We are Xero Awards finalists! Here’s why you should apply for awards too.
Firstly, we’ll toot our own horn for a minute and let you know that we’re finalists for the Xero Accounting Partner of the Year (woohoo!) and the Cloud Champion of the Year (the only firm to be up for two awards). The cherry on top all finalists then go into the running for the People’s Choice Award. To win the latter, we need a hand! You can vote for us here. Register, confirm your email, vote for us, get a free stubby holder from us. Thank you!
If you’ve been here for more than five minutes, you’ll know we fangirl/boy over Xero accounting software (we even have an entire website page dedicated to them). Their yearly awards are prestigious within the accounting community for numerous reasons; largely because the name Xero is synonymous with innovation and beautiful business. Name a firm that doesn’t want to be associated with those lovely adjectives…
This year, Xero are focussing their awards on accounting businesses that have made positive change, despite ‘rona. It’s the feel-good content we need people.
The reason we get so excited about awards is that recognition from someone other than your closest community that says we’re doing a bloody good job just feels great. We work our futuristic brains very hard and okay yes, we love looking at the award shelf every now and again! They look pretty. It’s more than an ego boost though.
Should your business apply for industry awards?
Yes. And here are some reasons why.
Brand awareness and recognition amongst your peers
When you’re in the running, or win, a well recognised award within your industry (particularly a big one like accounting, digital marketing or mortgage broking), it comes with a lot of praise from your peers. We know the power of networking and extending that network, and being held up as a leader without it, only does great things for your business.
With that increased brand awareness comes PR and media opportunities. Creating relationships with the likes of the Xero team can mean that when a digital publication comes knocking on their door for example, your name just might be thrown into the ring for an interview. There are so many names within the finance industry alone now that’ve become hugely successful through TV or social media channels as a result. Where did they start? Often, by winning awards and getting the recognition ball rolling that way.
Culture is everything and it’s what makes hiring and retaining great people possible. Telling people how great your culture is in a job interview in one thing – being able to back that up by showing industry awards only helps your case. Have a read about Tristan White, owner of Physio Co – a business that has been ranked in Australia’s Top 50 places to work for 11 YEARS running! How’s that for an award… He now runs the Culture Is Everything Club.
Awards aren’t about the business owner, they’re about the team as a whole and what they’ve been able to achieve together. Recognition of their work brings you closer together and creates that amazing sense of comradery that we all love to feel.
When should you apply for an industry award?
It’s all about the story you have to offer, and the competitive advantage you can speak on. We’ll get to the submission in a minute, but there is no right answer for this. Apply when you feel ready, when you feel that you’ve got something interesting to offer. For some businesses this could be within the first few months because you’ve got an incredible product or service that people will gravitate towards. For others, it could be ten years in because you’ve nailed the business practice and have a bevy of success stories behind you.
Tips for a strong industry award submission
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What are my points of difference? What do I offer that my competitors don’t?
- How can I make this application stand out from the crowd; what stock standard lines will many people be serving that I need to avoid altogether?
- What’s our story? Are their relatable or funny parts I can pick apart and highlight here?
- How have we made a difference to the lives of our audience?
- What are our strengths and how can I show these in action
- What am I most proud of when I think of what we’ve achieved so far?
- Why do we exist and what are our strongest values?
Copywriting is an art and there’s nothing harder than writing about your own business. Give it a crack, see how you go! There’s nothing wrong with getting a professional to polish up a submission too, particularly if it’s an award you really want.