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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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June 21, 2020

Your time on the clock analyzed in the Notary business

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 10:18 pm

In any business, you put in a particular number of hours of work. Your work time is divided into particular activities. There is a limit to how many hours you have in a particular week. Few of us can work infinitely, and few can work 80 hours a week. I used to work 70 hours a week and I will never repeat that although that is how I got my business going initially.

MY BUSINESS RESPONSIBILITIES
I have the same problem in my business. I am in the directory business. My time is divided between:
Managing programmers
Adding new listings to the directory
Calling new people, calling old people to see if they are still in business
Writing Blogs
Answering emails & Processing orders

Sometimes I have to figure out which activity not to do when there is a time shortage and it is difficult to choose at times.

WHAT DO NOTARIES DO
But, what do Notaries do? Below is my itemized accounting of what Notaries do in their work time. I ordered the components in order of immediate importance to your career. The topics near the bottom are more long term in their importance.

1. Notary jobs – 31 or more hours per week (or whatever you can get at a market rate)
This involves answering the phone, looking up companies to see if they pay, scheduling, printing, faxing, scanning, driving and supervising signings which includes notarizing. Followups and giving tracking numbers would accompany a notary assignment in many cases as well.

2. Billing – 1 hour a week depending on need (recommended: bill each company you work for once per week)
Faxing bills, keeping records, and threatening companies with demand letters from time to time.

3. Miscellaneous – 1 average hour per week (varies depending on time of year and need)
Buying equipment, toner, paper, supplies,business licenses, taking state notary exams, and doing paperwork for taxes.

4. Marketing – 2 hours a week (recommended)
Contacting new companies, handing out business cards, online advertising, getting reviews, updating your notes, keeping your information straight everywhere it is listed.

5. Education – 4 hours a week (recommended)
Studying certification materials, testing, asking questions, reading blogs.

SUMMARY
Basically, most Notaries who are unsuccessful put too much time into doing jobs and not enough time into the other things that they need to do. Doing jobs provides immediate income, but does not provide for long term success in the business. As indicated above, I recommend doing 31 hours or more of actual notary work per week and the rest of your 40 hours should be doing other activities. You will make more money in the short run doing more work work and less preparatory work. But, you will do better in the long run doing more work that helps your skill level and online presence.

Notaries that know more according to impartial sources (or intrinsically) get more business. Through the use of metrics and analysis I have proven that Notaries who ace my hard tests get a lot more business and get paid more than the others. Acquiring this knowledge takes study time, and perhaps getting some tutoring from Carmen and myself. If you spend too much time making short term cash, you will not have time to study. I put that I recommend four hours a week or study or reading time. To be frank, in the beginning of your career I would put more than four hours. But, once you are established, perhaps only two hours a week. You still need to keep in touch with what people in the industry are writing about to stay informed and keep learning.

Spending more time maintaining your listings makes sense too. Many people online just do not login for half a year or more at a time. Many people’s notes section continue to stay the same when there is a lot more information they could constantly be adding. Most people do not get enough reviews on their listing. Paying attention to these things can increase your market share and demand for your services. If more people want you, then you can charge more for the same type of signing than you could before.

Increasing your value through being methodical and organized about maintaining your online presence, and continuing your education makes a lot of sense. Notaries do not value these things because they don’t have time, lack the discipline to study or write compelling paragraphs about themselves, and just plain don’t see the value. The value is, that by maintaining your education, and presence, you could get paid in my estimate 25% more per signing simply by increasing demand for your service. Additionally, you would get a higher quantity of work. In short, your total income could be a lot higher if you would play by my rules which look at the long run. Less whining and more mastery pay the bills. So, analyze and keep track of how you spend your business time and see if you can make some adjustments that will help you in the long run.

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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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December 26, 2020

Squirrel Becomes Notary Public?

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 12:47 pm

Not really, but in the “second time” redo of failed to fund packages; affiants have more than once told me a squirrel could have done a better job. Why is this? It’s not that the notaries don’t know how to notarize; they have problems with related responsibilities. By analogy, becoming a parent involves a relatively simple procedure. Being a good parent is much more complicated.

[She] / He who has imagination without learning, has wings and no feet. — Joseph Joubert
Substitute “Notary Commission” for “imagination” – that describes the situation for many. It’s not difficult to deliver perfection. It does take dedication and an intense desire for the “self gratification” that comes from delivering personal best. When you complete that assignment does it make you feel really good? It should. Knowing that no one, yes, no one could have done a better job should give the Notary a feeling of Pride, and “inner glow” of self satisfaction.

