5 Instagram Stories Your Followers Will Actually Care About

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So, you’ve finally decided to utilize one of Instagram’s best tools: the story. That’s great! Instagram’s story feature is a fantastic way to connect with followers not only because it’s the most popular feature (and almost impossible to ignore), but because it’s one of the only ways to get organic engagement without the influence of Instagram’s algorithm. That means, regardless of how Instagram interprets your relationship with specific followers, your content is being promoted across all of your followers no matter when you post.


So, what should you post? Great question! Below is a list of engaging Instagram story ideas that you can implement in your weekly posting schedule.


  1. Drive users to your content. Finding it hard to get acknowledgment on your most recent post? Don’t take it too hard- Instagram filters all of its user’s feeds based on what the platform deems most important to the user. This means your content may not be showing up across your follower’s feeds as frequent as you’d like. Create a story highlighting your new post and drive your followers to that post.

  2. Offer a sneak peak. Got something brewing behind the scenes? Reward your loyal Instagram follower base by giving them a head’s up on something new and exciting you’re working on. This will encourage them to keep tabs on your social posts, increasing your engagement.

  3. Take followers behind the scenes. Sometimes all your followers need is a reminder that you are, in fact, a human. Build a deeper, more intimate connection with your followers by letting them feel as if they’re part of the team.

  4. Poll your audience. Polls are a relatively new feature, but don’t let that discourage you from using them. Polls are a fun way to engage your audience, whether it’s on a business-related topic, or a fun question.

  5. Incorporate user-generated content. Have you noticed that users on Instagram are mentioning you, your brand, or your product? Share user posts on your story to encourage potential clients to give your product or brand a try. You’d be surprised how user-generated creates a sense of trustworthiness.



So, what kind of story will you post first? Whichever story you decide to post first, just know your followers will appreciate the engaging content.


10 New Instagram Features You May Not Know About!

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With the social media environment constantly changing, it is no surprise that Instagram is one of those to stay ahead of the game. Instagram is also known for randomly adding and removing features so it can be daunting to try and keep up with them all.

Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of 10 new Instagram features you may not know about and how to use them. With this list, you will be an Instagram superstar in no time!

1. Instagram Stories Countdown Timer - I just had to begin with this new feature because it is my all time favorite! Within your Instagram story you can now add a functioning countdown timer for anything you have coming up that you want to bring attention to. This is an amazing marketing strategy, especially if you have an open house coming up that you want people to know about. Using these on a regular basis will help get people excited for your upcoming events and more. Additionally, your followers can subscribe to the countdown timer where they will receive a notification when the countdown is complete.

To use this feature all you need to do is create an instagram story and click the sticker icon located at the top of the screen. Then, you would select the ‘countdown’ sticker option and enter a title of your choosing. You even have the option to change the color of the icon so it will match with your personal aesthetic.

2. Instagram Quiz Sticker Feature - Us here at Jarja Media were ecstatic when we found out that this was a new feature. It is pretty similar to the countdown sticker, but instead of a numbered countdown you can ask multiple choice questions to your followers. This can boost engagement with your followers and allow people to get to know you more. This is also an amazing marketing strategy because you are engaging the audience and allowing them to engage back. You can ask any kind of question you’d like and the audience will then be able to see if they got the answer right or wrong.

To use this feature it is just as simple as using the countdown sticker. Once you create a new Instagram story you would click the sticker icon at the top of the screen and select the quiz option. From there, you can customize the sticker to your choosing with your multiple choice questions and answers. Pretty cool, huh?

3. Removing Followers - There are constantly robots and fake accounts that will try and follow you no matter what. A lot of these fake accounts come from using specific hashtags or engaging with the wrong accounts. These accounts won’t comment or like any of your photos making them what we like the call, “ghost followers”. They will just follow your account and stay there which can damage your overall engagement rate no matter what type of account you have. If you have low overall engagement, Instagram won’t like it thinking that the content you post isn’t very good and limit the amount of people that see it. Ooof!

However, don’t you worry about those ghost followers, there is an easy solution to this fix without having to download a random third party phone application that could damage your account even more. All you need to do is go to your followers list and if there are accounts that you believe are these ghost followers, just click the three dots next to the blue follow button and instantly remove them. Not to mention, the account won’t ever know if you removed them as a follower. Some may not like this strategy because you will be losing followers, but it will increase your engagement rate which is a lot more important in the long run!

4. Donation Sticker - This new feature is what some may say, “hot off the market” since it JUST came out this week. This feature helps make it just that much easier to donate to your favorite non-profit organizations. Some of the non-profit organizations they list include: St. Jude, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Innocence Project, GLAAD and more!

To use this feature it is just like the previous stickers we’ve mentioned where you would create your story, click the stickers icon and select the ‘donations’ sticker. Here, you can customize where you’d like donations to go and any additional information you’d like to share with your followers. When you officially post your story with the donation sticker your followers can click the button, send out a donation and once they are done it will change from “donate” to “donated”. Pretty awesome!

