Former musician seeks to use his skills to help local businesses thrive in the digital world | News

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Gabe Ryan, or as Titusville locals may know him, Bryan Snyder, has spent the last ten years of his life trying to navigate a digital world.

As a former musician, Ryan spent a lot of time creating posters and websites for his band, trying to grow it.

One day after a show, a relative of another band member gave Ryan some advice he may not have been ready for – “If only you were half as good at singing as you could get people to hear you sing.”

It wasn’t until that group failed that Ryan finally took that advice and is now trying to help local businesses do what he did: succeed in an increasingly online business landscape.

Ryan was born and raised in the Titusville area. After graduating from Titusville High School, he moved to Pittsburgh with his band and tried to make it big.

Unfortunately for Ryan, shortly after leaving town he had to return, as his pockets were empty and his dreams shattered. Although he didn’t become a major music star, along the way Ryan did everything he could to try to promote his way to the top, and had learned a thing or two during his trip.

“During my quest to make the band work, I had taken it upon myself to learn how to do a lot of things,” Ryan said.

Some of his new skills included web design, graphic design, videography, and audio and film production.

Ryan moved in and, as someone who grew up in his church, he decided that coming back to his faith could lead him to his next endeavor.

Soon after, his pastor at Tfree Methodist Church approached him and offered him a job as a worship artist director and youth ministry coordinator. Ryan said the track was “a classy way for the young guy in the room with the guitar.”

Once back in the church, the skills he had taught himself in Pittsburgh found their way.

Tfree Church in Titusville is the regional center for Free Methodist churches in the region, and the church system was considering reviving a branch in Erie.

“Although it wasn’t in my job title, I was instrumental in marketing and building a new brand for the Church of Erie,” Ryan said.

It was towards the end of branding the new church that Ryan realized he had a knack for the job. Not only did he have the talent, but there were hundreds of brands and businesses in this space that needed this service.

They needed a qualified person to help them make the transition to a digital world.

“There are so many companies that started in this space years ago that are overwhelmed by social media,” he said. “When they started operations, social media wasn’t even there.”

While working in the entertainment industry, Ryan had grown to love the phrase – “I’ll make my people speak to your people” and set his sights on becoming the “people” he spoke of.

So he started his own company, Iconic Media Design.

In his experiences with his group and the Church, Ryan came to a realization.

“Over the last ten years, there’s been a push into the digital space, whether you want to be in it or not,” he said.

He also noticed that when it came to the Titusville area, many business owners had no experience in the digital world.

Iconic Media Design was created to help these businesses transition into the new world of business and help business owners so they can focus on what made them establish their business in the first place.

“They say the more work a pastor does, the less he does,” Ryan said. He wants to show Titusville and the surrounding area that social media and building a web presence, while necessary, doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t have to do it yourself.

Ryan’s company not only takes on clients by helping them manage their digital presence, but also runs workshops to teach businesses how to do it themselves.

Ryan explained that when it comes to small towns and small businesses, they have the strength to have trust. He wants to explain to business owners that the trust they have is what they need online.

A big part of what Ryan hopes to do is help get that information out to companies, so they can make those changes.

“I care about the community that raised me and I don’t want to see these small local businesses die,” he said. “I want to offer help and advice, like what this community has given me.”

Although Iconic Media Design offers its services to clients, Ryan said his company helps clients improve their web presence.

For businesses without a presence, Iconic Media Design offers workshops for nonprofits and for-profits, who just want to get the ball rolling.

“These workshops are for those who don’t lack quality, but lack everything,” he says.

The first of two workshops will be held this Saturday, Feb. 5, at Tfree Church, located at 42490 State Route 27. Ryan said this event will seek to help churches and nonprofits “with the ability to build and capitalize on their communities.”

He said this workshop is similar to the one he is holding in Titusville Towne Square on February 19 for for-profit businesses, but will be a little different.

Unlike its workshop for businesses, this event will focus on experience and how to create a community with a depth of connections. This will focus on the depth of connections, not the quantity.

He wants these organizations to know that the missions of their organizations are to change lives for the better and that they must extend the period of connection with their communities.

“Social media should be digital disciples,” Bryan said.

When it comes to his business workshop, Ryan said the focus will be more on selling to those communities they’ve built. He also wants to come together, because they need each other to build a business community in town.

“There are benefits to working together, and not everyone in town is in competition,” he said.

Regardless of the target audience, Ryan hopes Titusville organizations will be able to learn a message from him – “It’s not the size of the step, it’s the direction in which you go.”

As road signs become less important and social media pages gain prominence, Ryan hopes local businesses realize the need to act now.

“I want to offer tools to help them take action to do it on their own, to dominate the digital space effectively and efficiently,” he said.

There is a cost to attend the workshops. For more information about the workshops and Iconic Media Design, the company can be found on Facebook at Iconic Media Design, and on their site iconicmedia.design. Those who register can use the code “Herald” to receive 50% off the cost of the workshops.

Dvorkin can be contacted by email at [email protected]

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