Building a Network of Notaries & Wedding Officiants

Aug 08, 2022
 

Selecia has built an amazing business working as a mobile notary, a Justice of the Peace in Florida, a wedding officiant at the Rainbow Notary Nuptials, and an advocate of RON (remote online notary) - tapping into the expat community needs around the country.

Guest Information:

When my Notary Commission began in December 2017, I had no idea the opportunities I would have to meet and help people. So often when people think of needing a Notary it is to sign an important document. The truth is, when you need a Notary, you are facing a life changing situation. Someone is being born or someone has died. You are: buying a house or selling a house, signing a Will or a Power Of Attorney, buying a car or selling a car. It is major life moment for the client. Our Commission gives us the power and charge to verify the identity and to sign these important documents. It is a great privilege to be able to assist people with these documents and to get them the verifications they need. Being a member of the National Notary Association and having the annual background check sets us apart from many other notaries. I am also a Justice of the Peace.

Being a MOBILE Notary means that we come to you. Whether it is at your home or office, to your hospital room or even if we meet you in a coffee shop, it means that we are serving you and your Jacksonville Mobile Notaries needs wherever they might be. I have even met someone at midnight at the shipyard as they needed a loan signing and their ship had come in. We come to you. You can find our profiles in several locations: SNAPDOCS, Notary Rotary.
Being a Wedding Officiant is so much fun. It is exciting to meet the couples and plan the wedding. They want to know where and how long you have been an Officiant.

I began in 2018. My first wedding was a simple home wedding of friends. Next, was a beautiful ceremony at the St. Augustine Lighthouse with the reception at the Columbia Restaurant. The following one was at The Riverside House, by the Junior League. I handled the ceremony as well as the emcee for the reception. There are so many lovely venues in and around Jacksonville.

We now offer a unique setting at the Rainbow Wedding Chapel, across from the Duval County Courthouse in downtown Jacksonville. I am also a Justice Of The Peace in Florida. Sometimes people from other states are more familiar with that term when they are seeking someone to officiate their weddings.

One of the most important things I want people to know is that-MARRYING EVERYONE UNDER THE RAINBOW! We marry LGBTQ people, straight people, black people, white people, people of color, tall people, short people, of every ethnicity, from every Nation. We marry everyone with a valid marriage license. Love is LOVE and we LOVE to marry people. We have the capacity to marry you as a Notary, A Universal Life Church Ordained Minister or as a Justice Of The Peace. Find our profiles at The Wedding Officiants Directory.

With innovation and legislation, Remote Online Notary came to Florida on January 1, 2020. At first I had little interest in the opportunity but then along came COVID19 and the pandemic changed so many things. With the ability to remotely notarize a document or a loan closing whether the person is across the street or across the ocean, RON has paved the way for an unlimited opportunity for the client to “meet” with you virtually and for you to perform your Notary duties for them.

The Remote Online Notary platforms have a KBA or Knowledge Based Authentication Security Quiz which verifies the signers identity along with credential analysis of drivers license or passport. Then the visual of the license or passport and the face-to-face video. We “meet” online and complete the notarization just like we are sitting across a table but this time it is virtual. The entire session is recorded and stored for 10 years. It keeps the transaction secured and verified.

www.rainbownotaryandnuptials.com


Episode Highlights:

38:56 The cream always rises to the top - the people that are studying, the people that are looking, the people that are working on their Google My Business page, the people that are taking extra classes, the people that are expanding, the people that are doing Apostille, etc, etc.

37:41 It's 2022, we marry everyone! Black and white, older and younger, tall and short, gay or straight. Love is love!

42:01 Anytime someone needs a notary it's a life-changing event for them.

--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---

Bill Soroka (00:23):
It's my pleasure to introduce you to Selecia Young-Jones Florida notary and beyond. Selecia, thank you so much for being here.

Selecia Young-Jones (01:18):
Well, thank you Bill. It's a real pleasure. Thank you so much for asking.

Bill Soroka (01:22):
I'm glad you're here. I love being a part of your journey. I love what you've created with your business, and I want to really talk about three main points that stand out in the business that you've created over there. The first is the network that you're building with collaborative notaries throughout, not just Florida, but through the entire country now, right. You're really expanding.

Selecia Young-Jones (01:48):
I am expanding.

Bill Soroka (01:50):
Then I want to talk about your experience with Remote Online Notarization in particular, how you're tapping into the expat communities. I think that's really powerful and three, your wedding officiant business and the particular market that you've tapped into with a physical location. How's that sound?

Selecia Young-Jones (02:14):
Perfect.

Bill Soroka (02:15):
All right. Good. Well, let's start, let's start with your origin story. Okay. Like how the heck did you decide to become a mobile notary and loan signing agent in Florida?

Selecia Young-Jones (02:27):
Well, I can't even tell you what it was, but I mean, it was a truly, something was tugging on me like that tug on your sleeve. Get your notary. Get your notary. Get your notary. I mean, like for the last 10 years or so, and I didn't know, it, I didn't really know anybody that was a notary or maybe somebody at the bank or whatever, but there was just like this little voice in the back of my mind. So I mean, I, I would ask people that I knew were notaries and like, well, how do you do it? And what do you have to do? And who do you have to be? And, and so finally, between Christmas and New Years of 2017, I finally just did a Google search myself and said, well, I'm just going to do it. And I don't know why.

