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And the Winner Is… You: How to Apply for Industry Awards to Boost Your Business

  • 6 mths ago

One of the most overlooked ways to help your business is to apply for—and hopefully win—awards presented by your partners, community or industry. It’s a great marketing tactic that can really make your business stand out with prospects and customers, but many organizations think they either won’t win or don’t know how to create a strong submission. So they don’t try.

But that doesn’t have to be the case, according to Kristian Wright, COO of inSOC Inc. The key is to figure out how to “stand out in a sea of sameness,” he said during a presentation at a CompTIA UK&I Business Technology Community meeting in Manchester, UK.

Overcoming Writer’s Block and Other Challenges

Most awards entries are so dull judges don’t even read all the way through them, and many can’t tell one entry from another, he said. To stand a great chance of winning, ask yourself four questions when filling out an application:

  • Why are you entering the award?
  • What do you hope to gain from it?
  • What would winning do for your company?
  • What other benefits might you gain from a win?

Awards entries take time and effort, and it can be difficult to articulate your accomplishments—many people are not comfortable touting themselves. Wright offered a five-step process to help ensure that your application will stand above the competition.

1. Understand the Application

Before you begin writing out an awards application form, take the time to read it and understand it. Know what the judges are looking for, what they’re not looking for, and how your company fits into those criteria.

“Many applications are bypassed or overlooked because they instead showcase the company’s own messaging but don’t answer the question that asked,” Wright said.

2. Answer the Questions, Speak the Judges’ Language

As you read the application, look for keywords and other cues that may hint at what the judges will find valuable.

“Once you find those keywords and themes, make sure you relate your answers back to those keywords. Tailor your entry around those and include those points in your response. There’s nothing judges can argue with if you’re responding to the themes and words they’re looking for,” he said. “Remember, you’re looking to respond what’s relatable to those words in your own business.”

3. Find Your Unique Selling Proposition

In almost every awards category, the winner won’t be selected by who gives the best customer service or who has the best solution or toolset. How you differentiate yourself in an application will go a long way in improving your chances of winning.

“Everybody thinks they are the best at customer service or a solution. You may well be the best, but it’s not particularly interesting to a panel of judges facing five entries all raving about how wonderful they are in those areas,” Wright said. “There’s nothing to differentiate you from anyone else. But if you have great stories in those areas, that’s something you can weave in.”

Continue reading: https://connect.comptia.org/blog/and-the-winner-is-you-how-to-apply-for-industry-awards-to-boost-your-business

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