Writing a winning award entry can be tricky, especially when there’s so much to do. Whilst winning business awards is an excellent way to build exposure and credibility for your brand, completing the award entry process is challenging and time consuming, and there is no shortage of competition.
This is why many businesses fail to apply for awards which they have an excellent chance of winning. So, how can you improve the award entry process and give yourself the best chance of success?
Here are our 3 steps to writing a winning award entry.
Step 1: Make the application stand out
In order to make your application stand out, you firstly need to prepare in advance. Download the award information and questions from the awards website and make note of any deadlines and dates.
A great starting point is to copy all of the award entry questions into a separate document which will be used to draft your application. This allows you to keep everything together in a safe place, without risk of losing your hard work on the awards platform due to a page time out. It also makes editing easier, and you can keep this draft for future reference.
When you begin to draft, be as precise as possible and make sure to answer the questions! Concise and compelling is best. A great award submission will tell your story in a compelling way while addressing the specific criteria. Consider::
- What makes your story unique?
- How will you or your business be particularly interesting to the judges?
- In what ways are you or your business relevant and hitting the awards criteria?
- What makes you and your business genuinely different? What is your unique selling point?
- How can you best showcase your achievements and milestones?
- Which evidence can you provide to support these incredible results and prove that you are exhibiting excellence?
This is your chance to get creative. Tell your story and use case studies or examples to show that you deserve this award win. Remember, most award categories will receive hundreds of entries. Making your award entry sparkle is essential in grabbing the judges attention.
Now that you have the basics of your responses for the award entry written down, you can move on to the next step to help your application stand out even more.
Step 2: Refine and write well
Make sure your key information is not buried. Start each response strong with your key messages, then proceed to back it up with examples, background and context. Your entire award entry needs to be extremely well written in a way which answers the question, hits the criteria and makes you or your business stand out. Overall, your goal should be to write in a persuasive, clear manner which compels the judges to notice you.
It is essential to leave enough time to edit and proofread your work, and have as many other eyes checking it as possible as well. When editing, ensure that your work has proper grammar and spelling. Remember to spell out acronyms or exclude them altogether, and use an active voice.
Do not overlook the word count! If your response is too short, judges may not take you seriously, however, if it is too long, most awards portals won’t even allow you to submit the response. A good rule of thumb is to go no less than 15% under, and never go over the limit.
Once you have finished writing and editing, check, check and check again! Ensure that you are confident with your responses and that everything is in line with the criteria. This will help your chances of success.
Step 3: Provide evidence
In Step 1, one of the questions asked you to consider which pieces of evidence you could provide to support your results in your award entry. Now is the time to gather those pieces of evidence and select exactly what it is you want to be your supporting documents.
It is normal for award entries to ask for supporting evidence. These will help to strengthen your application. Pieces of evidence may include:
- Financial statements
- Business plans
- Images and videos
- Graphs, diagrams, statistics and figures
- Other documents or files which help answer the question and reflect your hard work
Ensure that the evidence you are providing is truthful and provides the judges with some hard proof of what you have written.
For example, if you mention that you have exhibited excellence through providing exceptional customer service, provide an example of when your business went above and beyond for a customer, alongside a review or testimonial from that customer. Remember, variety in examples is important! This will help you prove that you are deserving of the award.
Does this all sound a bit overwhelming? It definitely can be! With our extensive awards knowledge and a 97.5% success rate, Green Door Co can help. Turn to the experts to prepare your award application and improve your chances exponentially. Let us help you get recognised for all your hard work. Reach out today!