that is happening as a result of fast spreading information which I love and am so grateful for.)

As it will continue to be a thing that most people use, I believe we each need to take personal responsibility for our own consumption of social media and our contribution to it. We need to find our own ways to have a relationship with it that is healthy, kind, inclusive, honest and well rounded. It’s not going away and it is growing. I feel taking this responsibility is especially important for us to do for more vulnerable people (particularly for children and young minds that I believe we have a responsibility to look out for as we build the world they are coming into). I’m sure this is a real phenomenon of our times for all people, not just 20-somethings and business owners.

For now what I would love us to remember as we move forward is that…

1. What we see on social media in general is a curated feed and is not the whole truth.
2. Even though we know at a deeper level that everyone has ups and downs, light and dark, good times and bad times, know that they don’t share all of these personal details of their life because it IS personal and not necessarily safe or appropriate for them to do so. Respect the privacy of others, know that theres a bigger picture behind everything you see. Don’t judge others by what you observe online - there is so much more to them. Be kind.
3. Let’s know that social is an amazing tool for connection and relationships, information and education, inspiration and ideas, yet can also be a tool of harm. Let’s bring awareness to how it is personally affecting us — try to consciously release thoughts of judgement on ourselves and others. For example, when we feel negative emotion come up while using social media, I find it helpful when I can to name what I’m feeling and consider the thoughts that led to it. e.g. ‘I’m not good enough, I should be doing better’ — if that came from actually comparing myself/art/life/home/career/relationship/friendships with something I just saw, I try to notice what it brought up, and take a moment to reconnect with my own truth and what lights me up.
These triggers can be used as a navigational system to help us reconnect with what WE truly desire, what inspires us, or what we genuinely do want more of in our own lives. Sometimes feeling the contrast of something we’ve seen reminds us of our own values… that’s when it can make a positive difference; when it inspires clarity, action or positively motivates us.
4. The only truth that we can hold on to is our own personal truth. By that I mean , as always, we have to trust our own intuition/gut about things, try to notice those moments where we’re comparing ourselves to what we see online, bring our focus to what we’re doing well in our lives and what we care about, what we have to appreciate and be so humbly grateful for… and to know that we are whole — no matter how segmented you may feel because of the impact of technology, no matter where you are at right now and how you’re finding all of this.

As social media and more advanced technology continues to find it’s way into our lives, I want us to consciously think about how we interact with each other through it, in a way that is healthy, if we are to use it at all.

We will navigate this together, and for now and as always I think, taking personal responsibility for our own usage, talking about how we're feeling about it, and bringing kind self-awareness is where we start.

Which version of you are your clients and followers getting?

Which photo of yourself are you currently using on Facebook, Instagram, on your website etc? And also, which photo of you is showing up when your mailing list subscribers get your welcome email? 😱 What about on your call scheduling system? On WhatsApp? Your Fb Page? Skype? Twitter? Email banner? LinkedIn (yeah I kinda forgot that was a thing for a minute too...)!

BeckyRui2018(54).jpg

Are they all aligned and up to date? Or are people still getting that headshot you had done like, 5 years ago, before you moved away and cut your hair?? (...just me?)

When I get new pics I aim to update them across all the platforms and touch points I have with my clients and followers, so that the version of me they see is aligned across all of the places, and a true reflection of where I’m at.

It’s important because:

  1. It shows I’m active and present on my social/Skype/emails/site (which is vital to show if people want to get in touch but aren’t sure if you’re still using that profile)
  2. Shows I’m up to date on what I’m doing, growing & evolving over time - in my craft & physically
  3. Shows I actually care about how my biz is evolving over time, that I’m excited to share it! If I genuinely believe in my work and am excited to share from my heart, my ideal clients will feel it too. ❤️
  4. As you move up to the next level in your work, using photos that are current & high vibing REFLECTS that shift. When your imagery and branding is on point with this new step up, you’ll attract clients of a new calibre
  5. It’s interesting and fun for my peeps to see new pics and keeps it engaging for the right reasons
  6. Part of the message of my own biz is about keeping your life, work & personal brand fresh and true, so for me to role model that feels important. Do you share these values?

SO. Where’ve you forgotten to update your photos?

When will you make time to get them all aligned?

