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Am I a 'We' or an 'I'

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by tianakaesha, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. tianakaesha

    tianakaesha New Member

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    Being a small business online and in the process of finalising some of the copy on my site I thought I would come and ask a question that I battle with pretty much any time I do a website.

    Do I refer to the business as a 'We' or do I refer to it as 'I'

    Eg

    "At Mamaluna we respect your privacy"
    or
    "At Mamaluna I respect your privacy"
    or
    "Mamaluna respects your privacy"

    or something else all together?

    It's just me in the business (with the help of my 3 year old!) and occasionally my hubby with the techie stuff. My business is designed and marketed to be a small online boutique.

    But I still don't know if I am a We or an I when it comes to refering to the business as a whole... help?
  2. sam_leader

    sam_leader Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forums!

    Good to see you getting amongst it.

    This is a most excellent question and I can highly recommend you read Yaro Starak's article which argues for the 'I' positioning.

    You'll see the comments on the article are in agreement with this.

    Let us know which you plump for!

    Sam
  3. Heidi Price

    Heidi Price Member

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    Personally I have used "we" from day one.

    I always intended that my business would grow to the point of employing others, so it was part of how I visualised my goals.


    Heidi
  4. tianakaesha

    tianakaesha New Member

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    Thanks Sam! The article by Yaro is exactly what I needed! I have been battling this the whole time I have been writing my site. I've always been told that bigger is better and so I should project myself as such.

    But that's not where this business is focussed, and that is not what I intend to do. Even my business plan is not focussed on me being a big corpo.

    So the 'I' has it
  5. ahortin

    ahortin Member

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    Yes, thanks Sam! I really enjoyed Yaro's article that you pointed out. I too am guilty of being a "We". I guess it's from all my years working for large Corporates. I'm thinking I'm going to have to revist some of my own site copy now.

    Cheers,
    Anthony.
  6. MissieK

    MissieK Member

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    For policies I use We - mostly because I do have other people helping me. Granted they are outsourced, however they agree to stick by the same policies of privacy, etc.

    Melissa
  7. LeelaCosgrove

    LeelaCosgrove Member

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    Like Melissa, I have a team, so I tend to use 'We' - unless I am personally signing a sales page, direct mail piece or letter, in which case I use 'I'.

    Micro businesses often make the mistake of using WE to try and look bigger ... when really, you should capitalise on your SME Micro stature ...
  8. linkartist

    linkartist Member

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    I use "we" when referring to my business entity, and "I" when speaking for myself... because I do have a team of people, programmers etc that fall under my umbrella.

    Its a hard one, but as long as you don't misrepresent your size, ie by implying that you are a Corporation with 100 employees when you are not, I don't think it's a big deal, as long as it fits with your overall plan.

    I for one have found more success with the "we" rather than the "I" - especially now that I outsource some parts of my projects to people more competent. I think when there is an "I" there is an expectation that you would be doing all of the work?
  9. martinprint.com.au

    martinprint.com.au New Member

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    You can all feed me to the lions but I think it should be 'I' as 'we' is an unknown identity. Who is we? Nobody likes to deal with an unknown identity. However I can see why people like to use 'we' as it makes your business sound larger, but that really doesnt matter too much to your client. There are other ways to do this.

    Your clients are dealing with YOU and not your whole company. Its much more personal and more credible to use I, as you are personally standing behind whatever you are saying.

    Ofcourse there are times where you can say we, but generally I would still substitute that with the business name if possible, or another person or even department.

    Thats what we think anyway :)
  10. Renee Barber

    Renee Barber Member

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    That was a very pithy reply, Martin, so I guess the lions will have to go hungry for a while.

    Although 'no man is an island' as most people have mentors (Mums), IT support (husbands), mailroom technicians (kids), relaxation therapists (pets), etc., I also tend towards using 'I' as it's more accurate since I'm it where the actual work is concerned.
  11. martinprint.com.au

    martinprint.com.au New Member

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    Haha you know Renee, since writing that reply I have been noticing myself writing WE from time to time and not I. Mostly however I do use I.

    There are also lots of times where the sentence can be re-written with 'you' instead of we or I, which ofcourse would be even better.

    Im sure a lot of copywriters here would have thoughts on that?
  12. Renee Barber

    Renee Barber Member

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    Martin ... well, since you have staff members, it would mainly be 'we' for your website, yeah?

    Anyway, I know none of us want to misrepresent ourselves if we are indeed 'flying solo', but it does depend on the situation. With my copywriting hat on, it's also tricky because in formal writing you're taught not to use I.
  13. Burgo

    Burgo Well-Known Member

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    Regardless whether I have just me or 10 other staff I have and will always refer to my business as 'we'.

    Your customers/clients dont care how many people work for you as long as their satisfied with what you do for them.

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