2021 Australian Business Awards, professional business awards writer

The Best 2021 Australian Business Awards to enter

If you want to boost the profile of your business, there’s nothing like winning or being shortlisted as a finalist in a prestigious business award. To achieve this, you’ll first need to decide which 2021 Australian Business Awards you wish to enter.

Whether you’re new to business or more established, there’s an award and category to suit you.

Don’t be daunted by the application process. Just be sure to start early and take your time when preparing your entry.

The rewards of entering are great

  • Networking opportunity with industry experts and important contacts,
  • The opportunity to benchmark your business amongst your industry
  • Awards help you build trust and credibility with customers and your community
  • Becoming a finalist or winner gives you bragging rights
  • Being shortlisted as a finalist or winning a business award is a very newsworthy way to gain media coverage
  • Receiving recognition as the business owner
  • Demonstrating how much you value your team.

Where to start

To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of the best Australian Business Awards on offer in 2021. Compile a shortlist, then research the individual awards and categories you wish to enter. Select your categories based on your strengths and eligibility.

Firstly, ensure you fit the criteria for the award. Check you’re able to answer the questions fully and accurately while highlighting your achievements.

Once you’ve selected the award, make a note of the nomination and closing dates, then work back from there, but don’t leave it until the last minute to enter…

For first-time entrants, we suggest you start by researching your local or regional business network or Chamber of Commerce. Depending on your industry, this can be a great way to get shortlisted as a finalist or win an award at the local level.

List of 2021 Australian Business Awards

Local/Regional Level Awards

  • NSW Business Chamber Awards – winners at local level go to the State level
  • City of Sydney Business Awards
  • Brisbane Lor Mayor’s Business Awards
  • Melbourne Business Awards
  • Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards
  • The Local Business Awards

General Business Awards

  • Australian Small Business Champion Awards
  • Telstra Australia Business Awards
  • The Australian Business Awards
  • Australian Small Business Awards
  • Better Business Awards
  • MyBusiness Awards
  • SmartCompany Resilience Awards
  • ABA100 Business Innovation Awards

Women’s Business Awards

  • Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards – National
  • Women in Business Awards
  • Cartier Women’s Initiative
  • The Stevie Awards for Women in Business
  • Queensland Resources Council Awards for Women
  • Women in Technology Awards
  • Rural Women’s Award
  • Women in Construction Awards
  • Women in Engineering Awards
  • Zonta International Awards

Industry Awards

  • REI Awards – NSW, QLD, WA, SA, VIC, TAS
  • REB Awards
  • The AREAS for Real Estate Excellence
  • UDIA Awards for Excellence – QLD
  • Mortgage and Finance Industry Association of Australia Awards
  • Australian Retailer Awards
  • Publishers Australia Excellence Awards
  • Australian Marketing Institute Awards

Young Achiever Awards

  • Business News – 40 Under 40 Awards
  • Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards
  • B&T Under 30 Awards
  • Young Entrepreneur Awards

*NOTE: This list has been compiled based on 2020 information. Some of the above awards may not be running in 2021. We strongly advise you to check the relevant Awards website for the most up-to-date information.

Writing a winning awards entry

Decided on the award you’d like to enter. Read the questions THOROUGHLY. Don’t be daunted by the questions or the application process. You can’t win it unless you’re in it!

Need help? Yes, we can assist you with the process. We collaborate with you to write your submission, tapping into our expertise as we coach and guide you through the entire application process.

We’ve compiled and written dozens of successful business award submissions. In fact, we have a 93.75% success rate for clients being shortlisted as finalists or becoming winners. We’re pretty proud of that – and we’d love to help you join our winner’s list.

Will you win one of these 2021 Australian Business Awards?

Contact us today to arrange a complimentary 10-15 minute discovery session and let’s make 2021 the year you bring home the trophy!

If you found these tips helpful, please like and/or share with your business associates or LinkedIn connections.