5. Close Friends - This feature is pretty cool too because here you can reward your most engaged followers. You can compile a list of people and start sending each other exclusive stories apart from your followers. You can also use it for your business and put your most loyal fans or customers onto the list. Only you and your list will see these specific stories and a green icon will show that it was sent to only them for your reference.

To use this feature you would head to your Instagram profile and click the icon on the top right made of three horizontal lines. You then would select ‘close friends’ and select the people you’d like to be on the list. After you created your list you then would create a story and once you are ready to share, click the ‘close friends’ green icon on the bottom to send to them only. You can change up your list at any time, too!

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6. Sharing Posts to Stories - This feature has been out for a few months now but not everyone knows about this awesome feature. You can now share any Instagram post (including your own) to your Instagram story. Once it is on your story and shared, the image becomes a clickable link that will take any user who taps on it straight to the original image post. This is a great way to send traffic from your story to the image you want shared to your followers.

To use this feature just navigate to the post you wish to share and click the airplane-looking icon on the bottom left. Instantly, the image will be created as a story where you can further customize the look of it or simply keep it as is! You can also edit the story to include texts, gifs, locations and more. Lastly, you would share it just like any other story post and “voila”!  

7. Uploading Multiple Images & Video to Stories - I can’t be the only one to find it frustrating to only be able to share and send photos one by one, but not anymore! This new feature allows you to upload multiple images and videos to your stories at the same time. In the past, you would have to share and customize each photo one by one making it super tedious to even share images in the first place. Now you can select up to 10 images at a time, customize them as a group and then share the images all at once.

To use this feature head to your stories camera. In order to access your camera roll just swipe up, click the ‘select multiple’ icon and then select up to 10 images and videos to add to your story. When you have your selected images, click next and edit them to your liking.

8. IGTV - This feature also has been out since 2018 but didn’t do well until the beginning of 2019. When it first became a feature it totally flopped because of its complexity to its users. Within this list, this feature is by far the most difficult to understand so don’t stress if you don’t understand it right away, you are not alone! IGTV is where you can upload longer videos that can range anywhere from 1 minute to 60 minutes. This is a great feature for those who are actively posting videos on YouTube because you can then post them right on your Instagram for all of your followers there.

To use this feature there are a few steps you need to do. To create your very own IGTV channel, just click the IGTV icon in the top right-hand corner right when you open the Instagram app. Next, just tap the cog button on the right side of the screen and select ‘create channel’. From there, Instagram will put all of your bio information including your profile picture and followers account and add it to your channel.

Once you have your channel, you can instantly add videos. All you would need to do here is access your IGTV profile, click the plus icon on the right to access your camera roll and select the video you would like to upload. Remember, the video needs to be vertical and at least 10 seconds long. Once you reviewed your video, click ‘next’ and fill out your video title, description and choose if you’d like for it to appear on your Facebook page. Once this is done, click ‘edit cover’ and upload a cover image from your camera roll or choose a cover from the video you uploaded. From there just click ‘done’ and then ‘post’. Now you have uploaded your very first IGTV video! Woo!

9. Name Tags - Just like Snapchat where you can add people through QR codes, you can now do that through Instagram. It is the same exact concept where you can share your account with others simply by creating an image that can be scanned from your phone. This feature is an effective tool to use at networking events, open houses, parties and more to spread around your social media.

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To use this feature head to your profile and click the three horizontal line icon like mentioned earlier. Simply select ‘name tag’ and from here you can stylize your name tag and download it straight to your phone to share. On this same page you can scan your friends’ name tag to follow them instantly, too.

10. Your Activity - Lastly, this feature can be pretty daunting because I don’t know about you but I am constantly checking and engaging on Instagram. This new feature shows you the amount of time you spend on Instagram per day right down to the minute. Yikes! But, if you are finding yourself to be spending too much time on the app, there is also an option where you can set up a daily reminder that will notify you when you’ve reached your pre-defined time limit.

To use this feature just head to your profile, click the same horizontal line icon and select ‘your activity’. However, if your Instagram account is under a business account and not a personal account, you are not able to see this feature. As a business, the app is wanting you to be engaging constantly so I can see why that is. Remember, social media is ultimately what is helping you get your name out there so if you’re spending a lot of time on the app, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Now I know all of this might be too much to understand at the moment and that is okay. Like I mentioned earlier, Instagram will constantly be evolving so you can’t possibly be able to know when these features are happening.

Here at Jarja we are constantly checking up on the social media world so if you ever feel too out of the loop you can keep checking up on it here with us!

-Courtney, Marketing Associate

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How to Overcome Facebook's New Targeting Rules

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Whether you already have heard about the Facebook changes or not, this is definitely something to continue reading about.

