Iliyana's Blog

Why You Should Set Your Personal Goals Now to Start 2020 Right

[fa icon="calendar'] 23-Dec-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Career

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Christmas is two days away and it's that time of the year when we tend to reflect on the past 12 months and think about the new year ahead. 

I'm currently in Peru, away from my normal day-to-day and off work which gives me the space to think about what I want to achieve and focus on in 2020. 

For every new year, I set goals. 

To give you some examples, my goal for 2018 was to publish my first book. My goal for 2019 was to find a new home.

I've achieved both of these. 

Success, to me, is a matter of goal-setting and planning of how you'll achieve those goals. 

But also on being realistic about what you can do and can't do - as you can see, I only set one key goal for the year. Do I want to do a million other things? Of course, but I prefer to stay focused on the one big thing that will make the biggest difference in my life. 

I recently watched a 10-minute TED talk which clearly explains why setting the right goals is the secret to success for companies. 

It's also about setting the right goals for the right reasons. 

But to do this, you must first answer the question why then the what and then the how.

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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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How I Stay Inpired

[fa icon="calendar'] 08-Jul-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development

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Over the years, I've been called a machine, a rocket, a powerhouse, a bulldog, and all of these with a positive connotation thanks to my endless energy and ability to get a lot of things done in a short amount of time. 

Many people have asked me how I do it and how I continue to do it consistently. 

I always say I have developed very good time management, organisation and planning skills over the years and use the right tools for me to help me. For example, my Google calendar is my project management tool that more or less owns my professional and personal lives.

I block time not just for my meetings but also for the things that I need to get done such as projects or certain action items as well my personal engagements like coffee or dinner meet-ups with friends, travel plans etc. I even colour code my calendar so just with a quick glance I know if my week or day is full of meetings or space to work on projects or a ton of personal engagements. 

Everything is in my calendar. If it's not there, it's not going to happen.

However, in addition to these skills, constantly being able to push forward and to do more comes with intrinsic motivation - basically the desire to do something. 

And that's based on inspiration.

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How to Create a Unique Value Proposition [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 27-Nov-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Marketing, Brands and Business

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I often get asked two questions: 

  • How did you manage to build your own brand? 
  • What makes companies stand out in a blue ocean? 

To both of these questions, the answer in its simplest form is value

I began blogging in 2012 while I was still a student with a couple of important goals in mind: learn how to write better as I wanted to pursue a career in PR but was studying International Business, and share all the knowledge I was gathering with the world so that I can help others and by doing so, build an audience. 

Over time, I developed a pretty good readership, expanded my social networks, made tremendous connections and eventually became recognised as the person who invented Inbound PR that led to a book and a ton of speaking engagements. 

I did this by recognising the unique value I could provide to the market that was somehow not there - contributing my inbound marketing knowledge to the public relations practice. 

As for companies, I spent years in consulting

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