When Ric Goell saw his wife struggling to assemble photos and copy into digital posters, an idea was born. What if there were a really easy way for businesses and individuals to create high quality graphics—no graphic design talent required? A decade later, that idea has grown into a solution—PosterMyWall— a template-driven DIY graphic and video design app.
Today, PosterMyWall serves over 3 million users every month and is available in 16 languages. “Small businesses, non-profits, and solopreneurs are short on time, resources, and budget. But they still need to market, communicate, and promote themselves. What our platform does is empower them to cost-effectively create their own professional-quality graphics and videos. With PosterMyWall, they compete more effectively against larger organizations that have deeper pockets. They become more effective at marketing without having to hire an agency or an art department,” Goell said.
Even if you haven’t heard of PosterMyWall, you’ve likely seen its products. Many of the posters you see in store windows promoting upcoming events are created using PosterMyWall templates. “It happened once when I was in Hawaii, fairly close to when we really got going. My wife and I were at a strip mall away from the tourist area. It was the kind of place with only locally owned business – no chain stores. And there they were, posted in the window: several of our designs. I got really excited and thought, ‘We really are helping small businesses to compete,’” Goell said.
PosterMyWall customers include bars, restaurants, accounting firms, social media influencers, authors, churches, schools, auto mechanics, and more. Some graphic designers use PosterMyWall as a fast and easy way to create graphics for their clients. “It’s like starting at 80% done rather than from scratch,” Goell said.
In addition to event posters, popular uses for PosterMyWall graphics and videos include social media content, fliers, emails, website graphics, banners, and digital signage content. Publishing options include pdf, png, mp4 and gif formats in a variety of resolutions. Users can also publish directly to their website, Twitter, Facebook, or send to an email list.
“The beauty of our platform is that everything is customizable,” Goell said. Once a customer selects a template, she is able to customize the colors, fonts, and images. She can upload her own images, audio, or video—or select from PosterMyWall’s vast library of high-quality photos, videos, audio clips, clip art, and animated stickers.
Building a company has always been one of Goell’s dreams. He spent most of his career in Silicon Valley, working for startups and global leaders such as Apple Computer and Oracle. He tries to keep the organization structure at PosterMyWall relatively flat—so team members can spend most of their time doing rather than managing. “The closer everyone stays to our product, the better we can respond to our customer’s needs,” Goell said.
As an example, Goell cites PosterMyWall’s early entry into video graphics, which the company offered video before any of its competitors. PosterMyWall users can include multiple videos on a single design. The platform also offers animated text and the ability to animate the way the design elements move into place when a design first appears on a website, social media feed, or digital signage. Options include sliding into place, bouncing into the frame, and more. Goell says these features make a big difference in terms of drawing attention to a message, and videos have become a must for getting noticed online. As a PosterMyWall customer in the education sector reports, animated images deliver a much higher engagement rate on social media.
PosterMyWall’s newest innovations include a one-click background remover that eliminates the background from a photo or piece of clip art, QR codes, and a library of gif stickers—all of which support the company’s mission of helping small businesses promote and market themselves better.
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Goell is quick to share credit for PosterMyWall’s success with his team, who he describes as smart, dedicated, and full of great ideas. His advice to other entrepreneurs who are just starting out is to hire carefully. If someone doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and keep looking until you find someone who does. “I teamed up with the right people early on, and that’s been the key to our success,” he said.
What’s next for PosterMyWall? More innovation, of course. With any company, but especially in the tech sector, Goell says you always need to have a pipeline of innovations or someone else is going to invent what you didn’t. Remaining competitive means anticipating what your customers are going to need and creating it so it’s ready to go when they realize they need it.
And while Goell said he can’t reveal exactly what his team’s next innovations will be, he did promise that PosterMyWall will remain dedicated to helping small businesses thrive with minimal effort. “Beautiful design, effortless promotion—that’s what we’re about,” he said.