Selecia Young-Jones (03:07):
So I went online, took the test and, and got the commission, started, paid your little insurance and got your bond thing going with just little Florida notary something or another I didn't even know the NNA existed. And so, and so I started, and so then I, you know, like a week or so later, my commission comes in the mail and I just made a simple Facebook post. Hey, I got my notary commission in Florida. Well, it was like a machine gun going off, pew, pew, pew, oh, we need a notary. Oh, we always need a notary. Oh, we got married by a notary. Oh, my son's getting married. Would you marry my son? And I realized immediately that this was a thing I didn't really even know it was a thing, but it's a thing . So I had to immediately think of, okay, market this thing, make it, you know, make it go.

Selecia Young-Jones (03:58):
I, I am a gay woman. I'm a lesbian woman. So I always want to, you know, play to who, you know, play to the audience, you know? So I was like, okay, rainbow L G B T, what are we going to do? Okay, let's go with rainbow. Rainbow's pretty across the board. People love the rainbow. Rainbow, rainbow what? Rainbow Notary? Well, that's probably already taken and it was, but my mother was an English teacher. So notary and nuptials. I love the alliteration. Mm-Hmm so Rainbow Notary And Nuptials was created. And I just, you know, started out. Cause I didn't even know what I was doing. I did a little Facebook page, Rainbow Notary And Nuptials and, and things just started to actually percolate. I mean, they, things just started to go. I, I went on the sun buz you know, the Florida, you know, doing business as, and learned that I had to, cause obviously I'm not doing business as selicia Jones notary.

Selecia Young-Jones (04:52):
I'm doing business as Rainbow Notary And Nuptials. So that was another thing that I learned that I had to do was to create a DBA, doing business as. And you know, everything's just sort of come to me as I've gone on and I just kept going and growing. And I was standing in church one day after church. And my friend best says, well, if you ever get double booked on any of these weddings, just let me know cause I used to do a ton of these when I was in south Florida. I'm a noter you know? And I said, I didn't know that. And another Beth who was standing right behind her said, Hey, I'm a notary too. I said, well, I'll just create an entire network of notaries and we'll just marry everyone under the rainbow. We'll just cover Florida.

Selecia Young-Jones (05:35):
Well, it, it, you know, be careful what you ask for because these things do. You know, thoughts or things and yeah. you know, it, it has come to fruition. That's exactly what happened shortly thereafter a friend of mine was retiring down in down towards Tampa and she said, Hey, I can be a notary. And so she got her a commission and then I had a friend in Orlando and then instead of just letting it sort of organically happen, then I started going after people and finding the right people and creating a network that, of people who, you know, were like-minded, like thoughts, were professional, someone I could count on so I can depend on. And it's really funny cause like for the first six or seven, we were all Episcopalians. You know, I thought it was the Episcopal network, but you know, now it's everybody now I, you know, now it's it's across the board.

Bill Soroka (06:26):
Well, I, I love so of the different components of your story. And I think what you've just demonstrated with the growing of this network is something happens when you're out in the arena doing the work. When you put yourself out there, when you start telling people what it is that you do, you get out and do the work, you start colliding with people and opportunities that get interesting. Exactly what you did. Right. I mean to find two bests at church that just happen to be notaries.. That's crazy. So, but then you did, you got intentional about it. You said, okay, I like this. I like these opportunities I'm colliding with, how can I create more of those? How can I get more intentional and invite more of this work in, how can I find more notaries that are in alignment with my values and can deliver customer service. And I, I would imagine Selecia, that that's pretty difficult to do is finding people who are in alignment and who will deliver up to your standards. How has that journey been in building your network?

Selecia Young-Jones (07:28):
Well, the truth is, is that anybody who's age 16 can get a driver's license. Okay. But not everybody can take a NASCAR around. Not everybody can drive Monte Carlo. Anybody that's 18 and over can get a notary commission. But how do you, how do you, how do you become a NASCAR driver? How do you become a Grand Prix driver? How do you become that best notary? And that's where I found you. , that's where I found you and Carol Wray and Laura Biewer because I would go out and I'd look and I would you know, Google and I would search and I'd go watch these little different, you know, webinars here and there. And, and then out of the blue, just searching, I found you guys. And then I realized that I had struck gold because I found the same people with the same kinds of ideas and the same kind of structure in their lives and the same kind of, of foundation that, that I have. And so you know, I, I I've said, you know, after I finally finally met you guys in person, you know, three or four years later, you know, that I'm happy to be in your orbit and I really am because you're right. You, you gotta find people that, that are in your, in your realm, in your, in your same ideology. And you know, that's, that's what I have found being a part of, you know, the Sign And Thrive community.

Bill Soroka (08:53):
Awesome. I appreciate that. And I'm so glad that we are in each other's orbit. I love watching what you're doing too. And I'm so glad that we got to meet in person recently. I'm curious though I know that this idea of collaboration in our particular community is popular. Like people want to collaborate. That might just be a human drive, right. We want to collaborate. We want to build a network of people that we can count on that we enjoy working with. And then sometimes we get slapped in the face with a negative experience and it shuts people down. So I'm really curious how you I'm, I'm sure it's been a bumpy road, even though I know some of the people in your network are amazing, but how does that conversation actually happen? Like what's the framework for finding people at your level and then letting them go when they're don't fit?

