Business Awards are everywhere so how do you know which ones are best to enter? Plus it takes time to complete an entry and there’s no guarantee you’ll win. So what’s the point? In this quick guide, I’ll explain why entering business awards can help you to raise your profile at every step of the journey, I’ll also explain how to write a decent entry so you can slide onto that shortlist. Remember, you have to be in it to win it.
Raising your profile – When you enter awards
One of the biggest benefits of entering awards is raising your profile and showing others that you’re the best at what you do, one of the first opportunities to do this is right after you’ve entered. When you enter an award or are nominated it can be exciting! Make sure you share this on social media.
Raising your profile – When you are shortlisted!
Another opportunity to raise your profile is sharing on social media that you’ve been shortlisted for an award. Tag the organiser, tag the other shortlisted participants and let people know how proud you are. The organiser will normally provide you with a branded badge to share on social media too.
Raising your profile – Congratulate your peers
Congratulate others that have been shortlisted across the awards. This will help you to build new contacts through social media. Follow the event hashtag and make sure you seek out people talking about the event and connect with them too.
Raising your profile – Awards Night build up
On the build-up to the awards make sure you share content regularly to say you are looking forward to attending and are hopeful for a good night! This way you’ll show your community that you are there and you’ll be able to connect with new people at the event.
Raising your profile – On Awards Night
During the awards night, get plenty of photos, use stories across social media platforms to share the experience.
Congratulate winners in other categories on social media. Show the team having fun. The more photos you take the more content you will gather.
Raising your profile – After the event.
Thank the organisers on social media. If you win, email your database and let them know about the win. If you don’t win it doesn’t matter, you’ve been shortlisted and made lots of new connections and raised your credibility. Ensure you reach out to your local or industry press, if the organiser has arranged a press pack make good use of it.
How to enter awards & writing a good entry
Before you start entering awards or nominating your colleagues make sure you research the awards and check their credibility. To do this, look at their website, social media and search for the awards online to see what others are saying. Check if there’s an entry fee. Whilst awards cost the organisers a lot of time and investment to put on, be aware of big entries fees, especially if you haven’t heard about these particular awards before. If you’re still not sure about the legitimacy of the awards, check with past winners and ask questions such as what the process was like to win and whether you had to purchase anything before you could win. You should never have to pay to win an award, they should be judged independently or via a voting panel. Check to see if there are independent judges involved.
Don’t be afraid to enter even if you haven’t been nominated
Whilst many think they have to wait to be nominated for an award before they can enter, that’s not the case. In fact, many awards organisers encourage people to enter awards directly. This can be daunting but actually, most of the time nominations do not count towards the final decisions. It’s time to push away that imposter syndrome and take the credit you deserve.
Before Entering your award make sure you check the eligibility criteria
Are you entering within plenty of time? Do you need all of the conditions of entry? For example, if you are entering young digital women of the year, you’ll need to have been under 25 for the year your entry applies to.
Make a document of achievements that you can refer to
If you intend to enter multiple awards ensure that you have your achievements to hand and easily accessible. A top tip is to keep a note or document updated and every time something great happens make a note of the date and the achievement, this way you can refer back to it and use it as a basis for your award entry.
Back everything up
When writing your award-winning entry ensure that you include data, testimonals and facts to back up your achievements. This is because the judges won’t have time to seek out all of the information to back up your claims. By creating a simple document with all of your supporting information in will mean that it’s easy for organisers to collate and for judges to see in one place.
Tell your story
Storytelling is important to capture your judges attention and make information memorable and easily digestible espcially when your judge has a lot to get through, learn to tell your business story in a compelling way and include stories about how you’ve been able to overcome problems to reach your goals.
Ensure that you get your entry in good time
Leaving your award entry to the last moment means that you won’t have time to build the best possible case for yourself as a winner. As soon as you hear about the awards, mark the timeline in your diary and give yourself a deadline earlier than the organisers this way you can work on your entry and tweak it until submission is required. Late entries aren’t always accepted.
And here’s your chance to enter an award! The Digital Women Awards is now open for nominations. Find out more here.