Lyndall Guinery-Smith, owner of The Professional Writer, business writerHi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, business owner and chief word wrangler at The Professional Writer. My team and I write content dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. This includes website content, capability statements, company profiles, team bios, business award nominations, blog post packages and more. We happily work with clients all over Australia. Email us to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.  

 

Business storytelling, brand story, professional writer

Business Storytelling to Build Your Brand

When it comes to engaging your audience and building relationships with potential customers, stories sell! If you want your website content to get noticed, business storytelling can help.

What is business storytelling? It’s basically conveying useful information about your business within a narrative. Stories have the power to influence opinions and the attitude of the reader. A memorable story provides the opportunity to entertain, educate and sell to your prospects, while building trust and forming a connection with them.

Gone are the days of writing content or a blog post which is solely about you and your business. Readers connect with stories much more than dry, boring content full of corporate speak. Your prospective customers want to know who you are and how you do business, and storytelling provides the ideal opportunity to convey those messages.

Business Storytelling 101: Start with your Brand Story

Creating an engaging and informative brand story is the ideal first step in successful business storytelling.

A good story contains: Characters, conflict and resolution. Through effective storytelling, you can outline who you are, who you serve, your business approach to business and the outcomes you produce for your clients. Make your client the central character in your story.

What’s your brand story? Do you have one? Is it strong? If not, think about:

  • Why you started your business – Who came up with the idea for the business? What circumstances led to the business being launched?
  • What challenges and triumphs have you experienced?
  • Who are the people behind your business?
  • What does your business stand for?
  • What are your business values and how are you different from competitors?
  • Who are your ideal customers?
  • What is your “customer experience”?
  • What are the outcomes you achieve for your clients?

How’s Your ‘About Us Page’ Looking?

Take a critical look at your About Us page. Does it accurately and authentically convey your brand story? HINT: If it starts with “Our company was founded in ….”, you’re doing it wrong!

Instead of writing a boring company history, tell the story of your brand with your reader/customer as the central focus. You want them to feel as though they are your reason for being in business. Talk about how you help people and how you’re driven to continually improve your level of service or product range to help customers. Be sure to clearly articulate “what’s in it for them”.

Using Case Studies for Business Storytelling

Case studies are the perfect way to illustrate how your products or services help your clients. Case Studies can be located on a tab within your navigation pane, or they can be incorporated into your website as blog posts.

Your case studies should revolve around how you helped one of your clients, and the problem you solved for them. To make your story compelling, demonstrate decisions being made, action being taken and problems being resolved, with a happy outcome.

Start by painting a picture of what life was like BEFORE, outline the client’s issue, then detail the potential outcomes you offer. Next you can show why the client chose that particular option, then take the reader through each step towards reaching the desired outcome.

This is an opportunity to demonstrate your UVP or Unique Value Proposition – it’s what sets you apart from your competitors. Anyone can talk about the features and benefits of their product or service but demonstrating HOW you help your customers can truly make you stand out.

Readers want to see your client experience in action, to understand how you operate and to see what the outcome of your product or service is. Back this up with a testimonial from your happy client – third party endorsement is GOLD – and you’re on a winner. Readers LOVE success stories – they want the same success for themselves.

Authenticity is Essential

Whether you’re writing website content, blog posts or your brand story, make sure you’re being authentic. You can’t just make s*%t up!

Particularly since COVID-19 hit, we’ve seen more businesses and business owners opening their workplaces and homes to us via Zoom. We’ve gained an unprecedented insight into how businesses operate and how their owners live. This has inspired consumer desire for more businesspeople to be real and open, rather than cold and corporate.

Try not to simply paint a picture of what you think your readers want to hear and see. It’s important to make sure your story accurately captures the true essence of your business, that it’s relatable, transparent and real.

Connections are Key

The most effective business storytelling makes your readers FEEL something and establishes an emotional connection with your brand. That feeling can evolve into brand loyalty.

