Hey, so remember that time we talked about how 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 and solo business owners 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:
- Because they want to sound bigger and more impressive than they really are.
- Because they want to make it look like they are a company rather than a solo agent.
- 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:
- Not everyone wants to work with a big company.
- 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.
- Everybody hates being lied to, which is precisely what you’re doing when you pretend to be a ‘we’.
- Some people are anti-royalists.
As with 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.