After reading all the books I could find and going through numerous expensive courses, I still felt like I was missing a lot of information. Almost everything I found reiterated the same points without teaching me anything new. The advice I received was essentially to pour thousands of dollars into buying shoutouts and running bots in order to grow.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have thousands of dollars to throw at people in the hopes of getting a shout out that made a difference. Even if I did, I still wouldn’t drop that kind of money after witnessing the free, organic growth that was occurring on my own account. Time and time again, I would see a new car account pop up with 20K followers and think to myself, “Oh wow, I must be missing something.” Without fail, after doing a little digging I would discover that those accounts went from 0 to 20K followers in just a week. You’re right, smelt fishy to me too.

Let’s be clear about one thing. That kind of growth is absolutely NOT possible unless you are a) a celebrity b) an insanely well-established brand that finally decided to step out of the stone age and make it’s Instagram debut or c) a time traveler. In fact, Instagram considers all new users “high risk” for the first few months and permits their account very limited engagement. With the increase of spam accounts Instagram, as a platform, has become very careful and smart.

Instagram is a community that cares a lot about how clean and efficient its operation is. In its early days, it was full of untapped opportunity. Quick growth was not hard to accomplish, and, as a result, we have a ton of Instafamous people that make a living solely from this platform.

This is not the case anymore. Organic growth is very hard to accomplish without spending a single penny. The accounts you see blowing up right in front of you from the get-go bought batches of fake followers from companies that have “follower farms”. They also almost certainly run bots that auto like, auto comment, and auto follow/unfollow. I will talk more about these bots shortly.

When I started out, no one laid this out for me. Even when I read all those books, not one author explained how things actually worked. Better yet, a large chunk of those self-appointed “experts” weren’t being honest themselves! Shocking, right!? Not really. Those social media “gurus” who

claimed to have a secret formula to explosive success were in fact utilizing the same tools I mentioned previously; boosting their accounts by way of follower purchases and bots. It wouldn’t have bothered me so much if they would have just fessed up to it.

If that weren’t enough, a lot of strategies enlisted by these “experts” are now becoming frowned upon by Instagram. Forced engagement tactics such as asking one’s audience to comment on a post if they agree, asking them to tag a friend, asking them to share a post, etc., are already not working on Facebook. They will soon also stop working on Instagram.

Knowing all of this, I chose to not be a disgruntled fella. After all, no one likes rants all over social media. I decided to be the guy who enlightens people about the realities of Instagram and how the social platform truly works. I grew tired of all those “expert” advertisements and hidden messages asking me to buy more products, bots or pay for shoutouts. They can shove their shoutouts up their you know what.

In turn, I decided to write my own book – a real, beginning to end, honest guide to Instagram, no details spared. My aim is to answer all of your questions, even the ones you didn’t know you had, help you grow and to help you discover Instagram’s potential as a powerful social platform.

If you’re planning to grow your business by utilizing Instagram Influencer marketing, I can help save you a lot of money. You will be able to tell which accounts have grown organically and which ones have exploded artificially, rendering them essentially useless. I will also help you figure out how they did it, whether it was by way of purchasing batches of fake followers or running bots. With this knowledge, you will be equipped to skillfully navigate the social media world, grow an organic following based around your niche and produce quality content that will separate you from the pack. If there’s one thing to take away from this chapter, it’s this; organic growth may be slower than faking it but sweat equity will produce the quality return you’re looking for.