Once your prospect has read your story and felt that feeling, be clear on what you want them to do next. Why not invite them to connect with you via social media or email? This is a lot less risky than pulling the hard sell on them at an early stage in your relationship. Of course, this will depend on what type of product or service you offer.

 

Need help with your business storytelling? We can collaborate with you on your brand story, website content/About Us page, case studies, blog posts or a business award nomination. We’d love you to email us and let us know how we can help you get started.

If you found these tips helpful, please like and/or share with your business associates or LinkedIn connections.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith, owner of The Professional Writer, business writerHi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, business owner and chief word wrangler at The Professional Writer. My team and I write content dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. This includes website content, capability statements, company profiles, team bios, business award nominations, blog post packages and more. We happily work with clients all over Australia. Email us to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.  

 

Winning a business award, business award tips, professional awards writer

Winning a business award – 9 professional tips

When you decide to enter a business award, naturally you want to win. To achieve this goal, you need to have what it takes to win – including writing a winning business award entry. Following are a few tips designed to help you through the process towards holding up that coveted trophy!

Tip 1: Register as soon as the awards open

Don’t leave it too late to enter. Writing a winning business award entry takes time and is not something which you can do in a rush.

If you register early, you’ll have the opportunity to download or copy and paste the questions into a Word document. That way, you can carefully consider the information you’ll include in your answers.

Make a note of the closing date for entries and work back from there.

Tip 2: Read all the terms and conditions carefully

Be sure to check whether you’re eligible for a particular category or categories before you go to the time and effort of writing your entry.

Tip 3: Choose your category

This is important! Take some time to think about which category or categories you’d like to enter, as some will be more competitive than others. Which category will allow you to best capture the essence of your business? To tell a story which connects with the judges? To portray your experience and the way you engage with your customers?

Tip 4: Read the questions to see whether you’ll be able to answer them

Before you commit yourself to a category, read through the questions. Are you confident you have what it takes to accurately and thoroughly answer each question?

While you can build a story around a fact, you can’t make things up! If you don’t have the qualifications or experience to enter a particular category this year, try working on that area of your business so you can enter next year. I like to describe entering business awards as similar to a business audit. The process gives you the opportunity to step back and take a good look at what’s working in your business – and what needs improvement.

Tip 5: Use a Word document for your drafts

Do not be tempted to type your answers directly into the awards portal. Depending on the software used to set up the portal, you may have to answer ALL the questions before your information is saved – or your information may be lost!

The best option is to copy and paste the questions into a Word document and use it to draft your answers. This allows you to make notes, draft your answers, review and add to the text before you’re ready to upload your final answer to the portal.

Writing your entry is often a huge task and it can be overwhelming. Try working on just one section at a time or two questions per week (depending on how long you have before the closing date).

Tip 6: Ask for input

Who can help gather information for your entry? Who knows you and your business well?

  • Team/staff members
  • Your life partner or family members
  • Strategic business partners
  • Your business coach
  • Your clients/customers

Asking for input from your team members or clients is a great way to demonstrate how much you value their opinions and their contribution to the business.

Any or all of the above people can potentially provide important input into your winning business award entry.

Tip 7: Think outside the box

Where the questions allow support documents, carefully consider what you’ll use.

Spreadsheets and graphs showing financial importance can underline you success, but be sure to highlight your most significant achievements.

Images can also be helpful in reinforcing your answers. Be sure to use clear, quality images which show your business in its best light. If the image doesn’t enhance your answer, don’t use it.

A great way to demonstrate your answer can be through a case study. This allows you to clearly portray how you’ve solved a problem for one of client and illustrates the outcomes you’re achieving.

Tip 8: Be sure to actually ANSWER each question fully and to the best of your ability

You’d be surprised how often I see business award entries which are incomplete or where the entrant has simply waffled through an answer with information completely unrelated to the topic.

It is not advisable to copy and paste answers from previous years’ entries or copy your answers between categories. You must take the time and effort to draft an original answer for each question in each of the categories you’re entering.

