Business awards, write a winning business award entry, business awards writer, help to win business award, how to write a winning business award nomination

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

 

The Professional Writer - Lyndall

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write winning business award nominations. My clients have been finalists and winners at the local level, regional level and in national awards such as the Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards. I happily work with clients all over Australia. Email me 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, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all over Australia. Email me 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, and 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, so be specific with figures, give clear examples and use graphs or charts to complement your text where possible.
  • 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!

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, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all over Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.