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August 1, 2010

Business Cards

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: , , , — admin @ 3:53 am

Here are some tips for business cards.
If you are a notary, your business card is one of your best marketing tools. Business cards help existing customers remember who you are and how to contact you. Additionally, it is smart to hand out business cards to co-workers of customers, and other people in any building where you have done a notary job. The fact that they have seen you and know you do notary work makes them ten times as likely to use you rather than someone else. Additionally, you can mail business cards with flyers to title and signing companies who are prospective clients. You can also hand out business cards at convelescent homes, jails, bailbond offices, and other business too, to make yourself known to prospective clients. Having the right information on your business card can make an extra special impression. Here is what you can put.

(1) Your commission #. You will appear more professional and official if your notary commission # is printed on your business card. Of course, when you renew your commission, you will have a different commission #, so you will have to redraw your cards.

(2) A picture of yourself ads personality to the card and this is popular with successful realtors and other professionals.

(3) Great artwork always is a great touch.
I have pictures of Yellow mountain in China on my card.

(4) A registered business name makes you look professional. Many notaries do business using their personal name, but “Ellen’s notary service” looks much more professional than “Ellen Smith, Notary Public”.

(5) A phone number, address, and email address are generally helpful

(6) A link to your social media sites is always good.

(7) Hiring a professional designer to do the layout for you could give your card a great look.

Your opinions are always welcomed!

Here are some forum posts relating to business cards:

Notary Marketing 102 – a free comprehensive marketing course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19774

Business cards
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1062

Do company names help?
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3731

Stealing a business name
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2660

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August 17, 2012

Stealing a Business Name

Stealing a business name 

One of our notaries was accused of stealing someone’s business name.  The notary went to a signing and said she was associated with some other gentleman with a particular name. I don’t remember the name, and would be confidential in any case.  The client was having some paperwork notarized that would be used to register a company name in Wyoming
 
I couldn’t figure this situation out, so I emailed the client, and they said that the notary name was registered the next day by the friend of the notary, but not the notary themselves.  They registered his business name before he could register it.  Why would someone go out of their way to steal someone else’s business name?  This poor client had already printed out business cards and mailing labels with his future business name, and now he couldn’t register it.
 
What a sad story.  The moral of the story is don’t print your cards until your business name registration is complete.  Someone else can register that name up to seconds right before you attempt to!!!

Notaries are encouraged to register their business names, and get a business license. Notaries with official business names get considerably more business than those that don’t have a notary business name!

Tweets:
(1) One of our notaries was accused of stealing a signer’s business name right before it got registered!
(2) One of our notaries registered a clients’ business name 24 hours before the client went to register it.

You might also like:

Compilation of posts about notary business names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21760

Funny sounding business names: Grandma’s notary service & more!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4231

Notary business names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2302

Business Cards for notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=36

Business Licenses
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=742

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February 9, 2012

Notary Business Names

Notaries often ask me, should I use a business name?  Do notaries need to register as a business?  Does a notary public have to get a business license? The answer is yes.  Any business, including a home-based notary business needs a business license, otherwise, you might be operating illegally. For a notary to get a business license is not hard, just contact your county clerk’s county recorder office and ask them what the procedure is.  It is generally under $200 and the paperwork is not difficult.  Getting a fictitious business name for your notary business can also be the prerequisite to getting a bank account with your company name on it!
 
But, what to name your notary business? Too many notary businesses have similar sounding names, and they all become one big blur.  We wrote a blog entry all about signing company names which sound similar which is a fun blog entry to read.
 
Yellow Page Names
It is common for notaries advertising in the yellow pages to want to show up at the beginning of their section.  Names like A1 Notary, AAA Mobile Notary, AAAA Traveling Notary, and Aardvark Notary are common. Unfortunately, your clueless customers will get mad when you are not the auto club and tell you to change your name!!!  It happened to me, I know.
 
Glamour Names
Then, there are those who want the glamourous names like Royal Notary, Elite Notary, On Time Notary, and other vanity names.  You could capitize on a character trait such as Integrity Notary, Rapid Notary, or Honest Notary.

 Geographic Names
Geographic names are very good for website optimization.  If your business name is Glendora Mobile Notary Service, then your website will show up very well for local keywords. 
 
 
Personal Names
We have one client who’s business name is Ellen the Notary.  That is easy to remember and very personable too!  Johnson’s Traveling Notary is another example of a personal type of a notary business name. Sam’s Meandering Notary is yet another.

