I just received a solicitation that offered to “blow up” my Twitter and Facebook followers for the low, low price of … well … the price doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that my followers aren’t numbers! They’re people.

People whom I hope are following me and consuming what I create because they find it valuable and insightful. People who are engaged and tuned in to the message.

I don’t see the value in boosting my “numbers” if the people they represent either aren’t actually people (hello, bots and ghosts) or don’t care about my message.

Unfortunately, there are enough of us out there who confuse numbers with success that companies like the one who sent me that message are alive, well, and very profitable.

If you’re struggling to gain followers, are you sharing your message in the right place and with the right people? Is your message something that people want to hear? Are you saying it in the way that they can best understand you?

Here’s the truth: If you have to buy your followers, you’ve only bought numbers. And those numbers only represent value to the person who sold them to you.