Category Archives for "Small Business"

12 Ways To Make the Most of Winning An Award

Awesome you’ve done it. You’ve pressed submit on your award application. The hard part is over. Right?

Well mostly. Without getting carried away, like making room on your desk for the award or daydreaming about your name being announced – let’s take a moment to think about how you can make the most of being named a finalist or winning the award.

The spotlight and glory of winning are going to be short lived unless you have a good plan in place.

Winning an award can and will open new doors and possibilities for you. But you need to be ready with your best foot forward to leverage the moment.

What does that mean exactly?

You need to create a mini marketing plan to get the most leverage out of your award submission.

Before we go any further – think about the people who already support you. If you can bring them on the journey with you from early as possible.

I don’t mean when you’ve just put the submission in but if you’ve been announced as a finalist,  this is a good time to let them know.

You could do this by filming a Facebook Live or sending an email to your list telling them how excited you are, how thankful you are to your staff and the person who nominated you.

Be you. If you’re nervous about it – share it and let them know what happens next. 

Take them on the journey all the way to the presentations (if you’re attending). This can be shared mainly on social media and can be as much fun as you want and what is suitable to your people.

For some it might be a fantastic idea to ask for feedback on which dress to wear, others it might be ideas of what to say in your speech.

On the day of the presentations share a photo or video about how you are feeling and then some photos whilst at the awards.

Don’t spend your whole time on social media because the idea is to be present, enjoy the moment but also to network.

To sum it up the lead up to the awards can be fantastic but after the announcement is when you are really going to start implementing.

Now the award presentations are finished – here are some ideas of what you can do to make the most of your finalist/winner status:

1. Post a FB Live video to your page and or group sharing your win and what impact it’s had so far – there is a range for a number of these, on the night and over the next few days.

2. Add the award logo to your marketing materials – some of the places you can consider are email signature, FB cover, website front page

3. Take the time to update all of your copy and add in “award winning – look at your about me page, bio and social media profiles

4. Write and distribute a press release to the media – depending on the level of award. Two of my friends were recently named the best business in their respective states for a national award. The angle here is local woman is one of the best in Australia.

That kind of story makes us all feel good.

You can look at your local publications and also think if there are industry press which may be relevant as well.

Stay away from the generic press release templates (journos can smell them a mile off) provided by the awards program.


Focus on the award as a stepping stone to telling your story or getting across the point on an issue, not just the win.

Or even better if you have a relationship with a journo already – give them a call or send an email.. Saying this really cool thing happened and I wanted to share the good news with you.

5. Make sure any pitches to the media or potential partnerships or grants include the award details.

6. Email your own list and let them know (even potential customers).

7. Share the news as a win in FB groups – what did you learn, what obstacles did you overcome.

8. If you’re on LinkedIn – this is a great spot to share award wins – other professionals really sit up and take notice of those who are doing well.

9. Display awards at your business or for those of us online (as part of your backdrop).

10. Write a blog sharing the win.

11. Use the win to pitch yourself for podcasts, guest blogs or articles and so on.


Just remember the tone or way you share the award can determine whether people get on board with your excitement, so approach it from the celebrating your success point of view and use the win to open the door then tell your story.

If you want to enter an award and want to know what awards are out there I’ve created a FREE awards calendar for you to use. You can download it here.

How Entering A Business Award Changed My Perspective On My Business


Entering a business award can be scary, actually down right terrifying! I know because I hear it from my clients every single day.

I have to admit I was feeling so guilty, here I was telling all of these amazing women to enter business awards but guess what? I had never entered one – no, not a single one.

It was so much easier to tell everyone to do what I say and not what I do.

I mean I had every excuse… I’m not good enough, I’m not ready…. I don’t have time to enter a business award.

But this year I knew it was time for me to do something different. If I really wanted to help these women like I said I do, then I had to really understand the roller coaster experience of entering the awards. And the only way to really understand was to put myself out there.

I didn’t expect for my whole perspective on my business to change.

But that’s exactly what happened and this is what I learnt about myself and the business.

1 – I’m exactly where I’m meant to be in my business.

When I first started my business I had high expectations (super high!) and when I didn’t achieve all of those big dreams, I was disappointed. In fact I spent the first couple of years feeling disappointed.

What I hadn’t realised was just some of the things I had experienced in the past two years:

  • Had a baby
  • Raised two other children
  • Supported my husband for his job
  • Lost my brother

Never mind the commitment I had shown to my business and community – it was pretty bloody amazing and it made me realise I should be so proud of what I have achieved.


