"Hope" For the Future of Your Notary Business

May 30, 2022

Sue Hope lives into her name on this episode of the Sign & Thrive Notary Podcast. A Notary Public since 1999, Hope has ridden the roller coaster of this business, and as founder of the epic bookkeeping software, NotaryAssist, she's observed the habits and strategies of Notaries across the country that thrive in all sorts of economic conditions.

Guest Information:

Sue Hope is the Small Business Owner of NotaryAssist Software which opened in 2007. She's also a Commissioned Notary Public in CA since 1999, a Loan Signing Agent, & Realtor in California since 2000. Her Love of the Notary Community shines through in just about everything she does! She also happens to love learning, collaborating and not sitting still in work or in life. She's a Daughter, Wife, Mother and Friend. And, oh yeah, she really likes wine!

Connect with Sue and try your free trial of Notary Assist software at www.NotaryAssist.com - [email protected] - Tech Support # 949-713-3570
Episode Highlights:

21:11 Be the willow in the wind - be flexible, bend when appropriate, and adapt to your circumstances. Being too rigid damages relationships (and your spirit) and may lead to missed opportunities.

28:24 Sometimes the relationships we have with our signers last ten minutes, and sometimes they last ten years. Be open to the possibilities and just be you!

40:11 Stake your claim and build the business you WANT to work in every day. Whether done in flip-flops or a tweed suit, there's a brand niche to carve for yourself if you simply own it.

--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---

Bill Soroka (00:23):
Today's guest is Sue Hope. She's a seasoned, well seasoned notary signing agent from, who'd started her career as a notary in 1999. Sue, thank you so much for being here.

Sue Hope (01:26):
Oh my gosh. I'm so excited to be here. This is so cool. I'm, I've never done this. So this is a first for me. I'm excited. This is great.

Bill Soroka (01:33):
Oh My gosh. This is your first podcast?

Sue Hope (01:35):
My first podcast, my, this is my rookie experience, so weeeee! .

Bill Soroka (01:40):
Well, I'm so glad. It's an honor to be your first. Thank you for being on this. I know most people in the notary community know you as the owner and founder of Notary Assist, the bookkeeping software that notaries have come to rely on to keep themselves organized.

Sue Hope (02:03):
Yeah, I mean, it's, it's so exciting. I, it's so important to have somewhere to put all of your data in, right? And we just tried to make something easy so that you could get it done and get on your way, cause hon, honestly, I really don't know that many people that really love bookkeeping. Really don't think that's their whole intention when they go into being a notary. That's not what they want to work on all the time. So we tried to make it easy, straightforward, get in, get out, get on your way, but you have great data to refer back to so that you can be efficient and time management as best possible.

Bill Soroka (02:42):
Yeah. and now you've got 15 years of experience with this software. It's, I know it's gone through several different generat, generations and evolutions,

Sue Hope (02:54):
All sorts of stuff.

Bill Soroka (02:55):
All sort sorts of stuff. And it's, every day I talk to notaries that just love working with the Notary Assist software because it gives people, I think the real gift is peace of mind just knowing that they've got all their ducks in a row, the reporting, knowing the pulse of their business, right? Like, are they making money? Are they not those types of things, Right?

Sue Hope (03:22):
Yeah. Key key questions, right? You you're doing this to make money. Usually this is you get into any business to be productive and to be good at it. And you want to know if you're making money or if you're not, you need to know these questions. You need to know, you need to know what you should spend your time doing, where you should allocate your resources and Notary Assist helps you do that helps you see clearly how many jobs you've done in a month, how much money you're making in a month, how many types of notarizations have you done in a month. And, and that's just the beginning. I mean, it's so multi-level that the better information you put into it, the better information you get out of it, and it really helps you see clearly how to keep your business productive.

Bill Soroka (04:14):
Yeah. What do you say to notaries like me who were completely resistant to staying up on bookkeeping,

Sue Hope (04:26):
, you're not alone. And there's no judging, okay?

Bill Soroka (04:31):
Just judgment free zone here on tjis podcast.

