Sunday, October 29, 2017

Marketing Article #5 - It's NoNoMarBo Time!! (In English: Notary November Marketing Bonanza! )

This is Marketing Article #5 of a series.
(See links to all five at the bottom of this page.) 
Notaries have a ton of reasons to reach out to clients and prospects by email during the month of November!  I am going to show you how in this last installment of five marketing articles. (Links to all are at the bottom of this article.)

Marketing Tip #1- NoNoMarBo with NaNoWriMo 

Wow, now that sounded like gibberish!

Obviously, I pirated this, um, whatever you call it...(made up word?) NoNoMarBo from NaNoWriMo which, in writing circles, means National Novel Writing Month.  November is the month where many writers take up a challenge to write a first draft of a novel in a month.

Shamelessly Exploit all Avenues to Market Services!

Fire up your trusty Googles and find out if there's a local writers' club meeting this month.  Try to find out who is in charge and reach out to him or her.

Target writers in Facebook posts.

Do one post about every three to five days offering a discount to NaNoWriMo participants.  Congratulate writers everywhere for participating.

Act like you've got a ton of writing friends.  It doesn't matter if you do or not!  You have a reason to post in your local groups.  People will see it.  You'll get business!

Heck, just for grins, add me and Notary Tim Gatewood to your Facebook Friends' list.  Both of us will be quieter in November, but at least you'll have two writers to "talk" to in your ads.  (Quieter why? I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this month.  I think Tim said he is, too.)  Tim's blog is here, by the way. 

ACTION ITEMS -- Ready, set, go!!

  • When it's action time, check below for a way to spice up your well wishes using my secret weapon!
  • Set up three (or more) well wishes and coupons for NaNoWriMo writers. 
  • Post one of them every three to five days.
  • ~~~~~~

    Marketing Tip #2-  - It's No Shave November!

    In Memory of My First Cousin CLB who
    passed away recently
    at the age of 61 - October 22, 2017, and my grandfather. 
    Andrew Smith.  Neither had cancer, but my
    Papaw has a No-Shave-worthy beard
    and I love this picture of these two guys.

    Buzz up your Facebook page and blog with reminders about, the site for No Shave-November.

    ACTION ITEMS -- Ready, set, go!!

    • Visit the site to learn why this is so important.  
    • When it's action time, take a look at my secret weapon for marketing.
    • Write up eight ads total using what you've learned above.
    • Write four ads - Offer men without beards a discount!
    • Four more ads - Offer men with beards a better discount!  
    • Post a total of two ads each week during the month of November.

    Marketing Tip #3- The BIG ONE.  It's National Notary Public Day!

    Below, as my NoNoMarBo gift to you, is a list of five marketing articles to help you make the MOST of National Notary Public Day. 

    • If you really want to make a splash, arrange to be somewhere for an hour (or several hours) around town providing notarizations for half-price throughout the month.  
      • If you have no other place to do it, try the parking lot of Wal-Mart.
      • Another location would be the library.
      • If you have a mall, Sam's Club, Cosco, or Target, those are good places, too.
    • Give out your card.  
    • Set up a drawing for something very cool that people will sign up for.
    • Collect emails.  (Read the email marketing tips article to learn more.)
    • Go to Senior Citizen meetings. Promote your business.
    • Make a full day's work of greeting all the medical folks in your town. Promote your business.
    • Everywhere you go, promote your business!

    Marketing Tip #4--November 25 is Small Business Day 2017

    This comes straight from the website.

    Get advice on how to prepare for the holiday season on our blogs:
    6 Ways to Maximize Your Return on Sponsoring or Hosting Holiday Events
    7 Holiday Marketing Tips on a Limited Budget
    5 Ways to Market Your Business for the Holiday Season
    Start Now to Plan Your Holiday Retail Marketing Campaign
    How to Market Your Business with an Event
    33 Creative Ideas for Small Business Holiday Marketing
    6 Good Reasons to Start your Holiday Marketing Plan Now

    Get free Small Business Saturday® marketing materials - including sample posters, press releases, and social media updates

    Pssst -- Here is one of My Secret Weapons!!

    Make your posts more appealing by using Adobe's Spark. You'll have to sign up for a free account.  I have a paid account, but right now Spark is free.


    Series of Marketing Articles for You, U.S. Notaries 

    For my friends and readers:

    Happy NoNoMarBo 2017!!

    Monday, October 23, 2017

    Hello Notary -- Is your address up to date?

    What I have learned from researching topic after notary topic is that one thing that seems to aggravate  Notary Public Administrators is the failure of a notary to update his or her address.


    In Texas, it's so blasted easy!

