Episode #19: Should You Use “I” or “We” on Your Graphic Design Website?

Lauren Gonzalez:

Hello and welcome back to another episode of Earning by Design. Today I’m going to talk about a subject that I didn’t realize was such a problem for designers, but really looking back on myself, I realized I ran into the same thing. So I’m glad that I’ve been getting asked this question so many times, and it’s whether you should be using we or I on your website. Meaning, should you refer to yourself and your business with we, so it appears that you have more than just yourself in the company, or should you be saying I? Now this is a very interesting topic because when I was I’m going to just take you back to when I started my official business website of Principium and as Elise Designs, when I had it as Elise Designs, I was very much I, I, I, because it was pretty clear it was only me, it was my name, my middle name and then designs. So when I went to try and appear as this full-blown big company, I didn’t have my husband working full-time yet with the company, so it really was me mainly at that point. And I still went and said we, and I felt very odd. The website at that point was very unpersonal. It looked very corporate, unpersonal, it looked very corporate and I saw when clients worked with me, I kind of tried to have this approach of oh yeah, it’s a we, I’m a bigger company, but what I realized is they really only cared about me and my expertise and my customer service and my ability to help them get the product, which we know. That’s a really important factor. So what? In retrospect? It was kind of it was a dishonest thing to have to say we on my website. I shouldn’t have. And when I changed the approach, I actually, when my husband came really full time on the team and he was being a photographer and a brand strategist and everything as he is now, he was. We really are a we and we have other designers that we work with and outsource to. So at this stage I do refer to my business as we, but we’ve also created it so that it is a personality in itself. It doesn’t sound too corporate or dry or disconnected. We have pictures of ourselves, little bios. We make it more personal and that’s the approach that no matter if you are a we or an I, you have to be approachable and have your own brand personality.

Lauren Gonzalez:

So the choice of should you use I or we comes down to a few different points as well. The first thing is what is your long-term strategy and goal? If you’re just planning to be a solopreneur, have your own freelance business or design business, whatever you want to call it, and that you’re not ever planning to expand into an agency You’re not ever expanding to hire on people or outsource, you want to be the one doing all the work all the time, absolutely you should not be doing we. You should just keep using I. Now, with that said, you shouldn’t just have as your main headline on your website I am a graphic designer or I’m a brand designer or a website designer. You have to have a message, something that’s going to hook them, which is something that I talk about many times in other episodes.

Lauren Gonzalez:

But what I really want to make clear is that if you want to become an agency and that’s going to be your goal in the near future then you could start out saying we and know that you’re going to be expanding into a real we. There’s sometimes this phrase, this saying that you have to act the part in order to be the part, and that goes for this case as well. You want to be an agency. You already know your target audience. You already know your messaging. You have great case studies and examples and you’re going to start hiring on people or outsourcing, or you want to, eventually you can, so you don’t have to change everything. You could totally go with we, but what I would say is the best approach is to be as honest as possible with clients.

Lauren Gonzalez:

You don’t want to act like you are this massive agency when you’re not, and there’s a point for being an I and being a solo designer that realize agencies will charge a lot more for services and clients generally know that. So they know when they’re working with an agency they’re getting a whole team of expertise as opposed to one person. So if they’re looking for more solo type pricing, which you can still price and charge in the thousands and I really hope you are, that is, it’s not they’re not going to be expecting. They’re going to go in with certain budgets, whereas if they’re ready to have bigger budgets, they’re going to go to an agency. Also, what I’ve found is clients, even if they are big, sometimes they just like working with that one person. They don’t want to deal with the bureaucratic of what sometimes goes on in agencies.

Lauren Gonzalez:

With that said, I’ve seen a lot of times businesses want to hire marketing agencies. So they don’t want to necessarily. They don’t always go to design agencies, but they want to go to a marketing agency because they know that all of the aspects of ads and keywords and SEO and all these different marketing skills that are needed it requires real specialists in each one, and they know they need a team in order to get the product, whereas there’s not usually. Sometimes there are designers and marketing agencies, but a lot of times they know that they’re not going to be as good of designers necessarily and that’s not always the case but as would be if they. If there’s somebody who’s dedicated, they’re a designer. That’s what they do for their living. So I’ve worked a lot of times with clients where they have a marketing agency that they work with and they still work with us for branding. So they, they, they’re separate, sometimes they’re merged, but in that case it’s just something to consider when you’re thinking of should I be an I or a we?

Lauren Gonzalez:

What I think it comes down to in. I don’t want to complicate it too much, but what I really think it comes down to is do you want to have, make sure you have that personal touch, make sure you are honest. You want to be honest with clients. You don’t want to appear to be something that you’re not and you want to make sure that you’re still addressing and being there with your messaging that is aligned to what they need. It really, in the end of the day, doesn’t matter too much about the wording of we or I, but if you don’t have a picture of yourself on the website and you’re scared to put it because you said we and then you only have a picture of you there, that can be something that I would much rather you go for saying I and have that picture of you there. That can be something that I would much rather you go for saying I and have that picture of yourself. Be the person, be that personable approach and that front-facing person there, Because, in the end, people like human interaction. They don’t want to work with a robot. They don’t want to work with something that’s just hiding behind a name of a company. So that’s what I would say.

Lauren Gonzalez:

I wanted to keep this episode short today because it’s a pretty straightforward concept and subject. Just really make sure you have that branding in place so your messaging is there, and really look at your long-term goals. In summary, thanks for tuning in for the shorty episode today. I appreciate you being here always and have a really nice rest of your day. Bye for now.

Lauren Gonzalez:

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Earning by Design. If you found value today, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a review on your favorite podcast platform. Your feedback not only helps this podcast to grow, but it also helps to get in front of more designers who need help too. So thank you sincerely for being here and for more resources to help you succeed in the world of design. Please visit forthecreativescom. That’s the number four, thecreativescom. We offer a variety of courses, programs and free resources, all tailored to enhance your design skills and your business knowledge. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram at For the Creatives for more updates and tips and, if you haven’t already, join my growing community of over 100,000 subscribers on the For the Creatives YouTube channel that has more content, all designed to fuel your creativity and your professional growth. Until next time, keep creating, keep exploring and continue to push the boundaries of your own creative journey. I’ll be here to guide and inspire you every step of the way.

Listen to this podcast episode on…

The Personal Pronoun Dilemma in Branding Your Graphic Design Business

In this episode of Earning by Design, Lauren explores the nuanced decision between using “I” or “we” on business websites, particularly for designers and solo entrepreneurs. Lauren reflects on her own experiences and shifts in branding from a solo venture to a more collaborative business model. She discusses the implications of each choice on customer perception and offers advice on how to align website language with business goals and authentic representation. This episode is a must-listen for any creative professional grappling with how to present their business identity in a way that feels both personal and professional.

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