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The Secret to Winning Awards for Publicity and Credibility


These four easy pathways to recognition can give your company a boost and set it apart from the competition.

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Brand Renegades

Discover how two entrepreneurs used unconventional business strategies to turn their startup into a multimillion-dollar company.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I still remember the first time I saw “award-winning” on a professional bio. The woman was experienced, a confident presenter, and I was studying her to figure out how I could follow a path to become like her someday. I just couldn’t imagine how incredible I’d need to be to win a professional award as she had.

Little did I know that I would eventually apply for more than 100 award submissions for others and become a judge for awards as well, experiencing the entirety of the process.

What I learned is that standing out takes preparation and often a plan to become award-winning in your industry. There are a few solid pathways that one can follow to improve the odds of receiving award-winning status, some of which are extremely easy to do.

Path 1: Focus on measurable accomplishments

Many industry award programs focus on highlighting accomplishments. In order to win these types of submissions, it’s important to have achievements that can stand out amongst others.

If you’re looking to win a future award, you can use your quarterly evaluation or work-planning period to think about ways to proactively generate new accomplishments for the next year’s award submissions. Some questions to ask yourself in the planning process are provided below.

  1. Are there new projects I will be executing this year? How can I measure and report results that can be shared publicly?
  2. How much money can I earn or save the company this year? Are there ways to maximize that?
  3. What big transitions are happening in the industry right now? How can I make a big impact in connection to this change?

Thinking proactively each year can help you prioritize results that lead to awards.

Related: The Recap: The E-Business Awards 2021

Path 2: Network and share your goals

While self-nominations are often accepted, some awards prefer another person provide the nomination for you. Letting people know that you’re hoping to go after an award next year can seed them with the idea to nominate you when the opportunity comes up.

Another reason to network is to make sure that those who do the judging see you in action and are aware of your impact and leadership. I’ve sat on boards for awards and a natural inclination of our human minds is to give preference to those we know and have seen doing great things. If people have heard of you and have positive memories, that will boost your opportunity to win.

Related: 5 Ways to Network on the Clubhouse App

Path 3: Be a thought leader

Being an industry leader also generates positive awareness that can lead to recognition by award judges. Some awards even have scoring specifically for assessing your leadership in furthering the industry, so being seen in this capacity is a direct pathway to winning.

Some ways to build your profile in thought leadership include writing content on your blog or LinkedIn profile, contributing to industry publications, being interviewed on podcasts or speaking at events.

Related: What Exactly Is Thought Leadership?

Path 4: Get yourself in the running!

Using these pathways to build a profile worthy of awards is the first step to achieving that goal, but none of these matter without a well-written award submission.

Often, reviewers are reading dozens if not hundreds of submissions, so if your content is subpar, it won’t get very far in the review process.

If you’re not comfortable writing about yourself, find a pro who knows how to write stand-out award nominations and hire him or her to help. Even if you’re being nominated by another person, he or she often needs your input to fill in the answers, so provide quality written content to boost your chances of getting noticed.

Winning awards isn’t simply a vanity metric, it’s a true differentiator for professionals in most industries that can lead to better opportunities and higher pay. For entrepreneurs, it can be the difference between landing a client or losing a contract to a similarly qualified competitor.

Keeping an annual or bi-annual budget for award submissions is a great way to keep your company and your employees in regular consideration for opportunities to win these honors, which you can use for PR and brand credibility to garner new business.


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7 Ways You Can Use LinkedIn To Blow Up Your Brand


Use these seven strategies to get your company’s brand to stand above the rest.

Free Book Preview:
Brand Renegades

Discover how two entrepreneurs used unconventional business strategies to turn their startup into a multimillion-dollar company.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Over the last three years, LinkedIn’s active user base grew by a staggering 27 percent, from 500 million in 2018 to 740 million in 2021. Business owners and entrepreneurs can leverage the platform to grow their brand, generate new leads, establish partnerships and make connections.

The following seven ways can help you utilize LinkedIn to grow your brand and gain a competitive edge over your competition.

