Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Mark Sias, and my wife Grace and I started a business called Noble Notary & Legal Document Preparers. This business is a Florida dba held by G & M Sias companies, LLC.
We started this business on a shoestring budget. We are a small but highly profitable notary service business in Port Orange, Florida that cranks out a large amount of Revenue by performing high demand legal services “odd jobs” that are easy to do but have a high markup. We can perform our services in person and remotely.
Our business model is unique in that we service both B2B and B2C. This consists of General notary work, remote online notarization, mobile notary, apostilles, real estate closings, and the execution of estate documents for attorney’s office, title companies, and the general public. We also educate other notaries on how to duplicate our business model.
While these services may seem somewhat confounding on the surface, it is a straightforward business model. We can generate full-time income working at most 20 hours a week each.
We generate approximately 15,000/month in profits, conservativly, and in many cases much more, as our overhead, inventory, and advertising expenditures are extremely low.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I have been a critical care registered nurse for the last 15 years and was burnt out from that job field. I was at the top of my pay with nowhere to go. I’ve tried network marketing and MLM companies like everyone else, but my first real misadventure into the entrepreneurial world was with life insurance. I got a 2-15 insurance license and started selling a life insurance policy to everyone I knew.
This was going well enough that I quit my nursing job. The problems arose when I ran out of “warm leads” and had to start generating new customers that didn’t know, like, or trust me. I was quickly spending away my initial earnings on junk leads that didn’t pan out very well. So, to supplement my lack of income, I returned to doing home health nursing part-time. This line of work involves going into people’s houses to render care on an outpatient basis.
While doing home health care and selling insurance, I was trying to solve two different riddles. The first one was this: Is there a way to make more money quicker and easier going into people’s houses than what these home healthcare agencies were paying me? The other puzzle I was trying to unlock was if there was a way to get in front of more people to sell insurance on the back end by offering another service that was more or less adjacent on some level.
This is where I had an “aha” moment if you will… I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I figured I had nothing to lose, and it didn’t cost much to try. What if I offered mobile notary services? I could get in and out of someone’s home, nursing home, hospital, or other facilities in a matter of minutes with simple notarizations on paperwork for people who were otherwise confined for some reason or another.
After doing a little research, I discovered a few things, like getting a notary commission is extremely easy. It turns out his mobile notary idea is a thing. Meaning there are other people already running this type of business, and from what I gathered, the collected fees made this a more viable idea than continuing my part-time gig as a home health nurse.
Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.
Initially, I created a Google my business listing offering mobile notary services under the name “Noble Mobile Notary.” I had a free Google site and some incredibly horrible-looking pictures and business cards made. However, it seemed to work. It worked so well that I pleaded with my wife(Grace) to get a notary commission because I was also turning away business.
In those early days, during my first year in business, all I offered was the mobile notary and various real estate closings. I knew nothing about SEO, we didn’t have an attractive website or any branding methods. All revenue at that time was generated by B2B marketing to title companies, and customers’ finding is directly off our Google Maps listing.
Getting started was extremely inexpensive. You can get a notary Commission in Florida for about $100. Google listings in email campaigns are free.
I needed a decent laptop computer, a laser printer/scanner, and a set of wheels. All stuff that, in all reality, I already owned. Home office equipment. Business cards are made through Vistaprint, and that’s it!
I made a few clerical mistakes in the early days, such as not printing essential documents on the right paper size or the correct scale. I also lost a little money here and there with ineffective advertisement methods. Once you get a Google business profile listed, your phone starts to ring with advertisers promising you the Moon.
While you can run this business as a self-employed contractor, we chose to get a fictitious name registered through Sunbiz in Florida. It’s also a good idea to carry Errors and Omission insurance as a notary and general liability insurance for your business if you’re driving around in a vehicle. Both of these are relatively inexpensive. I can carry a $150,000 per occurrence E & O policy for four years for only $100. General liability and a million dollars only cost me $40 a month.
Our first (hideous) business card. No business lines and no websites8
What our cards look like nowadays…
Describe the process of launching the business.
We quickly realized we had so much more to offer than mobile notarizations. We decided to get serious. The first thing we did was rebrand ourselves as Noble Notary & Legal Document Preparers. We knew what the market was telling us and the services that were desired by our customer base.
We also had a good understanding of what a profitable business looks like. That would be an easy service to learn and require little in the way of expenditures, capital, or inventory. To complement our business model, that also had to be a relatively high demand legal service and little time commitment on our part.
With that philosophy in mind, we moved quickly. We migrated our cheesy GoDaddy website to WordPress and Bluehost. I built our first website and GoDaddy because the GoDaddy site Builder was easy to use, however, I discovered its limitations. We hired developers to put our listings in hundreds of directories doing map citations and other important SEO metrics.
Our rebranded business model was now offering the following services: Mobile and remote online notary, executive real estate closings (we had subcontractor notaries to cover areas and time slots we found inconvenient), apostille services, legal document preparation, fingerprinting, credit repair, and tax preparation.
One of the biggest lessons and principles I apply to our business is letting profits drive future growth. In other words, go out of your pocket as little as possible. That was a mistake I was making with insurance, just dumping money into leads without any ROI.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
My most significant advice for maintaining customers is simply to over-deliver on service. Offer them more than they expect and detail, and they will return and tell others. It’s as simple as this make your services and offer so good that people would feel stupid going elsewhere.
Your goal should be repeat business, referrals, and building a tribe.
We actively participate in our local Chamber of Commerce, which appears no other notaries in the area involve themselves in. We take out radio ads/sponsorships with local Christian radio stations. https://youtube.com/shorts/DJ3sS7AP2dI?feature=share
Again, we are the only ones in this community doing this. Craigslist has been an excellent place for us to list our services.
