We all know that we should network more. There’s no doubt that making exciting new business connections can bring fresh revenue, beneficial partnerships, valuable clients and lasting friendships too. But, when you’re given a business card, it’s still such an utter chore to get the information on the card into your phone or computer address book. Sure, we all know about the scanning apps that employ Optical Character Recognition to turn a paper card into a digital one, but these app are never 100% accurate (and if someone uses one of these apps to scan your card, and it translates a ‘7’ in your phone number on the card into a ‘1’, you could end up losing business), plus it takes time to photograph each card. What’s more, these scanning apps can’t cope with ‘creative’ business cards (like this one or this) that don’t fit the traditional 85mm by 55mm standard business card template.
And it’s not just physical business cards that cause this problem of inserting information into your address book. If you visit a website and need to add the company’s information into your phone or computer address book, you’ll need to cut and paste the information on their site, which is a slow and laborious process. Or, when you receive an email from a new businessperson and they include their contact details in their footer, even though some email programs allow you to add that information into your address book with a few clicks, again, the software never delivers a 100% reliable and swift result. Some people even embed a VCF contact card into their email footer, but most people don’t, and many businesses won’t allow attachments to be received in emails, anyway.
So, I yearned for a solution for all these first world problems (but valid ones, nevertheless). I decided to build a website and app called Contakk, which is ‘bitly meets Linkedin’. Contakk allows you to create your own personal link for one or more digital business cards and you can then give this link to anyone. Here’s an example for you to click on and try: contakk.com/shed. Now, apart from the speed this method allows you to get my information into your address book, it also delivers other important benefits – you’ll notice that my contact card includes my photo and a brief biography embedded in the notes as well. The photo is a memory jog (because we’ve evolved over millions of years to remember faces) and the extra information in the notes means that someone can easily search their address book for a keyword or phrase they might associate me with, in case they can’t recall my name, such as ‘creative’, ‘motivational speaker’ or ‘great in bed’. You can set also set your Contakk cards to public or private, so that if someone clicks on your link and you’ve set the card to private, you need to give permission before they can access it, and if you’ve set it to public, anyone can download it and easily place it in their address book, like my one: contakk.com/shed.
Once you’ve created your Contakk card and link, you can post your link anywhere – on your site, your email footer, on a poster…and even (ironically) on your paper business card. So, get your Contakk link now and ensure you make every new business connection count – the business card is dead…long live the business card!