 Unique Names
But, what about more unique sounding names?  I generally recommend either geographically recognizable business names or unique ones. A confusion between your business and some other business with a bad reputation can be crippling!  If it were me, I would really put a few weeks of brainstorming and asking your friends to find that perfect name for your notary business. After you have narrowed it down to a few names, reflect carefully to select the ideal name as you will be stuck with it for a very long time!
 
You might also like:

Compilation of posts about Notary business names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21760

Comedic slogans for Notaries listed on our site
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20410
 
Deceptive identities – Signing Companies with Similar Names

7 ways to use Facebook to market your notary services
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=5396

Business cards for mobile notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=36

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February 28, 2011

What do you do to advertise your notary business?

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: , — admin @ 2:59 am

There are the “traditional” ways of marketing your notary business which have mostly remained unchanged for generations such as online advertising on directories and online yellow pages, and even using Google. When I say unchanged for generations, it is because grandma and grandpa are now also using online technology and have been for years!

There are more low-tech ways such as handing out your card to those you have worked for and their office-mates, attorney offices, convalescent homes, etc. Getting on the list of as many signing & title companies as you can think of in a systematic way helps too. But, besides these ways, what other things can you do? I have been reading discussions on the various forums and have some new tips to add to my old bag of tricks.

Google Adwords
Use caution. This method of advertising is probably new to you, and the costs can rack up. It is hard to know what to bid on keywords, or even which keywords you should use. I recommend a combination of notary terms and geographic keywords such as: notary public los angeles, or san jose mobile notary. Google adwords just pulled a fast one on me and started advertising my terms in their “Display Network” which cost me an extra $1000 last month. So, login regularly to make sure your costs are not skyrocketing. On a brighter note, if used moderately and effectively, adwords can make your business. 123notary would not have made it without adwords (by the way.)

Join your local chamber of commerce
I’m not sure who queries the chamber of commerce when looking for a notary, but some people might, and it doesn’t hurt to have your name out there.

B2B Networking and Social Events
Going to social events is time consuming, so make sure you actually like being there! Yes, you can make new and potentially valuable contacts, but think of the hours you spent in acquiring them. So go, hand out your card, make a few notary jokes, and have fun. Tell them the joke about how your last client asked if he could sign with invisible ink, and you said, sure, if I can notarize it with my invisible notary seal. Then, tell them the story about how you notarized at an asylum for someone who claimed to be Abraham Lincoln! They will get a laugh out of your stories If you go to social events, you need a repetoire of crazy notary stories that will keep them laughing. Then, they will definitely remember you when they need a notary.

Social Media
Craigslist is the most practical way to advertise or find common services. But, some notaries use Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and others. The problem with social media is that your followers might be in Uganda, and if they need a notary job, it might be a little too far for you. Craigslist on the other hand segments their advertising to your metro, or your part of your metro which makes it very usable.

Websites
Notaries have been creating websites for years. But, hosting is expensive and so is promotion. I don’t recommend a website unless you are going to really invest some time and money to learn to do it right. You can get a lot of mileage out of our website at very little cost if you create a highly optimized profile which is not that hard!

Newsletters for senior communities
Seniors need mobile notaries. You can call hospitals and convalescent homes directly, or let them find you in the yellow pages, or newsletters. Targetting this specific age group is a very smart idea for a mobile notary, since they are not always that mobile themselves.

Web directories
123notary, notaryrotary, notarycafe, and signingagent.com are traditional choices for those who want to do online advertising for their notary work. I also want to note that 123notary has been getting record breaking traffic recently, and we anticipate that this trend will continue!

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March 24, 2019

So the Mobile Notary Well has gone Dry

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 2:51 am

I usually don’t date my scribbles. Rather, I try to write what I perceive to be “eternal” truths. Wow, that sounded pompous; even for me. Well today is March 11, 2019, and the calls are down. Not “down and out”, but significantly lower than a few months ago. I don’t know or care about your political leaning; and I’m certainly not going to share mine. Though it probably would result in some interesting comments!

What to do when the well has gone dry? Basically there are only two real options. Ya dig another well or move on to where water is plentiful. If you can think of a practical and creative third alternative please enter some constructive and informative criticism of my analysis.

Dig another Well

Very few of us are likely able to provide “revenue for a family” from mobile notary revenue. I’m not talking about the “higher ups” who get a slice of many pies. I’m referring to the “rank and file”, the troops in the field who actually stamp, emboss, administer the oath and sign. We are legions of “side gig” entrepreneurs eking out a modest supplemental income. I suspect many of us are retired and use the signing fee for a modest night out. Probably a goodly number are youth who eagerly expend major effort, using their endless energy for usually small rewards.

