Tech start-up of the week: RazorSocial


24 Mar 2013

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Ian Cleary pictured with Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner at BlogWorld in New York last June

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This week’s featured start-up is RazorSocial, an online magazine founded by Ian Cleary and his wife Colette Mullen in June 2012. For Cleary and Mullen, building a business was about their two main passions: passing on their knowledge and experience and building innovative and exciting technology.

This week’s featured start-up is RazorSocial, an online magazine founded by Ian Cleary and his wife Colette Mullen in June 2012. For Cleary and Mullen, building a business was about their two main passions: passing on their knowledge and experience and building innovative and exciting technology.

Cleary is clearly passionate about meeting with and assisting people in the areas of social media and technology. He has 20 years’ experience working in the software industry and five years working within digital marketing and social media.

He says, “I’ve worked mainly with start-ups in a broad range of sectors in senior management positions. Previous to RazorSocial’s inception, I set up RazorCoast as a digital agency in 2008, which provided digital marketing training and Facebook app development services.”

Mullen is Ian’s business partner and the chief editor for content on the site. Cleary is aware of how vital her support is to the website. “Colette has a strong technology background and runs the day-to-day operations of RazorSocial and also works on RazorCoast,” he states. “The site wouldn’t be as visually attractive and the content wouldn’t be the quality content it is without her involvement.”

Growing an audience

RazorSocial was set up to with the plan to build an international network in which products and services could be sold. RazorCoast also continues to be a very successful Irish business, but Cleary has grand global ambitions beyond Ireland’s boundaries.

“We identified the niche area of social media tools and technology and started RazorSocial as a blog providing content around this topic,” he informs me. “Through networking online and going to and speaking at conferences in the US, as well as writing for some of the leading social media blogs in the world, we have built up an amazing network of people around the world. We are attracting a large and growing audience to our site on a daily basis.”

Cleary will be speaking at the Social Slam social media conference in the US in April and is currently finalising a speaking gigs in Atlanta and Toronto for the summer.

He believes a trust has been created with his and Mullen’s online magazine and its audience. “We know our area of speciality is social media tools and technology and our initial goal was to build our profile. Now that we’ve achieved that, we’re going to sell products and services.”

He continues: “The initial service that we’re launching is an online review service for companies’ web and social media presence. We have notified our subscribers to our site about this service and we have a queue of companies around the world that have booked this service prior to launch. The reason for this pre-booking is that we’ve built up this profile internationally, and with that a level of trust with our audience.”

RazorSocial

Contributors

The blog has attracted contributions from many leading social media experts around the world; something Cleary enthusiastically welcomes. He says, “We’re always looking for contributions from the best people in the industry. The content we write on our site, and the guest posts we write on other high-profile sites, has been shared hundreds and sometimes thousands of times.”

By providing high-quality content around a particular niche that is educational, rather than promotional, RazorSocial offers a facility to encourage sharing. Cleary explains, “We have built up a network of people that we interact with regularly; people who believe and like what we’re doing. So, they naturally share our content.”

Bringing in high-profile guests to create content on the site has increased RazorSocial’s audience and credibility. The list of industry experts who have contributed is an impressive one, which includes Mike Stelzner, Heidi Cohen, Marcus Sheridan and Syed Balkhi.

Team success

In 2013, RazorSocial were winners at the annual Social Media Examiner Blog Awards in the US. “Out of 750 companies, we were included in the top 10 social media blogs in the world. We were also the only European company on this list; this has given us huge credibility on a global scale,” enthuses Cleary.

Cleary and his business partner Mullen have a fantastic team working with them and are always looking for ways to improve the site. They share a passionate desire to make RazorSocial the largest site in the world in their area of speciality.

Cleary is also keen to offer some advice to fellow prospective Irish web start-ups. “Firstly, develop a content marketing strategy for your site. You can pay for traffic to your site or get it for free. If you don’t have a strong content marketing strategy, you will suffer. And, secondly, start building a global network in your domain of expertise before you need it!” he concludes.

Colin White

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