Win more business awards in 2023: 10 tips from our awards writers

2023 could be your year to shine with a business award or two under your belt!

What are the benefits of entering a business award?

Be it a local business chamber award, an industry award or major national competition – such as the Telstra Business Award – being named a finalist or winning a business award is a real boost for your business and the positive effects are long-lasting. And just think of that attractive Perspex trophy you get to display.

Just writing an award entry is an opportunity to reflect on your business, what you’ve achieved and where you’re heading. And being a finalist or a winner is a great boost for your business’ profile and your staff morale, as well as being a pat on the back for all your hard work. It’s great for your corporate CV, and helps to attract new employees and potential investors, too.

Success gives your clients extra assurance that they were right to choose your business to work with. Moreover, potential clients are far more likely to decide to work with you once they see others give you their tick of approval.

And to get maximum mileage out of being a finalist or a winner, brag about it unashamedly on your website, socials, email signature and social media platforms. When you become a finalist, you’ll be able to use the award logo on your marketing collateral.

How to win business awards in 2023

Here are 10 practical tips from our successful award entry writers to help you achieve another award win or your first award win in 2023.

1. Start writing your business award in the right frame of mind

Take award writing seriously from the get go. Read not only each question and its criteria very carefully, but all the T&Cs which will have been published with the entry requirements. Many is the entrant who’s been tripped up by not reading the bit that says, ‘Submit a minimum of six images’ or heeding that ‘A printed version of your entry must reach our office no later than 13 October’. Check your award entry prior to submission, to ensure you’ve covered every base. Better still, ask someone else to double check as a failsafe.

2. Make time for award entry writing

Doing a little award entry writing every day goes a long way. Awards have long lead times, so you don’t have to write your business award entry in one go. Indeed, it’s best to go through a number of drafts. Read through the entry form very carefully and jot down notes for each answer. You can flesh out the details later. You’ll have to provide some data, such as financial records, referees, perhaps a business plan, and these take time to pull together.

3. What’s the reason for your business success?

Many awards ask for a thorough self-examination of your business. Use the opportunity as an effective way to see how well your business is doing.

Review your achievements, measure your progress, set more goals.

Evaluating your operations with a critical eye can put your growth into perspective and unveil any hidden faults. Equally, it can prompt you and your team to refocus on underattended areas of your business. Work smarter, not harder.

If you win, that’s fantastic. If you don’t, you’ll still come out ahead.

4. Are you outstanding?

Honestly? Or are you just about on par with others in your field? Your entry needs to show that your efforts go beyond what would normally be expected of anyone else doing the same job or a similr business. This is an important point because many entrants make the mistake of confusing being ‘standard’ with being ‘super’. You must be able to highlight how you’ve worked/achieved/competed/strategised/whatever differently to everyone else. What is it that you do that adds extra value?

Whether you’re writing an award entry for a local, state or national business award, it’s vital that your unique story comes across clearly. As professional award writers, we know how to transform a multitude of facts about you and your achievements into a compelling story.

5. Write your award entry using the first person

Award writers use the first person. That is, use ‘I’ and ‘We’.

I achieved this…’, ‘I introduced that…’ or ‘We achieved…’.

After all, your award entry is about you or your business. You may feel a little uncomfortable about writing so personally. But relax and enjoy your opportunity to shine.

6. Be straightforward when writing your award entry

Be honest and frank. When asked about challenges or successes, explain how you overcame the challenge or what you did to achieve the success. And importantly, describe the outcomes for you, your business or employer, customers or colleagues. Keep your explanation straightforward: state the information in a matter-of-fact way. It’s not about boasting, or embellishing your words; it’s about being yourself. Equally, don’t be overly modest – you need to set out your achievements and how you’ve made a difference.

7. Be precise about your achievements or contributions

Use evidence to demonstrate your results. This may be figures or data, testimonials, media coverage or an explanation of what you have achieved or added value.

That’s what the judges really want to see – evidence of how your efforts have helped your clients. For example, rather than saying, ‘I was top salesperson in April. I set up 43 new mortgages’, try saying ‘I’m delighted that April saw me assist many of my clients on the road to buying their first family home by setting up 43 new mortgage arrangements at highly competitive rates.’ A totally different message, right?

8. Always begin impressively

Your entry needs to catch the reader’s attention straight away. Start with a positively-worded opening paragraph which contains the essence of why you’re a winner-in-waiting. Perhaps include a glowing, attributed testimonial to lend veracity to your claims and set the scene as to why you should win. From there, your answers should all go on to support your opening remarks and make a solid overall case. The point is, don’t leave it until your summary to try and make an impact. The judges may well have made their decision long before.

9. Double check everything

Before you submit your entry, double check you have all the additional information requested, such as financial statements. Proofread the entry, and be confident that if you’re asked to attend an interview, you can explain your statements in more detail.

10. Don’t give up!

Try not to be too discouraged if you don’t win on your first attempt. Entering a business award is a great way to reflect on where your business has succeeded. It may also highlight where there’s still work to be done, so the effort is never wasted. Don’t forget that it takes courage to ‘put it out there’ and lay your business open to scrutiny – and that’s an achievement in itself.

So, what’s stopping you?

In our experience, there are two reasons businesses don’t enter awards. First, entering an award requires a (sometimes significant) investment of time and effort. Many business owners don’t feel they can take valuable resources away from core work for what they incorrectly see as a ‘pretty badge.’

The second reason? It’s skill. Not everyone has the capacity to create a compelling entry that builds a strong narrative whilst ticking all the criteria, all under a prohibitive word count. Ask them to organise a spreadsheet more complex than the ASX and then put out twenty fires after lunch, no drama. Ask them to write about why they’re so good at it, and they’ll freeze up. Crafting an award-winning submission is a real art. There’s wisdom in hiring a professional award entry writer to do it for you.

Your chances of winning an award that could elevate your business to new levels of prestige and industry attention improves dramatically when you collaborate with a professional award writer.

And there’s a bonus: you can use written award content in other award entries, on your website, marketing materials, capability statements and so much more.

Award writers. Worth their weight in Perspex.

The great news is that with the professional award writers at Proof Communications writing your award entries, you’ll almost guaranteed to become a finalist. Our clients come to us for three very good reasons:

  1. They’re time poor.
  2. Nailing exacting criteria, often within strictly limited word counts, is challenging.
  3. They don’t write for a living.

And the winner is…

Over the years, Proof Communications has helped hundreds of winners promote their personal and business brands.

We’ve written hundreds of successful award submissions for clients from engineering, healthcare, law, construction, media and marketing, real estate, IT and professional services – almost every industry you can think of. Some are SMEs; others are national and global companies. But all have an inspiring story to share. Isn’t it time you shared your story as well?

Get help from professional business award writers

Winning business awards is about making sure you are running a strong business. Proving this is all to do with writing business award entries that make a massive impact. If you are looking for extra help in crafting an outstanding business awards submission, our award writers are here to help. Contact us or ring us on 02 8036 5532 or 0448 566 377.

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