Whether you are a new Notary looking to launch your business or an experienced one reinventing yourself, building your personal brand takes time, patience, and the desire to be great. But it is vital to your business success.
What used to be known as your “reputation,” now goes far beyond classic face-to-face interaction. Personal branding is how you present yourself to the world around you, both online and offline. It is who you are, who you want to be, and who you will be perceived as in the professional world.
Your personal branding strategy will end up being the image and message you send to your current and potential customers. It should entice people to do business with you and show them how different you are from your competitors.
It Starts with You
What is your purpose? How will you make your Notary business stand out among your competitors? Think of who you want to be as a professional and ask yourself questions like:
What defines you? What are your business values?
Who are your customers?
How do you want clients to remember you?
Will you be just an NSA? Or a mobile Notary who provides a variety of notarial and non-notarial services, such as field inspections, I-9 forms completion and general Notary work?
Once you’ve answered these questions and have an idea of who you want to be, the journey to creating your brand and business begins.
Here’s Where To Start
Your personal branding will be the foundation to your business. Here are four steps you can follow to set that groundwork:
1. Take a Professional Headshot
If you want to be a Notary professional, you must look the part. Your headshot should capture you as a smiling, well dressed individual who is approachable and competent. This headshot can go on your website, social media profiles and marketing materials.
2. Create an Online Presence
It’s essential to use social media platforms — in conjunction with your website — to boost yourself and your business. Social media can help you reach and build new fans, expand your community and build relationships with customers and like-minded peers. It’s also where you can pro-actively build and promote your personal brand. Social media sites you should have in your strategy include: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
3. Act Like a Professional In Every Way
Customers, new or returning, will look at how you carry yourself online and decide whether they want to do business with you. For example, if you receive a negative review and respond defensively, customers will walk away and look for Notary services elsewhere. Always carry a positive, helpful attitude and keep it professional. When your personal brand is professional and inviting, customers and peers alike will gravitate to your business. This can also lead to potential referrals.
4. Be Authentic
The way you interact with clients must be consistent all around. Be genuine and most importantly be you. Become a resource to your customers through your services. If you can’t perform a notarization request due to a conflict in scheduling, refer a fellow Notary. Clients will be appreciative when you offer a solution and see that you’re always willing to help.
Creating a personal brand doesn’t happen overnight. However, remember it will be the base for your long-term success. Be confident in how you carry yourself and stay true to your business values. Strive to make a lasting impression that not only keeps your customers, but allows your business to flourish.
Cindy Medrano is the Social Media Coordinator at the National Notary Association.