I Hired a Digital Marketing Guy, and It Wasn’t Good

I paid him to grow my followers on LinkedIn. What a disaster.

Don Johnson
5 min readJul 26


Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

I was preparing my book proposal in April 2022. My writing/publishing consultant suggested I grow my LinkedIn followers to demonstrate to potential publishers a substantial following. Sounded reasonable to me. She and another person recommended a digital marketing guy.

So Jon James, CEO and founder of Ignited Results in Reno, Nevada, and I chatted. Nice guy.

He told me he could increase my followers from about 2,000 to 17,000 in a few months. I asked him how he could do this. He gave me a vague answer about promoting my profile. I pressed for more details, but I got zippo. This was my first digital marketing rodeo, so I was flying blind but trusted his reputation.

$3,645 to Jon James, and off we go.

Within a few weeks, my followers grew by several thousand. And they kept growing, hitting 17,000 about five months later. I asked him several more times to explain his secret sauce. No explanation.

I signed my book deal with SelectBooks out of NYC in June 2023. They didn’t care how many followers I had. They wanted my book. Out of curiosity, I checked my LinkedIn profile. My followers were back to about 2,000.

I did some digging into the analytics. 15,000 followers dropped off sometime in April. All at once. I searched on LinkedIn for possible explanations. I found this on my follower analytics page:

We’ve recently removed hibernated and restricted accounts, so your list of followers may have changed.

Yeah, they sure did. Restricted and hibernated accounts? What are those?

Here’s what LinkedIn has to say about that:

In order to better support LinkedIn members and contributors with more reliable insights about reach and engagement, inactive accounts, including restricted and hibernated accounts, will no longer be included in the total number of followers listed on a member’s profile.

Restricted Accounts are member accounts that have been removed for violating the Professional Community Policies or the User Agreement. Hibernated accounts are those that members



Don Johnson

Author | Meditation Teacher | Advocate for Kindness, Respect & Freedom | Human Potential Coach | Connect with me here: www.bemoreconscious.com