There's no point in entering my business for an award. Why ever not?

awards networking Mar 24, 2023
Claire Waite Brown is a finalist in the Digital Women Awards 2023 in the category of Community Leader

Have you ever entered yourself for an award?

An art prize, business award, podcast award, dance competition (just me on that one perhaps!)?

Or, have you thought:

  • My business is too small/new/inexperienced/ to win any awards
  • My painting/pots/prints aren't as good as everyone else's
  • I only have a really small audience, so I won't stand a chance
  • . . . or something similar?

If so, here are my thoughts on why you can enter that award category/prestigious exhibition/TV competition. I hope they give you the confidence to give it a go:

  1. Does it matter if you're not a finalist or accepted? If you put yourself forward and get rejected you won't be in any worse a position than you are now. You'll be in the same place as you would be if you hadn't entered. All you've lost is perhaps a bit of time, and maybe your ego is slightly bruised. But, as we say on the podcast a lot:
    'No one died'!
  2. What if you ARE accepted or on the shortlist? Won't that feel great? Or will you just start to worry about not winning or getting to the next stage? I like to celebrate each win, whether it ends there or continues to the next step.  Every stage is an achievement to add to your Tiger Stripes list (find out what this means in this blog post).

  3. Someone else likes what you do. When you send off an application and get accepted or shortlisted, you are being told that what you do is valuable to others, not just you. Others believe in what you are doing.
    I recently had a wobble about and whether anyone wanted what I was offering, or was it just me? Am I the only person who thinks this community is a good thing?
    Thankfully, a call with a few lovely members reassured me that everyone feels this way sometimes, and that what I am building here is exactly what I wanted it to be, and others want it to be too.
    THEN, Creativity Found was shortlisted for two awards recognizing community businesses.
    These awards are adjudicated and the lists filtered down by people that I don't know, that I have never met, and they think that my idea deserves to be seen and commended. 
    I would never had known that if I hadn't sent my entry off.

  4. Awards – shortlists and wins – get you noticed. They say to your audience, or future audience, that this person is on to a good thing, because other people have looked closely at what they do and think they deserve an accolade.
    A bit like customer reviews (see this blog post for more on that topic), being recognized by award bodies/galleries/production companies shows others that you have authority – even if you're shy to shout about it yourself.
  5. Motivation for you. Recognition of your hard work will boost your morale and encourage you to keep doing what you're doing.
  6. Networking opportunities. I'm always banging on about networking, of course I am, promotion and networking is what Creativity Found membership is all about. Attending awards ceremonies and gallery opening nights, for example, provide you with opportunities to connect with others in your – or similar – fields, that can lead to collaboration, growth, learning, friendship and more (see this blog post for more on how brilliant networking can be, professionally and personally).

So, in conclusion, don't be afraid or put off from applying for awards, shows, funding, etc.

And, if you are recognized for your great work in some way, PLEASE share it. Tell the world – and me!

If you want to know more about how to make the most of the events you do go to, then you need my 5 Insights into Making Networking a Pleasure, Not a Chore, which will be sent to you when you subscribe to the Creativity Found mailing list.

If this kind of cheerleading and encouragement has helped you, you can benefit even more from joining the Creativity Found Collective, a membership that offers promotion, support, encouragement and networking for small businesses that teach creative activities, or that use their business expertise to help other businesses thrive and grow.

Creativity Found Collective

The Creativity Found Collective is a membership for artists and crafters who share their creative skills with grown-ups through workshops, online courses, products or subscriptions. It is also a membership for business-support enterprises who use their expertise to help those artists and crafters to grow their businesses.

We promote their offerings on the website and connect them with a network of like-minded business owners. 

All of this is backed up by the Creativity Found podcast, in which I chat with grown-ups who have found or re-found their creativity later in life.

You can find out more about the Creativity Found Collective membership here.

And don't forget, you can subscribe to the mailing list here.