    Step 1 - Go here and look yourself up to get your notary commission number.
    Step 2 - Go here and input the four requested items. 

    1. Notary Commission Number
    2. Last four digits of your SSA number
    3. Date of Birth
    4. Last Name

    Step 3 - Hit submit!  You're on your way!


    No more excuses. 

    Get 'er done.

    Important: Texas Notary Education by SOS and Legislative Update (Online Notarization Peek)

    In this article

    --Clarifies that Typing isn't UPL
    --Changes Address / Journal Requirements for Signers
    --New No Can Do - Using Certain Words in Foreign Language
    • Online Notarization is Coming - Here's a peek


    To the Texas Secretary of State -- Thank You!

    Thank you for this amazing six-video collection of educational videos and an update on legislation, plus a peek at online notarization.  Thanks to all the participants, including my friend Kathleen Butler from the American Society of Notaries

    Brenda Stone & Members of

    Education for Texas Notaries 

    Six 2017 Notary Public Conference Presentations


    Legislative Update for Texas Notaries

    Watch the Videos & Download Slides
    One of the six videos is at this link.  I have watched and summarized what our notary public administrators had to say.

    SB 2065 – Law Update -  Deceptive Trade Practices Act - Effective Now (as of Sept. 1, 2017).  

    The new law doesn't change the part highlighted in purple, except to add the word "or admission" to (2).

    Notaries, of course, still can’t represent themselves as lawyers and many other things.  See blue print in (a)(1)-(5) below.
    Added by new law:  Notaries cannot use terms immigration expert or immigration consultant in a foreign language.  See brown print in (28).

    The new law specifies (see highlighted in green) that
    Typing services are not considered UPL
    Translation IS NOT considered UPL

    SECTION 2.002.  Section 406.017, Government Code, is amended
    by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (a-1) to read as
           (a)  A person commits an offense if the person is a notary
    public and the person:
                 (1)  states or implies that the person is an attorney
    licensed to practice law in this state;
                 (2)  solicits or accepts compensation to prepare
    documents for or otherwise represent the interest of another in a
    judicial or administrative proceeding, including a proceeding
    relating to immigration or admission to the United States, United
    States citizenship, or related matters;
                 (3)  solicits or accepts compensation to obtain relief
    of any kind on behalf of another from any officer, agency, or
    employee of this state or the United States;
                 (4)  uses the phrase "notario" or "notario publico" to
    advertise the services of a notary public, whether by signs,
    pamphlets, stationery, or other written communication or by radio
    or television; or
                 (5)  advertises the services of a notary public in a
    language other than English, whether by signs, pamphlets,
    stationery, or other written communication or by radio or
    television, if the person does not post or otherwise include with
    the advertisement a notice that complies with Subsection (b).
           (a-1)  A person does not violate this section by offering or
    providing language translation or typing services and accepting

    Best Practices Recommended
    Come to an agreement in advance with any signer you will meet with about any fees you'll be charging.
    Itemize your fees on a receipt. 

    Immigration Consultant/Expert in Foreign Language - New No Can Do

    SECTION 2.001.  Section 17.46(b), Business & Commerce Code,
    as amended by Chapters 1023 (H.B. 1265) and 1080 (H.B. 2573), Acts
    of the 84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, is reenacted and
    amended to read as follows:
           (b)  Except as provided in Subsection (d) of this section,
    the term "false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices"
    includes, but is not limited to, the following acts:
    (28)  using the translation into a foreign language of
    a title or other word, including "attorney," "immigration
    consultant," "immigration expert," "lawyer," "licensed," "notary,"
    and "notary public," in any written or electronic material,
    including an advertisement, a business card, a letterhead,
    stationery, a website, or an online video, in reference to a person
    who is not an attorney in order to imply that the person is
    authorized to practice law in the United States;


    Mailing Address for Signings - Journal Update

    You may use the signer’s mailing address or work address and do NOT have to put down the address that you see on their Driver License.
    You must provide a certified copy of your record book entry upon payment of fees.  (Just modernized the words.)

    Online Notary Legislation

    Read this - it is plain language about the intent of the new law.

    HB 1217 – EFFECTIVE JULY 2018
    You don’t have to become an online notary.
    You must be a regular notary to become an online notary.

    There will be costs--
    Fee to register with the SOS.
    Pay for the software that is required.  (Didn’t say what this would be.)
    Pay for the ID software that will be required. (Didn’t say what this would be.)
    SOS will develop standards.
    We will purchase the software from private vendors.
    They will be creating ADMINISTRATIVE RULES.
    We will have a chance to comment. 

