I have a short article on my website on Common Website Mistakes, but I’m now creating its own category on here. There are a ton! I’ll slowly walk through them so it’s not just a “simple bullet point list” but so you understand WHY it is a mistake, or at least understand the nuance of when to “break a rule.” And of course this is America and you are free to completely disagree with me. It reminds me of a book by Charles Barkley, a hysterical athlete who wrote a book called, “I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It.”
Today I will talk about US vs I/Me. I see so many websites that talk about “us”. “To contact us…” or “We believe in…” or “Our office is conveniently located….”
You know when that is a problem? When it’s just ONE PERSON!
When there is no “we” it is very confusing for someone to not really know who they are contacting! Will the email go to the person whose ad they read and liked? Will it go to a big group email and they just have to hope the person they wanted replies? Will it go to a third party, maybe a receptionist or office manager? What if I don’t want to go to a group office but just want to go to an individuals private office? Where is the list of the other “we’s” on the website, anyway?
Who in the world is the “WE?”
I know it’s done for a variety of reasons, or perhaps it’s not even something you think about because you wrote in the “business sense” rather than the personal sense of a personal service. But guess what? You’re not a Target store manager where the “we” is a massive corporation offering thousands of varied products. You’re an individual offering your heart, mind, soul, training, wisdom, experience, personality, and time to one other person (couple or family.) Why not keep that personalization going with the “I offer” or “to contact me” statements? If you do have an office manager, then just be clear! Either include both people’s contact information, or make it clear who will be reading and responding to the email.
When I call the car dealership or gas station to get my car fixed, I expect “we can get it looked at today.” The WE is fine because I don’t know or frankly care who looks at my car.
But in therapy I care deeply who the therapist is and I want to know that is the person I’m getting!
If you are writing the “we” because you hope to eventually get a group practice going, consider staying with the “I” until you actually have created a “we” in the office, and created space on your website for the other person/people.
If the “we” is meant to imply you have a huge range of offerings, then I’d recommend rearranging your word choice. Instead of “We offer a wide range of workshops on topics including parenting, addictions, relationship stress, financial management”, I would change it to either “I offer..”, or “In this office space a wide range of workshops happen every month, including x, y, z.” Notice the difference? Perhaps you DON’T teach all the workshops but that is neither here or there for general web advertising. The last way is to help advertise the topics without going overboard on details of potentially 4 different experts you bring in, before someone has actually expressed interest in signing up.
Please comment if you have any questions on the above!