Inside Story: How Corine LaFont Leveraged Her Small Business Book Award


I’m a firm believer that even being nominated for an award is “toot-your-horn” worthy, but many people simply don’t know how to leverage it.

I recently spoke to Certified Virtual Author Assistant Corine LaFont, who was a 2013 Small Business Book Award winner, to find out how she took advantage of her award.

Small Business Book Awards: How does being a Book Awards winner help you in your business? Has it helped you secure new clients, win other awards, get involved in other awards programs, etc.? 

Corine LaFont: It certainly helped to increase my credibility in the market and boosted my self esteem to not only enter another book award, the Writers’ Digest Self-Published Awards, but also attend their Writer’s Digest Conference in Los Angeles, CA in 2013.

Small Business Book Awards: As a winner of the 2013 Small Business Book Awards, how did you use your Gold Seal to promote that fact?

  • I placed it on my website on both the home page and media kit.
  • I used it on my business card. 
  • I used the digital version on my book cover. 
  • I hyperlink to my Book Awards page in my other marketing materials such as my signature line, in my bio at the end of my articles in the print newspaper, and mention it in all proposals requested by clients.

lafont pageSmall Business Book Awards:  How much time have you spent in using the seal in your marketing?

It’s hard to actually pin down a time spent, but what I can say is that its placement on my business card, media kit page on my website, as well as on the book cover itself is working for me 24/7.

Small Business Book Awards: What advice would you provide this year’s winners to leverage their award? 

If this is their first time entering an award as a nominee, give it your best shot to be in the winner’s circle. The adrenaline rush will keep you motivated, and knowing that you are coming up against some of the best books makes the win even sweeter, and validates that you have something to offer.

As a winner, try to use the award in as many places without being obnoxious about it. Humility is a great quality. Let others notice and ask about it, and use that opportunity to share as much as you can. Analyze your win by looking at the number of votes and interaction you received from comments from those who are following and voting for you.

Always have social proof by taking screenshots of your win and share them on your social networks. Make use of the press release generator provided by the Book Awards to let the world know of your win and the benefits to your target audience. As a gesture of gratitude, I suggest sending them a free copy of your book. A signed copy will be the icing on the cake. They will become loyal fans and toot your praises. Seek to build a long term relationship with them so they can provide feedback and insight to other books or informational products you may wish to create.

But most of all, take some time to relish in your win. Smile – you deserve it!

Nominations for the 2014 Small Business Book Awards end April 30, 2014, so get your nominations in today!


Susan Payton - Awards Communication Mgr.

Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.

4 Reactions

  1. Nice article Susan, if I do say so myself. Thanks for sharing and happy to have been able to provide the answers. I hope it helps others.

  2. Congrats on being the 2013 winner, Corine. I’m glad that you continue to celebrate it and you in your own way/s.

    take care…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *