On Making Your Notary Commission a Full-time Business

If you spend much time in any of the notary groups on Facebook, you will see that the eternal question goes something like this:

I’m a notary & heard I can make money at this. Is this true? How do I get started?

Here is my answer in several parts:

First, know the ways you can make money as a notary: How Do Notaries Make Money?

Second, get the education you need as a notary: Education For Notaries

Third, if notary signing agent work sounds appealing, do the research on it: Research Before Launching Your NSA Business

Fourth, get educated on NSA work if your research shows an unmet demand in your area or if you have a plan to out-compete others already active in your market: NSA Education

Fifth, get trained and credentialed: Training for NSAs – Part 3.

Sixth, read at least the last month of all the posts in every notary group you join on Facebook. Make notes of everything. Yes, everything. Read the files in the Files area in every group. Use the search function to look up every possible client. Use Google to look them up, too, as that should show you comments on NotaryRotary, NotaryCafe, 123notary, and other sites that aren’t Facebook.

And learn the terminology so you can speak like a professional (if you want to be treated like a pro, you need to sound like one): What Terms Mean.

Seventh, if you’ve become an NSA, read this: My Advice for New NSAs.

Finally, go to Amazon and get the ebook: Notary Marketing 2019 by Laura Vestanen. It costs less than $10 and it will teach you most of what you need to know about marketing for notaries.

I don’t make any money from endorsing her book. It’s just that good.

If you’re inclined to throw some money at me after reading all those free articles above, see my books page at Books .

And please remember to subscribe to this blog so you get new articles emailed to you for free, as well as hear about my new books as they come out.

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Saturday Thoughts On Notary Signing Agent Fees

This article is part of a series on notary fees and on how to decide what to charge.

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One issue that comes up when notaries mention many of the signing services on Facebook (or in other social media spaces) is why someone would accept fees that the commenter sees as so far below acceptable.

This is one reason why no notary should answer the question about what to charge for anything if it is another notary asking — your circumstances are your own. Your market is not their market — unless it is, then they are your competitors, and why would you want to help those competing against you ?

I don’t work for some firms because I think their fees are low and for other reasons, so those firms have very little to no impact on the fees that I get from my clients.

If you want to work for any so-called lowball company and you believe you are making a profit from it, that is your business.

You may have lower expenses than other people do, or be willing to take a lower profit, or just not know how much this work is costing you in various ways. It is not my role to substitute my judgment for yours.

If you ask me for advice, I will give it. Otherwise, you do you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can not or should not take a fee that you find acceptable.

On the other hand, if you’re bashing other notaries for taking fees that are lower than you like, please just stop it.

If you blame your competitors for competing on price, you have work to do on learning marketing and other #businessbasics.

One business basic everyone needs to understand is supply and demand.

In this context, supply and demand means there will be reduced fees offered as the supply of workers increases as long as the demand stays the same.

One way out of that trap is to develop better marketing so you’re not competing with those other notaries, even if you’re going after the same clients. You need a unique selling point (USP) that makes your business better in a way that your clients or customers are willing to pay extra for. If you don’t come up with your own USP, you are limited in how effective your marketing can be.

Another way out of that trap is to find other clients, so you’re not supplying services to the same demand. (See my article on How to Land Title Company Work for some ideas on how to do that.)

Blaming your competitors (for being willing to accept the fees that are offered or anything else) does not lead to you having a successful business. It puts you at their mercy — which is a recipe for failure.

Posted in Business, For Notaries, Notary fees | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Closed Until Christmas

Due to my full-time job, my available hours for notary services have already been reduced to Saturday only.

Last night, my employer advised us that we would be working 14 hours of overtime per week for the next three weeks, including part of a shift on Saturdays.

So, please be advised that Notary Memphis is closed until Christmas.

If you need a notary in Memphis during this time period, I recommend PakMail at 2809 Kirby Road (in the shopping center with Kroger on Kirby just a bit north of Quince).

Or you can try your bank or credit union, the nearest UPS Store, or any number of mobile notaries listed on 123notary.com or notaryrotary.com or notarycafe.com.

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On Standardized Fees

Why an Industry-Wide List of Standard Fees for NSAs is Not Available

Based on comments and questions seen online, it’s clear that many notaries want an industry-wide standard set of fees. You’re not going to get that for a host of reasons.

First, that would be price-fixing and probably illegal.

Second, you’d have people who were quite happy to work for 5 or 10 dollars less if it meant they could undercut the rest of us.

Third, everyone has the right to set their own fees — we are independent contractors.

Fourth, trying to educate people on their costs so the fees they set will actually make them money is a worthy goal. It is focused narrowly enough that it does not run against any of the other points I’m making in this piece, so I support anyone who wants to help with that.

Please learn your own costs, do market research in your own service area to see what you can charge without losing business or breaking your state’s laws, and set your fees accordingly.

Please stop going on Facebook and other social media to ask your competitors or those in different service areas to tell you what you should charge. It’s not a question that one professional asks another who is in the same line of work.

Posted in Business, For Notaries, Notary fees | 1 Comment

How I Eliminated No-shows on Mobile Notary Work

How I Eliminated No-shows on Mobile Notary Work

1. For Notary Signing Agent work, I don’t print documents or travel to the signers unless I confirm the appointment with them myself.

Two exceptions: If the client refuses to provide a useful phone number or if the signers don’t answer, I will print and go IF the client is willing to guarantee a full fee. Or, if the client is on my A List of exceptionally good clients, I’m willing to go with a print & trip fee of no less than half the full fee.

2. For General Notary Work, the person making the appointment must understand that this is serious business, not play. While my mobile notary services are freelance, that does not mean that the service is free. So, I require that they send me certain details via text or email to confirm the appointment with me.

If it’s not for the same day, I follow up with them before I head their direction to be sure their plans & needs have not changed.

(The details I require are simple:

  • Name of the person requesting my service;
  • Name of the person(s) who will be signing;
  • Exact location where I am expected to meet them, including room number or lobby or other specifics;
  • When they want me to meet them;
  • How many documents they are having notarized; and
  • Their understanding of and agreement with my fees. )

I’ve never had all that many NSA no-shows, but I used to have regular GNW mobile notary ones. Since I added the above requirement, no-shows on mobile notary work has been eliminated.

I am sure that I’ve lost some business as a result of adopting these methods of dealing with people who seem to be unclear about the value of my time. The positive benefits have been much less frustration and wasted time and expense.

Whether these methods would work for you is a question I can not answer.

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