Iliyana's Blog

How I Started My Career in PR and Where it Got Me

[fa icon="calendar'] 17-Dec-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Personal Development, Career

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I started my career in PR. 

That was a conscious choice, I wanted to do PR. 

When I was at university doing a BA in International Business in Germany, you could say that I fell in love with Public Relations during a module in Marketing where I got exposed to PR for the first time. 

That was also the time when social media started to pick up and businesses were trying to figure who owns it and how to do it for their benefit. 

Authors and prominent PR pros like Brian Solis and David Meerman Scott got me more hooked and so I decided the follow PR as my career.

But a degree in International Business is not the typical path to get into PR, especially because you don't learn anything about press releases or working with the media. 

So I had to learn all that by myself. How? Through books and internships. 

I decided that if I wanted to get a job in PR immediately after I graduated, I had to gain practical experience. 

So after my first year at university, I found a small social media agency in a town in Germany close to where I was living at the time and interned there for three months for free. 

Was it easy - for the first time working in such a professional setting and without getting any money?

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How to Give a Great Presentation

[fa icon="calendar'] 30-Oct-2019 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Career, Leadership

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One of my favourite things to do is to give a presentation. 

I love public speaking. It fills me with energy and it's the crowd that feeds me with it. 

But I used to hate public speaking. 

In my first year of university, I had to present on a marketing project in front of the class - about 90 people - and I remember how nervous I was and how my nerves got the best of me. I was sweating, my voice was trembling, I couldn't look anybody in the eyes and I don't think I managed to transmit my message to my public. I was ashamed when it was all over. 

My initial reaction to this 'failure' was that I was never going to do public speaking again. I was terrified and I never wanted to experience this again. 

But after a couple of days, my attitude changed. I decided that I was going to overcome this fear and I was going to become a terrific public speaker. 

I don't know if I am a terrific public speaker but I can certainly say that I no longer loathe giving presentations in front of small and large groups, I love it and I welcome it. The more, the better. 

So how did I do it?

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5 Years at HubSpot - Here's What I Learned About Growth and Career

[fa icon="calendar'] 11-Sep-2019 07:12:53 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Career

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Last week, September 5th, was my last day at HubSpot after almost five years at this amazing company. 

It was a sad day as I'll miss all the incredible people I've met. I've learned so much at HubSpot. I'm beyond grateful for my experience at the company but the time had come to move on from Ireland and find another home for myself. And now that home is Amsterdam with a new job at Cisco. 

This is not going to be my first international move. It's now been 10 years since I left my home country Bulgaria at the age of 19 and went to study International Business in Germany. With a scholarship two years later, I also spent a year and a half in the UK before returning to Germany to graduate and get my first job.

Then came HubSpot. They found me on LinkedIn and reached out because of my fluency in German, agency experience and ability to create content thanks to this blog. 

I still remember the day(s) when I had difficulty packing my 250 kg of clothes and shoes to move from Germany to Ireland and join an 80-people team in HubSpot’s Dublin office.

It’s been a fantastic journey to see how far DubSpot has grown in just five short years as the office is now almost 700 people in addition to 100 or so people in Berlin and Paris. 

When I close such a big chapter of my life, I tend to reflect on it and I want to share with you my key learnings from my time at HubSpot.

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Why The Challenger Sale Approach is the Best Approach to Consulting Too

[fa icon="calendar'] 02-Apr-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Marketing, Career, Consulting

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I recently re-read The Challenger Sale

Granted, I don't work in sales but everybody sells - whether it's a product, a service or your personal brand. 

I also believe that sales skills are essential for any consultant because they teach you to think differently when you're trying to provide solutions, are doing presentations and pitches or are simply talking to a customer about a difficult situation.

Especially when it comes to solutions, you need to help your customer get to the solution on their own by probing them with questions and guiding them rather than point-blank dropping the solution onto them because that's not how they'll truly adopt it - they need to come up with it on their own so that it sticks and so that they firmly believe in it. 

Back to the book - it lays out the ideas and strategies behind some of the most successful sales teams and sales reps and how they perform the job in today's world of sophisticated buyers.

Most of the selling approaches used nowadays are no longer effective because buyers are fed up with being interrogated without receiving any value.

There's a better approach to successful selling that the book promotes - the Challenger model.

Why the Challenger Sales Approach Works?

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How Discovering & Following Your Passion Can Help You Have a Global Career [Video]

[fa icon="calendar'] 11-Dec-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Career

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When people ask me how old I am and then find out that I'm 28, they are often shocked. 

They're surprised that I've managed to achieve so many things in my career in such a short timespan and are curious to understand my journey and what I've done differently.

I don't consider myself extraordinary or different. There are so many people out there that I admire who have done way more tremendous things that I have. 

However, I do feel that I've learned a lot over the years by pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and trying new things to discover my passions and my strengths. 

I'm a Plymouth University alumni and I have kept in contact with the great team there. 

They recently reached out to me to ask if I could participate in their International Students Week and present in front of students about my career journey. 

I've always said that one of my purposes in life is to help so of course, I agreed and I want to share with you today the recording of my talk and the slides which you can view below.

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