Sue Hope (04:34):
Judgement free zone. I mean, everybody does their bookkeeping differently. It's just like you run your business differently. So there's no one size fits all. What works for one person may not work for you. So you have to do what works for you. What we try to do is give you the tools to allow you to do that as easily and with as little confusion and complication as possible. So keeping it simple is our huge factor for us.

Sue Hope (05:03):
If you want to do bookkeeping every single day at the end of every single day, you can, if you want to do bookkeeping at the end of the year, you can. It's, it's available. If you want to do bookkeeping at the end of five years, you can. , I don't recommend after five years, but you know, whatever works for you, if, if you want to do it every day, every week, every month, every quarter, every year you have the flexibility to set that up and, and do it the way that works best for you. Because honestly you have to listen to yourself. If this is what works for you, that keeps you more calm, that keeps you more relaxed so that you can focus on what's important for you to drive your business. So that was, that's what works for you. So we try to give you a product that is flexible, that will do and work with you as a great tool in your tool belt.

Bill Soroka (05:56):
I, I love the flexibility that you describe here. And I think we have to be careful listening to ourself, right? Cause I'm really good at justifying not doing any bookkeeping ever in my life. I was really good at it. . I would hope that if, if anything gets takes away from this conversation is that you've got to have a system. Learn from my mistakes in my lessons here. And that's why I advocated for, well, what brought me peace of mind, Sue, was doing the bookkeeping after every single appointment. I just, I made that part of the button up for every single appointment and that changed my life. Then I didn't have to worry about it. Cause I was full of crap. I would say, you know what, I'm going to do 12 appointments, and then I'm going to go home and I'm going to put my feet up on the ottoman and I'm going to do my bookkeeping at nine o'clock at night. That was BS.

Sue Hope (06:51):
Not happening, not usually

Bill Soroka (06:52):
Not happening. And the the coming up with a system for that changed everything. And what I love about Notary Assist is that it was, it worked well on the fly and it's a, it now works even better on the fly. And we're going to get a chance to talk about your new app here in just a second.

Sue Hope (07:11):
Yay. I know. I mean, it's crazy. You, you have to, you have to be able to have a system that works for you. And whether it's taking time at the end of each appointment, sometimes now you'll be able to enter things on the road even easier. The, the whole goal is to, for us. I think what sets us apart is we listen to our users. We have a user base that we've been growing since 2007, and that's a lot of feedback and that feedback is so valuable. Because you're out there doing everything. I am too, but my system is different. Like I just said, my system is different than Bill's system or Jen system or Laura's system. Whoever is using it. Each person is different. So you have to listen to the users that are out there and believe it or not, they come up with amazing ideas and suggestions and I'm like, Ooh, that's awesome. How do we incorporate that?

Sue Hope (08:08):
And by far, our biggest ask was for mobile app a, a better mobile experience. Cause when we built Notary Assist, it was on your computer. That's it? We didn't ha, I mean, it had a, it had a CD drive who has a CD drive on their computer anymore. It's hardly, you know, technology's moving so fast. You have to stay up with it. So thinking of all the iterations and the revisions and the things that we've done, that's thanks to all of our users. They've inspired us to do and to keep moving the, the bar higher and higher so that we can help you grow consistently. You're never staying still. That's the one thing in life. You never, nothing stays the same. It's constantly moving.

Bill Soroka (08:52):
That's true. And if you're not growing, you're dying, right?

Sue Hope (08:55):
Yeah. Left behind. Yeah, exactly.

Bill Soroka (08:57):
Yeah, exactly. Well, let's, let's dive into that a little bit more on the, on the new app. I remember talking to you about having your, the app on the radar, you know probably three years ago, then two years and then knew you guys were building something really cool. And now it's finally here and ready for launch.

Sue Hope (09:16):
Yay. We're so excited. It's been a process. And let me tell you, every construction is a process. You, whether it's brick and mortar or colons, back slashes, zeros and ones. It, it takes so much more time than you even expect. So you have to be prepared for the, the long haul. It's not a sprint. You make little sprints, so you set goals and you, you work really, really, really hard to get to that goal. And then you test test, test, and then you set up another sprint and we call that sprinting in development. And you work really, really, really hard. But if you keep working the whole time with your head down at that fast pace, you're going to burn out. And you're not going to get as productive code. So you can kind of relay this information to your business too. So you're constantly setting goals for yourself and you work really, really, really hard. Get to that goal.

