Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Thinking and Fishing Like a Notary Marketing Genius

Your marketing strategy will make or break your notary business, so it's critical that you learn how to think strategically.  

You've got to perfect that aim and throw with all your might at the biggest target you can hit with the least amount of ammo.  

Your notary business depends on it!  

Make a list of each sector of the population you want to serve.  

Each of those will be a target.  

Don't try to hit them all at once!  You can't make a good dent that way.  

Think about fishing in a barrel full of hungry fish.

When getting your business started, that's where you want to aim first--the barrel...where a bunch of bored, hungry fish have been rounded up. 

In a situation like this, you'd be able to buy a $5 cane pole, a few worms, and every time you drop in a fat squiggly worm, it's darn near guaranteed that you can pull out fish after fish for very little money.  Heck, you don't even need the cane pole--just the bait, a friendly smile, and you can hook them with that! 

Suppose Your Target is Senior Citizens


What if you want to reach senior citizens to offer your notary services?  

What will your marketing strategy be? 

How can you reach the most seniors (all at one time) with your time and resources?

To many of my readers, this is a no-brainer--but for others, perhaps like yourself, you have never had to think like a business owner and build your own marketing strategies.  You have never had wear the hat of a Notary Marketing Genius.  However, now that you're depending on your own marketing to put bread on the table, you've got to think quick and build a client list. 

Perhaps this will help to oil the marketing cogs and you'll soon see the marketing brain machine grind out a few light bulb moments.  Then, you'll understand how to go fishing for the clients you need.

Are these the best strategies for reaching senior citizens?

  • Sending emails to all the parents of boys on your son’s baseball team
  • Handing out fliers at a car wash? 
  • Contacting your local Big Brother / Big Sister organization and ask to put your card on a bulletin board?  


NO!  

Those are terrible strategies for reaching senior citizens.  

Well...let me back up and say that you might  connect with a senior by accident while aiming at those targets, but none of the methods above will reach seniors in bunches so you can concentrate your marketing efforts and get the most bang for your buck.

So, how could you reach seniors? 

Think about where senior citizens gather! 

  • Most churches have a program for seniors where they congregate.  You would be surprised how receptive those church gathering attendees are!
  • Naturally,  you could watch the local newspaper and community calendars for expos at which seniors will be targeted—maybe even get a booth. 
  • You should always go to Senior Citizen Day at the county fairs nearby and hand out your cards!
  • And, what about going to restaurant cafeterias on the days that seniors get a discount, just going from table to table to drop your card and tell them you’re a mobile notary in the area.


The best technique ever for senior citizens...

Coupons!  Seniors love coupons!

Always add a coupon to your senior citizen marketing -- for instance, the best with seniors (in my opinion) are $1 off,  $3 off, $5 off or whatever amount you prefer.  Put boldly stated coupons on your marketing materials and business cards that you give to senior citizens!  

Be sure to make them colorful and easy to read with an expiration date of at least a year away because seniors NEVER throw coupons away!!

Hopefully, sharing this strategy with you will help you to develop the skills you need to think and fish like a savvy notary marketing genius. 

Until next time...my best to you, 

Brenda Stone

Sunday, July 9, 2017

New Texas Notary Guidance: Those Aren't Your Notary Monkeys. Period.

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The other day, I received this question from a new notary:

"A guy needs help with a statement about his income.

Would you please look at what I have written for him and see what you think?"

I didn't think about it.

And, I didn't look at it.

That's neither your circus and nor your monkey.

It's important to know your limits...what you can and cannot do.  Not knowing this can get you de-commissioned, sued, and fined.

I told my new friend that he could only complete a proper Texas notarial certificate.

Texas notaries never draft a statement for a client. That's acting as if you have been trained in legal matters.  Drafting documents or doing the following can carry stiff penalties including losing your commission.  Remember that the document portion above the notary certificate just isn't our monkey.
  • We don't help write documents.  
  • Do not help signers to fill in blanks. If they can't complete any blanks in a document, you must decline to notarize the document. 
  • Notaries must not suggest that a client needs a certain type of document or that they do not have the correct document.
  • Notaries do not write statements to verify something that a client did, then seal and sign it.
  • Notaries never sign a notarial certificate when it is the notary's signature on the document that must be notarized. 

The Document:   It's definitely not our circus!  

Documents are the client's business.

We don't read them carefully--we only look at them for completeness and to get enough information to log in our notary journals.

Don't write on them without direct supervision from an authority. (For instance, don't change the signer's name, or mark out an absent signer's name in the document proper.)

Notary's Monkeys 

Here are your monkeys...notice none of them indicate writing documents for clients.  Your circus includes this:

  • Identifying Clients
  • Completing a Proper Certificate
  • Ensuring that the person before you is mentioned in the notary certificate and that no absent signers are.
  • Following the Steps of a Proper Notarial Act (If you do not know them, my steps for performing a notarial act are at the bottom of this article.)



What if the Notary Certificate is Missing?


Many notary experts say not to pick a certificate for a client, and that you must let the client pick.

However, those same authorities allow notaries to say for certificates of acknowledgment "This is usually on a deed."  or for jurats "This is usually found on a sworn statement."

The best thing to do is to show them samples of your notary certificates.

You may download a copy of my personal Texas notary certificates here but be sure to read the cautionary statement below.

//End of article; more about the subject appears below.//

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Read more in Nine Tips about Notary Certificates.

Bookmark and refer to this page  often where the Texas Secretary of State's educational links are listed.

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Texas Notary Certificate Caution:  Please read


The other day, someone said that I might be practicing law by making my certificates available for you. So, if you think I am giving you "legal advice," for the love of Pete, please don't download my certificates!   By all means, go here and use the samples from the Texas Secretary of State that I used to make my own.  You can also make your own, or you can purchase them, or go to the National Notary Association's site and look up your own state's notary certificates.

 You'll notice that my certificates are harmonious with most recordable documents you may have seen.  I don't fancy them up with check boxes and clutter or extra writing outside of the one-inch margin around the page.



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How I Notarize Step-by-step 

By Brenda Stone

I could have put it in first person rather than speaking to you.  But it sounds ridiculous, so I didn't.  Just know that these aren't legal advisories, only my notes on how I notarize.  

• Start a journal entry and collect necessary information about the signer and the document.

• ID the signer. Usually this means you will review the signer’s ID documentation. Alternatively, the signer may be introduced to you by someone you know personally (and knows the signer). Or, you can notarize for a signer who you know well without requiring ID documentation.
• Quickly scan the document for completeness and to collect information for your journal entry.
• If there are blanks, ask the signer to complete them.
• Note whether there is a notarial certificate. If there isn’t a certificate attached to the document, show the signer samples of certificates allowed by Texas law. The signer must pick one. Attach the chosen certificate to the document.
• Conduct the required verbal and/or signing ceremony.


  • Certificates of Acknowledgment - You do NOT have to see the document signed.  Your verbal ceremony will be similar to:  Do you acknowledge this is your signature and you have signed it for genuine purposes and intent?
  • Jurat - You MUST see the signer execute the document.  Your verbal ceremony will be similar to:  Do you swear or affirm that your statements above are truthful?  If yes,  please sign the document to signify so.

• Complete the certificate accurately.
• Affix your seal (stamp) and signature.



 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Protect your Pets from Firework Noise on the 4th of July 2017!

Enjoy your fireworks, notary friends, but please contain your precious pets in a safe quiet place away from the noise.  

They will bolt when they hear the noise.  





Want a beta version of my Where to Get Started Guide for Texas Notaries?  See this article.    
Available for 5 days here

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