How to Get 3,241 Facebook Fans per Day Without Paying for Ads (Incredible Case Study)

by Marsha Stopa


Today, I’m going to share a strategy that got Steven Aitchison 3.6 million Facebook fans and continues to pull in 3,241 fans per DAY.

Of course, he must be spending a fortune on advertising, right? Everyone knows you can only build your following that quickly by paying for likes.

But that’s the best part…

He’s not spending a penny on advertising. Every single one of those fans is totally free.

He’s also used the same strategy on seven different Facebook pages in three different markets. It worked every time.

The point?

I might as well just go ahead and say it…

This Is the Smartest Facebook Strategy We’ve Seen

And Steven has executed it brilliantly.

In fact, you can learn a lot just by watching how Steven runs his Facebook page.  We (the team at Smart Blogger) certainly do.

Like most things, it’s not just about using the right techniques. It’s about the mastery of those techniques.

If you follow Stephen’s advice, and you execute it with the same skill, I’m confident you’ll be pleased with your results. Let’s jump in.

8 Steps to Attracting Millions of Facebook Fans

Steven Aitchison’s Facebook Likes

Step #1: Shift Your Focus from Making Money to Helping People

Early on, Steven struggled. After starting a blog, he just couldn’t seem to get the traffic or engagement he wanted.

One day though, he realized why:

“I had been asking myself, ‘How do I make more money?’” Steven said. “Then I started asking myself ‘How can I help more people?’” Without realizing it, that simple, six-word question launched his evolution from a money-centered entrepreneur to a heart-centered entrepreneur, and with it, his financial future.

The One Question That Transformed Aitchison’s Facebook Page

“You’ve got to think about the viewer first, and you’ve got to think about what is going to touch somebody’s heart, what’s going to give them an emotional response,” Steven explained. “If you can, think about it from that point of view. Always think about the customer first. It’s not about what you want.”

That unassuming question is the catalyst behind all of Steven’s growth over the last five years. His financial success is proof that persistence, experimentation and smart marketing can combine with a generous heart and people-first approach to build a business.

Step #2: Know Your Audience Better Than You Know Yourself

Most Facebook page owners don’t really know the demographics and psychographics of their readers and, as a result, don’t know who they are talking to. Yet Facebook gives in-depth data on your audience and their preferences within your Insights page. Aitchison’s readership is about 76% women aged between 25 and 54.

“When I am writing or doing video and putting blog posts up, I always have them in mind,” he said. “You can’t put up blog posts about how fantastic men are. You can, obviously, but it’s not going to do as well as if you have a different type of blog post about how fantastic women are, for a silly example.”

Step #3: Don’t Stop at Posting Heartfelt Content — Interact with Your Readers

Steven intuitively follows a two-part content-creation sequence: establishing an emotional connection with readers with content that touches his own heart, and interacting with followers directly.

He makes sure the quotes and images he posts are heartfelt by asking himself if they touch his own emotions and connect with his readers on a deep emotional level. He follows through by being accessible and responding to readers directly. It’s this last step Aitchison feels is the critical piece of the puzzle that most bloggers ignore.

“I think what’s made the page explode is that I’ve really interacted,” Steven said. “Most page owners, when they do Facebook, they put some post up, they put many posts up, but they’re not really connecting with the readers.”

“Readers come back for more when they know they’ve got access to the Facebook page owner, who’ll respond to comments when you’re on Facebook Live, or shout out their name or respond to messages,” he said. He only got someone to help behind the scenes with automatic responses earlier this year.

He believes it’s about creating something readers can belong to and connecting them with your posts, quotes and videos. “It’s about connecting to something and to somebody as well,” Steven said.

Don’t Stop at Posting Heartfelt Content — Interact with Your Readers

Step #4: Write Your Own “Aha” Quotes that Touch People

Aitchison is a firm believer that quotes can deliver “Aha!” moments that readers remember. When he started actively working his Facebook page, Steven was using writing quotes from other writers for his image quotes, just like everyone else.

Then he realized he was giving away free marketing, often to dead people, when he himself had written millions of words. So he began to rewrite the thoughts and concepts in his own words, putting his name below the quote. His online and Facebook recognition accelerated from 20 people finding his blog every month by Googling his name to 1,200 people.

