Updated 4-18-17. To succeed in business as a Notary, you need to let people know about your services. But advertising can be a challenge when you’re first starting out. These tips from expert Notary entrepreneurs can help you build your brand, grow your business, and achieve new levels of success.
1. You Are Your ‘Brand’ — Market Yourself Accordingly
You are a business; it’s time to think like one. Start by creating a business name. New York Notary Patricia Warmack used “PitaP Productions,” based on a childhood nickname.
California Notary Laura Biewer, owner of At Your Service Mobile Notary, recommends inventing a branding tagline separating yourself from your competitors, such as “Available 24/7, 365” or “We Come To You.”
Whatever your specialty is, use it in your email tagline, customized letterhead, business website, social media platforms, customized brochures, business cards and signage.
Make sure to list all the things you do, Warmack says. In addition to standard Notary services, Warmack provides field inspections, DNA specimen collection services, exam proctoring, I-9 form completion, virtual assistance support, and is ordained to perform weddings — all of which she advertises on her business website, along with a map of her service coverage. If you are bilingual or proficient in sign language — both of which are specialized skills often in demand — list those as well.
2. Pay Attention To Your Community
Sometimes the smallest things can get you noticed. Biewer drives through town in a car emblazoned with her company logo, which results in almost daily calls for new business.
California Notary and small business owner Tyrina Quinn attends networking events through her chamber of commerce and offers special discounts to locals and military personnel.
Biewer suggests joining professional organizations often in need of Notaries, or meeting with business owners, such as law offices, title and mortgage companies, banks and credit unions, property management companies, or bail bond companies.
Make sure to have plenty of business cards to hand out to everyone.
3. Give Them Something To Remember You By
While needing a Notary isn’t a daily occurrence in many people’s lives, when the time comes, you want to be first in mind.
Virginia Notary John Kenneth Cole recommends adding a bit of visual flair to your business cards. To encourage repeat business, Cole uses his business card as a “loyalty card,” placing a stamp on the back at each notarization and offering every fifth notarization for free.
Daniel Lewis, owner of Lewis Notary Services in Carmel, Indiana, hands out customized pens with his business name, website, and phone number.
“I give them away to everyone I can each day,” says Lewis. “Just this week, I received assignments from an interior decorator, a post office worker, and a librarian. They all had pens I had given them, in some cases, years earlier.”
4. Use Social Media To Offer Value And Substance
Don’t bombard your “likers” or “followers” with vague advertisements of your service — it’s a surefire way to get blocked or “de-friended.” Lewis suggests using social media platforms to offer value to your existing and potential clients and to create dialogues.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can — and should — be used to help promote business, target new clients, and create innovative ways to interact with customers. Post industry-related articles, ask questions, and request feedback. But don’t stop there.
“Check to see what your potential customers are posting,” says Lewis. “This helps you get a feel for your clients’ perspective and offer you an advantage in making initial contact with that person.” Then you can engage them in ways that address their circumstances.
5. Tracking Is As Important As Finding New Business
When it comes to investing time and money in advertising, you want to make sure you know what’s working. So go ahead and ask your clients where they heard about you, says Biewer.
Was it word of mouth? A logo pen borrowed from a colleague? A Google search? Once you know, you can adjust your business plan and advertising accordingly.
One Final Note On Notary Advertising:
Know Your State Laws: Many states have laws governing exactly how Notaries can — and cannot — advertise their services, such as prohibiting the use of the Spanish term “notario,” which implies a role with more legal power than that of a U.S. Notary Public.
Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.