Sue Hope (10:09):
Then give yourself some, some grace, give yourself some down downtime, take a deep breath, clarity, and then, you know, think about what the next step is. Okay. Then set all those dots in motion and achieve every single dot and then take a breath again. And that's part of why it takes a long time, but that also gives you the opportunity to find mistakes, to analyze what's going on, to see if there's a hiccup. I mean, the environment can change in on your path, along your pathway too. So you have to be flexible to be adjusting along the way. And hopefully it comes out with a great result at the end that you're super proud of and super ready to share with everyone like we are. I mean, it's, it's been a, it's been a learning, it's been a learning journey. We've never built mobile apps before on a mobile platform. So we've always done internet based or desktop based or web based applications. But this was our first dive into the mobile application experience. And so it was a great learning curve. We've had a lot of great teamwork and we're super excited to share both on Android and apple. So we're super jazzed.

Bill Soroka (11:22):
I, I love, I bet you are. And I can tell that you are and I love that you've taken this on, even when it was clearly outside of your comfort zone in constructing this how did you, the, one of the things I admire about you and Notary Assist and your entire team over there is that you're clearly committed to quality products. And I think part of that is like we talked about, even before you, we started recording was the perfectionism demon that you have. How do you, how do you overcome perfectionism in delivering a product?

Sue Hope (12:00):
Oh, that's tough. It's really hard. And that's, that's something that I don't think I'll ever be perfect at nor will our team. It's a practice. So you do have to set goals. So you make a specific set of details or what the, what is it going to do? What does it have to do? You identify these specific bookmarks so that you can build them. So then you build them, then you have to build an interface on it that we think will look good to the user. So there's two, there's two interfaces. There's, what's behind the scenes that we see and that our development team sees. And then there's what we see as users. And so there's a lot of building, there's a lot of researching colors researching what's good for the palette. There's a lot of research, you know, so, and then you can doubt yourself the entire time.

Sue Hope (13:01):
I mean, I'm like, ooh, what if they don't like that? Ooh, I don't know about that button. Does that button the right size? What if I fat finger that on a mobile device? Do I have to use a stylist? That's not going to work well. I want this to work well for my mature notaries all the way down to my very beginner notaries that are super savvy on a mobile experience. But you gotta cover the gait everywhere in between. And I just use my hands, sorry. I was supposed to not use my hand. Cause this is audio only. So you can't see what I'm doing, but….

Bill Soroka (13:29):
I got it full spectrum, full spectrum,

Sue Hope (13:32):
Full, full gamut, full array. And so you, you start doubting yourself, but at some point in time, you have to be okay, I've built it. I've gotta get it out there. I've just gotta do it. You gotta put that fear or that doubt that anxiety aside and just get it to the release mode. And then what I tell myself is that we're not committed to this. If it's not liked, we can make adjustments we've built in parameters to make pivots and turns because that's how software has to be. It has to be flexible, not everybody's going to like it. And that, you have to be okay with not everybody liking it too. And that's hard. Critics are hard. But at the same time you learn from them. So every failure is a learning experience. So we just do the best we can to give the best quality we can and we hope you enjoy it. yeah, But we're almost open to learning and hearing your feedback. So cause that makes us better. Ultimately

Bill Soroka (14:34):
I think that's a very healthy way of looking at feedback as well. How long does it take you to get to the point where you can release something to the world and then not take it personally when you do get negative feedback?

Sue Hope (14:48):
I think on some level you always take it personally because you're proud of it and you've been working on it and you've put that kind of effort into it. So anytime you hear something that isn't a rave review, you're going to feel a little disappointed. You're going to you're, that, and I think that's totally normal and that's a feeling, it's that's natural. But you also have to get to a point where I'm happy with who I am or what we have done and I'm okay with that. And that's cool because that's, what's so awesome about all of us. We're all different and we don't see everything the same way. I mean, how boring would that be if everybody saw everything the same way? So I think it's wonderful that we are all unique. We all have our own unique way of looking at things and that's what makes my world so bright and vivid with different colors because it's a blend of everything.