    Sunday, October 22, 2017

    Marketing Article #4 - Three Marketing Tips from a Tried and True Marketing Book on my Shelf

    Tonight I am banging away on my keyboard writing a book about starting a certain type of home based business. (More on that when I getting closer to finishing the book.)  I needed a picture to show readers that I have the books that I recommend they get for this business, so I went to my shelf to pull down my books to photograph.

    Well, this old fellow, an old friend of mine, got my attention. 1001 Ways to Market your Services (Even if you Hate to Sell!) by Rick Crandall, Ph.D.  1001 has been on my shelf for years and is still popular enough to be on Amazon's Kindle shelf now. (Please note that if you purchase the book at this link, I will make as much as 30 cents [or 6% of the purchase price] from your purchase.)

    I have always been pretty good at marketing my notary services because I read things like this constantly and use my imagination.  I decided to finish my Sunday writing up tonight with a challenge to myself to go through the first chapter of 1001 and hand you three realistic, long-range, workable marketing ideas before I went to bed.

    Click to see on Amazon
    Ready, set, go!!  Here is Marketing Article #4 for October 2017.  Links to the other three are listed below.

    Marketing Article #1

    Marketing Article #2

    Marketing Article #3

    10/29/17 - Edited to say that all articles are linked at the bottom of this article.

    Tip 1 - Be approachable - tell a notary joke!  

    From page 3.  The tip is to be approachable.  The book says don't try to be intimidating.  Humanize yourself.  Don't take yourself so seriously.  The example suggests that attorneys use attorney jokes to humanize themselves.  That might work for notaries.  How about coming up with a notary joke to go into your marketing materials?  Don't have a clue?

    You've read about "Ten things that Texans do."  How about "Ten things that notaries do"?  If you want me to look at your work, when you are finished, I promise to keep it quiet and not share with anyone.  If you make me laugh, you'll make your clients laugh.

    Tip 2 - Farm a neighborhood.

    From page 5.  The tip is  "specializing in a special neighborhood."  Suppose you start a newsletter about your neighborhood.  Your notary services will be the main passenger in the vehicle that is your newsletter.

    Become an authority on who your policemen are, why the latest road block has happened, etc.  Your publications must always state "Brought to you buy your neighborhood notary!"

    You could decide to become the local church specialist, or the most informed on what's going on in the school district.  Become the smartest person in your town where the craft shows are, or local muscial talent.

    There are niches all around you to collect information from to specialize in.  Set up a blog and be super smart on the topic you choose so that your notary services are front and center in the front of a group of people who will use your services at some point.

    Tip 3 - Specialize, Specialize, Specialize

    From page 9.  The tip is to specialize in one segment of your service industry.  You can become the most knowledgible about a type of notary client.  Keep your current website, but start a site that caters to one type of client. For instance, hospital clients or maybe hospice care.  Or, perhaps adoptions or lawyers who need you to go administer an oath to clients who are testifying online.  Whatever the case, become a solid expert in your chosen niche.  Create a list of wonderful resources like links to articles for people who need your little niche-type of work.

    I enjoyed that so much, you can plan on seeing three more soon.  Ah, it's already 9:21 p.m.  

    Good night!

    10/29/17 - UPDATING TO ADD 


    Series of Marketing Articles for You, U.S. Notaries 

    For my friends and readers:

    Happy NoNoMarBo 2017!!

    Real Situation: Three Views on How to Handle Changing the Venue on Loan Documents

    This is about a situation that I read about on Facebook.   Tim Gatewood's blog is mentioned below my article, because it touches on what I am writing about and balances my opinion with his.

    Here is the situation.

    A Texas notary receives documents on which the venue on notary certificates were wrong.  Lender was "P" whose instructions were to not mark out anything on the documents.

    The notary who received this assignment asked what to do on one of  Facebook's notary groups.  (However, when she posted, she didn't include the fact that she had plenty of time to get the answer.)


    Notaries' responses fell into one of these three groups' views.

    Group 1 - Some notaries'experiences were that P will reject documents.  Group 1 said to  get the okay to change or ask for new certificates. Also, Group 1 said to get assurance from client (in this case, a signing service that has a reputation for paying slow, slow, slow) that if P rejected the documents, the notary would still get paid. 
    Group 2 - Others said their experiences were that P didn't reject the documents for marking out the venue and adding the correct one.  
    Group 3 - A third group had never worked for P and said it was their right to change the venue because the certificate belongs to the notary.

    My Opinion

    My opinion goes along with Group 1.

    To that, I will add that the venue must always be corrected to indicate a truthful statement about where the document was notarized.

    However, if the notary has time to get with the Lender (P in this case), get with the client (a signing service in this situation) and ask them to get a response from the lender. Understand that the notary doesn't allow the venue to stay wrong, no matter what the client says.