On March 19th, The Washington Post put out an article stating that Facebook agreed to now overhaul their targeted advertising system for job, housing and loan ads after receiving discrimination complaints. With this, it means that we are not able to target people with things like job titles, age, income and even location. However, there is time to think about this because Facebook says the change will not be conclusive until the end of the year. Now, if you put it this way, it’s almost as if men magazine companies cannot target men, even though they are the primary target. Same thing goes for women’s magazines targeting women: it is simply not justified anymore. Unfortunately, this is the kind of world we live in now where anything you say or do can be seen as discriminatory. This is now the new norm and just like everything else in life, you need to find a work around and move on. Here is where we can now see the true difference between a great marketer and just a great Facebook ads person. The true difference between the two is having the actual skill and being able to continue your work even with such obstacles. Now, we can sit around and ask the same questions over again about how this does and does not make sense, but instead we have compiled tactics on how to overcome these new rules. Just like you, we have the mentality of where if something becomes difficult, we still keep on moving.

Start using your custom Audience on your Facebook Ads. The custom audiences are the uploads of those lists that come directly from your database whether it be from your CRM, Google Contacts, Outlook, etc. All you need to do is export that list out of your database and import it into Facebook. For a complete step-by-step on how to do this, click here.

Contact people who have previously engaged with your earlier ads. Just like mentioned previously, this change will not take effect just yet. Between now and the end of the year we need to be doing everything possible to be creating more engagement on our page and with our ads so that we have a larger audience to ultimately choose from. If you’re not sure how to go about this, then this is where the third tactic comes in.

Try Brand Marketing rather than solely prioritizing direct call-to-action. Brand building is what matters and allows you to get into whatever it is you want to get into. We need to be more intentional on this which will then create more engagement. This way, we can ultimately retarget these people afterwards when a lot of the targeting goes away at the end of the year. Ultimately, brand is giving you value, content and education for all of your followers. For example, try posting videos or even making a podcast! Try doing something similar so then this way you can educate listeners to get more people to follow you and your brand. Think of it this way: direct call-to-action is momentary, brand marketing is long term. Which one would you rather have?

Start using lead ads on Facebook. Lead ads are where they click on what you’re offering and then a pop-up box shows with their information already auto-filled since Facebook has that information in its system already. This makes it that much easier for you since it is one touch. One step production is everything right now in the market with Amazon now offering 1-click shopping. It is now 2019 and with technology being so fast and advanced nowadays, this is exactly what the people ultimately want.

Lastly and most importantly, DO NOT GIVE UP! Great marketers like yourself are able to figure it out. It is also important to remember that you are not alone. This brought up a lot of talk and attention all over that everyone is scrambling for a solution. With this, all we can do is stay calm and figure it out together. If you don’t have the time or patience to work this out on your own, we can help you, complete the form below for a consult of one of our marketing programs.

-Courtney, Marketing Associate

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Surprise! Technology is Invading Our Personal Lives Again

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Oh, technology. You never fail to really just creep us all out. First that really human-looking robot named Sophia, now this. Thanks.

“Imagine if your website or mobile app could see exactly what your customers do in real time, and why they did it?”

This is a very real, very ominous quote pulled directly from the website of Glassbox, the developers of the newest (and creepiest) marketing analytics tool.

Let’s back up for a second and talk about why companies need consumer analytics. The simplest answer is: they want to make money. Easy enough, right? In order to make money, companies need consumers who are compelled, through the company’s marketing, to purchase some product or service. Based on the product the company is selling, they will likely already have a target demographic in mind, whether that target is millennial females who take interest in politics, or 40-50 year old men who have concerns with thinning hair (if you’re thinking this is specific, you have no idea how specific you can truly get). Now, businesses can purchase information about their demographics, or use in-house tools to find out, on the most granular level, what really sells to their demographic. When a business is able to understand consumer groups, or their demographics, they are able to identify opportunities to create a more robust marketing strategy.


So, now that a business has the information they can create marketing campaigns to appeal to people who might like their product based on comparable interests, OR directly tap into this pool of people, who are proven to have interests in x, y, z, and promote their product. Cool. Though, still kind of creepy that some guy in a cubicle somewhere knows where you live and what brand of paper towel you use. But, we digress...so, what do these campaigns actually do? Well, that’s up to the individual company and the company’s goal in their digital marketing campaign. One example, which we’ll focus on, is directing traffic to download an app.


Say a company wants people to download their new fitness app. You’re a runner in your mid-20’s. You follow a lot of fitness blogs, you “like” a bunch of running pages on Facebook, your Amazon wish-list has pages of athletic wear, you’re subscribed to long-distance runners on YouTube, you recently purchased a Garmin watch, and you frequently use hashtags in your content like #marathonlife or #run. Congratulations! You’ve been targeted by this company. You’ll likely begin getting advertisements for this brand new fitness app. You’ll think “wow, this looks interesting,” and you will download it. Score one for the marketing department of this fictional company- their strategy was executed and, as a result, their app was downloaded by you! While not a “sale” per say, the goal of this campaign was to direct consumers to download an app.


