Let’s face it, our network of friends, coworkers, and other contacts is one of the most important assets we can build in any business. As the old saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. But tracking contacts, remembering details, and keeping up with business cards can take time that you don’t have. Thankfully, QR codes can help (or at least, let you help others).
To illustrate the point, picture yourself at a networking event.
You are meeting some great people and getting some outstanding business contacts. By the end of the day, you have a pile of business cards. You don’t have an assistant yet so you need a way to get these contacts into your computer and accessible through your smartphone. As much as you hate data entry, it has to be done so you get to work.
After three or four cards, you flip one over to see a QR code and the caption, “Scan code for contact information”. Intrigued, you fire up your smart phone and scan the code. Amazingly, with just a simple scan, all the contact information is magically entered into your address book. “What a great shortcut” you SCREAM to the strange looks of your family… No misspelling, no thumb-typing, no typing at all. You must have your own QR code. But how?
Adding a QR code to your business card is an easy process. You can add them to new designs but even if you have a box of new business cards, you can still take advantage of the benefits of QR codes. So, let’s get to work. The first step is to create the QR code.
Creating a QR code
There are several free online QR code generators. All you have to do is enter the information and with a click of a button, you have a QR code of your very own. The result is a small graphic, usually in a PNG format, that you can put into a word processor or graphic software to be printed.
Let’s walk through an example using the ZXing QR code generator. Here is what it looks like initially:
Since Contact Information is already selected, go ahead and complete the fields. Here is what mine looks like:
A few notes to pay attention to:
The default is MECARD which results in a simpler and thus, smaller QR code so we’ll stick with that. The other option is a vCard. I won’t get into the differences between the types right now (they are very similar) but if you want to learn more, I am working on a guide that will explain QR codes and how they can help you (especially if you have a small business)
The default is Large but for our example, go ahead and change that to Small
All the other default options are fine so go ahead and click on the Generate button. Here is the QR code encoded with my MECARD:
Now, the fun part; let’s create some QR code stickers. For this part, you have many options but one choice is to use some 1″ x 2-5/8″ return address labels from Staples (the same as Avery 5160/8160). Be creative. Not sure what to do? Here are a few ideas:
If you don’t want to print them yourselves, you can have your QR code stickers professionally printed. Here are a few options:
Just peel and place the stickers on your business cards. It is that easy.
Congratulation, you have just taken the first step toward making your business cards stand out. By adding something as simple as a QR code, you have made it quick and easy for others to connect with you. Think of all the time you can save and all the time you have saved everyone else.
If you are looking for more practical information and ideas of how to use QR codes for your small business, I am working on a guide. If you want to be notified when it’s finished, complete this form and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready.