For your business to convert prospects into clients, you need to show off how amazing you are. Winning awards is a fantastic way of doing this!
Awards look great on your…
- Company website
- Social media accounts
- Online communications
… and prove that you don’t just talk about being brilliant – you have evidence to back it up!
When applying for an award, you need to submit an entry application. The quality of your entry can make or break your chances of winning. That’s why you need to know how to write an amazing application.
We’ve written many highly successful award entries for clients over the years, and ourselves won a Gold award in the CSR-Accreditation scheme.
We’ve used this experience to outline everything you need to consider when applying for an award.
What is the brief?
For a successful award application, you need to clearly understand the award itself. What is the accolade given for, and do you stand a chance of winning?
Make sure you consider:
- What do applicants need to show?
- Why should you apply for the award?
- How do you apply?
- Do you have to pay to enter?
- Are you eligible to apply?
It’s important to understand why you are applying for the award.
That way, when deciding between entering several different awards, you can prioritise which you are most likely to win.
For example, a company that helps organisations reduce carbon emissions would benefit from an award proving that they, themselves, have low emissions!
Meanwhile, an Apprenticeship provider may choose to focus on applying for awards that recognise high-quality training.
You need to understand why you are applying for an award – so you can prioritise which awards are more important than others.
What happens if you win?
It’s crucial that you investigate the winning prize before applying for an award. Perversely, you need to be sure that you want to win!
For some awards, winning companies are expected to:
- Judge later competitions
- Appear at events affiliated with the awarding body
- Regularly encourage other businesses to apply for the award
- Post about the award scheme on social platforms
- Host future workshops about the award
Double-check that the obligations that may come with winning, justify applying in the first place.
You don’t want too much hassle on your hands if the prize isn’t worth it!
Alternatively, the winners might have to do none of the above things.
Just ensure you read the brief carefully, so you don’t receive an unexpected shock after winning.
Answering all points – within the word count!
Now that you understand what you’re applying for, you need to write a fantastic entry.
Often, award schemes are split into categories, with different questions for different groups. Make sure that your business can answer all the different questions in the category you’re applying for!
Just remember – some competitions have a maximum/minimum word count. So, answer all the areas in your category – and stick to the word count, too.
Make sure you pay attention to any word count limits for your award application
Evidence, evidence, evidence!
When writing an award application, you need to justify why you should win the award – and show evidence to back it up!
Depending on what you’re writing about, you could use:
- Testimonials from people you’ve worked with
- Photographs of what you’ve done
- Data that shows results
- Screenshots from articles, websites or online features
- Videos that demonstrate or summarise your actions
By going above and beyond when providing evidence, you will show that you really want the award. Unless creating a video is absolutely required, most applicants won’t think of doing this – giving you the opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest.
Different award applications are formatted in different ways. Sometimes, you’ll be asked to include evidence in the main, written document. Other times, you will be told to put all evidence together in a separate document.
It doesn’t matter what you’re asked to do – just make sure that your evidence adds weight to your application.
It needs to:
- Clearly demonstrate what you’ve done
- Show real, numerical results
- Be varied – don’t just use photos, but testimonials and data too!
- Demonstrate your staff getting involved
- Support the main message of what you’re writing about
It’s important that your evidence is relevant to what you’re writing about. Shoehorning in things that don’t apply to your text appears unprofessional, or that you don’t have any evidence for the topic.
When including evidence with images, it’s worth captioning them. That way, even if someone only skims through your application, they’ll clearly see why you deserve to win the award.
Pay attention to any guidelines on how much evidence you are allowed to give. If you can include any quantity of evidence, then there’s no such thing as too much!
If there is a limitation, then use only the most impressive elements.
Remember to include client testimonials in your award application – to show that other people agree with you!
Layout your application attractively
You may think that copywriting isn’t important for an award application – but you’d be wrong!
Structure your application in a way that:
- Uses bullet points to highlight key information
- Includes headings to grab attention
- Embeds pictures, videos & data (when applicable)
- Is benefit-led
- Clearly highlights what sets you apart from the rest
The judges on the awarding body want to read interesting, engaging applications. So, make sure you give them one!
Your writing needs to focus on how you provided benefits to others. If you focus on the benefits you offered, you emphasise the positive effect your company had.
Just remember – readers are drawn towards bullet points and headings. So, make sure you place important, benefit-led information in those parts of your submission.
Getting help with your application
Writing an award application is difficult – but very worthwhile if you win. You need fantastic copy, clear evidence that shows what you did, and the time and energy to put your submission together.
Often, clients want to apply for awards – but don’t have the time to write it themselves.
That’s where we come in!
We have years’ experience writing award entries for clients, with fantastic results. If you don’t believe us, get in touch and we’ll put you through to some of the companies that we’ve written award entries for.