How awards can help you get more customers
I was recently nominated as a Finalist by PeoplePerHour for Female Freelancer of the Year. I was incredibly honoured especially as we’ve been so busy helping customers with their award submissions, that our applications had taken a bit of a back seat.
I decided that now is a good time to talk about how being shortlisted or winning awards can be a great way of helping you attract more customers. It’s a channel which is generally overlooked but with a little bit of work, the benefits far outweigh the time and cost involved.
Three reasons why awards will help move your business to the next level, helping you grow
- Shorten the purchase decision time AND increase your credibility
I know you’re probably thinking you’re so busy you don’t have time to add another marketing task to your to-do list. But wouldn’t you like to spend less money on trying to get leads and actually prefer if your clients came knocking on your door? (Figuratively speaking in some cases.) Or that they make the decision to purchase from you rather than a competitor? Believe it or not, awards can help make that happen. YES REALLY.
When you look at a company you’re considering purchasing from and they have listed their awards, what do you think:
- They’re good at what they do?
- They have a quality product/service?
- They are credible?
These are some of the things which probably come to mind. When a company lists the awards and nominations they have, potential clients tend to feel reassured – confident that they’re making a sensible decision to purchase from them.
When buying a product and it has a ‘Best Buy Which?’ badge or a ‘Good Housekeeping Institute’ logo, it makes the buying decision easier. It’s the same if you won an award as the best in your industry/profession, it would help customers want to do business with you. And they’re more likely to make that decision quicker, especially if you’re booked up or have limited stock.
- Reach more potential customers by increasing your exposure
You can use all award activity as an opportunity to talk to your existing network – whether you or your business gets selected as a finalist, runner-up or winner. Plus you’ll get free PR, which will raise awareness of who you are to potential clients. Make sure you leverage this, make it part of your marketing strategy. You can promote award activity by adding it to:
- social channels
- your website
- marketing emails
- email signatures
- marketing collateral
Think about what an award says about your business, create communications that talk about being selected as a finalist through to the final stages and a winner being chosen. Even if you don’t win, being nominated as a finalist is still a big deal and can be used in marketing communications.
If you’re attending an awards ceremony you’ll also get the opportunity to expand your network and meet potential clients or people you may want to work with. They’ll probably be people who have a similar mindset to you and have high growth aspirations.
- Attract brilliant people, making you a strong company
A business which is growing needs great talent – people to help take the business to the next level. Candidates will want to work for a company that has won awards. They’ll view your business as credible and as one that is leading the industry.
You can also win awards for your staff or talent. This is a great way to showcase that you care about your people and this in turn will help to attract great talent.
The different types of awards
We’ve talked about why you should enter awards but what types of awards are there and how do you get started?
There are two general types of awards: ones in which you are nominated by the awarding body; and ones where you apply to enter and are considered for the shortlist.
Various companies create awards as a mark of excellence/recognition within an industry sector or area. Regardless of which company has created the award, you’ll find it will have a panel of impartial judges to make sure there is a fair process in place.
How to start selecting which awards to apply for
Finding awards to apply for and getting started can be scary, but here are some simple tips to help.
- If you’re based in the UK, search here. You’ll find an extensive list of awards, split out by industry.
- Check regional awards, especially if your business is regionally focussed.
- You might want to check out international awards if they’re relevant. Search by your industry here.
- Finally, do a google search for smaller awards that might not be on the site above.
Draw up a shortlist:
- If you’re not sure which awards to go for, start with smaller ones and ones that you know you have plenty of time to write a submission for.
- Check and make a note of submission deadline dates (if you’re using Boost you can sign up for email reminders).
Validate and decide:
- Double check to see if you’re eligible for the awards you’ve selected.
- Some submissions require a fee and some will be free but you may have to buy a ticket to attend the award ceremony. Check that you can attend the ceremony and how much it will cost.
- Finally, decide which categories you want to submit an award for, check if you can or want to enter multiple categories.
Create your submission:
- Make sure you cover off what the award submission specifies. They will generally give you guidance.
- Give yourself time to review your submission before sending it. Ask someone else to read it through and comment on it.
- Prepare the evidence required for your submission.
- Finally, submit it within the specified timescale.
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Disclaimer: BKS Consultancy is providing this information in an advisory capacity and is providing independent advice based on experience. BKS Consultancy cannot be held responsible for any decisions made based on the advice above without expert guidance.