Standing in the spotlight doesn’t come easily to most people in business. Many are content to plod away in the background, doing what they do well and not expecting accolades or recognition. It’s just part of the business day-to-day.
Self-promotion is often not encouraged. Just look at all the Facebook groups that tell you self-promotion is spammy and not welcome. After all, you’re just showing off if you brag about your achievements. Besides, if you do pop your head up, you risk being trolled by some nasty person envious of your accomplishments.
In this age of entrepreneurship, especially the bootstrap kind, self-promotion is often the only cost-effective tool available to shine the light on your achievements. Who else is going to let the world know about what you do?
The key to doing this without being a jerk or a show-off is to enter awards. Nothing screams credibility more than being nominated, making the finals, or winning a well-respected award. We live in a world dominated by perceptions; what other people think of us even before opening our mouths. You can control that narrative by being in control of what you are putting out into the world.
People make decisions based on emotion. They want to know, like, and trust the person they are doing business with. To do that, you need to own your space and be prepared to put yourself out there. After all, who wants to be the best-kept secret?
Entering an award doesn’t have to be a big, scary decision. It is just a decision, and it can have ongoing benefits to you and your business.
Awards can make such a difference in the way people approach you and open doors. The power of global recognition can be like nectar to an audience looking for someone reputable and respected to work with. Recommendations and word of mouth go a long way in the customer decision-making process. Adam Nobel from Hugo Alexander Property Group entered awards for the first time this year. “It’s nice for our team to get recognition and a pat on the back for all the great work they are doing in solving problems for our clients”, he said.
“Awards attract high achievers wanting to work with high achievers – award will help us recruit people who want to work for a company that does things differently. We want staff we want to change the game, and awards will help us attract them and clients who expect high performance.”
Showcase your work
Pip Meecham from ProjectBox said winning awards helped raise awareness of the work being done within the business ecosystem and systems in general. “It’s an incredible feeling to be introduced as an ‘award-winning’ business or speaker,” she said. “We’re incredibly honored to be able to include that information as part of our brand profile.
Entering awards is so much more than the trophy or certificate you get for winning. Of course, winning is the ultimate outcome, but what about the serendipities, the little things you don’t count on or expect? Like media attention and a big fat boost to your confidence? Sonia Gibson, from Accounting Heart, wondered about the value of awards until she was nominated, entered, and won. “Since winning the award, I have gained new clients, have been asked to speak at industry events, and have been approached for comment by various business publications. It has allowed me to get in front of more people to accelerate the growth of my business,” she said.
A boost of confidence
Feedback from judges can ignite a greater inner conviction, confidence, and strength. It reinforces the work as valued. Realizing you’ve made a difference in the world helps people step out into the world, believing in what they are doing. Tracy Tully, the founder of Innov8 Awards, believes awards help people realize the impact they’ve had in their space. “You feel proud and accomplished. This releases the feel-good chemical dopamine. Never underestimate the power of reflection, as a business tool and as a way to feel good about what you do,” she said.
Clarity from the process is priceless. It helps you get clear on what you can offer and what the offer is. The award writing process helps to verbalize what you do; to break it down so other people understand it. Pip said the awards ProjectBox has won have opened up further speaking opportunities and blog posts. “But the biggest thing we’ve gotten out of it (and probably the least expected) was the entry reflection process as it inspired us to look further into our own business and make some changes in line with our future goals,” she said.