Build your brand – Win an Award! – Denise O’Leary

    Want to build your personal brand – a great way to do this is by winning a business award.

    Many business professionals and company owners have always wanted to WIN a Business Award, but many do not know where to start or what they should include in their entry.

    Winning an award can also boost team morale, drive competitive advantage and secure trust in your business. Multi-award winner Denise O’Leary of Purpol Marketing, wants to help more businesses win awards.

    Many business owners and small businesses dream of the profile they could create and look on in admiration at other award winners. Lack of confidence is an often-cited problem for small businesses alongside limited time and resources. The process for winning awards is very similar to Denise’s proven formula for winning bids – each award entry needs to be treated as a bespoke marketing campaign.

    Denise explains with some top tips, how to consistently win awards for your business and leverage the great PR opportunities they present.

    Promote your USP: Unique Selling Point

    “Every company will be different – you have got to determine what your company USP is – this is the Unique Selling Point that makes you stand out and makes your business memorable. This is the content you need to focus on to make your entry impactful.”

    What do you want to be known for –  pick the most relevant award and category to enter

    “When trying to decide which award or category of an award to enter, you need to consider the relevance that the award can have to your business. There are a Huge amount of awards out there so as part of the award category assessment process, you need to identify whether there is a specific category that you want to stand out in. Do you really want to be known as an entrepreneur, a coach or a leader? What about the best of your industry specialism? If you have limited resources then target the one you really want, find out the structure and then the entry can be tweaked for any additional submissions.”

    Visualise That Win

    “Visualise that win. Understand why you want to win. When you know this, it will educate you as to the process you have to follow and the awards you will want to target to enter. Build an Award Calendar – Finding the right awards to enter can be time-consuming, but the good news is that most are an annual occurrence. So rather than having to do the leg work each year, build yourself a calendar that includes the details, due dates, etc. This will make it easier for you to target the ones you want.


    Evidence is essential  – get client testimonials

    “Award entries give you the opportunity to document your achievements, but if you haven’t done yourself justice on that entry form, they can’t give you the credit, even if they are already aware of your business. Evidence is key, and what they might already know about you cannot be considered unless it is presented. If someone outside the business has realised you are good and has been prepared to go on the record to say so, it is far more powerful than if you, as a business, say how good you are.”


    Be Honest

    “Always be honest with your entry. Don’t lie, make up figures or avoid mentioning something that the general business community will know about you. If you have had a challenging year, say so. Follow that up with why it was a challenge, what you learned and explain how you are going to increase your efforts or refocus the next time. The judges for your awards are usually experienced business owners, investors and experts in their fields. This means that they are experienced enough to see through any attempt to cover up your weaknesses. Being sincere and explaining your challenges is very powerful as it shows you are constantly learning.”

    Tailor Your Entries for Ultimate Success

    “Each award is likely to be judged individually, so we would always recommend that you tackle each award independently… Because the key to winning awards is in meeting and exceeding the criteria as best you can, every award entry must be bespoke and tailored in content and language to match the award category you are entering. Check the entry criteria – “do they have a minimum turnover requirement?… who took home the trophy in previous years?. To give yourself the best chance of winning, the entry criteria needs to be evaluated and matched against your individual and company attributes and then displayed on the entry form”

    Do You Have the Capacity to Win?

    “Almost certainly yes, provided you choose the right award for your company and dedicate the time to write a compelling entry. There is a myth that only big companies win awards, but this is not true, and you have to be in it to win it.”

    Denise is thrilled to share her marketing knowledge to help others win more, more often.

    She has just published her first book, ‘WINNER – How to Win Business Awards’, which is launching on Amazon on 14/1/20 and available to order now on

    Denise believes  awards can help you market yourself successfully and build your powerful personal brand putting you ahead of the game in 2020!  Denise also provides bespoke consultancy on marketing strategies, bid writing and awards entry. Contact her at or call 0044 1249 481411.

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