Entrepreneurial marketing business offers mobility

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Armed with a laptop and a cell phone, Andrea Morris, president, CEO and chief idea officer of Write Idea Marketing, enjoys the freedom and success of her marketing venture.

At Morris, the goal is to market products and services through communications, predominately on the Internet. She has contracts with product and service industries that market everything from health care organizations to a fitness company that specializes in a 15-minute exercise program incorporating resistance bands and flash cards.

My job is to communicate their great product or services to people that are going to buy it, she said.

To do this, Morris uses a basic marketing fundamental that transcends time which she compared to a black dress its a timeless fashion that can be worn anytime on multiple occasions. Her approach all boils down to very common sense type of marketing, she said.

Morriss father was her first client, and she was tasked with promoting the quality of his cleaning service. Instead of suggesting he lower his prices, she helped boost the focus on quality, and it worked. His revenue was double what it was last year, she said. Another client, a real estate agent in Loudoun County, spread himself too thin so Morris helped narrow it down. We found his niche, she said. She also offers blogging to her customers so there is some level of feedback, too. I have clients that pay me to blog, she said.

A day in the life of
Companies she has worked with include Spa for the Soul, Nutrient Chef, and Body of Knowledge. On the local level, Morris worked with Livingston Communications in Alexandria, and has a regular column called Smart Links, in the Smart Business Ideas magazine. Testimonials are a big seller for Morris, and she lists 11 different quotes on her website.

A typical day at Morris starts with phone calls and emails, before she packs up the laptop and hits the streets of Old Town. Since moving to a house on Henry Street she rents with several roommates, shes lost 20 pounds from walking. Around town, the conversations she has in coffee shops or Market Square on King Street, is part of her strategy. Its all about creating that conversation, she said. Im not in an office so Im not confined to four walls. Ive done a whole eight hour day there at Market Square, she said. Mishas coffeehouse near her residence is another fruitful ground for business.

Sixty percent of Write Ideas Marketing business comes from retainer clients whom she bills every month, and 40 percent are project clients that hire her for one project. Keeping a regular flow of income can be stressful, she said, but thats the price for this level of freedom. There are challenges that go with that, she said.

Morriss parents had a printing business in Richmond when she was growing up, and at age 13, she took on printing assignments with them, and got her first paycheck. Ive always been self-motivated, she said.

Morris started her business a few years ago while living in Reston and moved to Alexandria this past May. In Reston, she was a member of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, and plans on joining the Alexandria Chamber soon. Shes also joined a networking group called Success in the City, and Meetup.com, making a few contacts through those groups.

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