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August 9, 2017

A sluggish Notary industry affects commenting on Facebook & Forums

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 10:04 am

What is happening in the Notary industry? I remember the old days when tons of Notaries would comment on our forum all day long. They would discuss so many interesting topics to no end. But, it just started slowing down around 2009 after the lending bust. Many of our best signers have slowly been weeded out of the industry. Low-ball companies became the dominant force of the industry capitalizing on untrained newer Notaries who have the absolute worst stats on our site. SnapDocs became the ringleader of the art of low-balling.

We knew starting in 2009 that our forum would be a thing of the past, but that Linked In, Facebook and other mediums would grow in its place. This didn’t work out to be exactly true. The forum remains an effective and organized way to discuss signing companies by querying strings with keywords relating to particular companies. So, people still use the forum, but only for one purpose.

Facebook commenting is sluggish too. Back when we had 2000 followers we had lively conversations. Now we have 25,000 followers, but few posts get good interactions and creating discussions without posts is generally a losing proposition. Even our competitor Notary Rotary is slower, although they are the dominant force in Notary discussions, but the quality of the discussions isn’t necessarily good enough for me to want to read all the lame commentary.

I think it just shows that the dominant players in notary discussion groups were the seasoned players in the game. Half of them have been weeded out. The newbies comment at a rate of less than 1% per capita of how the experienced folks commented. This leads to an across the board decline in commenting on Facebook, Forums, Linked In, and anywhere else Notary discussions happen.

I hope that as a group, you can put a little more effort into making informative and polite comments to the various posts and discussion topics that we and others post. It makes the industry much nicer for society as a whole!

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July 26, 2017

Most of what Jeremy & Carmen at 123notary offer all day is FREE.

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 10:54 am

People complain that prices on 123notary are expensive. But, they are complaining that the top placements are expensive. They should be. There can only be a single #1 spot in any particular area, and lots of people want it. Limited supply, and plenty of demand. But, lots of other things on 123notary are free. Here are some free things that 123notary offers.

Helpline
We have no official helpline, but customers call in and talk to Carmen, and write in seeking help with technical Notary and signing agent issues as well as marketing strategy. We are happy to help because that is our reason for being (in addition to having the sea bass tempura sushi roll at Robata Grill down the street — my other reason for being.)

Free listings
People who are not sure about 123notary can usually get a free listing. We restrict free listings in busy areas, but we do make exceptions if you write a great notes section for your future listing. Whomever said there is nothing for free out there doesn’t understand the directory business. Most online directories offer most of their listings for free, but not the good listings at the top. Your free listings also offer you freedom — another way to be free, as you can write what you like in your notes section as long as it is appropriate, topical, and as long as big brother doesn’t mind.

Notes Makeovers
Jeremy is happy to give your notes section a free lookover and make suggestions on what to add, or reorganize it for you. People who get makeovers get about 50% more clicks on average simple because their listing makes a much better impression after the fact and is so much easier to process the data when organized well. Notes makeovers are free — get one today! (eyeliner and foundation sold separately)

Blogucation
Most Notaries have to pay to get courses so they can learn something. However, at 123notary, we feel that what people learn in courses is not enough. If you take a course, your brain will close up after you finish studying. It is better that you keep learning and learn a broad diversification of Notary and Signing Agent topics. Our blog covers marketing, technical, industry news, Notary comedy and much more to keep you at the top of your game. Many Notaries learn more from our blog than they learned from any course — and it’s free! We should probably create a test based purely on blog topics to make sure people are reading! Just don’t get your mind “blogged down” by overdosing on our content!

Contacting Delinquent Listings
Jeremy contacts people daily who have not logged into their free or paid listing. We also contact people with blank notes sections. If anything is wrong with your listing, we will eventually contact you. We are always watching. It’s easier if you just login to your listing more than a logger named Tim Burr does logging in to his listing (if they have listings.)

