Digital business cards are on the rise. As the need for remote work, online networking, and virtual events increases, so does the need for an electronic way to share contact information. This guide will cover what digital business cards are, the benefits of going digital, and how to make and share your own.
The way we connect with others is rapidly evolving. Perhaps the COVID19 pandemic accelerated this, but an increasing reliance on technology as a way to interact with our peers was eventually inevitable.
Business cards have been around for centuries and they serve one purpose—to share and exchange contact information. However, as virtual meetups and perpetual job hopping become synonymous with tech culture, paper business cards are losing their value and appeal. As companies continue to implement permanent work from home policies and events more often than not go virtual, digital business cards are becoming increasingly popular.
A digital business card (also known as virtual or electronic business cards) is an online means of sharing contact information. Digital business cards can be created on an iPhone, Android, or computer, and are oftentimes more affordable than their paper counterparts. Like typical business cards, electronic business cards can be customized, designed, and shared with anyone. There are no space constraints with digital cards—you can add as much or as little information to your card as you’d like. In addition to your normal contact information (like your name, company, email, and phone number) you can enrich your card with a photo or video, a logo, social media profiles, and more.
There are a number of digital business card apps out there, and you’ll need to find the one that works the best for you. We recommend HiHello—HiHello is a free digital business card, business card scanner, and contact manager app. HiHello lets you make multiple digital business cards with different information on each card, so you can have a card for your work contacts, one for clients or customers, and one for your friends. Unlike other business card apps, with HiHello you can share your card with anyone, even if they don’t have the app.
There are a number of reasons why virtual business cards are the way to go. Here are a few benefits of going digital.
As long as you have access to your phone or computer, you’ll always have your digital business cards on hand. Because everything is electronic, you’ll never need to worry if your card supply is low and if you need to order more. Digital cards are also extremely flexible. Did you switch jobs, get a new phone number, or simply make a typo? That can be a costly mistake with paper cards. Digital business cards allow you edit to your cards at any time, so they are always up-to-date with your latest contact information.
Let’s admit it—paper business cards aren’t the most environmentally conscious way to exchange contact information. Did you know that over 90% of business cards are thrown away within one week of receiving them? Talk about wasted paper! If everyone switched from paper to electronic cards, over seven million trees would be saved each year.
Digital business cards are often more affordable than their paper counterparts. (In HiHello’s case, they’re completely free!) Really, there’s no need to pay hundreds of dollars a year on paper cards that are going to get thrown away almost immediately—save that money and reallocate it to another aspect of your business, like your marketing budget.
With online meetings and virtual events becoming the new norm, virtual business cards are becoming a staple of everyday life. Digital cards can be shared with anyone, anywhere—simply send the link over email, text, or social media. During a Zoom or Microsoft Teams video call, you can hold up your QR code, and anyone in attendance can scan your code and will have instant access to your card. Even when in-person gatherings resume, digital business cards will stick around because they’re germ-free and no physical contact is required.
When you receive a paper business card, what do you normally do with it? Most people will toss it in their purse or wallet, where it's forgotten and when found, almost immediately thrown out. When you share a digital business card, it doesn’t get lost in the oblivion of old receipts, gum wrappers, and hair ties. Digital business cards go directly into the receiver’s inbox, so your new contact can easily integrate it (and you!) into their workflow. Virtual cards make following up easier and more efficient, which in return can lead to fostering stronger connections.
Making a digital business card is simple and can be done within minutes. First, you’ll need to download a digital business card app. Once you have the app on your iPhone or Android device you’re ready to get started with your first virtual card. With HiHello, you can also create a digital business card on your computer—simply create an account (or log in) on the HiHello website and you’ll be able to make and edit your cards, as well as view your contacts.
Once you’re ready to create your first digital business card, use the following guides to help you get started:
You can put as much or as little information as you want on your digital business card, and you’ll never run out of space. (No more trying to pack in as much information as you can—while still trying to make it look somewhat presentable—on a 3.5x2 piece of paper!)
When it comes to what exactly to put on a card, here are a few things that you should always include:
On HiHello, you can add more than your first and last names. Add any prefixes or suffixes, as well as any accreditations, your preferred name (for example, a nickname or the name you go by professionally, like Dr. Jones), or a maiden name. You can also include your pronouns on your digital card, so people will know how to refer to you.