Great! You downloaded a new app that seems pretty useful, and the company that developed this app just gained a new customer. Now what? Well, the analytics don’t stop there. Companies need to know what parts of the app you like the best, which are most useful, and which they can expand on. How do they do it? Well, they can push polls on consumers, but let’s be real- we ignore those. What about app reviews? Those are not entirely accurate, and also we ignore those too. So, how is this information collected?


Well, dear readers, that is where Glassbox comes in. And yes, even the name is creepy. Glassbox, the first of this particular type of analytics firm, literally SCREEN RECORDS users on apps. While the company can’t access your front or rear-facing cameras, they can certainly access every aspect of your screen while you’re using the app.


Back to the app you’ve just downloaded. The company decides to hire Glassbox to give them insights into their current users. How does that affect you? According to The Atlantic:


“Glassbox’s software records video of users’ screens as they use apps, then compresses and plays back the footage for analysis. This “session replay” becomes a record of every keyboard press, everything they type, the error messages they see, the amount of time they spend on each page, and so on. Session replays are versatile documents”

Now, you might be saying “well, that’s reasonable, I probably agreed to that in the terms and conditions when I downloaded the app.” We hate to say you’re wrong, but you’re wrong. Glassbox never required any of its clients to alert users to the fact that….you know, THEY’RE ESSENTIALLY BEING SPIED ON.


We know we’ve been speaking in hypothetical terms this entire time, but don’t get us wrong….this company is very real, and there’s a very big possibility that you’re using an app right now that is screen recording your every move. There’s no official list of companies that employ Glassbox (womp, womp), but there have been numerous articles published naming companies from Abercrombie & Fitch, to Hotels.com, to Singapore Airlines. While this may seem innocuous, imagine the kind of data you’re entering into these websites. No, not your shirt size, or your favorite vacation spot, but your credit card information, home address, and maybe even your passport number. Yep, creepy. To make matters worse, Glassbox has claimed that this information is “blurred out,” but there have been reports that the blurring effect doesn’t cover all information, exposing thousands of guest’s personal information.


To see it all in action, check out the below Youtube video that shows the type of information that was pulled for Air Canada:



Yep, that’s all of your data being recorded by some random person sitting in a cubicle. Maybe the worst part? Companies not only collect this data without your knowledge, but can also monetize it as well, which begs the question: where’s OUR cut?


Are you upset? Creeped out? You should be. There is no known list of apps that use Glassbox, and you, as the consumer, have no idea which of the apps you use on a daily basis are recording your information. Luckily, after catching wind of this, Apple has issued a warning to developers regarding the violation of privacy terms and guidelines. We’ll see what happens with that.


In the meantime, the only thing you can do is put your tinfoil hat on and wait for all of this to blow over. Just kidding, this type of technology is not going away. In an industry that literally thrives off the data of consumers, it’s almost certain that your privacy will be taken advantage of in some way or another, whether you know about it or not. Now, while this would be an interesting time to start a conversation about the dark, looming cloud that is mass-consumerism, we’ll leave this blog post as it is.


For now, be safe out there, folks. If you’re entering any of your personal data on your apps, think twice.


9 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

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Many people struggle with finding their creativity and that is okay, you are not alone. It doesn't matter if you don’t think of yourself as an artistic person, everyone has a creative side. There is an actual science behind this and it is the same no matter who you are. However, getting inspired varies from person to person.

When it comes down to it, every job requires creativity in some way or another. With this, we’ve all, including myself, have been stumped at work before. One great example would be “writer’s block” when a novelist gets stuck on a chapter in his or her new book. It happens to the best of us and sometimes getting out of the rut takes longer for those who don’t work on that creativity. But without further ado, I have compiled a list that not only helps me, but will hopefully help you trying to get out of that rut. Here are the top 9 ways to help boost your creativity!

1. Do Something New. Doing the same routine day by day will decrease your creativity drastically, which is why you need to learn how to spark up your life once and awhile. This can compile with anything you’ve always wanted to do. It doesn’t have to be as drastic as skydiving or bungee jumping (although it definitely can be). It could be visiting a new town in your state or trying that new spinning class at the gym, the choices are endless.

2. Read, Read, Read! Reading not only increases your comprehension, but it mentally stimulates your brain to improve memory. If you are looking to relax and stimulate your mind, this is the right step to take. Understandingly, reading is not everyone’s favorite thing to do, so remember, do not force it! Even just spending as little as 30 minutes a day with a book on your favorite topic will do.

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3. Journal Daily. Writers are not the only ones who benefit from this. There have been actual studies showing that journaling is a stimulating form of self-expression. No matter what kind of career you have, this can be very calming and is a way for you to unleash your creativity without any judgement. This in return can give you a creative confidence that you have always been lacking. Having confidence is key in just about anything you do.

4. Become One with Nature. Step outside and connect yourself with the beautiful outdoors. Sometimes detaching yourself from the daily activities you consume will help you be in the moment. Have you ever heard of the expression, “stop and smell the roses”?