Bill Soroka (15:44):
Hmm. Love your perspective. Sue and I, I love even more that what you're creating here comes from your experience as a mobile notary and loan signing agent. So you bring that level of experience to this. And I want to tap into some of that experience a little bit too. But one of the reasons I'm so proud to have you as part of the Notary Business Builder, Our Advanced Notary Mastermind, it, with Notary Assist software is what I think is really the important part of having your ducks in a row, having your book keeping tucked away is that it frees up your mind and your time to do the things that you want to do, either enjoy your life, so you don't start resenting your business or do client getting production activities that helps create a business that's going to last, no matter what the economy is doing, right?

Sue Hope (16:38):
Oh, exactly. Exactly. I mean, I don't think most notaries got into being a business because they love bookkeeping. There's some amazing bookkeepers out there and accountants and God love them because we need them. And the rules for accounting change all the time and how do you keep up with all that and the tax codes and stuff like that. So those tax preparers, those tax professionals, we love you. So shout out to all of them. But for everybody that's not so sure about their numbers and not so sure that they really like accounting, you want to have it so it's tucked away, put away in, out, get on your way so you can focus on what you really, really love. And almost consistently most of the notaries I talk to on a daily basis, they love helping people. It's like our common thread. We all love, I love Laura says it best.

Sue Hope (17:30):
We are the hinges for huge doors to swing open. And I love that perspective and I've taken that many, many times. We can do things for our public, our community that nobody else can. So that's pretty cool. And to be able to do that and see whether we're helping somebody get their home for the first time, adopt a child you know, or tidy up things when it's not so pleasant. We're, we're sometimes the, the peace of mind when people have gone through a hard time as well. So and everything in between. And I think what notaries love is being able to help people and be out there when you're behind the computer, putting in your accounting and how many appointments you did and your calendar, that's not helping, but it's helping us so that we can free up our time so that we can do what we absolutely love. So…

Bill Soroka (18:21):
Yeah, it's, it's a necessary component to run in your business and it should be done efficiently. So you can do exactly that. We can, this work matters. So if we want to do the work or if we want to kick butt at this business and then go out and enjoy it with the people we love, that's okay too. We don't want to be stuck at, in our home office at 10:00 PM, every night, processing receipts and invoices and doing all that. That's not how you start to love your business. But then the other side of it is whatever you're, whatever you're spending your time on you're not spending your time on something else. So if you are spending hours a week, a month, or at the end of the year, doing your bookkeeping, that means you're not cultivating relationships. You're not putting feelers out, you're probably not attending networking events or peer networking or client events, types of things. And that's what I want to ask you about next. You've got some perspective on this industry. You've been around for a few years since 1990, only who first got your notary commission. You've seen some things, you've seen some things. Yeah. So…..

Sue Hope (19:33):
Good, bad.

Bill Soroka (19:34):
all up and down, right. I mean, that's a, that was quite a spectrum there. Yeah. So over the course of the years, what have you seen that notaries do to create a business that sustains even in that roller coaster of economy?

Sue Hope (19:51):
Well , first of all, they almost always have a roll cage and a helmet on to weather, any storm. But no seriously flexibility and diversification of revenue streams. When you put your, when you specialize in multiple different avenues for revenue, you're much more likely to whether economic changes, law changes and anything in between. So or a pandemic, I mean, hello everything changes. And, so being flexible and having these wonderful relationships and, and every time you go on an appointment, you have an opportunity to make a relationship. It may not be the next great relationship that at that signing table, but you never know who you meet. Like you say, bill all the time. It's an opportunity to have a conversation and that conversation could lose, move into another conversation and oh, by the way, you like this.

Sue Hope (20:56):
Oh, I do too. So you never know, but diversifying and being open and receiving and accepting of changes that are around you, sometimes it's not easy to make changes. Like in the pandemic, it's not easy to make changes and to not be able to do things the way we used to, but being able to identify what needs to be changed and make it as smooth as possible or accept it. I always take the Willow in the wind. If the wind is whipping, be the Willow that bends, don't try to be rigid against it because that tree's going to knock over. Try to be flexible as open-minded, as you can be helps you weather any storm that could be coming. And that's not to say that it's not going to hurt batter you up a little bit. It might be, you know, stressful, but at the end, you, you weathered the storm and you probably grew from it.