Selecia Young-Jones (09:49):
Well, I have had to let somebody go. And, and, you know, finding them. You know, the other thing like, you know, kinda like in the beginning when I realized I didn't even know what I was doing I was smart enough to know that I didn't know what I was doing. You know, Jacksonville, Florida is way up here on the north side of, I mean, we're, we're, we're touch Georgia. And I thought, well, you don't want to be like in direct competition with someone. So I said, well, let me just let me do a Google search Tampa. So I found this guy, Herb Gwina and he's been a notary for 30 years. And, you know, I thought, well, he's far enough away. I'm not in any kind of competition with him. And let me call him and ask if he can help me kind of a mentor kind of thing or whatever.

Selecia Young-Jones (10:31):
And, you know, instead of saying, you know, you giving me the W. C. Fields, get out of here kid, are bothering me, you know, which he brushes most people off that exact way. For some reason I struck his soft side and he took me under his wing and gave me all of the things to do. He, he set me in the, you know, in the right path. First thing he told me to do was join the NNA. I didn't even know what an NNA was okay. Joined the National Notary Association. So once I did that, I mean, that gave that's a whole another thing. And went,, oh, they're just in it for the money. Or they're just, honey, you know what, I, I don't know what they are, but I tell you what they helped me. And, and now that I've been to an actual convention or conference, I see all of the things they do.

Selecia Young-Jones (11:16):
And, you know, that really got me going right was with Herb. You know, finding the right people. Boy, that is the tough part. And you know, I sure don't know everything and I have to count on the other folks what I don't know, maybe they know and what she doesn't know maybe he knows and collaboratively, we'll all, you know, come up with, you know, the best right answer. And like, I, I did have one notary that was just, I I'm pretty obstinate, so I can use the word obstinate, who was just, you know, we were all sitting on, I do a little rainbow wrap up every Tuesday night with everyone. And it's sort of like a little baby T and T where we, you know, get together and, you know, talk about what's happened, you know, share our experiences and our, our, you know, wins and losses. And, you know, guess what happened to me this week. And, you know, was just, you know, she was just continually saying that we were doing it wrong. And then, you know, when 10 of us are saying, no, we're not, you know, I just had to say, I'm sorry, you you're, this isn't a, this isn't a good fit.

Bill Soroka (12:27):
Yeah.

Selecia Young-Jones (12:28):
You know,

Bill Soroka (12:28):
And there doesn't have to be any judgment or shame with it. It's just not a good fit. It's not a with the, with the organization. So, no, that's it. Do you find that you count on personal referrals when you're like you're part of Sign And Thrive, NBB, these kind of continuing education or higher, higher striving, notaries, do you rely on that network and referrals within it? Or are you more a gut instinct kind of person?

Selecia Young-Jones (12:55):
Some, some of it's gut instinct. I mean, some of it, I, you know, you know, watch on Facebook, I watch people's comments, you know, are they helpful? Are they snarky? Are they funny? Are they intelligent? And, and I will say, like I said, my mother's an English teacher do, can they, can they use the English language properly? Because whether you can, or can't is one thing, but people judge you for how you speak. If you can't construct a sentence, they're thinking you're not very smart now, not to say that everybody that doesn't speak the, the Queen's English is, is stupid. It would be foolish. But when you're in a business setting, people are looking for people who know how to speak.

Bill Soroka (13:34):
So I'm so glad that you brought this up because I think part of the the challenge that we have is that social media makes interactions so easy. And sometimes we say off the cuff comments, or sometimes we get so tired of the same questions that we tend to, we get jaded and it comes out, or maybe we're just cranky or hangry. And, but the important thing is that those comments made, whether they're snarky or loving last forever, and they make an impact on people. And I love that. Here's an example of you as a business owner, looking for collaborators around the country, and you do make judgment calls based on those interactions. And you're not the only one there's title and escrow officers that do the same. They get in those groups, they can see it happening. So it's really important to monitor yourself and keep track. Like, if, be kind,

Selecia Young-Jones (14:27):
If you write it on a piece of paper, you can burn it and that's the end of it. But if you type it on the internet, it will be there as far as we know until the end of time.

Bill Soroka (14:38):
Yeah. So true.

Selecia Young-Jones (14:39):
And just remember, never write or say anything, never write anything that you do not want read in open court. That's just my little .

Bill Soroka (14:48):
That's great. I love that. And that's a good, that's a good, good rule of thumb. Now let's, I know that you're building this network, but tell me how your network works. How can, how do you support other notaries and how do they support your network? What is it that you do?

Selecia Young-Jones (15:04):
Well, what I, what I've done? And so I said, well, do you keep up with who made so many calls or who's made so many notarizations or do you, do you get a piece of that or whatever? It's like, Nope. And, and I don't care if you, you know, do 10 notarizations of today, or if you do a thousand this month, what I'm there is to build you up. I, I mean, I, I've learned about the internet. I've learned about Google. I've learned about that whole realm of, you know, casting your bread upon the waters. And so I have a, a great website. And so to be a part of the rainbow team rainbow, you get a place on the website. You get, you know, as a, you know, as a, as a notary, as a wedding officiant as a RON, Remote, Online Notary. And so on that page, you get your picture, you get a link to your own personal business.

