With awards season right around the corner (and AHFA ENTRIES NOW OFFICIALLY OPEN!), what better time than the present to sit down and learn from Build Your Salon’s very own Phil Jackson as to how you can truly maximise your award entry and get as much mileage as possible out of your hard work?
With so many awards ceremonies out there, it can be difficult to know which ones will best serve you and your career. Of these many options, Phil says that there are typically two tiers of awards that one can enter.
“The first (of the two types) are free to enter, have a transparent judging system and are often the ‘big hitters’,” says Phil. “Sometimes the finalist is given a ticket to the event (though not always) and a lot of money is generated through sponsorship deals.
“The second are what I call iffy awards as some are better than others. You can spot them because they have an extraordinary number of categories. More categories means more finalists and these guys make their money from you turning up at the finals, from your entry fee or your purchase of a certificate. It can feel like the more money you are willing to spend, the more likely you are to win.”
Most interestingly of all however is that, despite which awards you do enter, it really does come down to what you make of it.
“The interesting thing for me is that, as far as your customers are concerned, it doesn’t matter which awards you enter,” he explains. “They love seeing that you’re striving, growing and developing.
“There is also a lot to be gained from the entry process – it clarifies thinking and helps you recognise what a great job you’ve been doing.”
One thing that Phil identifies as key in ensuring that you make the most of your awards submission? MAKING IT KNOWN. There’s plenty of ways to maximise the opportunity using your own social channels and personal networks. He identifies three moments in the awards process whereby you can obtain maximum mileage from your submission.
- When you’re posting your entry, make a big fuss with a ‘wish us luck!’ post. A picture of you dropping your envelope into a post box, or something of the sort. If the award is online entry, you can always fake the Kodak moment with a dummy envelope that you don’t actually post.
- When you place as a finalist, you are usually allowed to use a special logo and you should make a big noise through creating a local press release to announce the news. Some of the bigger awards will even give you a template, or will contact local press for you.
- On finals night, you can create a whole story about getting glammed up, and keep it up with the ‘wish us luck’ posts.
And Phil’s final take away in making awards work for your business? “Enter ANYTHING that is free to enter – and don’t forget local awards too.”
Wise words indeed, Phil, and certainly ones to keep top of mind as we move into the exciting awards season ahead.
“The interesting thing for me is that, as far as your customers are concerned, IT DOESN’T MATTER which awards you enter. They love seeing that you’re striving, growing and developing. There is also a lot to be gained from the entry process – it clarifies thinking and helps you recognise what a great job you’ve been doing.”