Regularly winning competitions is not at all down to chance, there are techniques involved that set the seasoned winners apart from the unlucky herd.
Winning MethodologyMost people entering competitions are oblivious to any technique involved, beyond keeping their fingers crossed, but often the winners are the ones that didn’t leave everything to chance and instead were well versed in some winning techniques.
Over and beyond everything else, compers believe their best route to success is by pushing their chances to the limits and entering as many competitions as possible. This is the grand game plan and generally the various winning techniques are all to help refine this basic comping methodology. The successful compers also know to never take it too seriously and to always have fun – it is after all just a hobby.
Keeping OrganisedWith the average comper having countless entries on the go, in the post or on the judging pile, keeping organised is very crucial skill, otherwise deadlines are missed, qualifiers are lost, entries disqualified and ultimately precious time and effort is wasted.
A good method of keeping entries in order is to use a filing system, whereby each competition entry form is kept with its appropriate proof of purchase and filed in a folder according to the deadline date.
Being organised also involves carefully reading and complying with the rules and regulations. For instance particular attention should be paid to those tricky slogan tiebreakers and their word limits, and even aspects relating to the prizes themselves, such as any additional costs that need to be footed or the specified dates to the prize holiday.
An organised comper should a have a decent black ballpoint pen to hand and be able to write neat and legibly. Spiders are regularly disqualified from slogan tiebreaker competitions for their unreadable scrawls!
Positive Thinking and PerseveranceSuccessful compers are the ones that always remain positive and never lose faith, even when they hit a dry spell. It is common for beginners to give up when they fail to win anything after a couple of months, but it can take time to get into a winning groove. It is worth remembering that most ‘lucky’ compers found their efforts were going unrewarded at first, but what marked them out from the rest was their perseverance and ‘winner’s mentality’, not dwelling on a particular failure and believing the next win was always just around the corner.
Hard WorkMany people join the comping community thinking of it as an easy route to big rewards, but they soon realise that the successful ones are those that put the extra effort in. Serious compers usually spend at least half an hour every day tracking down entry forms, qualifiers and those competitions few have discovered.
Skill-based competitions such as slogan tiebreakers and crosswords are not easy to rush off without any thought and demand entrants sit down and take the time to think them out – and ultimately this effort pays off.
Some compers pay a fee to let specialist competition magazines and internet sites do the hard work in finding the best competitions, whilst others buy special postcards that will catch the judges’ eye. There are also those that share the burden with their comping mates.
Team WorkIt might seem odd for a hobby that is all about battling against one another for the ultimate prize, but many compers choose to get together with other compers to share ideas, keep each other motivated and ultimately help improve each other’s chances.
There is a surprisingly large comping network across the UK and this can be tapped into in a number of different ways, from joining a local comp club, registering with a postal ‘round robin’ like Whistlestop or IN-FORM or by joining a specialist internet bulletin board or forum such as loquax.
Keeping RealisticA mistake newbies often make is in greedily focusing only on the dream prizes like the yachts, the holidays and the thousands of pounds, and ignoring all the lesser items. The dream prizes are obviously the hardest to win and disillusion will quickly set in. The key to being a successful comper is to see every win as a success and one step closer to the big prizes- it doesn’t matter whether the prize is a tin of dog food or a ticket to an owl sanctuary.
Compers keep their motivation going by entering all types of competition, however small. For instance local newspaper and radio programmes provide competitions with comparatively few entrants because of their limited audiences. Task competitions involving tiebreakers, story writing, photography and recipes are also undersubscribed due to the effort involved and so provide a better chance of getting that winning fix that gets the motivation in gear for the next competition.