How to write a winning Professional Beauty Awards 2024 entry
Entries for the Professional Beauty Awards 2024 close on September 1, 2023. We reveal some of the judges' top tips on how to put together a standout entry
1. Explain why you’re different
When we quizzed previous winners about how they put together an awards entry, they all told us they plan it out first, to make sure their key points of difference come across. Some put their entry together by brainstorming the salon’s unique selling points (USPs) and special touches over a team meal, while others begin with a skeleton plan of what makes the business stand out from its competitors, starting with sub headings then evolving these into the completed entry.
2. Prioritise pictures
Photos are so important as they are the first thing most judges will look at. They don't need to be taken by a professional but you need to look professional in them, so no selfies.
When submitting photos of your business, PB judges are unanimous in their advice to show the full exterior, a good representation of the whole communal area and a treatment room.
3. Be concise
Start your answer to each question with bullet points to spell out the top five or six things you want to get across, then when you add more text, bold up key words that relate to the initial points. Judges will see these first and use them to refer back to, so the things you really want to get across will be the ones that stick in their minds.
Just because there is a maximum word limit for an answer, don't feel you have to fill it.
Think of it as if you’re doing a Powerpoint presentation to the judges. Don't include every tiny detail, just the real selling points.
4. Answer the whole question
While it’s important to stick to the point, it’s even more vital to make your answer match the question exactly. Judges mark your entry to criteria set by the Awards team, so telling them the walls are pink when they've asked about your commitment to ongoing training will lose you marks. If you’re asked to give examples, make sure you do.
If you give no answer for a question you’ll score zero so write something, even if you feel it is negative. For example, if you’re not proud of your marketing, be honest that you’ve not had the resource to give it the attention you would have liked then list what you have done.
5. Show your passion
Tell judges the reason you wanted to become a beauty therapist or clinic owner and who or what inspires you in the industry. Try to get your passion for the industry across, as well as your vision for the future and how you are making our industry better or giving something back.
6. Back up statements with evidence
Think about short-term and long-term goals and demonstrate the steps you taking towards them. Evidence is the most important part of any entry. Judges can't award points for claims that aren't backed up. For example, don't just say, ‘I have excellent customer service skills’, give some examples or include client testimonials to prove it.
However, remember when entering that you’ll need to back claims up if you get through to the finals so be honest, even on little things.
7. Ask your team and clients for input
If you’re entering the employer or team category, ask your staff what makes you a great employer or what makes the team such a great one to work with. There may be reasons you’ve not thought of.
Even if you are entering one of the other categories, input from your team and clients can make a huge difference to how you approach an answer. Ask your clients for their thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of your salon or spa and the reasons they choose you over your competitors.
8. Make an effort
If you write one-line answers because you’re in a hurry it will be obvious. Likewise, it doesn’t work to copy and paste huge chunks of text from your website or brochure without adapting them to answer the exact question asked.
Upload photos, price lists and examples of any marketing material with your entry so judges can see your salon and the range of treatments you offer. You don't have to spend hours crafting each answer, but by showing passion, professionalism and care, you’re on to a winner!
Now you know how to put together a winning entry, what are you waiting for? Enter the Professional Beauty Awards 2024 for free, before Friday, September 1, 2023.