Should You Refer to Yourself as ‘We’ On Your Website?

We Website

Hey, so remember that time we talked about how fucking douchey it is to talk about yourself in the third person on your own website?

Yeah, I’m really glad you decided to stop doing that, because ugh. So gross. But now there’s something else we need to address: your use of plural pronouns on your own website when you are the only person behind your website.

There’s a growing trend of freelancers referring to themselves as ‘we’ on their own websites, despite the fact that it’s glaringly obvious that it’s really just them. Alone. Solo. Solitario. I believe there are a few reasons people do this:

  1. Because they want to sound bigger and more impressive than they really are.
  2. Because they want to make it look like they are a company rather than a solo agent. (Joke’s on them, because you can have a have company run by a solo agent.)
  3. Because they like to pretend they’re the queen.

Basically, these all boil down to one thing: they don’t think they’re good enough to get hired on their own, as they are. But let’s consider a few things:

  1. Not everyone wants to work with a big company.
  2. Many people like to work with freelancers and individuals because they want the personal touch, more attention and to know exactly who they’re hiring.
  3. Everybody hates being lied to, which is precisely what you’re doing when you pretend to be a ‘we’.
  4. Some people are anti-royalists.

Similarly to referring to yourself in the third person, referring to yourself as ‘we’ will make you appear untrustworthy, hard to relate to, confusing and, yeah, just like a big old douchebag.

There’s only one time it’s acceptable to refer to yourself as ‘we’ or ‘us’ or ‘our’ or ‘ourselves’ on your website — and that’s when there’s more than one of you. You know, when there literally is a we, because you’re working with a partner or because you’ve got a team behind you. In that case, yes: go ahead and bring out the plural-pronoun-wagon. When you’re referring to a number of people that is greater than just you, alone, at home, sitting on your sofa, eating cereal straight out of the box, plural it up! But when it’s just you?

No. NO. No no no. Never. Agh. Just stop it. Please.

Let’s do a little test, shall we?

You are sat at home alone eating cereal straight out of the box. Which of the following is correct?

a) ‘I am eating cereal straight out of the box.’
b) ‘We are eating cereal straight out of the box.’

If you answered a), congratulations! You are not a douchebag and people will hire you with abandon*. If you answered b), you might want to consider a career in insurance, banking, or politics.

* Not guaranteed. Also not necessarily a good thing.

Twice-monthly emails featuring:

  • My private tales of life and biz
  • Links to my latest blog posts
  • Other good shit from the web
  • Subscriber-only deals
  • Never more than 1 email a week, because fuck that.


    1. Hey Karen,

      Always can rely on your posts for a constructive dose of truth and clarity. All this seems so obvious now, but there was a time, especially when starting out, where I wondered about representing myself as a team.

      Looking at it through “sanity goggles” it seems stupid now. Strangely there are some sites that recommended doing this.

      1. The trouble arises when people decide to do things the way they think they’re supposed to be done, AKA how everyone else is doing them, rather than the way they think is best. ‘Everyone says “we” on their website, so that must be the best way to do it!’ Pah to that!

    2. I sometimes long to use ‘we’ because I usually feel like a bit of a knob saying ‘I’ can do this and ‘I’ can do that, but I’ve refrained as I will sound like a bigger knob when they start asking questions…
      Excellent post as usual Mrs!

      1. Haha, don’t think of it as being a knob… think of it as being confident! And honest, of course ;) Personally I’d feel like more of a knob saying ‘we can do this’.

    Comments are closed.