2 – The areas which have been holding me back in business became super clear when writing the submission.

I had been feeling like my messaging is nearly there while my branding was completely off. And as I tried to answer the questions regarding these things…

I did feel a little inadequate but the upside was I knew they were weaknesses and I knew what I needed to do to improve.

I don’t think I realised how much it was holding me back until I got uncomfortable writing about it. For me this means its moved up the urgency of working on these things so I can be on message and brand when I show up. This is really the foundation of my business and what I want people to commit to, so it’s vital I get it right.


3 – One of the questions was asking about goals and I realised I wasn’t clear on my goals.

For the past 5 years I had been writing down goals for a financial goal or an amount of clients to work with. And feeling like a failure because I didn’t reach them. But my dreams and goals were so much more than that. No wonder I wasn’t feeling successful when I was only monitoring a number.

I hadn’t written the other non financial goals down anywhere… until I had to put it in the application. Now I’ve got those goals clearly printed up on my pin up board to keep me on track.


4 – The thought of sharing my financials made me feel physically ill.

I know other business owners feel the same – sometimes it’s enough of a reason for them not to enter awards.

Money will always been an area which can be difficult for us to share and talk about…Money and my relationship to it is an ongoing process. This was probably my biggest stumbling block for having entered business awards before.

So I created this little mantra for myself when writing and speaking about the financials –

“This is just one part of your business, your numbers don’t yet match the success of your business and how you help your clients”.


5 – It can be super easy to push writing the award submission to the last thing on your list.

I’m a great procrastinator and I love working to a deadline (the journo in me gets a total buzz) but anything which makes us feel uncomfortable ( you know outside of our comfort zone), we will always try to push it to the last thing on our to do list… I was busy writing my clients awards but mine was the least important… right??

If you can, get someone to hold you accountable and make sure you actually enter the business award.

It could be a business coach, mentor, client or partner or even someone like me to help guide you.

Want to know who kept me on track when a 1000 times I was ready to say “I won’t worry about it until next year”? – YOU!

I know how important it was for me to have walked in your shoes. And how could I tell you it would all be okay if I couldn’t put my money where my mouth is?

So I finished my submission in the very last hour… before it was due and pressed the send button.

The world didn’t end… I was okay and feeling content in the fact my business and I had come such a huge way, even though at times it didn’t feel like it.

Do I have the perfect business and am I the perfect entrepreneur ? No and no.

Did it make every part of me uncomfortable? Pretty much.

Was it worth it? Yes, I don’t know the outcome yet and to be honest I’m trying not to expect too much.

Do I still think entering a business award is one of the absolute best ways to share your business? NO QUESTION.

How do you feel about entering a business award? Let me know in the comments.

Why I didn’t celebrate five years in business

Last year in November marked five years in business and you know what? I refused to celebrate, hell I didn't even acknowledge it.

Now five years is a long time in business - for anything in these days we live in.

So why didn't I celebrate? Why wasn't I having a party? Throwing confetti in the air and yelling wahoo?

Because I felt, no I honestly believed, I hadn't been successful so there was absolutely no way I was going to celebrate. I considered myself a failure.

At the start of my business

The goals I had set, those dreams I had pictured hadn't happened. And even smaller steps/achievements didn't seem good enough and had been completely buried under the weight of failure.

Up until I started my business I have to admit things were easy. My mum had always told me I could do anything I wanted. So I made up my mind on what I wanted and and then worked out the steps I needed to do to get there. And it worked EVERY SINGLE TIME!

So I had not reason or expectation to think it would be any different in business. Oh my lord was I in for a MASSIVE shock!

I mean everyone would just know how fabulous and amazing I was right? I'd be a success in six months, maybe a year at a push....

I think that's why it's still hard to say I've been in business for five years.

I went in with such unrealistic expectations when plans or investments didn't achieve what I thought the self doubt started to GROW and GROW.

Suddenly I was second and third guessing myself - sometimes it got so bad I was so paralysed I would scroll FB newsfeed and check out women like me and wonder what they had that I didn't.

What did they know that I didn't?
What was I missing?
Did I need to buy a new program or invest in a high priced coach?
Did I need to change everything about me to be successful?
So I would stay in the same spot - not putting myself out there and not creating.

Until I realised there was no money coming in because I hadn't been doing anything except for comparing myself to others and feeling even more miserable.

So what was the change? The birth of my third daughter in early 2016. I had pushed and tried to hustle (I hate that word but it's the right word for the way I was feeling) for six months with the big plan to put away enough money to support our family and so hubby could be home with us for a few months at least.