If you’re currently employed, include your title and company name on your virtual card. If you are currently looking for a new role, check out our blog post, “8 Examples of Digital Business Cards for Jobseekers.”
Include your preferred means of contact on your card, like your your email, phone number, website, WhatsApp, or any other links.
Unless your physical address is crucial to your business, putting in a generic region is completely acceptable on business cards (for example, “San Francisco Bay Area” or “New York, New York”).
Adding a picture or video to your card is important—it will help connect the “name to face” for your contacts. Make your card even more memorable by opting for a live photo or video instead of a static picture!
Add your company's logo to your business card! You can either upload your own from your files or Photos, or—on HiHello—you can search for a logo directly within the app.
If social media is relevant to your business, you should include it on your digital business card. Here are a few different options of social media accounts you can add, as well as a few tips and tricks.
Most people are on Twitter these days. If you’re active on Twitter, adding your Twitter handle can help you grow your online following by including it on your virtual card.
If you’re in the creative industry, including your Instagram account on your digital card could be a way to show off your portfolio to potential clients.
Adding your personal or company’s Facebook page to your business card can be a great way to stay engaged and connected with your audience.
LinkedIn is great to include on your card if you rely on it for your business, your trying to grow your number of LinkedIn connections, or if you’re on the job market.
If you have any video content to show off, place it in the YouTube field! On HiHello, if you want to embed the video in your card turn the “Feature” toggle on, and the video will appear at the bottom of your digital card. Featuring a video is a great way to further engage the people you meet. If you’re a realtor, perhaps consider adding a video of a virtual house tour. Working on pitching a new product? Include a marketing promo video on your card!
If you’re a content creator, influencer, social media manager, or are simply making a digital business card to give to your friends, add a little spice to your card by adding your Snapchat and TikTok handles! As always, be mindful of your audience—only include these if they pertain to your business.
If you’re an engineer or developer, adding your Github to your card is a great way to show your work.
If you’re a business owner, add the link to your Yelp page to your card. This can help drive traffic to your business, and can also encourage your clients or customers to leave you five star reviews!
If your business accepts electronic payments, adding your Venmo, PayPal, or CashApp to your card makes it easier for clients or customers to pay you on the spot, instead of them having to search around for your user name, email or phone number.
You can add birthdays and anniversaries to your cards underneath the “Date” field.
If there’s anything else you want to add to your card, you can write it in a note.
So your card is personalized and ready to be shared, now what? Sharing your digital business card is simple, and can be accomplished in four different ways:
Every HiHello digital business card has its own unique QR code. If you’re networking with someone in-person and want to share your card with them, have them aim their phone’s camera at your QR code. (Remember, you can also share your QR code over a Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts call—hold your code up to your computer's camera and have the other meeting attendee scan it with their phone's camera.) This will automatically pull up your card on their phone, and from there they can save your card as a .VCF. Your QR code never changes, so you can print it on any marketing collateral and when scanned, it will always link back to your digital business card.
If you’re networking from a distance, you can share your digital business card with anyone by sending them the link to your card via text, email, or your preferred communication means. You can also include a link to your card in your email signature, on your social pages, and more.
HiHello has a feature called Nearby, and it works similarly to Airdrop on iOS. If another HiHello user is near you, you can send them your digital business card—no QR code or link required.
Online meetings aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Next time you’re on a Zoom or Microsoft call for a networking event, a job interview, or a meeting with a potential customer, use a HiHello virtual background. Virtual backgrounds are great to use when networking online—they look professional, hide any background distractions, and keep your home private (and let’s face it—more and more people are working from home these days). When you create a virtual background, it’ll link to your digital business card and will show your QR code in the upper right corner. Anyone on the call can scan your QR code with their phone, and will see your full digital business card on their phone.
Learn exactly how to share (and how to receive!) a digital business card with the following guides:
HiHello is a free digital business card and contact manager app designed to help you curate and grow your network. If you’re ready to make the change from paper business cards to digital, sign up for HiHello for free on iOS, Android, or desktop.