Starting out as a Notary signing agent isn’t easy when it comes to building business relationships and growing your network, and using social media or online marketing these days isn’t enough. To bring some expertise and enlightenment to the NNA community, the Notary Bulletin engaged with experienced signing agents on Facebook and LinkedIn to find out how they use 'old school' pounding-the-pavement techniques to build their client base. Robyn Carlson of Oceanside, California, markets herself in person through public events such as local Chamber of Commerce meetings. “Networking provides me direct and relationship referrals,” she said on LinkedIn. “I also stop by their office if it’s in my service area and provide my brochure, business card, and I always ask if I can be of assistance. I have actually received assignments because I was standing right in front of them.” Several signing agents, including David Kinney of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, said they prefer the personal touch of a phone call when introducing themselves to new companies. “Emailing to me is so impersonal and unprofessional,” Kinney wrote on Facebook. “When you talk to someone on the phone, it gives a connection.” However, if a signing service is short-staffed or extremely busy, email may be a better way for signing agents to introduce themselves, said Howard Blum, owner of Pro Mobile Notary, a nationwide signing service based in Novato, California. “Many services have laid off substantial numbers of schedulers over the past ten months,” he said. “Consider using email so that people can respond when they are not busy, as opposed to having to stop what they are doing to answer the phone.” Linda Frezza of Tampa, Florida, said she commonly uses email when reaching out to companies looking for signing agents — but she always makes sure to address the email to a specific person. “If you don’t, it will get lost in transit,” she warned. She then follows up with another email to confirm her message was received and to ask if the company needs any other information from her. She also keeps records of her emails on file so she can contact companies if she needs to provide them with updated background check and commission information. What method works best for you when reaching out to new signing companies — email, phone, business cards or in person? Discuss your experiences with other Notary signing agents on LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.