These four easy ways to get recognition can give your business a boost and set it apart from the competition.
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I still remember the first time I saw "award-winning" in a professional biography. The woman was experienced, a confident moderator, and I studied her to see how one day I could become like her. I just couldn't imagine how amazing I had to be to win a professional award like her.
Little did I know that at some point I would apply for more than 100 submissions for others and also become a judge in order to witness the entire process.
What I have learned is that it takes preparation, and often a plan, to become award-winning in your industry. There are a few solid ways to follow to improve your chances of achieving award-winning status, some of which are extremely simple.
Path 1: focus on measurable performance
Many industry award programs focus on highlighting achievement. To win these types of submissions, it is important to have accomplishments that can stand out from others.
If you want to win a future award, you can use your quarterly evaluation or work planning period to think about how you can proactively generate new achievements for next year's submissions. Below are a few questions to ask yourself in the planning process.
- Are there any new projects that I will implement this year? How can I measure and report results that can be publicly shared?
- How much money can I make this year or save the company? Are there ways to maximize that?
- What big changes are taking place in the industry right now? How can I have a major impact on this change?
Thinking proactively each year can help you prioritize results that lead to awards.
Related: The Roundup: The 2021 E-Business Awards
Path 2: Network and share your goals
While self-nominations are often accepted, some awards prefer someone else to provide the nomination for you. Letting people know that you are hoping to win an award next year can help them get the idea to nominate you when the opportunity presents itself.
Another reason to network is to make sure that those who judge see you in action, and are aware of your impact and guidance. I've sat on awards boards and a natural tendency of our human spirits is to give preference to those we know and have seen do great things. When people have heard of you and have positive memories, it increases your chance of winning.
Related: 5 Ways To Network In The Clubhouse App
Way 3: be a thought leader
Being an industry leader also creates positive awareness that can lead to judges' approval. Some awards even have a score specifically for assessing your leadership role in promoting the industry. So to be seen in this role is a direct path to profit.
Some ways to build your profile in thought leadership include writing content on your blog or LinkedIn profile, posting to industry publications, interviews on podcasts, or speaking at events.
Related: What Exactly Is Thought Leadership?
Way 4: get into the race!
Using these avenues to build an award-winning profile is the first step in achieving this goal, but none of this matters without a well-written award submission.
Reviewers often read dozens, if not hundreds, of submissions. So if your content is below par it won't get very far in the review process.
If you're not comfortable writing about yourself, find a professional who knows how to write outstanding nominations for awards and hire him or her to help. Even if someone else nominates you, he or she will often need your input to fill in the answers. Therefore, provide high quality written content to increase your chances of getting noticed.
Winning awards isn't just a vanity metric, it's a real differentiator for professionals in most industries that can lead to better opportunities and higher wages. For entrepreneurs, winning a customer or losing an order to a similarly qualified competitor can make all the difference.
Having an annual or biannual award submission budget is a great way to keep your company and employees informed of the opportunity to win these awards, which you can use for PR and branding credibility to generate new business.