    Why wouldn't a notary take that opportunity to discuss this with the client or the lender?  It's a win/win.

    • The lender has the opportunity to correct the package's notary venues if the lender needs the notary venue not to be marked out and corrected. 
    • It shows that the notary reads instructions.

    I talked to a person who knows this lender's business model and procedures.  I was told that P has two types of packages,

    Type A - Loans that the lender doesn't sell to another group.

    Type B - Loans that the lender sells to investors.

    Type A packages do not  have the strictest level of "no marking out" requirements.  Type B packages absolutely do. Hence, the two different experiences of Group 1 and Group 2. Both groups are reporting honest experiences.

    Group 3 is also right, but just because you have every right to change that venue, dang it, consider this.

    My Thought Process

    For me, it all boils down to

    Marketing & Customer Service - The venue must be changed, but why not give the lender an opportunity to change the certificates, get clean certificates into the package, and as noted above, let the client and/or lender see that you read instructions?

    Getting Paid & Upholding Laws - In a similar situation, if any client, whether lender or otherwise, says "No" to you changing the certificate's venue and "No" to sending a certificate with the correct venue, the notary isn't going to get paid a full rate if he or she doesn't go along with the wrongfully required instructions.

    It is not lawful to indicate a wrong venue, so the notary can't go through with the notarial act.

    If the answer is that the venue can't be changed by the notary, and new certificates will not be sent by the lender, I would turn back the signing.  Not waste my time.  It's a bad client.  I'd drop that one.  In this case, it's my way or the highway. 

    I feel that arguing is futile with a client who says that "Other notaries do this all the time."

    In this type of case, it indicates a pattern of bad behavior.

    I would probably send an email to the notary section of my Secretary of State and ask them for suggestions on  what can be done when a client pressures me or other notaries to do this.

    My way is not to argue with those who bully with "everyone else does it."

    Actions Speak Louder than Words

    Clients who ask for a venue to go unchanged know what is right and wrong.

    They are trying to force you into doing the wrong thing.  The best way to send a message is to drop the signing.  Turn it back.

    That sends a clear message not to bother you in the future with these types of shenanigans. Also,  your refusal to work is more than an argument.  It illustrates you are standing on principle--right vs. wrong.

    There is a good chance that once you drop the signing, you'll get it back on your terms, if you still want it.  Just get it in writing that you will get paid full fee even if you correct the venue.

    For those who argue that dumping the signing at the last minute hurts the borrowers, the notary is in a losing situation.  In this case, the notary actually had three days to sort it out or turn it back.

    The notary who goes forward must do so with the knowledge that he or she won't get paid the full amount if the notary won't perform by their instructions properly and by not changing the venue, the notary has given the borrower an unlawful, non-valid notarization on each document.

    If you are still wondering about the Lender's Answer...

    The lender said that it would be fine to change the venue on the notarial certificates.

    As promised, Tim Gatewood's Blog 

    Tim Gatewood's blog is the best blog written for notaries.  (Of course, this one runs a close second!)

    I was working on an article that dovetails nicely with his blog's topic entitled "A Notary Signing Agent Wears Two Hats"  and I suggest thjat you read what we both have to say. On Tim's blog, start at this paragraph if you want to compare our views.
    "If your client’s instructions say you can not alter any document without their permission, this does not apply to correcting the venue or the contents of the notary certificate when they are wrong, as you have full authority to make corrections to those elements by virtue of your commission as a notary public."

     The issue was discussed hot and heavily earlier this week relative to an issue with a certain lender's document.

    Any topic that gets notaries engaged is a great one to push foward.

    Sunday, October 15, 2017

    Shout out to Gov. Rick Scott in Florida re Electronic Wills and Remote Notarization

    The photo belongs to FLORIDA PROBATE LITIGATION
    I just read Gov. Scott's veto letter y about electronic wills and what I believe is also a form of remote notarization.


    Why am I impressed?

    Because Gov. Rick Scott acknowledged Florida Notaries. He also wasn't afraid to slow down the roll of zealous commercial enterprises who see nothing but smoothe sailing and dollar signs.
    There are 420K notaries in the Lone Star State, and not one lawmaker that I know of reached out to Texas notaries in the field who providing independent notarial services to see what they thought about remote notarization. Lawmakers might have chatted with their assistants who are notaries and have no clue what it's like out there, but they gave no thought to getting input from boots on the ground.

    I would not have opposed the remote notarization bill because it is inevitable and will come soon enough to the entire country, but I sure could have made a few suggestions to ensure our citizens' best interests in Texas were protected.

