Iliyana's Blog

My Top 5 Working from Home Tips

[fa icon="calendar'] 16-Mar-2020 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Brands and Business

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With the coronavirus having dramatically shaken our world (although I have my thoughts about this whole thing), many companies are encouraging or even requiring their employees whenever possible to work from home. 

I've been fortunate enough to have worked for two companies where working from home is a normal part of the company culture (and that my job permits for me to work at home). In fact, I work from home most of time now.

But there are a lot of businesses and whole countries even that don't have that basis - working from home has never been the norm, managers distrust team members as they don't have direct, eye control or individuals even struggle to concentrate at home. 

The above issues happen because of lack of experience but if you as a company and as an individual give it a go, I promise you that you'll find working from home a wonderful experience. It makes people more productive and happier due to better work-life balance or as I prefer to call it, work-life integration. 

But truly making this work, requires some planning and thoughtful organisation. 

Here are my top tips about working from home as an individual that I've developed over the last five years.

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Are Global Businesses Putting Their Customers First? Not Really

[fa icon="calendar'] 20-Jun-2019 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Technology, Customer Experience

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One of the most popular buzzwords nowadays is customer-first or putting your customer at the centre of every business decision and activity.

I stand behind it. The Inbound PR methodology preaches this customer or as I call it persona-first thinking and in fact doesn't really work without it. 

Far too many businesses are still putting their products and services first when it comes to their marketing, sales and communications decisions even though they say they're customer-centric. 

In fact, over 80% of businesses are talking about the benefits of a customer-first approach, but few of these are turning talk into action. 

This stat comes from Optimizely - a leader in customer experimentation technology that did research earlier this year around the digital experience economy. 

I dug into it and I want to share some key findings and learnings: 

8 Key Problems for Customer-First:

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5 Key Takeaways for Getting Start-ups Off the Ground

[fa icon="calendar'] 11-Jun-2019 09:00:00 / by Liuda Nebozhak posted in Public Relations, Marketing, Brands and Business

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This is a guest post by Liuda Nebozhak from Crello.

Every start-up undergoes some trial and error in its first 1-2 years. Those are probably some of the most difficult and crucial learnings of any new business. 

There's a ton start-ups need to figure out, including their own PR and marketing. PR especially plays a key role because as a start-up nobody knows you and you need to get the word out about your existence, your products and the new value that you add in the market. 

Our company Crello - which offers a design tool specifically for marketers and bloggers - has gone through multiple trials and errors but we've learned a lot.

We recently announced and celebrated reaching the major milestone of 1 million users over the course of just 20 months.  However, it took us some time to find our product-market fit and we are continuing to tweak it to this day. Along the way, we are leveraging our product development with the help of PR, brand ambassadors, and market research, amongst others.

Below are my 5 key takeaways for getting your start-up off the ground.

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PR, Publishing Books and Building a Personal Brand

[fa icon="calendar'] 26-Feb-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Brands and Business, Writing, Inbound PR

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I consider myself very lucky to have some super intelligent and talented friends. 

Kareem and his brother Aamen are among them. Kareem worked with me at HubSpot and Aamen was at Google. After gathering some great experience at those software companies they both set out to start their own business around content and are doing a terrific job at it. 

I was honoured when they invited me to participate in their sparerooms talk show. 

We chatted about:

  • public relations,
  • my Inbound PR book and how small business and entrepreneurs can take on some of the tips,
  • the writing and publishing processes while working full-time and how others can do it too,
  • building a personal brand online and offline, 
  • and building a partner program for smaller companies.

Check out the video for the full conversation, there are some fun moments as well!

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The State of Digital Transformation

[fa icon="calendar'] 19-Feb-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Marketing, Brands and Business, Technology

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Digital is an enterprise-wide strategic priority that cannot be isolated to just the marketing or IT department. Everybody in the organisation has a role to play. 

I've just finished reading the 2018-2019 State of Digital Transformation report which clearly illustrates how disruptive technologies continue to impact organisations and markets and how digital transformation as responsibility is moving beyond IT and is maturing into an enterprise-wide movement but there's still a lot of work to be done. 

As the report describes, digital transformation means modernising how companies work and compete and helping them effectively adapt and grow in an evolving digital economy where customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX) and organisational culture are the clear drivers that empower and accelerate change, growth, and innovation.

Let's take a look at some of the key findings that stood out to me while reading the report.

The Top 4 Learnings about the State of Digital Transformation

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