What if I was to tell you that you never again needed to carry around a business card?
No more dispensing cards at networking functions like candy from a Pez dispenser. No worries about leaving the business cards in the glove compartment of your automobile. No concerns about the stack of business cards that have to be done over again because you got a new designation or a new location.
With the rapid advancements in technology, the mobile business card will replace the printed card within the next decade. (And by the way, there is a big difference between one way texting and two way texting.)
If you are reading this blog, take out your mobile phone and create a new text message. If you don't know what I'm talking about when I tell you to create a new text message, then you are further behind than someone who is still playing cassette tapes in a boom box. Once you create the new text message, put the number 90210 in the TO: field. If a dash comes up within 90210 when you type it in the box, do not worry about it at all.
In the body of the text message, tap in the letters TEDJ. Sometimes your iPhone will want to autocorrect this, but put TEDJ (doesn't matter if it is uppercase or lowercase) and press the send button.
If technology works accordingly, you'll get back a link that you can click to learn more about me. Click that link and you'll see something truly amazing: A complete mobile business card with a video of my office, my contact information, directions to my office, and even links to all of my social media all in one place.
There are a variety of apps available to create (and read) mobile business cards. Here are five:
iZigg is simple and easy to use. It offers the most widely recognized (and easiest to remember) short code in the SMS industry thanks to Luke Perry and Jason Priestley. Text message marketing is powerful. Did you know that 97% are opened and 83% are opened within an hour of receiving them?
This is another solution that allows you to send your business card through text messages. Contxts enables you to exchange professional information via text and a simple message that says "Text 'TEDJ' to 90210" can be incorporated into your marketing strategy.
While this app won't allow you to get rid of all your business cards, Google Goggles allows you to organize all of the other business cards you receive. Simply by taking a photo of a card with the app, Google recognizes the information and uploads them to your address book. Card Munch has similar technology, but operates outside the Google universe.
Bump is an app available for iPhones, iPads and Android phones. Unlike the text capability described above, Bump requires you to simply "bump" devices together to share anything, including business cards.
Jumpscan uses QR codes to share contact information. Anyone with a QR code scanning application on their phone will be able to download all of your contact information in one easy place.
What better way to impress prospects and clients alike by showing them how you are on the cutting edge of technology. In some future Tech Talk blogs, I'll share with you how campaigns can be run with these as well.
I was never a fan of the Beverly Hills or Melrose Place shows, but certainly a mobile business card can help you get some buzz in your practice that can improve the bottom line.
What do you think? What are some apps that help make your life easier on the go? Join the conversation.
Ted Jenkin is Co-CEO and founder of oXYGen Financial Inc.