Learning can’t replace experience; but the reverse is also true. In addition to the basic Notary functions (ID check, Jurat/Acknowledgement, Oath, Stamp, Emboss) there is much knowledge to be acquired. Many simply don’t know how to communicate efficiently; neither giving nor receiving accurate and appropriate information succinctly. If you answer the phone with an all too often “hello”; the caller needs to ask “who is this”. Better would be “Good Afternoon, my name is Sally; how may I help you”. Do you need to send 3 emails because you did not ask all the questions in your first? Rest assured the “other side” is forming the “klutz” image of you.

You should have business cards, they are cheap enough. It’s a good practice to “sign your work” by placing your card at the top of the pile. Affix it with a binder clip, never just shove loose pages into a shipping envelope. Then, if someone has a question it’s easy for them to reach you. And, they have your “advertisement” so they know how to reach you for the next assignment. Try to always use stiff cardboard shipping envelopes, not the floppy ones.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. My assignment tomorrow is for a loan package with both husband and wife signing. She is bedridden – they will make the process very slow. I will bring a clipboard for husband to bring pages; one at a time, to wife for her signatures and initials. Not knowing for sure the ailment; I will keep away, but be sure to actually witness the fact that she did indeed sign where necessary. It will probably take quite some time as she is a co-borrower and signs almost all pages. Some are easy, some are hard. Last week I had a 9 page job for my standard fee; it took 5 minutes. It averages out. Don’t develop an attitude when things go slowly – like the classic sign in the coffee shop: Don’t complain about the coffee, someday you too will be old and weak. With an eye to self preservation by avoiding sickness – we can and should do everything possible to accommodate those “less fit” than ourselves.

Lastly, be of good cheer. Nobody likes to work with a sourpuss. A smile and a few kind words will help the process go smoothly, for all concerned. Most people will “reflect” the way you act in their behavior to you, so be pleasant in the face of difficult situations. When you handle that “tough” one – detail what you did when asking for a review; you will often receiving a glowing one!

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March 26, 2020

Benefits of 123notary from Kate McKinnon. (detailed testimonial)

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 8:38 am

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1. At least 3 title/escrow companies contacted me to thank me for the
time I’ve given to their Borrowers, at least 2 of whom were first-time Borrowers. I know that many people are overwhelmed from the moment I take documents out. I put them at ease by telling them that “now and in future transactions, they usually need to focus on 3 documents— all other paperwork is in support of these documents.” (I have reviews on 123 that speak to this.)

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2. Continuing on from above, I’d like to add that some notaries’
practice is to “do the signing quickly and get on the next.” I take whatever time is reasonable to make sure the signer is comfortable with and understands the process. In loan signings I am aware this is often one of the major financial commitments in people’s lives and they are understandably nervous; and, that the Client has entrusted me to complete this signing, so I am in essence representing them as well.

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3. From the start of my career as a notary, I learned from 123Notary to do my homework (up front): review the package, flag important and/or unusual things soothes are not missed; doing any other necessary research (e.g., trusts/adoption documents; attorneys in fact, etc.). The more knowledgeable I am about documents and procedures, the better notary I am. Also, I prefer to “re-do” rather than correct and initial. I like for my work to be correct and error-free. Clients notice (as reflected in some of my 123Notary reviews.)

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4. I have taken your marketing advice to heart, and its paying off more and more. I make it easy for people to not only find me, but to make them want to use me.

a. Increasingly my better paying jobs are coming as a result of the 123 website. I anticipate that paying for a higher listing will more than pay for itself with my first two orders coming from it.

b. I instill a sense of security in my client as a matter of course by advising them of receipt of confirmation, meeting/closing with the client, dropping/tracking of documents.

c. Occasionally I contact people who have used me more than once to thank them —in an attempt to keep my name before them without being pushy. Sometimes enclose a thank you note with my invoice and asking them to let me know what I can do to better serve them.

d. All of my marketing materials are coordinated in their look and easily identifiable (business cards, stationery, website, invoices, note cards, etc.).

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5. Both my corporate and individual clients appreciate that I text my photo and/or business card with my photo confirming our meeting. I never knew how impactful this would become. People like to know with whom they are meeting (especially for coffee shop or hospital signings as well as with seniors and single women)…and the “ice is already broken” before I show up.

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6. More and more I’m learning what separates me from the pack:

a. I always ask how they found me. Many answer 123Notary. If other than 123, I encourage them to read my 123 reviews.

b. Doing my research…usually on your blogs, NNA and the internet, bookmarking or maintaining notes.

c. Paying attention to detail.

d. Professionalism in my dress, communications and manners.

e. Being honest in what I do and do not know.

f. Getting back to designated contact(s) after noting issues during the closing. This only happened rarely and in the beginning of my
practice, but I always let Borrower know that we can communicate with their loan officer, etc.

g. Finally, the notary’s client is a person just as we are. I relate to them as such. (This is frequently mentioned in my 123 reviews.)

h. My overall knowledge of mortgage documents, types of residents (primary vs. second), homesteads, trusts/trustees; subscribing witnesses/signature by mark; Apostilles, etc.

i. For me personally, I both hate and appreciate doing detailed journal entries and loose certificates. It takes more time, but my record are perfect and my loose certificates always specify the document name, number of pages and date.