Selecia Young-Jones (15:57):
So it's sort of like a little back link work, you know, me helping you, you helping me, and, you know, you get your own you know, WhatsApp number up there, your own LinkedIn up there, you know, all of your stuff. So it's so that when somebody looks on there and says, oh, Hey, oh, there's there's Michelle in Miami. Oh yeah, yeah. I'm, I'm going to call Michelle. And so, you know, it's a, it's a, I think it's a, it's a, a reasonable amount. It's $25 a month to be part of the network. And you know, I, I hope that people believe that they're getting value for being there and being a part of part of the network.

Bill Soroka (16:35):
Yeah. And then in exchange for that, you, I, I love how you, you kind of glanced over it, but you've learned a little bit about Google and Search Engine Optimization, but you've really gone in deep with that. Really to drive business and leads to your website, and then you help distribute that to your network.

Selecia Young-Jones (16:55):
Right. Right. I mean, once, once you learn about the Google and the Google, my business, well, they call it Google Business Profiling now. But once you catch on and believe me you know, I, I caught on the hard way, you know, like I said, the best education you'll ever get is through your pocketbook. And I spent a lot of bad money, not all money is good. I spent a lot of my good money to own bad things like paying thousands of dollars to get citations. When I find out, now you can go on FFiver and get 200 of them for 35 bucks.

Bill Soroka (17:26):
Wow.

Selecia Young-Jones (17:27):
Yeah. Things like that. And so when I, when these people come into the network, especially new people, new, new, when I say new, new notaries, even I say, don't do this, and no, they're not creating a special book for the so and so golf community distributed to oh, so and so. And you're their number one note. No, don't do that either. I mean, mean, I, you know, that's part of the, that I think is of value to being a part of the network is that hopefully I'm going to keep you out of some of these scams because, Hey, I've already done it. Thanks a lot.

Bill Soroka (17:58):
 

Selecia Young-Jones (18:00):
Thanks a lot.

Bill Soroka (18:00):
Well

Selecia Young-Jones (18:01):
On, so, you know, Hey,

Bill Soroka (18:04):
And I, I think that's one of the best features of having a mentor is they shine a light back and say, Hey, watch out for that rock. Look out, take this path around this, cause that's, you don't want to fall into that swamp. I did that. Don't do that. Learn from my mistakes. That's great value of a mentor.

Selecia Young-Jones (18:23):
And the truth is I want them to all look like the lone ranger. I want them to all look like the hero, but the truth is Tonto is the guy, he was the scout that was saying, look out kemo sabe

Bill Soroka (18:32):
Yeah. That's one of the things that you say a lot too, is that we're the white hats I do as notaries.

Selecia Young-Jones (18:40):
I do.

Bill Soroka (18:40):
Do say that. What do you mean by that?

Selecia Young-Jones (18:42):
Well, you know, you know, just con you know, you know, white hat, black hat, you know, spy versus five, you know, good guy, bad guy. And we are the white hats in the room. And once you realize that not everyone who comes to you for notarization is a good guy and not all of everyone's intentions are good and legal and honest. And so we have to be there to remember that a, we're there for the principal signer, you know, sometimes especially in a power of attorney you might have an older adult or vulnerable adult or someone, somebody who might not be just a swift and you might have somebody that's trying to get over on somebody power of you know, we have some quick claim deeds. So we are the good guys in the room. We're, we're, we're the hall monitor. We're the, you know, we're the white hats in the room. And we are the good guys.

Bill Soroka (19:34):
What do you do to protect that integrity? What have you done personally, to protect that integrity and just becoming either, are you studying your laws more? So you know, what you can do and you can't do? Or what, how do you handle that?

Selecia Young-Jones (19:51):
I think, I think some of this may just be that internal gut. Am I doing the right thing? You know oh, lemme just walk this piece of paper and throw it out, throw it out of the car. Who's who's going to, who's going to see it. Mm they'll. Have somebody pick it up. Does that make you feel good if you do that? I mean, you do something bad. Do, do you feel it? I mean, I do. I mean, it's just my, it, it is my nature. And know, you look in my car and say, no, she doesn't throw anything . But you know, it, it is, it is, you know, I think you you'll find how your will is aligned with what's correct and, and the truth is don't push the river, it will flow by itself. And if you're doing the right thing, it really will be easier.

Bill Soroka (20:37):
Is there any extra training that you've taken in Florida in particular to help you understand what those boundaries are, what the boundaries of the river are and what you can and cannot do?

Selecia Young-Jones (20:50):
What do you mean?

Bill Soroka (20:51):
Well, what extra steps do you take to understand? I mean, do you study your state statutes? Do you reference your state statutes? Where, where do you go to figure this stuff out? Cause it's not always clear as a notary for sure.

Selecia Young-Jones (21:05):
Oh, it's clear as mud 100% clear. you know, you just have to keep reading, you have to read, read, read, you have to watch these webinars. You have to just look go watch other people, you know, and like I said, I, I rely on, you know, the things we learn on T and T the things we are, are learning with notary business builders, you know, those sorts of things, you know, even clubhouse, even clubhouse. I, I, you know, a little bit of clubhouse, you gotta be careful with Facebook though, because people don't always give the right answer. And, you know, it's, it's always worth double checking if I don't know something. I mean, even recently I would, you know, I, I try to answer it like how, you know, like, how would Bill Soroka answer this? Or how would Laura Biewer answered this?

