Getting impatient with your follower count? Want to see your numbers just shoot up already? Feel like you’re working hard enough, so you should have more followers? Two words: too bad!
Guys, if there’s anything I can’t stress enough in this industry, it’s this: STOP BUYING YOUR ENGAGEMENT. For many reasons, of course. But seriously, stop doing it.
- It’s very obvious when someone buys their followers. For starters, if you jump 5k-10k followers overnight, trust me, people will notice. Unless you are upwards of a million followers, or have been reposted by someone that huge, no one grows this rapidly organically. Where did they all come from?! And why haven’t your likes or comments gone up? Let’s be real, if hundreds or thousands of people followed you all at once, I’m sure they would be liking and commenting your latest posts as well. Not only do regular people notice this, but brands notice this as well. As someone who comes from the PR world, I had to turn down tons of influencers who reached out pitching my former showroom to collaborate with the brands we represented. “Influencers” with 200k+ followers were pulling in under 1k likes per photo, and 10-20 comments saying things like “Great one!” and “Nice shot!”. It is simply just messy all around, and no brand will agree to gift you their pieces, or better yet pay you, when this is what your audience looks like.
- Brands will ask for your insights and analytics. If you pitch yourself to brands for a collaboration, 9 out of 10 times they ask for a screenshot of your insights and analytics. There is no hiding the real authenticity of your following when it comes to this. here will be weeks that show your impressions, reach, profile visits, and interactions altogether are down- but regardless, it does show that they typically range higher. Some days, my insights are through the roof. Some days I hate even sending my insights for the day/week because they could be super weak! It gives a clear understanding of what your analytics average on both a good and a bad day, and if your average does not align with the amount of followers you bring in, you’re busted!
- You’re a fraud. Straight up. Buying your followers on Instagram is actually really low of someone do to. People like myself, who’ve been working super hard to grow a following for years, actually find it to be seriously disrespectful. Do you think you’re going to put in half the work and just surpass everyone by faking it?! This will come around and bite you in the ass. If it’s taking you a long time to grow- get in line with the rest of us! This is normal. If you are getting unfollowed, SO FUCKING WHAT?! This is still normal! It is HARD to grow. And if I weren’t on MTV last year, I’d probably be at 30k-50k followers right now. But regardless, I would’ve been there organically. And even with 144k followers, I still got there organically! Why do y’all think I went on TV?! This girl needed to grow her platform and knew exactly how to do it fast- go get some publicity! Figure it out, but whatever you do, don’t lie to your audience and fake it.
- You’re probably going to go broke doing it. How are you going to keep up with this?! You can’t just rip it off like a bandaid and buy followers once and then hope for the best. You have to continue to grow naturally (or should I say, you have to appear to continue to grow naturally), so you can’t just jump hundreds or thousands of followers and come to a stop. And are you going to buy your likes and comments as well to even out your ratio?! You’ll have to keep up with each photo to fit your follower count… do you realize how much money that will cost you per day? Per week? Per MONTH?! Hundreds of dollars- easily! How long could you possibly keep that up? Like anything else in life, you’ll have to be consistent. Which means consistently dishing out money for fake accounts to throw a like on your picture.
- You’re going to tarnish your own reputation. Remember how I mentioned brands will figure it out by asking for your insights/doing their research on you? Not only will they not want to collaborate for the time being- but they will be sure to steer clear of working with you EVER. And if they own other brands, you will be banned from working with them too. But they’re not the only ones… even worse, other bloggers and influencers can spot a fraud from a mile away. They will never want to follow back, engage with you, or respect you. Some of us are putting in countless hours a week (what is a 9-5? I only know 24/7s), so it’s clear who is putting their creative juices and hard work into their blogging businesses. Influencers will be much more willing to engage with and be affiliated with someone who has under 10k followers with strong content, quality engagement, and a genuine love for the industry, over someone with 100k followers, poor content that gets put out once a week, and a weak audience. You’re completely hurting your reputation from working with just about anyone in the industry at this point.
- You will have NO integrity or pride in your work and achievements, which is ultimately the worst part of it all. Zero. Ziltch. I remember every single moment of my growth, when I hit 10k followers. 50k followers. 100k followers. When I got 300 comments on photos. When I got my first brand repost. When I got my first brand deal. I remember watching the numbers go up and finally earning the achievements that I worked so hard for for years. I remember being so proud and so excited. I remember the moment my full-time job to pursue my online businesses including my blog and beaming with integrity. You will miss out on all of these moments if you’re faking it. You will miss out on all of these feelings and won’t be able to look back on each stepping stone that led you to your next milestone. Everything you put your name on, whether it be a research paper or homework assignment, a business plan to your boss, content for a brand, or a simple blog post, do it with passion or not at all. Don’t put your name on anything you can’t truly say you worked hard on/for. Don’t brand yourself as someone who fakes it. Do it with integrity, and if that means taking 10 years to get to where you want to be, then do it for 10 years to get to where you want to be. Case closed!
FULL OUTFIT PICTURED BY MISSY EMPIRE