The judges who look at your award entry probably have a massive pile of print outs – or a huge online folder – of entries to go through.
How do you make your entry form for a business award stand out (and avoid getting filed in the ‘round hole’…)?
1 Make it easy to read. Use bullet points and subheadings; underline things; number things. Anything that makes it simple for an awards judge to skim read the key points and make a quick decision that your entry is worth adding to the pile they plan to read in more detail.
2 Put the most interesting stuff first. You’ve probably got less than 30 seconds to impress a judge enough for them to keep reading. That first paragraph needs to be a killer. The same business could open with: “Financial services business based in Cheltenham, established in 2012” or “I’ve helped 400 people buy their first home this year and have increased business turnover by 50%.” Which sentence would make you keep reading?
3 Make the most of supporting information. You’re often allowed to submit supporting information alongside your completed award entry form. This is a fantastic opportunity to share the stuff that isn’t covered off by the entry form – images, branding, press coverage, testimonials and so on. Make it look like all the supporting information belongs together: you could make a free template in Canva in your brand colours so each supporting piece looks similar.
4 Don’t assume they’ll look at your website, even if you have to give the web address on the entry form. This might come further down the line when they’re choosing between potential winners, or just be a quick look to check that you are who you say you are. Anything that you want the award judges to see needs to be on the entry form.
5 Bring your personality to it. Include any catchphrases or slogans you use within your business. Tell the judges some quirky or unusual facts about your work. Don’t fall into the trap of using solely “business” language that makes you sound exactly the same as every other entrant.
The easier you can make it for the judges to get to know you quickly and understand why you’re worthy of a business award, the more likely you are to find yourself on awards shortlists.