Venus and tea

WoMan alive, I won two awards!!! The Brighton & Sussex Natwest Venus Award for Home Based Business 2014 and the National Natwest Venus Award for Home Based Business 2015.

I know what you’re thinking. How?

The answer is:

  • four long blurbs,
  • six short blurbs,
  • two professional photos,
  • flyers and a direct marketing campaign (via the goody bag),
  • a cunning stunt*,
  • two speeches,
  • two websites,
  • a social media campaign,
  • a TV appearance,
  • three press releases,
  • two dresses,
  • and a great pair of boots.

But first off, I applied. Every single award from a Knighthood to Perrier/Fosters requires an application. You’ve got to be in it to win it, as Roger Mellie (Dale Winton) used to say!

To be honest I felt a bit of a fraud, but I learned from the Olympic Torch Runners that if you didn’t put your best foot forward and nominate yourself then nobody else was going to do it for you; instead you’d be sat at home, shouting at the telly as Will.I.Am took all the torch glory for England and the Queen.

So I put myself forward and won the heats. At the final in The Grand Brighton Hotel, the shortlist was full of the most incredible successful women. I declared I had no chance and was about to tuck into the free champers when my guest, highly acclaimed comedy guru Jill Edwards, stayed my hand and told me to wait. The ceremony opened.  My photo, taken by professional Performance Photographer, Ed Moore, came up first on the screen. All around my table our jaws fell open. Perhaps I had a chance. And then I won, Brighton & Sussex nailed, and boy, did we party!


Regional Winners Brighton & Sussex NatWest Venus Awards October 2014

Months later at the Natwest Venus Award’s National Finals in 2015, it was announced that the votes had been counted and verified and there had been over 34,000 applications and nominations, with more than 13,000 votes cast to decide the winners judged entirely by my peers from a huge variety of industries and businesses. Incredibly, I won the national award for best Home Based Business 2015. I accepted in my pyjama top, of course!

img_3752I’d gone from being an invisible woman running a business from home to a national award winner. How? Well, without realising it, I’d instinctively created a strategic marketing and PR campaign to put myself in the best possible position for people to vote for me. At each stage of the process I’d adapted my copy – blurbs and features – to provide clear answers to the Questions: Who is she? What does she do? Why should I vote for her?

(Answers: Kerry Herbert at Stand-Up Marketing and Charity Chuckle; comedy marketing and PR; because she’s raised over £15,000 for local charities, worked with some of the biggest names in comedy, like Al Murray; and, it seems pretty glamorous, ie. it’s not accounting or HR.)

Al Murray and me at Charity Chuckle. I'm the one in the sequins.

Al Murray and me at Charity Chuckle. I’m the one in the sequins.

What have I learnt? That I’m good at what I do. That people recognise good work when they see it. That recognition feels great! And that if you’re too modest to put your self in the game then you simply won’t be playing.

It can be very hard to market yourself. Let Stand-Up Marketing do it for you. We can make the invisible visible. Click contact today!

* When they asked for guest names for the table placements I said my guest was Lady Gaga. – It was actually my Mum, but I didn’t know that when applying for the tickets. What a lovely frisson of excitement for guests looking at the table plan! I’m so glad my Mum’s meat dress lived up to the hype.

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