The PR Adviser: How Can I Find Local Influencers?

TechnologyApr 09, 2019

The PR Adviser: How Can I Find Local Influencers?

Lilian Raji recommends you start by combing through your Instagram feed to find people with a sizable, engaged group of followers.

Lilian Raji is a strategic communications and PR adviser who helps companies understand their marketing problems, then designs and executes strategies to solve them.

Happy spring, my dear readers!

Forgive my long absence. I’ve been traveling the world and spent much of January channeling the girl from Ipanema. I won’t tease you here with details of my extraordinary, mind-opening month in Brazil—that’s what Instagram is for!

Head over to my Instagram page to see more about my travels.

Even if you’re not interested in Instagram-induced travel jealousy, go over to the social media site anyway because this, dear readers, is where we’ll focus for the next few columns.

The lovely Susan Posnock of Jewelers of America recently invited me to do a webinar on “Harnessing the Power of Social Media Influencers.” If you missed it, no worries! You can catch a replay on my website.

I cover the big topics, including finding the right influencers, not falling victim to influencer fraud and keeping the Federal Trade Commission off your back.

This webinar brought an avalanche of questions. And, as you know, I’m all about the questions! I promised webinar viewers I’d cover each question in detail here over the next few months.

So, here we go.

Q: Dear Lilian,

How can I find a valuable micro-influencer and woo them in my small community?

Where Do I Begin?

A: It’s clear many of you realize it’s time to jump into the influencer marketing game. But based on this month’s question, you don’t know where to start.

Simple. Start in your own backyard.

We’ll save the topic of macro- vs. micro-influencers for a later date and focus on micro-influencers for now since this question came from a retailer.

So, my friend, are you now on Instagram as I instructed? If not, go ahead; I’ll wait.

Ready? Fantastic! Who’s following you on Instagram?

No one? Well, that’s going to have to be another article.

Hundreds of thousands of people? Fabulous! Let’s go through them to find some local influencers for your business.

We’re looking for your followers who have more than 1,000 followers of their own. Check out their posts and make note of which people get a lot of likes and a lot of comments.

Also, make sure you actually like what the person is posting about—in the literal sense, not just by tapping the Instagram heart.

It’s important you like what your candidates post because you’ll be engaging them to boost your reputation. If she has more than 1,000 followers but posts regularly about clubbing

baby seals, well, my strong recommendation is a hard pass.

Also, please don’t limit yourself to people who post only about jewelry. You want lifestyle and fashion types whose followers comment on their style.

You’re not just in the jewelry business; you’re also in the style business. Jewelry is personal, as we all know, but it’s also a person’s style signature. Focus on this bigger picture.

Once you’ve exhausted your followers, mosey on over to your competitors’ Instagram followers and keep building your list of potential local influencers.

All’s fair in love and jewelry, amirite?

You want at least 50 candidates with more than 1,000 followers each. If your and your competitors’ followers aren’t making the cut, it’s time to get strategic.

Go through your customer list and identify those special customers with influencer-star personalities.

Also, most cities have local magazines that follow the lifestyles of the city’s most glamorous. In Atlanta, we have The Atlantan, Los Angeles has Los Angeles Confidential, Philadelphia has Philadelphia Style, etc.

Open your city’s publications and start making a list of all those pretty people posing for pictures.

Now, this is where it’s helpful to have a 17-year-old who’ll categorize this next task as “fun.”

Look for Instagram accounts for everyone on your list, and vet them accordingly. It’s going to take a while, but there’s no other cost-effective way to do this.

There are a million websites that promise to help you find influencers, but they don’t come cheap. And I’ve yet to find one that does an exceptional job in keeping you from becoming victim to influencer fraud. (We’ll cover the topic of influencer fraud in a future article, or learn more now by listening to my aforementioned webinar.)

In the midst of all this, don’t forget to pull email addresses from your candidates’ profiles. I can never find email addresses when I’m looking at Instagram on my laptop, but they show up on my phone. If you’re having the same problem, use your phone.

I recommend email instead of DMs (direct messages on the app). Call me old-fashioned, but I believe emails set a professional tone. You’re going to be engaging in a business relationship and it’s always best to begin in the right direction.

However, if you can’t find an email address, then by all means, DM away.

You’ll send an email that reads something like this:

Hi [NAME],
Our team here at [YOUR COMPANY] has been following you on Instagram, and we love how you present yourself. We were especially impressed by [THINGS YOU LIKED ABOUT THEIR POSTS].

We’re interested in collaborating with you on some projects/events we have coming up. Can we set up a call to talk further?

Warm Regards,

Short and sweet.

You want to have a conversation with them so you can get a good feel for the person. I personally prefer in-person meetings, but save that for your final short list. Right now, you’re trying to get your 50 names to a manageable 20.

Why are we beginning with 50, you might be wondering?

Because you want to cast a wide net. Once you start communicating with your potential local influencers, you’re going to discover quickly that you really don’t like many people on your list.

The more names you have, the less you’ll feel pressured to deal with nonsense requests and diva-like behavior. Save yourself the trouble of having to begin this process again by starting with a big list and then narrowing it down.

Now, dear readers, I’m going to have to end on a bit of a cliffhanger. We need much more time to discuss what happens next, and that will be my next column.

