The advantages of being nominated for an award are obvious – the recognition for your work, the kudos, the PR opportunities, perhaps a little extra finance to undertake a project… so why then does it feel so awkward when it comes to nominating yourself for an award?

It’s an issue I’ve been discussing lately with a couple of clients. Both women in executive leadership roles. Confident, accomplished women, women who have worked extremely hard and deserve to be recognised for their huge steps in self-development and business triumphs. And who both shy away from the thought of nominating themselves as the ultimate in egotism.

But it’s not. It’s really not. Here’s my take on why you should be nominating yourself for an award and celebrating your own success.

Nobody is a Mind Reader.

No matter how good you are at your job, how amazing your achievements, and how widespread your success, you cannot rely on other people to recognise these for you. They’re not you, and although they can celebrate your accomplishments to a degree, they will never know the full story. Your full story.

Neither will they be likely to look at an award, look at you, and make the connection. It’s just not how our minds work. If you consider your business network, it’s likely you’ll know several people who all offer similar services – multiple graphic designers, family solicitors, accountants, and copywriters. Singling you out for nomination from the rest of those connections is quite a tall order.

It’s the Ultimate Act in Self-Belief.

It doesn’t matter how often you tell someone how good you are, they have to experience it for themselves. This is why social proof – reviews, testimonials, and case studies are so powerful – they allow potential clients to see what others are saying about you. An award is the same. It’s external validation that you are what you say.

But, unless we believe in ourselves, how can we expect others to believe in us? Nominating yourself for an award is another way of demonstrating that you are what you say you are, that you’re credible and believable. In the same way that you would write a post on social media perhaps detailing your experience, or add your previous positions to your LinkedIn profile, nominating yourself for an award is simply another means of gaining visibility.

You weren’t put on this earth to get lost In the weeds. Be the tall poppy you were born to be.”Dawn Russell

Mind the Gap.

It’s not only a terrific way of celebrating your successes, but of identifying any weaknesses in your skills. Often that daunting nominations form can be a great gap analysis exercise in itself! That’s not to say that you should beat yourself up over any identified weak areas. The application is a useful exercise in selling yourself and getting your name out there.

Leave the Judging to the Experts

Not every award is going to have the perfect criteria for you, so don’t limit yourself to the awards that seem a perfect fit or wait until the “right time” to enter. (That’s just procrastination and perfectionism by another name!) Instead, grab every opportunity, throw caution to the wind, but, most of all, don’t second-guess your suitability for an award. That’s the job of the awards committee.

Stop Waiting for Permission.

Ask yourself why you are waiting for permission and from whom? It can be oh, so liberating, to take control of our lives, and nominating yourself for an award is the ultimate act of regaining control.

So, once you’ve nominated yourself for an award, what next?

Well, this is where you get to max the heck out of the PR opportunities that a nomination presents. Of course, you should shout about it on your socials. Don’t wait to be shortlisted, a finalist, or even a winner, announce your nomination as soon as you can. This gives you the maximum time to create content and gain exposure before the next stage of the awards process. Secondly, display an awards badge on your email footer, website, and print material – and backlink to the awards page, where possible.

Find as many ways as possible and angles from which to broadcast your nomination. Don’t think that talking about it once on social media is enough. If you’ve invested time in applying for an award and completing an application form, then you deserve to enjoy your moment.


There really is no need to feel awkward about nominating yourself for an award. It’s just another means to visibility and a promotional opportunity for you and your business. Sure, it takes courage and exposing your own vulnerability, but instead of focusing on this, consider for a moment what is on the other side of your fear? Go on, nominate yourself – You deserve it!

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