Forgiving - Aha Quote

“It first started when I was doing the image quotes. Then it kind of transferred over onto video and now onto the live shows as well,” he said. This tactic is an easy and obvious way of becoming your own brand that leads directly to more traffic, more likes and, eventually, more income.

Step #5: Create Video That Touches People

Aitchison’s entry into video was pure experimentation that triggered a social media epiphany.

He was in his hotel room one night while at a conference in San Diego in 2016 when he decided to try Facebook Live, which had been recently introduced.

“I thought, I’m going to try this and see what happens. I didn’t have anything planned to say or anything. Just went on and just said, ‘Hi, Steven Aitchison here doing a Change Your Thoughts page.’ Then before I knew it there were about 10,000 people on at one time. I’m going, ‘Holy sh–. What’s going on?’”

By the time Steven had finished his first short video, it had about 50,000 total views. He realized there was a huge opportunity to interact with his millions of followers and immediately launched a daily Facebook Live show.

He mixes up his content by playing off his blog posts while talking with readers, doing interviews with people popular in the self-development niche, hosting live and guided meditations and sharing other personal development videos with commentary.

He urges bloggers to face the fear and do it anyway.

“Tech things can happen, but there have been no really awkward moments.” – Steven Aitchison on Monday, November 6, 2017

Step #6: Study Your Posts’ Performance and Promote the Winners

Here’s a statistic that shocks most Facebook page owners, who think 100% of their followers see everything they post. In reality, only about 6% of your Facebook page followers will be shown a post when you first post it, as Facebook tests its popularity.

If your post is shared and commented upon — becoming more popular — Facebook will show your post to more of your followers, but not until it’s sure the post is popular enough according to its algorithm. Popularity breeds popularity in the Facebook algorithm. If your post sits around and does nothing at first, Facebook won’t show it to more of your followers.

Pay attention to the organic winners, give them a boost and let them run, Steven advises. Ignore the losers, which will drag down the overall ranking of your page. Learn from both the winners and the losers, and model the winners.

That’s difficult for most bloggers who believe the problem is that not enough people have seen the post, not that it doesn’t touch people.

Steven tracks the popularity of all of his Facebook posts and reposts the most popular content — the posts that rank higher than his average ranking — every three to four weeks. When the reach and engagement of those popular posts drops below average, he retires them for a few weeks or months, then starts reposting them again since his page will have a new set of followers who haven’t seen that post yet.

He credits this one technique — reposting the winners — with dramatically growing his Facebook page, as repostings often did better than the first posting.

Step #7: Pay Attention to Facebook’s Next Moves

Steven always has one eye on what Facebook is pushing and will shift gears at a moment’s notice.

“You have to experiment and look out for what Facebook is pushing,” he advised. “I call it the Facebook stack. The Facebook stack is really all about checking out what Facebook is really pushing just now, and right now, for example, it’s videos. It’s Facebook Live just now and their own creation, which is Facebook Slideshow. They’re going to give it more reach because Facebook is promoting that automatically.”

Pay attention to Facebook's moves.

Rather than turn a blind eye to the advertising on Facebook, Steven recommends paying attention to what Facebook itself is advertising — a hidden-in-plain-sight clue to what Facebook is pushing at the moment. And be ready to act.

“You have to jump on the bandwagon,” Steven said. “You have to be on the ball and look out for what Facebook is promoting. You have to jump on it. People kind of get stuck thinking Facebook is going to stay the same and you can put the same old kind of blog posts up, and they don’t realize Facebook is changing almost every day.”

Step #8: Always Be Human and Genuine

Despite millions of followers and Facebook Likes, Aitchison said because of the type of person he is, his head is never in the clouds.

“I always question myself, I always question what I’m doing and I always ask the question, ‘How can I help more people?’” If you ask that one question in every area of your business you’ll quickly feel the disconnection when you don’t ask it, Steven said.

“The biggest compliment I keep getting is, ‘You’re really genuine, you’re really authentic,’ and I think that just being yourself really comes across.”

More Growth Means More People to Connect With and Touch

Steven doesn’t expect that his Facebook page will look the same in a year or two. Nor will his blog or business, except that he’ll be connecting with more people and touching more hearts. He understands that change is the only constant, and he fully intends to roll with Facebook’s direction.

