Iliyana's Blog

Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is Principal I Channel Consultant at HubSpot, helping partner agencies grow their businesses with inbound marketing and position themselves as thought leaders in their fields. She spends her free time dancing salsa or writing about PR, social media, communications and sustainability, expertise gathered from years of agency experience working for PR and social media consultancies in Germany and in the UK.

Recent Posts

How Not to Pitch Influencers

[fa icon="calendar'] 13-Jun-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Inbound PR

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I've been running this blog for five and a half years. 

As my audience started to grow, I began receiving emails from people either sharing content that I might like and want to use or pitches for guest posts. 

I was so excited back then! They liked my blog and wanted to be part of it! They wanted to contribute for my audience! 

With time and with the growth in traffic and subscribers, the number of pitches increased, especially after my talk at INBOUND16

Which I'm happy about for sure, however, my inbox now gets flooded with bad emails. Really bad emails. 

Pitches that are spammy, mass emails that were clearly not just for me, untargeted or irrelevant suggestions. 

Because I worked in PR and specialised in blogger relations, I'm amazed at the terrible pitches I'm getting so I want to show you some examples of what not to do and give you some tips on what to do instead.

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The 7 Essential Questions for Better Business Communication

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Jun-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Brands and Business, Leadership

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I recently finished listening to The Coaching Habit: Say Yes, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier. (It's funny to say "listening" instead of "reading" but hey, in our busy lives we optimise everything and so when I walk to work, I often listen to books. Thanks, Audible!) 

The book was written for managers to help them be better leaders, communicate more effectively with team members, provide better support and coaching and so have more impact. Achieving this comes down to seven key questions that the author identifies as the essence of leading. 

I believe, though, that these seven questions can be an effective technique in any business relationship that requires communication. 

When speaking to customers (especially over the phone or Zoom or skype), these seven questions can help you get to the bottom of what the problem really is and how you can help. The same applies to consulting. I've always said that the best form of consulting is question-asking.

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17 Facts About Inbound That You Need to Know Now

[fa icon="calendar'] 30-May-2017 08:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Inbound Marketing

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The State of Inbound is out!

It's a yearly survey we do at HubSpot and it reveals the top challenges and priorities facing businesses today in the realms of marketing and sales and changing consumer habits.

The survey also looks at the future to highlight new trends and channels that will soon affect the way we all do business. 

You can grab the global report here, however, I want to look at the EMEA results and share with you 17 about that you need to know now to plan the rest of your year and 2018. 

17 Facts About The State of Inbound That You Need to Know Now: 

  1. 62% of marketers say their top challenge is generating leads. 
  2. 63% of marketers believe their organisation's marketing strategy is effective. 
  3. 73% of C-level executives believe their organisation's marketing strategy is effective. 
  4. 55% of individual contributors believe their organisation's marketing strategy is effective. 
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What Happens When Agencies Start to Scale? Part 3

[fa icon="calendar'] 23-May-2017 08:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Agencies

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Organisational structure inefficiencies, lack of documented processes and standardised service packages, no plan for new hire training and onboarding as well a lack of visibility into overservicing are some of the key challenges that agencies face when they start to scale.

We covered them in part 1 and part 2 of these series.

Today, we'll look at the last set of agency growth challenges, namely: 

  • Stepping back as the agency founder or CEO and allowing team members to make decisions on their own is an internal struggle that can stall sustainable growth.
  • Growing the team, the customer base and the service offerings often leads to a leadership and an identity and positioning crisis internally that inevitably has the potential to slow growth as it expands externally too.
  • Showing the real value the agency brings to clients is a constant struggle, particularly with year two or three renewals, so agencies need to think about developing a delight programme that also includes the identification of upsells.

Let's take a look at each challenge in more detail.

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Your Business is Doomed Without a Lot of Content

[fa icon="calendar'] 09-May-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Inbound Marketing, Marketing

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My start-up Smile Arty has now been live for about three months. 

Painful months. It was hard, really hard in the beginning. Things like getting the company registered, getting a bank account, setting up everything for accounting, revenue etc. were nerve-racking. 

The one thing that was easy was the website and all the content. 

I say easy because I have a PR background and I now work in inbound marketing so I didn't have to start learning any of this from scratch whereas the whole administrative thing for a new business was completely new to me.

I have to say, though, in less than three months, content started working. 

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