Dr. Erika Pryor is the one of the movers and doers behind the scenes of Get The Bag. As Fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Erika helps develop high-impact strategies and outreach campaigns while managing the people and projects that bring Get The Bag to more current and aspiring entrepreneurs. I've had the benefit of working with Dr. Pryor through her transition into full-time entrepreneurship last year and have benefited from her communications and project management expertise.
Also an entrepreneur, Erika is the marketing coach and manifesting guide leading the vision for EPiC Creative + Design, a fractional CMO consultancy and marketing curriculum company.
With EPiC, she leverages her diverse background building corporate, non-profit and startup brands throughout the U.S. and globally; years as an adult educator, professional development trainer, facilitator and college professor helping learners apply marketing and communication strategies and best practices to drive business goals.
We decided to ask Erika 5 questions so you can get to know her a little better.
1. What’s your most proud accomplishment?
Earning my doctorate degree. I spent years visualizing myself walking across the stage, getting hooded and being called “doctor.” When it all was happening, I felt I had accomplished something really defining not only for myself, but for so many other black and brown women who dreamed and imagined earring the same distinction. It’s pretty impactful to experience the level of pride others have in this accomplishment. And it never gets old to insist folk call you “doctor” when they wanna start getting loud and talking cray cray!
2. Why did you decide to start your own business?
Freedom, flexibility and command of my financial future. I wanted to be available to myself, my family and life. Nearly every previous FTE position I held before starting EPiC was only an “ok” fit. And moreso, I felt as though I had always been fiscally undervalued. With EPiC I get to determine my terms and the clients I work with, and there’s no substitute for self-determination.
3. What kind of funding have you leveraged?
I have been bootstrapping much of my business since January 2020 using my own funds to get started. Now that I’m turning a profit, I am using those to invest in business growth like socal ads, hiring intern support, product development, and greater automation integration. It’s been great working with Get The Bag, because I’ve had access to really relevant financially-focused information which has me thinking about grants and pitch competitions. Before checking out a lot of the listings in GTB’s newsletter, I thought grant funding and pitch competitions were not available to my business because it’s not a non-profit, social enterprise or tech-enabled company. But, the world is changing and I’m excited to start leveraging the WOC target opportunities that seem to be announced everyday.
4. How do you manage being a CMO at more than one company?
Sometimes it gets a little hectic for sure and I mix up details. So, a lot of organization is necessary. Mostly, it’s like being an account executive though, so I try to maintain good relationships with my clients, keep good notes, stay in regular communication -- on lots of platforms -- and execute. I’ve found that nobody cares about the small details as long as we execute on the big stuff!
5. What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs starting out?
Keep trying to figure it out. What I learn from myself and others is that nobody really knows what they are doing and were’ all just figuring out it. As an entrepreneur, you can count on encountering a new problem, issue or challenge nearly every single day. Your job as the founder, president, diversity ninja, or fractional CMO title you bestow upon yourself is to figure it out and solve the problem. It’s tiring, it can be exhausting, and completely frustrating, but that’s the job. Your success depends on your perseverance to keep trying to figure it out.
You can find Dr. Erika Pryor on IG @epicerika and LinkedIn.
About EPiC Creative + Design, LLC
EPiC Creative + Design is founded by Dr. Erika M. Pryor. EPiC helps enterprise companies, small businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals leverage proven marketing principles, strategies and tactics to manifest new opportunities. We do this by focusing on three pillars: Inspiration, Information and Implementation.