I recently had a client who straight away asked me a question, “Hey, should I buy an Instagram account instead of trying to build a new one from scratch?” It made me think.
Growing a new account on Instagram has never been harder. The competition is fierce, and Instagram hasn’t made the growth of newcomers easy. Quite the contrary. It’s only harder and harder to start from scratch.
Imagine the efforts that you need to put in to get your first 100 followers. Who can you wow with a hundred anyway? Getting to 1000 or 10000 is even harder.
No wonder people are considering investing money into buying existing Instagram accounts so they wouldn’t need to go through all the disappointments of a slow start. It makes perfect sense.
If you’re just starting on Instagram, it may be tempting. It may be tempting if you’ve been trying for months or years (it happens) to grow, to no avail.
After my client asked me this question, I’ll be frank, I didn’t have a straightforward answer. So, is it worth buying an existing Instagram account, or should you actually put effort into building your own?
Why should you buy an Instagram account?
The work that you’ll need to put in to grow a brand-new account may be scary. All the hours you’ll need to put into creating a strategy, posting, engaging, networking, and promoting your new account may seem like a waste of time since there is an easier path.
In the end, by buying an account, you’d actually purchase a community. Followers who started following someone else because they enjoyed and related to the content that was posted. It seems easy; all you need to do is rebrand and feed that community with more great content.
On top, if you actually buy an account, it might have a good base of followers. It may seem like good social proof, and you may believe that more and more followers will start following you. Somehow, people tend to believe that a high number of followers gives credibility and authority.
It may be true.
But it may also have a detrimental impact on your motivation and business growth. In the end, buying followers is illegal (we know that), but so is buying Instagram accounts.
How to buy an Instagram account?
Multiple platforms will offer their services. A quick Google search “buy an Instagram account” will give you hundreds of providers that will ensure that they are safe and legit. They’ll also tell you that the buying of an account is totally legal, and Instagram won’t ever find out about it.
In the end, it’s a business model that is lucrative for both – these platforms and accounts that are keen to earn by selling.
You’ll discover multiple marketplaces (similar to Amazon or eBay) that will list down the accounts by categories with pricing. The prices tend to vary depending on how big the account is, location, niche, and quality of posts.
You can buy a mediocre account for as low as a couple of hundred dollars.
However, you need to keep in mind that some of these platforms are pure scammers. They’ll take your money and vanish. You won’t be able to complain to Instagram about it, as purchasing accounts goes against Instagram community policies.
Many of the niche accounts or theme pages are actually keen to sell if the price is worth it. They often create and build these accounts with monetization in mind, so you may be lucky to find an account that fits your requirements.
Make sure to protect yourself and get the login credentials beforehand, and once you have access to the account, change both immediately. This prevents the owners from abusing the deal by simply reporting a forgotten password, restoring it, and leaving you without access.
Once you have your access, you can then work on rebranding your newly purchased account. Introducing your products, brand, and content. It may take time and ideally shouldn’t be too rushed. You don’t want your community to know that the account’s owner has changed.
What should you expect from a newly bought Instagram account?
If your rebranding is drastic, such as the name and Instagram handle change, your followers may be confused. They may not recognize you and think that they never followed you.
From there, they might start unfollowing you. This will result in you losing followers (in some cases, a significant amount), which will go against your primary reason for buying. Having a big community of followers.
If the number of followers doesn’t suddenly drop, you’ll notice a steep drop in your engagement rates. It is common for rebranded accounts (even if they were not bought) as Instagram wants to test the content with a smaller audience. They want to see if the content is relevant and interesting to the audience.
If your engagement remains low, Instagram will deem your content poor and limit your reach. It means that it will show your posts to a smaller group of non-followers. This will hamper your growth strategies.
You should invest a lot of time planning your rebranding strategy to ensure minimal confusion among your followers. You may even want to continue posting within the same theme before making an announcement of the introduction of new products.
However, don’t expect miraculous growth. You’ll still need to put a lot of effort into maintaining the number of followers, not to mention further expansion.
Are all Instagram accounts legit?
Keep in mind that selling and buying existing Instagram accounts is a business. It can be very profitable, and there may be a lot of users who purely grow their accounts for sale.
Those users may ignore legitimate ways of Instagram growth and use follower buying, follow/unfollow strategies, and other illegal means to gain followers fast. As a result, they may be filled with fake followers and bots that don’t engage.
Therefore, always consider engagement rate as one of the key metrics to assess the quality of an account. You may even look deeper and analyze the follower quality score.
If you buy an account with a poor follower quality score, you’ll end up spending money on an account that’ll sooner or later lose its followers. Instagram keeps on removing fake and bot users regularly, resulting in drastic drops in the number of followers.
You should also assess other metrics, such as the number of comments, the quality of posts, and look at the historical growth of the followers. To analyze these metrics, you can use tools like Instrack, which should be able to give more insights into the quality of the account you’re about to purchase.
Instead of buying an Instagram account, build your own
So, if my client asked me now whether they should buy an existing Instagram account, I’d, without hesitation, suggest building it their own from scratch. Buying an account is risky on multiple occasions.
Even if you don’t end up scammed while purchasing, you may end up with an account that’s full of fake followers. If not, the rebranding of your new account may result in you losing a ton of followers.
The rebranding of an account also takes a lot of time, effort, and money. On top of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy an account, you’ll have to invest in planning, posting, and growing. Isn’t it better to invest that money into something you’ll have peace of mind with?
Avoid the headache and worry that you may lose your money and get your account blocked by Instagram.
Even though starting a brand new account from scratch is hard, many new businesses achieved it. I’ve worked with multiple clients who achieved great results through proper planning and work. They can also be happy that they own their accounts and be sure that months or even years after the transaction, they won’t lose it all.
There are a ton of great ways to grow new accounts. The strategies that have worked for everyone will work for you too. You only need to produce high-quality content, be ready to invest time, and have a plan in place.
So, if you’re still wondering if you should buy an Instagram account, the short answer is no, you shouldn’t.