Who doesn’t love a winner? Everybody loves a winner! Everybody loves to win. Winning something – and talking about it – can be a marketing bonanza. Even just making it into the qualifying rounds or final stages of a competition can get you great buzz.
Step One. Determine Eligibility.
The first step is to find some awards you are eligible to win. The Small Business Association is always a good place to start. Also, check out awards offered by your national trade and professional organizations. Your local chamber of commerce is another association that routinely gives out awards. Don’t forget to just…google!
Do you have a resident on staff? There are several awards available for O&P residents, too.
Research these organizations and others like them, but then go beyond professional and trade associations and do a little research on your vendors– big and small. Do you use Dell computers? They have a small business award. Have a business plan? The Miami Herald has the Miami Herald Business
Step Two. Plan Your Challenge.
Doing any renovations or remodeling or upgrading of computer or fabrication systems? The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest clean technology business competition and are looking for the best clean technology ideas from around the world, according to their website.
Step Three. Toot Your Horn. Loudly.
Alright, you’ve found some awards for which you, your staff and/or your company might be eligible. Submit the application and make sure you monitor your progress. A Google Alert would be a great way to keep tabs on the contest so you know when the winners are announced. Hopefully you win but even if you’re nominated as a finalist or receive some kind of ranking you can still toot your own horn.
Step Four. Write a Release.
Submit it to trade publications. You might not even have to write it yourself. In many cases, the award organizers will actually supply the winners with a press release template for the award.
Of course you are going to put it in your email newsletter. This gives you a chance to share the award and with the people who are most interested in you and your business: your subscribers. You don’t have to be nearly as politically correct as you have to be in your press release. Make sure you link your announcement back to the original announcement or news story in which you were featured.
If there’s an image or logo that goes along with the award, use it. Whatever it is, if it has a symbol that people will recognize, make sure you put it on your letterhead, your website, your front door, your window, your service vehicles … use it.
Step Five. Link. Link. Link.
This where all that social media marketing comes in hand: Draw traffic. You need to link to the website listing the winners. Link to your announcement. Make a photo gallery of you receiving the award, of the award itself. Tweet it. Put it on your LinkedIn page; your Facebook page. Use links and use photos. People want to click and they want to look. Make sure they can do both.
Step Six. Keep Me in the Loop.
Last but not least, make sure you tell me. I am a one-stop word-of-mouth-marketing guru. I’ll tell everyone. Email me. Elizabeth@cecpo.com