|Members & Friends:
The FALDP Docket
Volume 7 Issue 8; August 2017
Members and Friends
This is our monthly newsletter. We publish this for the benefit of FALDP members, legal document preparers, and friends.
Members who did not renew their membership by July 31 were dropped from the Member Directory and membership roster, unless that member made prior arrangements. Former members in good standing can reinstate their membership by submitting the membership fee. Former members are not required to submit a new membership application, unless their information has substantially changed.
$75. Annual Membership - Pay Here
IF are joining as a new member,
please be sure to submit a
after submitting your membership fee.
We Miss You Already!
Former members who missed the deadline ... don't despair. We want you to come back. We know that some members may have simply forgotten to pay. Former members in good standing can rejoin at any time without submitting a new Membership Application. However, if you have moved, built a new website, changed your phone number, etc. You may want to submit a new application so that our records are current.
FALDP Certification Update
We have opened the FALDP Certification Exams year round. We plan to keep the exams open all the time to allow members who are seeking certification to have easier access. The exam links remain inside the Members Only area. If you are a member and did not receive the email with the new login for the Members Only area, call 800-515-0496 or email email@example.com and request it.
8th Annual FALDP Conference
September 16, 2017
We have invited a videographer to come to the conference and take footage of our attendees and the conference. We'll be posting video of the conference on our YouTube Channel, our Facebook Page, and on our site. Take a look at our
to see pictures and clips from past conferences.
Registration for our 8th Annual Conference is open. Go to our
Annual Conference Page
to register. The conference fee by itself is $95. During August/ September the conference fee plus membership is $170.
This year's conference theme is: What Can We Do? How can we serve consumers better? And how are we serving consumers now?
We invite attendees to bring along a guest at no additional fee. So bring a friend, a colleague, a staff member, a business partner, or prospective member. We may cancel this invitation to bring a guest as registrations come in, so please register early. At this time (8/14) we still have space for attendees to bring a guest. But, we expect that in the next week or so, we won't have the extra space left for the guest seats. If you plan to attend and bring a guest, please check in advance to make sure we still have seating.
We will again hold our conference at the
Fountain Beach Resort
in Daytona Beach. After you register for the conference, you'll receive a confirmation page that includes discount codes for accommodations. The Fountain Beach Resort is right on the beach, just south of the Daytona Beach pier. Discounted accommodations are $59 or $69 per night.
We're offering two conference specials this year:
Flat Fee Course Bundle - includes your choice of any three FALDP courses, conference fee and membership - $499.
Turn Key Business Bundle Classic - includes document preparation for limited liability formation; a custom website; Intro to Preparing Florida Legal Documents, and FALDP online course; your choice of one additional FALDP online course; conference fee and membership fee - $499.
These specials are available through September 15, 2017.
Go to our
page to register for our Turn Key Bundle Classic. And go to our
page to register for our FLAT FEE Course Bundle.
Words to the Wise
We make the following suggestions for operating a document preparation business - (some may apply to any business.)
Be very clear about payment arrangements, fees, etc. before doing any work.
Use a robust disclaimer or disclosure to make sure that your customer understands where his responsibility begins, and your's ends.
Make sure your customer acknowledges your agreements in writing, before doing any work.
Send a written email quote to every potential customer.
Use flat fees whenever possible.
If you charge an hourly rate for some work, and bill as completed - don't let your customer experience sticker shock. Send invoices at logical stopping points, and give your customer the chance to pay before continuing.
Be responsive to your customers. Never let a minor disagreement escalate into a major fiasco.
TIPS FOR BUILDING REFERRALS
• Create a list of business owners you know who target similar customers and interview them.
• Ask them the criteria they use in making referrals and what they would like in return.
• Set up a tracking system as part of your customer intake file and then review on a quarterly basis
where those leads came from.
• Reward your referral sources with a card, bottle of wine, tickets to a game,etc.
• Don’t rely on random referrals. You cannot build a financially successful document preparation business with random referrals. You need people you can count on who consistently send you highly qualified leads. Your business is too valuable to be left in the hands of random acts of fate.
• Identify your primary sources of current and potential referrals. Be sure you know who is currently sending you referrals and thank them and then look for the best possible sources for new referrals and cultivate those relationships.
• Create a system for
connecting with current and potential referral sources on a consistent basis. You can either wait half your career to build enough relationships with referral sources to fill your practice or you can intentionally take specific steps to create powerful win-win relationships with dozens of referral sources.
Features v Benefits
Sell benefits not features. Features are facts. List five facts about you or your business. Here are mine:
My business is completely virtual.
I am a charter member of the Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers.
This is a full time business, not a side job or part time business.