He anticipates his page will evolve as live-streaming becomes more of a focus on Facebook, likely requiring him to upgrade the quality of his live shows to more TV-like quality, in effect creating mini TV shows.

“I think it’s going to be about me getting in front of the camera more,” Steven predicted. “Not something I’m naturally inclined to do, but this is why I’ve been doing Facebook Live for some time now — to get out there, to connect even more with the audience. I see it growing bigger, obviously, along with the challenges.”

He relishes the challenges because they keep him connected to the readers, and it’s that connection that keeps him going.

“I’ll never get big-headed or conceited because I always bring myself back to earth as quickly as I put my head in the clouds,” Steven said. “It’s a nice feeling when people come to you and say, ‘You really changed my life.’

“And I keep on asking the question, ’That’s nice, but the balance is, how can I help more people?’”

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Marsha Stopa

Marsha Stopa was a long-time senior instructor and coach for numerous Smart Blogger courses. Today, she's living her dream in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, where she bought a fixer-upper among the bears on a quiet mountain with a stunning view.


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Written by Marsha Stopa

Marsha Stopa was a long-time senior instructor and coach for numerous Smart Blogger courses. Today, she's living her dream in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, where she bought a fixer-upper among the bears on a quiet mountain with a stunning view.

98 thoughts on “How to Get 3,241 Facebook Fans per Day Without Paying for Ads (Incredible Case Study)”

  1. Marsha this is a very meaty article not only about Facebook page but also on how to approach writing in general. “How can you help others through your post?” is a very important thing to consider. Writing to serve your audience instead of yourself is a great reminder. I’m bookmarking this to include on my collection of posts that I need to reread.

  2. Great piece Marsha. I have been toying with the thought of doing Facebook live talks. Just not been brave enough to take the plunge yet. But it’s definitely in the pipeline.

    • Hi Adewale. Don’t think about it, I would just go ahead and hit that live button just to get your first one out of the way. It’s the first one that’s the hardest, once you do your 1st one you’ll see how easy it is and realise it’s really easy and enjoyable.

  3. Awesome post Marsha!

    I found your message of “touching other people” through blog posts to be fundamental for most bloggers. As a student and blogging about financial and lifestyle issues that arise with students, I believe I am making a positive impact on their lives. Thanks for reinforcing that message 🙂



  4. While I agree with most of the part, I’m having hard time imagining if it works for all niches. For e.g. if someone’s in online money making niche, it’d be difficult to write content which “touches hearts of the people”.

    Similarly, this soul shaking content takes time to create. So I find it difficult to keep your FB page active. And the advice that I’ve read of many “facebook gurus” is that you got to post frequently on your Facebook page.

    So how can one tackle this situation?

    BTW, you never mentioned what frequency of posting does Aitchison suggests? Or does it matter at all.

    I like the part where Aitchison creates his own quotes and puts his name underneath. However, wouldn’t you be considered arrogant when doing so?

    These are some of the questions that came in my mind while going through this article. However, as always, it was quite informational with valuable insights. I’m myself struggling to get active fans for my FB page so I guess I can put some of the techniques to use.

    Thanks for writing. 🙂

    • Hey Saad,

      Great questions. Thanks for taking the time.

      None of this is actually that difficult.

      Steven teaches these techniques to the students in his course, most of whom are in online money-making niches. If you think about it, your potential customers have a problem and are searching for a solution. So showing them you can solve their problem for them does “touch their heart” because it gives them relief. It comes down to knowing your customers so well that you can dial in their frustrations and fears around their problems — the core of your marketing.

      It does take time to create good content, no doubt. But once you know what your readers respond to, as Steven says, you rinse and repeat to a certain extent. You’re not recreating the wheel every time, but giving people what they want and respond to once you recognize the pattern.

      Steven does post frequently — I think somewhere around 4 -6 times a day. He’s adjusted the frequency over time as he’s studied his stats. It does matter because as the post explains, Facebook doesn’t automatically show all your content to all your followers, so you want to make sure you have enough posts going into the pipeline.

      I suppose you could consider claiming your insights as being arrogant, but why give someone else the credit? And why wait for someone to, maybe, give you the credit? I consider it being willing to plant your flag and state what you stand for.

