When I started my business I was afraid that I wasn't "enough" as me by myself.
I thought I needed to hide behind a more professional version of myself. Behind a corporate style brand name with a corporate style website and generic content, because if I showed people who I really was, no one would hire me.
I created a generic brand called Lucent Connections, that was designed to be as neutral as possible. I was literally just trying to appeal to as many people as I could, without really thinking about who I actually wanted to work with.
Because of all these factors, I never actually made a decision about whether I was going to be an “I” or a “we”.
And perhaps you’re currently having this dilemma yourself? Or maybe you’ve been flicking between the two without realising!So for example, on your Instagram, it’s all “I do this” and on your website it’s all “How can we help?” Or maybe your website itself even flicks between the two depending on the paragraph or the page! (That’s OK; mine did!)
But why does it matter?
First and foremost, it’s confusing your audience. Is she one person? Does she have a whole team of people working for her? Am I learning one person’s story, or the story of a whole organisation?
Secondly, it’s probably confusing you. If you haven’t made the distinction, then your content can feel directionless and inorganic. Plus, you’re probably not making much of a connection with anyone in particular, because they don’t know what to expect from you.
The “I” vs “we” issue is one I see most commonly from sole traders and freelancers, much like myself. For me it was a legitimising tool, but for you, maybe you just haven’t thought about it.
Both options are perfectly legitimate, and have their pro’s and con’s, but mostly your choice will come down to whether or not you’re aiming for a personal brand or a business brand. I’m all in on my personal brand now (and you can read about that journey here), so I’m all “me, me me!”.
I still could have done that and stuck with the name Lucent Connections; you can choose to be the personal face of a brand and be the “I” at the forefront of the “we”. Rubbi at Wild and Form Digital is a great example of this strategy. Similarly, huge corporate brands do this all the time, as a way of humanising their corporate overlord appearance; we just call them brand ambassadors.
Whichever you choose, the important thing is that you make a choice. Flicking between the two is doing nothing but confusing everyone involved!
So are you, you?
Until next time, look after yourself!