Your Photo Is Important

1. Put your face on your marketing. Who doesn’t hate that idea? But if you expect to get business through the Internet sight unseen, including your photo can give you an edge. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, and I’m not just talking about the individuals whose signatures you’ll notarize but the title, escrow and mortgage companies. Don’t you think they’d like to know who’s representing them? You essentially are a reflection of the company that sends you on a loan signing. While it’s impossible to determine actual statistics on the importance of including a professional photo, imagine you’re a title company reviewing business profiles of two loan signing agents with very similar experience. One has posted a professional photo; the other hasn’t. Which notary are you more likely to contact?

2. How to work with a limited budget. If you can afford to work with a professional photographer, that’s great. Consider it an investment and a tax write-off. On the other hand, you can get a reasonably good result with an inexpensive photo by making sure your appearance is professional. Prepare yourself as if you were applying for a position with a large corporation because, if you’re seeking assignments from title, escrow and mortgage companies, you are “applying for a job” with them. Take advantage of one of the low-priced, quick photo places in your town, or have a friend take several close-up photos of you standing in front of a plain background, and then select the one that looks most professional.

3. What NOT to do. Here’s something to consider. Do you know what category “notary public” falls under in directories? It’s Legal. What would you expect an attorney’s photo to look like? You don’t have to do the dress suit thing, but keep a professional image in mind.

  • While I haven’t seen a glamor shot used for business by a man, I’ve seen plenty of women go that route. If you don’t show up for your appointments dressed, coiffed and made-up like it’s your high school prom, I suggest you don’t use that look for your business photo.
  • Avoid group shots where someone else’s shoulder and arm are part of your photo.
  • And please, no photographs taken at parties where you’re wearing a tank top and holding a beer. Drinking at a party might be fine for your personal Facebook page but doesn’t instill trust for you as a notary public or loan signing agent. (Yes, we had one of those sent via email as “the only photo I have.” We suggested not posting a photo until something better was available.)

4. Use your photo for introductions. One of our members said when she has an appointment with customers outside the office and it’s their first meeting, she refers them to the photo on her web page so they’ll recognize her. Of course, you can always describe yourself, tell them what you’re wearing, and where you’ll meet them, but your photo can help them feel a bit more comfortable. And, with the inevitable anxiety involved in signings, isn’t it worth it to use every means possible to put your customers at ease?

While publishing a photo isn’t critical to a business relationship (this isn’t!), it’s one small thing you can do so your customers feel they know you a little better. It helps to eliminate surprises, develop trust and establish credibility.

<< Part 1-Make the Best First Impresssion
>> Part 3-How to Use Free Ads
>> Part 4-How to Use “Yellow-Page” Directories
>> Part 5-Where to Include Your Website address
>> Part 6-Announce Your GGN Website”