Our third daughter xoxo

Being in that negative space didn't do anything for me or the business - in fact in that time span I worked hard and pushed more than ever and you know how many clients/dollars I received - NONE! Absolutely none.

By the time the baby arrived I was exhausted and heartbroken. I decided I needed to let go and enjoy the baby for the time being.

I gave myself permission to simply be and not constantly scramble to work. And seriously we needed me to get back to making the business work but I had nothing to give and had to take some time to heal. The baby was amazing and so was having hubby move to a local job.

The thought of giving up the business entirely was simply unacceptable - I did border on applying for uni (again) and interviewed for a job but my HEART kept screaming "no don't you do it Gemma, somehow we know this will work xoxo"

So I let everything sit and a lot of lessons I had picked up (but not been ready to learn) started to fall into place.

Slowly I am starting to emerge and show up as me... to know I wouldn't be perfect, to accept I wasn't going to be popular with everyone. Bloody scary right? 

This is me

It's all those sayings you hear people trot out but until you feel them deep within they're just WORDS.

I decided to LET GO. I can't control everything, in fact I could only control what I did and how I acted. I don't know any more what will happen.

The woo woo side of me is getting released a bit by bit.

While I used to be a rule follower - now I know I HAVE to do what feels right for me. And those rules, my rules, are the only ones that matter.

I always say to people how important it is we stay with a consistent message - one that really aligns with who we are. I'm finally learning it for myself.

And it feels so much EASIER.

How to use Facebook Live (A beginners guide)

Facebook Live is a great way to start putting yourself out there and getting visible. 

One of the reasons I love video (most of the time) is because you know if you like someone as soon as you see a video. Kind of like meeting someone in real life, you hear them and see their mannerisms and almost automatically you get a feeling - good or bad or meh. 

But either way it's a natural selection process. So with the introduction of Facebook Live it's a great way to start showing off you and your business - in each little imperfect action. 

One of the main reasons I recommend Facebook Live is because it's easy to use, free and a great way to learn and connect with more people. 

I'm going to run through the basic steps for you to use Facebook Live and offer a few tips.. 

First of all, the easiest and quickest way for you to do a Facebook Live is from your phone.  You will need a phone and the Facebook app downloaded.

Make sure your app has all the recent updates to get you up to speed. 

My instructions are from a iPhone perspective but it should be similar for android as well. ​

Open your Facebook business page or type the name in the Search bar to find it. 

Once it's open, it should look something like this. 

You can see the publish button here (under the big Send Message), click it and it will open the following screen. 

On this screen you need to press the Live Video button and start entering information 

In the area where it mentions "Describe your live video" write what you are going to be talking about, try and keep it simple and what may grab people's attention. 

If you can't see yourself on the screen, use the two arrow in the top right hand corner to flip the camera towards you. 

(Note, you can see here my screen saying your connection isn't strong enough. Unfortunately this does happen. You can either change locations or wait for the signal to come back) 

Look in the top right hand corner for the magic wand and tap it. 

Once you have selected the magic wand you will have a number of choices on the bottom row of your screen. 

I'll go through each of the options, working from left to right. 

1. Masks - are silly but can be fun, especially if it suits you and your business (you need to download the masks you want to use, so worth doing and testing before going live) 

2. Filters - just give you a different aspect. It can also give you similar lighting wherever you do your lives from. Again test before use. 

3. Text - you have limited colours and at this stage need to write with your fingers so use it sparingly. 

4. The photo to the left is showing your options here - the flips can be used for various things but the most important is, if you are doing a FB live and you have writing behind you or are teaching on the whiteboard normally everything would show up as back to front. By using this vertical flip you can put them back the way you want them viewed. 

The rubbish bin will let you remove each of these items as you click on that option at the bottom. 

I say test before you go Live so you are happy with everything. 

Now press the cross on the top right hand corner to return to the screen ready to go live.

You can also check in at a place or business or share a feeling... ie feeling nervous because I'm just about to go live on my Facebook page. 

Once you are comfy press Go Live

You will have a short countdown until you are live. And now DO YOUR THING! 

Press Finish at the end. 

My Tips
1. Get some good light behind the camera, the sun is the best 
2. Look at camera and set it up at the right level. Try not to look at yourself on the screen, I've made this mistake more than once. You want your viewers to feel like you are connecting with them...
3. Don't overthink it. Do one and then keep practising. 
4. If you get stuck for topics - think about the questions you always get asked. 
5. Have fun and keep showing up