I need a business card, thinking about switching to a digital business card. Any input?

by DutchessActual. Posted on Sep 15, 2020    2    19

Years ago, I used a regular Vista Print business card for my my mobile mechanic business. I found that they’re pretty much a waste of money and people usually just throw them away anyway. Note that this is just for a single person, small time mechanic business so YMMV.

Fast forward to today, I am focusing my business on motorcycle repair. In the past, I did cars and bikes but I felt that was not only confusing to the customer, but to myself and my business as well. So I streamlined and hard charging into bikes. From my previous experience, I’ve found that paper cards are not worth as much as they used to be. I’d give out 3-5 to a person, and they’d rarely ever give them to a friend of a family member like I asked them to. So the idea of a digital business card that links them directly to every outlet of information about my business, me, or how to contact me is tempting.

My question is, who should I go with? I wanted to ask real life entrepreneurs that have dealt with these companies and know how it influences customer interactions. I don’t want to read “Best Digital Business Cards of 2020” in a copypasta format that they use for all their “Best of 2020” articles. So whatcha got?


Radiant-Mouse5411 1

I use dbiz.com some great card designs on there.

LinkifyBot 1

I found links in your comment that were not hyperlinked:

johndamaia 1

Nowadays digital business cards are your social media platform. Take good care of them and you'll grow your foot traffic.

I'm looking to a stack of business card I've kept for two years... never went through them, never...

ChrisCollinsSrDotCom 1

I will never toss my paper cards but I
only use them in situations where I can't do anything else.

I have a really nice finish and a nice message on one side to encourage people and hopefully they keep the card and read the message (most people like it very much).

I have a qr code on the card and a NFC Contact Coin on my phone like you saw with some other companies.

I have a SocialContactCard.com number printed on the card.

I have now covered every way possible way to send and receive information without requiring the downloading an app.

Now consider what is your goal?
Do you want to be saved in the contacts, home screen order social media or all of the above?

I believe the contacts are the key. Customization of the content in the contacts is critical and you having knowledge about how to use and apply your solution is priceless.

You have to know your objective when you want to share or exchange information.

I could continue but instead I will just tell you what I use.

Well, I have M.I.C.A.H. or My Internet Contact Address Hub which connects my life online and offline. M.I.C.A.H. performs all the functions of a digital business card along with a few new tricks of its own.

This is my favorite tool. I figure it like this, I want people to have information about me so I should just provide it up front. If a person can't take a minute to save my contact file to their contacts then forget them, they are the same people that call me Chris when I introduce myself as Christopher and the truth is you can't win them all so I have a way to deal with them also.

Well that was longer than I expected, I hope it helps.

I created MyContactApp.net

  DutchessActual 1

Interesting. Long or short, I love replies that provoke thinking outside of the box. So far, I’m going to be looking into SwitchIt, Popl, and now MICAH.

I’ve done a little research on SwitchIt. And a cool feature I’ve found so far is that it works as a secretary almost as well. It has a feature where it’ll track who you have your info to and where you’re at on that lead. Also it claims no app is required on the customer’s end. It does come at a price though at $8/month. But I spent $60 on my first batch of quality paper cards. The math says that 8 months of subscription to that service is worth one batch of paper cards. Given, my batch of cards lasted much longer than 8 months, the service comes with extra features as well. That’s all I know so far but more research and ideas are needed.

ChrisCollinsSrDotCom 1

So here is something you have never seen before. Call +16309310511 this is te he only phone number I give out to peopl that I want to have my contact information.

Call it from a mobile from anywhere in the world and watch what happens. Don't worry no one will call you, you will just experience the feature 1st hand.

I like this because it's automated and it provides what I want users to know about me.

This feature is the 1st of its kind.

ChrisCollinsSrDotCom 1

I am glad to see you dont mind paying, so many people want everything for free.
Thank you for letting me give my 2 cents. You mention leads, what do you want to do with the service? Every company has benefits that the other one may not have.

