Ben Soffer, the Boy With No Job, Is an Accidental Influencer

Ben Soffer launched the Spritz Society beverage on the strength of the 1.6 million followers of his boywithnojob Instagram account.

Ben Soffer
Ben Soffer Spritz Society

When Benjamin Soffer started dating his wife around nine years ago, he was committed to getting her off of her phone. She had a few thousand followers on Instagram as @girlwithnojob, was gaining traction online, and Soffer was frustrated that she was paying more attention to her phone than him. Instead, she suggested he make @boywithnojob.

“I was interested but I was more interested in her getting off of her phone than I was in getting on my phone at the time,” Soffer said. “So it was really a happy accident.”

I spoke with Soffer, now known as @boywithnojob (1.6M, Instagram) who recently launched his own canned cocktail company Spritz Society. His Instagram page is filled with snarky humor and memes targeted toward millennials. 

The Old Instagram & The Creator War

Soffer cultivated his audience on Instagram before he tried to build his platform into a business. 

“Now nobody really starts an Instagram without an intention to build it into a community they could monetize,” Soffer said. “Back then it was completely different.”

“Which is why I think that we have such authentic communities that we built from the ground up, never spent a dollar on paid advertising, never really focused on growing the community,” he said.

Soffer’s Instagram is mostly filled with memes and what he calls “relatable humor.” His audience mainly consists of 25-34 year-olds, 80% of whom live in the U.S. with a strong presence in New York. 

“But these are millennials that like to have a good time, can sort of laugh at themselves,” he said. “There’s a lot of self-deprecating humor. Just regular nineties kids for the most part, late eighties, that all grew up in a very different age that sort of appreciate the humor that we all grew up on.”

Soffer’s focus is not on expanding his follower base and he said he isn’t very good at managing his accounts across platforms. Instead he focuses on nurturing the fans he does have.

“I don’t have big audiences on other platforms because my goal, it’s not on growing my audience. It’s on taking the followers that I have, nurturing those relationships, and making them lifelong followers,” he said.

The importance of a nine-to-five

Before pursuing being a full-time influencer, Soffer held various jobs in advertising. He cited working at Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerMedia as his favorite role, partially because his social media presence was celebrated at work.

“[I] educated myself by having nine-to-fives, the last decade, growing as a marketing executive and always having boywithnojob there,” he said. “I leverage that into really helping to build myself into the businessman that I am today.” 

Building Spritz Society

Soffer is a big fan of Aperol Spritz cocktails and said he coined the phrase “Spritz Season.” He noticed the popularity of hard seltzer and decided he wanted to try and make a canned aperitif-based cocktail. 

To build his business, Soffer asked his followers what they thought of spritzes through an Instagram poll and found that 92% of the 50,000 responses he got were positive. He also direct-messaged around 3,500 followers a Google form in order to gather opinions on logo and can designs, alcohol by volume percentage, and flavors. He called that research-and development-group Spritz Society which is how he determined the name of his brand.

“The name literally comes from empathetically building this brand through my community,” he said.

Spritz Society is available in California, Florida, Texas and will soon be in Massachusetts, Illinois, and New York, through a range of retailers.

Advice for Aspiring Creators

Soffer said it’s difficult to remain authentic as a content creator while monetizing content if you don’t have a huge following.

“If you want to be a full-time content creator—unless you are at the David Dobrik level or the Marques Brownlee level, where you can work with LG and they’ll pay you half a million dollars for a video and you can do a couple a year and not lose your audience—the typical content creator would need to work with several brands, ones that maybe they don’t believe in, just to get that check.”

Soffer makes his money mainly through Spritz Society, and recommends that other influencers try to launch their own products or collaborate with bigger companies on products. 

“I would say that if your goal is longevity, I would search for those meaningful partnerships,” he said. “If your goal is [to] quickly make money, there’s endless amounts of brands that will pay you to do stuff but you’ll lose your audience. And the day that you don’t perform for the brand, you’ll often lose the brand. So I would tread lightly.” Ben Soffer, the Boy With No Job, Is an Accidental Influencer