There are many women around BC who are making a big impact in their communities! Awards can be an excellent way to step up, gain recognition for your hard work and grow your business or career.
For award opportunities, you may wish to check with your Chamber of Commerce, women in business network or industry association.
Here are our top 10 tips to help you along the process:
#1. Awards are your unique marketing opportunity – so apply!
Awards are a key part of your marketing strategy. They help you get external validation and can be a game-changer when being considered for a board position.
Even if you think there is little chance of winning the award, apply anyway if it’s an award you qualify for. There is huge value in going through the process. At the end, you will have a body of work that will help you apply for other awards or that can used to promote your business.
#2. Collaboration is Crucial
Tap into the people you’ve met through the many women’s business networks if you want someone to nominate you for an award. If your employer is the nominator, talk to your HR department, a colleague or your supervisor if you want to be nominated.
#3. Select your category carefully
Ensure that you fit the category you are applying for. For example, if you are young, award categories for future leaders are a good fit. Once you‘ve decided on a category, tailor your application to the questions in that category.
#4. Everyone has a story—tell yours
The judges want to hear your story and your voice. Bring forth your uniqueness and what differentiates you from others.
Telling an authentic story will make you stand out. People can connect to overcoming adversity or realizing a vision. Write as if you’re speaking directly to one of the judges, or writing them a letter.
#5. Don’t be shy
Acknowledge your accomplishments and create a clear message to convey your achievements. This is your opportunity, so don’t undervalue yourself.
#6. Be professional in your submission
Talk to someone who has submitted an award nomination to get tips and suggestions. Check your submission for grammatical errors, typos and oversights. If English is not your first language, consider getting it edited.
#7. Follow the guidelines
Organize your nomination form and address each question clearly. The judges usually work on a point matrix. Don’t miss out by submitting inadequate information. Don’t be confused by the similarity of questions, try to understand what each one is getting at.
#8. Do your due diligence
Pay attention to what is being asked in the application. Take the time to read each question and think about what the judges are looking for.
Schedule time to complete your application professionally. Pay attention to maximum word count.
#9. Use feedback to fine tune your submission
Even if you do not win, ask for feedback from the organization and judges. It will help improve your chances next time. Keep on trying.
Once you have completed one application, it is easy to fine tune and copy and paste for other award nominations.
#10. Celebrate your nomination!
Nominations and awards are opportunities to celebrate. You can get lots of mileage even if you do not win. Use press releases and social media to spread the word. Leverage your nomination by using it in your communication with clients and other stakeholders.
Resources to Help You
Here are some resources to help you strengthen your award nomination and leverage the opportunity.
- Won an Award? 12 Ways to Publicize It (Without Bragging) | Forbes
- Winning Small Business Awards Can Boost Your Company’s Credibility. | Entrepreneur