How to Win That Contest - Now - Before You Are Famous

We are in contest and award season - all over the place you see people trying to get their friends to vote for them in an effort to win fame, fortune or simply recognition.

But how do you reach enough people to get the most votes?

Some of you may know that I just went through one of those voting periods myself (Kelowna Social Media Company Nominated For Award – What Is In It For You?) and I learned a thing or two 🙂 I was pleased to be able to share some of that newly found knowledge with a friend I met on Facebook.

Vote for Michelle Stephenson

Meet Michelle Stephenson

Meet Michelle Stephenson

Michelle is a “Mompreneur” extraordinnaire and she is nominated for the “Award Of Excellence” of Parents Canada

She is determined to win this award because she has the dream of using her skills for good. Here is what she told me:

Hi, my name is Michelle. I provide beautiful photography for couples, individuals, and families. I consult with various counselling and social work agencies in offering volunteer services in therapeutic photography. I offer prizes and give-aways through my facebook page at I like to work with families to keep low prices for top quality. I have two young boys, Max, who is 2 ½, and Charlie who is our 10 month old baby. I am married to my husband Michael, and I still believe that the best day of my life was our wedding. I am running for this year’s MOMpreneur Award of Excellence, and this is where you can read my story:

 We are new to Kelowna, and I want to invest in our community. I’m a natural born leader, and I love to expose my children to a great variety of social opportunities. I take great pride in participating in local events, and especially events where the money goes to charity. I have different ideas for community events, including a “real beauty” event for teenage girls, including both portrait sessions, and group therapy. I also want to fund an exhibit at the art gallery for mental health awareness, using therapeutic photography.

Wow! I thought - how can I help Michelle achieve her goal?

We met for coffee to brain-storm and here is what I suggested to her (and you) - please add your suggestions in the comments:

  1. Pick your Battle - Generally you’ll find two kinds of contests:
    1. “Vote once” where we can vote once with each computer
    2. “Vote every day” where you have to get us to vote every day - mostly combined with a required sign-up. Obviously this is much harder to do and you have to be very determined to pull it off.
  2. Activate your Social Networks - an obvious choice for someone that already spent years building relationships on and offline and can activate these contacts but it’s not so easy when you just started out on Twitter and your Facebook Page is fairly new. Buying exposure on Social Networks is certainly better than print ads but most of us don’t have the budget.
  3. Ask influencers for help - like point 2 that can be very tricky because you haven’t built a trust-relationship with them.
  4. Add a link to your email signature - that’s an easy option! And every time you send someone an email they are reminded to vote
  5. Send a Newsletter to your mailing list…. works great if you actually have an engaged following through your newsletter
  6. Contact your local media - You have to make sure you get in touch with the right people and write the article yourself! Make it easy for them - most of the time journalists don’t have the time to interview you
  7. Post messages in Facebook and LinkedIn Groups and/or send messages to your contacts. Careful! This can easily be seen as spam - find a twist to your post that ads value to the readers. If you don’t,  you can do more harm than good with this!
  8. What’s in it for us? Yes, you would like to win this award 🙂 but if you want us to spend the time to vote for you - give us a good reason! Make sure that we know how your win will effect us or our community

Better late than never!

Using digital tools to promote voting on on-line contests makes sense! Even if you haven’t spent the time and energy to build your social networks - it’s never too late. You will have to put more time and effort into reaching a good number of willing voters but that time is well spent because if you are respectful and have a little fun then these relationships will stay after the contest is over!

There are two things I want to you to do right now:

Vote For Michelle Make a Suggestion


I am the the founder of BlueBird Business Consulting (formerly Tweet4Ok). My focus is on Social Media strategy and education. My blog covers topics ranging from how-to social media posts to more general topics of concern for a rapidly changing digital world. Favourite quote: “To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach” ~ Brian Solis


Digital Media strategy and integration. Websites that work! FixMy #WordPress #SocialMedia educator. 30 day Email list Bootcamp
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