It’s super fast to swap the pics over to new ones & will help to create a much more congruent and consistent brand identity.

Let me know what you do! (Or how old the pics were that you had up!!)

P.S. Are all of your brand images just plain out of date? Message me at becky@beckyrui.com and let’s plan your new shoot to support you in reaching your dream clients. 2 spots left in June for U.K. (and maybe Paris???! Wanna join?).

5 Reasons I've Booked My Own Photoshoot for 2018

Helloooo! I hope you had a great first month of 2018. Since my last update some exciting things have been going on that I wanted to share with you!

The launch meeting of The Space Brighton!

The launch meeting of The Space Brighton!

  1. I’m now coaching + mentoring creative entrepreneurs - something I've wanted to do for a long time - I was waiting for the 'right time' to offer this and after a flurry of inquiries, I decided to go for it! I'm LOVING supporting others on their journey and have received some amazing feedback from my new clients as they get clear on their next steps. If you're interested in coaching with me, send me a message and let's speak!
  2. Fab personal branding shoots are coming up in the UK and beyond (including Italy in February with amazing Grace Kelly!) woohoo!
  3. I launched an in-person monthly membership group for creatives in Brighton with my dear friend JudeThe Space! It was absolutely beautiful for us to bring people together, deliver meditations, trainings on mindset, meaningful conversations about the creative & business life, and set intentions for the month ahead. Excited for our next meeting on 15th Feb! There are a couple of spaces if you'd like to join us. (Yay come to Brighton!). I'm feeling so grateful for all of these exciting things to be unfolding.

Another thing I'm excited about is my own upcoming photo shoot!

Below I'm sharing my top five reasons that booking a photoshoot is transformational not only for your branding and marketing, but for your mindset, your vision and confidence. I hope you find these points useful and thought provoking! Let me know what you think...

I have one space left for a photo shoot in February and three places in March, so if you're taking your business to the next level in 2018 and need vibrant new photographs to help get your message out there, email me here :)

With love as always,

Becky xx


5 Reasons I've Booked My Own Photoshoot for 2018

Photography has a magical way of evoking emotion, creating connection and bringing us together... you know that from looking at the portraits in galleries, or from the way photos have drawn you to buy from people online (or turned you away!).

I use photography all across my website as a way to infuse it with my personality, on social media, and in my emails to my list, it works really well. I found it interesting that my 'top nine' from 2017 (the most 'liked' images) included 4/9 photos of me... It goes to show how much people engage with the PERSON behind the business and the message. How are you showing up in yours?

When you offer a service that is personal, it's important that your clients and followers can connect with you from the start. Updating my shots is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, as a lot has shifted since my last shoot: I moved cities, there were big changes in my business and personal life, and, like, my hair has grown loads!

Having a new photoshoot is of course a considerable investment, and sometimes sending money into our businesses can feel scary, especially when there are so many different ways that we could invest it for different types of returns. How do you know whether your photo shoot is really going to pay off? Below are my top five reasons that I believe in the power and investment in personal branding photography, and what I benefit from, every time I do a shoot. I had no idea how transformational it really was until I did it!

1. I get soooo much clarity on my personal brand, my message, my offerings and my next steps. To make sure we co-create photos that will resonate with my business and to get the most out of the shoot, I take myself through the process that I coach my clients through; a series of deep and thoughtful questions. It takes me to the core of my business as I evaluate my brand, values, ideal clients, direction, plans for my marketing and more. This is a space I looove to hold for my clients, and is a transformational part of the process before the shoot day is even here. It's been amazing to do this for myself.

2. I feel renewed energy in my biz, commitment to my mission and my peeps When we take a scary exciting leap in the direction of our GROWTH, we show ourselves that we believe in ourselves and feel fired up about our power to make a bigger positive impact in the world. (Sometimes making a sizeable investment in yourself that challenges you to SEE and honour yourself will do that!).

3. I understand how my clients feel, create better content and a better photoshoot experience. Knowing what having a shoot is like from my clients perspective helps me to give the best advice, support and content to my clients and followers from my personal experience. It also demonstrates my genuine care and helps to create a deeper personal connection. What difference has investing in the type of work that you offer made to you and your clients experience?

