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When talking about your solo business do you say "I" or "we"?

Discussion in 'Marketing mastery' started by Flik, May 23, 2014.

  1. Flik

    Flik Member

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    When describing your business do you use the word "I" or "we"?

    I'm a freelance graphic designer, but a couple of months ago on the advice of a business coach I started to use the word "we". So now in the about section of my website it says "we" and when talking to customers on the phone I say "we", etc. And when I tell people what I do I say I have a design business rather than saying I'm a freelancer.

    I'm just curious as to what other people do?

    Since I've made the change my sales have increased, but I've also made a lot of other changes and increased my marketing. I'm finding that most of customers want to have the personal connection of working directly with their designer, so I'm wondering if might actually be hindering myself by saying "we"?
  2. MissSassy

    MissSassy Renowned Member

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    This question divides a lot of people.

    Think about your clients - are the dealing with you or are they dealing with your business.

    If it is you - then say I

    If it is the business - then say we

    Hope that helps
    3 people like this.
  3. Johny

    Johny Renowned Member

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    Probably not the answer to the question you are looking for, but instead of "I" and "we", perhaps using "you" and "your" may offer a better alternative, as in, highlighting what benefits your customer gets, rather than indicating what you do.

    For example:

    " As a graphic designer I/we design graphic stuff", as opposed to

    "ABC Pty Ltd does graphic design stuff which is specific to your needs"

    Basic example I know, but hopefully it gets across my meaning.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Jenny Spring

    Jenny Spring Active Member

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    It is an interesting debate.

    I'd say 'I', unless you have a team, and then say 'we'.

    But agreeing with the last post, try to write from the visitor's perspective as much as possible.
  5. Flik

    Flik Member

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone!

    After doing some more research and giving it some more thought, I decided to re-word my website so it says "I" instead of "we". And I've taken Johny's advice and changed some of my wording so it's more focused on the benefits my customers receive.

    Hopefully at the very least I'll stop getting inundated with work experience & job applications now!
  6. PerfectNotes-Kathy

    PerfectNotes-Kathy Active Member

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    Hi Flik,

    Given that our website needs a major rewrite and revamp... We are a small business, with anywhere between 2 and 5 people working at any one time on any one project - so I tend to say 'we', as there is usually more than one person working to produce an outcome for the customer. But I also emphasise that a given customer will have one of us as their major contact - and all other work will be reviewed by that person, to ensure that it's actually what the customer wanted. So I guess we really use a combination of the two!

    HTH,

    Kathy
  7. PetesPlans

    PetesPlans Member

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    For me, any initial contact such as a quote would say "we will...", "we can...". Also any formal letters would have "we" because its the business taking the resonsibility of the action.

    But the everyday email discussions would be "I", because whether i'm part of a larger business or not, this is my opinion.

    This all possibly depends on whether you are a sole trader or a company. But "we" certainly gives the impression that you are larger than one person, and that might be a deciding factor for your customers, even if they find out the truth later on.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  8. Divert To Mobile

    Divert To Mobile Renowned Member

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    I know this is a week late but there is no absolute answer to that. What will work will completely depend on the type of business, marketing strategy and the target market.

    Steve
  9. Sonja Meyer

    Sonja Meyer Member

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    This is also a question I've asked many, many times.

    I used to have 'we' on my website but it felt dishonest. I feel silly pretending to have employees when I don't, and I figure if it means I have a slightly harder time marketing myself (because it's harder to be taken seriously or be considered for larger proposals) it is outweighed by the fact that my business has real integrity, which I consider important to my brand. At the moment it's just me, so that's what I tell people.

    I suppose a related question is, how does your personal brand work within your business brand? It's so easy to forget that these two are separate. Just because you have certain values yourself and you project yourself as having a certain 'identity' doesn't mean your business brand is a 100% reflection of that. I have trouble defining my business brand on its own, but I find it easy to brand myself. So for now, I'll stick to my business brand as 'me' until perhaps I see the need to change this (perhaps when I eventually hire someone).

    Sonja
  10. JenG

    JenG Active Member

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    I'm glad to see I'm not alone in this dilemma. What I've tended to do is, in emails, write the name of my business rather than "I" or "We." For example, "So and so" would like to offer.... or "So and so" is in the process of.....But in an email more than a paragraph, this can result in an email littered with your business name which looks, well, wrong. I don't think using "we" is wrong, but if there's only one of you, for your own peace of mind, writing "I" may be the better option.
  11. bb1

    bb1 Renowned Member

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    I use "we", although I am a sole operator, and because of decisions made a couple of years back no longer employ staff, I still say "we", accept of course when I tell them that "I will be there" or something current.

    Why do I say "we". Although I am the business owner, worker, lacky and coffee getterer, behind me sits my partner and children, and they all in some way have some impact on me and the business. If it was not for the business we would not eat, they have times when I am interupted during weekends and after hours (Small business 24hrs)., and so it is an impact on them. They provide me with advise and guidance or put up with me when I have had a client from hell.,

    So the business is not just me, it is we, they may not directly work in it, but they have a bearing on it and are equal partners in the deal.
    3 people like this.

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