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“The Successful Notary” – 06/07 NNA Conference Update

Sorry for the delay with this update, but our first week back from the National Notary Association Conference was spent opening accounts and contacting new members. The response to GoGetNotary.com was terrific, and it was especially wonderful to finally meet many of our members face-to-face. Thanks to everyone who took the time to visit with us at our booth.

The conference was well attended and certainly confirmed my opinion that notaries are an outgoing, friendly, gregarious bunch of folks. Lots of energy, enthusiasm and spirit! Next year, the conference will be held in the “Big Easy” (New Orleans, Louisiana).

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Multiple Streams of Income
Along with the assortment of notary and signing agent classes provided by NNA, other hot topics at this event were additional streams of income. An NNA member from Nebraska was talking to Gerrie Pierre-Fleurimond at our booth about “Field Services” and “SOFI” which got my attention. Field services encompasses a wide range of work that has the potential to substantially boost your bottom line. Speaking by phone this week with Richard Law of the Society of Field Inspectors, SOFI-USA.com, I learned of the SOFI yahoo group where you can see the many different types of work available. This site is where companies post their job opportunities to hire field representatives.

According to Richard, some of these include visiting businesses and providing photos to verify leased equipment or verify that businesses exist for merchant account approval, onsite inspection for warranty claims (like a spring sticking out of a mattress!), conducting interviews, acting as a mystery shopper, and more. Some require experience; many don’t. If variety is the spice of life, field services sounds like the whole spice rack. (A recent teleconference Gerrie hosted covered some aspects of field services and featured interviews with Richard Law of SOFI and Jim Julian of Direct Loss Control Services, DirectLCS.com. If you belong to Gerrie’s Notary Talk teleconference group at TheNotaryCoach.com, you can log in and listen to that discussion. Great info!)

Another source of income is selling prepaid services such as Pre-Paid Legal and IdentityTheft Shield. Independent rep, Linda Lindemann, was in the booth next to ours and shared some of the benefits of these products for a notary’s own protection as well as selling the programs for additional income. You can learn more at her website, LindaRL.com, or call her at 805-604-1700.

If you’re looking for something totally unrelated to your notary business, contact Vicki Kersey about Cookie Lee Jewelry at 714-478-1918 or visit her CookieLee.biz website. Vicki’s booth presented beautiful pieces of jewelry at affordable prices and was very popular! If jewelry is your thing, you might enjoy this revenue stream to supplement your notary income.

We’re going to add a Multiple Streams of Income category to our site soon, so watch for indepth articles on GoGetNotary.com in the future.

New Notary Products
We found a couple of new notary products we liked. First was NotaryAssist software. We were fortunate to meet the husband and wife team, Gary and Sue Hope, who founded the company and originated this product. He’s a programmer and she’s a notary signing agent. Gary watched Sue struggle with Excel spreadsheets, Word documents and bookkeeping software, trying to make everything mesh together and becoming more frustrated the busier she got. Being the supportive husband he is, a few years ago, he and his development team put their 15 years of programming experience into designing software just for notaries. Sue’s hands-on daily use gave them precise feedback to refine the program, and today this user-friendly software addresses the specific needs of professional signing agents. You can learn more at their site, NotaryAssist.com. Email them and mention the NNA convention and you can get a 20% discount through the end of June!

Another busy booth was Notary Privacy Guard, an identity-theft deterrent by Sandra St. Claire. This is one of those ideas that makes you say “duh.” Of course this makes sense! It’s a set of shields that easily glide down over your journal pages to prevent a signer from seeing personal info about previous signers on that page. Priced at $9.95 a set (even cheaper for quantities), this seemed to be a “no-brainer” purchase at the conference. You can read more and buy this item at NotaryPrivacyGuard.com.

Notary Business Cards
On another front, since we were collecting business cards for daily drawings in the GoGetNotary booth, we had the opportunity to review a lot of business cards; some of them were not professional. For instance, if you have multiple streams of income and they’re not related, get separate business cards. If you’re printing cards at home and important info gets cut off, don’t write it in ink; print the cards again. We have a few tips and several pages of samples, plus Gerrie has provided a new article which will soon be posted on our site. Business cards don’t have to be expensive to be professional (see VistaPrint.com). They do have to be READABLE, focused on one business or related businesses, and include enough information to be helpful to customers. Remember, they represent your business.

A Big “Thank You”
Thanks again to everyone who visited our booth, our new members, and also to the NNA staff who went out of their way to make us feel welcome and supported throughout this active 3-day event.

And a special “how-will-we-ever-thank-you-enough” to several members of our Advisory Council who generously volunteered to help in our booth:

Gerrie Pierre-Fleurimond, an NNA Ambassador, was the 2003 NNA Notary of the Year so many notaries stopped by to meet and be photographed with her. Nothing like having a legend supporting GoGetNotary! Gerrie provides notary training for New Jersey and New York along with a variety of book she’s written and a large selection of supplies through NotaryTrainer.com.

Kelly Robertson and her assistant, Connie Adams, pitched in on Thursday.

Joan Bergstrom, co-author of “How to Become A Wildly Successful Loan Signing Agent,” gave each of us in the booth a handy key holder—no more searching in the dark for keys when you leave a signing! A silver embosser graces the enamel fob that hooks on your bag or briefcase so it’s both classy and convenient. These will soon be available at NotaryClasses.com.

Bobbi Scherrer, a trainer and NNA Ambassador, contributed several of Gerrie’s books for our daily drawings. She resells those books and other notary supplies on her site, NotaryItems.com.

Our regular newsletter will be available near the end of the month with a summary of new articles, more signing companies, more places to post your “needles” and our popular Featured Notary interview. Watch your email for the GoGetNotary.com June 07 Newsletter.