On this episode of Over Ask, social media sensation Jarrod Benson joins Matt Lionetti and The Broke Agent to discuss his explosive growth on Instagram and TikTok, his process, and why he prefers TikTok’s in-app editor – but he prefers Instagram as a platform for his business. 

The breakthrough post 

It all started with a dead-serious TikTok post on down payment assistance, which boosted his following from 13 or 14 thousand to 150 thousand in a couple days. Then he started adding some funny Dave Ramsey content, which contributed to his mixed following on TikTok. 

What launched Jarrod’s growth on Instagram was his mock life hacks content. 

I think I had like six or seven thousand followers on Instagram, which I’d built over many years. And then I reposted a life hack about getting your offer accepted. It got 20,000 views on TikTok. I posted it sometime last year. I reposted it a month and a half, two months ago on Instagram, and it got, I think it’s at, like 12 million views.

Jarrod Benson

Getting past the fear 

One thing Jarrod admitted that plenty of us find relatable was his fear of being on video. He remembers watching some funny videos and thinking, “Maybe I could do something like this.”

So, he just started making videos. And people started following him. So, he kept making more and became addicted to people watching his videos. The challenge right now is in the transition from real estate-related and Dave Ramsey-spoofing content to strictly comedy. 

Obviously, I still keep the fact that I’m a realtor on everything that I do, ‘cause it does bring in business. It brings in instant business, it brings in people saying, ‘We’re buying here, we want you to help us, we’re pre-approved.’ That happens all the time. It’s great!

Jarrod Benson

Jarrod’s process and favorite tools

Jarrod does most of his videos on the spot, inspired by other videos or by something he’s experienced, read, heard, or seen. It’s off the cuff, and he records everything on the TikTok app.

It’s not that he prefers TikTok to Instagram. He actually prefers Instagram because it’s better for building a community around his brand. But he prefers TikTok’s in-app editor. 

I use SnapTik. I do it on my phone. It’s really good. You can download it in full HD. You have to close out an ad, and that’s it, and you have it in your download folder… I have viral Instagram videos that I just redownload from TikTok. I’m just so used to using TikTok’s in-app editor – it’s so simple for me, now – that I’m afraid to use anything else.

Jarrod Benson

He’s also created content for YouTube and is planning to create more long-form comedy content for the platform. 

Being funny and doing what works

Jarrod, who admits to being the class clown, has always been the funny guy, and he leaned into that to get past his fear of video. He recognizes, though, that his breakthrough content wasn’t funny at all. And being funny isn’t essential to creating viral content. 

Eric asked about his hashtags and whether he’s found his use of hashtags to be helpful. Jarrod admittted that his hashtag strategy boils down to emulating hashtags from posts that have gone viral. That quickly segued to a larger discussion on content strategy.

If you find something that works, do it again, do it again, and do it again, but change it slightly every time, so people don’t think you’re doing the same thing. But do pretty much the same thing — over and over again.

Jarrod Benson

Repurposing old content

Jarrod, Matt, and Eric talked about strategies for repurposing old content, recalling older videos that were reposted with outstanding results – attracting the attention of new followers. 

They also brought up the dangers of using trending songs in video, especially with Instagram removing videos due to copyright issues. 

As for where Jarrod gets inspiration for his content… 

My favorite one right now … is stanzipotenza. She does a lot of comedy (TikTok and Instagram). … A lot of my inspiration comes from watching TikToks.

Jarrod Benson

Connecting with followers

The issue of comments and DMs came up, along with the question of what else Jarrod was doing to build a following on Instagram and TikTok. 

I spend probably 6 to 8 hrs a day on Instagram and TikTok… I do respond to a ton of comments. I have a Discord that I talk to people in as well…. People DM me, and I will get to it. I also go live four to five times a week… I read people’s comments. Every comment that comes through, I read  it.

Jarrod Benson

He gets paid for those live videos, too – about $10 to $15 each – but he mainly just appreciates that people want to support him in that way. 

Backup plan, verification, and video games

Jarrod’s online success rests mainly on his TikTok and Instagram videos, though he’s also determined to build his YouTube presence. He’s requested verification a couple times but has yet to receive it. With more press (like this BAM blog post), that could change. 

When he’s not making funny video content or doing real estate, he’s often playing video games. Matt asked about the video games he enjoys and the gaming equipment he prefers. 

I have a Switch and an Xbox. But I play PC games mostly… your basic games like Rocket League and War Zone … I’m a huge history buff, so I play things like Europa Universalis 4, Crusader Kings 3…

Jarrod Benson

Parting words

Jarrod had some parting advice for his fellow content-creators in real estate, which boiled down to creating content to attract the people you want to attract – whether that’s fellow realtors or non-realtors (i.e. potential clients). 

The Broke Agent asked if his angle was to (eventually) get out of real estate. 

Not necessarily…. I’ll always have my RE license. I work in RE 10 to 15 hrs a week. I do a lot of referrals. Bui the rest of that time is just spent on content creation… So, it’s already kind of like that. I’ve already started doing a lot of content creation with a little bit of real estate. Probably for a year or so, I’ve only had to work 10 to 15 hours a week.

Jarrod Benson

Watch the full episode for more.