Another thing that none of our competitors are doing is creating simple YouTube “commercials” that are adequately optimized with keywords that make them relevant to our communities.
Our “Team Ollie-Ruby” YouTube local ad:
As for our B2B vendors, we have a database of them on an Excel spreadsheet. We follow up with them, this is easy to do, but it’s all so easy now. When we work with a vendor such as a title company, we send follow-up emails, thank you cards, business cards, and even some of our branded materials.
For example, everyone we’ve come across falls in love with the sharpie S-Gel pen. We had stacks of those made with our logo, website, and phone number right there, and lately, I have included them in return mailers to title companies.
I’ve even got a branded custom notary stamp. Check your state laws before doing this. In Florida, it’s OK.
The other thing is… we dominate our local listings search engines with landing pages specific to areas that we cover, also ensuring that our site has kind of fresh content and adequate backlinks. As you can see, our GMB profile has over 5k views this month.
We are intentional about asking for reviews in our follow-up emails. We are also generous reviews, if a law firm is great to work with, we are the first to let others know. As of this writing, we have a formidable Aref’s DA of 29.
Each pin is its landing page with CTA
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Our primary business is still doing our notary business. It has continued to flourish despite interest rates and changing real estate markets. We saw that coming, and we’re prepared for it. However, our success has caused others to take notice.
Many notaries rely solely on income generated from conducting loan signings. We spoke out heavily against this as it’s too dependent on fragile economic conditions. We chose to focus on promoting our legal document preparation services, as it is a legitimate niche that serves the middle class and has almost no competition.
In 2021 we started coaching other notaries. This came out of market demand.
We even wrote a book called “A Golden Pen” (available everywhere books are sold:
Amazon/Audible/Kindle) about our unique business model, what it is that we do exactly, and why it works so well. The reality of coaching others is that it s expensive for them and time expensive for us. We decided we could reach more people by creating a digital course full of the tips, tricks, and tutorials we have implemented which allowed us to have the level of success we do.
In the fall of 2021, we launched Notary Prosperity Academy. A digital course hosted on Kajabi is essentially designed to duplicate our business models in the exact processes in-depth and in full detail about how we do everything we do. Our marketing efforts for this course are essentially similar to our business marketing. We focus on organic content creation and a persistent social media presence.
We could plan to keep on producing quality YouTube content to gain followers. We also actively seek out other people’s audiences by being a guest on podcast shows, radio interviews, and other popular influencers to explain our unique business model and the opportunity to duplicate it as easily as possible.
Our squeeze page for Notary Prosperity Academy
We are also planning to release another book exclusively on a remote online notary called “A Digital Pen.”
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Initially, we lost some money with ineffective advertisement methods. When first creating websites and google listings, you will get calls, emails, and other offers to get you more exposure. Most of these solicitations could be better investments. Now we’ve learned to screen and qualify any vendor offers carefully. Make them show you similar business case studies. Hold them accountable or fire them.
After having our website migrated to WordPress, I had to learn to navigate the back office side of it and do a little bit of coding. Both are things I procrastinated at. WordPress is a monster, but it will do wonders for your business. Learning to edit, build and manage your site will save you time and money. Just resolved to learn it.
For our day-to-day business, I learned to have backups. Backup computers, backup printers, internet, transportation, and even backup notary stamps. You don’t want to find yourself turning away business because of unforeseeable circumstances.
We operate our business in Central Florida. When Hurricane Ian hit, it damaged 2 of our vehicles. While we could get a replacement within a week, during that time, I was still running appointments with a 125cc scooter that we kept for such occasions as this.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
My marketing tool is by far and away Kajab. It is a marketing machine!
Not just from a course sales standpoint. We use Kajabi for all aspects of our business. List building, email campaigns, newsletters, sales funnels, and hosting our podcast. I honestly cannot say enough good about it without sounding like I am a rep for them. I find the platform to be easy to use. We have used the platform to create numerous courses and order bumps, upsells, and down sells for services and forms we offer in our day-to-day business. We pay $200/month for Kajabi, and I’ve never felt I didn’t get my money’s worth.
Other than Kajabi, I find the Social Blade and TubeBuddy browser extensions to be very useful in YouTube content creation.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I’ve read everything by Russel Brunson.
The man is a genius who can break things down into easy-to-understand examples. Expert Secrets, DotCom Secrets, and Traffic Secrets have been extremely helpful. I listen to his podcast and follow him on social media.
Another author/entrepreneur I am a big fan of is Alex Hormozi. His book 100 Million Dollar Offer was very informative, inspiring, and compelling. I’ve read it several times to ensure I have soaked in all the concepts he lays down.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to start or are just starting out?
You first have to determine that you are a good fit for being Your Boss. The reality is no one’s coming to make you do your job, so you need the internal drive to do it yourself.
Second, as a business owner, you should understand all aspects of your business. Sure, you might outsource marketing or accounting. However, you need to have a good enough understanding of the functions of these aspects of your business. Then you can ensure that things are running smoothly and you’re not getting ripped off.
Lastly, look at every customer encounter as an unlimited opportunity. Not just an isolated transaction. This is a big mistake I see in my industry. Each client you acquire should have a lifetime value. Your goal should be repeat business, referrals, and building a tribe.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are always accepting applications for mobile notaries who wish to subcontract. We have PDF subcontractor agreements available for download on our main site.
We even supply you with resources to get your notary commission in all 50 states on our site.
Applicants can return filled-out signing agent vendor agreements to [email protected].
We foresee needing a virtual assistant this year to assist with emails and phone calls this year. We always welcome new affiliate marketers to share our course’s profits.
We offer 50% commissions paid out through PayPal.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Founder of Noble Notary & Legal Document Preparers
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