1. Optimize your company profile and connect with people

If you haven’t worked on your LinkedIn profile, please take some time and perfect it. Make sure it provides all the essential details about your company’s products and services. Put more emphasis on the headline and summary to ensure that it’s compelling, engaging, interesting and professional. Furthermore, optimize it for more B2B and B2C lead generation.

Within no time, you will start seeing the “Someone has viewed your profile” notification. Don’t just view their profile back. Instead, track the individuals who viewed your business’s profile. If they are an ideal prospect, invite them to connect. An individual who views your company profile is most likely finding out more about your brand. There could be a chance they are also interested in your products or services.

Related: The Biggest Mistakes You’re Making On LinkedIn And What You Should Do Instead

2. Post valuable content on LinkedIn publisher

You can use LinkedIn Publisher to publish blog posts that users can engage with and share. With more shares of your blogs, the higher the impact it has on growing your brand. The post can also get prospects interested in your products, triggering an open door for more partnerships.

Make it a habit to publish content on LinkedIn consistently — but remember quality is key. It can build a community of loyal followers who admire your brand. Through them, you have ambassadors who can create a good reputation out there about your business. When users see the value and insights in your content, it gives them the conviction to check out more about your company. It’s one of the most straightforward and subtle ways of promoting your brand on LinkedIn without being pushy.

3. Follow other companies

Don’t forget to follow other businesses within your industry, including those you have partnered with and those who can be potential partners. This way, you have a chance to learn about them and what they offer. Still, don’t limit yourself from poking around as it might be an eye-opener to some techniques other companies use to get more leads. Also, the more you position yourself out there, the higher your chances of getting more returns.

4. Join LinkedIn groups where your target clients gather

The right groups can be a very powerful tool in growing your brand. By using advanced search, you can locate practitioners within your sector and your firm. Group conversations can give you vital insights into your industry. You can also learn about emerging industry pains and the options you can use to solve these issues.

While in the group, learn about the rules to know if content sharing is allowed. If so, create your credibility by sharing relevant content that capture potential prospects. It can include links to articles about your brand, relevant blog posts, event notices for webinars and posts that quote your business. However, make sure the materials you post are a helpful source and avoid dominating the conversation.

Related: Five Ways To Use LinkedIn for Sales Prospecting Through Social Selling

5. Utilize plugins

LinkedIn can be an even more powerful lead generation tool by itself when you utilize the complementary add-ons. Tap into the following plugins:

  • LinkedIn Connection Revealer: The LinkedIn Connection Revealer shows you the following that your connections have. By pinpointing the users who travel in big circles, you can engage with them to leverage their platform and promote your brand.
  • LinMailPro: It’s a Chrome extension that gives you the capability to automatically find and invite individuals who have recently viewed your profile. You can also send personalized messages to them about your brand or deliver marketing messages.
  • Headlinr: You may have sponsored a great story, uploaded ads or put up posts, but without a great headline, your potential targets might not click on them. When you use Headlinr, a chrome paid plugin, it automatically generates multiple headline combinations with the keyword you specify depending on your industry. You will get compelling titles that lure users into clicking through your ads and stories.
  • Rapportive: If you are a Gmail user browsing in Chrome or Firefox, Rapportive can be a handy tool in getting more leads. It enables you to get LinkedIn profiles that have email addresses in your contacts. You can then send them personalized invites to their inbox to help you grow your network.  

6. Create a sponsored InMail campaign

By utilizing sponsored InMail campaigns, you have an easier route to cut through the clutter and reach inboxes of individuals who matter to your business. You can send your target prospects compelling offers and rich content.

7. Ask your employees to post your business’s content

In most cases, entrepreneurs search for powerful brand advocates who can share their brand case studies and blogs. Yet, you can also do it through your employees. Research shows that about 50% of employees are already posting on social media platforms about their employers. Ask them to post blog content and other pieces relating to your brand to generate more traffic and leads. In fact, some organizations allow their marketers to pick company-approved content that their employees can share on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn can be a goldmine in attracting new clients and growing your brand, but correct execution is critical. Take your time to create your LinkedIn strategy, get clear about how you can offer prospective clients value first — then implement like crazy!

Related: Five Ways To Build Your Business Through Blogging


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