Hey, what’s up! I’m Eric.
I’m a Washington, D.C. area native, basketball-loving, Virginia Tech Hokie, Back to the Future fan. And I love teaching beginners how to leverage the power of social media to skyrocket their business (more on this later).
💥Before The Creative Marketing Zone💥
Starting this business was years in the making!
I always knew I’d be dancing to the beat of my own drums running my own business one day, but I also knew that patience, consistency, and hard work would be required to get to this point.
Sure, I made several irrational decisions in my twenties (who hasn’t?). However, I knew deep down that all the years spent in the trenches in corporate America would eventually pay off.
And when I talk about the trenches in business, I am referring to my years spent cold calling, knocking on doors, pounding the pavement, smiling and dialing, straight up hustling to pave my way.
While I am always a salesman at heart, I knew that I didn’t want to be beating down doors (not literally) the rest of my life.
Buying Process Shift
Around 2010 is when I began to notice a shift in consumer behavior in the sales arena.
Consumers were educating themselves more online, and by the time I was speaking to prospects, they were pretty much ready to buy - made my job easy, right?
I spent less time hunting and pushing sales pitches down the throats of prospects. More of my time was spent educating the prospect through a series of calls and marketing emails.
It was also around this time in which I picked up a passion for writing.
My wife noticed I was spending time after work in the evenings and on weekends reading and writing about self-help topics I was interested in.
So she did what any awesome wife would do – she set me up with a blog!
I began writing in this blog religiously, and I soon discovered a newer social media platform – Twitter.
I used Twitter to connect with like-minded folks and to distribute my articles to drive traffic back to my blog.
I was also collecting email addresses from people who were interested in what I had to say and sent emails out for each new article published.
I was having fun, even though fun wasn’t paying the bills.
A Few More Setbacks and Life Learning Lessons
In late 2011, I made one last major irrational decision, which was to leave my full-time corporate job (with benefits) to venture off on my own.
I did not like the job I was doing (cold calling still), and I knew deep down I was destined for greatness – I just did not know how to get there.
I was also struggling to make quota in this job, so I quit!
Big Mistake, or So I Thought At the Time
Shortly after I quit, I broke my left wrist and ankle in a pickup basketball game.
I was sidelined in a wheelchair for a few months with no money coming in the door. I burned through my savings trying to pay the bills and physical therapy out of pocket (my insurance ran out).
I eventually fell behind on our house payments and went through foreclosure (I should also mention that I did go through a bankruptcy a few years before this as well).
I truly thought we (my wife and three boys) were going to be homeless!
My career in marketing takes off
Around this time, I started applying for jobs in social media in the D.C. area – circa 2012.
I landed a job with an agency that specialized in content marketing for large B2B and B2G (business-to-government) technology firms.
When I landed this job, I felt so excited as I could start to pay the bills and get back on my feet financially again.
However, there was also a feeling of, “what have I done?” It was like an imposter syndrome type of feeling. I felt like I was “faking it to make it.”
Nonetheless, I took on the job knowing I was a quick learner, and I did catch on quick. This was my first experience working in an agency, and I did learn a lot.
Eventually, I did leave this job as I knew that I’d be putting in a lot more hours for slightly more pay if I decided to stay.
I went to work for a contract cleaning company in the D.C. area that specialized in cleaning high-security facilities. I handled their marketing, and I got the chance to help out in sales to win large contracts.
While I did enjoy my time working as an employee at the family-owned and professionally managed contract cleaning company, I knew eventually I’d be on my own. And that time for me began taking place in 2015.
The Side Hustling Begins
In 2015, my old boss at the agency I worked at reached out to me. He let me know that he was going off on his own to start his consulting practice, and he could use my help for when the time came.
He ended up landing a large client, and I did some subcontracting/freelancing work for him for extra cash each month - Cha-ching!
Then I landed another subcontracting/freelancing gig.
Soon after, I got my first two clients on my own to handle their social media promotion and advertising.