4. I feel way more confident to share online! When the photographs I'm using feel like me, I am more likely to show up, I feel more at ease and happy about how I come across. When we're using shots that are really out of date or out of alignment, it feels draining to share them. Sometimes this actually stops us from showing up at all which means the world doesn't get to hear the message you are here to share, and obviously this is very damaging for your business.

5. I quickly create more engagement with my clients and followers. Because... A) I have brand new valuable content to share (see point 3!)
B) I share more because I have new photos and it's fun to update everything!
C) Google ranks your website higher in search results the more recently updated it was with visual content - therefore updating your website with new images will help boost its ranking.
D) I have maintained a personal relationship with my clients who genuinely care and are interested in how I've evolved since my last photos, and are excited to see the new shots!

I'm going back to this blog post below as I prepare for my shoot: Five powerful questions to ask yourself before your next shoot

If updating your photographs is something you know you want to do to start this year, email me by replying to this message.

Let's catch up and explore the kinds of photographs that will best serve you in sharing your message, connecting with your ideal clients, and making the world a better place.

I've got one space left for a February session three spaces available for March... (omg yay Springtime!!

Speak soon and big hugs,

Becky xx

A Beginners Guide to Personal Branding (an interview!)

Hey you! I hope you're having a great week so far.

Soooo... do you ever get in a bit of a spin about your personal brand? Like, how am I supposed to present myself? WTF this whole 'positioning' thing is all about? Maybe you're asking yourself questions like, how much of my real personality should I allow to come through in my business? How much is too much? Can I actually be myself in my work with clients and in my marketing, AND be seen as professional, dependable and a leader in my field?

Whether you've been running your business for years and years, or are new to this whole thang - whether you're networking online or in person - it's something many of us are constantly thinking about and reviewing, and honestly... it can get confusing sometimes. As we work with our clients, engage with different audiences and refine our message, our work evolves. Our interests and our lives naturally change.

The person we were in our photos taken three years ago is not necessarily who we are anymore (or maybe even in the photos you had done last year!). The person who made those classes, wrote that e-book, programs etc, has learnt and experienced a LOT more since then and has new insight to offer. The style of our work with our clients has become even more effective and streamlined. Our personal lives have obviously affected our businesses too.. maybe our families have grown, we moved city or country, changed our circle of friends, lifestyle habits, got married, whatever. How has your visible personal brand changed as you have?

We're being called to interact in a more and more authentic way as entrepreneurs... but what does that mean when we think about 'branding ourselves' and our true identity, as human beings, spiritual beings and business owners? Surely it's just about keeping it real?

I'd love to share some light on all of this with you today...

A Beginners Guide To Personal Branding

I was thrilled to be interviewed for my dear client and friend Rachel Millers amazing blog (All Things IC), where I...

  • Dove deep into my definition of personal branding through my seven years of shooting business portraits for entrepreneurs (and seen the whole way of using photography and concept of 'being visible' change a TONNE!)
  • Why your personal brand is an important biz piece to be aware of, whether you're running your own company or are currently part of an organisation
  • How you can improve the quality and consistency of your own personal brand, how to think about photography, what it's like to collaborate on a photo shoot with me, and lots more.

Check out the interview right here.

I hope you find this interview really helpful. Do forward this on to anyone you know who'd benefit from our advice and experience.

Here's a photo of beautiful Rachel from our shoot earlier this year. 

Here's a photo of beautiful Rachel from our shoot earlier this year. 

I'd absolutely love to know what you're feeling around the definition of personal branding - what it means to you, and the kinds of insights or challenges you have around this. Everything's better when we share and stay connected. If you'd like to talk further about your own positioning and photography for your business, email me at becky@beckyrui.com and let's find a time to talk!

I have a couple of spaces available for photo shoots before the end of the year. How would powerful new photography serve you as we get ready for 2018? What are you going to be launching? How will you be using social media? What will you need to have updated photos for?

Check out what my clients are saying here.

With love as always, and thanks for reading!

Becky xx

Wanna feel better about using Instagram for your business? Here are my tips!
Becky Rui iPhone

Today I wanted to share a few quick and easy to implement Instagram tips to help you bring more of YOUUU to your online presence, feel good about the way you're using social media, and grow your following and client base with souls who are on your vibe!