      I hope you give these steps a try.

      • Hi Saad

        Thanks for your questions, really appreciate you taking the time.

        Marsha has already answered some questions but I would like to add to add to your point “I like the part where Aitchison creates his own quotes and puts his name underneath. However, wouldn’t you be considered arrogant when doing so?”

        Let me ask you a question – Is it arrogant for someone to write a book and put their name to it or is it arrogant for someone to write a blog post and put their name to it?

        Think of writing quotes as smaller versions of a blog post or a book. The power of a quote should never be underestimated and can literally change someone’s life.

        I remember when I first read this quote from Martha Beck “The way you do anything is the way you do everything” – That quote changed the way I thought about doing the small things in my life in both my business and my personal life.

        When you can write little nuggets of gold like that, you could literally change someone’s life, so why not share it with the world.

  5. Excellent tips for facebook page growth.
    I have noted a new thing today that facebook does not show your posts to all your fans but tests it first with 6% fans.
    This is true and I have observed this on my facebook page.

  6. Love it! Thanks Marsha for an amazing write up. I particularly loved the 8 Steps to Attracting Millions of Fans. And thanks to Steven for being so open and sharing this gold with us.

  7. I really appreciate these suggestions, Steven. Thanks.

    You are a wonderful human being,
    people like you make the world a better place.

  8. Hey Marsha and Steven,

    Thank-you for posting such an informative and inspirational article. My biggest take-away: “Know Your Audience Better Than You Know Yourself” – but this is not easy. Yes even with all the data Facebook provides (at least for me).

    Some of of you guys are adept marketers, when I say that I mean you’re naturally good at it. I am learning – thank you again guys!!

    • We all started from knowing nothing, Debojit. Look at Steven — he lost $50K on Facebook ads before he learned. That’s an expensive education!

    • Hi Debojit

      The best advice i can give here is not to think about the stats too much just now and decide what you want to give to the world and then just go out and give. Be yourself in your writing, your live shows, and your posts and your tribe will start to find you.

      Then start looking at your numbers and find more of your tribe.

      As you do this you will become a much more confident person.

  9. Great article and case study. I have been getting more traffic through me facebook group than page. I guess for few niche facebook closed group is good as you can encourage others to share their thoughts and have a good discussion. facebook page is page is great for some others,I mean you cant handle a facebook group of 1 million people right.

    • Megan, FB pages and groups have different functions. Once people have gotten to know you through your FB page, the next step is to invite them to a group, which provides more engagement. It can be the next step in your marketing funnel.

  10. really an eyeopener post….from today I will start thinking the same way and will thinks of helping people than making money…great inspirational article…keep it up..!

  11. Debojit,

    I’m a little late to the game learning about Flipboard. I discovered it after installing a WordPress plugin on my blog that has Flipboard as an option to share content to after publishing a blog post. So i took a further look into it and started a new FB account. I’m still learning about it but sharing content there now. So far I’m a happy camper. 🙂

  12. Hey Marsha,

    Jon has always been one of the most influential bloggers in the whole world. With his new blog, he changed everything.

    And when it comes to Steven and the things mention in this post, it’s really important to think “how to help people?”.

    That’s the basic thing to build your personal brand. Making money from Facebook requires money for sure.

    Ignoring the fact that other pages are also doing great is a mistake. I liked the way you have added Steven’s posts about sharing other’s posts.

    The video content always attracts.

    Though the Facebook predictions can’t be done by everyone. Only experts can understand their move.

    Glad to read this article.
    Thanks for sharing with us.


  13. Delighted to read this post. Steve Aitchison is the real deal: a truly authentic guy – yet he’s also wise in the ways of the internet to the extent that not only has he become successful but he’s also helped many others experience success too. A win-win situation. A big shout also out for Jon’s own work: love it!

  14. Wow! This is really encouraging for someone starting over with a new Facebook page, and who is tired of the “standard” marketing tactics and tricks. It’s refreshing to see an emphasis on care and authenticity is rewarded. Looking forward to putting this strategy into practice.

    • Thank you KC

      Honestly, if you can get into the mindset of asking ‘What do my readers want’ you won’t go far wrong.