Answering dumb questions for the public
Since we have such a comprehensive list of signing companies, and since our number is on the left site of the page template, we get dumb people calling in all day assuming we are FASS, or Nation’s Direct. It takes a lot of reasoning to convince them that we are not, and that if they want to sue a particular signing company for not paying them, to have their Attorney find the correct signing company to sue and to stop bothering us. This work is courtesy of Carmen. Part of the problem is that we don’t always list the phone numbers for the signing companies on our listings, while we do list the address and web address. Maybe we should be more comprehensive.

In short, most of what Jeremy and Carmen do all day is free for the public. So, how do we make our money? People buy fancy top listings from us. Ask us if a top spot is available in your area. And remember, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody heard it fall, it didn’t really make a noise. And if you have a listing at the bottom of the list that nobody sees, it is as good as not existing until you upgrade to the top spot!

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May 15, 2017

Instead of people finding you on Facebook…

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 7:37 am

I used to think that Facebook is a place where Notaries wanted to advertise their services. Facebook is not a good place to advertise. However, you should periodically put that you are a Notary just in case someone who follows you who is nearby needs one.

On the other hand, people who visit 123notary or other directories want to know a little more about you. If you include a link to a website that makes for great reading material, particularly if you have an interesting site. I recommend against spending lots of money on websites. However, if you can get something cheap that looks good, you might impress clients. I got picked many times back over a decade ago because I had an interesting feng-shui site. It was not even related to Notary work, but they liked the art work and liked how intricate and well planned the site was. The site impressed them.

What if you use your Facebook as a place where people find you somewhere else, but then get routed to? This is a social media strategy that actually makes sense. Some people are sloppy about what goes on their Facebook page. They post photos that are not appropriate. Then their boss goes snooping around, finds inappropriate content and fires them — or doesn’t hire them in the first place.

The face is that you don’t know who is viewing your Facebook, so keep it professional and personal. Post interesting content, and keep it mixed up. If you post interesting content about what you did over the weekend and then some facts about a controversial notary request and how you handled it, you will attract. People like to get to know the personal and work sides of your life. However, if you post nothing about work other than complaints and post raunchy photos of you and your friends drunk or practically naked, you might turn a few people off.

Try to connect your networks in a logical way. The flow of traffic is always from point A to point B. The question is, which direction of traffic makes the most sense. For 123notary it is from Facebook

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April 21, 2017

Notary Facebook

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 8:17 am

Where else can Notaries go to share their smily faces, inked thumbs up, and experiences on the job. At Notary Facebook you can give something a seals up or seals down. And instead of “liking” someone you can give them a “signature.”

“Can you sign me on Notary Facebook?”
“Not without ID!”

Notary Facebook is run by Mark Signenberg and his wife Priseala.

See how your friends notarize and sign. See your friends’ photos of what happened at their last Notary gig. Get photos of their clients’ signatures, funny looking ID photos, and funny outfits that their signers wore at the appointment.

You can also post controversial comments.

SAMANTHA: “I love this photo of my client Sally.”

ROSE: “It doesn’t look a bit like her — I hope you took thumbprints!”

SAMANTHA: “Here is a thumbs up thumbprint for your information.”

ROSE: “BTW, the 80’s called — they want your hairstyle back!”

SAMANTHA: “Gee thanks. Yours looks like it’s from the 20’s.”

ROSE: “Ya-know… It takes two to fox trot.”

Mark Signenberg was walking alone in a cornfield late at night when a UFO descended.

MARK: “Are you going to abduct me and steal my algorithms?”

UFO GUYS: “No, but can you like us on Notary Facebook?”

MARK: “I guess, but are you intergallactic Notaries? I bet the commission is good for 1000 space years.”

UFO GUYS: “Actually, we can create better algorithms than you. Maybe you should be abducting us, or at least getting a few pointers.”

MARK: “Okay, I’ll like you or — sign you on Notary Facebook. BTW, when is your birthday in earth years?”

UFO GUY #1: A few years after the first pyramid in Giza was erected.

MARK: “Sorry I asked. But, if an erection lasts for more than 9000 years — call your doctor.”

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February 16, 2017

What if Notaries wrote blogs?

