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Where are you based?
Currently between Macedonia and France

What job do you do?
I work at Enterprise League and my official title reads Growth & Engagement Officer

How did you get into marketing/communications?
By accident. I have a BA in Tourism actually. Two days before my graduation I got a freelancer job to write only meta titles and descriptions and that kept on for over two years. In the meantime, I started feeling like I’m downgrading and my brain cells are literally dying. I was looking for a challenge.

One night, I stumble upon this job posting looking for a Content Writer and think to myself “What do I have to lose? I’ll give it a try. But I don’t have the experience. Nah… They’ll probably won’t even bother to tell me I’m not fit and just ignore me. Who cares? I’ll send the resume.”

Fast forward: they didn’t want me as a Content Writer but offered me the position I’m currently holding. I had to Google if to find out what would that involve. I thought they must be crazy for trusting me with it. I didn’t trust myself. But a few years ago a had adopted this attitude of giving everything a try and I remember saying to myself they must have seen a potential in me that I wasn’t aware of.

A year later, I feel like I’m a thousand levels higher than I was at the beginning, but have another million levels still to climb.

In essence, I got into marketing because someone else saw the potential in me. I will be forever grateful to them for that.

What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
When we first started we had 0 members at our online business club. Now almost a year after the BETA launch, and just a few months after the official launch, thanks to the marketing strategy me and my team have executed, we have companies registered from 27 countries and 5 continents, and counting. This is my moment of pride!

Every marketing professional who works at a startup with a limited budget knows how hard it is to compete against the big sharks. Everything is money nowadays and when you don’t have them in the required amount, well, that’s when real creativity is unlocked and real talent shows.

One thing I’m also proud of is that I’ve learned not to be afraid of mistakes and failure. I think this was extremely important for my personal as well as professional growth. Facing failures with an open and critical mind are the best lessons you could ever learn. No book or podcast or university can teach you that.

How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
As I mentioned before, we went from complete anonymous to spreading to over 27 countries in under a year. Since we are a B2B company, that’s been even bigger challenge. Finding the right balance between Social Media, Traditional Marketing, Email Marketing, Public Relations, Paid Ads and other crucial components has not been an easy task. We even went through a phase of rebranding that thanks to the right marketing components didn’t turn against us as I was fearing. We’ve managed to build solid communication with our clients thanks to our friendly yet professional approach. We’ve generated leads by being 100% about our strengths and weaknesses. We’ve grown a decent audience on our blog and social media by speaking an understandable business language. We’ve evolved because we listened to feedback even when it was harsh. We’ve reached out to places and have been heard because we took a different approach than the rest.

What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
I am a better team player than ever, which actually made me a better leader too. I’ve understood that it doesn’t matter if I’m right or wrong about something, what matters is to listen and accept that others can have great ideas too. Also, once I would have gone crazy if things didn’t work the way I planned, now I know that plans and reality are two different things and it’s better if we focus on reality.

Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
Don’t go with the flow. Don’t care too much about rules and norms. Create your own. Unleash your creativity and don’t be afraid to speak with your own voice. Blending in with the crowd and doing what everyone else in marketing is doing is like a suicide. Educate yourself continually, but don’t overburden yourself with “expert” articles, courses, webinars etc. Expand your horizons as finding inspiration is a lot easier when your point of view is wider.

Where can we find you online?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/claudia-nikolova/
                                                                                                                      

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