By Carolyn Wilman, “The Contest Queen”
As someone who always believed winning was possible, when I discovered people enter sweepstakes as a hobby in 2001 I was quickly hooked. At first I made every rookie mistake possible, disqualifying myself from more giveaways than I can possibly fathom. Once I applied both my marketing background and organizational skills to my hobby, not only was my Online Sweepstaking System created, my prizes began to come in steadily. Here are the top 5 steps I recommend to anyone that wants to begin winning:
Create a new email address only for entering. This separates your hobby from your personal or business life making it easier to find winning notifications and keep spam under control. Be sure to also set up email notification rules for the words ‘congratulations’, ‘win’ and ‘winner’ to help you easily spot a winning notification.
2) Use a sweepstakes aggregate to quickly and easy find legitimate giveaways. Aggregates are websites that specialize in sharing legitimate sweepstakes, contests and giveaways. Sweepstakes are listed many different ways making it easy for you to find what or how you want to enter. Such as: travel, cash, vehicles, etc. or single, daily, or weekly entries. They also list short rules, allowing you to quickly determine if you are even eligible to win, how often you can enter, entry method, plus any special clauses. I recommend starting by entering single entry only sweepstakes. This allows you to get familiar with the hobby while giving you even odds of winning.
3) Use tools to help you enter faster. My tool of choice is RoboForm. Not only does it fill contest forms, I use it to organize all my sweepstakes. (PLUS, all my followers get up to 40% OFF!) When I first started ‘sweeping’ I entered every online entry form manually. Once I installed RoboForm I wondered why I waited so long. Not only did it cut my entry time in half, it eliminated most data entry errors.
4) Use all 5 entry methods to increase your odds of winning. They are: in-person, mail-in, phone-in, online, and via mobile phone. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, which is why it’s important to try your luck every winning opportunity you find. Keep your eyes and ears open at all time for the word win, as luck can be found in the most unlikely places.
5) Always read the rules. I usually make this my #1 tip as it’s the one that people do the least and it’s the most important as you do not want to disqualify yourself.
You are reading them to find out:
· Are you even eligible to win?
· How often can you enter?
· When does the contest end?
· Any specific rules you need to follow?
Rules could be things like submitting a picture or using a specific hashtag.I once had to sumo wrestle someone for the grand prize because I skimmed the rules, versus reading them. (I got smunched and lost!) Now that you have the key steps to begin a successful sweepstakes hobby, what is the first prize you would like to win?
Guest Name: Carolyn Wilman
Guest Title: “The Contest Queen!” Guest Bio: Carolyn Wilman has worked in sales and marketing for over two decades and is the founder of ContestQueen.com, a promotional marketing consulting business. Her efforts as a sweepstakes marketing expert landed her on the cover of Marketing Magazine, was named by MORE Magazine as one of Canada’s Top 40 Women over 40, featured in the documentary Winning for a Living and a pilot for TLC titled High Stakes Sweepers.
As a contestor, Carolyn has won over $250,000 in prizes over the past 15 years, with a trip to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics being the most memorable.