SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - One small business owner says Instagram is becoming saturated with influencers trying to sell you something. She wrote an open letter to them on a social media platform, and it became an Insta-hit.

"An influencer is someone who has a huge social media following, enough so they can influence someone to purchase a product," said Susie Diamond, owner of Rolling Rack Boutique in Scottsdale. She said she was paying these Insta-celebrities to model merchandise online.

[WATCH: Scottsdale small business owner says 'Bye Felicia' to influencers]

"I was paying $1,500 for one post as well as giving $500 worth of clothing," Diamond said.

Diamond thought that was the key to success, but wasn't really seeing the investment pay off.

"If I continue to do that I wouldn't be where I am. I would be out of business," Diamond said.

She's stopped, but that doesn't mean the solicitations have.

"I'll wake up to, I'm not even kidding, about 40 messages on the low end a day," Diamond said. "'Hi, love your vibe, love your boutique, would love to give you great content and a great picture.'"

So she penned an open letter to influencers telling them to back off.

It was kind of like the owner of CVT Soft Serve, a Los Angeles-based ice cream truck, who says influencers pay double.

Diamond said the boutique is expanding into a 2,400 square foot space in a couple of months, without the influence of influencers.

"I hope that #ad really makes an impact and people start to make decisions on their own and kind of go back to small business," Diamond said. 

Award-winning journalist Lindsey Reiser is a regular contributor in the evenings on CBS 5 News at 10 p.m.
 
 


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