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 7:40 am

Can you imagine what the world would be like if Notaries wrote blogs? Most of the blogs out there are written by the NNA, Ken, Myself or Andy our comedy writer. There are about five or six others in the industry who have a blog or write a bit. But, for the most part, there is a lot of silence out there.

Blogging demonstrates your leadership and competence. Followers do not blog as a general rule. Those who blog are leaders by definition. And you can’t lead without knowledge or the capability of conveying your knowledge using the written word.

In the beginning there was the word and the word was blog — or at least would be written in a blog at one point in time. This line is a corrupted form of what is in the Hindu Vedas that is a phrase that Jesus borrowed. Maybe Jesus like hanging out in India during his missing years? Can’t beat the curry, but the humidity is a killer!

If Notaries wrote blogs, they would attract clients better. Clients are impressed by knowledge. They are impressed if you are the one out of a thousand who gets up and says something worth hearing that is thought inspiring and interesting or informative. Most Notaries just get on the forums and complain, but how many create worthwhile content?

Additionally, it would be more interesting as a reader if there were more people with more unique points of views publishing content. My life would be better because I like to read what is out there.

Many businesses have blogs as a matter of good practices, but the content they put on their blogs isn’t always so interesting. Their SEO guy made them do it, but how often do they update their content. If you do blogging, you should really write regularly. You need to have brainstorming sessions, a weekly time to write, and a way to get your work published. We will publish your work here at 123notary if it is any good. So, now you have a venue! Creating your own blog costs hosting money and programming money for wordpress. You will be out between $500 and $2000 depending on who you hire. It’s cheaper to get the work done in India — humidity or no humidity.

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December 1, 2016

I eat, breathe and sleep 123notary

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , — admin @ 11:50 pm

For those of you who wonder what it is like running 123notary, it is non-stop work. I eat, breathe and sleep 123notary.com. I even have dreams about 123notary.com when I’m asleep. I also dreamt that my housemate was listening to loud salsa music, but that’s a different story.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is to roll out of bed, visit the bathroom, and then sit down at my computer for a few hours. There are emails to answer, orders to process, phone calls to call, tweets to tweet, and other things to do as well. I normally take a walk every afternoon and I think about 123notary during the entire walk. Experts claim that taking long walks calms you down and makes you smarter. Some of the greatest artists, composers and thinkers of all time took long walks daily. I include myself in this category of people as I compose great music in my head during walks, but never write it down such as a concerto for orchestra and unaccompanied jazz saxophone (not sure if that would sound so good in real life, but worth a try.)

When I go out with friends, we always discuss 123notary, among other things. I went to the symphony today, not to hear music, but to sit in the lobby and absorb their “qi” energy to benefit 123notary. Yes, feng-shui really does work if you know how to do it right. Basically, everything I do, I do for 123.

As Carmen once put it (sounds like an MTV commercial)

I want my 123

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July 23, 2015

See 123notary’s new Pinterest, Stumbleupon, Tumblr and more…

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , , , — admin @ 9:56 am

123notary has been active on social media since 2009. We did a lot with Facebook and Twitter at first, and then got heavily into blogging. Later we added Linked In, Google+, Pinterest, Stumblepon, and Tumblr. Social media is kind of fun. To be honest it is our Facebook that is getting the majority of the traffic. But, we have very intelligent conversations on Linked In which is wonderful. Below are some links to our new accounts.

Pinterest
123notary’s Pinterest profile is not like the others. Pinterest has a very low count of notary profiles. So, we are trying to appeal to a more general business community in hopes that maybe they will need a notary. We also have travel posts, entrepreneur posts, and more. I love how Pinterest makes it possible to divide your posts into different boards. I have not seen any other social media platform have that feature.
https://www.pinterest.com/123notary/

Tumblr
As with Pinterest, there are very few notaries on Tumblr. However, we post general articles of interest. Recently we posted about Route 66, what Starbucks knows about America, and how Google created a built-in mortgage calculator.
http://123notary.tumblr.com/

