In a world of smartphones and social networks the way we connect with people we meet is radically changing and your business information needs to be ready to adapt.
I’m on record of not being a fan of traditional business cards so I’m always looking for ways to share contact information without the paper card. Yes, I still have traditional business cards and will use them as long as they are expected but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have other tools at your disposal.
- Don’t get lost in the shuffle – Networking events might result in 10-20 business cards and who knows if your info will actually make it into their address book.
- Stand Out – Some of these tools have a cool factor attached and it can make a great impression.
- Interactive – You can’t click a business card. You can add QR codes and you should but they still aren’t widely recognized.
Take advantage of these free tech tools to create an instant connection and leave someone with an impressed with this nifty method of sharing your info.
Here’s 4 ways to make it happen
Jumpscan is a recent entry into the digital profile arena but unlike gravatar or about.me they are capitalizing on mobile friendly profiles and QR codes. Create a free jumpscan account, fill out your profile, connect your social networks and not only do they give you a great profile page but the generate a QR code that you can save and print on your traditional card.
- Pros: Very well designed and mobile friendly, allows people to download a vCard
- Cons: None really. I wish they would add IM links but otherwise it’s perfect
- Rating: 9/10
To see an example profile visit Jumpscan.com/tsudo and to see the real power view the link from your iPhone.
Twtbizcard is only useful for Twitter users but if you are networking at a tweetup or tech conference it’s a killer way to share your contact info. Just send a tweet to someone and attach the hashtag #twtbizcard and they’ll reply to that person with a link to your card.
- Pros: Excellent twitter integration and if the event was scheduled using twtvite it shows your card info in the attendee list.
- Cons: Twitter only and could be a bit better designed
- Rating: 6/10
Check out my twtbizcard at twtbizcard.com/tsudo
Bu.mp is an outstanding mobile app (iPhone/Android) that allows you to bump phones to create an instant connection. The app allows you to swap contact info, send a Facebook friend request, request a connection on LinkedIn, or even follow each other on twitter through a simple bump. The functionality and ease of use make this app a must have.
- Pros: Tons of options and social connection features
- Cons: The other person has to have the app for it to work. Seldom the case.
- Rating: if everyone had it 10/10, as is 6/10
No app or smart phone? No problem
Contxts is a great service sends your contact info via text message. It’s so simple and perfect for the occasion you happen to be without a business card. Anyone can txt your name to 50500 and they will reply with your contact info.
I’m serious, try it, text “tsudo” to 50500.
You can also beam your card to a recipient by texting “send 5015551212” to 50500 where 501-555-1212 is your recipients mobile phone number.
- Pros: Everyone has text so it’s a universal method of sharing your info
- Cons: Your limited in length because it’s a text message
- Rating: 9/10
#ProTip – Use contxts when giving a presentation. Just add “text tsudo to 50500” on your introductory slide and your audience can immediately get your contact info. In fact I first discovered this service because of a presentation by @bryanjones
Traditional Business cards may be around for awhile but your contact info is too important to be confined to paper. I want people to visit my website, follow me, and get in touch and these free apps invite them to do exactly that.
Can your business card do that? It can now.
photo courtesy of Incase