The Power of Self Assessment

A message from Notary2Pro CEO Michael Ray

Working with business clients in my consulting firm Fathom15, I have often helped them develop strategies to take their services to market and build marketing strategies to grow their businesses dramatically. At Notary2Pro, we have focused our training on teaching our notaries the right way to do signings. Doing error-free signings and building your brand around a strong service orientation, excellent communication, and professionalism has been the core message of Notary2Pro since Carol Ray founded the company in 2009. We know this works. We have seen it thousands of times with our graduates.

Today the Loan Signing Agent landscape and training to be a professional Notary Signing Agent is filled with individuals and companies all trying to teach notaries how to market their businesses. In some cases, this is a sincere value offering from genuine coaches and teachers. Sometimes, these businesses are barely concealed hucksters looking to extract the last dollar from vulnerable people by promising them outrageous incomes and fabulous results.

As a result of this new landscape, Notary2Pro has strategically decided to expand its teaching in marketing and developing your notary business. And we are starting with a topic often overlooked in traditional marketing literature and much of the online training and hype. It starts with the critical importance of self-assessment in developing your strategic vision and marketing plan.

Much of the marketing education that is out there is entirely outward-focused. Understanding your “target,” effective promotion, clicks, content, and SEO, getting attention, bringing eyeballs in, and getting people to buy. Notaries are told to follow scripts and buy websites and Google ads. Some of that can play a role in your marketing tactics, but it’s not building a strategy. Let me repeat that. If your action is entirely outwardly focused, it is not a marketing or growth strategy.

One of my favorite quotes is from Max McKeown. He says, “strategy is about shaping the future” and is the human attempt to achieve “desirable ends with available means.” Without self-assessment, you will not know the desirable end or what your available means are. Here’s another quote, this time from the famous Yankee catcher and WWII veteran Yogi Berra “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

  1. Self Assessment

So before shelling out hundreds of dollars for that marketing course, building your website, and memorizing scripts, do some serious self-reflection and assessment. You want to know the answer to three fundamental and crucial questions:

  • Who Are You? This is about what’s inside you, your core. What are your strengths? What are your areas of development or weaknesses? What makes you, you.
  • What is your environment and your means? This is about what’s immediately outside of you but is an immediate part of your life and work. What are your advantages? What are the challenges you face? What do you come to the world with?
  • Finally, where do you want “to go”? What is the “desirable outcome” you seek? Don’t make this only about money. Remember, the context of this question is what I want to make my business look like. Where do I want to take it? Don’t worry about a plan yet. Understand this first.

What you are doing in this phase is Assessing and Defining Your Unique Identity. And you are unique and special. You have special talents, and you face special challenges. Perhaps you excel at talking to older people as my sister Barbara did. Or you have exceptional attention to detail. You may have a learning disorder or a noisy home life that makes concentrating difficult. Take stock of all of this.

When she started Notary2Pro, my mom had perhaps an overly humble opinion of herself, but she also had self-confidence, a can-do spirit, and a very big vision for what she wanted to achieve. She set out to change the Loan Signing Agent business and unquestionably did.

This process will lead you to the same understanding, and your answers will be the basis for your marketing strategy. What’s your unique selling proposition (USP)? How do you differ from your competition? Your answers will pave the way for a more tailored and effective marketing strategy.

  1. Evaluate and Develop Your Marketing Image

As you examine your strengths and weaknesses, you will begin to see both your strong points and areas of improvement. Are you multilingual? Do you have a background in real estate? Perhaps you’re familiar with legal documentation. Knowing your strengths can set you apart from other notaries. And being real about your weaknesses allows you to deal with those upfront. Never ignore weaknesses. You deal with weaknesses one of two ways or both. You adapt to them, work to overcome or adapt to them while working to overcome them. So, for example, a dear friend runs a successful recruiting agency despite dyslexia. She adapts by using software that reads to her and gets people and tools to write for her based on voice transcripts. For notaries, caring for your kids means you can’t work until two-thirty. You adapt your marketing and emphasize your ability to take off-hours appointments.

  1. Craft a Marketing Profile

A marketing Profile is a distilled vision of your business and what you have learned. From this, you can develop your Marketing Sheet, a one-pager that is in essence, a resume for your services. Highlight your strengths: Perhaps your Notary2Pro Elite certification is a testament to your competence. Moreover, emphasize what makes you unique. Maybe you’re willing to travel more extensively, speak Tagalog, or you can work unconventional hours.

Also, proactively counter and address your weaknesses with positives: If you’re unavailable in the mornings, focus on promoting your evening and weekend availability. Are you new to the field? Emphasize your rigorous training and draw on your past work experiences to assure clients of your reliability.

Visual Representation: Incorporate a professional photograph of yourself. Some people are very reluctant to do this. You shouldn’t feel nervous. People like to work with others when they can see someone who is presentable, smiling, and friendly. You don’t need movie star looks! Sometimes converting your photo into a line drawing can make this easier. If you are firmly opposed to a photo (perhaps you are in the witness protection program), create a logo for your business. Remember, visuals are potent tools for recognition.

Seek Customer Testimonials: Praise from satisfied customers or past employers can provide credibility. For instance, if you have no signing experience, even a testimonial from a previous job can still highlight attributes like reliability or interpersonal skills.

  1. Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a succinct and compelling description of your services. For example, “I’m a certified Professional Loan Signing Agent through Notary2Pro. My clients appreciate my meticulous attention to detail and exceptional customer service, particularly with refinances. I will work to make your signing process seamless and error-free.”

Take these steps before you start all the other process steps. This work will set your marketing and selling efforts on a foundation for success.

Next Steps

In future articles, we will discuss how you use this assessment and the tools you’ve built to develop and execute your Marketing Strategy. The importance of these steps will be evident when you understand how these things help you clearly and consistently share and communicate your business with others. This understanding will also guide you on how to share this message and what tools and mix of resources you will use to promote your business.

No one has unlimited resources, so self-assessment will be the foundation for making the most critical life and business decisions. What NOT to do. Don’t waste precious time, money, and energy doing the wrong things or the things that take you to the wrong place.

I hope you continue to join Notary2Pro on this journey as we share the best ways to grow your Notary business.

Michael Ray, CEO

PS: Please keep an eye out. We have several exciting major announcements coming in the next few weeks. We have a new, updated, and improved Loan Signing Agent Training, some all-new courses, and several new Employer tools all coming in the next few weeks. Also, perhaps most exciting, we have ground-breaking new ways for Notary2Pro graduates to share their information to employers and get direct business. We cannot wait to share all of this with you! Stay Tuned!

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