Business cards have served us well! If you’re a millennial, you’d remember the good ol’ days when your elders never missed a chance to exchange their business cards. If you’re a business owner, you’d still be doing it. But if you’re a remote business owner, it would make little sense to carry around a piece of paper to make connections. Digital business cards are the way to go!
In this article, we’ll explore the idea of a digital business card, if digital business cards are better than paper cards, and why you’d need them. But first, let’s understand business cards through their history.
Business cards contain all the key information of a company or an individual. Typically, there are shared during conventions or networking events. Business cards typically include the name of the company or business affiliation, logo, contact information, company location, telephone number, email address, and website.
Unlike marriages, business connections are not made in heaven. They’re mostly done through business cards during events or online channels.
The story of the business card is not a new one. The earliest known business cards date back to 15th century China. Back in the day, the Chinese used a form of ‘visiting cards’ to announce their intention to visit. Cards would be left at the intended address before the visit.
In the 17th century, upper-class European men used ‘calling cards’ to contact ladies. They were engraved, embossed, and sometimes had gold elements.
The precursor to the modern business card came in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They began to be used as self-promotional tools that we know today. It was also when the industrial revolution was in its heyday, and new businesses started booming.
Today, business cards are one of the vital tools for marketing in some companies. Some businesses require all their employees to have well-designed cards. Things are, however, slowly beginning to change. One of paper cards’ main drawbacks is their limited geographical reach. Digital cards, on the other hand, can transcend physical boundaries and reach multiple locations.
Like everything digital, the business card also needs to go digital if it has to survive in the present world. Digital cards are a little more than paper cards; they can hold much more information. So, what exactly is a digital business card?
A digital business card is an interactive profile on the internet that contains information about your socials, contacts, your appointment calendar, and your company’s profile. It’s like the digital menus you get in restaurants nowadays, but your profile is the menu here.
Most of your networking happens online. In an age of Zoom, Teams, LinkedIn, and other social media, the days of in-person networking are on a decline.
But going digital is not just about being part of the current digitization spree. There’s more to it.
Here are four reasons why you need a digital business card!
The primary benefit of having a digital business card is that you share information. While with the physical business cards, you also share relevant information, the chances are it will end up in the stack of other cards or be easily lost.
A digital card can be an interactive way for potential clients and prospects to understand what your business is about and get them engaged. Additionally, when sharing your card, some of these ask for minor details (like email address), so you guarantee that your contact will have your details with them.
It engages your audience or prospective clients. An easy-to-use card can yield better results.
Moreover, digital cards can have a better CTA than paper cards. Plus, it is also a statement regarding how your brand embraces all the benefits of technology.
Paper cards restrict your reach to a physical location. If you don’t travel, there’s no way you can make connections in places far away from home. Digital cards, however, don’t need you to travel. Simply sending it on digital channels lets you expand your reach.
Additionally, when receiving these cards, your users will learn more about your company. Physical business cards have a limit on the information you can add. If you add too much, these will look cluttered. But with a digital business card, you can present the information you want in a much more creative and engaging way.
You can track how well your business card is doing and target your audience better. It lets you track views, downloads, and interactions directly on your phone. Moreover, the major advantage of using tools to create your digital business cards is that you gain access to first-party user data. You can learn the number of scans and unique visitors.
Digital cards save a lot of paper and the carbon footprint of paper consumption. Honestly, what do you do with your excess business cards? Most of it goes into the recycle bin, adding to an ever-increasing heap of waste. On the other hand, there’s no such thing as an excess digital business card.
A digital solution gives you a more climate-friendly option to advertise your business.
Another key advantage of using digital business cards is that you can update information easily. With physical cards, you will have to print new ones every time you need to change something, even if it’s a small detail. But with digital cards, you can even make the changes from your phone, and it will automatically update all the contacts with a copy of the card.
Much like paper cards, we should circulate digital cards. Here’s how you can get many people to see it.