Stumbleupon
Stumbleupon is a very small social media network. We posted general articles of interest. 50 questions to get to know someone. Negotiation tactics, 31 places everyone should visit before they die. We posts notary content from time to time, but the audience on Stumbleupon prefers travel and business strategy articles — so, we give them what they like!
http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/123notary

Google+ Notary Community — yet another forum!
We have been working up a storm on Google+ and have built up several personal groups as well as a 123notary profile and Notary, Real Estate, and Mortgage community with over 600 members. We hope to grow the group to 5000 over the next year or two. Wish us luck. We’re posting about various notary and real estate topics for the most part on Google+. There are about 30,000 Realtors on that medium, so we are reaching out to them in hopes that they will join our community and one day be a 123notary member.
https://plus.google.com/communities/110089682668516585285

123notary on Google+
This is our company profile. It is a little different from the community.
https://plus.google.com/115707701763602775915/posts

123notary on LinkedIn
Our Linked In profile offers in my opinion the highest quality of notary discussions. Users tend to be the most practical and businesslike of any of our networks and have very interesting discussions daily!
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/123Notary-Notary-directory-information-discussions-4139192

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Ann Handley changed my life by introducing the five food groups of blogging
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I don’t Facebook I don’t tweet
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June 1, 2015

Ann Handley changed my life by introducing the five food groups of blogging

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 10:32 pm

Something was missing in my blog
I have been blogging for years. But, I realized that my blog wasn’t that organized. Sure, I had lots of cool categories, and yes, there was useful content — but, something was missing. I just couldn’t figure out what was missing until I read Ann Handley’s (marketingprofs) blog about the five food groups of blogging.

They make their blog “comfy”
First of all, Marketing Profs does such a good job of making their blog writing style easy to read, informative, and also they make you feel comfortable reading their blogs. They always seem to integrate coffee, salsa & chips, pets, and other feel good, comfy, and relatable themes into their blogs which makes regular people (like me) want to read their content more often.

The five food groups
Yet another relatable theme was the five food groups. Something we all learn about as small children which is kind of fun, and also is taught using cool charts. I didn’t know that blog entries could be segmented into food types. I never thought of my comedy entries as “desserts.” I never knew that my technical how-to articles could be classified as anti-oxidant rich vegetables. I had no idea that my articles about signing companies could be considered the meat of Notary knowledge. Thanks to Ann’s fun and innovative writing, I was able to get this new concept into my head.

What about mustard?
Unfortunately, not all of my blog articles confirm to the various culinary categories. I was not able to find any condiments. Perhaps if I write a controversial entry, that might qualify as a habanero aioli. And what would be a type of blog entry that would be a bread category?

Here’s what I did…
After long thought, I decided that the important things that Notaries want and need include Marketing, Technical How-To, Funny, and they always like to read about Signing Companies. We publish stories, and other types of content too, but these were the types of content that I thought should be scheduled. So, to make it easier to keep it all organized and regular we do Marketing Monday, Technical Tuesday, Funny Friday, and Signing Company Saturday. It is all well organized, and I often pre-publish the posts months in advance. This also makes the writing process more organized because I know how much of each type of article to write.

The result in blog traffic
I am very happy with the results in my blog traffic. We went from around 15,000 visitors per month to about 20,000. Part of the increase is due to increased traffic from Facebook as we have raised our budget for Facebook advertising and promotion. But, the new organization has helped me optimize my posts in each category rather than just optimize post titles in general. This way instead of just deciding what is popular, I can identify what the most popular themes in the technical category are, and then have a completely separate comparison for identifying which marketing posts are the most or least popular.

So, to sum it up — what was that something that was missing in my blog?
Mustard!

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How often do you update your # of signings?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16731

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

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April 6, 2015

I don’t Facebook, I don’t tweet

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Social Media — Tags: — admin @ 12:20 pm

I Don’t Facebook, I Don’t Tweet
I just don’t see either of them worth my time. Sure, many receive business leads and profit from their involvement. But, those are needles in the haystack of messages and interruptions. Voice, email and even text messages are direct, one to one communications. Frankly, I’m not a big fan of spam email either; and probably we agree on that one. I see little difference between the clamor of social media and the rise in spam, be it “junk mail” or email. Junk is Junk.

