Snagging an industry award for your business can do a lot more than make your CEO’s dream as of this morning come true. Alongside a happy boss, there’s increased media visibility, boosted customer credibility and some serious office high fives to be had.
Perhaps most importantly though, an industry award will give your business a glowing third-party endorsement that new customers really take note of when making their decision to buy. What could be more important than that?
Why listen to us? Excell has recently been nominated for 3 industry awards in a short space of time.
Step 1: Make an awards calendar
The point here is to get yourself organised as there’s literally an industry award for everything these days. For example, does your business care about social responsibility and provide rural connectivity in hard to reach places? Perhaps you’ve got a fantastic key case study or provide great customer service to a partner? There’s an award you can enter for each of those categories (vote for us!).
But whilst having lots of awards to enter may sound good, in practice it tends to complicate things, especially if you’re not seeing the bigger picture. Imagine eating a spicy burrito just because it was the closest food joint to your office, chances are at about 4pm you’re going to have some serious lunch regret. Gross analogy aside, the point here is to know all your options before using your finite resource as there’s no going back to that crucial time before lunch.
Step 2: Tell a story
Listen, I know you’re absolutely dying to copy and paste your way to the FA Cup final, but there’s a reason that Steven Spielberg doesn’t use old footage in his films and it’s the same reason you shouldn’t employ the same method in your award entries.
You need to tell a tailored story for a specific audience and avoid doing a Neil ‘here’s one I made earlier’ Buchanan. Can you imagine if Spielberg had re-used Jaws the Shark in E.T? Having E.T mauled to death in a film for 5-year olds just wouldn’t make sense so please ensure you’re not shoehorning in content just for the sake of it. Speaking of which:
“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.”
– Scout Finch
Remember, some awards get thousands of entries and judges will skim them, this means that you should use clear, basic language that gets your point across efficiently – no fluffy adjectives plumping up the word count. What about if you’re rubbish at writing nice sentences like I is, just bullet point your way out if it:
- Use action language without fluffy adjectives
- Make your entry read like a story from start to finish
- Get someone to read it afterwards and get feedback
- Use facts and figures to back up your points
Text as dry as the Sahara Desert (your boilerplate text) will leave the judges gasping for water. Tell a specific story for a specific cause; cut out boilerplate text and clearly define the problem, solution and outcome and you will achieve success.
Step 3: Quantifiable evidence wins awards
So, you have your calendar sorted and you’re confident you can tell a pretty good story, you should enter, right? Probably not. To win an award you’ll need quantifiable evidence and ROI numbers that sell your stories’ narrative. There’s no point saying ‘oh look at us aren’t we brilliant’ without customer feedback and actual figures to back it up.
The point here is that anecdotal chat simply won’t cut it anymore and you should confirm your evidence before deciding to enter an award in the first place. If you don’t have anything then it probably isn’t worth your time and effort.
Step 4: Celebrate your victories, even nominations
So, you’ve won the award, well done. Should you just sit back and Basque in the eternal glory of being a champion? False!
It’s weird how many people forget this, but you need to tell people. Ensure you extract as much exposure out of the win/nominations as possible and get the award logos on your website, sales collateral and social media banners. Don’t stop there either, spam your customers endlessly with emails about your winnings, everyone wants to know they’ve chosen the best supplier after all. It’s a great to re-engage with existing customers and new prospects.
When it comes to free PR, repetition is usually the key to success. With this in mind, make sure to post the news on social media platforms 500 times a week (or twice a day if you’re not insane).
Why stop there? Awards don’t just affect your sales pipeline and/or back pocket, why not buy the office a slice of pizza and couple of shandies and hold an internal celebration? Stick the pictures all over social media and watch as the world declares you the best company to work for. I know, genius!
Right, I have to stop typing the word awards or they’ll lock me away with that bloke out of The Shining who writes Red Rum everywhere. To be honest I think you get gist by now, if you didn’t you can always drop me a message or re-read the article again.
Once again, if you’ve learned anything from this lecture, please show you gratitude by voting for Excell!