Making Your Awards Entry Shine

By Shannon Kilgariff / 25 Jul 2022

Tried and tested tips from Aesthetics Awards Winners to help you on your way to success

You’re sitting with your fabulous team in a dazzling ballroom amongst your peers who are the best of the best in your industry. There is a stage nearby, with a host who has been recognising excellence in aesthetics all evening. Finally, your category comes up. It’s taken a lot of time and effort to put this application together and you have your fingers and toes crossed that you gain some kind of recognition from the judges. Then, suddenly, your name is announced as an Aesthetics Awards Winner in front of hundreds of those you respect most in your field! It feels overwhelming – all that hard work you’ve done in the past year to push best practice has paid off. Let’s be real, it feels great being a winner! 

With The Aesthetics Awards 2023 entry opening this month, we speak to some of our 2022 Winners about how they felt to win this year and their advice to others who are eager to embark on this journey.

Why enter awards ceremonies? 

The glitz and glamour of an awards ceremony is a brilliant opportunity to celebrate you and your team’s successes, however there are so many other reasons you might want to consider entering. “As a clinic that is striving for continual improvement, it’s important to reflect back and recognise the achievements of the business and its hard working and dedicated staff,” highlights Dr Syed. 

She adds that it’s another form of an appraisal that provides the opportunity for establishing a reputable brand. She says, “Participating in the Aesthetics Awards enabled the clinic to celebrate and appraise its achievements, knowing that these are benchmarked against other reputable and well-established clinics and practitioners. Entering also enabled the business to measure its goals and purpose and celebrate accomplishments. Importantly, it also helps identify future opportunities and development areas to help improve services and the patient journey. Alongside this, if you are lucky enough to be shortlisted or win an Award on the night, it will inevitably elevate trust and creditability among your peers, patients and partners and excel your brand.” 

What’s it like being an Aesthetics Award Finalist? 

Firstly, let’s remember that not everyone can be the Winner or receive commendations. However, with hundreds of entries, even being shortlisted is a huge achievement! Dr Bawa says, “I was excited to enter The Aesthetics Awards as they are extremely prestigious and are huge in our industry! With so many fantastic Finalists, just being there with my colleagues was an honour. Also, being a Finalist certainly helped with our business, because it provided our patients with reassurance that we are doing things to the best of our ability, and getting recognition for it.” 

Scott also remembers the positive impact on her business. “I felt like being a Finalist was something tangible that my patients could see sets me apart as a practitioner. I was able to put it on my website and social media, and as I was preparing for the Awards, my patients got really excited for me. One of my lovely patients even lent me the earrings I wore to the ceremony! All my team also got involved and they were so happy for me as well so it didn’t just make me feel positive, but it gave a sense of optimism and achievement to my entire team.” 

How does winning an Aesthetics Award feel? 

“Words really can’t express what it feels like to win,” reflects Dr Bawa. “When my name was announced, there were so many thoughts and feelings all at once! It took a few seconds to sink in, then a rush of exhilaration and shock came in! I was so honoured and humbled to win such a prestigious Award,” he said. 

According to Scott, it was incredible and humbling to win. “I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t shed a tear!” she laughs, “I’ve been a nurse for 30 years and have been in the aesthetics industry for 20, so to feel recognised after all these years of treating patients means more than you can imagine.”

A.W.A.R.D winning entry tips 

Applicable categories 

“There are multiple categories to enter, but do not try to enter too many,” suggests Dr Syed, adding that you should find the categories that are applicable to you, and prioritise quality over quantity. “Instead, focus on the category that you genuinely think is suited to your successes and accomplishments where you can feel that you can raise the judges’ attention.” Scott used her network to help with this, “I decided to ask colleagues why they felt I should enter this Award,” she says, explaining that this helped her establish her USPs and that the category was right for her. Dr Bawa adds, “You should tailor your submission to the Award you are applying for, rather than a generic entry, and be passionate about it.” Once you’ve chosen your categories, start planning what you would like to include and gather the required information – this takes time! 

Write concisely with evidence 

Everything you say in your entry should have a purpose. Dr Syed says, “Make your entry interesting, fun and well structured! Don’t do a dull sales pitch on why you should win the Award, but tell a story that is factual, easy to read and provide examples of your successes.” Scott reiterates that having proof of your success is integral. “The most important thing is that if you state something, provide evidence to back it up! Saying it isn’t enough,” she explains. Examples of good evidence includes: client/ patient satisfaction surveys, percentage increases for growing patient numbers and business revenue, and new treatments added to your portfolio. Year-on-year data and how this has progressed over time always impresses the judges! 

Answer the question 

This might sound obvious, but many entries fall short because they don’t follow this simple tip. Dr Syed says, “It’s not uncommon to start waffling about things that we want the judges to hear, but we forget to answer the basic question that is being asked. Focus on the question and don’t go off topic. You are unlikely to get any additional marks.” Remember that there is always a word count to consider, so try using formatting functions like bullet points to allow for an easy-to-digest format and to help you stick to your word count! 

Read your entry thoroughly 

All Winners stress the importance of checking and triple checking your entry – an insider’s secret is that Aesthetics Awards judges have been known to deduct points for poor spelling and grammar! “Make sure your punctuation and spelling are correct. I find it’s useful to write your draft and leave it for a few days so that you can return to it later as you’re more likely to spot mistakes. I also like to print it out and read it on paper too, as I find it’s easier than on a screen,” says Dr Bawa. One of Scott’s top tips is to ask for help, and get someone else to read the entry. “I get my colleagues to proof-read the document to make sure it is the best it could be. This isn’t just for spelling and grammar, but to look at the overall tone of my entry and how it would come across to the judges.” 

Determine who’s assessing your entry 

Remember to think about the people reading your entry. Consider who the judges might be and what they would find interesting and engaging. The judges are experts in your field, but are also real people who don’t want to spend hours reading something dull, waffly, or poorly worded. Scott, who is an Aesthetics Awards judge for categories that she is not applicable to enter, advises, “As a judge, I felt the best entries were the ones where I could sense the passion for the industry through whoever was writing the entry. I would recommend adding a personal touch to an entry if relevant. For example, it’s great to see a percentage of growth, but I want to know what that means to you and your patients! I’d also recommend making sure your entry has continuity throughout.” 

Advice from our editor Shannon Kilgariff

1. Don’t leave it to the last minute – writing a submission takes longer than you think. Save yourself the stress and get your entry in early. 

2. Consider your supplementary materials – do not just include these for the sake of it. They should be relevant to your entry, and remember you can also include videos and images, which can help you stand out. 

3. Take good before and after imagery – judges constantly critique the quality of before and after images. Make sure you take images of your results with consistent parameters – lightings, angle, patient expression – to showcase your fabulous results. 

4. Ask for help – use those around you for ideas, to check your entry and if it’s all too stressful for you, you can hire someone to help you, like a PR, marketing expert or even a company dedicated to entering awards ceremonies

5. Reflect upon previous years – it’s almost impossible to write a perfect entry! Remember to ask the awards provider for constructive feedback to improve your future applications. 

Well worth the effort 

Entering awards ceremonies can be a lot of work and effort, and not everyone is shortlisted as a Finalist. However, Dr Syed reminds you to remain positive and optimistic. She adds, “Taking the time to construct an awards entry, in itself, can be a very rewarding task, once completed. Use this as an opportunity to appraise your business and your achievements, as you probably wouldn’t do it otherwise! It will also help you identify developmental areas and allow you to plan your business goals or refine your objectives.” So, what are you waiting for? 

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