Getting your name up in lights is every business owner’s dream and a huge part of the “know, like and trust” factor behind brand awareness. There’s nothing more validating than a recent award to know that you’ve been recognised, complete with a shiny bit of bling to add to the trophy room.

Consumer awareness grows each time your business is mentioned in the press, online or person-to-person. When you win – or reach the shortlist – for an award, your profile is instantly raised. But if I was to take a survey, how many of you would have a formal award seeking process entrenched as part of your Digital Branding Strategy? Have you actively sought out business awards and grants over the past 12 months or is it on that ever-growing ‘to do’ list?

There are so many opportunities around for business awards and the first place to look is your immediate locality. Your local chamber of commerce or Shire Council are more than likely to have annual business awards, as are regional business organisations. The next place to look is within your industry awards, which will be advertised in newsletters and online. Sign up for relevant mailing lists to ensure you’re kept up-to-date in terms of the award process, entry requirements and cut-off dates.

The same theory applies to any scholarships or business grants that you may find. Have a look around now and plan out your entry strategy. While it takes time to get everything organised, it’s a chance to raise your profile to the next level – and most of the time, there’s no cost involved!

If you’ve set up your Digital Branding Strategy* correctly, you’ll have every piece of wording you need to complete your award entry. All you have to do is copy and paste the relevant information straight into your entry. This is the point where all your chickens come home to roost and you reap the benefits from being organised, with your assorted profiles and business information already prepared!

As you enter awards – either online or by hand – keep a record of what you write. You never know how you’ll be able to use that content into the future, whether it’s because you’ve further shaped your business profile working or found inspiration for a new blog post or social media share. Keep your written entry in your Digital Branding Strategy folder* and refer to it next time you’re updating your files.

The process becomes more than just about entering – and winning – the actual awards

You can’t get enough opportunities to talk about your business and doing all that key strategising helps you to communicate exactly what it is you do. In practising what I preach, I’ve applied for a couple of business grants myself recently and this has been the most valuable process for my own communication strategy. The text I developed then formed part of my new Strategic Business Storytelling brochure and new wording for my website. It’s a win-win, no matter how well I do with the actual grants!

I challenge you to diarise a time within the next fortnight to go out and look for business awards and grants within your industry. If they’re not currently open, download the previous year’s entry forms and start mapping out what you’d say. You’ll be ready to take up that next opportunity and reach that next level of business in no time!

I look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments, or please drop me a line on lucy@lucybowler.com.au .

Cheers,

Lucy

* Don’t have a Digital Branding Strategy yet? It’s the essential first step in your Strategic Business Storytelling suite. Determine who exactly you’re talking to and why, Unique Selling Proposition, Vision and Mission, business and personal profiles.

Click here for more information.

Lucy Bowler

Digital Content Creator, Branding Strategist and Communications Specialist

Whenever I meet people, it’s always 20 questions. I can’t help myself – I always like to know more. As a communications specialist, this insatiable curiosity means I always get the best from my clients. I work to raise profiles, create compelling content, systematise communications and seek golden opportunities for revenue raising. I work with small business professionals and not-for-profits who want to take off to the next level.

Learn more about how I work here.

Your Strategic Business Storytelling Suite

Streamlined communications in three simple steps:

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Digital Branding Strategy

Your essential first step in Strategic Business Storytelling. Define your target audience, create Unique Selling Proposition, Vision / Mission, business and personal profiles.

Discover the essentials required to develop your voice on social media. Learn best practice strategies for your outbound and inbound client communucation.

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Social Media Coaching

It’s not always easy to sell what you do. Whittling it down into as few words as possible isn’t easy. What if you leave out the most important part or people don’t understand?

Learn the skills to grow your brand through strategic digital communication, the platforms you should be on (and how to use them), plus  time savers and apps that get the job done.

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Strategic Business Storytelling

Communicate your business effectively. Learn the essential framework for media releases, blog posts, articles and other required written business communications.

Perfect for the DIY communications person developing content in-house, or briefing a copywriter, web content developer, publisher, advertising rep / PR agency.

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