“Me” or “We”: Is presenting a fake front more professional (to clients)?

Is a fake better for business? or are you better in modern marketing?.

When you start your own business you have to be pretty confident.

You have to believe in your idea. You have to do your research. And you have to put in the hours to get the business running smoothly.

At some point in all of this you have to make some decisions about how you will market your business image. Will your marketing come from “me” (yourself) or “we” (or a team)?

You know that you’re the only one making all the wheels turn behind the scenes but do you want your clients to know that?

There are benefits and challenges to both approaches but your answer to “we” vs “me” question can dictate how your target market will engage with your business.

When I started my copywriting business, I came from a corporate marketing background. My initial instinct was to talk about “us” and “we” from day one. I wanted to look successful and professional and I assumed that an implied team gave me that image.

But once I started building my client base I switched my marketing back to “me”. And here’s why…

Social media marketing has changed everything

Social media has introduced an amazing sense of connection into the world of marketing. We no longer have to jump through expensive hoops to talk to our customers or our industry partners and competitors for that matter.

As I started to use social media, I realised that I got a lot more engagement from my target market when I was myself, when I didn’t pretend to be a faceless organisation.

By building transparency into my business image my clients felt they got to know me. When I write their copy or review their worksheet on the forum they aren’t getting “someone on the team”; they are getting the sum of my marketing experience and knowledge.

This connection, amongst other things, has led to my business having a growing group of champions who make social media a very powerful part of my marketing.

The advantages of “Me”

When you don’t pretend to have a team of human resources (that don’t exist) you:

  • Add a very personal element to your product or service that could be what makes you unique
  • Operate in a more transparent fashion which can be rewarded with more trust
  • Open the door to developing closer relationships with your customers (and stronger, closer relationships lead to more loyal customers with a much higher ‘lifetime value’)
  • Instinctively communicate in a friendlier, less formal tone

The other possibility is to stick with “we” right from day one and there can be some benefits to this.

The advantages of “We”

By implying that you have a team of resources in your business you:

  • Can present a lower risk to your customers because:
    • Your business will appear successful enough to have “staff”
    • Your customers get a sense of security from the idea of shared responsibility
    • A team image is especially valuable if you need to respond quickly
  • Are making a looking forward statement about your plans for your business

So which is better?

This is a question that depends on your product or service; the expectations of your target market and the consequences if they find out you’re faking it.

Is either option more professional marketing? I don’t think so.

When you are building business relationships, authenticity is the key.

If your greatest asset is YOU, don’t be afraid to show yourself off in your marketing. Promote your personal service and unique experience, as it could just be your competitive advantage. I have learnt that sometimes showing your vulnerabilities is a strength that your market embraces.

Whichever path you choose: be consistent and work the angle to your advantage.

So now it’s over to you. Did you choose “we” or “me” when you started your business? Or which do you respond to when you are selecting a provider to work with?

Belinda (AKA The Copy Detective)

3 Responses

  1. Hello Belinda,

    This is my first time on your blog and I must commend you for the great work you are doing.

    On the issue of using “Me” 0r “We”, what I think is of great importance here is when you consider the audience you are trying to reach. If your goal is to communicate with a direct user, going personal pays but if you are into the B2B game, you have to also up your game by presenting your business as a separate entity too.

    Of course, if you fake it they will find out and that will smell doom for your reputation but if you have all the necessary documents to back it up, by all means, go that way.

    Here’s what I mean…

    I don’t use my personal bank account details to receive payment, I don’t use my personal PayPal account and I don’t often use my personal email address to communicate. Instead, I use my company details. Right now, I have a registered company. Even though I’m the person doing the work (sometimes, I outsource) using WE has helped me close deals with companies faster. They agreed to pay bigger because they know I’m not the only one working on it.

    I still agree with you anyways… Wherever it’s necessary to use ME or WE, it’s an intelligent thing to know and act accordingly.

    Keep it up here.


    1. I’m so glad you found it Emenike!

      It’s interesting how a switch in pronouns can change the impression potential customers have of your business. And you’re right, knowing your audience is critical. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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