      Yes you may still have to advertise to grow your page quicker, but it’s not completely necessary. Advertising only accelerates your progress.

  15. The best way to get facebook fans is that you post relevant and attractive content.Video posts get more exposure than text posts.The bottom line is that you provide solution to your audience so they can click on your posts and become fans.

  16. Marsha & Steven,

    This is a wonderful article. Too motivational and inspiring. Loved the part about connecting with the audience. Above all factors, that is very important. Interacting with the followers imbibes confidence in them. Also, it provides credibility to our page and posts. Facebook Live has helped us achieve this connection.

    Cheers to you Steven for being a wonderful human.

    Sathish Arumugam.

  17. Hello Marsha & Steven
    Thank you for this informative and motivation article. You nice explained some serious tricks about to make a great business on facebook.
    thanks again

  18. Let me guess. Sending out a mass e-mail promotion to subscribed e-mail recipients and asking them to “Like my Facebook page?” 🙂

  19. Wow Steven, your success record inspires me.

    I’m definitely going to give this a shut.

    Video is trending hard now.

    I also noticed Facebook is pushing their audience network really hard but not much money is made from there.

    I have long ago stopped tasking my fans to buy and buy.

    Thanks. Marsha, you did an awesome work here.

  20. Hello Steven,

    This is a great article in so many ways. Several things come up. First off, I would like to interview you on our podcast which is called, “The Thought Hackers.” Our main focus is working with people who have come from a place of trauma to where they have not only survived, they are thriving – and they have a message to share. In every case, there was at least one major turning point which allowed them to live the lives they have today. We also interview experts on the forefront of mind development. I think you will enjoy what we do.

    The second part, assuming you’re open to it is being a guest on your podcast. There are two of us I’m suggesting for that. Myself, since I’ve recovered from PTSD and I have some valuable information to share with your audience. And the second reason is I think you would enjoy interviewing my coach, Hamish Bayston, the man who freed me from my PTSD.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  21. Hi Marsha,

    The no#1 point is the core of everything else. Whatever you do whether it’s online or offline, your main focus should be to help your audience.

    If someone only focuses on helping others, then a magic can happen for sure.

    And, the magic will not only attract fans from FB, but also entice them from any platform.

    SMN Zaman

  22. You totally know this stuff works, when you reverse the tips and look at how awful they would be:
    1.Shift your focus from helping people to making money.
    2. Know yourself better than you know your audience.
    3. Stop Posting heartfelt content – don’t interact with your readers…
    4, 5, 6, 7, 8…
    My point: I hope It comes natural to people to ALSO behave on the internet and show their personal – human – side.
    That being side, it is always nice to see people carrying out this simple approach with success.
    Thanks for reminding me with your article 🙂

  23. Hello Marsha and Steven,

    The fact that you need to be honest and personal in your writing is a consequence of the vast amount of material out there today. Many people receive a huge amount of mail, newsletters, notifications etc. daily, and I think most of them actually want to read it all – only they don’t have the time. So they automatically direct their attention to content that is real and personal because they can relate to it. It’s what gives them inspiration in their everday lives. I think the demand for personal and emotional writing is increasing and it goes for almost all types of online content.

    Good for you Steven – and thank you for setting an example.

  24. Really super post, guys! There’s a lot of meat here.

    I can’t figure out what “”go to sleep me one of the little strawberry waters in there to” means, though. 🙂

  25. well-researched, thought and inspiration provoking! Loaded with great info. I’m in the process of taking a different approach to my coaching, and this is a perfect resource to save. Thank you for the perfection!

  26. Marsha, thanks for sharing this case study: it’s very interesting – especially considering that Facebook ads are getting more and more expensive – thus getting organic reach is a more valuable skill.

    Among all the tips, I think step #7 is the most brilliant. I know quite a few people who got huge exposure just because they started using Facebook live at the right time.

    And of course, congratulations to Steven for his massive success!

  27. Really nice it is
    I am doing same strategy but not good results as you have mentioned.
    But yeah definitely it is good way to get the followers

  28. Really happy I came upon this. What you are doing is not only genius from a marketing stand point, but you really care for the people you are helping. I think we need more people like Steven in this world.

