How to make the most of being nominated for a business award
Award recognition can really help to take your business to the next level – but simply winning isn’t enough. You need to have a strategy in place to maximise the value of that award
Winning an award is a huge achievement, but getting nominated for a business award can be just as great. While it might not always lead to a win in the end, there are plenty of reasons why being nominated is great for business.
If you’re a marketer, agency executive or CMO looking to gain company visibility through awards, here’s how to leverage them:
Leave your ego at the door
Don’t take it personally if you don’t win. This is probably the hardest lesson to learn, but it’s also one of the most important. Despite how they’re structured, awards are not a competition. They exist to show appreciation for the work that has been done and highlight excellence in that field. Not winning doesn’t mean that your nomination was meaningless or unimportant. It just means that another person’s nomination was more deserving than yours! That doesn’t eradicate your worth.
Accepting this truth will help prevent feelings of resentment when someone else wins an award or prize over you. It also helps keep things in perspective: everyone who works hard deserves recognition for their efforts. Try not to compare yourself with others when it comes time for nominations and awards season.
Plan for a media blitz
If you’re nominated for or win an award, plan for a media blitz. This is vital, because if you don’t tell anyone that you won, you may as well not have.
First things first, send out a press release to local media outlets. Even if they don’t cover your industry, they may be interested in writing about the new award winner in their area.
Create social media posts and send them out on Facebook and LinkedIn (or whatever social networks work best for your business). This can include photos from the event, as well as quotes from customers about how much they love doing business with you!
Email a company update to your mailing list. It’s a great way to keep your customers informed about the success of their favourite business.
Promote your award while networking
If you’re attending a networking event, odds are, people will already know about your award win, if they’re relevant to your industry. Though obviously you can still bring it up in conversation. However, if you’re networking digitally, either through social media or via email, you can maximise its visibility there. The easiest way is to add your award win to your email signature. Present it as a fact, rather than a boast.
You should always have a good story to tell, and an award win (or even nomination) can help add to it. This can drive your social media content following the event, by sharing photos of your success. These might include:
- A photo of yourself with the award
- A photo of your team with the award (if applicable)
- Photos from the event, with other winners, key figures, or friends who were present.
Get your team in on it too
Award wins are a big deal. They’re also a great opportunity to get your team on board with the value of recognition, and help them understand why sharing the news is important.
In particular, make sure your team feels like a valued part of the win. Encourage them to talk about it (especially on professional platforms like LinkedIn), with links and tags to your company pages. This helps interested parties learn more about your business and what you do.
An award win doesn’t just help your brand awareness or bottom line, but your team morale too.
Don’t forget about your brand’s story
As you celebrate the nomination and/or win, don’t forget about your brand’s story. This is a great opportunity to tell it. If you’re trying to make a name for yourself, this will be useful information for anyone who wants to know more about what makes your business stand out from others like it.
If you’re nominated for a business award, use it as a marketing tool to help bring attention to either your personal brand or the product or service that won the award – if not both! Don’t be afraid of using it as such. After all, if someone else won, they’d likely do exactly what we’re suggesting here. Use the recognition as an opportunity for self-promotion via social media posts and other forms of advertising.
An award win can be the culmination of a long journey to reach that point. Everyone has been through some adversity while pursuing their goals. Your award win could inspire others to believe the hard work is worth it.
Know the value of the award
Different awards have different values in terms of prestige and exposure. Knowing which ones are most valuable for your business will help guide your strategy going forward. For example, national awards are more likely to carry prestige than a local award. That doesn’t mean winning something local doesn’t have value (after all, if you’re the best in the country, surely you’re the best in your area too).
It’s wise to start small and build up, as this can help to grow your business to a national level.
A nomination is just as useful as winning one
Getting nominated for a business award is a huge deal. It means that you’ve been recognised by your peers and the industry at large. This can have a significant impact on your reputation, brand, and career trajectory.
You’ll get more publicity than if you hadn’t been nominated in the first place. This exposure is invaluable when it comes to marketing yourself as a new business or entrepreneur – even if you don’t win the award!
It will also grant you access to other winners and nominees at the ceremony. These people know what they’re doing when it comes to making things happen in their fields of expertise; getting advice from them could be worth its weight in gold!
Even if you don’t win, there’s an opportunity to learn a lot about the external perception of your business. It’s a chance to review what you’re doing well, and the areas where you could improve.
If the judges don’t immediately offer feedback, don’t be afraid to (politely) write to them to ask for it. Any judge worth their salt will have a good reason for why they made their decision, and knowing this helps you to grow your business, and plan your next award application.
The takeaway here is that it’s important to remember that not all awards are created equal. Not only do they have different value, but they also offer different opportunities for your brand and its story. If you’re ever nominated for a business award or even win one, make sure you know how best to leverage that moment so it can help build your brand even further!