• This has become much more hotly contested topic. I was down in Miami with NetJets which was awesome, by the way. We had a big dinner and a lot of influencers were talking about buying followers, and buying likes, and buying engagement all this, so let me say for card is 100 percent against that. You will be booted out of the directory if we find out that you are buying followers. I do not believe that people who are buying followers should get brand work. They certainly should won't be getting it from us. We are building tools as we speak, to find people who have a fake following, and who are buying likes and we will be weeding those people out of our directories, so if you're doing it, we're coming for you first of all. There is no excuse for that. I understand it's difficult. I understand gaining a following is hard, but buying followers, end of the day, it's not going to work for you. It's not going to give you long term growth. It's not going to help you build a business.

    I'd rather have 50,000 authentic followers than 200,000 fake ones, and you can tell it's not hard to figure it out.
    Again, we're going to have this tool and eventually a lot of other people will to be able to figure it out, so if you're doing it, I encourage you to stop. I encourage you to purge your following. There are some tools out there that will help you do that, purge your following and fake followers, but bots is a hot topic. Comment bots. If you don't know what they are, basically you pay them service and you give them hashtags and certain comments, and then they go out and comment for you on other people's pages inside that hashtag. This is a controversial thing. Is it 100% authentic? No. Is it the classiest thing to do? Potentially not. Is it something that you'd be really proud of doing? Probably not. Does it work? I think it can. Am I totally against it? Not really.

    Here's the thing, I think of it as advertising. It's hard to build a following on Instagram especially if you're under a hundred thousand followers, I think it's very difficult to build a following and a big problem is just exposure. How do you get yourself out there more and the comment bots do what-- I know a lot of you are doing on your own, which is just sitting around, interacting all day. Do I think that influencers should spend two, three hours a day commenting on photos, so that people will go back to their page and potentially follow them? I think that is an unbelievable waste of time. If you can automate that and that's how you going to gain followers then, I still think your page has to convert them to a follower. Even if you're using a comment bot and they're coming to your page, you're not buying the follower, your content still has to convert them.
    I really dislike the services that have you follow and unfollow people. I have like 50 people that probably follow and unfollow me once a week. It's incredibly annoying. I will never follow you [laughs]. I would never work with somebody who I saw doing that. That I don't like but I understand it's hard out there. I look at those things as advertising. Speaking of advertising, you might also play with boosting your post and doing advertising inside of Instagram, it's not that expensive. It's very easy to do and it potentially works. I don't think you should be ashamed of trying to grow your business and trying a lot of different things, I don't think comment bots are the classiest or most acceptable way to gain your following but I don't necessary think it's cheating. That might be controversial but I'm just being honest. That's just my view.

    End of the day, if you are using a comment bot or you're running adwords campaign or Instagram advertisement, the person still has to click follow and they only going to do that if the content is good. Digital advertising is a $180 billion a year of business, just in the US. A brand's doing exactly that. Their paying money to get people to come look at their product and potentially do an action; Sign up, buy it, engage with it. Give them an email address, something. It's just advertising, right? At some point you scale it outside just of yourself. Instagram doesn't give you a lot of ways to grow especially with the new algorithm and all these frustrations. End of the day, I don't think it's cheating because they still have to follow you. Buying likes is cheating. Buying followers is cheating. Paying to get more people to look at your page to potentially follow it, is advertising. You may not like the way its done but that's the way I see it.
    Look you all, I think it is easy to sit back and say what a terrible year it is. Donald Trump, that sucked. We lost a lot of good people. Prince, Leonard Cohen, the list goes on and on. But for many of you. I've had 20 or 30 people email me and they say that they quit their jobs and then their now influencers full time. You guys get to go out everyday and create contents and tell stories and take pictures. Style outfits and create videos and do tutorials and help people. You got to do that every single day. You got to do what you love and a lot of times you got to make money out off of it. If you're not making money, you still get to work with amazing brands. Brands that you grew up shopping at, you grew up admiring maybe you couldn't afford when you grew up and now you got to work with that brand. I think that life is a series of small wins and big losses. You have to focus on the small wins and you just have to keep putting them together and keep staying positive. You look back in three years and your life it's completely different.
    Episode #31
    - Instagram Live, Snapchat vs. Instagram, Comment Bots