As a digital content creator I have a lot of different projects that I’m working on. I have my primary project in the personal finance space called “Michelle is Money Hungry” then I have 3 niche projects. One of the issues that I started noticing right away as I was building out my online business was that I would prepare to go to conferences, design my lovely business card…then, things would change.
Stuff like when I rebranded my personal finance project, added new opt-ins or started a new niche project. And even though you could create a hidden page on your website with a universal URL, it was as easy as you would think to share that information IRL (in real life). When I began hearing about digital business cards or NFC (Near Field Communication) cards-I had to take a second, third and fourth look and decided to order one. I’m going to share why I did this, which card I ordered and the strengths and weaknesses of having a digital business card.
How Does a Digital Business Card Work?
Put simply, a digital business card as a digital interface built into the actual card. Most cards will feel like a credit card and may have a QR code on the back end. The idea is to tap your card to the back of someone else’s phone and have all of your information pulled up immediately. Information such as:
- Your main website and additional niche websites
- A direct link to your podcast, YouTube channel or social media feeds
- Updated links to optoins that you would like to share to grow your email list
When you initially receive your card, it will have identifying information that you can use to set up your unique profile. Then, you’ll connect whatever information about you that you would like people to have access to. In a real world setting, this would mean meeting a person at a conference, coffee shop, etc. and then tapping their phone with your information and directing them to follow, subscribe or save the information that they expressed the most interest in.
There were two cards that I really love! The first is the Dot Card and the second is One Good Card. I ended up going with One Good Card. But, both have their plusses and minuses.
One Good Card vs. Dot Card.
Both One Good Card and Dot Card are pretty similar in how they are set up and the user experience. I ended up going with One Good Card for 2 specific reasons.
- I could create a branded card without needing to order a large number of cards. With the Dot Card currently, you have to order in bulk for branded cards/customized cards (for a team)
- There’s an affiliate program for One Good Card. I don’t think that I noticed one for Dot Card.
The one downside for One Good Card is that it’s produced by a company in Singapore. This means that there will be a delay in receiving the card because it has to be shipped overseas. The Dot Card I believe is located in the US and so if you’re needing the card quickly, then I would recommend the Dot Card.
Basically, I really like both cards. I enjoyed the unboxing experience with One Good Card and behind the card that you see in the photo below is the unique identifying number needed to set up your profile.
Downsides to Digital Business Cards
With new technology, you may run into some folks who may need to be walked through the process. Also, in some countries actual physical business cards are part of culture. Having a physical card and explaining how they will receive my information is a part of transitioning to this technology. I understand that there will be a small percentage of people who just won’t like it. I have a few paper cards left over that I can hand out.
I should really refer to this section as issues to consider as you onboard this new technology vs. actual downsides to using a digital business card.
Sharing too much information. For multi-passionate online entrepreneurs you can get carried away with sharing “ALL THE THINGS” I worry that this is the case for my profile. But, I do think that people will just opt for the areas of interest that make the most sense for why they’re connecting with me.
Giveaway bowls-don’t laugh, but it’s a thing to drop your card into a “giveaway bowl” Now, I might have to rethink how to enter giveaways without a physical card. I do think people are starting to use QR codes as a way to sign up for giveaways.
Potential issues with the online interface that supports the card and your information. I’ve noticed that there is one area in the backend of my One Good Card portal that I can’t seem to get to work. I don’t need it, but I’m going to reach out and let them know that it’s not working like it should.
Finally, I spent a lot of time thinking about the branding of the card. I see myself as a digital entrepreneur for at least the next 5-7 years. But, I might rebrand the name of my projects which is why the card says “Michelle Jackson Digital Entrepreneur” vs. Michelle is Money Hungry or the name of one of my other projects.
That said, if you’re looking for a an earth friendly (yes, I did have it sent over…but, it was on a plane with other items making their way to the US) but, I’ll never have to order another digital card again unless it breaks or I lose it. I was fed up with having to replace my business cards every year and having them become obsolete as soon as I received them. I love that I can update the card all day long and it’s always accurate.
Testing Out the Card
I thought I would share what the feedback has been like since I’ve been using the card “out in the world.” The feedback has been incredibly positive and people really were curious about the card and liked the layout of the information once my profile pulled up. I used it at a Meetup with members ranging in ages from 30 years-70 years old and all of them were able to easily understand the concept of the card.
Some additional observations:
- I didn’t account for people using cases. I think it’s a little easier to have people take a picture of the QR code if they have a case.
- Do prompt people to initiate the “next step” that could be saving your profile, following a social media feed or going to your website.
- A digital card is unique enough that people will remember their interaction with you longer than usual.
- Several folks immediately brought up the positive environmental impact of using a digital card.
I’m heading to a pretty large in-person event at the end of January and will make another follow-up at that time.