    Anyhow, FL Notaries, you are fortunate. Gov. Scott said:

    "As Governor, I oversee the appointment of notaries public in the State of Florida and have a responsibility to ensure that notaries safeguard the most vulnerable Floridians against fraud and exploitation. While the concept of remote notarization is meant to provide increased access to legal services like estate planning, the remote notarization provisions in the bill do not adequately ensure authentication of the identity of the parties..."  READ THE ARTICLE
    Gov. Scott: Thanks for caring about giving your notaries the tools they need! Free notary work to you in Bryan/College Station if you come this way.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    Who "Invented" the Notary Signing Agent Career?

    Have you ever wondered about the answers to these questions?

    • When did the career path for notary signing agents began?  
    • Who was the very first signing agent, the mother of us all?
    • How did the signing agent career get its start? 

    Her name was “Susan” and I won't add her last name because I respect her privacy. (Susan, if you are out there and want to comment or add your name, please do so below or contact me by email!)

    Susan coined the term “Notary Signing Agent.

    Susan was an entrepreneur extraordinaire! Her efforts paved the way for notaries to become an integral part of the mortgage lending arena.

    The images that I've shared in this article are from the archived websites where it all began.

    Are you aware that notary signing agents are relatively new to the mortgage signing process?

    Until interest rates began to fall at the end of the 1990’s, there was no need for a mobile notary to go to a home to notarize a loan.

    When rates fell consumers stampeded local banks to have their loans refinanced at better rates. In house closers were overwhelmed and mobile notaries were engaged to assist.

    That’s not all of it!  

    As the World Wide Web matured and became a mainstream form of entertainment, information, and communication, it became a marketing powerhouse for mortgage lenders and title companies.

    Searching online was becoming faster because of digital phone lines replacing the old school version. Modems went from dog slow to 14,400 bps, and then even doubled to 28,800 bps.

    It didn’t take five minutes to get search results returned. That’s when the internet became a way to shop and compare prices.

    These changes created a new kind of frontier for commerce stakeholders to explore.

    Lenders and borrowers found each other across the span of the U.S. through websites. We saw many websites crop up with pages that said “Need a loan? Type in your information and we’ll call you when we approve it!”

    Brick and mortar buildings no longer contained borrowers. 

    In many areas of the country, title companies and lenders simply could not accommodate the demand for refinance closings locally.

    On the local scene, title company employees began leafing through paper phonebooks and indiscriminately contacted any notary that could be located. Notaries quickly became interested in picking up documents, going to appointments and getting them signed, and back to title companies.

    In the meantime, many lenders and title companies established national centers to process loans and accommodate remote borrowers who found their interest rates to be better than local interest rates.

    They also needed notaries to attend the signings and notarize documents.

    It was a profitable time for title companies and lenders, but they were often restricted by the small pool of notaries that could preside over signing appointments.

    It must have been in the late 1990s or early 2000's when the concept and title of "notary signing agent" was born.  (I didn't get started until around 2004, so I can't say for sure.  If you know, send me an email and tell me the exact year or put it in the comments below.)

    Former NASA Branding
    Susan was a notary in Colorado who realized that by organizing a group of notaries, many could profit from networking and becoming educated on how to handle loan documents.

    She saw that the insane rushing flood of consumers seeking to refinance loans at low rates would be a gold mine for notaries public.

    Susan sat down and made a plan.

    She formed a group and set up a website that remains online today! (For fun, go ahead and click the link. You might be surprised!)

    She called the group The National Association of Signing Agents (NASA). I've included an image of what I think is the old website's logo.

    Susan came up with the title of “notary signing agent” and before long, the group membership exploded.

    Eventually, Susan needed to step away from the work. At that time, the National Notary Association bought the rights to Susan’s business and that’s when the NNA’s certification classes and marketing of the notary signing agent career path exploded.

    Ancient Price List

    Price List from the Past

    In the price list, you'll see that Susan negotiated rates company by company then added another amount on top of that. I've heard base rates ran $50, $75, $100, and $150. I don't know!

    As you can see, however, in the past, notaries named their fee, and they got it. Sometimes, hiring companies would offer ridiculously high prices ($500+) to tempt a notary at the end of the month to go out at 11:00 p.m.

    Susan, much happiness to you from Texas on National Notary Public Day (coming up on November 7, 2017).

    Your work had a lasting impact on the past, present, and future of notaries.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    Marketing Article #3 - Book Review: Ultimate Guide to Standing Out and Getting More Closings,

    The third marketing article in the series is a review of a free, downloadable booklet that every new notary should read.  It was written by a couple of guys I think of as "the Closer Hub Guys."

