One of the latest technologies to find its way onto business cards (and many other places) is the QR code. I think it’s a must for your new business card.

It used to be that your business card might be the most important (and least expensive) way that people could contact you – pre-internet. Biz cards were inexpensive to print and everyone who was in business had one.

But today, it’s just as likely that someone will Google you if they want to know how to contact you – or just ask you for your Twitter or LinkedIn name, for example. In many ways, the business card is becoming just another annoying piece paper you bring home – and then there’s the question of what to do with it and how you keep track of the information.

In fact, for many coaches and consultants, the business card is obsolete. Clients come to us by referral or by in-person interactions, where an email address or phone number scribbled on a piece of paper serves just as well. Many people no longer care whether you have a card, or what it looks like – they just want to know how to connect with you.

But it’s still convenient to have a card – and if you keep the back of it blank, you provide a simple notepad for the recipient to make notes (about you or their shopping list or when that movie starts.) Always appreciated.

Enter QR Codes.

If you’re ready to re-do your card, I’d say it’s time to add a QR (Quick Response) Code. A QR Code is similar to a bar code (but cooler looking – go here to see great examples on business cards.) Most smartphones, with the appropriate App, can read the information electronically and download it for you. No more wondering where you put the card, or laborious time copying information. Just scan and it’s in.

To set it up, you need a Code Generator, and here’s one (free): It will generate a .png file with your code – you choose the content. While you can duplicate the information you might put on your business card, you can also use it to send people to a certain web page, for example, or any other content you wish to share.

Here’s the one I created – if you have a smartphone, download a QR reader and check it out by pointing it at this image on your screen!  E-mail it to yourself and la voila!

A Few Tips:

1. Once your QR Code is created, test it out. If it reads, at the size you’ve chosen, you can now go and put it on your business card. You’ll want to include your contact information in print format, too, on your card. Here are some business card examples.

2. The QR creator also gives you an option to create a V-Card.

3. Here’s how I figured out how to read my QR code on my Droid:

a) Download QR reader App (free) and open the application and choose camera option

b) Point Camera at code as if you’re taking a picture

c) It will read the QR code and the contents (text, etc.) will pop up on your phone

d) From there, you can save, send it via social media, and email it.

4. Learn more here about Best Practices with QR Codes.

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