Selecia Young-Jones (21:50):
Like, you know, does this have all the correct material block? You know, is this the material block that you need for this page? I mean, is, does this look right to you? I mean, instead of saying, Hey, dummy, there's not even a venue on here. So I have to back it up. a little bit and be a little kinder. And, and then one girl said, what's a Ontario block. And it's like, okay, one, okay, let's go back to 1 0 1, because here's what part of the problem with being a notary. And I know Louisiana really puts you through the paces. I mean, it's almost, I mean, they really, really train you well for over there. And I know California's pretty, pretty good. But the truth is just anybody can get that driver's license. Yeah. And anybody can get that recommission. And what sets you off from anybody else?

Bill Soroka (22:34):
That's huge because the, the bar is pretty low to enter the industry, but this work is so important that you have to take it on yourself to learn how to do it. cause the states don't always provide that training. You have to go above and beyond in the education piece to figure it out and to do it right. Cause people are relying on you.

Selecia Young-Jones (22:52):
Right. As I had first started being a notary, like kind of in the very beginning, I was still doing a little driving for a black car service and I was driving an attorney their client his, his secretary down to a place to go do a deposition because apparently somebody had notarized something for the deceased you know, and things were not quite right. And you know, the woman saying he would've never signed this and you know, I really don't know how it turned out, but I just said go after the notary, you know, go after the notary because you know, I have to, you know, as a notary, I have to make sure that Mrs. Johnson is of, you know, somewhat sound Mrs. Johnson can tell me what day it is and what's her birthday and where we are and what we're doing. But Ms. Johnson can't tell me any of those things, Ms. Johnson shouldn't be signed. And you know, I, I, I hear this, you know, they wanted me to do so and so, and you know, I thought it was okay. Uhuh goes back to that white hats.

Bill Soroka (23:56):
How do you in particular have, the find the courage to say no, because I know a lot of notaries they're afraid of not being liked or, or just causing a rift here, but you've been faced with some weird situations. How do you find the courage to say no? Well,

Selecia Young-Jones (24:17):
I, you know, sometimes I, I play with a little bit of humor and I say, now you don't want them to call the notary police on me, do you? No, we cannot know who we do not want the notary police on Selecia, which, you know, in reality that would be the secretary of state, but they don't need to know that and whatever, but, you know, you can kind of, you know, do it with a little bit of humor and say, you know, the notary police will come after me. And I, you know, I just can't do that. Absolutely.

Bill Soroka (24:41):
A unique approach. I've never even thought of that myself. I like that. It's it's drawing a line, but it's also not too in your face or accusatory. Right,

Selecia Young-Jones (24:54):
Right. Yeah. I can't, the notary police will come after me.

Bill Soroka (24:56):
All right. Excellent. So let's move into it's a similar realm too, cause I know you for your Remote Online Notarization, RON is legal in the state of Florida, your particular niche though are one of the niches that you've created with this is the expatriate community or known as the expat community across the world in Mexico in particular, right?

Selecia Young-Jones (25:20):
Yeah. Yeah. So what, what, what is, what is that ask the guy as a, well, why do you Rob banks? Cause that's where they keep the money, you know, so why do I go to Mexico? Because it's the largest expat community in the world? You say, well, I go after the expat Selecia my sister actually happens to live in the Lakeside area, i.e. just south of Guadalajara. And it it's a huge expat community. And so even though you might not live in the United States anymore, you still have business in the United States, you still have your Bank of America, 401k, you still have your Schwab account. You still have a house to sell in Oregon. You still got your, your kids' account that's in Illinois, whatever where, whatever it is, you still have, you know, some connection to the U.S.. So I've been going down there for 20 years plus. And so I know a ton of people down there. I mean, I can give you directions of how to get to where and where and where. I mean, I'm on, I'm on a lot of the groups down there on Facebook. And so that was, you know, where I started doing the RON thing.

Bill Soroka (26:25):
How's it working out.

Selecia Young-Jones (26:27):
Good, good. You know, of course with Remote Online Notary convincing people in the first place that it's legal is, is a, is a, a hurdle enough to handle you know, it started, this thing started about 2010 in Virginia and you know, the pandemic was coming along. And I remember talking with my friend herb in, in 2019 and I was like, you know, I don't know about this. It's just like, I, I don't know about doing RON it's just like, I just do personable. I like, you know, live and in person stuff. And then of course along comes COVID 19 in 2020, and that changed the landscape of everything. And then when you realize that you could notarize for somebody across the street or around the world and it, it, it just really escalated even to the point where many, many states did some emergency stuff, which has since, you know, been pulled back and now you know, I, I love doing RON. I, I, I trust it, I believe in it. I think it's secure. And and I, and I just think it's just so accessible.

Bill Soroka (27:30):
I love that you love it so much. And you've built a,I a business around this. How do you get more customers?

