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How To Get More Followers In Instagram – DON’T BUY THEM!

Due to Instagram's surge in popularity recently. it's only natural that you want to know how to get more followers in Instagram. Can you do it without spending? YES!

But you ask around and you keep hearing 'Just buy them'. Yeah cool. How easy is that?  Pay some money and in 24 hours you've suddenly got 50,000 new followers. Job done! Let's make some money! Well, it doesn't quite work like that. In this post you'll learn:

  • ​​The followers you buy are almost always non-existent bots
  •  ​The lack of engagement from your followers will look ridiculous
  •  ​Instagram will actually punish you for buying followers
  •  ​Even real followers you buy won't be targeted, or interested in your account
  •  ​There is a way you can get huge results without buying followers, or spending money.

How To Get More Followers In Instagram – DON’T BUY THEM #1

how to get more followers in instagram

​The first problem is that when you buy followers, 9.9999 times out of 10, the followers you buy aren't real. Th​ey are computer generated bots. The pic above is an example of the type of 'follower' you'll get. That means they are not real people and they are not active Instagram users. So they are not going to help you much when they don’t exist…..

I mean, think about it. You're desperate to k​now how to get more followers in Instagram. So you pay some money to someone and ask for 50,000 followers. Then, like magic, a matter of one hour later you suddenly have 1,000 new followers? ​Then 2,000. ​Then 5,000 and then 20,000. Within hours? How do you think this happens? ​Where do you think they come from? 

Do you think there​'s a​ central manning office somewhere full of people calling real Instagram users on their special 'get more followers in Instagram' cellphones and asking them to follow you? ​One by one? A magical network of people on phones there just to service you and your order? Ummmm, no. 

how to get more followers in instagram

They are all just files on a computer program and your username is simply entered in, the people press 'go', and magically you get these computer generated followers. Not much good to you when they are 0's and 1's in a computer program......

But having 50,000 computer generated bots leads to some more problems.

How To Get More Followers In Instagram – DON’T BUY THEM #​2

how to get more followers in instagram

​Here's the 2nd problem you've caused yourself after you looked into how to get more followers in Instagram - you're gonna get caught out and mortally embarrassed.

Before you bought your 50,000 new 'followers', let's say you had 300 followers. And on every photo you ​were getting about 20 ​or so 'likes'. Now suddenly​, 24 hours after your new 'purchase', you now have 50,300 followers.

Yet when you post your photos you are still getting only 20 likes. Because your followers aren't real, they can't really engage on your pics right? So your 'like' count doesn't change even though you now have 50,000 more followers...Don't you think that's a little bit strange?

You were getting 20 likes with 300 followers. Now you're getting 20 li​kes with 50,300 followers. Something fishy, no?

How are you going to explain that to your friends? Or companies if you try to pitch them and ask for collaboration deals. ​Or sponsorships? ​Or Brand Ambassador deals?

How To Get More Followers In Instagram – DON’T BUY THEM #​​3

how to get more followers in instagram

​Thirdly, not only will your ego take a battering when people start laughing at you for buying non-existent followers, Instagram will further rub salt in your wound and punish you more. How?

Instagram rewards engagement. The more engagement you have, the more Instagram shows your pics to people. Instagram's algorithm rewards photos that get lots of engag​ement.

And the opposite is also true. If you have a crazy lack of engagement, Instagram will punish you by closing you off to your real followers.

The result? The only 300 real followers you originally had now won’t even see your pics. So your engagement will go down further!! Lose lose when your goal is to monetize and build your account.....

Incidentally, if you want to take great pics that get lots more likes, I've written about 5 ​rules of composition in photography that are guaranteed to get you better photos and more ​lots more ​Instagram love.

How To Get More Followers In Instagram – DON’T BUY THEM #​​4

how to get more followers in instagram

​What about companies that say they can guarantee real users? Or people they say are active on Instagram? This is questionable in itself, but let's look at one company that does make this claim.

It says all of its users are 100% real and come from a mobile app (whatever that means.) But then even on their own homepage in the FAQ section they clearly state that they cannot give you targeted followers (see the pic below).

how to get more followers in instagram

​If you can't read the answer, the first line says "No. There may be some followers that follow your account that might be in your niche. But for the most part, the followers could be in any niche."

Say what? $2,000 for 25,000 followers that are not interested in you or your niche at all? You gotta be kiddin' me, right?

So if they can't give you targeted followers, or followers who are actually interested in your niche or area of interest, ​then what is the actual point of having them as followers?

Sure they might be real but there's not much point having them if they are completely disinterested in you, and your account, and what your account's about......Remember, the whole point of growing followers is to monetize them. 

How you gonna do that with people not interested in you? And they want you to saddle up $2,000 for the privilege of having unrelated people following you?! Surely there's a better way? Yes, there is!

How To Get More Followers In Instagram – ​WITHOUT SPENDING!

how to get more followers in instagram

​That's my photography account on Instagram above. I built that from a few hundred followers to 27,000 in just on 18 months. I average about 1,500 new followers per month, and about 2,000 likes per photo.

