As you flip through the pages of a magazine these days, you might have started to notice these small square boxes with random pixilations and wondered what kind of secret code it was. It’s actually not so much a secret as it is a surprise. Definitely more high tech than any surprise in a Cracker Jack box, these pixilated boxes are actually QR (Quick Response) codes and within those pixilations could be a URL, text information, or even an image. To get your surprise, all you have to do is scan the QR code with your smartphone and you will be taken to the site, or the text or image will appear. The possibilities are endless from an advertising perspective, as I’m sure you can imagine.
But, what I’m finding intriguing is their application amongst individuals. It’s quite likely that QR codes will replace the business card in years to come.
Have you ever been to a networking event and then gotten home with a handful of cards that you needed to then transfer the information into your phone? Sure. We all have. With the QR code, you can simply (yes, it actually is simple) generate one with your business card info and store the code in your smart phone. Then, when someone asks for your info or for your card, they can just scan your QR image and voila!; They have everything they need. There are several sites where you can create your own QR code, but this is one of our faves: http://qrcode.kaywa.com/. We also thought we might give you a few ideas on how to maximize this new piece of technological real estate!
1. Create your QR code to include phrasing for a specific group to help them remember who you are. For example, if you are at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting you might include your standard business card info and a phrase that says: “It was great seeing you at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting. Can’t wait to see you next month!”
2. Use your QR code as a coupon. It is easy to include phrasing that offers them a free consultation for contacting you or a discount off of your services.
3. Create an image file that includes your picture and business card information so that they can match a face with the written information. You will need to host your image at a URL but this is fairly easy to do…can even be done with a standard Flickr account.
4. Leverage your QR to capture their information. Put your QR code on a brochure and let people know that if they scan the code, they can get a free gift. The URL you use should be to a webpage in your site that can capture their information and then send them free content, a gift, coupon, etc. You may have to spend a little to get the gift to them but you will also have captured their information to be able to keep in touch and build a long-term relationship with them.
These are just a few ways to amp up your networking using a QR code. Are you using a QR code already? Have another fun, innovative way to use it? Share your ideas with us here or on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sylverconsulting.