Selecia Young-Jones (27:37):
I, you know, of course, you know, the, the, the Google thing, the Google thing helps, you know, having your website optimized, having your Google business pages optimized. But I, I advertise in expat newspapers. I advertise in expat Facebook groups. I advertise, you know, that, that, that's, that's what I do. I mean, actually buy advertisements

Bill Soroka (27:59):
Brilliant.

Selecia Young-Jones (28:00):
In their, you know, in their you know, directories or, you know,

Bill Soroka (28:07):
And it sounds like too, you're getting dialed in now. It just so happens that your sister lives in an expat community. You're used to going down there. So you have some knowledge of that, but people could do this without that level of sure. Intimate knowledge, right. You could pick one out in Spain or Greece or Italy or wherever you want a community and get into the Facebook expat communities and add value, participate in the conversations, add value, right?

Selecia Young-Jones (28:35):
Yeah. Reach what you know, that's exactly, that's it.

Bill Soroka (28:38):
I love it. So there's some the other unique feature that you bring to the industry that I, I absolutely love and I'm so intrigued about, and I can't wait to visit it. Is your wedding location, your venue well in, how did this happen?

New Speaker (28:56):
You know, when you're a, when you're a notary in Florida, the South Carolina and Maine, and a couple more beaded, you're automatically a wedding officiant. So by the power vested in me, by the virtue of the laws of the state of Florida, it is my honor privilege and delight, and you have that power. And so I've been doing the weddings and a friend of mine had a little cafe, has a little cafe across the street from the Duval county courthouse. And there had been a different guy in there and they parted ways and she sent me a little Facebook message and said, Hey did you want to come in here as a, you know, the way this, you know, for a little, little wedding chapel deal. So I said yes, and jumped right on it. And of course I, I've never done anything like this before in my life. But I dove in, and since I'm already Rainbow Notary Nuptials Network, where now the rainbow wedding chapel, so I've got this little, you know, setup and I'm right across the street from the Duval county courthouse. And I've got a little, you know, I've give 'em a little you know, certificate a little, you know, color certificate. Let's see you, everybody else can't see us, but you can. So they get a little certificate.

Bill Soroka (30:07):
Oh, beautiful.

Selecia Young-Jones (30:09):
And you know, a little gold seal and everything. And I do photographs and they, and I two little separate backgrounds, I've got a a beach background and I have a garden background. So you can come to the, you know, and you never get wet. You never get, never worry about your hair.

Bill Soroka (30:25):
That's so awesome. Now you carved out a particular niche for the type of wedding ceremony that you deliver too, right?

Selecia Young-Jones (30:36):
Well, it's a, it's a $100 wedding ceremony. You get the photos, you get the ceremony, you get the certificate and you get married.

Bill Soroka (30:44):
100 bucks, no nonsense, but lots of fun. I absolutely love that.

Selecia Young-Jones (30:50):
And, you know, sometimes we marry people in flip flops and t-shirts and tennis shoes, and sometimes they're in evening gowns. Sometimes they're in beautiful sauris and fabulous attire, you know, ind, I had an Indian wedding one time and even you know, in my, in my little saying that I always like, sometimes it'll be, you know, mom and dad are coming with the girl and the young guy or whatever. And I say to dad, well, I just saved you 30 grand dad. . And he says, yes, you did. Thanks. and I usually, that's usually just sort of a line that I say, oh, I just saved you 30 grand. And then I said that to one of my couples that I married recently, and they had actually had their wedding celebration and they were an India Indian couple down in Orlando. But of course wasn't the legal part, you know, that's the part we do if we make it legal. And he says, she said, oh no, Selecia, it was $300,000.

Bill Soroka (31:42):
Oh my gosh.

Selecia Young-Jones (31:43):
But they were still coming to me for their $100, make it legal wedding.

Bill Soroka (31:47):
Wow. That's pretty incredible. Now, what do you, what advice do you have to Florida notaries or even no, there isn't any state because in any state, yes. With a little extra steps, you can be a wedding officiant, but a lot of the time I find notaries overthink it, or they're afraid of it. What, what advice do you have?

Selecia Young-Jones (32:07):
Well, being a wedding officiant is a ton of fun because let's face it. That's some good loving stuff. And you get to meet the people. You know, you get to hear a little bit about them. You get, hear about their lives. You know, you, I mean, I like to make it personable and personal. You know, when you create their vows and you know, what are you wearing? What are your colors well, who all's going to be there? Well is moms and dads, brothers, and sisters, you know, and you, you engage the person you know, know of, of what, you know, cause this here's the truth. This is a very special moment in their lives. Anytime you need a notary, it's very special. Anytime you need a wedding officiant, this is one of the most special moments in someone's life. And I, I don't care whether you are in t-shirts and tennis shoes, or if you're in tuxedos and, and diamonds and, and rhinestones and evening gowns, this is it. You're the prince, the princess, this is your day. This is your moment. You're marrying the person you love and you deserve to be treated with the utmost highest respect and dignity in this very special moment.

Bill Soroka (33:18):
That's the kind of respect for the role that you play. I think that we all need, I love hearing that and I love that you've tapped into this about how long is your average ceremony?

