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How Ben Soffer Used His Community To Build A Successful Brand

Ben Soffer never set out to become an influencer. It happened by accident. His wife, Claudia Oshry, @girlwithnojob, was playing on her phone one night and he was getting annoyed. So, he asked her to get off her phone.

She told him, “No.” She suggested that he start his own Instagram account.

He did and it has paid off.

Soffer now has 1.5 million Instagram followers who love his comedy memes.

But it’s not about the number of followers. It’s all about building a community.

Soffer said, “There are influencers with 100 million followers that can’t sell anything. And there are influencers with 10,000 followers who can build a business.”

He could not be more spot on.

People get hung up on their number of followers but what’s really important is the number of engaged followers. They’re the ones who are going to support them in everything that they do.

Soffer said, “If you build an audience authentically, it’s like having a million friends who want to support you and see you win.”

Soffer was a big fan of Aperol Spritz cocktails and he saw the popularity of hard seltzer and wanted to make a sparkling, canned cocktail.

He really drilled down into what he was looking for and decided that he wanted something that tasted great but also had less sugar and calories than the other canned seltzers on the market.

But before doing anything, he asked his community for feedback.

Most creators, and brands, work backwards. They grow a following, create a brand and then try to build a community around it.

But Soffer did it the right way: He built the community first.

He said, “The only way that we were going to successfully build a brand is if we built it through the community. So, we reached out to them and asked them about logos, flavors, can designs, flavors, alcohol percentage and we DM’d that to thousands of our followers by hand. And we called that R&D group, the Spritz Society.”

Soffer started working on Spritz Society in 2019 ands recently secured backing from: Dear Media founders, Lauryn and Michael Bosstick, Morning Brew’s Co-Founder, Alex Lieberman, pro golfer Will Zalatoris and more.

“Spritz Society is so much more than your average beverage company. They have built a movement and community that is unparalleled in this arena. We could not be more fired up to partner with the brand and be a part of this movement,” said Michael Bosstick.

They launched in August 2021 and generated over $100,000 in sales in the first 24 hours.

They are now in seven states: California, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Georgia, Alabama and New York, with additional markets to come.

To creators looking to turn their hobby into a full-time job, he suggests building a community first. But then, not to rely solely on brand deals to pay the bills. He recommends creating your own brands, that resonate with your community.

And he also recommends old-fashioned hard work.

Soffer said, “People love being idea guys. But they never do it. They never make the product. Literally the first step is to make your product. If it’s CPG, just make your product. It doesn’t cost that much money to make your product once. Show it to your friends. See if they like it. If they do like it, somebody probably knows someone who invests in products. Get them excited about it. But just start. Everyone is going to tell you not to, but just start.”

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