I have switchit and for me it's not a good fit.
I also have popl and its not a good fit for me either. I have about 30 companies on my phone from all over the world and there are a few that are very focused on a market or tracking and stuff like that.

Do you want to host your own video, do you have a website(s) to promote do you want to create a new contact of everyone that takes your card? Do you want to sent marketing messages to people who take your card?

Most digital business cards are just that, digital cards about your business.

I am under the belief that its time people claim a digital home that ties into the web but is free of the social media woes...for me that's http://MyInternetContactAddressHub.com

Maybe try sharing with ys your top 3-5 needs you want covered with your new card?

  DutchessActual 1

When I say I’m small time, I’m super small time. I do motorcycle repair out of my garage. I can’t afford to get a shop, therefore I can’t afford to become a bigger business. So I’m saving little by little until an opportunity arises. I have buddies that have offered me space to rent an actual shops for really cheap. But now isn’t the time for that. Winter is about to hit, motorcycle riding is about to drop here, along with motorcycle repair. Also, I’m building my customer base still. So maybe spring time of 2021 will be the time to take the next step, but not now. As long as it pays the bills and gives me some fun money, I’m ok with it. I have hip problems that forced me to quit my last job as a car mechanic at a shop, so now I do this while I’m waiting for surgery.

Really, my goal is just to give people a business card when they ask for a business card. But I see paper cards as super wasteful. So I’m here weighing my options. Any perks after that are nice, such as building a lead book that I can reach out to every few months to remind them I still exist. Most of my business comes from Facebook Marketplace “ads”. With a business card or some sort, it’ll be easier to spread the word about my business by going to the local motocross tracks and handing out cards, talking to the riders, and just general socializing and friend-making. But I don’t have anything to give them yet besides telling them to pull out their phone and look up my business page on Facebook, which seems utterly unestablished...even though I am utterly unestablished lol.

ChrisCollinsSrDotCom 1

Now this is helpful, thanks. I will toss in my thoughts later, kinda busy today. Thanks.

Sounds like your on the right path, you need a way to deliver your contact information and you want a basic online presence?

Perhaps buy a domain name also and redirect it to your MICAH? LIKE http://CARMENLCOLLINS.COM OR http://handimanguyinc.com

MalekFattah 1

Linkcard worked great for me.

ChiefSherpa 1

What are you hoping to get from using business cards? If it’s so your customer remembers to use you again in the future, would you be better with fridge magnets instead? You could get a pretty cool motorcycle design that they’ll be happy to keep and display on their fridge. And since you’re visiting homes anyway, it’s something they might stick on there and then.

ILikeChangingMyMind 4

Forget about business cards for just a second. If I told you

>I've been trying X for years, and it really hasn't worked. Since it hasn't worked, should I sink even more money into an expensive digital version of X, with absolutely no evidence that the digital one will produce any different results?"

... what would you tell me? Unless you have specific reason to believe digital will be different, or unless someone relevant to you (ie. in your industry) posts evidence here that digital is different ... the answer seems clear.

  DutchessActual 5

I’d tell you that part of the fun behind entrepreneurship is trying new business ideas and reaching out to a community of people who may have tried the same new business idea may be able to give insight on result yields to gauge the worth of the new business idea.

ILikeChangingMyMind 1

Heh, yes! But everything you "try" should be guided by evidence. In fact, if you buy into the Lean Startup philosophy (or the "everything is a franchise" model of The E-Myth), as a start-up you're not even really trying to build a product: you're trying to understand and build a model for a business.

In that view, everything you do should be be about gathering information on what is or isn't successful for your business. And based on the evidence you've gathered so far, for your industry ... business cards aren't successful marketing.

So again, unless you see new evidence, you're not "trying" anything clever, you're just throwing good money after bad. I applaud you for seeking evidence here ... I'm just saying that if you don't find it, the answer should be clear.

