If you don’t want potential clients to worry about scanning your business card or typing your information into their address book, consider putting a QR code on your business card. A QR code is an image which special software on most smartphones can decipher. You can embed text, links, images, or vCards into the code. They’re easy to make and in a few minutes you can have a new business card that is much more versatile and paperless-office friendly.

When using a traditional business card, every person you hand your card to needs to come up with a system for getting that contact information into their address book. To alleviate this problem, you could try an electronic alternative to the traditional business card. But these alternatives haven’t caught on completely yet.

What is a QR Code?

QR, or Quick Response codes, are black and white images like the one to the right. Specialized QR readers are available for all smart phones. I recommend QuickMark. It isn’t free, but it gets the job done and is available for Android, Windows, and iOS phones. The readers parse the QR code and either open a webpage, display some text, download a vCard, or any other number of things.

How to Get a QR Code on a Business Card

The first step in putting a QR code on your website or business card is actually generating the code. There are numerous websites that will generate the code for free. I used QRStuff.com. This allows you to embed the vCard in the actual QR code. Some websites will bring whoever scans the code back to a website to download the vCard. That’s a hoop you don’t want potential clients to have to jump through. With QRStuff all of the data is built right into the code. When it is scanned, the scanner can immediately download your contact information.

Using the website, you put in all your information and it will generate the scannable code. The site then lets you order business cards with your QR code right on them. Or, if you prefer, you can simply right click the code and save it to use on another site, like Vistaprint.

The QR code has been widely accepted in Japan, but is still in its infancy here in the US. Yet it’s a tool that attorneys can use to bridge the gap between the traditional business card and the digital age. Most importantly, attorneys never have to say “I don’t carry business cards, care to bump?”