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“The Successful Notary” – 09/08 Newsletter

This newsletter is a little different, not so many articles but some important info I thought should be circulated right now. Though some of it may seem a bit harsh, I think we can stay positive about the future while still being realistic about today.

DEADBEAT COMPANIES

I’m hearing reports from too many notaries that they’re owed money by mortgage, title and signing companies who have gone out of business. They’re looking for tips on collecting or names of collection agencies, but sadly, if past-dues have gone on too long, it’s frequently “blood from a turnip.” There’s no money to tap. It’s best to be aware of which mortgage, title and signing companies you should avoid. A notary signing agent in Arkansas has generously shared his list of deadbeat companies with us. Thanks to Steven Rice, Elite Mobile Notary, for his updated list of deadbeat companies. And thanks to Victoria Rivera who phoned in a couple of good reference sites that track the stability of financial institutions.

SCAMS, CONS AND FRAUD

These days we can’t afford to pay for things we don’t need or to lose our hard-earned money through scams. That’s why it’s especially troubling that the number of scams seems to have doubled or tripled in the last few months. The “work-from-home” offers are particularly disgusting since they prey on those who need to earn additional income right now. Read about scams, cons and frauds reaching you via email, snail mail or phone.

YOU’RE MORE QUALIFIED THAN YOU THINK

With these tough times, I’ve been asked for resume tips for notaries looking for part-time income. Sometimes I think notaries don’t recognize their own value and skills. If you’re trainable, you don’t always have to be experienced in a particular job field to be considered. Instead, you have to figure out how your skills and experience relate to the job you’re applying for. For instance, (1) no sales background: Didn’t you have to sell your services? Didn’t you network? Didn’t you work to keep repeat business? Or (2) no customer service background: Didn’t you meet new people at every signing and have to instantly develop a rapport with them? Didn’t you adapt to the needs of companies who hired you and ensure they were satisfied with your performance? Then there’s your attention to detail, follow up, promptness, reliability, computer knowledge, phone etiquette… What can’t you do?! Your skills and professionalism can take you farther if you package them for each job application. The days of the old resume format (company-title-dates-experience, company-title-dates-experience, etc.) are gone. I’m working on a sample resume to demonstrate how the right packaging could work for you and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s posted.

ADDITIONAL INCOME BUT NOT ENOUGH?

Another common thread I’m hearing, “The other jobs don’t pay as much.” As much as what? The signing jobs you no longer have? The truth is, those high-paying three-a-day signings are gone, and there’s no sense comparing the low-paying available work to the high-paying nonexistent work. Time to get real. It’s happening to everyone everywhere in this country except the very wealthy. But we’re luckier than most. For those of us in real estate-related fields, there’s the knowledge our jobs will come back, not as crazy as the buyers’ frenzy of 2006, but strong enough. Our jobs didn’t get shipped permanently overseas; they just temporarily dried up. So don’t give up the dream of $300 signings, but set it aside for now. Check out our additional income section, start networking, keep your ears and eyes open for opportunities and hang on. We’ll get through this but only if we get real.

EBOOK: NOTARY WEBSITE BASICS

Anyone who’s looking for help with creating and optimizing a notary website on the cheap(!) can find it here: “So You Think You Want A Website: Internet Marketing 101 for Notaries.” Yes, my ebook is finally done, and from the positive feedback I’ve received, I think the the research, writing, more research and rewriting resulted in a helpful product. It’s a powerful tool for notaries or anyone who wants to learn the basics and create a professional and very affordable website. The knowledge you’ll gain from this book can also protect you from being taken advantage of. One client we’re helping with a website (not a notary) has been paying $100 a month (yes, a month!) for a plain vanilla, 3-page website because they trusted Yellow Pages/Dex to be fair! On the other hand, a notary who contacted us was getting a great deal from his webmaster but didn’t understand the value of what he had and was talked into spending a lot more for something he didn’t need by a well-meaning friend. Being able to recognize fair prices and ripoffs alone is worth the small price of this ebook.

AS ALWAYS…

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