Most Wanted 2018 is open for entries and it’s time to start thinking about how to make your submission truly stand out! Whether you’re a brand-new entrant (welcome!) or a seasoned award pro, here are just a few handy hints to keep in mind from now until the competition closes on 14 May…

Think about what category (or categories) you want to enter
What do you really want to win? Think about where your strengths lie and play to those, then consider whether you have enough evidence to support your entry. If you want to enter Most Wanted Creative Talent, you must have the creative work to show for it (and if you’ve not got enough for this year, a top tip is to take a note of the criteria and start planning your 2019 entry right now). Read through the entry requirements for each category and assess where you can put your best foot forward – that may be in multiple awards, which is brilliant, or you may feel you want to really focus your attention on creating one incredibly strong entry.

Hone your USP and your story
Once you know which categories you want to enter, it’s time to really focus on your USPs and the story behind your entry. Spend time planning it out in your head, on paper, on your phone, with a mind-map or a storyboard. We receive hundreds of submissions each year. What will make you and your entry stand out from the crowd?

Check out past winners
While every Most Wanted winner is unique, it can help to look back at past winners to see why they were ‘the chosen ones’ each year. Look at their businesses, see how they interact on social media – these days, you can often get a feel for why someone might have triumphed because success leaves clues. But don’t get put off if you feel you don’t measure up. You’ll find that many people actually entered multiple times before they landed their win, and they learnt something new each time. Want an insider opinion? Check out what our Most Wanted 2017 winners had to say here.

The practical stuff – lock it down!
How do you want your entry to look? Do you need to enlist someone to help you put it all together? Will you hand-make it or have someone design it for you? Do you need to film anything (video submission is new for 2018, but only applies in certain categories – check the criteria of your choices to see where this applies)? How much time will you need to allow to be able to get it in the post before the deadline? The sooner you start thinking about all this, the more powerful your entry will be. And always remember, the judges are looking for what makes you tick – they want an insight into YOU and YOUR business – so our advice? Don’t get somebody else to write entries on your behalf. More often than not, it means your submission loses that personal touch… and that’s rarely a good move!

Start thinking like a judge
What do you think the judges would want to see in an entry? Although our judging line up changes every year, have a look at who has judged your chosen category in the past and think what might catch their eye. For example, in categories that call for demonstrations of creativity, chances are the judges will be creative people too, so think about how they might like to be presented with information. We know you can’t mind read, but getting into the judges’ ‘space’ can really can help. And who doesn’t love a bit of visual variety when the alternative is assessing pages upon pages of text?

In all honesty, there is no failsafe formula to becoming a finalist for Most Wanted, but setting yourself up for success by thinking about some of these five key things is a great start. The awards present the perfect chance to get your creative juices flowing and are a great opportunity to show your peers (and the rest of the world!) just how brilliant you are. At Creative HEAD HQ, we can’t wait to see your entries flooding through our doors in a few months’ time. We’ve already warned the postman…

Keep your eyes peeled for continued coverage here on the Most Wanted microsite and over on creativeheadmag.com in the lead up to September’s Grand Final. We’ll be posting competition updates, news, tips, inspiration and a whole load more to help you on your awards journey!

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