Diana Beaufort is the former owner of award-winning salon Reds Hairdressing, and after winning New Zealand Hair Salon of the Year in 2011, Excellence in Marketing in 2019 and Industry Assessor of the Year in 2020, she’s got some great tips on creating an award winning entry. Check out what she has to say about entering The Industry Awards:
Why enter The Industry Awards?
I'm not going to lie, it takes a lot of time and effort. However, winning an award has so many benefits and an immediate impact. For me, entering has been a valuable process that allowed me to involve my team in understanding and celebrating what makes our business truly special.
Our clients love being part of an award-winning salon and sharing in our unique story. Reds Hairdressing has been incredibly fortunate to have won many awards over the years, so how did we achieve such a high strike rate? It starts with a great entry.
Here are my top tips to create an award-winning entry.
1. Plan, plan, plan!
The best written entry won’t make it if there are no outstanding results to back it up. My first ever entry did not make the cut, but the win for me was in defining the areas I needed to focus on to create a great entry for next time.
The real gold here, of course, is that by knowing where to focus, your business results will improve significantly. The next year we entered and won the New Zealand Hair Salon of the Year award.
2. Tell a great story
Writing about your business gives you an opportunity to show your personality and tell your unique story in a way that takes the reader on a journey. Embrace the opportunity to show where you have come from and what you have achieved.
Of course, facts and figures are needed to back this up, so make sure to present them in an engaging way.
3. Answer the question
It sounds obvious, but in the process of crafting your entry the original question can be forgotten. Some key things to remember are:
- Really take the time to understand what is being asked.
- Be specific and clear in your answer.
- Use facts, graphs or photos to back this up. If you use Kitomba, you’ll find Benchmark is excellent for this.
- If there is a word count, adhere to it, try not to ‘waffle’. Think of it as an essay, after all it is what you are being judged on.
- Make sure you answer every question, sometimes the difference between winning and not winning is a matter of only a few points. Failing to answer the question could make or break your entry.
4. Focus your message
Once you have finished your entry go back and focus your main message.
- Are there unnecessary words in there? How can you make your message simple and clear?
- Is it easy to read and beautifully presented in a way that communicates your message and reflects your brand?
- Can you add testimonials or statistics to back up your entry?
It can pay to engage a copywriter to refine your entry. If you win, the benefits will far outweigh the cost.
Entries to The Industry Awards 2021 are open now, so check out the award categories and don’t forget to think about these tips when you’re completing your entry. Good luck!
Diana Beaufort is the former owner of Reds Hairdressing and recently founded Propel Coaching to help other businesses achieve success. If you're interested in making your business more profitable, improving your systems and processes or building a vibrant business culture, check out Propel Coaching.