But before I get to that, I wanted to acknowledge the #metoo campaign we have all been a part of so far. Whether you have shared or not, we have likely all been victim of sexual harassment or assault at some point, on some level of that spectrum.

I get chills seeing the bravery of so many standing up to say; this is happening, and this is not okay. This whole campaign feels like it's breaking open a reality, a taboo on so many levels, that I feel I need to give space to process and get my head around the scale of (personally and culturally).

While it has been heartbreaking to read the hundreds of #metoo posts of my friends, I know that shining a light on the problem as we are doing starts to help all women feel less alone, ashamed, afraid, it helps perpetrators to realise the damage they are doing and change their behaviour, and wakes up those who never even knew how harmful their words of actions were, to interact in a more considerate and healthier way.

I'm sending big love to you at this time, whatever this campaign has brought up for you and wherever you're at right now xxx


One Girl Band Becky Rui Lola Had Cat Gatto Shelley

Earlier this month I was delighted to share at the One Girl Band Expertise session alongside branding experts Cat and Shelley. As I prepare for a talk, it's always inspiring for me to get into the shoes of my clients, feel into what I've learned and can pass on.

Heres a few tips and experiments you can do to feel better about using Instagram in your business!

1. Take a look at your Instagram profile right now. The first posts you see should represent you, the work you do and your ideal client.

Ask yourself... What do the first shots you see on your profile say about you and your work? Who do they speak to? Do they light you up, inspire your message, and make you feel proud of the way you're interacting? If not, go back to the core of what you do, who it is for, who it is NOT for. (Here are some past posts that might help with this). When I look at my profile I see photos from my shootsselfies with clients, places and things that inspire me, so it feels like an accurate representation of me, my personal life and my brand.  What can you share about that will be of value to your followers, share your personality and interests, educate them about what you do and promote the opportunity to work with you in a way that feels good?

2. Your Instagram page is an opportunity for your audience to meet you. Can they see YOU?

I personally feel when I'm investing in a service that is based on the skill-set and personality of the seller, I want to get a good sense of who they are before I work with them. I love seeing photos of that person that help me read their energy and see what they're like. If that's important to you too, it's probably important for your clients. How many images that clearly show your face can we see on your profile? Are you letting your followers in? One idea that I've been experimenting with is making sure that there’s at least one clear photo of my face within every six photos I post, so that when you first come to my profile you can see me straight away and know if we're a good match. Can your people see you?

Becky2016shoot085.jpg

3. Share your THING. How much of your personal touch or the service/product/value you offer is coming through in your imagery?

For my biz, personal connection is basically priority #1, that’s what my brand is all about, and that is pretty much what I sell! For that reason, I make sure theres an image of a human face in almost every other post I share, so that when you come to my page, you feel like you’re engaging with HUMANS. You're meeting me, my friends or clients and get a clear idea of the kind of the work I create. It feels really PEOPLE based as opposed to anything else.

What do you offer and how can you get it across? For example if you're a creative, you could play with sharing more photos of the art you create (behind the scenes shots, finished products, your work in-use). Or as a coach, you could share more images and ideas about the results you help your clients to get or shots that inspire a certain feeling. Or if you use a lot of physical tools with clients, share some of those and how it works so that your followers get a better understanding of your approach.

You can take these kinds of shots easily on your phone, or if you'd like an even more beautified and editorial look to your feed (like the ones I've taken in this email), let's talk about your personal brand, how you use imagery and we'll create something amazing together!

Remember that you're followers and prospects are following you because they want to hear from you, they are interested in what you offer and what you have to say. Feel in to what you're posting before you share, be sure that it's aligned with your values and is true to you.

I feel that it's a privilege to get to enter into peoples lives in this way and share, whether on Instagram, on a mailing list or wherever - so honour your clients and followers time and energy by honouring yours. You don't have to show up for the sake of posting regularly, that's just spammy, right?! It's okay to take it one step at a time, checking in as you go, and remembering that it's safe for you to be yourself in your business.

Message me to book in our call by emailing becky@beckyrui.com. - I have two spaces left for November shoots if this calls to you.

I hope these tips are helpful! I'd love to hear how you get on experimenting with how you use photography on Instagram! You can tag me at @beckyruiphoto. Big hugs! Becky xxx