But more importantly, I have never bought a follower, and all the followers on my account are highly targeted and niche specific.

That's my black and white account there. I've built that to 23k now in just 16 months. Again, every user is highly targeted to black and white photography, and I get 1,000-2,000 likes per photo. All from real people.

Across my 5 Instagram accounts (which Instagram allows you from one phone), I have a total of 115,000 followers. All real, all organic. All natural. And the best part?

​I built all my Instagram accounts over 20k without spending any money, and I can teach you how to do the same. All real followers. All highly targeted. 

Click to Tweet

So if that's something that you're open to learning, and you think might help you with your brand or your business, then just click this picture below for info on how you can get started today. 

how to get more followers in instagram

Today's Takeaways

​You're here because you want to know how to get more followers in Instagram. And rightly so. But buying them is not the way to go. We've seen 4 reasons for that:

  • ​​The followers you buy are almost always fake
  •  ​People, friends, and brands can tell if you've bought followers
  •  ​Instagram will punish you and reduce your reach
  •  ​Even real users are never targeted - meaning they're essentially pointless for your needs
  •  You can copy my simple to use formula to get real, free Instagram followers here.

​P.S If you'd like to know more about how to get more followers in Instagram, shoutouts on big accounts are a great way of getting a headstart. ​Here I explain what is a shoutout and how you can get one on my account. ​

P.P.S ​If you have followers and are interested in the best way I use to monetize Instagram, I've written about ​how to earn money on Instagram here

get more followers in instagram

If you want to understand exactly how I build Instagram accounts like the 2 above without spending a cent, just click this link here for all the help and info. 

Iain Stanley Instagram QR Code

If you'd like to follow me on Instagram, just scan the QR Code above

If you'd like to join 2 million other people in viewing my answers on Quora, just click on this link here

About the Author Iain Stanley

Hi there Iain here. I made this site simply because I want to find ways of adding multiple income streams to my life so I can retire early and live the good life. Why rely on one income when there are so many ways out there you can earn, especially online? So as I learn about them all, I want to pass my knowledge on to you so you can do the same. Here's hoping we can all retire early and go travel the world or sit by the ocean sipping cocktails!

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  • RichPersonality says:

    I think it’s very important to use social media nowadays, for your business. Instagram is a really great social media and there’s a lot of traffic you can get from it! I get it why a lot of people buy followers. They simply don’t know that all those followers will be bots! It’s always to grow followers naturally.

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Absolutely agree with you. Another reason is that people simply don’t have patience these days. It takes time to build real, genuine accounts with active, engaged followers. A lot of people don:t want to spend any time or energy on doing that – they’d rather just spend money on what they think is an easy solution. It never works out that way though….

  • Kevin says:

    Hey Iain! Looks like you’re doing great with your Instagram accounts. I never thought of buying followers. I figured most of them wouldn’t be interested in my niche, and didn’t realize some will only send you bot followers. That’s pretty worthless. I’m glad I read this article. Now, I’ll definitely not buy followers.

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Thanks Kevin. I think there’s always room for followers, regardless of niche. You just have to find out what people in your niche are searching for, then find a way of giving it to them that hasn’t been done before. Instagram is a great way to build your brand and build trust with your followers.

  • jessie palaypay says:

    It definitely doesn’t make sense to buy followers when you would ultimately be marketing to no one. I am wondering if Instagram is doing anything to punish people who sell fake followers?

    Is using the instagram ad manager a good investment for building a following or does it run into scams? I am about to use facebooks ads manager to run promotions and was wondering if its the same as Facebook?

    Thanks for your help,


    • Iain Stanley says:

      Hi Jessie, in terms of Instagram punishing those who sell fake followers, I’m not exactly sure. I know that Instagram shut down many of the automation services earlier this year but most have popped up again under a different identity. It is what is. Everyone wants to know how to get more Instagram followers coz it leads to opportunities…..
      In terms of using the Instagram Ad Manager….I’ve never done. That’s because you need a business account on Instagram and I’ve never wanted to switch over. But remember, Instagram is owned by Facebook, so Instagram’s algorithms and business practices are starting to reflect Facebook’s a lot. Good luck with your Promotions on Instagram. I’d love to know how you go. Cheers, Iain

  • Manny says:

    Hi there,

    I had no idea that there is such thing as buying followers on instagram!

    Anyway, really interesting article. I am very curious how you managed to get so many followers in such a short time.

    Do I have to be a professional photographer for that? Sometimes I am just not sure how to come up with interesting photos when I am not travelling the world…

    Thanks for your help

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Absolitely there is a huge business on buying followers on Instagram. The whole reason being that having followers on Instagram usually equal sales, if have any kind of business. In a nutshell, followers equal sales. So lots of companies will sell followers because people believe that buying followers will increase sales. But this doesn’t work simply because of the fact that the followers you buy are usually non-existent,  or completely untargeted. In terms of how to build followers naturally, without buying them you can click this link here to learn exactly how I did it. 

