Why do people still use business cards? Other than leaving them in a bowl trying to win a free lunch, I’m not sure.
Gary Vee doesn’t know either. (Language warning)
Let’s think about it for a second. What is the first thing you do when you’re meeting with someone new? If you’re like me, you look them up on LinkedIn. If they’re not there, it’s not a deal breaker but I’m a little suspicious. You do have a thoughtfully crafted LinkedIn profile, right?
From there I’ll move on to a general web search. If I still can’t find you I’m seriously reconsidering whether or not I even want to keep that meeting at all. When was the last time you Googled yourself? If you haven’t done it, go do it now. (Don’t worry I’ll wait.) Do the results represent the best of what you do and what you want people to know about you?
Either way, I’ve usually got your contact information well BEFORE I ever meet you. If our meeting goes well, I’ll invite you to connect on LinkedIn and maybe follow you via social media. No business card required.
I have a confession. I don’t want your business card. If you give it to me, it probably won’t make it home. And even if it does, the most likely place for it to end up is in the bottom of a junk drawer. Am I the only one like that?
Don’t you think that in today’s digital world it is time to find a better alternative to paper business cards? I do.
Here’s an idea that might change your life. OK, maybe not, but I think you’ll find it pretty darn helpful.
Haystack: Digital Business Cards
I use an app called Haystack as an easy way to share my contact information with people I meet at conferences and other places. Instead of schlepping a bulky stack of business cards, Haystack lets me put my contact information directly into someone’s phone as a stored contact. Where it is MUCH more likely to actually get used.
The best thing about this approach is that I can share my information with anyone on any device.
Here’s how it works.
Create your digital card
Start by downloading the free Haystack app (iOS or Android) and create your new digital card by entering your contact information, social media accounts and don’t forget to add a good photo.
Once you’ve wrapped that up you’re ready to ditch your old printed business cards and start sharing digitally. The next time you meet someone you want to give your contact information to, ask them how they’d prefer to get it and use Haystack to share it via SMS or email. If you and the people you meet are tech savvy, you can even send it to them via Slack, Airdrop, Trello, Whatsapp, or whatever other channels you’re on.
I haven’t been able to personally confirm it, but they claim the app will automatically update your information on other people’s devices when you update your details, and it will update your contacts directory when other people’s details change. (Let me know if you’d like to test it out with me.)
How cool is that?
You can even create more than one digital card if you want. For example, in addition to the one for your day job, might also want one for your side hustle.
By now you may be wondering what to do with the cards you receive. After all, not everyone can be as smart and with it as you, right!? 😎 Haystack can help you with that too.
Just use the scanner option in Haystack to automatically convert this…
…into an actionable contact on your phone that looks like this.
After scanning a card, Haystack will even ask if you want to send them your contact information in return.
Bing. Bang. Zoom. How easy is that?
What about you? Do you still prefer physical cards? Have you found another way you like better? Let me know! I’d love to hear what is working best for you.