Tip 9: Review, edit and spellcheck before uploading to the awards portal

BEFORE you upload your entry to the awards portal, ask someone else to read over your answers and check for spelling, grammar, the flow of information and overall accuracy. It’s hard to see your own mistakes and a second set of eyes will often pick up something you’ve missed.

Do a final review yourself before you upload the answers. Check you’ve correctly answered ALL the questions and provided support documents where possible.

I STRONGLY advise you don’t leave it until the last minute to upload your entry to the award portal. Technology often buckles under a heavy load and awards portals are notorious for crashing on the final day for entries.

Stay ahead of the crowd and finish your entry at least a few before the closing date, then upload your winning business award entry to the portal well in advance of this date.

Need help? Feel free to email me if you’re looking for assistance with your business award submission. I can work in one of two ways:

  • I can review and edit your entry before you upload it, providing feedback and advice to tweak your entry
  • I can work with you from the beginning of the process, collaborating with you to write the drafts, which you then review before we finalise your entry

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith The Professional Writer

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, business owner and chief word wrangler at The Professional Writer. My team and I write content dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. This includes website content, capability statements, company profiles, team bios, business award nominations, blog post packages and more. We happily work with clients all over Australia. Email us to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.  

How to become a thought leader, what is a thought leader, blog post writer, award nominations writer, The Professional Writer, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

How to Become a Thought Leader

Are you seen as a thought leader or a business trailblazer in your industry or niche? Or are you happy to be just one of the crowd?

Thought leaders are those we recognise as a foremost authority in their area of expertise, whose views are seen as authoritative and influential, making them the go-to person for comments, interviews and, of course, business. A thought leader has a powerful and visible personal brand, often built over time.

9 tips on how to become a Thought Leader

1. Become an authority

Select a particular topic or niche. Ideally, you will already have some experience in this area. Be well informed by reading everything you can about the topic and stay constantly up to date on it – BE THE EXPERT.

2. Love your topic and truly believe in it

Demonstrate your passion for your area of expertise by writing, speaking, doing interviews and making videos about it. Always be looking for new ideas related to your area of expertise. Your passion and belief will shine through if you’re truly authentic with your message. Most of us can spot a fake at twenty paces – don’t be that fake!

3. Engage with people

Whether you’re speaking at an event, doing face-to-face networking, interacting on social media or meeting a potential new client – be pleasant, be present and take the time to show an interest in other people, not just yourself. Once you’ve established rapport with the other person, they’re much more likely to show an interest in what you have to offer.

4. Share your expertise

Thought leaders into their experience and share it – you can do this too. Why not write social media posts, articles, fact sheets, guides, ebooks, books – or record videos if you prefer that medium?

5. Write a blog

Blog posts are the ideal platform to share your expertise, thoughts and ideas while positioning yourself as a thought leader. As the content is kept on your own website, you have total control over it, unlike what you post to social media.

Consistency is the key. If you say you’re going to post weekly, do it. If you think you can only manage one post per month, commit to it, choose a date and ensure that blog post is live on that day.

Blog posts can be repurposed as content for your client newsletter or as a guest post on another website or in on industry blog. A blog post which receives a lot of attention is the ideal topic to expand into an eBook, lead magnet or perhaps a complete book on the topic. If you’re not a writer, this task can be outsourced to a professional.

6. Leverage social media

Choose no more than 3 social media platforms and focus on being active on them. Choose your social media channels according to your audience – be where your people are.

Plan your posts and topics ahead of time. Be sure to post regularly and consistently. Be active in groups where your followers hang out and add value by answering questions. Interact with other leaders in your industry, as well as social media influencers and thought leaders.

7. Harness the media

Media and the public look to thought leaders for their input on changes, updates and fresh ideas. Offer to provide your expert commentary to media outlets – they love a great story and are constantly seeking the advice of experts in their field.

