This week’s Work-At-Home Success story comes from Andrea Foreman of Andrea Foreman PR.
Andrea Foreman established her own PR agency in 1987 from her home office in a studio apartment. She eventually grew to represent dozens of well-known companies such as Big Apple Bagel, It’s Just Lunch dating service, Famous Amos Cookies, and the American Dental Association.
She also had an opportunity to handle publicity for a variety of celebrities including William Shatner and Robb Weller (former host of Entertainment Tonight). She authored a manual called, PR on a Shoestring and is a contributing writer to several blogs and magazines.
Andrea enjoys being the face of her company. Andrea Foreman PR is a boutique public relations agency offering BIG results! Clients receive hands-on personalized service. Andrea Foreman PR generates positive media coverage and builds awareness for restaurants, small businesses, physicians, plastic surgeons, medical spas, personalities, authors, celebrities, franchise brands, associations and corporations. Whether it’s PR support for restaurants, new store openings, national brand awareness, social media, or supporting marketing efforts to get the word out, Andrea Foreman PR creates the BUZZ that businesses so greatly deserve. Andrea Foreman PR is known for consistently securing interviews and media placements for clients in national magazines, newspapers, TV, radio and online media, as well as local media outlets nationwide.
1) How did you get started working from home?
I worked for a public relations agency for over three years. I gained a great deal of experience from that job, enough to start my own business, and working from home was the perfect fit.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I was a producer at WGN Radio right out of college. Moving into Public Relations was a natural progression for me. After I had my agency experience, I felt I was ready to go it alone. It’s a service business that I could easily run as a home-based business.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
Getting the clients was my first objective. I put the word out that I was starting my own business. I actually did some PR for myself, placing stories in the Chicago Tribune and other local and national magazines. I rented a copier, fax machine, bought a computer (this was 30 years ago, so no internet), rented a postage machine and hired an accountant who specialized in working with home-based businesses. There are certain deductions you can take from running a business from your home.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
My former clients from the agency referred me to other small businesses, so that’s how I got my first client. Then I joined networking groups and really put myself out there.
5) How do you market your business?
Today, I’m fortunate to still get referrals, but I do get business from Linkedin and Facebook. I’m a huge fan of social media, but it’s still good to get out of the house and mix and mingle at networking events.
6) What does your usual day look like?
I wake up early and begin to post on social media for some of my clients. It’s always good to post at 7:00 am, before people go to work. Or, sometimes I post in the evening as well. I write copy for eblasts and begin to contact the media on behalf of my clients. The only downfall is it’s difficult to get away from your work. I’m sometimes working 12 hour days. But, when you’re working for yourself you have to be proactive. You don’t have anyone telling you what to do. It’s important to be a self-motivator and get the job done, however long it may take.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
It was much easier getting the accounts when I first started. The economy was better and I actually turned down accounts. I had no idea that it would be a struggle as time went on. And, I would have been more financially responsible. I never saved for the future. I’ve recently formed a Facebook Group called, Financially Fit Women. I help to teach younger women that you need to begin to save for your retirement now, especially when you have your own business. There are no company managed IRA accounts you can take advantage of. You need to find a good financial advisor to help you plan for your financial future.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
I would ask them first of all if they would mind being alone because it can be very isolated, especially with Chicago’s long, cold winters. Also, you need to avoid any distractions, such as watching TV, cleaning the house. You have to work a regular work day, just like everyone else. Sure, it’s not a problem throwing a load in the wash, or taking a walk, but you need to be disciplined to get your work done. No one else will do it for you, you are on your own!
To connect further with Andrea, visit
Website URL: Andrea Foreman PR
Twitter Handle: @PRGal1212