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September 7, 2011

What goes WHERE in your notes?

We have close to 7000 notaries, and most of them have written a notes section.  I am always stressing that the length and quality of the notes section strongly effects how many calls you will get.  I recommend a few paragraphs of notes. Browsers want to compare notaries and read through many different profiles before choosing who they will call first. If you leave your notes blank, or only have a few choppy sounding lines of text, I assure you that you will get left behind.    But, there is more.  Experience is very important and should go on top.

What goes at the top?
The first sentence or two of your notes is visable on the search results, and strongly influences readers.  Their decision to click, or not to click is heavily based on the first two lines of notes you wrote, and whether or not you offer 24 hour service, or are certified by 123notary.com.  It’s that important!  If you have reviews will strongly effect how many clicks you get too!  People write about many things in their notes sections. They write about their equipment, their coverage areas, types of loans they are familiar with, and experience.  They might also write about professional memberships, jobs they did before they became a notary, and anything else they think will impress or move a potential client.  If you look at all of these various types of information, there is one that triggers a reaction in the reader most, and that is what separates you from the pack: experience.

Put your experience at the top
If you have a lot of experience, that is the single most important trait that a client looks for.  If you are on the white glove list for some well known large company, that makes a huge impression.  If some other notary covers twenty counties and has some great equipment, that means something, but it doesn’t make up for lost experience.  Any fool can purchase expensive equipment, but how many fools have signed 15,000 loans with a 99.9% error free track record?  Any nitwit can sign a Reverse Mortgage (this is valuable experience by the way), but how many nitwits are on the approved list for some major American Title agency and have 20 years of experience? All pertinent information has a value, but there is a hierarchy to which information is the most valuable, and you need to put the most critical selling information (experience) on the top of the list.

What comes next?  Credentials & memberships
3rd party credibility is key to getting work.  If you say you are good and write well, that counts for more than nothing, but not that much more than nothing. If someone else says you are good, that counts more.  People who are already certified by another agency claim that they don’t “need” 123notary certification, however, to get the credibility of the green certification icon you actually DO “need” our certification.  That is 3rd party credibility from an agency who has been very serious about the notary business for 11 years and has 6500 clients.  Having testimonials is another form of 3rd party credibility.  So, writing about your professional memberships and credentials means a lot, and that comes right after experience.

Coverage Areas
Coverage areas comes third ideally. You can write about where you service, and which areas cost extra.

Specialties is fourth
If you want to put specialties as 3rd instead of 4th, it would be about the same.  Telling the world what types of loans you are familiar with is very important.  If you have a long list of impressive types of loans, you might put it higher on the list just to make an impression. If your specialties are very run of the mill doing refinances and reverse mortgages, etc., then put it third or fourth on the list.

Equipment & Insurance
Equipment can really make a difference and set you apart from the rest of the locals.  However, it is not quite as important as the other things I mentioned unless you have a very impressive mobile office which makes you one in a thousand.  If you have slightly above average equipment, you can mention it at the bottom just to be thorough.  E&O insurance can be put in the equipment section.  If you have a million dollars of E&O, then maybe put it in the first line to knock people’s flip flops off.  If you have been background screened or listed with the BBB, that could go here too.

Other information
If you want to talk about identification, legal considerations, or your unwillingness to give legal advice, put it here.  Parting notes should come here at the bottom as well.  I usually discourage discussing details of your rate structure, but that would be good at the bottom as well.

Here are some interesting things people put in their notes that stood out.

Keep in mind that some of the individuals offering these services are attorneys.

Adoptions; Probate; Preparation of Wills; Trusts;  Movie set notarizations; Constructions loans; Foreclosures; Medical power of attorney.;  Car title Affidavits; Durable powers of attorney;  Time-Share docuements; Rental Property Agreements; e-signings; Inspections; Debt Consolidation;  Courthouses; prisons; hospitals; Balloon mortgages.

You might also like:

Notary Marketing 102 – Your Notes Section

How to write a notes section if you have no experience

Excerpts from great notes sections