Who should it be? I or We?
When I'm deep in discussion with a solo client, and we're working through their website copy, we wrestle with one particular challenge more than any other.
Should we use the pronoun 'I' or 'We'?
Are you a member of that happy band of business people known as 'solopreneurs'?
Good. I like you already.
This post is for you.
Oh ... Mr. Musk, I didn't mean you had to stop reading. In fact, you should stick around. You might learn something new.
Right! Here goes.
So - you want to be a big shot?
The debate about 'I' or 'We' goes something like this -
"If I use 'I' then my potential clients will think I'm just some little amateur part-timer, playing at the job from my kitchen table. If I use 'we' in my communications, then I'll come across as a big shot. It'll give me kudos, and those big-boy clients I crave will come knocking at my door."
What happens when you get found out?
OK - well, let's say you take this approach, and that big-boy client comes along. What's he going to think when he one day discovers that you're not quite the multi-person agency you'd made yourself out to be? That you've been faking it? What then? Will they still be impressed by your implied claims of grandeur?
It's often, but not always, the case that larger companies are more at ease working with agencies - not individuals. True - their preference might be misguided, but that's their problem.
It's not our job to prove them wrong. Shouldn't we instead be focusing our efforts on those clients who appreciate us, our skills, and how we apply them? Clients who understand the value of working with a highly-skilled one-person-band (that's you, by the way) - someone who's
- light on their feet
- has low overheads
- ... and therefore lower prices
You can't beat authenticity
Isn't it better to tell the truth? Use 'I' instead of 'we'.
After all, it's how things are. It's the real 'you'.
And let's be honest - no-one can beat that!