Awards are serendipitous breadcrumbs leading back to you!

- June 11, 2024 3 MIN READ

With so many things on the small business owner’s plate, adding business awards may seem like one bridge too many to cross. But, explains Annette Densham, (there’s always a but) entering awards is not just about YOU and what YOU have done, awards are a tool that builds connection, relationships and credibility in the minds of the people looking for businesses to work with.

Scientists say the average person today is processing as much as 74 GB of information a day (like watching 16 movies), through TV, computers, mobiles, tablets, billboards, and social media. And we expect our one post a week to get traction. Given this volume of information, it’s no longer a ‘maybe I should post more’ but a business imperative, especially if you don’t want to be the best-kept secret.

Awards are a tool in your marketing tool belt. Along with ads, social posts, blogs and other storytelling tools, awards have many valuable serendipities that help your business lift above the noise. It’s not about going viral or the instant win, it’s about the dropping of breadcrumbs that lead people back to you…and moments you may not have even considered:

Aha: Just like Maria Kondoing your cupboards, the awards process is like uncovering forgotten treasure. Like when you stumble upon a box of old photos, your spelling bee award from grade 2, or your kid’s first drawing? Going through your business data uncovers forgotten wins, patterns you didn’t notice before, and maybe, just maybe, you rediscover that initial spark that was the impetus to start your business.

Health check: Analysing your business data can uncover areas that need attention. Maybe your marketing budget is out of whack, or your website traffic is declining. Identifying these problems early on gives you a chance to fix them before they become bigger challenges.

Love of storytelling: Imagine pitching your business to a potential investor. There’d be no mumbling of facts. You’d show up and tell the most compelling story possible, highlighting your passion, unique value, and how you’re going to change the world. The award application forces you to do that kind of thinking, which pays off even if you don’t win. People love stories that have conflict, resolution, and a relatable hero. Your business has all of those elements. Maybe you overcame a major obstacle, pivoted during a crisis, or found a new way to do things.

Discovering hidden superpowers: We all have them, most of us dismiss our superpowers because ‘no one likes a show off’. But people do love people who defy the odds to tap into their potential and make something of it. There’s no room in business for modesty. You never know what you’re capable of until you give yourself a chance to shine. The award process can uncover hidden skills and talents you can leverage for future projects.

Connection plus: Awards events can be a hotbed for chance encounters with industry leaders, potential investors, or people who are your biggest fans. Attending is not just about getting on stage to accept your trophy but an opportunity to be in the room with others who are leading the way.

Leaving a legacy: Winning an award can instantly boost your credibility and make you a sought-after expert in your field, give you an opportunity to share your insights, share your story and passion with a wider audience, inspire others, attract new customers, and position you as a leader in your industry. Think of awards as a megaphone for your message, amplifying your voice and giving you the authority to speak out on issues that matter to you and your business. This can help you shape the conversation in your industry and make a real impact.

The ripple effect of recognition: A win isn’t just a pat on the back for you; it’s a morale booster for your team, if you have one, your customers/clients who support you and your family who back you.

Unexpected perks: Some awards include professional photography or video production. Attending the Stevie Awards for Women in Business or the International Stevie Awards, as an international guest, gives you 30 seconds on stage, as a bronze or silver winner, live-streamed across the globe, plus the photos and videos they provide to all who attend. You can use these in your marketing materials. Some award programs offer workshops, mentorship, or access to their alumni or networks.

Celebrate your wins: When was the last time you stopped to pat yourself on the back? Winning an award is a moment to savour and is a reminder of how far you’ve come. It’s a well-deserved victory lap and a chance to pause, reflect, and celebrate your achievements. We all need reminders that we are on the right track and our efforts are paying off. We don’t do that often enough in small business. It’s ok to revel in your success…even just for one night.

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