There are many ways to dig that supplementary well. You can knock yourself out distributing business cards and seek the direct calls. Some will take the gamble and pay highly per click. Many will up their visibility by seeking better placement on notary directories. But, as I see it; these strategies, while valid; are chasing the limited demand. Being different, or more accurately, doing different IS digging another well.

Most mobile notaries run their business the same way; no matter what. I have had emails that state “I enjoy processing loan packages and don’t want to do anything else”. OK, you have chosen to starve, certainly in the current notary signing agent environment. Diversify is the word. You have to use your notary standing to offer to do many things. Learn to do fingerprinting, to process Apostilles, Letters of Protest, obtaining birth, death, marriage, divorce and how to work with educational documents. There are many other “authorities” granted to you by your status as a notary. The more you know how to do, the greater your chances someone will hire you.

Move on to the Water

Your status as a notary is an “edge” you have making you more desirable in many functions. Of course you should still market yourself as a mobile notary – great extra income when it fits into your schedule. But, quite frankly it’s not a gold mine currently. That may change – but probably not soon. So, take a real job; one where your notary skills can be an advantage. Use some of the “real job” revenue to maintain your current advertising and directory listings. I can picture some rural lawn signs: “Notary Public and lawnmower blade sharpening”. IM(not so)HO probably the worst thing you can do is chase the 35 dollar edocs. Do the math; there is virtually no profit. Face the reality, be flexible, ADD a few additional skills; notary skills – of course; but don’t limit yourself to solely notary income. When you dig that new well you just might strike oil!

You might also like:

Snapdocs — are the jobs just too far away?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21003

The art of the decline to new jobs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15783

Will the next election help our Notary industry?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22267

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February 4, 2019

Compilation – Best blog posts from 2010

Filed under: Compilations — admin @ 6:10 am

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TOP

Funniest things that happen to signing agents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=55

Stories of Notaries who fail and what they did wrong
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=143

Confirming the signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19

Just say no Article 3
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=376

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MARKETING

Stories of Notaries who fail and what they did wrong
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=143

Bilingual Notaries – how often are they needed?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=238

Business cards for Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=36

Notary etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=300

2010 version – everything you need to know about notary advertising
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=30

Getting Paid the ins and outs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=27

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SOCIAL

Welcome to the 123notary Blog
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1

Social Media – what we are doing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3

Funniest things that happen to signing agents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=55

TECHNICAL

Confirming the signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19

Just say no Article 3
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=376

Hospital Notary jobs from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=76

Everything you need to know about journals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=70

Signature by X
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=203

911 and California Law Changes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=212

New laws for Notaries in Illinois
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=198

Jail Notary jobs from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=151

Credible Witnesses – When ID and docs have different names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=230

Typical Things Notaries do Wrong
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=58

Meeting clients at a jail
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=274

12 points on eNotarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=228

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January 17, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 — General Tips

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 3:19 pm

GENERAL TIPS
Return to Table of Contents for – Notary Etiquette 104
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1. Dress for success.
Business casual is great. People get complaints more for dressing poorly than for being a horrible Notary. So, go to Men’s Wearhouse first, and then buy that Notary course you were thinking of. And remember — it’s not what you know — it’s how you look! Notaries who show up in shorts and flip-flops get some serious complaints and even a bad review on their profile. In short, don’t dress like me.

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2. Forms you should carry
Carry loose Acknowledgment, Jurat and other certificates in your Notary Carry All Bag that you purchased from the NNA. Carry a thumb printer, wipes, and pens with you. Nothing is worse than a Notary that doesn’t have pens except one who wears flip-flops. Having good professional equipment makes you look like you know what you are doing even more than actually knowing what you are doing.

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3. Arrive on time
Nothing is worse than a late notary other than one who wears flip-flops.

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4. Follow up punctually
If you have to get the FedEx back, do so immediately. Do not wait to drop a package unless you are waiting for a callback. If you wait 90 minutes or more for a callback, consider that title needs their docs back and it might make sense to just drop it. That is a judgment call, so think carefully about it. If you get emails, answer them asap.

You have to be available after signings for up to the rescission date and sometimes later. If you become unreachable after the signing, you will get very serious complaints. The worst complaints we get about notaries are that they were rude, or unresponsive after they had completed work.

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5. Don’t be rude
If someone is rude to you, don’t reciprocate. Your reputation is on the line. You can get penalized for being rude even if the other person deserves it. So, watch yourself!

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6. Animals
If you are uncomfortable with animals in the room with the signing, you can politely ask if the animal can be put behind a firmly closed door. Dog owners assume that since they enjoy Fido jumping over them that it’s okay that Fido jumps all over you — after all, it’s okay because Fido’s a nice doggy.

