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.  

 

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Winning Business Awards – Top Professional Tips

There’s no doubt that winning business awards can do wonders for your business. Winning can boost morale amongst yourself and your employees – plus it can be fabulous for publicity, brand awareness and your profile. There’s a range of reasons you should enter.

A lot of businesses have the capacity to win an award. However, most business owners will never complete the entry process. If, as the saying goes, “80% of success in life is just showing up”, entering a business award can be your way of showing up!

A winning business awards entry tells the story of your business and how it evolved, without doing the “hard sell”. Answering the questions can sometimes be quite tricky. See the process as an opportunity to undertake a mini audit of your business.

Following are 11 professional tips for winning business awards:

  • Check the website and download all the questions and information you’ll need to complete your application
  • Carefully check whether your business qualifies for the awards. Which category best applies to your business?
  • Keep it clear, concise and ensure you answer the question being asked – don’t ramble on with unrelated information, no matter how great you think it sounds!
  • It’s important to let the judges know about your achievements and milestones – be sure the highlight them in the application
  • Note the word limit. Most online forms will cut off after you reach the word limit
  • Some sections of the application may be split up between judges, so don’t assume you’ve already covered a particular subject if the question is asking for the information again
  • In a winning business awards application, your financial records will need to show increasing profits which prove your financial success
  • Showcase your innovation and explain how you’ve offered something new to the market or your customers
  • Community involvement and charity work is often high on the judge’s agenda – include details on all your activities in this area
  • Don’t just copy and paste from your website or marketing materials – tailor your answers to suit the question being asked
  • DON’T complete your application at the last minute!

Perhaps most importantly …

Your application will require time and effort – be prepared to spend time on it. Try chunking the application down into sections and do it over time. Try drafting your answers, then add further information to them later. It may help to know that some substantial award applications take between 10 and 30 hours to complete in full.

What to do next …

If you’re lucky enough to become a finalist, always attend the awards ceremony. It’s a great excuse for a new outfit and a night out, plus a fabulous networking opportunity with potential collaborators.

If you win, be sure to promote the win on your website, on social media, in the local print press and in your marketing. Display the award in your business premises and let your customers know how and why you won the award. You could even put it on your business card or letterhead!

Even being a finalist is a promotional opportunity, as you can use the phrase, “Finalist, XYZ Business Awards 2017” in your marketing. A button can be added to your website, which always looks impressive.

Do you need help?

I hope these tips on winning business awards have inspired you to at least consider entering either local, national or international business awards. For the relatively small amount of effort required to complete the application, the publicity and marketing opportunities you may gain are boundless.

Maybe you’re great at what you do and you’ve achieved some amazing milestones in your business, but writing isn’t your thing. Perhaps you just don’t have the time it takes to complete the award application? I’ve assisted dozens of small businesses in completing business awards applications, several of whom have won those awards! Please feel free to get in touch if I can help you write an awesome award application. I love to see my clients winning business awards!

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – 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. Or if you’d like to learn how to connect with your audience and build your business, why not input your email address and receive my regular marketing updates in your mailbox? You can sign up for our mailing list at the base of the Home Page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au.

 

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7 Awesome Reasons to Enter Business Awards

If you’ve been in business for at least a year or more, and you’ve experienced growth and success during that time, there are a few good reasons why you should enter business awards…

1. An opportunity to audit your business

The application process itself can be a wonderful opportunity for carrying out a critical analysis of your business. By carrying out the information gathering and evaluation required to complete the application, you may well highlight some areas you excel in or may need to work on.

2. Share your story

As part of the process to enter business awards, you’ll need to tell the story of how your started the business, the essence/soul of your business, the products or services you offer, the market/s you cater to, and your “Why”. Your story should be one which others can relate to and which draws the interest and attention of the judges AND your target customers. The awards provide a platform where you can share this story, so you need to make it as compelling as possible while sticking to the truth.

3. Boost your profile

If you’re looking to raise your profile within your industry, your local community, nationally or possibly internationally, entering a business award is a great way to achieve this. Those businesses who become winners will receive the greatest recognition and subsequent promotion, but the only way to reach that point is to enter! Even if you don’t win, you can leverage the benefit of being able to call yourself a nominee, a finalist or “short-listed for..” in your marketing.

4. Increase your credibility

It’s well known that customers buy from people they know, like and trust. If you want to increase the number of people who know, like and trust you, the awards are a great vehicle, as they show that a third party (the judges) have scrutinised your business and deemed it to be credible and successful.

5. Expand your opportunities

Those who enter business awards have a greater chance of increasing the opportunities available to them. These may include new business, mentoring or forming mastermind groups among contestants. By networking at award events, you may meet other like-minded individuals with whom you can form a strategic alliance or potential customers, suppliers and distributors for your business.

6. Benchmark your business

When you enter business awards, you have the opportunity to benchmark your business against others in your industry, providing valuable information to assist with future direction and potential growth strategies.

7. You can WIN great prizes

There are often fabulous prizes on offer when you enter business awards. These can vary from cash to grants, business services, hampers, wine, other quality products and sometimes even a holiday. Who wouldn’t want to win a holiday?!

Wondering which awards to enter?

There are quite a few awards to choose from. Choosing which one to enter may depend on your industry, and the products or services you offer. Here’s a sample of some national awards which are available to Australian businesses:

Australian Achiever Awards

Anthill Awards

Australian Customer Service Awards

The Australian Small Business Awards

Australian Business Awards

Family Business Australia Awards

Local Business Awards

MyBusiness Awards

Small Business Champion Awards

Smart Company Awards

SME Awards

Telstra Business Awards

Telstra Business Women’s Awards

What about local awards?

Of course, there’s also a range of regional awards run by associations. These include the NSW Business Chamber or your local Chamber of Commerce or your local Business Enterprise Centre.

I hope this information has prompted you to think about how you can enter your organisation in business awards.

Should you require any assistance with answering questions in the application, or writing about your business to portray it in its best light, feel free to drop me a line.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – 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. Or if you’d like to learn how to connect with your audience and build your business, why not input your email address and receive my regular marketing updates in your mailbox? You can sign up for our mailing list at the base of the Home Page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au.