'Surely its just an overrated, pomped up way of saying I’m the best? I’m far too busy for that and I know that I’m the best anyway!'
I tend to meet two extremes when speaking to people about industry recognition awards. One type, severely lacks confidence in the product/services that they offer, terrified about putting themselves out there to be judged and the other is so busy in daily operations that they can’t find the time to write the application for the award they are sure they’d win.
The thought of taking the time out to write an award application form fills many people with dread, so the question is ‘Is it worth it?’
Winning or being finalised for an award is a fantastic marketing tool as it is so adaptable and can be used to speak to so many audiences. Whether your market is B2B or B2C, being shortlisted for an award can build your reputation, instilling confidence in your customers about the quality and professionalism of your business.
Improving your status in the industry builds your network of influence and enhances opportunities for collaboration with other key peers. Being positioned as a market leader gives new volume to your voice, as you are seen as an expert in your field.
An award can be one of the most cost-effective vehicles to market your business over a longer period of time. It creates stories that the press want to hear about, and can attract bloggers keen to share your successes. Your social sphere can grow exponentially as other aspirational brands crave for interaction, creating conversations that can open up new opportunities for you.
Don’t forget your staff too; the likeliness is if you are deserved of an award you will have a strong team behind you doing of lot of the grafting. The achievement of picking up an award will have them smiling from ear to ear as the industry gives them a pat on the back. Involve them in the experience and you will have a more motivated team, engaged in the running in the business as they take pride in the work they carry out.
So when you’re next contemplating an award submission, just remember the impact it could have. It’s time well spent drumming your fingers on the keyboard.
My top tips for writing an award application
Don’t write your application with a day to spare. Research the awards available to you and put them into your marketing plan for the year.
2. Plan your answers out
Draft bullet points for each section first before you start writing, that way you wont miss anything out or go off on a tangent. Most applications have a word count so keep your answers clear and don’t waffle.
3. Get the judges attention
They will be reading lots of applications, usually in their own time so make it easy for yours to stand out. Write it with the judges in mind and get your key points across early.
4. Answer the questions!
Sounds obvious, but make sure you write down what the question asks not what you want to tell them.
5. Include statistics where possible,
This will strengthen your case, just make sure you note the sources.
6. People assets
If its appropriate use your staff, customers, suppliers, to give character & depth to your application
7. Supporting evidence
Check with the details on your award application, but where possible attach evidence to prove your success. Don’t go over board though, too much information will turn the judging panel off so focus in on the important points.
8. No Jargon
Depending on the judging panel, they may not be familiar with industry lingo. Take the time to write everything down literally.
9. Fine print
Read the application process first, take a note of any specifications, be that word limits, photograph sizes, number of submission copies etc and make sure you adhere to them – you don’t want to be penalised due to lack of attention to detail.
10. Submit on time
Sounds an easy one, but give your self and the organisers a helping hand by getting it sent in before the deadline.