Sue Hope (21:56):
So you learned something. So try to take that takeaway even from a negative, try to take a positive away from it. And as far as bookkeeping sides of things, knowing where you're spending your time and how you're spending your time, and is that time on that specific revenue stream generating the money that you need, knowing if I'm doing fingerprinting, did I get a, an ROI on that? If I'm doing real estate transaction, am I getting an ROI on that? And then if that changes, can I go into estate planning or something like that? So there's lots of things and we help you track all of your revenue streams and how many you do of each type and how much revenue you make in each type. Right? So that kind of helps you see, am I going in the right direction?

Bill Soroka (22:46):
I love that, but you're, you're throwing the acronyms. What's an ROI.

Sue Hope (22:50):
Oh, I'm so sorry. It's a return on investment. So if you're spending a lot of time and or money in one area, you want to make sure you're getting a return on that investment. So it could be, it could be financial return, but it could be also emotional or feeling good about yourself return. So it may not generate a dollar, but if you felt like you helped build a house for habitat for humanity and it makes you feel wonderful. And at the same time you built connections and networked with a whole group of individuals that you've never met before. That's an incredible ROI. So it doesn't necessarily have to be monetary, but it has to be some sort of positive return that you benefit. Yeah. So hopefully that helps.

Bill Soroka (23:37):
Yeah. Thank you so much for clarifying that. And I love that even though the software is called Notary Assist, that you have room for these additional revenue streams, and you mentioned fingerprinting, I'm wondering over the course of the, of the, of the years what are some of the most interesting diversified revenue streams that you've encountered?

Sue Hope (24:01):
Oh my gosh. I'm so glad you asked me that question. I just heard of one yesterday and it's incredible. I had no idea. So this is probably the most interesting I've ever heard. She is an extension for the DMV in California, and I go, what? And she said, I am a, she is basically like a AAA office. She can help register cars. She can help get tags. She can get you know, she can't do licenses, but she can do a lot of registrations; boats, RVs cars. And she does it out of her home. I was that, it was incredible to hear and the way she needed to track certain things was incredible to learn. And she uses Notary Assist and has done for years. And the way she uses Notary Assist is in a way I would've never come up with in my whole life, but it works for her. And she's a notary and she does, so she does this DMV extension, she does a steel work and she does general notary or specialty notary work. I was blown away by this whole, I was so interested in this whole DMV thing. I, we probably chatted for half an hour. It was incredible.

Bill Soroka (25:12):
I bet that is fascinating to me. And you got my wheels turned in again. I always assumed like in Arizona we have a lot of those extent, you know, DMV, private offices that do that stuff, but I always assumed you had to have a physical location. The fact that she can do that from her home is…..

Sue Hope (25:30):
She does physical location. She has a specific room in specific home that has a separate entry.

Bill Soroka (25:38):
Oh, cool.

Sue Hope (25:39):
I know.

Bill Soroka (25:40):
What will people think of next? I love asking that question.

Sue Hope (25:43):
I love it. It was so, I mean, I, I listened to lots of different phone calls and people are doing amazing things from, you know, courier work, where they actually just drive documents. They don't actually perform an iteration at all. They drive documents. It's amazing. Some of the things that people do; mystery shopping is another big one. I have a lot of mystery shoppers. And I'm like, really? This is incredible. I mean, I learned, I learned so much just answering the phone and communicating, so it's fantastic. I love it.

Bill Soroka (26:15):
One of the other things that you mentioned for creating stability over time is the openness in the conversations. You mentioned sometimes have, starting a conversation, leads to another conversation. And I think that opens up doors to opportunities, but I'm curious, did you, do you find that in your appointments or in the other notaries that you talk to, do these conversations lead to relationships that last beyond one single transaction? Do you end up with lifetime customers?

