If you’ve been keeping an eye on my social media accounts, you’ll know it’s been something of an exciting time for Cureton Consulting recently. I was unbelievably chuffed to be shortlisted for not just not one, but two, prestigious business awards recently – and even more delighted to win one of them!

On 28th September, I was presented with the Outstanding Woman In Professional Services award at the East Midlands Women’s Awards, during a fabulous gala ceremony at St Martin’s House in Leicester. Then just a few days later, on 11th October, I reached the top four in the Best Rural Creative or Media-based Business category in the Rural Business Awards for the Midlands region, held at the beautiful Eastwood Hall. You can imagine how happy I was (and still am)!

So why did I suddenly decide to start entering business awards, something I’ve never done before in the past? Well, in January 2018, I decided I was ready to start raising Cureton Consulting’s profile outside the realms of social media. I’ve always said that social media should only ever be part of the marketing mix, not the be all and end all, but entering for awards was still something new to me. I took a deep breath and took the plunge.

I wanted my awards applications to be as good as they could possibly be, so I drafted in a professional copywriter to write them (something I’d highly recommend as it saved me a lot of time and effort as well as providing well-written copy!) They did a great job of helping my business stand out from the crowd of other social media providers by focusing on my online training programmes and webinars – something the judges loved.

Once the applications were in, I naturally broadcast the news on my social media accounts! It was fantastic to get so many likes, shares and ‘good luck’ messages. And when I actually won the East Midlands Women’s Award and wrote about it on LinkedIn, the post received a staggering 11,994 views, the highest reach I’ve ever achieved. I also found that, over the awards weekend, traffic to my website increased by a whopping 30%. And I gained a new client on the strength of that LinkedIn post alone.

So why am I telling you this? Believe it or not, it’s not just about blowing my own trumpet! I genuinely want other businesses to experience the excitement and benefits of entering awards themselves. As I’ve found myself, it’s a hugely effective way of raising your profile and getting your name out there beyond your usual audience. Most business owners work incredibly hard, so why not take a little time to celebrate your achievements? Promise me, it’s an amazing feeling to get third party validation that you’re doing something right.

My message to you is this: research awards and categories that you’re eligible for and just give it a go. And once you’ve entered, shout it from the rooftops on social media and your other marketing platforms! It doesn’t even matter if you don’t win or you’re not shortlisted. You can’t win ‘em all, but you can certainly try your best – and after all, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And if you need some help with making the most of your activities on social media, you know where to come. Find out more by contacting me.