Here is The Rewards Of Business Awards podcast episode transcript.
Podcast Episode Introduction
Hi, I’m Tracy Heatley and welcome to my Be Better With Tracy Heatley podcast. This episode is all about the rewards of awards. It’s nice to be back with you after a short break. So much has happened since my last episode that I’m absolutely buzzing with ideas for future episodes for you.
I Have Won An Award
Since my last episode, I have won an award for my business radio shows and this here podcast that you’re listening to right now. I am absolutely over the moon. I can’t tell you how happy, honoured, and lucky I felt to have won, especially because there were so many wonderful finalists with fabulous podcasts that were in my category. Some with their own merch and millions of followers. There you go. You just never know.
Over the years, I’ve been a judge and headed judging teams for business awards, so I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the fence, but I’ve never won one myself. The last award that I won was a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) award back in 2006.
There have been many occasions, over my years in business, that other businesspeople have told me to enter business awards, but I’m refrained. I’ve helped marketing clients enter awards and you can be certain that I would not let one of my clients miss a golden opportunity but for whatever reason I didn’t get around to it.
Aside From The Kudos
Aside from to kudos of being a finalist and actually winning, combined with the amount of social media activity and congratulations this attracts, there’s so much more to gain from winning.
The amount of PR opportunities that I’ve had over the last few weeks has been phenomenal. My story has been in three newspaper publications, various online version, and Yahoo. These are just the ones I know about. It really is great exposure for you and your business. Firstly, to be part of the awards and attending. Secondly, for being nominated if it is a nominated awards process. Thirdly, for being a finalist. Fourthly, social media announcements and lastly the press and media opportunities. Once your story is out there on the web, it’s there for good. So, technically, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Of course, moreover, it’s a massive moral and confidence booster!
Entering Business Awards
The Brilliant Broadcaster award that I won was a nominated award, so someone else nominated me. Once I’d decided to enter, I competed and application form and video, as requested.
Different awards have diverse application requirements, so make sure you’re aware of what’s required before you enter any.
There are some that you can nominate yourself and your business for. Others don’t require you to be nominated; you just enter. Just find what’s right for you.
My rule of thumb on paying to enter awards is don’t do it. In my experience, reputable business awards will not charge you to enter. As you’d expect, there will be fees to attend the awards ceremony, so check those out and made sure they’re within your budget.
Start by researching local business awards in your local town and expand from there. The more you enter, the better you’ll become at completing the applications.
I know that it can be a nerve-racking experience, especially if you’re entering for the first time or you’re naturally quite introverted. If you’ve got a marketing or PR professional working with you, get them to do the application. Sometimes, other people see more positive things about us and our businesses than we do, so having an external perspective can really help.
If not, and you’re completing your application yourself, make sure that you take a holistic view of your business, so that you’ve got a different perceptual viewpoint. By that, I mean think about how someone else external of your business would view it. This is important, because as business owners, we tend to focus heavily on what we could have done better and how things could be improved. Whereas, other people, tend to notice how well we’re doing.
‘Bigging’ Yourself Up
This leads me onto my next point about ‘bigging’ yourself up. You might have gathered that I’m full of confidence and I’m used to public speaking. But, let me tell you that even I find it a little uncomfortable bigging myself up. It’s not always easy, is it? As a service provider, I know I must put myself out there. It’s all about finding the balance of reaching out to your target audience, but without arrogance. So, it’s more like, hi, this is how I can help and I’m here if you need me. As opposed to, I’m here, I’ve arrived. Please do put yourself out there. Most of the businesses in the UK are small or micro businesses and you would be surprised about how many hidden gems there are. Don’t be a hidden gem and get yourself the recognition you and your business deserve.
Research And Planning
As a Chartered Marketer, I’m all about research and planning and awards are no different. Do your homework, work out which award or awards, you want to enter.
Have a look online at previous winners and try and find out why judges selected them if you can.
Make a note of the deadlines. I know this sounds obvious, but there are so many businesses that are finalising their application on the final day of entry only to submit them five minutes too late. Late is late and it won’t be accepted.
Ideally, you need to be completing your applications weeks before and ask someone you trust to check it. Avoid the stress of being last minute at all costs.
What Are Judges Looking For?
What are judges looking for? This is a common question. All I can do is share with you my experience as a judge. Just be yourself and be as open as you can. Authenticity counts for a lot. Don’t hold back on what makes you shine and sets you apart from competitors in your field. Share tangible examples to back up you’re the key points. Remember that the judges will be excited by your story. I’ve spent full days interviewing finalists and absolutely loved it. It’s so inspiring listening to success stories. Also, another note worth taking is that often the difference between the winner and runner-up is so close, which brings me back to my initial point about bigging yourself up.
You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. That reminds me, I really ought to change my podcast bio to award winning broadcaster.
One Final Point
One final point…have fun with it! Entering awards can be just an enjoyable experience.
Don’t be you best kept secret in town!
Speaking of secrets, it’s no secret that I have a prize draw every month to win a free one-one online marketing mentoring sessions with me. This is an hour jam packed full of marketing mastery that you can apply to your business. All you have to do to enter is leave me a positive podcast review and email me a copy of it to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on my website, which is www.tracyheatley.com.
I’m Tracy Heatley, Award Winning Broadcaster, and I thank you for listening to my Be Better With Tracy Heatley podcast.
Better Business, Better You!