Have you or your business ever won an award?

If so congratulations, you’ll know the brilliant feeling that comes with being crowned the best leader or business in your sector or region. And you’ll have experienced the value being an award winner brings in helping you stand out from your competitors, improving staff morale, increasing trust in your service, and even growing your business.

But what if you’ve entered awards and not won, or never even entered a business or personal awards competition in the first place? Does that mean you or your business are no good?

Of course not! There can be lots of reasons why you didn’t win or have been put off entering, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on future awards and let someone else have all the glory, while you watch from the sidelines as their trophy cabinet grows.

The three most common statements I hear when talking to people about awards are:

“I’m skeptical about awards, aren’t they all a fix?”

“Well we entered something last year and didn’t win so we’re not bothering now.”

“It just takes so much time and we’re too busy right now.”

All fair statements, but all possible to overcome if you value your business and want to make it stand out.

How do you know you are entering the right awards?

Awards are not all a fix, just ask the judges who pour over entries and sweat over who’s going to win this year’s prize. The best awards are the toughest to win.

But the last time you entered awards did you do your due diligence in assessing the industry awards horizon from A-Z (there are literally thousands of industry awards out there) investigating the awarding bodies, the category choices, the nitty-gritty of the criteria, the judging process, and the previous winners?

Did you make a shortlist of potential awards programmes then align these with your past 12 months commercial results, projects and successes to see where you stood out and where you might have weaknesses before you decided which programme you were best placed to win?

Or did you pick an awards programme because it’s local/your friend once won/you fancied the gala dinner/you know someone on the judging panel?

And once you had selected the award to enter did you focus on your USP, compile supporting evidence, collect case studies, and write a clear and magical entry that would hook the judges so they didn’t want to put it down?

Or did you leave it until a few days before the deadline, copy and paste some of your marketing info into the answers, write all the clever jargon terms you could think of and blind the judges with science, or make them weep with frustration with a lack of evidence?

How to become a winner

Don’t worry, if you did any of the above you are not alone. Winning awards is not easy, that’s why companies like Nationwide invest in a full-time awards coordinator to make sure they consistently raise their value by winning awards.

But not entering awards is not simply saving yourself from disappointment; it’s just missing an opportunity to shine and letting someone else stand out instead.

So how do you write a world class award entry to win an Award?

Every personal or business story is different, so there might be that golden nugget just waiting to help you win awards, but if you don’t investigate further you will never know.

If you’re still not winning awards then there are two main areas where you could be going wrong:

  1. You are entering the wrong awards programmes or categories. If you don’t run in the right race, you’re never going to win.
  2. You are in the right competition, but your entries are letting you down. Weak, boring, or badly written entries won’t get you anywhere and are simply a waste of your time and the judges’.

To make sure you have the best written entries register for the FREE Webinar “How to Write a World Class Award Entry” happening on August 15.

This year could be the year you really stand out — so are you ready to win awards?

About The Author

Donna O’Toole
August Recognition Ltd

Donna O’Toole is an experienced awards and communications expert who delivers recognition to national and international businesses. Donna has directed the content strategies behind hundreds of winning award entries for innovative brands, SMEs, entrepreneurs and business leaders, and her unique profiling and writing techniques have resulted in 100% of her entries being successful in the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise competition. As well as providing outstanding awards expertise, Donna’s team offers personal-branding strategies, social-media management and content creation. www.craftedbyaugust.com

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