I prepare a range of documents, but focus on family law and probate for small estates.
I have been preparing legal documents since 1998.
Each fact has a corresponding benefit. A benefit answers the question "what's in it for me?" (the customer)My business is completely virtual. And what that means is my overhead stays low, so I can pass on my savings to my customers.
I am a charter member of the Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers. And what that means is I have taken the time to join a trade association to better serve you, my customer.
This is a full time business,
not a side job or part time business. And what that means is this is my livelihood. I take it seriously and make myself available to my customers all day everyday.
I prepare a range of documents, but focus on family law and probate for small estates. And what that means is that I can offer assistance in many areas, and promise superior service preparing family law and probate documents.
I have been preparing legal documents since 1998. And what that means is that I have been doing this for a long time, and so my experience will help you better navigate the court system on your own.
FALDP Foundation, Inc.
We are pleased to announce the formation of a non-profit to run side by side with our association. We have two goals. The first is to assist indigent consumers and low income consumers with document preparation. We plan to refer the consumer to a member for document preparation; and pay the member to prepare the documents from foundation funds. Our second goal is to educate consumers about the legal system, their rights, civil process and procedure, and legal research through free or low cost online courses. Any member interested in volunteering or hosting a fund raiser, please contact us at 800-515-0496 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Member Directories
We created additional member directories to help consumers find our members more easily, and to help our members increase their business income. We built
More Member Directories
The categories are:
Spanish Speaker Directory
Bankruptcy Petition Preparer Directory
Family Law Document Preparer Directory; and
Immigration Document Preparer Directory.
(We may add additional directories in the future.) If you would like to be included in these additional member directories, forms to submit your information are linked to the
Members Only page
The Spanish Speaker Directory is displayed on the
page. Bankruptcy Petition Preparers information will be displayed on the
bankruptcy petition preparers
page. The list of Bankruptcy Petition Preparers who appear on that page will be removed and replaced with the information from members who submit a form to be included. For some time we have maintained informal directories of various types, And, we feel that it is more fair to include members who submit their information. Family law document preparers information is listed on
family law issues.
We have removed the informal list and are including only those members who submit the form requesting to be included. The same is true for our immigration document preparers, whose information will appear on
Inclusion in these directories is apart from and in addition to our main
Inclusion in our main Member Directory and a Mini-Page is part of your membership. Members are entitled to listings in three counties, and the Premium Member logo is displayed in your home county. Our goal in creating these additional member directories is to help members gain more exposure, and to make it easier for consumers to find you.
Ask the Members Forum
We encourage members, document preparers, consumers, actually anyone who knows the answer to answer questions on our
pages. For a member document preparer's post to get past the monitor there are a few things to know. First, answer the question in a way that may help not only the person who posted the question, but also others who may have similar or related questions. We like answers to be around 200 - 400 words. Although we encourage all who answer our questions to include an authoritative source, we require our members to do so. An authoritative source could be a Florida Statute, a court case citation, a government website, an attorney's website, or various other types of sources. We sometimes accept news articles as authority. Member document preparers are encouraged to include a link to their website and contact information. Answers that do not answer the question and/ or do not include authority are discarded. So, if you wonder why your answer never appeared, consider what you may have left out.
Members can also earn Continuing Education Units (CEU's) by answering questions
on our Ask the Members forum. Three accepted answers equals one CEU. We are always behind on answering the questions on the Ask the Members forum and request people who know the answer to post it. Thanks!
The Virtual Provider designation is an upgrade to your membership. For just $30 annually your information and services can be displayed in 66 of the 67 Florida counties. We exclude Miami-Dade because of their local form requirement, and the difficulty in serving consumers virtually there. If your business model includes assisting consumers over the phone and over the internet, advertising your services as a virtual provider will expand your reach and increase your income. Become a
here. If you have not renewed your virtual provider status since May 2016, its past time to renew. Virtual provider status runs with membership, the time lines are the same. We will send invoices to Virtual Providers.
VIRTUAL PROVIDER - ANNUAL FEE $30
Member's Announcements & Contributions
Have something to share?
We accept member's announcements and appreciate your contributions. If you have an announcement about your business, an expansion of services, moving your offices, or winning awards, please send us the information and we'll include it in our newsletter. Your announcement needs to be pertinent to your business, we are unable to include announcements about other trade associations, clubs or groups.
If you would like to write an article, editorial, opinion piece, or web page please let us know. We are always in need of fresh information and insights.
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FALDP Contact Information:
Main number – (941)237-0951
Toll free - (800)515-0496
Email – email@example.com
PLEASE LINK YOUR SITE TO WWW.FALDP.ORG