You have to be in it, to win it!
Creating a winning awards entry is probably one of the best ways to generate leads for your business. There is nothing better than public recognition to prove you are the best of the best.
Used throughout your marketing, winning an industry award will clearly demonstrate to your future customers just how brilliant you are.
However, you need to get it right to make sure you increase your chances beating the competition to that coveted prize. Do that and you will get higher quality leads that will be easier to convert into sales. Learn how to create a winning awards entry and just watch the new leads come rolling in.
The process of creating a winning awards submission
There is a lot more to a winning awards submission than just saying “We’re great”. Use my proven top 15 tips to help you create a submission that ensures you are a winner.
- Start early – Preparing a winning entry takes time, so make sure you start early and give yourself plenty of time to review. It is a bit like packing a suitcase when you are going on holiday. Leave it to the last minute and you will undoubtedly leave out something very important.
- Read the rules – Make sure you go through the entry criteria with a fine tooth comb. It would be such a waste of time for both you and the judges if you did something silly leading to your submission being rejected.
- Consider entering more than one category – Quite often there is more than one category you can enter. Entering for more than one award will raise your profile and increase your chances of being shortlisted.
- Don’t be afraid to ask – If you have any questions about the awards then don’t be afraid to ask the organisers. They want lot’s of people to apply and will go a long way to make sure they get sackfuls of entries.
- Answer every question – Now this one might sound really obvious, but you would be surprised how many beautiful looking entries from top organisations are binned because they haven’t answered the question. Check the question carefully against your answer to make sure that they are very closely aligned.
- Use benefits throughout – Try to make sure that your answers are full of benefits not just facts and figures. For example, if growing your sales meant that you were able to employ more staff, then go on to say that this directly benefited the local job market. Judges love anything to do with growing your business so make sure you explain the benefits of everything you have achieved.
- Personalise your entry – This may sound obvious, but I am not actually referring to your business when I say that. If the event organisers have a theme for that years awards then don’t forget to refer to to the theme during your entry. For example, if the theme is the environment then include an example of how your work has delivered a positive impact such as reducing your carbon footprint. It is the little things like this that will get you a bigger score.
- Provide proof – Judges like to see evidence of your achievements. Qualifications, client testimonials and even financial proof, if appropriate are all great to include in your awards submission. If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
- Be honest about your challenges – Let’s face it, not every business is a success all the time. Share with the judges how you overcame challenges in your business. Selling internationally can be a real challenge for any business, especially with currency fluctuations and transportation nightmares. Remember that they will want to see how you overcame adversity too.
- Share your passion – Entertaining and passionate entries will always stand out to the judges. They want enthusiastic winners to promote the awards to others businesses too, so demonstrate that passion throughout your entry.
- Make it easy to read – The judges will have a lot of entries to go through so you need them to quickly digest your entry. Use pictures, graphs and bullet points to make it easier for them to love and like you and your business.
- Mind your words – Stick to the number of words allowed and make sure you don’t use jargon. Awards organisers like to engage a diverse judging panel so don’t assume that they know your industry and the terminology it uses.
- Proof read your entry – Read your entry three times before you submit your winning awards entry. Better still ask someone else who knows your business to read through it. Relying on spell checker to correct any faux pas is no substitute to a human giving it the once over. If the awards are really important to you then engage the services of a professional copywriter. A good one is worth more than their weight in gold!
- Submit on time – Missing the deadline is a big no no and so very easily avoided. Try putting reminders in your diary to prevent this from happening.
- Don’t give up – If you are not on the shortlist then don’t give up. In my experience the more awards you go for, the more likely you are to win one, or two, or three. To help you improve for next time, ask the awards organisers for feedback. They might not be in a position to give you feedback, but if you don’t ask, you will never know.
Entering an awards can seem scary as you are opening up yourself and your business to scrutiny. However, don’t panic. Consider the positives.
Imagine being on stage accepting the award. Think of all the PR you can get out of it to help you win even more business.
Awards ceremonies are an excellent way of generating quality new leads for you and your business, so go on and give it a go. You really have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Oh and one last tip about entering awards. You will have a brilliant time at the ceremony itself. This is your annual opportunity to network with other industry experts that will really benefit your business on so many levels.
Entering awards are always an absolute win win in my book! Contact to me to discuss how.