How to apply for awards & stand out like a pro

Even if you prefer to stay out of the spotlight and let your web design work speak for you, a relevant award can bring with it a number of benefits. Anyone who makes a living in the digital space should, at some point, look at how to apply for awards for their business.

In order to sell your services, people first need to feel like they can trust you. 

In this day and age, no one likes to get scammed. No one wants to waste their time with sub-par professionals who are not up to the task and won’t produce measurable results. I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “What gets measured, gets done.”

Learn how to instill trustworthiness so that potential clients in the industry can recognize you as an expert in your line of work. Let’s get into the more insightful and actionable information on how to craft that seal of authority, credibility, and trustworthiness.

How to apply for awards for your business

First of all, you should figure out whether your business is eligible for award nomination. You can do that by visiting the official website of the organization that gives the award you are looking to apply for and reading their official guidelines.

The guideline will inform you about deadlines, detailed business information that you will need to supply, and other data so your business can be considered for nomination.

Be sure to read your application thoroughly before you submit it to make sure everything’s in order, correct and there are no grammatical errors and typos. Also, it’s a nice idea to keep a copy of your application for yourself.

Which awards should I apply for?

Unless you offer an innovative solution or have exceptional customer service, you should also apply for an industry-specific award. The most popular awards among freelance web developers and designers are:

    Awwwards
    CSS Design Awards
    CSS Winner Awards
    Web Awards by webaward.org
    Webby Awards

Awwwards

If you’d like to apply for a web design award so that your hard work and talent is recognized, you should definitely consider the most popular website for web design awards.

One thing you don’t have to worry about with Awwwards is the deadline for submitting websites, since it’s open all year round. 

However, the application works in three paid tiers. The first tier is less expensive per website submission, while the other two are annual membership tiers with the middle tier offering three free submissions, while the last tier offers unlimited website submissions.

Winning a web design award from Awwwards can help you gain a lot of exposure and put your business on the radar. Awwwards is very popular and has about 2 million users monthly. 

Users visit Awwwards not just for web design award applications but also for web design inspiration. 

If you’re looking to apply, just go for it since their submission period is always open. You can learn more about their voting system and submission process here.

You can apply for several categories of awards like “Website of the Day” and “Website of the Month” but the most competitive category and the one you should aim for should be the “Website of the Year.”

 Awwwards recognizes the talent and effort of the best web designers, developers, and agencies in the world. Awwwards also relies on a jury of esteemed industry professionals and their active user base to rank work submitted.

The judging is taken care of by a panel of professionals like designers, agencies and creatives. If you win an award from Awwwards, you can display it on your website.

CSS Design Awards

If you consider applying for the CSS Design Awards, make sure your submission is flawless in terms of user experience, design, content, functionality and interface — as these are some of the most important criteria they will judge. 

There’s an entry fee per website and you have two categories to choose from: Website of the Day and Website of the Month. However, submissions in these two categories automatically enter for the Website of the Year award.

The awards are open for web design studios and companies, and solo web design and development freelancers. If you’re looking to make a submission, keep in mind the jury panel consists of industry experts.

CSS Winner Awards

The CSS Winner Awards are also great if you want to showcase the effort put into a website. With an award displayed on your own website, you can also attract bigger clients. 

The awards are open for developers, web design companies, and more. They have a unique scoring system which is a combination of panel experts and public voting. 

With the CSS Winner Awards, you can win either Website of the Day or Website of the Month  or win the Stars award if they deem your website truly exceptional.

One great thing about CSS Winner Awards is that the submission period is open all the time and the cost is pretty low. If you get rejected, they will refund the entry fee. 

You can learn more about the CSS Winner Awards here, with info about categories, evaluation system, specific rules for freelancers and agencies. Head straight to their submission page if you’re feeling lucky! Their submission period is open all year round

Web Awards

The Web Awards by webaward.org have an extensive list of categories you can enter. You can submit your website for the web award in the category (or categories) that best fits your business. It’s also nice that one website can be submitted for multiple categories if appropriate.

There are three award categories: Best of Industry, Outstanding, and Standard of Excellence Web Award.

You can apply for the Web Awards by joining the website webaward.org and learn more about the benefits of the participation. The websites that are submitted for the Web Awards will be evaluated by a panel of industry experts and the winning website will receive a certificate or a trophy, depending on the category. 

Their submission period is currently closed and the 2020 winners are announced on their website so you can check them out. Also, be sure to visit their website regularly so you don’t miss the 2021 submission period as the next call for entries should open up in March 2021. 

Webby Awards

The Webby Awards are probably among the most popular and well-known awards since they even have a fully fledged ceremony with high-profile attendants like Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, Demi Lovato and other public figures.

They have a total of eight categories which you can enter:

Websites and Mobile Sites
Advertising, Media and PR
Video
Social
Podcasts
Games
Virtual and Remote
Apps and Software

If you’re interested more, visit their official website for more info or just check out their in-depth about page and get more information on categories, judges and criteria, the team behind Webby Awards and more. 

Check out their guidelines to see if you’re eligible.

Why are awards important to clients?

It’s mainly because the business market can be a very aggressively competitive environment for small businesses that are just starting out. With that in mind, a small business enterprise will need all the help they can get from a proper professional or a team of professionals in order to stand out from the competition.  

Logically, making a clear effort to leave an impression of a trustworthy professional web developer is the first step in finding and establishing healthy long-term business relationships.

Why are industry awards beneficial for my business?

Any industry expert will agree on the fact that having won an award for your business is one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert in the field.

For example, digital marketers might apply for a Google Ad certificate and award, SEO specialists and marketing agencies might look into Search Engine Land Awards and Google Premier Partners award while web developers and designers will find the Innovative Web Design Award or CSS Design Award very beneficial.

An industry award will greatly increase your chance to get found and contacted by new clients. It’s practically free marketing but also helps you retain current ones, as they will see this as a seal of authority.

Besides all that, winning industry awards will get you the opportunity to attend free workshops and important industry events where you can do networking. You can also gain exclusive memberships for specific tools or websites and essentially boost your online presence.

Outperform & outsmart the competition

Applying for awards will not only help you position yourself or your web design and development business above the fold (pun intended) so that clients can find you easier, but also outsmart the competition

Of course, it should go without saying but in order to win those awards, you should apply for relevant niche and industry-specific awards too besides general awards. That way, you will align your business with your line of work and really accentuate your field of expertise while making it look legitimate and trustworthy.

This will also enable you to actually stand a chance of winning those awards, not just for bragging rights but to attract clients and set yourself apart from the competition.

Conclusion

Winning industry awards is a great and inexpensive way to boost your business’s online presence and give it sort of a free marketing campaign.

It will help you stand out from the competition while building a reputation and credibility. Yes, applying for awards may be a little time-consuming, but winning makes it well worth the time invested.

 

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