Building an online presence with digital marketing creates a huge advantage for small and local companies. This is true for new or existing companies of any size. However, most large companies have already implemented digital marketing.
In this essay, I will describe how I started a part-time local business from scratch with little experience and a small marketing budget. I used various digital marketing techniques and some business cards I ordered online.
It all started in December of 2019 when my wife, her mother, and I went to our bank to get some documents notarized. To our surprise, the bank would not notarize life care planning documents. They suggested finding a mobile notary, and so we did. The mobile notary was able to meet us at a local business nearby, provide witnesses, and get all the documents notarized.
Since most mobile notaries are not full-time and do not generate large sums of revenue, they also do not invest much in digital marketing. I could see the opportunity and started researching how to become a notary public. I also checked out the competition in my area since this would be a local venture.
There are many platforms and tools available in digital marketing. Depending on your product or service some are more beneficial than others. For example, many products can use Instagram and video marketing with an e-commerce website to be successful. At the same time, some services might need more credibility or explanation through reviews and content.
The requirements to become a mobile notary in Arizona are minimal, but I wanted to get educated. I started with online training for both notary publics and loan signing agents. After completing my training and creating a business entity. Then I was ready to start marketing my business online.
These are the steps I took to maximize the digital marketing advantage for a mobile notary in Tucson.
- Build a Website
- Create a Logo
- Create a GMB Listing
- Submit Directory Listings
- Order Business Cards
- Ask for Reviews
Website or Landing Page
I started by building a website. I recommend a WordPress website for most businesses. It has extreme flexibility to maximize your digital marketing long term.
For this particular niche, as well as other service niches, a free Google business site would work. Once you have a Google My Business listing this step will be easy.
In the notary niche, I use a GMB listing and directories to get phone calls, so a website is not necessary. It does, however, provide a professional look to potential customers.
This is an important step as it can separate you from the general masses. One of the most affordable ways to create a logo is with the free logo maker tool by The Hoth. It is very user friendly and simple to use. Another great tool is Canva, it’s also free and has logo templates to get you started. If you have the budget and would like someone to create a logo for you 99designs is a great option.
Google My Business (GMB) Listing
When creating a GMB listing you will need to provide details about your business. The most important part of this process is “verifying your listing”. There is a free guide that can help you to optimize your GMB listing for the best results at freesearchtraffic.com.
Directory Listings and Profiles
There are several directories to create a business listing or profile. Some directories are free others have a monthly or annual fee, I would recommend both. To find them, search for your industry term and “near me” (i.e. “notary near me”). You will likely see your competitors as well as general and niche directories. Some of the directories for the notary niche include Yelp, Notary Cafe, and NotaryNearby.org.
Having business cards is a great way to show people you are a business professional. They can be used when networking, posted in communal areas, and left with clients so they remember you. Buying business cards online is very affordable. I purchased mine from Costco Business Printing, 500 for about $23.
To get reviews it is important to be courteous, show up on time, and do a great job. Then and only then should you ask for a review. Ask right away while it’s fresh in their mind and get permission to text them a link. Not everyone will write a review, but if you don’t ask you probably won’t get any.
I would like to offer a few thoughts on my experience. First, there is some technical ability needed to do some of the tasks described. But I am not a programmer or guru of any sort so remember that anything can be searched on YouTube to see how it’s done. Second, I did most of the work myself to invest as little as possible and actually enjoyed the process. Third, throughout the process, I used free tools online to get things done. And finally, I did research to make sure I knew who my competitors and potential clients were.
Doing all this did take some time and I understand not everyone will want to take these steps. There is an alternative, it will just cost you some money. The alternative is to get help from an SEO agency like The Hoth. They have a good reputation and can do most of the work for you.
It’s been about a year now and I have averaged 3-4 calls per week mostly from the GMB listing. I also get 3-4 calls per month for loan signings. Some people are just shopping around and do not become customers, but that’s ok. I am not the cheapest but I do answer the phone, have flexible availability, and have a great web presence. While I am not getting rich with a mobile notary business, it does create some extra cash I didn’t have before.
All of this was accomplished by taking advantage of digital marketing. Local and small businesses that have not yet embraced digital marketing