Sue Hope (26:51):
Sometimes? Absolutely. So as notaries, we can kind of get an idea who we're about to meet by the confirmation call. When we're calling to say, hey, I'm Sue, I'm going to be your notary. And I always tell people, be yourself. That's the best thing to do. Nobody else is like you. So be yourself. And when you are calling to confirm the appointment, you can almost always tell personalities over the phone. Now sometimes they're going to be at work and they can't really answer the phone. They're like, hello, you know, , I'm come. And I'm like, hi, I'm coming. And you know, I'm a little, I'm a little bubbly, bouncy yeah,

Bill Soroka (27:31):

Sue Hope (27:33):
A little bit of, and know it's not caffeinated. So

Sue Hope (27:38):
It caffeinated, I don't, if I could handle it caffeinated. But so I, you know, I'm myself and you can tell if somebody's a little bit more subdued or a little bit more mellow. And so you can kind of pick up that if you're in tune with the communication you're giving and receiving, you can set the tone for that appointment. And if I knock on the door and they're like, hi, welcome. You know, that's like, oh, this is great. I'm all excited. You know, I can have a nice little chit chat and I'm professional, but at the same time, I'm having conversation that makes things easier. Especially if people haven't been through these papers before, it's, you know, a nice way to calm them and to make them feel that they're being taken care of. And they can, you can kind of calm their nerves a little bit if they're a little anxious in the appointment.

Sue Hope (28:24):
Other times, it's like you just find the right person and you just have a chit chat. And all of a sudden you've learned all about their dog and their cat and that they're going on a trip in two weeks and how awesome. And, oh, by any, by any chance, do you do house sitting? I've literally even asked a house that after I went into an appointment, I'm like sure. You're like in Laguna beach, I'd be more than happy to house it for you. so, I mean so things can happen. It doesn't always happen that you have this relationship that goes on and on and on, but I've definitely had appointments where it'll build into, oh my gosh, my sister-in-law needs to do a refi in two weeks. I hope that I can give you or give her your card because you'd be perfect for her. So those kind of opportunities, so yeah. Being open, but I've definitely even had conversations that have led into that started with a hello that have lasted 10 years. So I, I I've had everything in between.

Bill Soroka (29:19):
yeah. I love that. I love that. And I, I can tell that you, you love this work too, and I think that's, I think that's part of our kindred spirit for sure. Plus the enthusiasm factor okay. So we talk about diversified revenue streams being open minded, recognizing opportunities, being resilient and adaptable, all huge, critical characteristics of success. And what about a notary's digital presence search engine optimization that, how does that play to success in long term success?

Sue Hope (30:01):
It's huge. I, I mean, think about when, in 1999. Oka. yes, I'm seasoned. I've got garlic, salt, salt, pepper. I'm in a nice crock pot here, so but in nine, you know, back when we started, we didn't have, you know, Facebook, we didn't have YouTube, we didn't have Instagram. You barely had a search engine and I think there was only one. You might have had, you've got mail. You know, I mean, that's how long ago so a lot of people have gotten started, so things change and, and being able to pivot and, and adjust has, is a real big part of that. And watching how social media has grown and it affects all of us. I mean, it touches all of us in some way, shape or form. Having a digital presence now is imperative. If you don't have a digital presence, it's going to be very difficult for you to be found.

Sue Hope (31:02):
Now I know that there's rural areas that are still, then there's smaller communities. Well, yeah, if you're in a small community, almost everybody knows you. I grew up in a small little town in upstate New York and, and it, it was, it's maybe 3000 people. So yeah, it's when you are in a small community, you may not need a digital footprint because everybody knows who you are. When you go into a metropolis like a Nashville or an LA or San Diego kind of thing, yeah, you might need to, to be found in, in an arena where there's a whole lot of other people that do what you do. So how do you stand out? Digital footprint is important. Search engine optimization or SEO helps communicate with these search engines that are all digital at artificial intelligence or AI. They have algorithms that go through and they scrape all of these digital platforms.

