FBA wants to encourage members to make more use of this website as a platform for promotion and communication.

As a member, you get an automatic listing in the site’s Business Directory – although we still need a logo and text from some of you (please email chair@framlinghambusiness.co.uk to discuss further). In addition, membership means you’re entitled to use the News, Events and Opportunities pages to update, enlighten and sell to other members.

But how do you do any of that?

Here’s a 3-step guide to the process, which I’ve recently completed for myself, and for Jenny Labbett Computer Services, to give you a taste of how it might be done [my notes are in square brackets like this].

Step 1: Decide what you’re offering, promoting or sharing

It could be a discount or offer, an event that you’d like people to attend or support, or some news you want others to hear about.

[Jenny is advertising three of her upcoming Microsoft Excel training workshops  spanning October and November. Wearing my RichWords hat, I’m inviting people to attend my training workshop on Wednesday, 18th November.]

Step 2: Write some text for the News, Events, Opportunities pages of this website

Create a file in Word that includes a headline summarising your news or activity. Write some text describing it in more detail. Focus on what people will get out of your offer, event or news e.g. save money, learn something valuable/ interesting.

If you struggle to get things down on paper, talk to someone about your offer/news/event. Get them to write down what you say, or scribble down your own notes beforehand and amend them after you’ve had the conversation.

With a little editing, those notes and/or spoken words can be the basis of your text for FBA’s website (and other marketing). For the News, Events and Opportunities pages, make sure you include a link within the text to your Business Directory listing and/or to your own website.

If you want to update your Directory listing to reflect the news/offer/event, please note this in your text or in the email – with all the relevant information included – to the person responsible for updating the website. At the moment, that’s me: chair@framlinghambusiness.co.uk

Your text will soon appear on the relevant page(s) of FBA’s site. You’ll have to update your own website in the way you do normally – this isn’t part of FBA’s service!

[Have a look at the News, Opportunities and Events pages to see the entries for Jenny Labbett and RichWords.]

Step 3: Consider other forms of marketing

There are many ways that you can let even more people know about your offer, event or news (e.g. advertising, press releases, social media, networking, mailshots).

In terms of using what marketing outlets FBA has to offer, consider creating an A5 poster or flyer to help you promote your event or discount scheme, or share your news. You can use the website text you created as your starting point for the poster/flyer.

Once you’ve completed and printed it (in A5), give it to Eileen Coe at the Town Council for display on the FBA section of the Notice Board on Market Hill.

You could also bring your posters/flyers along to the next FBA meeting, as long as your event, news, or time-limited offer still makes sense on the calendar (remembering we only meet once a month, usually on the third Monday, from 5.30pm).

[Here’s a PDF of the generic version of the RICHWORDS ABCOK FLYER 2015 that I created. I can amend it each time I have a new event, adding the date and other info.]

You should also consider sharing details of your event/offer/news via other FBA members (e.g. aboutfram, Castle Community Radio, EADT). If it’s an event, think about running it at the venue of a fellow member (e.g. The Technology Centre, EAS Tuition).

There are other members (e.g. Today Type & Design, Carrot Gold Media, Drab Limited, Xtrahead, Alex Lapot, about media, RichWords) who can help you with one or more aspects of your promotional activities: planning, graphic design/web creation, writing and editing, PR, social media, and printing.