An idea that clicked: Stephanie Wyant of Dash Ink Marketing
Photograph by Michael Polito
She designed her first Web site when she was just 14. Today, 25-year-old Stephanie Wyant is doing that, and much more, for clients all over the Valley.
For those who didn’t grow up with a keyboard clutched in their palms, Wyant serves as a gentle guide through her business, Dash Ink Marketing. Her specialty is polishing clients’ online presence: She brands Web sites, blogs, Facebook pages, e-mail marketing messages, Tweets, and print ads with consistent color schemes and logos. It’s kind of like pulling an outfit together — if your shoes and purse match, you’re good to go.
Wyant hatched her idea for the business soon after she graduated from SUNY Albany in 2010 with a major in communications. She got a job doing Internet marketing for a Kingston realtor and was struck by what she saw. “I would watch agents struggle because they didn’t know how to communicate with potential buyers and sellers through Facebook, Twitter, their Web site, and blogs,” says Wyant. “You can’t just put a photo and address on your Facebook page and hope for the best. There are ways of building consumer trust: talking about yourself, who you are, where you grew up. There has to be communication, a human element. You are building relationships.”
Visit the Dash Ink Marketing Web site and Facebook page, both tinted her signature pale pink, and you’ll see what she means. Yes, you’ll find details there about her company and the services it offers. But you’ll also discover clues to Wyant’s life that help you connect to her as a person: Images of beautiful Hudson Valley scenes (she is very outdoorsy and likes to fish and hunt) as well as cute pix of her dogs and even a baby chick or two — all of which make you feel as though you’re spending time with a friend.
Wyant’s business has grown at high speed since she took it full time in June 2012. While her original client list was mostly realtors, she now works with other local businesses like building contractors, entrepreneurs, car dealers, accountants, and artisans. “I switch around a lot so I never get bored,” she says.
Though she’ll take on full-tilt marketing campaigns, she also offers the very popular “Buy the Hour” feature for those who can’t afford or just aren’t ready for a complete makeover. Clients make a la carte selections from a menu of services. Logo redesign is especially in demand and one of the quickest ways to re-brand. Maybe you’d like a couple of blog or Facebook posts weekly. Wyant adds all the social media trimmings beyond the obvious: Pinterest, Foursquare, and dozens of other sites are also in her repertoire. She’ll Tweet, create slide shows, or shoot out Instagrams that show off your work.
For Wyant, the most rewarding aspect of what she does is seeing her clients’ names rise like cream to the top of a Google search or have their pages pop up instantly as a result of her tech-savvy voodoo. “Meta tags, key words, back linking — it’s all part of the process,” she says. In the case of the Hearthstone Motel in Red Hook, she dramatically increased Web traffic and boosted bookings by 27 percent. Now the owner is her boyfriend: Yet another example of how to successfully build relationships — both online and beyond.
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