How to Write An Award Winning Entry
Writing isn’t for everyone so have a read of this 7 step guide to help you add a structure and focus to showcasing your best attributes with a bit of pizazz!
Planning is the secret to successful writing, so take 30 minutes out of your day. Put the kettle on or grab your favourite drink from the fridge, or pick a spot in the corner of a local café. Turn off your phone, emails and minimize any potential distractions. (I find first thing in the morning before anyone else is up and running works for me) then you are ready to plot these four key steps:
2. Choosing Categories
You will probably want to enter lots of categories as you have many areas of your business, staff or personal achievement that deserve to be in the running to win an award, but unless you are J.K Rowling, or have the luxury of a PR agent to write your entries, choose categories that reflect your best There are a mix of business focus, team and individual categories, each of those areas are the reasons people keep coming back to you or your salon.
Judges will be reading lots of entries, so put your story together using basic structure of why, what, how – making sure in the content you cover off the points required on the entry. Top Tip: think like a customer –what makes them want to use your salon…
Create a bulleted list of key points you want to cover in your entry. I’ve used the Bridal Hair category as an example:
- We are entering this category because…
- The services you offer for brides and bridal parties
- The products we use that make a difference to our service
- Staff skills
What evidence do you have to support the claims you make
- How many bridal parties / brides do you see in a year
- Make reference to images in your supporting documents
- General customer feedback
How is it different, and more special?
- Types and levels of services supplied
- Quality and type of products intrinsic to your service
- Environment (in salon or onsite service)
- Transformations and longevity of the hairstyle
- How you are meeting the demands of your customers
4. Supporting documents
Add images and full quotes in the supporting document: things like, before and after images; pictures of salon; brides having their hair done, screen shots of online reviews you might of received that you are proud of; anything relevant that adds weight to your story.
5. Team Support
If you can, get your team involved and allocate tasks. Whether this is putting together some pictures of the shop, collating snaps of colour transformations and bridal hair up, or pulling together testimonials from customers – it will take the pressure off and give you space to focus. The accountability of sharing tasks is great for morale too.
On your first attempt, write down exactly what comes out of your head, as if you were speaking to someone for the first time about yourself or your business. The biggest problem we with our brain is that it’s too clever, and naturally wants to re-read what we have written almost immediately. TRY NOT to do this! When you start, let the writing flow and don’t worry about typos or order – just follow your key points. This will extract the passion and personality in your writing. Only when you have gone through each of your points, go back, re-read and edit it down.
Top tip: You don’t need to write the maximum amount of words allowed – less is more.
7. Proof Read
It’s written, and you’ve tweaked. Take a break, then come back to your entry and read it out loud as if someone is listening. This is a great way to make sure you have truly read all the words. (and don’t forget to use spell check!) When you are happy with your masterpiece, give to two other people to proof read.
Finish collating your supporting documents and images, and you are ready to submit.
We hope this quick guide has helped find the writer in you.