Everybody likes winning.
And everyone likes free stuff. Especially if the free stuff is something valuable like electronics or holidays.
But how do those people that always win things, actually win?
I’m here to tell you! Because I’m one of those annoying people that always wins things. 🙂
I’m not claiming to be a competition expert by writing this post, or tooting my own horn (BEEP BEEP!) but I have won my fair share of competitions in the last two years, since I started entering competitions. And I want YOU to experience that same winning high!
I’ve won everything from a $1000 BBQ to a Samsung phone, to a $3500 coffee machine, to the money-can’t-buy experience of sitting on the Samsung Slideliner at the Bledisloe Cup watching the Wallabies vs the All Blacks! And lots of smaller prizes in between.
My latest win of a $4000 Qled TV inspired me to write this post so I can pass on some of the tips I’ve used to score all of these amazing prizes!
And while there’s not really a magical formula to guarantee a win, there ARE things you can do to increase your chances of your entry being selected as a winner.
For this post, I’m talking specifically about winning Words or Less Competitions.
Words or Less Competitions generally have less entries because they require some effort and creativity on your part. This alone gives you a higher chance of winning (as lots of people can’t be bothered to enter) but if you follow the tips below, you’ll have an even better chance! Let’s get started.
How to win Words or Less Competitions
1. Read the Terms & Conditions
I know this is a boring first tip, but it’s amazing how many people skimp the rules and miss out on their entry even being accepted. If the Terms & Conditions say your entry needs to be 25 words or less, your entry will ONLY be accepted if it is 25 words or under. You may have the most creative and hilarious entry out of thousands of entries, but if you haven’t followed the rules you won’t be in the running to win. At all.
Reading the Terms & Conditions can also give you a clue into what the judges are looking for.
Sometimes they will say something like “the most literary entry will win” or “the most creative” or “humorous”. That can give you ideas on which direction to take your entry.
The Terms & Conditions will also stipulate the closing time and date of the competition. It sounds simple, but I’ve seen so many competitions (particularly on Facebook) where people are still commenting their entries days after the competition has closed.
Don’t waste your time, read the Terms & Conditions before entering!
2. Think outside the box
If you were a judge on a competition judging panel and had to read through thousands of entries, what would you want to read?
An entry that makes you laugh? An entry that rhymes? An entry that has a play on words?
Think about who will read your entry and try to stand out from pack.
For example, if a company was giving away a coffee machine and they asked you to answer “Why you need coffee in 25 words or less”, you better believe they will get hundreds of entries with generic answers like “I need coffee because I have sleeping problems and coffee wakes me up.”
It’s good to be honest, but be creative! Stand out.
The answer that won me the coffee machine last year was this.
Question: Why do you need coffee?
Two kids under three who don’t believe in sleep.
Coffee and I belong together, forever.
*clutches coffee singing*
“And iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii will always love youuuuuuu…”
The brand who rang me to let me know I’d won said my entry made them giggle. That’s always a good thing!
3. Answer the brief
Always read the question! Do they ask you why you want to win their product? Then you need to answer exactly that. Why. Again it sounds simple, but I’ve seen many people get this wrong.
Example: Tell us in 25 words or less WHY you’d love to wear our new jewellery range.
If someone hasn’t read the question properly, they might answer with whatever pops into their head like “I love your rose gold earrings so much! I need them in my life!” But that’s not answering the why question.
Answering the question would be something like “Your amazing new jewellery range would take this tired mama from drab to fab!”
This entry answers the why brief. You’re basically saying “Why do I want to wear your jewellery?? Because I’m a tired mum in need of a makeover, and your jewellery would lift me up and make me look better”.
A teeny bit of flattery for the brand doesn’t hurt either 😉
4. Always leave correct contact details
It’s unfortunately true that once you start entering competitions regularly, you get spammed. It’s annoying, but a small price to pay to get some big wins.
As tempting as it is to leave a fake or old email account when filling out competition forms, don’t do it.
I have won competitions where I’ve only been notified via email and the email has gone straight to my junk folder. If I hadn’t of randomly checked my junk folder I never would have seen that I’d won $600 worth of baby toys for my then 1 year old girl!
In the terms and conditions it usually stipulates that if the winner cannot be notified within a certain timeframe, they forfeit the prize.
Don’t let that be you! Always leave your correct details. And keep an eye on your junk folder!
Confirmations for smaller prizes like movie tickets are normally sent via email only as well.
5. Go with your gut
I’ve entered some competitions where I’ve spent an hour coming up with an entry I thought was witty and clever and had a sure chance of winning. But nope. Of all the entries I’ve tried the hardest, I’ve lost.
But of the entries where I’ve gone with the idea that first pops into my head, that took me less than 5 minutes to come up with, I’ve won!
Don’t try too hard. And don’t invest too much time. Most of the prizes won’t be worth that time.
You can only try. You never know what the judges are looking for. What doesn’t impress one, might impress the other. What have you got to lose?
This may not be for everyone, but for me it comes first. I ask God to help me with an idea and to help me use the creativity He has given me.
Then when I’m submitting my entry I ask Him to surround it with His favour.
Favour ain’t fair people! It can open doors.
His favour has definitely been on me and I’ve been blessed with many things.
So what are you waiting for?? Go out there and win those prizes!
Happy competition-ing 🙂