Strategic Content isn’t just about building lists.

When was the last time you nominated someone to be recognized for an award or recognition program? Have you ever been nominated or won? If so, how did it make you feel? Remember how it felt in school when the teacher would call attention to you when you did something great or on target? You were the positive example. We don’t change much from that time.

How it used to be:

Everyone wanted awards to post for credibility and to give them something to talk about in press releases. Everyone wanted bigger emailing list, CRM contacts to farm, influencers beholden to them. Companies wanted to sponsor these contests in order to get more traffic to their site.

What happened?

It was abused severely. Just like “free” white papers, holding this opportunity hostage by requiring people to give you information so you can shove your wares at them became exhausting and annoying. Those nominated almost grew embarrassed to keep asking their contacts who trust them to JOIN or SUBMIT their information in order to nominate and vote.

The contest results had no credibility, or at least no more than a popularity contest for Prom Queen in High School. Those with the biggest companies, the biggest lists, the assistants with the most time, could stuff the ballots, sway the votes leaving out the smaller, newer, credible influencers who chose the high road.

How it is today?

Well, no longer are people submitting their entire Christmas card list to gain votes. They gave up having their assistants vote on behalf of all 500 employees at two minute intervals – so easy to tell… They are relying more on their actual influence. Other people are asking for votes on their behalf and giving good reasons. I think humility is back in style – Thank goodness.

This year with the initiation of the 40 Most Inspiring Leaders it changed things. Just the words, “inspiring leaders” seemed to invoke humility, sincerity and deep thought. At the SLMA, we saw a huge shift. Fewer votes, but those who DID vote are actually in the related fields of Lead Generation, Sales Lead Management, CRM, ROI and all of the other acronyms we love and live. AND, we at the SLMA let everyone know up front how many times a year we actually send an email – not very often and that we will NOT share their information. We give people the option to UNSUBSCRIBE from receiving our 12 emails per year, but remain a member who can vote and nominate. They will have to get their news from social media and by visiting our site on their own. That makes them happy and keeps membership up – REAL members. But enough about how we do it, how does this type of campaign and opportunity affect you from either end?

Why is it important for those who NOMINATE to take the time to do so?

  • You are able to give back without expectation of return to those who have helped you.
  • You have an opportunity to reflect and remember why you have implemented certain practices, philosophies.
  • It may introduce others to the fantastic people who inspire you.
  • Nominating or commenting on nominations with THOUGHT builds your credibility if you are nominating from sincerity, rather than hoping to score points with the influencer.
  • This demonstrates to your industry your value as a potential advocate or strategic partner.
  • The most valuable part is that it puts you in a place of gratitude, rather than a vampire looking to take from all of those around you.

Why are these opportunities important for those who ARE nominated?

  • Being nominated allows you to see your impact on others – it validates what you are doing.
  • It’s a positive reinforcement of your focus, and initiatives
  • You are given the “inspired” opportunity to connect with potential advocates, expanding your reach.
  • You can thank those who nominated you – which means a lot to someone who was inspired by you enough to take the time to submit. 
  • These opportunities allow you to see your peers that you may not have met yet, and get to know those who are also nominated.
  • Most importantly, it opens meaningful, constructive, inspiring conversations.