David Braun: Interview with the Chief Monster of Web Design
Those who keep an eye on the events in the web design business niche, probably already know that TemplateMonster has reached Top-3 template providers on TrustPilot. This is really awesome and we heartily congratulate them. Today we are going to learn about TemplateMonster's way to success first-hand. Meet David Braun, TemplateMonster CEO and co-founder.
Jemee: Hello David! It's a pleasure to have you here. You are a successful entrepreneur and businessmen with years-long experience. I am sure you have lots of interesting stories to share with our readers. TemplateMonster is one of the most powerful template providers in the market. Could you please tell us, how it all started?
David Braun: It might be hard to believe, but it all started with a small local web studio. When we were starting our business back in 1998 we could not imagine that it would grow to such an extent. We were young and really enthusiastic about everything connected to the Internet. We were taking a small office not even in the downtown. There were 7 people in the permanent staff and another 3 working with us from time to time. We were so engaged, that were ready to work for the sake of the idea and not for the money. However, things were going quite good. Very soon there were so many orders that we physically could not manage them all. We didn't want to disappoint the people who trusted us. So we had to come up with some bright idea. And this is how we started producing ready-made templates.
Jemee: How was your company developing after that? What were the main stages?
David Braun: Well, on May 24, 2002, TemplateMonster was officially born. At first, we were only producing PSD files. Soon we shifted to HTML. Then was an era of Flash templates. After it died out we started working with CMS what we do successfully up to now. Over these years there were slight shifts in the popularity of this or that CMS. Launching Monstroid was definitely a milestone. 2016 was rich for premium multipurpose templates. And the most recent stage was launching Monstroid 2 . With it we reached a new level and now we will adhere to the track.
Jemee: Tell us more about Monstroid 2. Why is it so special?
David Braun:It was really hard to outrun the success the first Monstroid had. However, I can proudly say we managed to do it. Monstroid 2 is a new generation of multipurpose WordPress themes. It has everything you might need to build a website of any orientation. It is fully customizable. And I mean it. Power Builder allows you modifying the template in a visual mode. Tons of features and plugins provide advanced functionality. It is truly all-in-one template. You can even launch a store thanks to WooCommerce integration. Another great thing about Monstroid 2 is that it is licensed under GPL v3.0. It means that buying the theme once you are free to use it for an unlimited number of projects and to edit its source code.
Jemee: Sounds really promising. And what about your other templates? What are their advantages over the competitors?
David Braun: All our themes are of high quality. We offer a wide choice from over 26K templates. I think, over all these years, the client support stays one of our strongest points. We really care about our customers. Providing free lifetime support for our clients we show them our attitude.
Jemee: And who are your customers? Are they small business owners, individual entrepreneurs, big companies?
David Braun: All of them. Our templates are targeted to the end-user, who might be not very skillful in coding, web design and programming. CMS with intuitive admin dashboards, installation wizards, visual layout builders allow minimizing the contact of the end-user with the code. However, we also have web studios and web developers among our clients. With ready-made templates, they can save quite a lot of time and increase their income. And recently we have launched TemplateMonster Web Studio Catalogue, which allows web studios and web developers getting orders from our customers. To be included into the catalog each of them has to pass the Certification Center course.
Jemee: What are the opportunities for partnership? Except for web studios, who else can benefit from your products?
David Braun: We have an affiliate program and we invite anyone to join in. It is really a great chance to earn money promoting our products. We offer quite a competitive commission rate. You can get from 30% to 50% commission per sale. Considering the average cost of the template is around $90, you can earn $27-$45 per sale. We also run lots of different projects. In our blog there are regular posts about all the new projects we launch. For example, we have Social Stock. It is aimed at young active people who are involved in social networks. Joining in and sharing your personal 10% promocode among your friends you can win some pretty cool prizes. This is already the second round of the project. We launched it the last year and it was a success. We sent lots of prizes and saw that people are really interested. So we decided to make another round.
Jemee: What about those clients who want a unique website created from scratch? Do you offer custom designs?
David Braun: Many people come to us and tell they want a unique personalized website. However when or managers explain to them all the benefits the template has, most of them change their mind. The themes we offer are highly flexible. They can be customized according to the client's preferences and needs. And what is more, the client can do it without exterior help. For those who don't have time or simply don't want to do it by themselves, we have TM Service Center.
Jemee: You company is really a monster in the template market. But I believe our readers might be interested to know who the Monsters are in real life. What do you do while not working?
David Braun:We have a really great team. And I can't stop saying this. We developed a fantastic atmosphere in our team. We enjoy spending our time together beside the office. We travel together, organize different sports events and charity projects. I have a family with a wife and three beautiful kids, but my team is like the second family to me.
Jemee: We are slowly approaching to the end of our interview. So a personal question. Was there someone in your life who you considered the role model?
David Braun: When I was just starting my business, I looked up to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. com. He is a talented businessman and a great visionary. I like his manner of communication. He could be really persuasive. Talking to investors he could announce the weirdest ideas never having a doubt that they would listen to him and believe him.
Jemee: Thank you for sharing your story with us! I think our readers have learnt many interesting facts about TemplateMonster. Last but not least: what is your advice to all young entrepreneurs who are just starting their business?
David Braun: First of all, try to be flexible. There would always be unexpected situations. And you should not be prepared for it, you should improvise and act according to the situation. Another important detail is knowing your customer. Try to learn as much as possible about him. Without this, you can't build a successful business.