Receiving industry awards can not only bring a brand tremendous credibility, but also build general visibility and name recognition. Winning awards will also help to increase employee morale, land venture capital funding and even associate a somewhat unknown brand with the “big fish” in the industry.

Although a useful form of marketing and brand awareness, it can be daunting to find the right awards with so many options in every industry. To narrow down the options and figure out where time is best spent, follow these simple but comprehensive steps:

Research the well-known and lesser-known awards. Begin by conducting research and listing at least 30 awards that are relevant for your company. These can be found through simple searches on the Internet, or through a list of awards compiled by a third-party service.

Related: Industry Awards Create Buzz for Your Business

Including the big, well-known awards is just as important as including lesser-known awards that may be issued by publications, industry associates, other companies, organizations or even the government. Keep an open mind and list anything that could be relevant to your company space.

Organize the list into three categories. Organize and appropriately order the list by the due date of submission and price. Next, split all of the awards into three categories:

  1. This category should be specific to your company’s niche. For instance, a health-technology company would apply for an award in health technology.
  2. This category should be more broad, such as technology or innovation awards.
  3. The final category should be different than the first two. Depending on your company, it could be a general business award, such as the Entrepreneur of 2014.

Successful submissions require stand-out nominations. The nomination should include a convincing explanation of why your company is worthy of the award. Add multiple examples of successes with measurable results and avoid jargon as much as possible. The selection committee’s members could have varying ranges of expertise, so it’s not wise to leave anyone out by including content in the nomination that not everyone may understand.

Related: 5 Ways People Hurt Their Credibility Without Even Realizing It

Don’t worry about spending a ton of time crafting very well-written paragraphs, either. Bullet points that help highlight the successes of your company will allow the submission to stand out and make it easier for those reading to digest.

Some awards will also require confidential company information, such as revenue, details on funding, employee number, etc. Have that information ready when submitting these nominations.

Budget for nomination fees. To submit a nomination, there is typically a fee of between $100 to $400. If the award has an event tied to it, there could be a mandatory booth purchase required. With this in mind, set aside a budget and prioritize which awards are most important to building credibility and recognition for your company. Don’t forget to gather this information in the initial research stage so that your team can plan accordingly.  

Many times the first submission for an award doesn’t lead to the winner’s circle right away, so don’t give up. There’s nothing wrong with submitting again the following year, and even the year after that. As your company grows, so too will its successes. Showing the growth of your company over time can be impressive to the selection committee.

Just make sure to take the time to appropriately prepare and submit for the top industry awards each year. Accruing more awards will help take your brand to the next level with increased credibility and name recognition.

Related: Meet the Innovative Entrepreneurs Who Won Our Top Awards for 2013