Similar to the machine for which it is named, the Dynamo digital marketing company is helping businesses across the Metro Detroit area generate energy around their products and services by both better-utilizing and properly curating their digital footprints. And since it’s gay-owned, it’s all being done with a focus on inclusivity. In fact, that’s something that owner and founder Ryan Redoute said he’s passionate about doing.
“Half of my clients right now are part of the LGBTQ+ community and I love that, that’s just so great. … I’m finding that a lot of business owners are in the LGBTQ+ [community and I keep] finding owners,” Redoute said. “Just like in the advertising world when I was working with businesses that were saying, ‘We’re female-owned,’ ‘We’re owned by people of color,’ I love that being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is becoming part of that as well.”
Redoute’s business offers services like paid advertising management, business strategy development, social media management, graphic design, videography and more. And with the existence of a music production arm called Sound Dynamo, creating tailor-made advertising in-house is easily done. But it’s not enough that a business simply has ties to the LGBTQ community or provides interesting products or services, Redoute said he looks for two main qualities when forming new professional relationships: passion and kindness.
“In clients I look for, honestly, just someone I feel I can work well with,” he said. “… Because a lot of people go after the money and they say, ‘Forget about it. I don’t care what the people are like, I will go after it because of the job or the position.’ But I’ve honestly turned down partnerships or jobs even in the past because I didn’t feel it was a good matchup — and that’s not to say that they’re bad and I’m good, it simply just felt like it wasn’t right.”
Perhaps it was one of Redoute’s first clients that helped instill that frame of mind: his mother, who is the head of the Clinton Township chapter of PFLAG. Redoute aids her in curating the group’s social media, monitoring the official branch’s website and using PFLAG’s digital framework as a means of connecting with the local LGBTQ community. Currently, he’s focused on building up the existing online presence to allow for more discretion on the part of those who will reach out to the group.
“That way, people can discreetly, if they wish, go and Google things in their home or their personal environment and they can find the information without having to put themselves out there,” Redoute said. “So, I have helped them with posting on their social channels, with making social updates — kind of like their tech guy. And it’s similar to other services I offer to my other clients, so it kind of blends in in that respect, too. And then, of course, I also go to some of the meetings to offer support in an in-person capacity.”
He said that working with PFLAG and his mother in a professional capacity has opened his eyes to the inequities many LGBTQ people face not only as community members, but as business owners, too. This is something he tries to be mindful in his other ventures.
“She’s finding that there’s a huge need in the trans community still and that we who are in the LGBTQ+ community know that. I’m realizing by meeting all of these business owners that starting a business is hard enough to deal with — growing it, building your revenue, especially in this super-saturated world we live in of online businesses — the last thing brick and mortar business owners need is to feel like they can’t be themselves,” he said. “And if I can be the source in Metro Detroit for people to go to, [for] owners that are in the LGBTQ+ community to not be afraid that they can’t be themselves … then I can feel more than satisfied that I have become that.”
And though this local, family-run PFLAG chapter might be his first direct tie to LGBTQ activism, Redoute’s experience extends far beyond family. A graduate of Michigan State University, Redoute has worked in a variety of marketing capacities with companies like Zephyr Media Group, Carat and Pandora throughout his career around the greater Chicago and Detroit areas.
“I worked in analytics, the planning side, the strategy side — everything. And I really loved it, because I’m a jack of many skills, so in my head I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to try all these out to make sure that I like all of them and see which one I end up liking the most.’ But I ended up liking all of them, anyway,” he said with a laugh.
Still, despite being pulled in many directions, Detroit seemed to be the biggest draw.
“I knew I wanted to be back in Detroit. I saw that Detroit was on this Renaissance, I really wanted to get my foot in the door in terms of making connections while the city is kind of in this developmental stage,” he said. “… I’m excited that I have noticed I’ve gotten a lot of clients that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and I foresee myself getting more in that space as well — just through even referrals, anything like that — and I’m just excited to establish my mark even more. I’m excited to keep going, keep doing work and really being that source for small businesses in the Metro Detroit area and even in Detroit to use the power of digital marketing to promote their business but also just help people out.”
Find out more about Dynamo’s services at dynamodigitalmarketing.com