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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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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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March 6, 2017

How do I advertise as a Notary Public?

Filed under: Advertising,Popular on Linked In — Tags: — admin @ 9:34 pm

General Advertising
If you are a Notary Public or a Mobile Notary Public, it is critical that clients know how to find you. Some Notaries have a store front. In such a case, you just put a large sign saying Notary Public. You could put a sign on your car saying Notary Public and a phone number as well. It’s generally a good idea to pass our business cards to people in the neighborhood or your town so they know where to go if they need a Notary. Additionally hospitals and nursing homes need Notaries regularly.

Yellow Pages
The yellow pages online and offline sometimes get good results for Mobile Notaries although not always.You can gets out various yellow pages and see which ones get results.

Online Directories
These days, the way mobile notaries get most of their work is through online directories. 123notary, Notary Rotary, and Snapdocs and the three most popular in 2016. 123notary offers free listings, but also has paid listings where you can be at the top of the list in your area. Notary Rotary also has free and paid listings and lists Notaries in order of proximity to the zip code being queried. Snapdocs charges the Lender or Signing Company a small fee ($8 last I heard) to seach for a Notary and send docs using their system. Snapdocs pays Notaries the least and has cattle calls via text to alert mass amounts of Notaries for each job. But, on a brighter note, it is a great opportunity for newer Notaries to get work.

Websites
A Notary website of your own can be a huge money drain. On the other hand, it is a great way to show the world you are serious about the business and show all of your specialties, contact information, and more.

That is pretty much it as far as how you advertise as a Notary Public. If you have any further questions, email us at info@123notary.com

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You might also like:

Additions to policies regarding listings, certification and elite
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19431

Notary Marketing 102 – a comprehensive guide to marketing your services
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19774

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August 18, 2015

Notary – Your Signature – Needs Work

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:34 am

No, I’m not referring to that strange squiggle you have on file with your notary commission. I’m talking about your “other” signature. It’s the one that your email program adds at the end of virtually every email that you send. Jeremy hoots and hollers about having a good “notes section” in your profile on 123notary.com. Well, I’m willing to bet that at least a hundred times more people see your “email signature” than see your notes section. So, why is your email signature, either non-existent, or, to put it bluntly: junky?

The automatically generated “signature” is a great source of advertising. In addition to complete contact information, you should have a graphic; and a bit about the services you provide. This is totally free advertising, and it makes it much easier for people to call you. They don’t have to hunt thru several of your emails to find contact information – it’s in each and every one you send.

And, they can do much more than call. Your signature should have a link to your web site! A real “click here” (without those tacky words, of course). Mine informs recipients that I am available for: Mobile Notary Public, Apostille Processing, Embassy/Consulate Legalization & Fingerprinting. It’s the simplest thing to use, once set up. Just click “reply” to an incoming email and your signature is generated at the bottom – there’s nothing to it. MS Word allows for at least two different ones; one for a new outgoing email, one for a reply. Depending on your email program, the signature can contain various fonts, text, pictures, logos, and links. A goldmine!

Your email signature probably “needs work” and it will be a bit of work for you to configure the signature if you never accessed that part of your email program. Read the related help section, there are probably examples and/or step by step instructions. It’s also possible to get “fancy” and have a variety of signature files and select the appropriate one for each specific email. One processing tip, for users of MS Word: I found it easier to use the full “word facilities” to create the signature, then to just copy and paste it into the signature entry facility.

While most people will just click “reply” to your email, it’s a good idea to specifically put your email address in your signature. That helps people to edit copy, edit paste your email address when forwarding email if they did not add you to their address book. A further step is to include Filename extension .vcf, .vcard. Internet media type, text/vcard … vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards. The .vcf allows instant addition of your information to the recipient address book. You can personalize the entry with your picture, logo or a graphic.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. That’s true in person, telephone or via email. When you include an informative email signature you literally “display” both enhanced technical ability and your desire to be easy to contact. If you also take the second and more complex step, the .vef; you stand a good chance of being added (permanently?) to your client’s address book.

It’s also common to include, as the last line of the signature, a thought provoking quote; with proper credit to the author. It should represent your beliefs and philosophy, select your quote wisely. I chose a classic by Joseph Joubert: He who has imagination without learning, has wings and no feet.

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You might also like:

The Signature Name Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16298

How to get something notarized that doesn’t have a signature
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4695

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