Last night I attended an event called Beer & Learn in Cambridge, MA. Beer & Learn meets once a month and features a different speaker each meeting. The group is designed for “entrepreneurs, small business owners, and wanna-be entrepreneurs,” to quote the organizer, Aaron Radez. Aaron is the founder and managing director of Beacon Hill Partners, the sponsor for Beer & Learn.
It’s a phenomenal concept. You get free beer and snacks while listening to a professional speak and answer questions about topics you’re actually interested in. It’s almost like the college classes you wish you had or those really cool college classes they show in movies but rarely occur in real life. Anyways, seeing as I am a total nerd for anything branding / marketing / social media related, I was pumped to see March’s event was about personal branding. I was overjoyed when I found out Sarah Dussault, from SarahFit, was going to be the expert speaking on personal branding.
SarahFit is one of the blogs I routinely follow. She is an inspiration for me. SarahFit is all about fitness. She got her start on YouTube starring and creating exercise videos for Diet.com. She then decided to make herself a brand and launch her own channel of fitness videos on YouTube as well as write a blog. She now has over 150,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 120 million total views. Her blog is wildly successful as well. Needless to say she’s launched herself into a very well recognized brand. Something I would love to do one day.
The format for this event was rather interesting. I thought it would be more Sarah talking about what she does and how she does it with a questions portion at the end. However, it’s more of a guided conversation between Aaron and the speaker. I learned a lot. I learned about ad networks that help bloggers utilize ad space efficiently. I learned about how to actually make money from YouTube. But what was most interesting to me is how Sarah goes about getting her sponsors or products. It gave me A LOT of ideas for my blog and future projects.
My favorite part of the whole night was how down to earth Sarah was. I see her as a popular blog entity. Someone who’s flying to LA to do a partner video with the Tone It Up girls and getting sponsorships from national companies like Listerine, Aldi, and Laughing Cow. She has even published her own book! But she’s normal just like you and me. She came over to our table and chatted with us for a while before the talk started. She was transparent throughout the event. She still writes all her own blogs, tweets, and posts. She monitors and maintains her sites as well.
This is a really lame way to sum it up but it’s really how I felt: it was a really cool event. I learned A LOT, got to meet one of my favorite blogs in real life, and Sarah shared the same witty sense of humor that I have. Which I can really appreciate because very few people appreciate being witty. It was a great night and I really like the concept of Beer & Learn. If you’re ever in the Cambridge area, I’d recommend checking out one of their events!