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Are you tempted to buy followers? Please don't

Friday, 22 February 2013 | By Adam Franklin

Buying Twitter followers, Facebook fans or email lists often seems like the easy option.


But it’s the work of the devil – or at least the work of a lazy entrepreneur. Here’s why it is fatally flawed.


1. You obliterate any trust when you’re found out


When you take shortcuts in your marketing and social media, people will suss you out sooner or later. And when they do, they will be questioning where else you take short cuts in your business, and any trust you’ve earned will vanish.


Your reputation takes years to build and only one lazy mistake to ruin. So what do you want people to think of your business ethics? In the super transparent web world, dishonesty will probably ruin you.


2. Buying emails lists and emailing them is spam


Buying an email list will do more harm than good.


The people on the list won’t have heard of you, and because the email they get is unsolicited, you are burning your credibility right from the very start. Plus it’s illegal.


Put that money and effort into releasing useful content people will willingly sign-up to receive.


3. It’s like having imaginary friends


Imaginary friends may make you feel better about yourself, because your vanity numbers look better to you. But obviously they are not real and there’s ultimately no place for them in your business.


A tell-tale sign that someone’s Facebook fans or Twitter followers are ‘bought’ is that they all have beautiful model-like faces and they have no friends or followers themselves.


4. Imaginary friends don’t share, refer or pay!


What benefit is there to having made up friends?


They’re not real, they don’t spend money, they don’t share your content, they don’t leave comments and they don’t refer your business.


All they are is a ticking time bomb, lying there until someone calls you out. In short, anything that seems too good to be true, usually is, so do the right thing.


Do the work!


Unfortunately ‘doing the work’ is tough and it’s a hard sell to people wanting an easy option. And the reason that companies that will still sell you social media followers is because some entrepreneurs are tempted by shortcuts.


However, I hope I’ve shown you that there’s no upside and huge reputational damage when you get found out.


Instead, talk to people on Twitter, build your networks on LinkedIn and Facebook and contribute value to your email subscriber community.


Relationships are built one person at a time, and whilst that’s not the easiest pill to swallow for the lazy business person, it’s the truth. So you may as well get started doing the right thing today!


My free 37-page e-book Web Strategy Secrets is a simple guide to getting started properly!