Friends and Followers? Not really. To me it seems the “big lie” approach when someone claims to have hundreds or thousands of friends or followers. Cute phraseology, but hollow and devoid of any real substance. There are some “mass distribution” non-personal “broadcasts” that I do subscribe to. Some bloggers have a theme or subject that interests me and I enjoy reading and learning what they have to say. But receiving a “tweet” that little poopsie left a “dump” on the rug is not what I consider wanted communications.

Sure, I did mention that there are clients to be had (as in obtained, not exploited) via these services. And, I am aware that the subscribers can choose the source. But, the vast majorities of these missiles are self serving from the author, and, frankly; tend to be trite. What they lack in quality, they more than make up in absurd quantity.

There is also the privacy issue. It has been extensively reported that “data mining” for marketing is practiced extensively; generating more targeted spam. The real product is your personal data, your preferences as expressed by keywords that are searched for, indexed, and sold. Not for me. I prefer one to one communications. There have been reports that even directed email is being scanned for similar marketing information. This is objectionable, and possibly will be stopped as an inappropriate (illegal?) invasion of privacy. On the subject of privacy, a careful reading of the rarely looked at “sign up agreement” is basically a relinquishment to all rights to privacy.

Did you ever send an email that you wish you could take back? Of course you did. With a little luck and perhaps an apology you can undo that faux pas. That’s a bit more difficult to manage when it goes to many destinations. And that poorly crafted “publication” is on record forever. A similar email is in one place, and probably will be deleted eventually. A direct email, unless forwarded by the recipient will not make it to the papers or to the networks.

Your “social media” postings are often scrutinized by prospective employers, the police and nobody knows for sure “who else”. People and their priorities change. Your zeal to protect endangered turtles, at the expense of a town’s need for a highway; might mark you much later in life as not being suitable for a specific job or assignment. Recently, prosecutors have introduced social media “manifestos” from sociopaths as evidence of “state of mind” into court cases. Sure, this is an extreme situation; but might foretell a trend in the future. It’s not too much of a stretch to visualize your postings and interest in fast cars into your trial for speeding; perhaps if there was personal injury involved.

As titled, I Don’t Facebook, I Don’t Tweet; but I am not in any way saying what is best for you. But it would be wise to think carefully about how you use these tools. Under some conditions it’s best for the past to remain in the past; “social media” posts or “follows” can haunt you forever.

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7 ways to use Facebook to market your Notary services
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Fees at the door misunderstood on Facebook
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July 4, 2014

Where does 123notary get ideas for blog articles?

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:25 am

When I started writing for my blog, I thought I would run out of ideas. I wrote about all of the technical notary issues I could think of. I wrote about journals, loan signing procedures, marketing and more. Then, I ran out of ideas. Then, we started talking to notaries and asking them about their craziest stories. There were many stories and many of them were excellent. The more gruesome the better!

Since, I have to write about 25 articles per month myself and have some help from Ken, Carmen and a few others for extra blog entries, I have to have tried and true techniques for finding blog ideas. Not all blog topics will be popular, but sometimes it is surprising to learn about what people like, or respond to the most. Our notaries are practical types for the most part. They like the stories, but respond more to everyday types of situations that affect their lives.

My new techniques for creating blog topics are reading Facebook, seeing what was popular on Twitter, our Forum, Notary Rotary’s forum, seeing comments to our blog entries, and even reading emails from clients. Additionally, we get stories from our notaries from time to time. I also come up with ideas from talking to people on the phone. From talking to people, I learn what some people are competent about and what areas they need improvement in. Reading through people’s notes sections also opens a can of worms. I wrote sixteen pages about notes sections in our Ninja course, and could probably write twenty blog articles on the topic as well.

If you have an interesting blog article idea, run it by us. We need 365 ideas per year.

Tweet:
(1) 123notary gets ideas for blog articles from Facebook, the forum, Stories from our clients, emails and daily life!

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