I have never thought of myself as a winner … of anything. The most exciting thing I remember winning was when I was seven. I won the Top Dog Award For Achievement. This award still means a lot to me – I still have it (and seven was a loooonnnngggg time ago).
After losing my job three years ago, I decided to take all I know about the being a journalist and writer, promoting events and causes, and telling stories and start my own public relations business. A big part of doing PR (promoting and sharing what you do) is get third party credibility. That is why word of mouth and referrals is still so powerful … despite all the new ways we have to market our businesses.
EQUALS PUBLICITY AND CREDIBILITY
In PR, third party credibility comes from appearing in the media- TV, radio, newspapers and magazines, being interviewed on podcasts, and having other people talk about you. And … entering and winning awards. Nothing screams ‘this-business-is-freaking-awesome’ than being named a finalist or winner in a prestigious award.
Over the past few years, I have entered many (and won) awards for my clients … and the resulting media coverage, respect from peers and compliments from clients has been beneficial and profitable.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH
But … I never thought to enter one for myself. As a PR person, my job is to be in the background; making my clients look good. I also did not think I was good enough to enter an award. I mean … who do I think I am? I am not good enough. I am not worthy. I have not achieved enough to warrant winning an award.
After telling this voice to shut up, I entered my first award. It was an International Stevie Award for Women in Business in the Start Up category. Going through the process of writing my award application was enlightening and inspiring (yes, I inspired myself). I uncovered all the great things I had done in my first two years in business. I realised I did deserve to be acknowledged for my hard work.
IGNORING THAT VOICE
Pressing the submit button was bit nerve-wracking. Despite falling back in love with what I was doing, the tiny little voice in the back of my head was still whispering ‘you are not good enough … someone will find out you are a fraud.” I ignored it.
In November 2015, in New York, my name was called on from the stage as the bronze winner in the category I entered. I was thrilled. I had won something. Out of the thousands of business who entered, the judges had deemed my business worthy of winning this prestigious award.
I wrote to my local paper and they ran a story about me – great publicity. I still get recognised in my local area. Since then I have won two more awards and plan on taking 10 women to New York this year to attend the Stevie Awards (watch out for more on that soon).
Winning three awards means people look at me differently when I get introduced when I do my talks, it has added to my street cred and shows I am serious about what I do.
You may be like me and think you have nothing to brag about. Maybe. But I bet you do. There are hundreds of awards out there, you just need to find the right one that suits your business.