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7. Where to sit
You are the facilitator of the signing, and you call the shots where people sit at the signing. It is often easier if you sit at the head of the table with husband and wife sitting next to each other. That way when person #1 signs and turns over the document, the second person can turn it over and sign it assembly line fashion.

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8. Tips for Jurats
In a Jurat, the signer has a choice of doing an Oath or Affirmation. Many Notaries today are very politically correct to the point where they assume that the borrower will be offended by an Oath and by default only do an Affirmation. This is offensive to those who want an Oath and also not legal. It is up to the borrower to choose which type of Notary act to choose, so just say,

“To execute a Jurat, we will need a statement made under the penalty of perjury as to the truthfulness of the document… would you prefer to swear under Oath under God or affirm on your honor?”

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9. Leaving a business card
At the end of the signing it is not bad manners to give them a business card. You never know when they will need another notarization.

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10. Do you answer the phone during a signing?
It is generally a bad idea to have phone calls during the signing. Some signing companies forbid this altogether. However, you might not be able to get your next job unless you answer your phone. So, if the phone rings, give the caller a minute before you cut them off. It is rude to answer the phone only to tell someone you can’t talk, and it is rude to the borrowers to have a long conversation with someone unrelated to the loan. This is a judgment call. However, it is sometimes hard to get a chance to talk to a Notary due to the fact they are always busy, because they are either at a signing, between signings, eating, or at church — with notaries this busy there is no good time to talk to them… ever!

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Please Also Read:

Best marketing resources for Notaries. This entry goes over active vs. passive marketing in detail
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16322

Notary etiquette from Athiest to Zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

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Notary Etiquette 104 — Humorous Edition

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: , — admin @ 10:11 am

Here is a humorous version of our etiquette course for your laughing pleasure.
Return to Table of Contents for – Notary Etiquette 104

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1. Dress for success
Wearing a smile on your face, but if you are also wearing a polyester jacket from the 70’s with super wide lapels, you might be the only one smiling.

Ladies, if you’re dressed in such a way that on the way to the signing cars pull up to you and ask how much you charge and you say, “$50 for a signing and an extra $25 if it includes eDocuments. I don’t do oral Notary acts like Affirmations though.” — you might need a new wardrobe.

If you wear flip-flips to the signing, you might be able to flip through a lot of documents, but your business will eventually flop.

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2. Arrive on time
It’s okay to be fashionably late if you are going to a cocktail party, but not to a signing.

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3. Animals at the signing
If there is a parrot in the room that says, “Stop forging his signature — bock!” you might want to get out of there. You should avoid doing Oaths for dogs, they prefer to receive Affirmations (or wuffermations). Cats prefer to take a nap on the documents.

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4. Leaving a business card.
When you give clients your business card, if you crossed out the phone number and wrote in a new number in handwriting — it’s time to print out some newly designed cards. If the email address on your business card ends in “aol.com” it might be time to consider retiring.

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5. Answering the phone during a signing
Its’ a bad idea to have phone calls during the signing. It’s an even worse idea to have them hear your heavy breathing. It’s even worse if the phone call is from your borrower’s ex-girlfriend or mistress.

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6. Don’t discuss religion at the signing.
If you start the signing with, “Those damn Quakers, they’re not as friendly as they claim to be, and grey went ou in the 70’s.” — you might be in the wrong profession and should probably convert from Quakerism to Catholicism.

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7. If your signer’s mother tongue isn’t English
It is generally a bad idea to mimic your signer’s accent at a signing. Wait until after the signing. Unless you have a document that is going to the Russian Consulate… then read it with thick Russian accent comrade!

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8. Confirming the signing
When confirming the signing it is a good idea to ask, “Are you high? Are you going to be high at the signing? Can I have some, man?” But, only do that if you are in a state where marijuana is legal otherwise you might be sorry. If you are going over their ID over the phone ask, “Do you look high in your ID photo?”

9. Middle initials
If the signer doesn’t want to sign with their middle initial, give them the finger… the middle finger! Just kidding. Just explain why they need to sign with their middle initial, and then after you are leaving the house, then give them the finger. There is a proper order to these things.

10. Don’t give opinions about the loan.
When you are at a signing, don’t comment about their interest rate such as, “Wow man, that’s a great rate… My brother just got a loan and his rate was way higher than yours. I’m so bummed out about that. I wish we could have gotten 4.5%. I’m going to call my brother right now and tell him what a loser he is.” It’s also not a good idea to say, “Wow, look at those terms, you’re getting ripped off dude, totally ripped off.”

