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

The 3 Pillars of Customer Delight for Agencies (And Not Only)

[fa icon="calendar'] 14-Mar-2017 08:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Agencies

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Did you know that it's five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one? 

On top of that, improving customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%. 

If you ask me, these are numbers that I certainly wouldn't ignore. 

Unfortunately, far too many companies focus almost exclusively on net new sales and customer service remains just there as a given. 

I see this with my agency partners at HubSpot all the time. 

Of course, money in is important. You need that to keep the business running but if you want to scale an agency, sales and services need to be on the same level. Keeping your customers happy is priority number one too because that's how you ensure you have a sustainable revenue flow coming in all the time. You renew your agency-client retainers year after year because you continue to provide value.

So how do you do keep your customer happy?  

With a simple framework that I call the three pillars of customer delight. 

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Buyer Persona, Buyer's Journey and Content Plan Template

[fa icon="calendar'] 07-Mar-2017 08:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Inbound Marketing

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As some of you know, I'm starting my own business together with my mum. 

It's an e-commerce startup for arts and crafts and we'll be launching the website next week. 

As part of the process, I've been developing the website (by the way, Shopify is amazing for e-commerce!) and planning all PESO (paid, earned, shared, owned) activities with a particular focus on social media. 

And because I work at HubSpot – the pioneers of inbound marketing – and consult my clients day in and day out on best practices for inbound, I'm truly preaching what I teach with my own business. 

While preparing my buyer personas, their buyer's journey and working through the content plan for them, I needed a template or a tool that would work for me. 

I couldn't find anything suitable so I ended up creating my own simple Google Sheet that with just one view visualises all the important parts of this planning and follows the correct way of doing content creation for inbound. It also helps with your keywords strategy

This template for buyer persona, buyer's journey and content campaign plan development is what I want to give to you today. 

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Why It's About Time Agencies Started Preaching What They Teach

[fa icon="calendar'] 28-Feb-2017 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Agencies

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As a PR or marketing agency, how much time do you spend building your own organisation’s profile with your own content?

Many would say “none”, “barely any” or "not enough" but in the digital age, this is unacceptable.

And isn't this what you ask clients to do? Isn't trying to convince them that they need to build their online profile with content what you are selling?

Also, why are you asking clients things like "Do you need a new sustainable way to drive people to your business and attract clients?", "Do you struggle being seen as a credible and authoritative brand within your industry?", "Are your current methods not bringing the right results?" to figure out how they differentiate themselves but you are not asking yourself these things or choose to ignore them?

When it comes to you – the communications expert – you fail in communicating about yourself.

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Why PR Needs Inbound PR to Stay Relevant

[fa icon="calendar'] 21-Feb-2017 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Inbound PR

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With the global adoption of digital, a lot has been said about the PR industry. Unfortunately, not always positive.

Take, for example, keeping up with social media and online channels to develop appropriate skills and offer the type of services that clients nowadays need has been a painful challenge. Not to mention then measurement which has been PR's biggest problem since its very existence.  

So how does PR stay relevant? 

To figure this out, we need to first analyse our current reality. 

When we think about the past two decades, there are two key things brands and their PR people need to consider:

  • Our consumer and purchasing behaviours have changed, massively.
  • If you don’t have an online presence, you don’t exist.

Let’s start with the first one.

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The Agency-Client Relationship is Broken

[fa icon="calendar'] 07-Feb-2017 08:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Agencies

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2017 or not, the agency-client war still persists. 

Agencies want to be responsible for more, marketers don't trust them to let them. 

That's the major finding in a recent study done in the US but I think it's quite relevant for the rest of the world as well.  

Marketers at clients complain that agencies lack technical and data-savvy teams who can work on their accounts and that too many agencies still haven't transitioned from old media to new, lacking the expertise clients need in the digital age. 

Agencies, on the other hand, say that clients are unwilling to become true partners by taking work in-house that really should be done by the agency team and so showing a disrespectful unwillingness to commit to quality work. 

If you look at the comments below, you'll see how the language both parties use is rather judgemental and certainly doesn't show that they see the other counterpart as a partner: 

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