8. Nominate for awards

Winning an award is a fantastic way to boost your profile and become known in your local area, your industry, across the country or even worldwide. There are a multitude of industry awards, those run by your local business networking organisations or Chamber of Commerce, or high profile national awards. Using the services of an established awards nomination writer can assist in presenting the best possible submission and boost your chances of standing out from your competition.

9. Form your tribe

Surround yourself with people who complement your strengths, inspire you and support your efforts. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others, most people are happy to assist where they can. You can do it all alone – it takes a support team behind you.

One final tip … be patient. Becoming a thought leader takes hard work, dedication and creativity – and time. All the effort will be worthwhile when it pays off with huge benefits for those who are willing to stay the course.

The Professional Writer - Lyndall

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, business owner and chief word wrangler at The Professional Writer. My team and I write content dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. This includes website content, capability statements, company profiles, team bios, business award nominations, blog post packages and more. We happily work with clients all over Australia. Email us to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.  

Winning business awards, how to write a winning awards entry, business awards writer, The Professional Writer, Lyndall Guinery Smith

How to write a winning business awards entry

Writing a winning business awards entry can be challenging, but the payoff in the form of promotion for your business can be extremely rewarding, taking your business to a new level.
As an experienced business awards nominations writer, I’m often asked what it takes to write a winning award entry. Make no mistake, it is a project and will require the investment of time and energy – it cannot be a last minute decision.

Following are some helpful tips for writing a winning business awards entry

Before you start writing…

  • Carefully read through the award terms and conditions to check your business is eligible to enter
  • Take time to consider which categories you should enter
  • Think about how you could leverage the award once you’ve won, and which category would best help you engage with your target market
  • If you find any “gaps” in your entry, consider waiting until the following year to enter. Then take appropriate action to ensure you can cover that particular topic in future
  • Note the tips in the guidelines – they are there for a reason!
  • Read and re-read each question, then make notes on your answer
  • Think carefully about each answer. Judges want to see evidence of your performance. Be specific with figures, give clear examples and use graphs or charts to complement your text
  • Don’t just mention what you’ve achieved. Include the outcomes for your clients, how you’ve contributed to your industry or the part you play in your local community

When you start writing your winning business awards entry …

  • Ensure you actually ANSWER the question. This might sound basic, but you’d be surprised how many businesses write a fluffy answer that doesn’t actually address the topic!
  •  Include the achievements of your team members where possible. This is a great way to acknowledge their input into the business and it makes you look like a great boss.
  • Where there’s been a problem that you’ve overcome, don’t be afraid to mention it. All businesses have issues from time-to-time and demonstrating how you’ve overcome those problems shows your resilience and how you’ve grown as an organisation.
  • Where possible, include social proof to add credibility to your entry.
  • Use brief case studies or stories about customers’ success with your product or service to demonstrate the outcomes you’re able to achieve. Tell a story if possible.
  • Before uploading your entry to the awards portal, ask someone independent to proofread your entry. We all make typos and grammatical errors and we rarely see them ourselves, particularly when we’ve read and re-read the same text many times over.
  • Watch the word limit on each answer. If you exceed it, the end of your answer will be cut off!

Boosting your business profile

Entering and winning business awards can be a fabulous way to boost your business. Winning helps raise your profile in your local community, with your clients and potential clients. However, if the awards you enter have state or national levels, and you’re successful in reaching those stages, your profile gets an even bigger boost!

Winning an award demonstrates that you’ve been judged as exemplary by a third party, portraying you as an industry leader. After you’ve entered, give some thought to how you can publicise your win and gain more business from it. You may utilise social media, print media or your local business networks to spread the word about your win. Have a plan of action in place and ready to go once your win is announced.

I hope this brief post has provided you with some useful tips on winning business awards. Should you require any assistance with writing your entry, please feel free to drop me a line.

Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer, Business Writer, Award Nominations Writer

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, business owner and chief word wrangler at The Professional Writer. My team and I write content dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. This includes website content, capability statements, company profiles, team bios, business award nominations, blog post packages and more. We happily work with clients all over Australia. Email us to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.