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December 18, 2018

Beginner Notaries 103 — Getting Work

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 2:51 am

Chapter 4. Getting Work
Return to table of contents – Beginner Notaries 103

Being a newer Notary, you have to get new contacts, learn new things, and work for whomever will take you. It is typical that you will be micromanaged, have to do a lot of faxing back, get paid poorly or in some cases not at all. This sounds like a horrible ordeal, but it is good because by paying your dues you will get experience. Any Notary who has succeeded had to pay their dues. Some paid more dues than others while a few with good legal contacts avoided the whole low-ball experience.

You need to call the companies who you signed up with regularly. Remind them that you exist and are ready to jump night or day. You can call signing companies, title companies, Attorneys offices, bail bonds offices, hospitals or anyone who needs a Notary. Let them know you are ready to work. You should mention you are a mobile notary on your facebook profile too because you never know who is reading it.

You should have a business card that you can give to your clients, their coworkers, family members, secretaries, etc. Repeat business is a big factor.

You can find signing companies on the signing company lists on 123notary and Notary Rotary. On 123notary our list is free to the public. On Notary Rotary you might need to be a member to see a lot of their information.

Knowing who to contact is half of the battle. The most important factor of getting work is being hungry and ready to please. Those who contact companies and brag about how smart they are are annoying. But, those who are ready to jump, answer the phone at all hours, and never complain are the ones who get jobs. Companies need you to get them out of a bind. If you are always their hero, you will get jobs. If you are always busy, tired, or unresponsive, you might not get jobs.

Once you get jobs, make sure to answer emails promptly and answer phone messages. If you keep people waiting for inquiries, or after service you will not get rehired.

Here is a list of companies that will hire new signers. But, the list was published a few years ago, and things have changed. These companies may or may not even still be in business.

Companies that will hire NEW signers!

Here is our general list of signing companies with reviews
http://www.123notary.com/signco.asp

Visit our forum where you can read about signing companies and more
http://www.123notary.com/forum/default.asp

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October 29, 2018

Fix for – Your Phone Stopped Ringing

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 12:28 pm

Fix for – Your Phone Stopped Ringing
To understand why it’s not ringing you need to understand what makes it ring. Calls come from three basic origins. Repeats, Advertising, and “where you are known”. Repeats are great, and you will have them if you did a good job for a fair price. People like to deal with a known entity – especially when the prior work was great. Ads cost money, but wisely done have a good ROI
(Return On Investment). However “ads” can be free – the following link: http://kenneth-aedelstein.com

will be “picked up” by many internet “robots” – including Google. It costs noting to
post a blog, just some time to create content that is worth the readers’ time.

Now on to “where you are known”. I have often suggested the distribution of several hundred business cards. Sure, it’s work – but has the advantage of making a good face to face impression. Well, to be honest it can take a lot of low result legwork. But, it can also be done with a strategy for low effort and high return. One good potential future caller source is doctors. They often need their statement about a patient’s health notarized. You could plan a route to cover 50 doctors in one trip. It would be an inefficient plan. Sure you would leave a card (and perhaps a brief letter about your services) with the doctors; but the narrow focus would miss other potential clients – in the same building.

A better, perhaps more efficient approach would be to visit an area. Doctors might be prime candidates – but the hardware store adjacent to the doctor should also receive a visit. Think of everyone as a potential client – why not visit an many as possible, as efficiently as possible?

This is a very generalized approach. It works for notaries, realtors or plumbers. They might not need you now, but might require your type of service in the future. Can you picture them thinking “now where did I put that card” – I vaguely recall that person seemed competent.

Don’t feel like making a special card distribution trip? You don’t have to. Just be sure to carry about 50+ cards with you at all times and distribute them where you go, and to places nearby.

It’s a numbers game – the cost is very low, and to be frank – the response rate is also low; initially. But some will call, perhaps becoming repeat customers. Unlike the hated “spam” email, you are delivering your card personally; perhaps starting a relationship.

One final tip. Be sure to use the back of the card to make your card a “keeper”. I have a street guide to finding buildings in Manhattan. Some have conversion charts between English and Metric measurement, some Federal holidays. Whatever you choose make it a “long term” keep. Probably the worst is a calendar – into the trash you go on New Year’s Day.

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You might also like:

Notary – what would you do?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21037

Situations where you can ruin a loan out of stupidity
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19987

A list of things Notaries goor (or might goof on).
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19427

Life at the bottom of the food chain
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19419

Get off your butt — and start marketing yourself
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19408

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