Confessions of an Influencer Whisperer

I was recently sitting on the floor of my closet, wearing a pair of coffee and wine stained pajamas, and asking Amber Venz Box to go through my Instagram and tell me if my life looked at all aspirational, commercial or shoppable. In short, if the things I chose to put on social media made other people want to buy my life.

Venz Box is the expert at that sort of thing, probably the expert. She's the founder and President of the influencer marketing platform and agency RewardStyle, which connects social media influencers with brands so that they can monetize the content they create. She's also the creator of LiketoKnowIt, a shopping app that helped make it possible for millions of people to easily purchase what they've seen on those influencer accounts.

Instagram wasn't originally created as a place to buy things, but Venz Box is one of the entrepreneurs that made it a premier bazaar, a gleaming billboard for lifestyle and a one-stop shop for clout.

For the past year I've been reporting out "Under the Influence," a podcast about mom influencers that digs into the economics, the psychology, the anthropology, the "how the hell did we get here-ness" of a world where a small army of women tells us what color to paint our walls, how to organize our pantries and how to properly swaddle our babies.

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