5. Listen to Music. This is one of my favorite ways to help boost my creativity while at work. It doesn’t matter what genre of music, but try mixing it up with new and old music. With new music, it allows you to feel connected at the moment, where old music can help spark memories and keep you grounded.

6. Be a Fly on the Wall. So what exactly does that mean? Simply just get yourself out there and get inspired by others. Go to a place or multiple places with sights to see and sounds to observe. A few great examples of this would be a shopping mall, park, or even a cafe or art museum. Pick a place where you can observe people and watch their expressions, body language, and maybe even eavesdrop on a couple conversations. Being a fly on the wall will be able to give you a perspective shift that could give you your next big idea.

7. Make Mistakes. Don’t be so hard on yourself all of the time! In life you are constantly learning and you can only learn from your mistakes, they will never define you. With each and every mistake you make, it helps shape yourself into the person you are meant to be. Maybe you will find out what it is that you do not want and it will instead help you figure out what you do what.

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8. Remove the Pressure of Expectations. There’s enough stress going around in the world that adding crazy expectations will just make you actually go crazy. Being able to put passion and love into your work without the option of disappointment will only help you in the long run.

9. Practice Makes Perfect! Not only should you take a nice break for yourself once in a while but the more you practice your craft everyday, the more creative you will be. Keep that mind moving!

Developing the creative skill isn’t as difficult as you may think. It is important to challenge yourself and have the will to boost your creativity. Now tell us, What do you do to boost your creativity?

- Courtney, Marketing Associate

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Why You Should NOT Wait Until Spring to Sell Your Home!

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When it comes to selling your home, we all ask the same question, “When is the best time?” Constantly we see all over the internet that you should wait until the spring to begin the process. I mean, hey, it sounds like the perfect plan. With the crazy holiday season and finally taking the time to relax after seeing your unpredictable in-laws, how do you find the time to also place your home on the market? Many other homeowners have the same predicament and we are here to help.

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Here are some reasons why you should NOT wait until spring to sell your home, but if you do, we also have a few quick renovations you should complete before then!

1. There’s less competition in the winter Months!

Houses on the market are traditionally known to shrink around this time of year. With this, many buyers out there have very limited choices and this is where you come in. Competition is your biggest enemy when it comes to trying to sell your home. Ask yourself this: would you rather wait until spring to promote your home against the largest known volume of sellers, or would you rather place your property out on the market where there is less supply and more demand?

2. Serious Buyers Only

At this time of year, only serious buyers are the ones who will be in the marketplace. The winter time is the busiest known season, so you won’t be bothered by what we like to call, “lookers”. In fact, the people who aren’t very interested are the ones still doing their Holiday shopping or baking cookies for the annual office party. Not to mention, what about when you decide to have an open house? The serious buyers are the ones willing to driving through the freezing cold and icy snow storms!

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3. Quicker Overall Process

Throughout the years, this environment has become far more competitive than ever before. With the competition being so high, buyers need to find ways to stand out amongst the many other buyers out there. For example, many of them are now getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. With this, it makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler for both the buyer and seller. This is because the buyer is able to know beforehand exactly what they can afford and you don’t have the problems with not-so serious buyers like mentioned earlier.

Now that we’ve convinced you to try selling your home this winter, we hope this information helped settle your minds. To answer the popular question of, “when is the best time”, the answer is simply not to wait for those warm months. The earlier, the better, as they say.

However, we get it, with winter comes a lot of obligations and it can be quite costly. We are not saying that it is necessarily bad to sell in the spring, but if you must wait, you can read further on as to what kinds of renovations you should complete before listing your home.

1. Minor Bathroom Remodeling

Remodeling your bathroom may sound scary, but we are only talking about some minor fixing. This can include things such as replacing the bathtub, shower, floor, toilet and sink. With these fixes, it can give your outdated bathroom a more contemporary look.

2. Do some minor Kitchen Remodeling

Now we aren’t saying to tear up your entire kitchen for some cosmetic updating, but doing some improvements may be beneficial when selling your home. This includes but is not limited to refacing cabinets, changing the countertops and working with new lighting. Having a beautiful is very crucial to many home buyers and this step is very important when in the process of renovations!

3. Don’t forget about the exterior improvements

The inside of your home may be in perfect shape but the little details on the outside are just as important! Outdoor spaces are what potential buyers first see before even entering the home. If your landscaping is up to date, you must have the same for your exterior because this is where people can enjoy the new and improved landscaping. A few examples would be repainting your home, investing in some potential siding details and even a new front door that welcomes everyone in.

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Overall, figuring out when to sell your home can be exhausting, but we hope these reasons can give some insight on not only what to think about, but also what you should be doing in the meantime. If you’re still not sure when the best time is, ask yourself why you thought about selling your home in the first place. Perhaps this is the best time for you to start living the life you always dreamed of!