    Marketing Article Series - October 2017
    • Article #1 was quite short.  I plan to revisit this subject  in more detail. The title:  Niche Marketing
    • Article #2:  You’ve heard of the new buzz called “content marketing” right?  A good email marketer creates marketing emails with content the client wants to read. They don’t just spam the recipients with ads about themselves.  Click here to read:  Email Marketing Tips for Notaries
    • Article #3:  Today’s article is an endorsement of the Ultimate Guide to Standing Out and Getting More Closings, a free booklet by the Closer Hub Guys. (I’ll refer to them below as CH Guys.)
    Edited on 10/29/17 - all article links are shared at the bottom of this article. 

    Who are the Closer Hub Guys?  

    Their names are Dean Calvert and Steve Allison. They wrote the Ultimate Guide to Standing Out and Getting More Closings, a free booklet (the one I am reviewing today).  

    I’ll refer to them below as CH Guys. 

    Dean worked eleven years as a closer, manager, and sales manager for a national title company.  Steve Allison is his partner.  He worked with Dean for five years as a closer and closing manager.  

    One day, they took the leap and started their own company.   Their video gives more details.

    I’m not copying their content and putting it in this article! 

    You’ll have to get most of the information by reading the Ultimate Guide to Standing Out and Getting More Closings on your own,

    I’m just telling you what’s inside, so you’ll want to download and read it. New notary professionals can use this kind of information.

    I read this guide a couple of years ago and also watched their video.  I have re-read and re-watched the article and video (respectively) more than once.  It's really good, solid notary business information.

    I found both to be uplifting and infinitely more inspiring than some of the snake oil presentations that don’t show you how to polish your image but just regurgitate information that won’t do you a bit of good!

    Unprofessionalism is the #1 Complaint

    First, let’s correct a very correctable problem.

     Steve and Dean say that unprofessionalism is one issue causing complaints about notaries from title companies, borrowers, and mortgage brokers.

    That’s a big pain point.

    The CH Guys say that notaries should polish up on appearance, demeanor, and notary skills to get more closings.  

    This is so easy to fix!

    My comments on notary skills:  Notaries have NO excuse not to read their laws and find training.  It’s up to them to equip and educate themselves before beginning to notarize.

    Don’t know where to start to gain skills? 

    Try the American Society ofNotaries and the National Notary Association.   Texans should look into attending one of Phyllis Traylor’s live San Antonio classes.  You could also ask Carol Ray of Notary2Pro Signing Agent Training for a referral. 

    Click this link to look on YouTube for notary training.  Read your laws, and ask your notary public administrator where free training or materials may be found.

    Many states, like Texas, have excellent free training online.  A writing instructor recently said in an online class that I’m taking “Do your research.  With the accessibility of the Internet, you have absolutely no excuse not to thoroughly research all of your writing, fiction or non-fiction.”

    Likewise, notaries have NO excuse for not knowing how to notarize properly.

    Professionalism Boost - Tips for Attire
    Attire can also be an issue that causes complaints of unprofessionalism.

    Attire is covered frankly and honestly on pages 4 -5.  For instance, men, did you know there’s a recommended dress code for you that will speed up your closings?  

    Goodwill Gesture – Major Tip on how to Stand Out
    On page 5, there is a crazy goodwill gesture described that you might want to make to title companies so that you become a favorite.  The CH Guys say that no one else in your area will make this offer.  Be the one who cultivates this “thing” and stands out.

    Do You Put Forth Marketing Efforts?

    What’s that mean, anyhow? 

    “Most notaries don’t market,” say Steve and Dean.

    They do little more than sign up with signing services.

    Be the marketer! Stand out!

    (See pages 6 and 7.)

    Should you use a business card tied to a notary association?  

    Will that help you stand out? What about brochures, where can you get them?  What should they say? Consult page 7 of the guide.

    Learn how to correspond more professionally in writing with a few short tips.  See page 7.

    When you make phone calls, try Steve and Dean’s trick.  The CH Guys say if you do this more often, you’ll make more money.  See page 8 for details!

    Also on page 8:  Always have this one certain item in front of you to make your clients feel rewarded when they call.

     Be Less Stressed and More Organized

    By being ready for any situation and more organized, you can reduce your stress level and concentrate on performing flawless loan signings!

      Mobile Office – What goes in it?

    As part of reducing stress, you need an efficient mobile office.  Should you craft your mobile office from a notary box in the car or a notary bag? You’ll find answers to questions like the following on pages 9-10.

    ·         What should you stock in your mobile office?
    ·         Should you print at Kinko’s?
    ·         Do you need a printer and scanner to haul around?

