It’s well known that many Instagram influencers will do anything — including buying fake followers — in order to increase their appeal to potential brands for partnership. Now photographer Trey Ratcliff is exposing the “cunning tricks” used to do so, proving how easy it is to have companies pay you for sponsored posts.
Ratcliff claims to have gained insight from encounters with aspiring Instagram influencers at luxury travel events over the past few years. Many, he says, were paid anywhere between $1000 and100,000 for a single post. Not to mention brands frequently gift products, or provide flights, hotels, and meals free of charge.
It’s a well-known fact that Instagram suffers badly with fake spam profiles, and paying someone to make a load of these bot accounts follow you is one of the most popular ways people fake Insta-fame. In a quest to see what “buying influence” could do for him, Ratcliff created a fake of his own, purchasing his 104,000 following in the process. It set him back around $40 for every 30,000 followers he bought.
Impressed by the numbers, the reception from marketing agencies was warm, with many of them suggesting relevant brand partnerships.
Of the experience, he said:
I see quite a bit of suffering out there on social media, and that’s why I wrote this book. I hope it is a fun way to open the door, if even just a little, to have people become more mindful in their daily activities. Social Media, if used wrongly, can really add to a lot of undue suffering.
Another source of suffering is some of these Instagram Influencer charlatans are using completely unscrupulous tricks to gain a big following and engagement to trick brands into giving them the seemingly ideal lifestyle that is perfectly Instagrammable. So, a lot of people suffer anxiety when they see this stuff online because they feel like losers.
But that is all based on a lie, so there is zero need for you to have any internal suffering by comparing yourself to a crook.
Compiling everything he learnt in one place, he has now released the book, entitled “Under the Influence – How to Fake Your Way Into Getting Rich on Instagram: Influencer fraud, Selfies, Anxiety, Ego, and Mass Delusional Behavior.” It retails for $10 for the digital Kindle Edition and $18 for the paperback.