- Courtney, Marketing Associate

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Add Holiday Cheer to Your Inbox

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It’s the holiday season! Christmas lights have begun to go up, snow is falling, cookies are baking and Christmas music fills the radios. This time of year is a great time to engage with your client base and spread some holiday cheer while still growing your business. Here are some fun and engaging ways to keep in touch with your clients this holiday season.

Holiday photo contest

If you’re on social media (which we highly encourage you to be), then you know the importance of a photo. Why not take advantage of that and host a holiday photo contest? Ask your clients to send in their best holiday photo - from ugly holiday sweaters to funny family photos! You can even post a few to your social media channels and ask your followers to vote on their favorites. Give out a free prize to those with the best pictures! A simple $5 gift card to a local coffee shop can make someone's day.

Best dressed door

The holiday season is a time for decorating. Start a contest with the neighborhoods in your area and see who can decorate their front door the best! This won’t just provide engagement between you and your clients but it will also bring excitement to your local area (the decorations don’t hurt to look at either). You can offer a prize for the best dressed door as well. Happy decorating!

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DIY decorating tips

Aside from holding a decorating contest, you can also give your followers some decorating tips! These tips can be anything from the best ways to strings lights on a tree to ways to decorate your favorite holiday cookies. Create a mini guide with your favorite tips and even include some craft ideas for your local families to do together. Ask your clients to send you photos of their final decorations!

Best Christmas lights in your area

Many towns offer holiday light display such as community tree lightings that are so much fun! If not, there are often individuals who go above and beyond with their holiday decorations. Some even sync their displays to a radio station playing holiday music for an all-out fun viewing experience. Do some research and compile a list of the best places to view Christmas lights in your area. Your followers will appreciate it!

End of the year update

While all of the previous ideas provide helpful and tactical information to your clients, providing them with a recap of your year is a nice touch as well. You are hopefully maintaining contact with these individuals throughout the year and they care about how your business is doing as well. Provide them with a quick update on what you’ve accomplished, your goals for the upcoming year or any fun things you’ve done with your team throughout the year!

Winter fix-it tips

The weather is getting colder.

This means that home maintenance is more important than ever. Send your client base a list of winter tips to keep their homes in tip top shape. These could include things like cleaning out gutters, checking for drafts from leaky doors or windows, and getting a roof rake to help with snow buildup. These are all things that are important to keep the home that you helped them purchase safe!

Holiday preview

Lastly, a preview of homes hitting the market in the new year is something that your clients may want to know about. If there is a list of homes coming to the market in 2019, share it with them! Who knows, some of them may be looking to buy but are waiting until the new year to do so. Getting a sneak preview of the 2019 market is always an exciting thing!


The holiday season is coming into full swing, and we want you to engage with your following! Implement some of these email ideas and let us know which you think are the most successful. If you have other ideas that have worked for you in the past, let us know. We’d love to hear what you are doing!

- Alicia, Marketing Assistant

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5 steps to the perfect 2019

We’re only 50 days away from 2019. This means that the holiday season is quickly approaching and things are about to get busy. Sometime in the next 50 days, you should be planning for 2019. What will your business look like? What are your goals? There is a lot of important information to figure out! Lucky for you we’re here to help. Here are 5 things that you need to be doing to have a great 2019.

1. Know what happened in 2018

It simply isn’t enough to know what is happening today. It is extremely important to take a look at the past 12 months, both in your own business as well as the real estate industry as a whole. Let’s start with the industry.

Take a look at what the typical seller looked like in 2018:

  • 55 years old

  • Lived in their home for 9 years before selling

  • Most common reason for selling was because the home was too small for their needs

  • Their new home purchased was within 20 miles of their last home

How does this information come into play for 2019? If the average home seller is 55 and looking for a bigger home, you can use that information to your advantage when marketing new listings! When creating Facebook ads for example, start the age demographic around 55 when promoting a larger home! You can also target your ad language to speak to someone who has lived in a home for a substantial amount of time and is looking to have more space. Use the information to your advantage!  

Now let’s talk about buyers.

Here is a snapshot of the typical buyer in 2018:

  • 46 years old

  • 63% were married couples

  • 33% were first time homebuyers

  • 87% purchased their home through an agent

  • 55% looked online at properties as the first step in their search

  • Buyers need 7.2 years on average to save a 20% downpayment

Again, this information is so useful. As online home searching becomes more and more prevalent, it is important to you as an agent to make sure that your marketing is up to par! When promoting listings on the market, target them to married couples around the 46 year old age range. Be clear in what the home features, and even gear it more towards things that a newly married couple or first time homebuyer would be interested in (perhaps a 2 car garage or open concept floor plan for entertaining).

Now that we’ve covered the real estate industry in 2018, let’s talk more about your specific business.

Before diving into this, do us a favor and download Jared James’ 2019 business plan here. Take a look at page 5. Here you will see a sheet with a breakdown of your 2018. Fill this out and recap your year. Learn where your business came from – it will be important when planning for 2019! This brings us to our next point: knowing your numbers.

