Best Practices for Entering Awards for Your Business
The flashing lights, the endless applause, the speeches, the increase to your sales numbers… Okay, your business winning an award won’t draw the same attention as the Oscars or Emmys, but it will catapult your business. The exposure is incredible, the team morale boost significant, and street cred serious. Applying for an award like the Real Estate Marketing Awards (#REMAS) is just the start. Increase the chances of moving from nominee to best-in-class starts with a stellar submission package. Gain the kudos you need with this strategy:
#1. Set a budget
Some award programs offer free submissions, but others have entry fees. These fees cover the cost of running the award program and make sure every entry is truly competitive. The problem? Submitting to every contest quickly adds up, not only the actual entry fees, but the time invested in creating a submission package. Set an award budget as part of your marketing strategy. Pick and choose contests based on which ones you think will bring the best return.
#2. Read all the guidelines
Attack the submission rules with the thoroughness of Sherlock Holmes. The devil is in the details. Follow all the suggested submission formats. Most importantly: don’t miss the deadline! Allot enough time to correctly put together the award package. Rushing to meet the deadline increases the chances mistakes will slip unnoticed into the submission.
#3. Speak simply
Even when submitting an award to a panel of industry experts, don’t assume the judges “get it.” You are working in the thick of it, and what seems clear to you might be a mystery to an outsider. Judges can’t be in your head. Make the submission as easy to understand as possible. Follow the Associated Press (AP) style of writing out any acronyms the first use, even if they’re an industry-standard abbreviation.
#4. Be organized
For submissions with multiple pages and documentation, make a good impression with incredible organization. Create a table of contents and number all the pages accordingly. Write an overview of what judges can expect to find in the submission package.
#5. Make it marketable
Just like your marketing team creates a story to lure customers, use the submission to tell your story. Illustrate why you deserve to win. Weave in the achievements and relevant accomplishments.
Package your award submission to make it presentable and marketable to others. The awards program wants to promote your success and your job to make it easy for them to do it. Have a clear few sentences usable for the program’s press releases or social media announcements.
#6. Show results
Especially for an award program like #REMAS, it’s incredibly important the judging panel see the concrete results of your work. For a marketing award program, the panel needs to see the results of the marketing strategy or campaign.
Don’t hesitate to submit: winning awards has been the reason businesses earned new clients and improved their bottom line. What does it take to assemble a winning awards submission? A clear story with proven results put together in an organized, marketable way. That’s it.