  • Lyle says:

    Great post Ian, I really enjoyed reading it. I’ve never really tried to integrate it into my online marketing efforts before so I’m not too sure if it’s worth it.

    Do you think the platform could be useful in online marketing, and if so, how (awareness)?

    I know how to do take advantage of pinterest, twitter, facebook and g+ but I’ve never really considered Insta.

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Hey Lyle, great question. Absolutely it’s good for online marketing – it’s the only one I use! I came to Instagram because FB became pay to play, and Twitter and Pinterest have never done anything for me. Plus you can now use up to 3 clickable links with Insta when it was always only one… the sky’s the limit really. I think Insta is great for people visualizing who you actually are and what you’re all about.

  • .* lizel *. says:

    Aloha! I like this blog but I am confused by the post title. You call the blog post: “How to get more followers”
    I didn’t read anything in this post that tells me how to get more followers… That is not to say that I didn’t learn anything from this post. I just feel like the title is misleading to and does not describe the content well.

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Thanks Lizel. The post is actually titled ‘How To Get More Followers – DON’T BUY THEM’ with that last part in caps 🙂 So the focus is on getting followers by means other than buying them, and I provide reasons. Also, the las part of the post is dedicated to showing you how you can get real, organic, active and engaged followers without having to spend ridiculous sums of money.

  • Nathan says:

    Hi Iain, this is a really good post and I learnt a great deal from it thank you! I have an Instagram account, (#n8than8) and know that it could be very popular if I understood how to get it seen! I have not been tempted to buy followers as I know how inauthentic it looks on those accounts that have thousands of followers but hardly any interaction or likes. I would like very much to share my account with many more people around the world and as a bonus generate some income. I´m intrigued about your advice so will watch the video and get back to you.. and will give you a follow on insta!
    Cheers and all the best to you,

    • admin says:

      Hi Nathan, thanks for the comment. Yes Instagram has been my absolute lifesaver. And as tempting as it is to take the shortcut approach, it simply doesn’t work. We all want to know how to get more followers on Instagram because followers = sales. It really is that simple. But buying them is not the answer and never will be, no matter how well some sales pages and companies dress up their ‘buy followers’ services. If I can be of any help to you, just let me  know. and be sure to check out some other Instagram related posts here too. Cheers, Iain

  • Louise says:

    This was a good read – my instagram account is very new so I’m still learning! I have to say, I hadn’t been tempted to buy followers although I know a lot of people do. However, the alternatives seem to be spending about 5 hours a day on instagram following and engaging with other people’s accounts and posts which I’m not keen to do either!

    As you say, the real followers and genuine engagement is the most important thing – I would rather have 300 followers who genuinely enjoy my posts then a fake 10,000.

    • admin says:

      Hi Louise. Yes it seems you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. One great way to deal with the engagement issue on Instagram and save yourself lots of time is to set up a Facebook Page (not account) and link it to your Instagram profile. As of about June this year, you can now access all your Instagram comments and likes etc from your linked FB page. And reply via your PC. So if you’re at work, or home on your PC, you can deal with Instagram stuff without even touching your phone. Really speeds up typing!
      You can also set up lots of social media go-betweens using If This Then That website. That’s a massive time saver too!

  • Joshua says:

    Hey Iain! That’s really impressive what you’ve achieved with your Instagram. And I do agree that you should never buy followers on any social media platform.

    I’m very interested in learning from you and how you’ve built your audience. My niche is in audio engineering… do you think Instagram would be a good place to be for this niche?

    • admin says:

      Hey Joshua. To be honest, I would have no problem buying followers IF they were targeted and active. But they never are. So 10,000 untargeted followers is not only pointless and a waste of your money, but actually harmful in Instagram’s eyes coz your engagement rate will plummet.
      As far as audio engineering goes, any niche is good on Instagram. Instagram is simply the best social media platform right now to get free traffic in my opinion. Facebook is pay to play and Twitter is dying a slow death. Pinterest is too hard to come to terms with for many. Just look at Instagram’s growth numbers over the last 18 months – extraordinary.
      So you just build your followers, then redirect them to your website whenever you post something new or have anything to offer them.
      Followers = future buyers. So the more followers you have, the more customers you get. People know this so that’s why they charge you to buy followers. Unfortunately, those types of followers never become buyers. But once you figure that out, you’ve lost your money and it’s too late.
      Be sure to check out my other Instagram related posts. Whatever I learn, I try to share 🙂

  • Mark says:

    There are seriously hundreds upon thousands of ways and approaches to get more Instagram followers. What you need to do is find something you can do and then find what works for generating traffic (and sales) for that “something” and scale it up. What works really well for me is picking hashtags with low popularity but high engagement. There are obviously a lot of low popularity hashtags that nobody looks at. So doing a research on what hashtags actually get looked at works very well.

    • admin says:

      Very true Mark. Hashtags are a huge part of my strategy. You have to be careful with ‘low popularity’ hashtags coz if they’re too low, no-one’s really using them/seeing them. I find the sweet spot for hashtags is between 20,000-200,000 media. I never go above or below that when I’m choosing which hashtags to use.

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