    Contacting Borrowers

    Do you need help on what to say when you make your first call to the borrowers? See page 10.

    The Ultimate Secret to Running a Stress Free Business

    I had no idea that the ultimate secret is blank, a word that starts with an L.  And, you need to learn to blank your time!  See page 11 for details.

    Also, on page 11 is a paragraph listing each step involved in each signing appointment.

    For instance, you receive the closing, respond; you update your calendar, and do about 15 more things that have to happen every time you take an assignment.

    When tasks are repetitious, and these will be as your business picks up, they can usually be streamlined. 

    The CH Guys say they have developed a system to help you handle your work—it’s called the Closer Command Center

    I know what you are thinking…that you don’t want to give them your email in exchange for downloading their book.  You fear you’ll get emails all the time. 

    I haven’t.

    NNA Conference 2016 Presentation Rocked

    I attended the CH Guys’ presentation at the NNA conference and I was intrigued by them, their personal stories of how they got from Point A to Point B, their tips for standing out, and their down to earth personalities.   Watch their video at this link to see a similar presentation.

    I could learn a lot from Dean and Steve.

    You can, too.

    They are real, down to earth, and they walk the walk more than talking about it.  They’ve been in a position to seek notaries like you to do their assignments while working for a TITLE COMPANY -- not in a signing service that was unsuccessful or took advantage of notaries with low or slow pay.

    The CH Guys won’t pretend to dazzle your future clients with fancy paper shuffling and binding clips or other expensive training full of promises they can’t keep and information that you don’t really need. 

    They aren’t providing signing agent training. 

    The tips in this booklet are the exact insights I needed when I first started my notary business. 

    This booklet is about polishing one’s image and imparting wisdom to help you stand out and get more closings.  And, of course, they have their product, the Closing Command Center.  I know nothing about it, but if I needed a notary business management tool, I would go to the Closing Hub first.   

    I receive no commission for having provided this article should you subscribe to this software or purchase it by clicking through my links. It makes no difference to me if you purchase from them, but you really should get a copy of the booklet. There is zero pressure to purchase anything from the Closer Hub afterwards.

    It’s almost National Notary Public Day (November 7, 2017).

    Because I appreciate that notaries have been reading my articles over the last many years , I’m doing a series of marketing articles packed with my favorite Ah ha!  tips and tricks. 

    Monday, October 9, 2017

    Marketing Article #2 - Email Marketing Tips for Notaries

    Do you want to take your marketing to the next level?  

    Here is what it takes: you need to have a plan for targeting clients and reaching them regularly. One way to do that is with email lists and regularly sending out information that is appealing and useful.

    Email lists of clients and prospective clients are an small business owner's solid gold.

    Sometimes, it takes knocking on doors and asking for business cards and doing whatever it takes to solicit email addresses from clients and prospective clients.

    You'll never get more business than you reach out and grab!  

    You won't get farther than $75 signings if all you do is sign up for $75 signing companies.

    Once you understand the lay of the land in the notary business, you should come up with as many creative ways as possible to engage prospective clients and stay on their minds.

    Tips for Notary Marketing by Email

    1) Subscribe to an email list service so that you don't have to worry about spamming.

    Every email you send should have an "unsubscribe" link or button.

    On my blog is a tab for notaries to "Join the Email List." At that link, those on my email list can subscribe or unsubscribe.

    I have used YMLP for several years. It's quite reasonable and has a ton of good features.

    I also have an account with MailChimp which is actually free for small email lists...up to the first 2,000 email addresses, I think, and some other minor restrictions.  There are great features in MailChimp, too, but it is a little bit more complicated to me.

    Either way, you'll have to do a bit of studying on how to make it do what you want it to do.

    There are several other email lists around--fire up Google and see what you can find along those lines!

    2) Email Etiquette

    What you NEVER want to do is put a ton of email addresses in the "TO" or "CC" area of an email and blast everyone so that your recipients hate you for it.  The first thing that happens is that someone hits "REPLY ALL" and says "Take me off your email list!!!!" and then, that person, spams everyone on your list again.  Then, the whole list is angry, and saying the same thing and spamming one another.

    Pretty soon, your email listers are sending you to the spam box or the trash, never to be seen again.

    One of the rudest things that field service companies and signing services do is put all of their vendors in the TO section and send out a blast.

    We hate that!

    So do your clients. 

    Finally, you may wonder about the "BCC" area.  That's better than the TO or CC areas, but you will not have an unsubscribe button or link, and you really do want that so you don't get yourself into trouble by spamming, and it's just looks better to have a subscription to an email list manager.

