Winning a business Award, such as The Top 100 Home Business Awards, or being a finalist, is an excellent way of gaining PR as well as bringing recognition and credibility for your business.
As well as being a great way to gain PR for your business, there are other benefits to entering awards, such as credibility, recognition, demonstrates your passion and beliefs, strengthens marketing, boosts sales and endorses your business - as well as a HUGE confidence and moral boost.
This takes time to perfect and before you do anything you need to identify which awards are most likely to benefit your business.
After becoming an award-winning businesswoman, Paula Wynne (organizer of The Remote Worker Awards, in association with BT Business) is often asked to share her experiences. She has inspired many people to enter awards and seen them go on to win a fantastic range of awards. Paula shares her tips on how to win awards and use it as a highly effective PR tool for your business. Follow these guidelines to make your award entry stand out from the crowd.
As well as being a great way to gain PR for your business, there are other benefits to entering awards:
You can’t win if you don’t enter! Research and do your homework. There are 1000s of business awards you can enter so start with free entry Awards and take time to explore them before deciding which to enter.
Choose wisely; pick the awards that will give you the best chance of winning and choose relevant and specific awards to your industry, business and subjects that will show your passion.
Find Awards that provide helpful extra questions and guidance, and read all the details carefully to find out what the judges are looking for. Record all the awards you may want to enter on a wall year planner above your desk and when the time of year comes around take time out, when you’re not rushed, to examine the rules, the questions, the judging criteria and even look at all the judges bios. If you find one that has already passed the deadline closing date, add it to your year planner and remember to enter next year.
1. Refine your entry
2. Be open about your strengths
3. Illustrate this to the judges
4. Some entries require you to be nominated, ask a valued friend or colleague to enter on your behalf
5. If necessary, hold off until the following year to strengthen your chances of being a finalist and entering
6. Prove your claim - you must be able to show why you are the best
7. Plan your answers - answer every question by writing down your thoughts and keep coming back to them over the coming days to ensure you have captured all your best responses
8. Demonstrate your entry - illustrate with graphs, market trends and even PR clippings
9. Once your entry is complete, mull over it for a few days before submission - go back to it a few times with new thoughts and inspiration
10. Good entry content and quality entries impress judges so write in clear, simple yet professional business language and preferably in third person. If your strengths don’t lie in writing good copy, you really should get someone to lend a hand. Write down all your notes, thoughts and ideas and when you have a first draft get a friend or colleague to assist in drafting the final entry.
Vital to your success is assessing what the judges are looking for in a winner. Put yourself in the judge’s shoes and see your entry as they would.
You may think your business is wonderful, but why would they? By looking at it from a new perspective you will present them with a champion entry. The judges need to set apart your entry from all the others, so, in order to stand out from the crowd, find creative ways to answer the questions. Many Awards will want to know about your sales and business growth, ROI, competitors and even future expansion. Provide graphs and key performance indicators to strengthen your application.
Inject your passion and personality into your entry by highlighting any challenges, successes, inspiration and ambitions. Above all, you should be able to demonstrate why your product or service is the best thing since peanut butter. Be proud to show off your business success, even if it is only a micro or small business, shout if from the rooftops. Someone will hear!
Be positive and prepare to make the most of your win. If you’re chosen as a finalist, be bold enough to write a press release about your Award and send it to the media. Local, regional, national and specialist industry publications will want to hear about your success. Wherever you can, get clients, customers and link partners to feature your story. Be proud to show off Award in all your marketing, on your website, and in communication with your customers and clients.
When Paula delivers a workshop on the subject or speaks at seminars, she has so many people coming back and telling her how they have used their win to increase credibility and trust, get recognition for new products, built new network connections and even increased turnover. An award-winning business is something to shout about!
If this article has motivated you to enter Awards, you could be inspired with Paula’s book or attending her workshops. See www.paulawynne.com for more details.
Dont' forget to enter iHubbub's The Top 100 Home Business Awards!