Email signatures are texts or images at the end of an email. Adding a link to it is an excellent way to circulate your digital card. It allows the recipient to contact you in other ways and save your contact for the future.
Having a pleasant zoom call background is always a good idea. Carefully designing a background that has a QR code is even better. Make sure that the QR code is visible and is not covered by anything in the foreground. Remember to double-check the QR link before setting it up.
If you’re a freelancer looking for gigs, finding prospects’ email addresses and cold emailing them is one of the ways you can do it. Attaching a link to your digital business card can attract prospective clients and provide them with all your business information at once.
While your website can provide a lot of information about you, adding a link to your business card can let your viewers get all your info on just one page. Plus, it enhances user experience.
If you’re sending documents or brochures, either online or in print, it’s a good idea to subtly slide in a link to your business cards with it. This practice is not new. Even in the past, many people used brochures to circulate their physical business cards.
Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn bios can be suitable spaces to leave a link to your cards. Since most of these social media handles speak about you or your business, people interested in working with you will find the link helpful.
For the most part, your small business is digital. Having a business card on paper may not serve the purpose of garnering attention. It is, therefore, essential to have a digital card. Here are more reasons your small business should opt for a digital card.
Physically printing out business cards and sending them to locations is both burdensome and expensive. Moreover, as a remote entrepreneur, you would visit online conferences more frequently than offline events. With a digital card, it’d be hassle-free to make new connections cost-effectively.
Let’s be honest! Circulating business cards shouldn’t take much of your time. It shouldn’t come at the cost of other essential things. Business cards are an excellent measure to increase your reach. But remember Goodhart’s law? “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” So, digital cards can be a way forward to ensure that business cards don’t consume a lot of your time. It’s hassle-free and easy to circulate.
Digitization of business cards can save a chunk of manual labor. It’ll allow your staff to channel their expertise into more exciting tasks. It not only increases your company’s efficiency but also boosts your team’s morale.
About 80% of physical cards are lost. Digital cards cannot be unconsciously lost, unless they are consciously deleted. In addition to this, digital cards do not add to the clutter.
Moreover, pandemics are here to stay. If a business needs to have a full contactless experience with its customers, digital cards are the way to go.
If you decide to update your phone number or email ID, a digital card allows you to change the details with your clients in real time. On the other hand, new physical cards need to be handed out if there’s an update.
An advantage of using QR code based cards is that you gain access to user data. By using analytical tools, you can calibrate your marketing strategy and target the right audience.
QR based cards have a QR code on them. They can be either printed out or available digitally. They are one of the most efficient ways to share your digital card. A QR based card can be attached within any offline or online document or brochure of your choice.
Rewritable NFC stickers are easy to find. These cards are usually used on top of traditional paper cards. While the NFC tag allows you to store significant amounts of information, a drawback of this kind of card is that they cannot be updated in real time.
So, digital cards are the only way ahead? Not entirely.
While digital cards have considerable advantages over traditional ones, paper cards are not entirely obsolete. Paper cards can still be helpful in the occasional face-to-face meetings and conferences. Yet another issue with digital cards is that they’re not as personal as exchanging a paper card.
On the other hand, you can update digital cards in real time. For example, if you change your business phone number or contact information, you can edit the same in real time. On a paper card, this is unimaginable. Moreover, paper cards can create clutter, most of which is bound to be thrown out after a while.
Both paper cards and digital cards have their advantages and disadvantages. But the trick is to choose between them according to your circumstances. A digital card is a way ahead if you’re a remote business owner. However, you can keep a pack of paper cards handy if you’re still going to offline conferences. The paper cards can have a QR code that links your connections to your digital card. This way, you can have the best of both worlds.
Business cards are here to stay. Contrary to what many people would like, business cards, either offline or digital, continue to serve their purpose in organic marketing. Adapting your business to current scenarios to grow is a good idea. Adopting a digital business card can be the first of many steps. For a remote business, digital business cards are a must!