    3) Building an Email List for General Notary Work

    The following are tips on how to develop your general notary work email list.  In this list, you only want local people and businesses that you can serve as a mobile notary. (Signing agent work is different.  You should develop relationships with companies locally and across the U.S.)

    -YMLP accommodates many separate email lists per account.  That's great because you will have different types of clients.  You might want to start a separate list for each niche you are serving or targeting so that you can customize your marketing emails to fit the interests of that niche. (Read more on niche marketing here.)

    -For every general notary client you serve, ask for an email address. Write it down in the back of your journal, if you wish, and note the page number where the notarization occurred. Transfer the email address, and the first and last name of your client, to your computer or email list when you get home.  When you ask for the email address, tell them you would like to send a coupon, that you won't spam them, and that your email list is private.

    You'll get some that hand it over, and some will say no.

    -Send your general notary clients a coupon for XX% off as soon as you get back to your office.

    Thank them for their business and tell them it was a pleasure meeting them.

    Do the same for all of your prospective new general notary clients whose emails you have gathered.

    -Your coupons can be for a percentage or dollar amount off.  Coupons should expire! You may want to make 12 coupons for the entire year and have them expire by the end of the month.  That way, you can send out another for the next month, and do so monthly. Think of other things that need to be stated on your coupons.  For instance, your phone number, email address, and "The bearer must advise of the coupon before setting up the appointment."

    -Every holiday is an opportunity to use your email list and stay in the forefront of your general notary clients' minds!

    -Yes, you lose a few dollars if a repeat client uses your coupon, but you build an email list.  And, if you read ANYTHING on marketing, you will learn that client emails are gold.

    -When you go into an office to drop off your business card and solicit business, ask for a business card.  Follow up with an email.

    -When a potential client contacts you by email, add them to your local general notary list or your signing agent client list as discussed below.

    -Make a box on your website's home page where your local general notary clients can sign up for a coupon. You can do the same for notary signing agent clients.

    4)Local Business Solicitation

    In the case of local businesses that you want to email, you might have to go to the local chamber of commerce website, and get that list, then use a search engine to find each site and the email address for the business.

    By subscribing to an email listing service like MailChimp or YMLP, you can send the email without being a spammer if you give the potential client a place to unsubscribe.  The cool thing is that if you send a coupon or something they liked getting that first time you make contact, they might just want to keep that monthly email coming. Otherwise, they can unsubscribe right off the bat.

    5) Building a Signing Agent Client Email List

    -Keep a separate email list for your signing agent clients. In fact, keep one for clients you target and clients you already have.

    -Send your clients something once a month, at minimum.  Make it something THEY can use. Make it about THEM, NOT YOU.

    Don't just send them a big ol' blurb about your business.

    So, what can you send?

    One of the most productive marketing campaigns I have ever run was when I sent an email with a link to all the NFL football games for the entire season.  At the link was a PDF and when downloaded, it had MY notary company name on it, of course.  I got a several new reverse mortgage clients that year from making contact with that NFL schedule.  (Unfortunately, the next year, I could not find another complete schedule to send out like the earlier year's had been.  I haven't tried to find that one again, so if you like the idea, GO FOR IT!)

    I started that campaign with an email to clients and prospective clients telling them that I wished them a happy fall and may the best team win!  I gave them a link to the NFL football schedule that I had put into a document uploaded on my site as a PDF. They loved it. 

    -Don't send coupons to your signing agent clients (at least I don't).

    Wish them a Merry Christmas, tell them Happy Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, etc.

    Send them something fun like the NFL schedule, or an email with good content that applies to them.  For instance, during the legislative months, send your signing agent clients information on proposed laws that may affect their businesses.

    6)  FINAL POINT:   This blog was about YOU, not ME.

    See how email marketing works?

    I made a blog post that you can use.

    It is actionable.  You can start using it today!

    I didn't send you an email about ME, ME, ME. It was about you.

    If I sent the following blurbs out to my blog readers and nothing else, NO ONE would read this blog!

    Brenda Stone

    Amazingly Brilliant Notary News Blogger writes

    "I am such a great notary blog writer!  

    I am awesome, so subscribe to my blog!"

    That is not the way to get YOU to like ME, just like only emailing ads about yourself and your notary services won't endear you to clients or prospective clients.

    It worked five to ten years ago, but not any more.  I don't mean they will hate you for it, but you won't impress them the way an email would that was about them and their needs.

    7) SUMMARY

    • Collect emails every where you go.
    • Subscribe to an email service.
    • Have an unsubscribe link!
    • Write an email that shows you know your client's needs.
    • Be friendly and warm.
    • Be memorable by providing something useful to the receiver. 
    • Make your emails about them.

    Don't miss a post! Follow along by email!