Selecia Young-Jones (33:30):
Well, it's really funny. I have a couple of them because some people don't want to go through all the, I call it rigamarole.. It really takes about 12 minutes, 10 to 12 minutes to do a proper ceremony. I say proper with rings and a, you know, a couple nice little words, but I also have crafted one called married in a minute

Bill Soroka (33:47):
 

Selecia Young-Jones (33:49):
And married in a minute. Does all of the, you know, like our notarial acts, all those things that have to be in there. Well, I do all those things in a minute that have to be in there too, make it legal. So married in a minute or 10 or 12 minutes.

Bill Soroka (34:03):
That is, I, I love that you offer the flexibility that your customers want. Now recently, and I'm trying to remember what day that was. Was it May 4th or was it February 20?

Selecia Young-Jones (34:15):
Yeah. Yeah. May the fourth star wars day.

Bill Soroka (34:18):
You have a star wars wedding.

Selecia Young-Jones (34:20):
I had a star wars wedding at the Kennedy space center. It was amazing with you know Beba fit with storm troopers with, I mean, it's, I mean, I'm getting tingly skin just thinking about I'm just getting tingles. Because it was, it was magical. It really was.

Bill Soroka (34:43):
I love seeing your pictures from that. And that's I, again, just another demonstration of being a part of somebody's really special day. Now, I think it was February 22nd, 2022, the numbers day. You did an insane amount of weddings that day, right?

Selecia Young-Jones (35:00):
22 plus 2. 24 weddings that day

Bill Soroka (35:05):
24 weddings in one day.

Selecia Young-Jones (35:06):
And it wasn't just me. I had, I had two other, two others helping me. Glen helped me. Sean helped me. Yeah.

Bill Soroka (35:12):
Wow.

Selecia Young-Jones (35:13):
Yeah.

Bill Soroka (35:13):
That's an easy date to remember so I can understand why so many people were trying to get married that day.

Selecia Young-Jones (35:19):
Yeah, they do. And yeah, people are funny about, they love those numbers. They, they love those numbers that wasn't, I mean, two 14 was a little, little bit of a let down. I think it was only like eight or, and then out of the blue, like one day, like may the third or something out of the blue, I had nine walk-ins one day. No reason.

Bill Soroka (35:37):
Let's talk about, let's talk about your physical location. I know this is a question for on the minds of a lot of notaries, but what's the upsides and the downsides to having your physical location,

Selecia Young-Jones (35:50):
Having the upsides and downsides of having a physical location are well you're there. And you know, because you're walk in and of course you have, have reservations of course, as well. And you're just there, but you're in a downtown setting, you know, sometimes things can get a little interesting downtown. You have some interesting characters we're right across the street from the courthouse. Sometimes there's a couple of parades or sometimes there's a couple of protests. You never know which. But being, being there is, is really, I think more plus than minus, you know you know, just an idea. If you can find a little storefront, a little something like I've got where I'm in with another business, and now I can kind of recommend that as a, a way to go and, and, and serve your community. cause cause now I can do onsite notary work. I know that's always a big question about, well, why won't people come into my house?

Bill Soroka (36:38):
Yeah. that's was going to be my next question. So you at this facility you can do notary, you can do weddings and then do you operate your Remote Online Notarizations from that location as well.

Selecia Young-Jones (36:51):
You Better believe it.

Bill Soroka (36:52):
I love it.

Selecia Young-Jones (36:53):
I mean, I've got my little headset and it goes on and I've got my little computer and there I go.

New Speaker (36:59):
Selecia, this has been awesome talking with you and I love just being a part of your journey. Like I said, in the very beginning, I think you're on your way to doing some huge things for our notary community. And I can't wait to see how Rainbow Notary And Nuptials starts growing beyond the borders of Florida. Has it already?

Selecia Young-Jones (37:21):
Well, I did talk with Judy Lawrence when we were at we were at the NNA. Yeah. She said, I'm going to be your wedding in Philly. And so we, you know, the, the opportunity is there because I think the branding is there. Yeah. You know, I actually had a couple come in right before, before we did this and I was, I was at the chapel and I actually Chevon's there for me this afternoon so that I can do this. And you know, even though we are the rainbow and it's really funny, it's like, do you only marry gay couples? And it's like, no, we marry everyone with a valid marriage license boys and boys, girls and girls, boys and girls, tall people, old people, short people, black people, white people, Asian people, all people with a valid marriage license is who we marry. And I will say this one thing, I mean, this is 2022. And, and even today it hasn't been in a while, but last year I still get calls. Well, my fiance's black and I'm white. Is that going to be okay? Cause we've had three people say no. I mean, it, it just, it breaks my heart that, you know, people do this. Yeah. You know, if you have a legal, valid marriage license, I will marry you.

Bill Soroka (38:32):
I love that weddings with an open heart, open mind,

Selecia Young-Jones (38:36):
Marrying everyone under the rainbow,

Bill Soroka (38:37):
Marrying everybody under the rainbow, Selecia, such an inspiration as we close out, I wonder what advice you have for a notary right now in this market. Right? Things have shifted the loan signings especially have plummeted, right? Yeah. What is it?

Selecia Young-Jones (38:56):
The cream rises to the top. The people that are studying the people that are looking, the people that are working on their Google My Business page, the people that are taking extra classes, the people that are expanding, the people that are doing, Apostille, the people that are doing anything. But I mean, when you stop and think about it, God, I wish there were 40 hours in a day. When I think of all of the people who need notary, it's enormous, you know, and all of that, you know, easy catching of the loan signing and whatever. And I'm going to get 175% times a day. And I say, okay, great, good for you. But if that dries up, what are you going to do? Okay. You need to be able to do something different. You need to be able to do weddings. You need to be able to do a property inspections.

