Business Dev/Sales, CPA Growth Trends, Martech

Virtual Business Cards: Should Your Accounting Firm Climb Aboard?

Virtual business cards - one hand holding a purple card and another hand holding a mobile phone

As accounting firms continue to bring a previously paper-heavy world into the digital space, a logical next step would be to consider adding virtual business cards into the mix. Of course, any time you usher in new tech, you can also add more complexity. Is more technology necessarily better? Should accounting firms try to strike a happy medium? We’ll talk about some of the major virtual business card options available today, as well as some things your firm should consider before deciding to use them.

What are Virtual Business Cards?

Virtual business cards serve as a trackable, digital-first alternative to physical cards. While they can often come with a physical component, the end goal of virtual business cards is to either take people to a website with more information, automatically add contact information to a connection’s phone or direct people to a specific online resource. The end goal can even update and fluctuate over time without changing the original card.

Types of Virtual Business Cards

Recently, AAM members shared some of their favorite virtual business card methods, which can be as easy as adding a QR code to a paper business card and as sophisticated as having an entirely digital NFC card. Here are some of the main tools and categories that were recommended by association members.

Physical Cards With a QR Component

The easiest way to start going digital is by incorporating digital elements into your existing paper business cards. Test feasibility and interest in further digitizing your business cards by adding a QR code to a handful of paper cards. This QR code can even be dynamic, depending on the app you use, and can take people to a Linktree, a landing page, a video, an event invite – really, anything you want to call attention to. You can also use QR codes for vCard info.

Some dynamic QR code companies include me-QR, Hovercode, and even Linktree, which has powerful redirect options.

vCards

vCards have been widely used to exchange information for years. In fact, your firm may already use them. These cards are also known as Virtual Contact Files (VCF), a file format that is used to send contact information through emails, social media, or instant messaging. When people share their vCard with contacts, they can send information like their name, email address, phone number, and website to their connections. vCards can also contain other multimedia content, such as company logos and photos.

While vCards have been widely used for many years and are pretty recognizable, other, more sophisticated virtual card options have entered the market recently that may be worth a look.

NFC & QR Business Cards

Newer digital business cards tend to have a physical component, but all information that is exchanged is done virtually. This can be done via either Near Field Communications (NFC) cards, QR codes, or both. For maximum functionality, having both versions can make the cards more versatile.

Some NFC or NFC/QR business cards accounting firms may want to try include:

Features for these cards can include email signatures, virtual backgrounds, landing pages, color and logo customization, and so on. Some even have a keychain, phone dot, or wristband option, like Popl and Dot.

Blinq also offers a completely virtual option, where people can open up their business card on their phone, and their connection can scan a QR code to get all their information. Other members said that Dot and Popl cards were easy to use and budget-friendly.

Virtual business cards do have their benefits and drawbacks. A few AAM members agreed that Linq offered the customization and features they wanted, but that in certain settings, cards like this can be buggy. This serves as a reminder: At busy conferences or areas where the internet may be spotty, having a backup option to an NFC or QR card may be appropriate.

More important than what virtual business card you decide on is that you use what you’ve chosen. Getting a few people on board early and having them test an option or two, working out the particulars for your firm and how you might use the cards, can make it easier for others to adopt them down the line.

Tell us – has your accounting firm embraced virtual business cards? Any brands you like the best?

About Sammi Dittloff


Sammi is a Marketing Consultant for Needs More Fiber (needsmorefiber.com) and is dedicated to adding substance to marketing for mission-driven companies. She's had over 15 years of marketing, advertising, copywriting, and analytics experience. She was the Marketing Director at Chortek LLP for 3 years and is currently the AAM Blog Committee Chair.

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