By The content team Annual Conference How winning an award can help create publicity for your business 4 Mar 2019 How can you distinguish yourself from the competition, attract new clients and create publicity for your business at the same time? One of the best ways is to win or be shortlisted for a major award. So, when it comes to the AAT Professional Member Awards 2019, what are the judges looking for, and what difference can it make to you both as an individual and as a business? We asked Kim Hughes MAAT, Licensed Member of the Year 2018. What has winning the award led to? Continued growth personally and professionally and being able to share this accolade with clients gives them confidence in my ability and my commitment to high professional standards. A recent new client was so impressed by the award and my enthusiasm for learning that they moved from another accountant for bookkeeping and payroll services. What do you think the judges were looking for/what do you think was special about your entry? I think dedication to providing a high level of service to my clients and my own commitment to CPD and also that I have gained the confidence to grow business-wise from meeting other Members in Practice at the AAT Conferences Do you have any advice for would-be entrants? Go for it – you’ve nothing to lose! Being shortlisted was such a great confidence boost and then to actually win is something I am immensely proud of. The awards are a great experience if you’ve got something to shout about then do it and enter! Winning an award is a massive achievement. It not only sounds and looks good, but it also creates real business benefits such as attracting new clients, media attention and broader industry recognition. Thinking of entering the awards? Here are our top tips on how to write a winning award entry Keep it simple Judges know nothing about your role or achievements, so be as clear and descriptive as possible, using plain English. It’s best to avoid jargon or acronyms that our judges may not be familiar with. Allow plenty of time Many of us tend to wait until a deadline is imminent before completing a task, but rushing could affect the quality of your entry. Try to put an hour aside at least two weeks before the deadline, so you can write a great entry. Check and double check Make sure you have answered all of the questions properly, uploaded any necessary documents, and checked your spelling before hitting ‘Submit’. Use a great reference* Your reference is an important part of your entry. Give your referee plenty of time to write a clear reference on why you should win the award and make sure they include their name, job title and the nature of your relationship. Show your enthusiasm We want to see your passion for the industry you work in. Write clearly and enthusiastically to make your application stand out from the crowd. The AAT Professional Member Awards 2019 are free to enter and winners will be announced at the AAT Annual Conference 2019. Awards categories Professional Member of the Year – AATQB Professional Member of the Year – MAAT Professional Member of the Year – FMAAT Licensed Member of the Year Rising Star of the Year Branch of the Year Visit aat.org.uk/awards to find out more The content team are the owners of AAT Comment.