Selecia Young-Jones (39:44):
You need to be able to do, go take pictures for somebody that wants, do something, you know, but why do they come to a notary? You know, why they come to a notary? Cause they know you're honest. They know, you know what you're doing. They know you're reliable and dependable. And like I said, anybody can get a driver's license 16, but not everybody can drive around that race car track at 215 miles an hour. Make yourself be that person that can grab that wheel and go. And you're going to do that by taking extra classes, you know, watching every webinar you can you know, you know, learn from Bill, learn from, you know, the Mark Wills learn from the Lauras, you know, do those state specific things, make yourself the expert, make yourself the entity, make yourself the go-to excellent. That's what's going to that's what's going to separate that's what's going to separate the steering wheel holders from the real drivers.

Bill Soroka (40:34):
That is excellent advice. I, I love that. You talked about our credentials, we're credentialed professionals. So within our industry and beyond people, look to us where as a, in a position of trust. And I think the, what I would add to your excellent advice is then to also protect yourself from the naysayers, especially in some of the Facebook groups right now, you might have to remove yourself from them. You have to keep your blinders… Unfollow,

Selecia Young-Jones (41:02):
Unfollow, unfollow,

Bill Soroka (41:03):
Unfollow, unfollow. Look, there's a lot of scared people in the marketplace right now. And when people act from fear, they tend to catastrophize everything else that's going on. But guys, I have talked to notaries that have had their best months ever without it having a single loan signing in the month because they did, they got serious about specialty notary work. They got serious about their Search Engine Optimization and Google Business Profile and started cultivating relationships. This…

Selecia Young-Jones (41:33):
Riches are in the niches. And right there and it's, it's out there. I mean, I, I did a general notary job yesterday at a, at a location that I didn't even know it existed. Somebody from Georgia had contacted me. So there you go. That tells me that lets me know that somebody from Atlanta, Georgia did a Google search and they called me good sign to go take care of their their documents. Let, let me just say this one thing. Anytime anybody, anywhere needs a notary, this is the truth. It is a life-changing event for them. And people don't realize, I mean they think, oh, I just need this. I just need this sign. No, no, no, no. Anytime anyone needs a notary. It is a life changing event for them. Yesterday, the sister had died and the mother, actually grandmother was giving permission for this other sister to adopt the child. Don't tell me that's not a life-changing event.

Bill Soroka (42:36):
Yeah.

Selecia Young-Jones (42:38):
You know, even if you buy a boat, sell a boat, buy a car, sell a car, buy a house, sell a car, you know, all, all of it. When you need a notary, if you are to the point where you need a notary for any kind of thing, it is a life changing event; wills, power of attorneys. And I think people want to maybe you know, minimize what we are and what we do, but that is the truth.

Bill Soroka (43:04):
That is so true. You gotta have a reverence for this, this role that we play, cause we do, we meet people on their best day, but very, oftentimes it can be on their worst day. And it does, it ultimately changes their lives or the course of their lives for sure. Mm-Hmm Selecia, thank you so much for joining me and sharing so much of your wisdom to the notary community. Thank you.

Selecia Young-Jones (43:26):
Well, I, I appreciate it Bill. And if anybody, you know, wants to reach out to me, ask me any questions. I am always open. And just more, more than happy to, to, to help someone.

Bill Soroka (43:38):
Thank you so much. And of course I'll put the link to your website down below. I believe it is rainbownotaryandnuptials.com. Is that correct?

Selecia Young-Jones (43:47):
That is correct.

Bill Soroka (43:48):
And guys, if you want to check out a chat bot and action, cause Selecia blazing the trail again, she has a chat bot that helps answer customer questions on her website. Super cool. Selecia, thank you so much for being here.

Selecia Young-Jones (44:03):
Man. Thank you so much. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Bill Soroka (44:06):
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Sign And Thrive podcast for notaries brought to you by the notary E journal. Notaries that are diligent about compliance and committed to customer service, our loving this journal. Here's what Danielle has to say.

Speaker 4 (44:22):
Hi, I'm Danielle a notary signing agent in California, exclusively using notary E Journal since August, 2020. My favorite features are those that make the process more officiant while remaining diligent about compliance. Scanning the information off the signer's ID ensures accuracy, commonly notarized documents are preloaded and searchable, which speeds along the process and allows me to focus on compliance and service without sacrificing record keeping the notary E journal has enhanced my productivity and allowed me to provide better service.

Bill Soroka (44:51):
Did you catch that? Commonly used document titles are preloaded and searchable. It's another awesome feature that helps notaries be more efficient at the signing table, especially when you're handling mortgage loan or estate planning packages, check out some of those preloaded documents in the notary E journal for yourself. Try it for just a dollar at notarycoach.com./ejournal.

--- End of Transcription ---

Bill

 

This episode was produced and marketed by the Get Known Service
Intro music provided courtesy of Fan Fiqtion

 

This episode was produced and marketed by the Get Known Service

This episode was produced and marketed by the Get Known Service
Intro music provided courtesy of Fan Fiqtion

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