  DutchessActual 2

That’s some good thought-provoking information there! Thank you. My evidence for a digital business card would be the theory that people have asked me, “you got a business card?” or “where can I find you?” From there I’d whip out my fancy digi-card and have them take a picture of it. From my very infantile understanding of how it works from there, their phone will pull up “X” information that is connected to my card just like if you take a picture of a QR code. Again, I’ve never done either of these things, just going off of the little info I’ve gathered and am in the process of gathering.

So in theory, they’d be more likely to connect with me because the info and connection is right in front of them and already done for them. It is also now on their phone already, a person’s #1 means on connecting. In theory, there’s nothing for them to lose, and there’s no physical paper business card that might be thought of as clutter or trash in the future when their cleaning out their car, for instance. Lastly, in theory, I feel as if it might make connecting with me fun and exciting because most people have never seen or used a digi-card before. It’s not “just another business card” to them.

ILikeChangingMyMind 1

>So in theory

:-) Again, many would argue that start-ups aren't "product factories" ... they're business laboratories. And what do scientists do in laboratories? Test theories!

So again, I think "formulating theories about what will benefit your business, and testing them" is an awesome thing for a start-up! But at the same time, you want to be smart: start-ups have limited resources, and there's no point in wasting money on an experiment someone else has conducted.

Honestly until this post, when you said "digital business card", I thought you meant something more like this: https://popl.co/products/popl-silver-luxe?variant=32670968774759 ... and (at $20 a pop) those would be an expensive experiment!

But if all you want is a card with a QR code (ie. a fancy form of a URL on your card, that a phone can scan) ... well that's an experiment you can conduct a lot more cheaply! Hell, if you have a printer you could buy some cardstock for $10 and print your own (although I'd imagine a short print run of professional cards could be almost as cheap).

There's no reason to "re-invent" the wheel here, so if you can do a little research, and find any evidence from others that QR cards work better or not ... that would still be ideal. But if not, you still might want to conduct this experiment ... but I'd just ask first "is this the best marketing experiment you could be conducting for your business right now?"

If so, try it! The most important thing to me is just to always ask that question first: as long as you do, I think you're doing the right thing ... and again I also think trying to collect "free evidence" here (to answer it) is wise, so hopefully someone besides me responds here!

  DutchessActual 1

This is exactly the conversation that’s needed for this! I appreciate it. Later today I’m going to do research on a benefit analysis on digi-cards vs paper cards!

Honestly what I was thinking about was something similar to the Popl. It was a hybrid between Popl and a paper card and I can’t seem to find what I’m looking for. I’ll report back if I find it. But the gist is that it was a translucent plastic business card that is durable and semi-futuristic with a colored design printed onto it. But the card wasn’t meant to give to customers. The card was to let customers scan. My prior understanding was that the customer had to have an app that worked with the business card and from there it would connect then to you. I remember seeing an ad on social media for them and that’s all I’m going off of atm. I don’t think it was a QR code but a version of such that worked with that specific app. I didn’t think it was a very efficient system for obvious reasons but recently my wife told me that you can scan a QR code simply with the camera app on your phone, no additional steps required, which is what resparked my interest in the subject. Let me see what I can find.

  DutchessActual 2

I’m really thinking that business card deal I saw on social media (FB, I assume) went under because I can’t find a trace of what I’m looking for. But I found the same idea but cutting out of the middle man. The physical card being the middle man. So same idea, except they scan your phone and it pulls up your business card, no app needed. I need to figure out more about it but so far, it might be my best bet.

If you’re interested: https://switchitapp.com

ILikeChangingMyMind 1

I think the danger with this sort of thing is it's easy to see and think "I get to show my customers a video, yay!" But the real question is, how many customers will want to get their phone out to scan your fancy business card?

Again, I don't think going down this road is necessarily bad ... but just consider alternatives. What if instead (just as an example), you had a tablet in your shop, and if people used the tablet to leave a review on Yelp you gave them a small discount (or even if you didn't, and just made it easy for happy customers to leave reviews)?

Both that and the business card are ways to get one customer's positive experience to translate into new business ... but what really matters isn't which sounds cooler, it's which actually brings in new business.