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If you’re like me, once you started using your official business name, “we” vs “I” became a big issue.
Which sounds better?
Am I misrepresenting myself if I use we?
What will clients prefer?
Think about who your target client is and who they are most likely to hire. What business traits do they expect their designers to have? When do they expect you to be available? How much are they willing to spend? How do they perceive you, and is that the ideal perception for your business?
Today I want to explore the pros and cons for both “we” and “I” when talking to clients about your design business. If I leave something out, feel free to add to the conversation be leaving a comment!
The case for “We”
Referring to your business using the plural pronoun “we” gives your business a more corporate, established feel.
If you work with subcontractors or partners you aren’t misrepresenting your business, and clients may find comfort in that it doesn’t sound like junior’s soccer practice is going to interfere with your business hours.
“We” helps dispel the stereotype of you designing in your pajamas in your mom’s basement. By creating a professional group aura, you may convert clients who prefer businesslike relations with a company over a person who might be less reliable.
Note: Have an answer prepared for when a client broaches the ‘we vs I’ question: “On your website you say ‘we,’ but now you’re saying ‘I.’ Do you have employees or partners or is it just you?”
The case for “I”
Referring to your business using the singular pronoun “I” makes your business sound more personable, more flexible, and more accessible.
You can create that personal connection with your clients so they know their money is benefiting someone whom they care about and trust, and you can take their occasional (hopefully!) calls at 7pm when most design firms are closed.
“Me” might help you gain clients who are looking for a person rather than a company.
They may feel they can’t afford a group of designers or prefer to support a fellow entrepreneur.
Which pronoun I use
For now I choose “I.” It feels more natural to use “we” (“At Greer Genius, we…”), but I look to build long-term relationships with my clients both as a trusted professional and generally awesome human being.
I focus on clients who may need education in marketing and design.
These clients are often looking for someone who will go the extra mile, can work outside of normal business hours, and who really cares about the success of their business.
We vs I: which pronoun do you use?
How do you refer to your business? Are you a “we” or are you an “I?”
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