DIY: Create a QR-Enabled Modern Business Card in 5 Minutes
Sick of your tired old business card? Want something more modern, more compelling, and simply different? How many lawyers have business cards that, when you scan them with your phone, will either add the lawyer's contact information or give you directions to her office?
If you have five minutes to spare, these steps, and a trip to your business card printer, will provide you with slick, QR-coded business cards.
What Is a QR Code?
Think barcodes, but with a lot more data. QR codes are simply bigger, boxier, more complicated codes that can be programmed to contain anything from a web address to all of your contact information. For example, here is a QR code, that when scanned, points you to the FindLaw for Legal Professionals Twitter page:
What Does One Do With It?
When you see a QR code, you can scan it. Just grab your smartphone, download a QR reader app, and point your phone at the screen (or business card).
Our favorite apps are QR Code Simple for iPhone and iOS and QR Droid for Android. For other types of smartphones, check your app store.
Once the code is scanned, you will likely be prompted with a message asking if you want to go to the web address, download the contact information, open the map, etc. It's that simple.
How Do I Make One?
The easiest way to make a QR code for your contact information is to use an online generator, such as QRickit's VCard Generator.
Add your name, law firm, web address, and business contact information, click "Generate" and voila -- you have a code that, when scanned, will prompt the user to add you to their phone's contacts.
If a client has to manually copy your information from paper card to their phone, there is a good chance they'll forget to do so, and lose your card. Scanning a QR code takes mere seconds.
This one is really cool, so long as your customer has the Google Maps app installed (it comes by default on Android, and is the most popular map app on iOS). QRickit has a Google Map code generator that, when scanned, will bring your address up in Google Maps, allowing your client to quickly get directions to your office.
There is one drawback to embedding large amounts of contact information into one code: The more information contained in the code, the more complex it becomes, and the harder it is to scan, especially when shrunk down to business card size. Make sure that when the code is printed, it is as large as possible.
QRickit allows you to select the resolution of the code (ask your printer for their preference), or after generating, you can scroll down to select a high resolution file. Download the PNG version and bring it to your preferred printer. When they design the card, remember: Bigger is better when it comes to printed codes. You may also want to include an explanatory note, such as, "Scan with a QR Reader App."
One final tip: Consider keeping one side of the card "traditional" and putting the QR codes on the back (for the techies).
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