Who doesn’t like to win? It doesn’t matter whether we think of regular contests, lotteries or simply online rankings. The feeling of being the best, chosen and appreciated motivates us to act and increase work. But what can such winning do for your startup?
First of all – sometimes it doesn’t matter if you win or not. Being nominated or being in the top ten list can already be a great success. A lot of people observe trade contests because it’s the easiest way to be up to date with what’s new or trendy at the moment. You probably do the same looking for competitors, partners or clients. Being nominated could be essential for your startup when it is still unrecognizable. Taking part in a contest can be treated as your promotion channel. If you’re nominated — announce it to the whole world. Use any promotion channel you have (blog, social media, newsletter, websites etc.). Show that you’re proud because you should be! Media love information about winners so it’s always a great opportunity to be on the cover.
I can promise you that when you win the contest many people you didn’t know before will congratulate you. They will try to contact you, make an appointment and do business. Do you wonder why? You know that your startup did not just become better and more interesting overnight. But the contest’s organizer and the people who voted for your startup provided you with social proof. It means hundreds or thousands of people (and the organizer) confirm that your project is good enough to win the first prize and be highlighted. And people like to choose solutions and products that other people like. It’s a very simple psychological mechanism.
Win and get the “real” award
Award provided by the organizer is usually only one of those your startup can get. The second prize is the promotion that I already mentioned. What’s more interesting for your startup — it’s a free promotion. The fact that the contest’s organizer is a recognized brand guarantees you media interests. But it’s not only about media. You might be noticed by potential business partners, clients and investors. You can be sure they follow news about contests and they will try to talk to you. So be present on the final gala or meetup. It doesn’t matter whether it is official or not. Are you afraid you don’t have a tail-coat? Don’t worry! More often than not, the dress code is casual. For example, the meetup organized by The Next Web (after TNW Polish Startups Awards) was a kind of chat and drinks party. PayLane was there as a winner of Best e-commerce category. It was a great opportunity to meet the organizer, other finalists, exchange experiences and what’s most important — talk with new partners and clients. And that’s the real award! (except a ticket to the TNW Conference Europe: that’s very useful too ;)).
So there is nothing more to say than: try and see what your startup can really win!