Without a doubt, words are the tools of your trade. Watching anglers on riverbanks, I liken entering competitions to fishing. You throw in bait for the fish and sooner or later you'll hook one.
Just like entering prize draws. Enter enough and your chances of winning improve. It’s the luck of the draw!
After a day's fishing you may come back laden with small and medium size fish, perhaps one "whopper", unless it was the one that got away!
Similarly, you win small prizes or the big fish - the car or holiday.
As many compers, as people who enter competitions are affectionately known, only enter prize draws to win the "whoppers", there's not so many entries for "tiddlers", so there's more chance of you netting these prize fish.
The serious angler doesn't leave his hobby to chance. He carefully selects his bait. He studies the fishing ground and all other factors likely to enhance his chances of "landing the whopper".
Even after careful planning he's not going to hook every fish he goes after, but he has increased his chances of success.
You, as a comper, can be like our mythical angler. You prepare your bait, i.e. words to use in your slogans. You select your best fishing grounds, i.e. finding your entry forms, especially those elusive ones which may be hidden on tops of shelves, tucked in between display cabinets. Just because the entry forms aren't displayed in prominent view with eye catching WIN to attract you, doesn't mean to say there aren't any competitions in that store.
You’ll find yourself becoming a “Sherlock Holmes”, tracking down the best competitions to enter and the thrill of the chase.
When our angler takes up his rod and settles down to a day's fishing, or our "Sherlock" comper sets out to detect competitions, attitude is everything.
With a negative “the waters too high, temperatures wrong, won't catch no fish today” or, “expect I shan't find any comps today and I never win anyway”, one thing is certain. You're right, you won't!
Armed with a positive, “What a wonderful hobby, I've won a first prize in a tiebreaker competition and I can do it again”, or a “I WILL win a car”, one thing is certain. You will win. For you will put enthusiasm into your entries, spending time writing and perfecting - and the prizes will come.
We often hear of people talk about The Law of Averages. Send in enough entries and sooner or later you win.
Following a lean spell, when it would have been so easy to stop entering comps, I won a five-star health break, a holiday to Miami and a gleaming bright red car – all within ten days.
Interestingly then how many compers loose enthusiasm, feel defeated or just give up when they feel the postman has deserted them.
Must dash. Off to play the pools and reel in a few prizes!
This feature was written by Lynne Suzanne in 2002.
Lynne has helped many people to win fantastic prizes through her newspaper columns and books, and herself has won thousands of pounds worth of prizes including two cars and worldwide holidays. Lynne shares her secrets of success in her latest books: Win Cars Holidays and Prizes is packed full of prize winning advice and anecdotes, whilst Punch Lines has over 4,000 puns and word play, ideal for journalists and advertisers to create catchy taglines, headlines and copywriting.Copyright © 1993-2020 Lynne Suzanne, freelance writer and author