Talking To Your Ideal Clients: I or We?
I or we? Truly one of the biggest debates for startup companies.
Okay, If you're wondering what the hell I am on about, I don't blame you. Before we dive into this blog, my question is, which do you use to describe your business when talking directly to your customers?
Do you say, "here at Awesome Business Name, we are delighted to announce..."
Or do you say, "I am delighted to announce that Awesome Business Name is ..."
To some, the answer may be simple: if it's one person running the business, then it's I, and if it has multiple directors/employees, it's we, right? Kind of, but if you really want to get a deeper connection with your customers, it needs a little more thought...
When I launched my first business, I was confident that I wanted to look bigger and better than I was, so I used 'we' because, in my head, this painted a picture of a big corporate company. I referred to "the team" often when in reality, it was just me, chugging away in my tiny spare-room-turned-office.
It worked okay, but there was a level of deception for my customers, and the reality is that you can't hoodwink people for long. The question is, why did I think I had to pretend to be something bigger and better than I was? I believed that people would be more likely to shop with me if they thought I was a big player in the market, but really, I was shooting myself in the foot.
The way we shop has changed in the last few years, and although I doubt I could live without Amazon Prime, we have entered an era where supporting small businesses is becoming a much more of a priority when spending our well-earned cash.
Using I and addressing your audience directly and honestly shifts the tonne of your text, presenting you as relatable and accessible. Additionally, it helps your customers get to know, like, and trust you, which you already know I regard as an ESSENTIAL part of building a business. Through using I, my clients know that their business supports a real-life person; they like having a connection with me, and they trust that I will answer their email or that their order won't get lost at the back of a big warehouse somewhere.
Now I'm not saying you have to use I; obviously, it might be a little strange to use I if you are part of a larger business. A good alternative is to use we in general and sign off posts from specific people. For example, a heartfelt "thank you for your continued support" coming straight from the CEO could be signed with their name at the bottom of the post so that it's more personal. You can also transition from I into we as you grow, and that initial connection that you've worked hard to build through using I will stand firm.
So, I'll ask again, I or we? Let me know in the comment box below, as I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Sarah Stone x