Building a successful Instagram account from scratch is difficult. It takes time, effort, creativity and huge amount of persistence to get any traction. For many of my online business, I first explore if I can purchase an existing account to help me get started instead of building something from scratch. In this guide, I am going to show you how I go about doing that.
Firstly, some things to consider.
When it comes to buying Instagram accounts, there are a few pitfalls to look out for. As with any investment, it carries an element of risk and you need to make sure you do the proper research before you get started.
There are also a few of factors at play in deciding how much to pay. These typically boil down to metrics, level of engagement and its brand value.
Metrics Vs Brand Value
Whether I’m a buying domain name or an Instagram account, I’m always considering the digital asset metrics and overall brand value. Where this slightly differs in the world of buying Instagram accounts is that you can change the username with relative ease but be aware that doing that also carries risks in terms of losing followers when they think “huh, who is this, I didn’t follow you?”
Here are some of the metrics that I review before buying an account:
- Number of followers
- Engagement %
- Type of engagement
- Location of followers
- Type of followers
Some of these I check by looking at data, others I manually look up to get a sense if the page is genuine (more on that later)
Considering brand value is slightly different. The old saying “people will pay what they think something is worth” is certainly true when it comes to buying an Instagram account or a domain name for that matter. If I fall in love with the name, you can usually get some good money out of me. Metrics alone won’t usually win me over 😛 However, there are few practical things that I consider:
- Does it have a good, catchy name?
- Can I turn this into a brand or just a weird Instagram handle with loads of followers?
- Are the other social media handles available – Twitter, TikTok. etc
- Is the website domain name available?
- Would I follow this account?
- How will I get a return on investment?
Once you have identified the type of page you would like to acquire, it’s time to begin the search.
Finding an Instagram account to buy
Method 1 – Use a social media marketplace
There are several websites where you can buy and sell social media accounts. These are known as social media marketplaces. In the below video, I will show you one that I had some experience with called Fameswap that seems to be popular.
One of the benefits of using a social media marketplace like Fameswap is that the transfer is secure. Once a deal has been agreed, you are required to deposit money into a secure Escrow account and the funds are only realised to the seller once you have confirmed that you are in receipt of the account. Customer support is also provided and it’s a lot safer than method 2 (below).
Method 2 – Manually reach out to owners.
Another method is to just to simply reach out to account owners directly and negotiate a deal. Having your profile set to public will help you on this quest. You will find that some accounts will inform you that they are for sale in their bio.
How to pay for your Instagram account
If you do successfully negotiate a deal, I would recommend using Paypal “Pay for Goods and services” option as they will allow you to dispute the transaction for a refund it should anything go wrong. Ensure you change the email address, telephone number and password after you have logged in to ensure you fully own it.
Analysing page metrics before you buy
If you are using a service like Fameswap, the owner will usually give you some insights into some of the metrics. You can see some statistics like Average Like per post, Average comments and views. As a rule, more likes and comments is a good signal of a genuine account.
However, even if an account looks promising it is critical that you do some manual spot checking. Many of those followers, comments and likes could be from bots or fake accounts. Remember you are looking for a genuine following here so the followers themselves should look genuine.
Take the time to look at some of the followers and the comments. For example, I just had a quick look and found these 2 followers.
It makes me nervous when I see too many accounts with followers that are following tons of people. They may be genuine, or they may be part of some Instagram growth hacking group. You are not going to avoid this because anyone can follow anyone however they should be rare not common like in this case.
I’ve purchased an Instagram account – now what?
It’s somewhat easy to buy an Instagram account but being the new owner can be a little daunting at first. Although you are buying the owners account, at this stage you usually have no idea as to the exact strategy they have been using to grow it. This can have you feeling somewhat lost and overwhelmed. You can also feel a bit scared to post in case you ruin your investment.
I thoroughly recommend also investing in an Instagram Course to teach you how to properly run an Instagram account at scale.
You also don’t have to go it alone. For one of my Instagram accounts, I outsource the content creation and posting to a freelancer I hired on Fiverr.
There are also several Instagram mentorship programs that you can sign up to that will not only teach you how to grow and scale an account but they will give you live 1-2-1 coaching calls to assist you further.
Buying an Instagram account obviously costs money, but it can totally make sense. I personally believe that ability to buy and sell social media accounts will shortly be shut down by the platforms so now is your time to acquire some digital assets before it is too late. You should be aware that buying and selling Instagram accounts violates Instagram’s policy however they seem to be quite relaxed about that at this stage which is why platforms like Fameswap are still in business.
Good luck and reach out to me if you need any help.