It’s no secret that I’ve entered various awards and gotten nowhere (year one).

And that I was shortlisted but didn’t get any further (year two).

So now, during my third year in business, why am I still using awards as part of my marketing strategy? And hoping that three’s a charm…?

How do awards work? πŸ†

First things first, either someone nominates you, or you nominate yourself.

It really is that simple.

Then there’s a judging panel (who you might need to have an interview with), a public vote or a combination of both of those. This may be lathered, rinsed and repeated a few times over.

Those shortlisted could then be whittled down to semi-finalists, or there may be a BIG reveal at some fancy award ceremony (cocktail frocks are usually optional – sometimes it’s purely a business lunch).

Awards can be based on industry, location or over-arching theme, so have a quick Google or use a website like boost-awards to find credible awards that celebrate achievements relevant to your business.

There are even companies who can write your entries for you. I know, that kinda surprised me too, but there’s clearly a market for it.

Cost-wise, awards are usually free to enter so if you do get shortlisted you only need to cover the cost of the awards ceremony ticket (and that’s if you decide you even want to go… but it is a nice way to support your peers and network at the same time).

Reflection πŸ’­

Whether you’re completing the application form yourself, hiring expert writers to do it, or you’re responding to an email because someone else nominated you, you’re granted the beautiful opportunity to sit down and reflect on your achievements in order to sell yourself.

Where did you start?

What have you come up against along the way?

Where are you now?

All the way through to where you want to go in the future?

Personally, when I’m busy doing ALL the doing, I am often caught up in chasing the next goal (or maybe the one after that). It’s sad really, that us business owners often don’t have the luxury of any self-reflection time. The entire application and interview process will literally force you to evaluate your business and outline how much you’ve achieved.

To support the process, you could be asked for corporate accounts, projections, and other pieces of evidence to back up your nomination, so no bending the truth or exaggerating here, friends.

β€œEvery achievement is a servitude. It compels us to a higher achievement.” 

Albert Camus – French philosopher

Visibility πŸ‘€

Whether you’re shortlisted, a runner-up or the overall winner, it’s ALL something to be celebrated because you’re owning your brand’s visibility and willingness to be seen.

The organisers will undoubtedly advertise those companies who’ve made it through to the next stage of the process – that is likely to include your name, your company details, your logo, and all that good stuff (hello free advertising!). So make sure you’re following their social media accounts so you can share their content.

Talk about the awards on social media, use their hashtags, buy tickets to their event. It’s all great publicity for you and can form part of your marketing strategy.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to work with an award-winning so-and-so?

The East Midlands Leadership Awards πŸŽ‰

Congratulations to everyone who’s been shortlisted for the East Midlands Leadership Awards. You’ll spot my name against the Empowering Potential Leader and Emerging Entrepreneur Leader categories. WHOOP!

Keep your fingers crossed for me – I’d really like it to be third time lucky, to quaff a few celebratory glasses of fizz (tonic water >>>πŸ₯‚) and to make my parents super proud of me. 🀞

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