Laura Charelle, From How Raising $70 Million Helped Me Start a Business

Raising $70 million can help any business. Just imagine the impact you can have with that kind of cash!

In my former eight-year career in professional fundraising, I learned what it really took to raise these types of funds. These lessons have carried me through in starting my own business and have become extremely helpful as I begin to scale. I’m excited to share three of them with you!

First, I’ll answer your most burning question – have I made this much in my business yet?

No.

But I like to think one day I will because #bossbabe.

To cross into the eight-figure revenue range, it takes numerous pots and many different hands.

The revenue rose to $70 million from a variety of sources, much like you find in your business. You may have income from email marketing, in-person and online networking, strategic product placement, group programs, events, social media, and affiliate marketing.

In fundraising, diversifying revenue streams was the only way to raise this amount of money. Funds came through direct mail, events, email marketing, capital campaigns, grants, organizational partnerships, and generous individuals.  

Large sums of money were raised due to these different revenue streams. It was made possible because of the time, talent, and strategy put in place by professional teams and leveraging the power of community.

Fundraising is always about community.

When you see your audience as more than making money, you can see them as part of your family. This is one of my biggest takeaways and viewing my business in this way has been invaluable in how I market, communicate, and connect.

Now let’s get to the good stuff!

Here are three lessons I learned from fundraising that can help you make millions:

1. You Must Work As A Team

Did I personally ask and secure each gift?

No.

Just like any successful business you don’t cross the six, seven, or eight figure mark without working as a team. I had the pleasure to work on teams that functioned in a very dynamic and strategic way.

Before launching a campaign or meeting with a potential donor, the team always met to go over what would be best for the organization and the donor. Each person was aligned with ensuring the end result would be beneficial on both sides.

The one common theme the teams I worked with had, was every person was aligned with the mission and believed in it wholeheartedly. This passion shined through in their work and their communication. You could just feel it. Which created a very positive experience for donors.

So what if your business is a party of one?

everydayplus/Shutterstock

For many of us, that’s how we start. Even if you’re a solopreneur, you can still create strategic allies to help you flush out ideas and make the right connections.

Poll your friends who are in your target market, create an advisory board, become active in Facebook groups and build BossBabe buddies, or even lean on your partner, who may have many ideas to contribute.

I routinely sit down with my fiancé and ask his thoughts on how I should approach a new launch or service. I also get on the phone with my dad or brother, who are business owners and ask their thoughts.

My business is a health and lifestyle brand for women and I like to gain the perspective from the opposite sex. They help me see if I’m looking at things too emotionally and I love surrounding myself with those who can see things in ways I can’t.

Strategically working as a team and taking the time to flush out new ideas will set a solid foundation for your business that you can build off of. Which you will then see in your revenue.

2. Always Be Customer Centric

A big turnoff to customers is when you’re too salesy. It’s like they can feel this underlying, needy energy, and without realizing it, you can drive away sales.

In fundraising, many organizations will go for the short sale, where you try anything and everything to get people to give. We called this grassroot fundraising, and it may work in the short term, but it doesn’t have much long term gain.

Or repeat sales.

You lose out on a loyal customer base with this approach.

I remember a call I once had with a business coach who wanted to secure me as their client. Everything about the exchange felt wrong. The energy felt forced and I was very aware of the quick schemes this person was trying to use to secure my business. The connection didn’t feel genuine.

They were use to getting on the phone, not truly listening, and throwing out anything they thought might close the sale.

I didn’t hire them. And they never followed up with me afterwards.

Listening to your customers and genuinely building relationships, will help you create the know, like, and trust factor your customers need to buy from you. Consistently coming forward with quick sales schemes doesn’t create the long term impact you’re looking for in your revenue.

Being customer centric may take longer to reach your revenue goals, but it will help you create a long lasting and sustainable business. Your customers will feel your commitment and know you see them as more than a sale.

They’ll feel part of your family – because that is exactly what they are.

3. No Means Not Right Now

Just because someone doesn’t buy right away or they say no to working with you, doesn’t mean that will always be the case. I’ve seen many businesses and coaches forget to cultivate those who have said no.

That person may very well want to be part of your community and embody your brand. But they may have other factors that are in the way, prohibiting them from buying right now.

Offer them freebies, share a link to a blog post or event they might enjoy, and follow up on a later date from your original offer. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many times you hear “yes!”

I love how online fitness communities host free challenges to inspire you to test their service. You’re roped in and get use to regular workouts. This might entice you to purchase their next level service or physical products.

Or when you go to a local fitness studio and get a free class to start. Then they’ll usually offer you a discount package as a new client.

These are great cultivation tools that welcome you into their community.

What value can you add to your customers lives so they feel welcomed? If they don’t automatically say yes, what could you do to continue making touch points?

Consistently find ways to add value to your customers that will deepen your relationship. You’ll keep building that know, like, and trust factor.

I hope these lessons from raising millions have inspired you to consciously choose how you operate in your business. Looking to make six figures on your way to the eight-figure mark? You’ll love how this BossBabe did it.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, I really loved this kick ass article. I’ve wanted to feel apart of the boss babe tribe for so long, but it wasn’t until I started reading the articles that let me know it’s not a one size fits all. These women are not just a part of a service (let me show you how to make money from selling Instagram tips) they are real entrepreneurs that are kicking butt out here. Thank you boss babe and thank you Laura Cherelle for the transparency.

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