  29. Loved the article and tips shared here.
    I have one question, though. I was looking at Steven’s Facebook page and notice that he posts a few post every hour or so.
    Wouldn’t that be considered “spammy” by followers? I know for a fact that I would find myself reaching for the Unfollow button if I kept getting so many posts throughout the day from a single page.

    Or is this just my (erroneous) perception and it is actually a good practice to post many times a day on a Facebook page?


    • Hi Ed,

      Good question. As we talked about in Step #6, only a small percentage of your Facebook followers are shown a post when you first post it – maybe around 6%. More people are shown the post if it gains in popularity. The takeaway is that 100% of your followers NEVER see 100% of your posts, so you really don’t have to worry about spamming your followers. Hope that helps.

      • Thanks for the quick response, Marsha. If it’s not too greedy of me, let me ask another related question just to make sure I’m not mistaken in my beliefs on how the Facebook algorithm works.

        If I have 100 followers and share something only 6% or so of those followers will see it. Let’s say out of those 6 who get exposed to the content, only 4 will engage (like or comment).

        Next time I post something, aren’t there higher chances that those 6 and mostly those 4 who did engage, will see the newly shared post over those didn’t even get to see the former post?

        This would cause further discomfort in those who do engage with my content as they will be inundated with my shares.

        I guess I’ll have to test this myself. It would be nice for Facebook to show you the actual people who were reached by our Facebook posts. 🙂

      • My understanding is that Facebook shows the post to more people but doesn’t necessarily reshow the post to people who have already seen it, unless you’ve commented or shared. I could be wrong about that. Steven would likely know better.

  30. Hi Marsha,

    I must say there are always some tips that work for most of the population but some won’t. Your suggestions are quite influential and effective if used with proper focus and planning.

    Though I have seen people, who are helping others but still they are not able to get even 10,000 likes in the whole year.

    So I must say a person should follow all your tips not just stick with one.

    When I do everything to reach my goal, my journey accelerates.

    Thanks for sharing.

  31. I think facebook has became one of the most important social media tools today, it has a very big impact on people, and to have a lot of fans on it is very good, thanks for the nice article.

  32. Steven, reading this article gave me inspiration to push ahead in my desires to be a successful author. It isn’t the money to make. It’s the people who connect with me because of my desire to reach out to them. Another reality I was confused from communicating people saying that Facebook changes; it “updates” a lot. Confusing to some. But, so do we change. If we didn’t, we’d be boring, unhappy, and negative. Maintaining a positive mental attitude to want to change is growth.

  33. Social media are a great source to draw traffic if you can work them out. I was wondering how you deal with backlinks. Being one of the important ranking factors, I work a lot on these but get less traffic. I try to contact renowned sites and do guest posts. Are there other ways?

  34. I mean, I’ve gotta give Steven props for growing an FB page so successfully, but I can’t even imagine writing one of these “inspiring” quotes myself and then signing my name below it as if I’m really so important and I’ve just written some profound statement. I guess I can’t take myself that seriously.

  35. Woww. Really excellent case study and have given me many ideas. The step no. 1 exactly what I’m trying to build now because I believe to sell is but not selling. The framework has completed, just need time to execute the plan. Later, I will try the others 7 step.

  36. Thank you for the phenomenal wake-up call and for showing us that we can really help people with our work. Steve’s approach to this thread of comments demonstrates his absolute dedication to helping people, he must have a hell of a big heart and be excellent at managing his time. Thank you for putting this together Marsha, I really got a lot out of it and will be coming back often to monitor my progress.

  37. I always try to take away at least one point when reading posts like this one (awesome) that have a list of actions to take. In this case, #4 is the winner. Write your own Aha quotes. I must say it makes more sense than putting butter on bread.

  38. I’m really satisfied with your points. This article looks clear and crisp to the point. I loved that video section. It is a myth that one could replace a great content with an interesting sauce in a video piece than the boring text.
    This case study will help me to grow my Facebook authority level I guess.
    Thanks for this content buddy.

    John Black.

  39. I would add the point: Invite guest “posters” and try to have a nuanced debate on topics. Might even help you and your partner in crime share a fanbase 🙂

  40. Promoting fan pages in facebook groups is one of the best methods, I use it for years to grow my fan pages, it is especially effective now that facebook has allowed you to join groups as your fan page.


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