Then next thing I knew, I had a side hustle that was making more money than my full-time job.
I could no longer sustain the full-time job as I was burning the midnight oil every night of the week and working all weekends.
So, I did what any young aspiring business owner would do.
I Took on My Employer As a Client - say what???
I put notice in with my current employer – the contract cleaning company – and presented them with a formal proposal to come on board as a client with my company.
Because of the exceptional work I had done for them over the last few years, and the relationship and trust we had for each other, they felt more than compelled to sign on - how freaking awesome is that???
And this pretty much sums up how this story of starting my business began.
So, I say all of this to not only share my personal story up until this point but to also point out that success (however you define it), does not happen overnight!
The years of working in corporate jobs, whether I liked or hated them, taught me so many valuable lessons. And so did my personal struggles along the way.
Patience, consistency, and relentless hard work pays off.
💥What I’m All About💥
My business is all about helping beginners learn the ropes of social media marketing and advertising for their business.
I truly believe that we all have creative powers within us that are just waiting to be unleashed.
And I am committed to helping business owners (who are beginners) tap into their creative juices to grow using social media marketing.
...My first year in business was filled working with some great clients and producing exceptional results.
But I started to notice a theme happening to me on a consistent basis.
More and more people who now understood the importance of social media for their business were reaching out to me. However, many of these business owners were not in a position to hire an agency on a monthly basis.
And many of these business owners were self-starters willing to learn the strategies and tactics to implement social media marketing and advertising effectively on their own. Or, they had someone in-house who could handle this for them as an extension of their current job.
So I launched my first online course in January of 2018 for beginners entitled, How to Skyrocket Your Brand on Social Media (Without Forcing You to Eat Your Peas)!
The course sold out. And now the next series of sessions are being rolled out.
This online course is six (6) weeks long, and students go on a transformational journey, soup-to-nuts with their business.
Students witness amazing results when it comes to generating greater awareness and engagement with their target audience, leads for their business, and so much more!
And the best part is, we take on an actual business over the course of the six weeks, and students get to see their results, which can be applied back into their business (I am not kidding here)!
I also run a weekly marketing podcast in which I interview successful marketers who share their proven strategies to help business owners and marketers grow their business.
We have received several great reviews on iTunes, and I love making the solid connections with other marketers and delivering valuable content each week. It's all about community, right?
Lastly, I do provide one-on-one consulting services. And soon, I will be launching my online workshops, speaking gigs, and first product (soon to be released).
My long-term goal with this business is not only to continue offering valuable services for clients but to also launch an annual event in which both creative marketers and tech companies can keep working together to deliver amazing marketing experiences.
If you are here reading this, then I hope that we can become more formally acquainted. And it is my goal to continue to share valuable information to you as a marketing destination.
Feel free to connect with me on any of the below social platforms:
You can also grab your freebie guide on:
"The Creative Marketing Zone delivers! Eric is great to work with. He gets to know your brand, and develops content that is relevant, authentic and effective. In a few months he has more than doubled our following and engagement on social media.” - Johnny Seikaly, Founder and Chef at Mezze Box DC
If you’re looking to skyrocket your business through social media, you need to get in The Creative Marketing Zone. Eric will develop a customized plan just for you that will increase your exposure and your engagement with your followers. If you’re busy running your business and don’t have the time (or inclination) to add social media guru to your resume, The Creative Marketing Zone is your solution! - Lisa Tucker, Growth Coordinator at Century 21 Redwood Realty
I had the pleasure of working with Eric on The Creative Marketing Zone Podcast. One of his many endearing qualities is his desire to always provide value to his clients, colleagues, and peers. His podcast content provides listeners with rich strategies and helpful tips. Many might charge for this information, but Eric maintains a mindset of giving. He also has an excellent system for follow-thru and delivery. He's a true pro that I would recommend to anyone! - Cole Hernandez, CEO at Pink Graffiti