Download Jared James 2019 Business Plan Now!

Download Jared James 2019 Business Plan Now!

2. Know your numbers and how to reach them

To help with this, Jared James has also created a digital plan for 2019 that you can download here. This plan breaks down your business from the past 12 months and organizes it into sections based on your source of business. For example, how much did you invest in social media and what was the return on that? How much business are you generating from referrals? It then asks you to create goals for 2019. Based on your GCI and stats from you 2018 year, it will determine what needs to happen in 2019. From how many listings you need to close to how many conversations you need to be having per week, this planner is the perfect tool to get on track.  

3.    Commit to change

What will you commit to in 2019? Will it be more social media use? Focusing more on gaining clients through methods other than referrals? While it’s great to know what you should be doing in 2019, the most important part is committing to it.

Commit to your 2019 action plan.

Figure out what your best uses of time are, what you’ve been doing wrong, and what you’ll commit to changing in the New Year. Lucky for you, there is a section for this in Jared’s business plan as well! Get to it!

4.    Plan your perfect day and perfect week


Now that you know how much work you need to be doing to reach your goals for 2019, it’s time to map it out in the “perfect day” and “perfect week.” Are you sensing a trend here? We want you to be organized and efficient with your time! Putting things into a plan holds you accountable and keeps you on track.

Anyways, back to the perfect day and perfect week. Go ahead and click here to download the great day planner, and click here for the great week planner. When planning a “great day,” this form plans out your listing activity, sales activity, revenue and closings. While it allows you to create goals for each day, it also holds you accountable by requesting that you truthfully input the actual amounts for each of the goals you set for the day. By completing this, you can keep track of your daily tasks and accomplish things that align with your overall 2019 goals.

In regards to a “great week”, this is all about time management. Take a look at the weekly planner. While it does mention completing and showing to your coach, that applies to those individuals who are enrolled in Jared’s One on One Coaching program (if you’re curious about this click here). Those of you not enrolled in this can still determine how much time each week you will dedicate to things like follow up, exercise, family time, prospecting and things of the like. By blocking out your time for these things, you can again hold yourself accountable to get tasks completed.  

5. Follow changing trends and know what is happening in the market

While we touched upon what happened in the market during 2018, 2019 could be an entirely different scenario. It is important to stay up to date with things trending in the industry. There are likely going to be changed in the social media area as video continues to make an impact on the market.

Don’t lose track of these things! Be sure to follow us on Instagram at @jarja_media as we post real estate stats and news trends to keep you in the game.


You have 50 days to plan – take advantage of them! Start practicing time blocking now and figure out how you want to implement it into your 2019 plan.

It’s not too late to make a change and commit to changing your business. Questions about any of this? Comment below and reach out! We’re always happy to help.  

- Alicia, Marketing Assistant

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Jarja Media + Jared James Enterprises are Growing!

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This week on our blog, we are going to try doing something a little different. Aside from providing you with business tactics, we also want you to stay in the loop on whats going on in our office! Last week, we had the pleasure of welcome a new team member. Red, who will be manning sales for Jarja Media and Jared James Enterprises, wanted to share a little bit about himself. So, read on and learn more about the newest member of our sales team!

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Q: First and foremost, do you prefer "Mike" or "Red"?

A: I usually go by "Red". Everywhere I ever worked there have been a handful of people named "Mike". I have usually been the only ginger. Plus people remember my name a lot easier when I go by "Red". If they don't remember right away, the big red beard is usually a pretty good hint. 

Q: What is your position at Jared James and Jarja Media? 

A: I don't know what the exact title is or will be called, and whatever we decide to call it down the road is fine by me. If everyone decided "Big furry orange guy" should be an official job title, that is fine by me. "It is not titles that make men illustrious". 

I am still training and learning all the systems, but soon I will be handling a lot of the consultations for coaching and marketing. I am currently working closely with both Jared and Donna to learn more about the programs that Jared James offers. 

Q: So tell us a little about your background. 

A: I have done sales for the last 12 years or so. I have sold stocks, bonds, vacuums, electricity, cable subscriptions, cars, and credit cards. I have sold over the phone, face-to-face, door-to-door and business to business. I have sold on carpet, hardwood, asphalt on concrete, and feel like I can help understand the difficulty many sales people go through every day. 

Q: So what brought you to Jared James Enterprises and Jarja Media? 

A: It was a few things. First, I am a dinosaur compared to what Jared and everyone else here is doing. I have ignored social media for far too long, and can safely say it has hurt my income. Jarja Media and Jared James Enterprises is the best place to learn the skills that are relevant now and 5 years from now. The fact they are the first coaching company to embrace video on a nearly company-wide basis shows how far ahead of the curve they are. The second reason is the culture.

There is an energy and enthusiasm here that you don't get many other places.

Like Jared says, the biggest reason a salesperson succeeds is because they are able to control their mindset. This is the kind of environment where a positive mindset is significantly easier to keep.

