I is verboten.

I is verboten.

While pitching a potential client years ago as a solo PR guy (aka freelancer), he stopped me mid-sentence:  “You keep saying ‘we, as in we achieved this for our client’, but I thought you said you were the only one in your firm?”


When it comes to selling, the least powerful word in the English language is ‘I’ (or ‘we’ in the case of the rookie); the most powerful word you can ever use is ‘you’.

The truth is clients and customers never really care about you and what you have to say about you; they only care about what you can do for them. 

Clients expect results. 

All they really care about is how can you help them accomplish their goals, sell their stuff, influence their audience, or tell their story. Rightly so, clients pay professionals to help them advance their businesses.

Explain to them how good communication – written, spoken, or shown – will work for them to get what they need.  They will likely respond to a message like that.

Show off an email campaign that generated a 27% CTOR (click to open rate).  Illustrate how landing page content you created gave your client a 20% bump in conversion rate over a previously tested page. Share an extensive list of earned media coverage that helped your client launch a new product in a new market. List the number of post views, total engagements, and click through rate for a recent social media post.

The bottom line here, is demonstrate how results achieved for one client tell your story of success so the next client believes you can help them achieve their success.

Doing effective self-promotion and marketing for any good freelance writer, content creator, or PR guy is really hard work. The work should always focus on the expected results, not who created it, right?  The work always speaks for itself, right?  Clients always recognize good work, right? Never write in first person; writing in third person feels more genuine and effective, right?

So, what’s a writer to do? 

Write. Right?

Yep, the results written above are in fact made up.  They’re merely offered to highlight KPIs and ways to judge successful work in today’s highly competitive, knowledge-rich, content-driven marketing environment.

Hire a pro that will help you get what you need.

There, how’d ‘we’ do?  Until now, I think I kept that dreadful ‘I’ word from rearing its boastful head.


An accomplished marketing pro, I’ve been helping varied businesses and industries effectively communicate with employees, customers and other stakeholders for more than thirty years. I’m an experienced content creator writing ad copy, press releases, blog posts, marketing collateral, straight news, feature stories, columns, video scripts, curricula, position papers, websites, and speeches. I’m experienced with pictures, too … photography, photo editing, graphic design, and page layout. For years I’ve stated good communication works for good business. When good communication happens, it means there’s a level of understanding by the reader / listener of what the writer / presenter intended to say.

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