Sue Hope (31:57):
And they're trying to find commonality. They're trying to find consistency. They're trying to find what, where you are, what services you, you perform. So initiating a digital footprint across as many platforms as possible is imperative. And I've seen notaries go from what we call no man's land on Google. So if you know what, if you do a search on Google and it says Google at the bottom of the page, and it says G O and then it gives like 19 OHS. And then . So that's all the different pages of providers that you've just searched for that are returning. And most people are not going to go past page four and even four is tough. So

Bill Soroka (32:41):
Listen, it is for me,

Sue Hope (32:42):
You want to try and be in those, that first page and ultimately in those top three, and how do you get there? You have to be really good about keeping a digital presence and keeping it up to date

Bill Soroka (32:54):
And you, your team helps with that as well, right?

Sue Hope (32:59):
Yes. So we just launched in October of 2021, we launched a Search Engine Optimization Marketing Platform. And what we do is we basically try to help you navigate SEO easily. So kind of similar to what Notre assist does in the accounting side. We try to make it easy and get in, get out, get on your way. We're trying to take the same approach with SEO or search engine optimization. So we give a dashboard to the users where they can build a very robust profile and that profile is pushed across 50 plus platforms so that we help you establish if you don't have a digital platform, or if you haven't got it, a digital, sorry, digital presence, yet we help you establish a Google My Business page, which is imperative. I think it's free. It's free. If you're not sure of how to do it, we help you walk through establishing one.

Sue Hope (33:58):
If you have a Facebook business page we connect to that. If you haven't got one, we'll try and help you get one established because those two are pretty, they're pretty good at being hit by these search engines. So that, that gives the confidence to display that you have a business and that it's current and it's active. Then we build out all these different I think we have nine different segments of the platform that we help you build out to complete your profile. And we ask more questions than what Google My Business would ask. We ask more questions than Facebook would ask. And the reason we do that is we get the basic information. Yes. Just like all the other ones, but then we broaden it even more because when you're a notary, a mobile notary specifically, you may not want to use your brick and mortar address.

Sue Hope (34:50):
Okay. Because you don't necessarily have people coming to your home to do the notarial act, nor do you really want to advertise where you live. So we try to help you have a search area instead of a specific pin. So we ask you specifically, do you do zip code 1 23 to, you know, as we can, you can search by zip code, state, I'm sorry, zip code city or county. And goo, it's all tied into Google. So Google knows what zip codes are in each county. They know what state or what town, and you can put some of these towns. So like, if you're in a densely populated area, like a San Diego, for example, San Diego's big. So you want, you might want a smaller area. And like when locals are in a search area, they know of certain areas that Google knows too, like North Park.

Sue Hope (35:43):
Well, they know Google knows where north park is and locals know where no North Park is. It's in San Diego, but it's in a certain suburb of San Diego. So we try to help you actually focus on those little pockets so that you're going to show up in those pockets better than all of San Diego. It's a little big. So we try to help you hone in and be able to be found and to advertise the specific services that you offer in that community. So that when somebody sits down and says, I need a notary near me, you are more likely to be displayed on page one than page eight or nine. We want to do that for you. And we've had a lot of really good success with our notaries that have started to sign up for that program.

Bill Soroka (36:30):
Fantastic. Yeah. I've heard lots of positive feedback about that. And what's really blows my mind too, is so when you spend that much time helping a notary build out a really robust profile, how many platforms do you push that out to?

Sue Hope (36:44):
50 plus? And we say pit 50 plus, because we know of 50 that we push to, but then those 50 share with other platforms. So it's kind of like the waterfall effect. Once you get it out there, they share it with so many more. So you we've got the big ones like Bing, Cortana, Safari, Google, Chrome. I'm trying to think of all, Yelp Trip Advisor, you would name it, Google maps. There's, there's so many different search engines and we share them with all of them.

Bill Soroka (37:16):
Yeah. And I think what a service like you provide ,it really taps into the importance of that NAP right? The name, address, phone number. I think a lot of people discount the importance of that. Like just even having parentheses instead of dashes and your phone number, having the exact same format of your address on every single profile, everything mm-hmm, , all of that stuff makes a huge difference to the, to the AI. That's just reading this information. There's not a human being back there making a decision. Nope. That this matches that there's just a computer. That's doing all of that.