The last thing is Jared himself. I have been around the block in terms of sales, but I have never been number one in a field as competitive as Real Estate. This is a place where I can learn from one of the masters of his craft. That is not the kind of opportunity that should be turned down. 

Q: What are you excited about in the future here at JARJA?

A: The CRM is going to be huge. I have used a number of CRMs in the past, and from what I have seen and heard JARJA will be a significant competitor very quickly.  It is exciting to be in the chair when it goes finally goes live. 

Most of all, I am excited to be in a place that is proactive when it comes to technology. Too many businesses wait until there is no other choice but adopt a new technology. If you are not proficient with modern technology, you are a dinosaur risking extinction. I have always believed the worst phrase to hear from a business is "we have always done it this way". Past success is not always indicative of future results. Fax machines should have been gone decades ago, the fact they are still holding on is an anomaly. Jared does not rest on what got him to #1 when he was purely selling real estate. He is focused on what would work today, tomorrow, and next year. 

Q: So what are your hobbies outside of work?

A: I like to build and fix things. You often find me under my truck or covered in sawdust. There is something so satisfying about taking a bunch of raw wood and making it something you can use everyday. There is no feeling like it. I also love stand-up and actually did it for about a year in NYC. I like video games, audiobooks and bar trivia as well. 

Q: And lastly, if you could let people know one thing about yourself, what is it? 

A: I have a tough time holding in jokes when they cross my mind. I try hard not to take myself seriously, and want people to have fun when we speak. If I could not get you to smile at least a little bit, I don't feel like I am doing my job. 


- Red, Sales Associate

Time for an Instagram Revamp

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In a day and age where a strong social media presence can make or break your business, it is important to be active and consistent on all of your social platforms. However, there is one platform in particular where a lot of people struggle: Instagram (IG). With its endless option for filters, hashtags and adding emojis to your captions, it can be a lot to manage. Lucky for you, we have a cheat sheet for making your IG profile shine.

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR A NEW AND IMPROVED INSTAGRAM PROFILE

1. Choose a layout

Choosing a layout for your IG profile can be such a helpful trick. Essentially, the layout is how your photos will be positioned on your profile. This gives you the ability to plan out your content and know which types of photos will look good next to each other. Sound tricky? Luckily there’s an app for that! (Because isn’t there always). Check out the app Preview. This app allows you to drag and drop your photos to see what your IG profile would look like if you chose to lay it out a certain way. Here are a few ideas of ways you can layout your grid:

Tiles

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Borders

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Row by Row

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Puzzle

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2. Choose a Theme

Choosing a theme is almost as important as choosing your layout. A theme can be anything from the color scheme you are using (warm colors vs. cool colors), or the overall “vibe” of your page. This theme aligns directly with content that you are choosing to post. Are your photos more bright and happy? Or are they darker and more serious? This all plays into your overall theme.

3. Content

Speaking of content, what are you posting about? Be consistent! Is your profile mostly tropical photos? Interior design photos? Inspirational quotes? Sure it can be a mix of things, but try to hone in on 3-5 main ideas and keep your posts consistent around that.

If you are struggling to think of content ideas, here are a few things you can try:

  • Ask your audience a question in your post - get them to comment and engage.

  • Create a fill in the black post. (Ex: The one thing that motivates me the most is ___). This will also give your audience an opportunity to engage with you.

  • Give advice/motivation to your audience.

  • User generated content - this is such a big trend right now. Consumers love to see what their peers are interested in and how they use certain products.

  • Videos

  • Nostalgia - who doesn’t want to engage with a post that reminds them of their childhood?

4. Stick to ONE filter!

This tip relates right back to your overall theme. Choose one filter that aligns with your vision (perhaps making your colors more cool or more warm toned). By being consistent with this filter, it will help your overall feed to look more unified and relatable to your brand. Also, take a look at the background colors in the majority of your photos. Try to aim to keep these consistent. Perhaps the backgrounds are mostly white, or a tan color, this will help with the overall appearance of your feed!

Cool Colors vs. Warm Colors

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5. Bio + Profile Photo

This is a topic that isn’t covered nearly as much as it should be. Your IG profile photo should reflect either yourself (if you are the face behind the business) or your brand. For example, a logo or a branded icon is a photo that will let people know that this is your brands account.

In terms of your bio, it should say something about you or your brand, and lead to an action. You may include your company website or a branded hashtag that you want your followers to use. This will incentivize them to interact with your brand. Make it fun! Some examples are:

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6. Last but not least, BE CONSISTENT!

Consistency is such a large part of social media success. Your followers have chosen to follow you based on the content that you put out, so don’t stop posting! Create a schedule using a program like Airtable and keep track of your posts so you don’t lose track.

There is a lot that can be done within Instagram to grow your brand and your business, so why not implement something today! Comment below and let us know what the most useful tip was for you, and be sure to tag @jarja_media on Instagram if you implement anything. Happy ‘gramming!

- Alicia, Marketing Assistant

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