Do you use Virtual Business Cards?

July 17, 2011

If you’re anything like me you have a pile of business cards in a drawer at the office.  I never use them and rarely enter them into my computer or phone.  Chances are, if I need a service I will either Google it or, for an existing contact, look in my contacts folder or my phone.
While it’s true that almost everyone you meet is going to have a pocket to store your business card in, it’s also true that almost everyone you meet will have a cell phone as well — and they’re likely to be a lot less cavalier about losing, misplacing, or throwing away their phone than they are about your business card.  

As quoted by Mashable’s Why your next business card may be Virtual article, “Virtual business cards offer a number of advantages over their paper counterparts: they’re cheaper (often free), they take up less room in your pocket, you can’t run out of them, they automatically update, and perhaps most importantly, they can instantly hook into your social graph. What makes more sense given today’s electronic message-centric business communication landscape: sorting through a pile of paper business cards to find someone’s phones number, or clicking on an email address link on a mobile profile? Manually typing an email address into Gmail or following a new contact on LinkedIn?”
A quick google search immediately identifies how popular free hosting options and applications are, or use your current host with a Word Press application to share your links, business message and social profiles with your associates.  Stuck?  Email me and I will help you to create a card consistent with your current branding to wow your contacts. 
Bump is an application for iPhone and Android rapidly gaining popularity.  The app allows people to automatically share business information from phone-to-phone based on proximity; meet a new contact and simply “bump” your phones together to share details. One of the reasons Bump is so attractive is that it emulates the ritual exchange of business cards by including a physical aspect to the information swap, but it still nixes those clumsy scraps of paper and keeps information in a highly usable, interactive digital format.
There is still a time and place for the traditional business card.  The act of exchanging cards is a gesture of acceptance, an opening act to a new business relationship.  There are still opportunities to wow with innovative design and flair.  But increasingly, the Virtual Business Card has a place in day to day business.  Would you prefer to have your contact information readily available on a prospect or business acquaintance’s phone or PC; or risk the chance of being relegated to a dusty drawer?

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