by Joshua Johnson
You shouldn’t let modesty keep you from applying for awards.
I know what you’re thinking. You don’t want to turn into “that guy” (or girl) who loves talking about how amazing he is and how awesome his company is. Or maybe you feel you don’t need a trophy or a plaque or other people’s recognition to know you’re running a good business. Maybe you aren’t even fully aware of all the great things you’ve accomplished. You gentle, humble soul.
The hesitancy is understandable. The fact of the matter is that many awards applications ask for the modest individual to do what’s most unnatural to him: brag.
We tend to hear about the individuals who are proactive in promoting themselves, but many of the most successful and incredible people I’ve met in business are some of the most modest as well. Ultimately, there’s no reason why awards shouldn’t be awarded to the modest, too. Here are four selfless reasons you should consider pursuing awards:
1. Awards give the whole team recognition.
Awards may get a bad rap at times for being a selfish pursuit to gain prestige, but in reality, they allow the whole team to celebrate a victory. Knowing that the leader of a company is being recognized builds faith in that leader among team members. Awards also give leaders the opportunity to give credit to the team members who made it possible for them to accomplish great things.
2. Awards garner exposure for the company.
From my experience with entrepreneurs who have truly accomplished astounding things, their modesty is oftentimes a huge roadblock to seeing awards as the marketing and advertising funnels they are. It’s surprisingly common for these people to refrain from putting their own names out there, for fear of sounding egotistical and drawing too much attention to themselves.
Think about strategies to leverage the awards once you’ve won them. Can you display them on social media? Is there a badge you can put on your website? How can you leverage the award to warm cold leads — and close already hot ones? Any time you have the opportunity to use awards as a tool in your sales and marketing funnels, do it.
3. Awards acknowledge you as a thought leader.
Awards also allow you to position yourself as a thought leader. Maybe you don’t personally want the attention, but when people can attach a credible face to a company, they’re more likely to develop trust and become customers.
Would it be meaningful to them, knowing they’re working with a recognized industry leader? The answer is yes. It’s third-party recognition of your status as a leader in the industry, and it helps current clients, potential leads, and partners feel confident in working with you.
4. Save the ego-driven people from themselves.
Often, it’s the same individuals who repeatedly apply for business awards. This creates a disconnect that allows so-called “award whores” to start winning awards they aren’t actually deserving of because those who should be recognized aren’t even putting their names in the ring. For the sake of business leaders everywhere, apply!
While these are the main reasons awards are valuable, there are plenty of other benefits as well. Is there an awards ceremony? Does it present a good networking opportunity to meet potential clients or partners? Is there a considerable amount of social or media exposure for the award? In a worst-case scenario, is there a good link for SEO purposes? There are plenty of hidden benefits you don’t think about until you do some digging.
There are literally dozens of benefits to consider when applying for awards. Use these benefits as justification for the time spent completing an application, or for the money invested in a nominal application fee. Not every award will come your way, but finding the unique value each opportunity presents can mean much more to your company than you realize.
Joshua Johnson is the Director of External Relations at Influence & Co., a company that assists individuals and brands in growing their influence through products and services ranging from creating and publishing bylined articles to facilitating industry sponsorship programs for brands. Influence & Co. is one of the leading providers of high-quality expert content to the world’s top publications. Connect with him on Twitter or Google+.