There are many different business awards that your organisation could win, but what do they really mean? Winning awards aren’t just recognition of business success or achievement, they can have a lasting and long-term effect on your future operations.
Market your awards and you can build trust with prospective customers. So, whether you’ve entered the Unbiased Trusted Professionals Awards, or any others, here’s how you can make the most of this valuable recognition.
It might sound an obvious point, but showing the world that you run a professional, even leading, organisation is a sure-fire way to draw new customers to your services. There are many different awards out there, with each being addressed to different parts of your business.
For example, 2021’s Unbiased Trusted Professional Awards are recognising the following categories:
Financial Adviser of the Year
Mortgage Broker of the Year
Accountant or Bookkeeper of the Year
Covid-19 Response Award
Each of these awards says something different about your business, and when it comes to showing your organisation’s ethics and standards to your potential customers, having these awards can make a big difference.
There are dozens of different advising and accounting awards that you can win, with the specific events and categories that you could enter varying a lot depending on what organisations and membership bodies you are a member of.
You will almost certainly be eligible for member-specific awards as well as ones focused on the wider industry, but among the many different organisations out there, you could pursue a vast number of options. To be in the best position to apply and win for the right awards, consider joining some of these member-based organisations.
The specifics of what you will need to do in order to win an award will vary depending on the award itself, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this. It might even be the case that for some awards, you can’t enter yourself but rather instead need to be nominated by someone else – whether they be a fellow professional, member or organisation.
In order to complete your application though, you will need to fill in some details about your business and how you qualify as a potential winner for the award in question. For example, for the Unbiased Covid-19 Response Award, applicants needed to describe how their business responded to the pandemic specifically.
Going through the initial stages of entering a business award competition, and then continuing to follow through the process, can take some time and certainly requires a fair amount of preparation.
You should work closely with your employees and marketing department to put together a rigorous application and continue to prepare for further shortlisting procedures.
If your application is deemed strong enough, you will proceed to a final shortlist where, again, based on your merits you will be ranked relative to some of your competitors.
Once you have entered a competition, it’s unlikely you will be able to change some of the details of your application. This is why it is so important to put together the strongest application you can.
There are also some organisations and consultancies that are dedicated to helping you win awards, so if you’re not quite sure how to put together your strongest possible application, you may want to enter awards through some of those agencies.
Often, you don’t even need to win an award to benefit from the halo effect you will receive from it. It’s not uncommon, for example, to see many businesses and organisations highlighting their shortlisting for a particular award.
Proceeding through a longlist to any kind of shortlist can often be the difference between reaping all the benefits of the awards process.
With this in mind, it’s in your interest to quickly begin highlighting your success across all your social media channels, websites and in-person stores if relevant.
Some awards competitions will often have a dedicated, signature ‘ribbon’ or decoration that you will be able to upload to your sites, showing that you are a certified contender or winner of that particular award.
Moreover, shortlists, winner and runners-up are almost always displayed across the social media channels and websites of the award-giving companies. This fact alone can lead to a big increase in your online traffic, so having uniformed recognition of your award performance can be a fantastic way to quickly capitalise on this new traffic.
Winning an award can quickly change the direction of your organisation. On the one hand, awards drastically improve your perception among the public; it can also have very positive knock-on effects on recruitment, business morale and employee recognition. These will all help your organisation keep the best talent in-house.
On top of the natural buzz, you can expect to be fielding plenty of new enquiries as awards fulfil one of the most important customer needs: social proof. Because potential customers can see that you are experts in your field, you’ll already have a trusted reputation.
There are a few different ways, but being able to highlight these awards over the long-term is the best way to go about things. Immediately after winning an award, post a new blog to your website or highlight the success on your social media. Do whatever it takes to generate as much traffic as you possibly can.
Other subtle ways of marketing will help you make the most of this newfound success over the long-term though. You might want to consider attaching ribbons to email signatures, incorporating your successes as tag lines and including award logos at the top and bottom of your web pages, or perhaps including a special banner to keep the award relevant.
Winning an award can change your business’ fortunes for the better. Your organisation will feel the benefits from top to toe, and in an industry as competitive as accounting and advising, being able to show future clients that you can stand head and shoulders above the competition can be an extremely profitable thing to do.
We’re already well underway with shortlisting businesses for the Unbiased Trusted Professional Awards 2021. But if your business is set to excel over the next 12 months, you could enter next year.
Give yourself a head start and follow us as we announce our winners in November – this is one of the best ways to discover what our panel is looking for.
You can stay up to date with our awards here.