If you're running a small or big business today, congratulations! You should be proud that you're keeping the economy going. You should also give yourself a huge pat on the back for surviving and thriving. One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways of giving yourself that pat on the back is to apply for industry awards that you could be eligible for.
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Great question, because in many cases it takes a bunch of time to answer a lot of questions to win your award. But I will tell you, it can work well to help grow your business. Many times awards are judged by a third party who validates that what you do is worthy of an award, and ensures that what you provide meets their requirements. So who are they to judge? Well they may be your peers in your industry, they may be your customers and they may be leaders of your industry association. Either way, it's the validation that counts. Why?
· Your customers like to be associated with a winning company.
5 Ways to Market Your Awards
· When prospects see that you've won an award it could sway them to you instead of your competition because they may get a sense that you are a "real" and "quality" entity.
· People that visit your business see your awards on your front door and on your website. This lends credibility to your biz.
· Winning awards can improve employee morale. Employees like to thump their chests and tell customers why you won a particular award. If they're selling your product, it makes their job easier because of this "stamp of approval".
· Awards can get you quality employees. If you're voted as having quality products, a quality site or storefront, people are drawn to this because they want to work for the winner.
1. Press releases:
There are a number of free press release services you can use to distribute your release. These include Free Press Release Online and PR.com . In many cases, the award organizers will actually supply the winners with a press release template for the award, making the process even easier for your small business.
2. E-mail marketing:
Include the news of the award in your e-mail newsletters. Share the story behind your award and why you won. You can even include a link back to your award press release.
3. Use the award logo:
Use the logos and the phrase "award-winning" in your online advertising, put them on your direct mail pieces, include them on your business cards, display them on your home page, and include them in your bio or on your about page. The more prominent you make them, the better your small business will look.
4. Social media:
Post links to the official award website where they list the winners; you might also link to your own press release. Do this on all of your social media sites. For example, include quick links on Twitter and post the press release on Facebook. You will also want to list the awards you have won on your LinkedIn company page.
5. Use your storefront as a showcase:
Whether you're an online-only business or you have a physical retail store, display your awards. Ensure that employees and customers see your awards by framing them, displaying them on a stand or putting a sticker on your window. It doesn't have to be hokey, just prominent.