Sue Hope (37:49):
Exactly. And consistency is key. And so that's why when we have our dashboard, that's the gateway. So if you look at it from the perspective of, I walk in, here's where we're going to put all this information in and then we're going to push to everything else. So we push to your Google My Business page, we push to your, your Facebook business page, all these other platforms so that you can log in one time. Let's say you have a networking event next Saturday, and you're not going to be able to be open, cause you're normally open on Saturday. Well, you're going to be able to put special hours in for that Saturday and mark yourself closed so that you don't get your phone ringing on that Saturday or have your Calendarly appointment. You can actually kind of block yourself out. And we do that one time. You log in one time, fix it on our platform.

Sue Hope (38:36):
It pushes for you. So now you don't have to remember, oh gosh, I gotta log to Google. I gotta log to Yelp. I gotta log into Facebook. I gotta log into this to update my profile because I'm taking one day off to do a networking event. We do it one stop again. We want you to focus on what you really love, helping the community, networking, doing all those events. SEO can be overwhelming. There's a lot to know about it. And when sometimes if you can't understand it, I've seen this happen so many times. Notary's will just come in. I'm like, I don't have time for this. Throw their hand up. I gotta go. I gotta go to my appointment. I gotta print docs. I gotta leave. I can't do this. We're trying to help you get it in. You can sign in one change, save done. Now you're off to your appointment and you know, you've already updated your profile.

Bill Soroka (39:23):
I love it. Sue. I, the message comes across through your bookkeeping and your marketing services here that you bring, they bring the same thing. Peace of mind. It helps us just free up our minds so we're not stressed out about marketing. We know that we are, we stop shoulding all over ourselves, right? Like I know I should be doing this. We should be doing that. I should be doing my bookkeeping. I should be doing my SEO. So I think that's a, a true gift to the community. As we wrap up our conversation today, what advice, what final words of wisdom or advice do you have for a notary that's really passionate about what they they're doing here and wants to build a business that lasts no matter what's going on with interest rates and the economy?

Sue Hope (40:13):
Be yourself really just be yourself because there is a market for absolutely everyone. I said this the other day and I got a chuckle. You can be the flip flop notary because that's how you want to run your business. You want to be in flip flops and a t-shirt no problem. You know what? There is an audience for that. If you want to be the three piece suit notary, and you've got every piece of your suit on, there's an audience for that. Be yourself, find your lane and just embrace yourself because believe it or not, there's other people that will love that about you. So don't be afraid of that. What you're so nervous of, of everybody, not what if they don't like me? What if I don't do this? Well? What if, what if, what if. Honestly, there's other people thinking that exact same thing and that's your commonality. So know your laws, know what you love doing, be a constant sponge for education. Put yourself out there, be willing to try it. You never know it might stick. But if you didn't try, you'll never know. And then you'll get the, what if and nobody likes, what if so, just be yourself and, and have a great time with it and enjoy it.

Bill Soroka (41:31):
Excellent words of wisdom, Sue, thank you so much. I always love any amount of time I can hang out with you. So thank you for sharing your services, your commitment, your enthusiasm and your kindness with the notary community. Truly appreciate you,

Sue Hope (41:46):
Bill. I love you, dude. This is, you have been such an amazing asset to the notary world. I love how you always have the best interviews. You pull out the best of everybody. And I just love being around you. Thank you so much for having me.

Bill Soroka (42:01):
Ah, thank you so much. And if you are listening and you want to get in Sue's orbit and check out the Notary Assist software, you want to check out the new app, or if you want to check out that cool new marketing program, you can visit notaryassist.com. I'll have the links in the show notes as well as the Notary Assist, support email, and actually have a phone number that you can call and someone, a human being answers. And sometimes it's even Sue.

Sue Hope (42:29):
. That is true.  

Bill Soroka (42:33):
All right. Thank you again, Sue. We truly appreciate it. You guys have a great day.

Sue Hope (42:37):

Bill Soroka (42:38):
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 are loving this journal. Here's what Danielle has to say.

Speaker 4 (42:54):
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 efficient 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 (43:23):
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/E Journal.

--- End of Transcription ---



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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