In the meantime, I’ve created an Influencer Marketing Toolkit that’s filled with useful templates. It’s free, and you can grab it here.

Until next month, my darlings! And remember, I’m always here for your most pressing strategic communications and PR questions. Ask your questions here.

Lilian Raji is a strategic communications and PR adviser who helps companies understand their marketing problems, then designs and executes strategies to solve them. Learn more at Submit questions for Lilian to answer here and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Lilian Rajiis a strategic communications and PR adviser who helps companies understand their marketing problems, then designs and executes strategies to solve them.

The Latest

CollectionsFeb 03, 2023
Chipotle Spices Up Valentine’s Day with Jewelry Collection

The fast-casual chain partnered with Anna Sheffield’s Bing Bang NYC brand on a capsule collection and it’s a little “extra.”

SourcingFeb 03, 2023
Greenland Ruby Names New CEO

Geologist Arnt-Eirik Rørnes has taken on the role.

EditorsFeb 03, 2023
Piece of the Week: Gismondi 1754’s ‘Marea’ Cuff

The diamond and tanzanite bracelet was inspired by the waves of the Italian gulf near Genoa.

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

CollectionsFeb 02, 2023
Lowe’s Is Now Selling Jewelry

The home improvement store’s website features an “Empowerment Tools” demi-fine jewelry collection.

Weekly QuizFeb 02, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Events & AwardsFeb 02, 2023
Registration is Now Open for JIS Spring 2023

The show will feature a new pavilion of 30 jewelry designers and manufacturers from Surat, India.

Policies & IssuesFeb 02, 2023
Tiny Radioactive Capsule Lost in Australian Outback Found

A government official said search crews “found the needle in the haystack” when they located the capsule belonging to Rio Tinto along an 870-mile stretch of road.

Brought to you by
De Beers Institute of Diamonds Expands to Offer Education

De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.

TrendsFeb 02, 2023
Amanda’s Style File: Purple and Playful

Amanda Gizzi welcomes February with a selection of amethyst jewelry, a birthstone that “deserves its own time to shine.”

EditorsFeb 01, 2023
Designers to Watch in 2023: Boochier

Behind the playful and nostalgic brand lies deeper meaning.

Events & AwardsFeb 01, 2023
New Miami Jewelry Center Slated to Open in Q1

The Time Century Jewelry Center is located in downtown Miami’s jewelry district.

SurveysFeb 01, 2023
Consumer Confidence Falls in January

Wariness about the year ahead offset a more positive view of the current economic situation.

MajorsFeb 01, 2023
Six New Retailers Appointed to IJO’s Board of Directors

The IJO also welcomed one new vendor member to its 13-member board, Brecken Farnsworth of Parlé Jewelry Designs.

ColumnistsJan 31, 2023
Squirrel Spotting: How About a Word for the New Year?

It begins with a “t” and ends with a “c” and is imbued with warmth and positivity, Peter Smith writes.

Policies & IssuesJan 31, 2023
Rio Tinto Issues Apology After Radioactive Capsule Goes Missing

The tiny capsule, which is believed to have fallen out of a truck, was lost somewhere along an 870-mile stretch of desert road.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Indian Jewelry Brand Tanishq Opens First U.S. Store, More on the Way

The jeweler’s expansion plans include 20 to 30 more stores in North America and the Middle East over the next two to three years.

Events & AwardsJan 31, 2023
Gucci Is Getting a Gem Award

The Italian luxury brand will receive the first Gem Award for High Jewelry Excellence.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Martin Flyer Names New VP of Business Development

Industry veteran Kevin Lane has stepped into the role.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
Researchers Uncover Bejeweled ‘Golden Boy’ Mummy

The ancient Egyptian teenager was buried 2,300 years ago with 49 amulets to guide him through the afterlife.

SurveysJan 30, 2023
Consumers Embracing Non-Traditional Ways to Mark Valentine’s Day

The NRF’s annual survey shows that consumer attitudes about how, or even whether, to celebrate Feb. 14 continue to evolve.

Events & AwardsJan 30, 2023
JA Is Searching for the Next Retail ’20 Under 40’

Nominations are open now through March 24.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

A column detailing how independent jewelers did last year and the top watch brands of 2022 were among the most-read stories last week.

FinancialsJan 27, 2023
Tiffany & Co. Shines for LVMH in 2022

Acquired in 2021, the brand’s high jewelry sales have doubled and its new “Lock” collection was an instant hit.

MajorsJan 27, 2023
Diamond Council of America Appoints Treasurer, Board Member

Executives from Fred Meyer Jewelers and Riddles Jewelers have filled the roles.

CollectionsJan 27, 2023
Piece of the Week: Heavenly Vices’ Lock Necklace

The Victorian-inspired design is a functional lock and key.

Supplier BulletinJan 26, 2023
JA New York Spring Brings the Industry Together

For over 100 years, JA New York has played an integral role in facilitating the evolution of our industry, while also honoring past traditions.

TrendsJan 26, 2023
At Vicenzaoro, Paola De Luca Gazes Into Jewelry’s Future

The trend forecaster and her guests explored unconventional jewelry designs, NFTs, AI art, and more during her Trendvision presentation.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy