Have you been secretly wondering if you too can start making some money as an Instagram influencer? You've got a decent number of Instagram followers, and regularly post content that gets a lot of engagement. The comments from your followers reinforce something you already know. Your Instagram account has some really good content. But is that enough?

With Instagram influencers being the talk of every town these days, it is not unusual to have such thoughts. Especially given the fact that most of them are making good amounts of money.

However, there are a few crucial steps you need to take before you can become an Instagram influencer. Let's take a look at what you need to do to earn your first $1000 as an Instagram influencer.

1. Post consistently

The first thing you need to do on your journey towards becoming an Instagram influencer is to post consistently. It can be daily, a few times a week, or a few times every day.

A study by Tailwind shows that engagement rates increase with an increase in posting frequency.  However, regardless of the schedule you select, make sure that you can stick to it.

Be consistent not only in your posting schedule but also your story. Make sure that you post high-quality content which is relevant to your niche.

You don't necessarily need to invest in a DSLR to take great photos. Your iPhone can be just as useful with a few tweaks and filters on Instagram or apps like VSCO. Clarendon seems to be the most popular Instagram filter according to a Canva study.

2. Engage with others

Your job doesn't simply end at posting great content. Make sure to reply meaningfully to each comment that you receive from your followers.

Engage with your followers and others in your niche. You can do so by following some of them and taking time to like and comment on their photos.

A great way of increasing your engagement is to join an Instagram pod. This can be a simple group of like-minded individuals in your niche. All you need to do is like and comment thoughtfully on each other's posts.

3. Use hashtags

Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags on each of your posts. I recommend that you utilize all of them. Contrary to popular belief, these hashtags do not make your content look spammy.

Instead, relevant hashtags help you be more visible on Instagram. When people who aren't your followers, search Instagram using these hashtags, they will find you.

You can find relevant hashtags by checking profiles similar to yours. Or you can click on a hashtag to see suggestions for similar ones on your search bar. Apps such as Focalmark offers a list of the most popular hashtags based on a niche you enter.

4. Connect with brands

Before you reach out to brands with your proposal, make sure that you have enough followers and engagement. A few hundred followers are definitely not enough for brands to get interested. You need a few thousand genuinely engaged followers, to begin with.

Make sure that you have created a good bio on your Instagram profile. This is one of the first things a brand will look at along with your follower count and engagement rate.

Once you have these in place, you can make a list of brands in your niche and start pitching over emails. You can use apps like Canva to create a good-looking media kit. If you wish to include a proposal for sponsored posts, you can create them using Social Bluebook.

Another great way of finding relevant brands and connecting with them is using platforms such as TRIBE, TapInfluence, or HYPR.

What's next?

It certainly might not happen overnight. However, if you follow these over a period of time, you are certain to land yourself a brand partnership sooner or later. Depending on your contract, you can make money from sponsored posts or as an affiliate.

Do you have any other tips to share on how to start earning as an Instagram influencer? Let us know in the comments below.