by Rachel Harris | Digital Marketing Manager
So you’ve decided to enter some business awards. Smart! Awards are a great way to promote your brand get the recognition you deserve.
Winning or even getting shortlisted for an award come with a whole bunch of benefits but writing a good one takes time and practice. The good news is, the more you do, the better you’ll get. Read our top tips below for writing a killer submission 🌟
1. Find the right awards for you
There are a lot of awards out there, but you want to make sure you’re applying for the right ones. Pay special attention to eligibility details (awards often have certain criteria you need to meet such as location, industry, age of business etc). You’ll also want to apply for awards that are well respected in your field so have a look round to see what people say about them.
2. Do your Research
Pay special attention to the details your award or category is asking for. What are the judges looking for? Who won last year? Why did they win, what were the judges’ comments?
If you have any friends who’ve been shortlisted for awards ask if you can see their application to get a good idea of what works. There are also plenty of examples online to give you inspiration.
3. Give yourself plenty of time
It might be tempting, but try not to put off writing your application until the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time to gather everything you need so that you’re not rushing something mediocre through.
4. Don’t copy and paste
Just like a covering letter for a new job, you need to make sure your submission is fully catered to the award you’re applying for. You can definitely make use of what you’ve written in your past for other award submissions or your website, but make sure it’s all relevant, up to date and answers the questions asked. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re consistent in your tone of voice and using the first or third person.
5. Keep it Simple
Answer the questions as plainly as you can. There’s an old saying that goes “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” You have to assume the judges know nothing about your business so explain it to them in the simplest terms you can. Make sure you avoid (or explain) any jargon you use and keep your sentences and paragraphs short.
6. Let your passion shine through
You might think that your application needs to sound super formal and rigid. It doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to use emotive language in your application. You started your business because you care about what you do and this submission is all about making the judges care about your business too. Explain why you started out and how you’ve helped people.
7. Show Evidence
Demonstrate that you can do what you say you do. Provide hard facts and figures where you can and testimonials if possible. Third-party quotes from your clients are always a winner. When providing evidence, try and shine a light on the end result of helping someone rather than the process.
8. Check it twice
Have a good read over your application before you submit it. You want to make sure it all makes sense and that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. It’s a good idea to get someone else to cast their eye over it to pick up any mistakes you might have missed.
If you can rope a friend into helping who doesn’t know much about your business then they’re ideally placed to make sure you’re explaining your business well.
8. Ask for feedback
Whether you’re shortlisted or not, try and get feedback from the judges where possible. Ask them what they liked and what they didn’t. Was there anything they didn’t understand? Was there something you missed out? Anything they wished you’d expanded on? This will inform and enhance your future submissions.
9. Keep at it!
Don’t be dishearted if you don’t get shortlisted for the first or even seventh awards you apply for. There’s a lot of competition out there and the judges can have a hard time choosing finalists (this is why asking for feedback is so important). If you start to feel concerned, consider hiring a professional writer to take a look and give you some pointers on your application.
So there you have it! Not convinced it’s worth the hassle? Read our blog on the benefits of applying for business awards 🏆