On Thursday 30th October, Hello Inspiration is going to be participating in a shopping and pamper event in aid of the Macmillan Cancer Support charity. This promises to be a great event in support of a fantastic and worthwhile charitable cause.
It also promises to be a nerve-racking experience for me personally
Thus far, Hello Inspiration has lived the whole of its short life on the internet. I’m free to create designs, publish them and watch the feedback (or not) from the safety of my little computer screen. I design and produce primarily for an audience of one – me. If I like it, and I’m happy with it, it gets published. If not, it doesn’t. Simple. I don’t have to worry about seeing people’s up-close-and-personal reactions – their love, their hate or worst of all, their ambivalence.
All of that will change at this event
I will be eye-balling potential customers, and they will be eye-balling me. In the flesh. Person to person. IN REAL LIFE. Arrrgghhhhhh.
They can look at my creations and react accordingly, and I will be able to see it all happening right there in front of me. Will they pause for a second, look and then move on? Will they flick through the display, pick out ten or twelve favourites and buy them all? Or will they walk on by, without even giving my work a second glance?
What will happen? I have no idea
This kind of in-person sales is completely new to me. The closest I have come to it previously was working on a trade stand at a telecoms technology exhibition, many years ago and in a different life. That experience did not go well. I spent the entire day looking into the middle distance, hoping beyond hope that no-one would try to catch my eye and horror-of-horrors, actually ask me any questions. That tactic worked well for most of the day, but on the two occasions where my defences were breached, I was quickly pulled in out of my depth by a rip-current of technical questions, and had to call on more experienced colleagues to save me from drowning.
Not a great experience
But Hello Inspiration is different – and deep down I know that. It is something I am very passionate about (something I would never have said about the telecoms industry). It is also something that I know a lot about – you can’t really avoid that kind of in-depth knowledge as the founder of a small business. And hopefully, it will be an occasion where I will be actively seeking to catch people’s eye and engage with them, rather than trying desperately to avoid their gaze.
So if you come along to the event, please do stop by the Hello Inspiration stall. I’ll be the one wearing the nervous/welcoming smile.