Despite the high demands that come with an executive position, investing time to cultivate a strong professional network can help you reap various benefits for your business. And when it comes to building meaningful connections as a c-suite executive, there’s no denying the importance of business cards.
For decades, c-suite executives have relied on traditional, paper-based business cards to serve as an extension of themselves and their business. However, in today’s technology-driven business landscape, paper business cards are beginning to lose their appeal as a networking medium.
Today, if we compare search trends between paper and digital business cards, we see that the latter is outpacing the former during the last two years. Individuals and organizations are now switching to digital business cards (also known as virtual business cards) en masse.
Source: Google Trends (US)
The reason? Digital business cards address the numerous limitations of paper business cards in terms of shareability, interactivity, convenience, and other crucial networking aspects.
As a c-suite executive, digital business cards substantially benefit your networking efforts. Continue reading to discover the eight key reasons why digital business cards are the ideal choice for building and maintaining a meaningful network as a c-suite executive.
Table of contents
- The 8 Ways digital business cards help executives network better
- What C-suite executives MUST include in their digital business card
- ROI-driven networking with the best digital business card solution
- Frequently asked questions
8 Ways digital business cards help you network better as an executive
- Convey your full executive identity and expertise—interactively
- Contactlessly distribute your digital business card
- Digital business cards are convenient to carry
- Engage in modern networking while enforcing branding
- Significantly cut down on card printing expenses
- Measure your digital business card’s engagement performance
- Eliminate tedious and lengthy business card procurements
- Network in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner
#1 Convey your full executive identity and expertise—interactively
The traditional, paper-based business cards c-suite executives use are typically bound to a 3” x 5” content space. Thus, they often showcase minimal information. Attempting to pack more detail in this compact content space risks the card appearing cluttered and inelegant.
Furthermore, paper business cards lack interactivity. Even if you manage to include sufficient details in your card, your recipients must resort to manual typing and searching on their mobile devices to fully interact with those details.
You can solve this spacing and interactivity issue by switching to a digital business card.
The information you can include on a digital business card is not constrained and there is no limit to the amount of contact information you can display. For instance, you can showcase every URL and social handle on your card that is relevant to your business.
This ability to share limitless information allows you to convey your full value, expertise, and field authority.
Since digital business cards are highly interactive, each piece of information is accessible in real-time. Your recipient only has to tap or click on the elements of your virtual business card, such as a phone number, a Google Maps location, or a website URL to access it instantly.
Good to know: Beaconstac enables two-way contact sharing by letting your recipients share their information with you—directly through your digital business card.
You can activate this feature anytime by toggling on ‘Enable’ under the LEAD COLLECTION segment. You can also toggle on the user data you want to collect (e.g., name, email, phone number, etc.).
Upon activation, your end-users will see a ‘Share your contact’ button when viewing your card. Viewers can click or tap this button to complete a form that captures their information.
Each form submission is saved as a lead entry (in your digital address book) on the dashboard’s ‘Leads’ section. Simply click on the information button next to the captured lead to view all of its details.
You may integrate your leads list directly to your company’s Salesforce and Hubspot accounts or 700+ other CRM platforms via Zapier. You can also download your list as a CSV file before uploading it to your CRM software.
#2 Contactlessly distribute your digital business card
The traditional method of distributing business cards is via physical sharing—you hand out a paper business card to a potential customer, which they retain for later use.
However, this method can prove impractical in today’s tech-driven networking, especially with the introduction of paperless and contactless card-sharing.
Rather than distributing physical copies of your business card, go 100% paperless and contactless with a digital business card. This avenue opens you up to multiple contactless sharing options that can significantly broaden your networking reach as a c-suite executive.
For instance, you can contactlessly share your digital business card as an Apple Wallet pass (or Google Wallet pass). In addition, you can share it as a business card QR Code (or a URL) through various digital means—such as your email signature, social media, or instant messaging apps.
You might want to know: Many consider NFC-based business cards a contactless networking alternative to paper business cards.
While you can create these business cards digitally, you still need to print and share physical NFC cards–which a recipient taps using a mobile device. As such, NFC business cards do not make for a truly contactless solution.
To achieve 100% contact-free networking, you must use a digital business card that you can store and share as an Apple or Google Wallet pass.
#3 Digital business cards are convenient to carry
It is common for executives to find themselves engaged in networking scenarios—anticipated or not. To avoid missing impromptu networking or business opportunities, executives must carry paper business cards in certain quantities at all times.
However, carrying a stack of paper business cards everywhere you go can be cumbersome.
To avoid this needless inconvenience, switch to a digital business card—which you can share at any time from your mobile device.
During a networking scenario, you simply retrieve your business card from your phone and share it as an Apple or Google Wallet pass. This eliminates the need to constantly carry batches of paper business cards.
Here’s how a digital business card stays with you at all times:
There is also the matter of paper business cards being finite stacks of paper. During a crowded networking event, who is to say if your cards will run out or not?
Digital business cards allow you to go completely paperless and can be shared an unlimited number of times. Once you store your virtual business card in your mobile device as an Apple or Google Wallet pass, you can access and share it as and when required. Thus, you will never run out of opportunities for card-sharing.
#4 Engage in modern networking while enforcing your company’s branding
A digital business card is a modern and contactless networking tool, which means it has the ability to make you appear tech-savvy during a client interaction.
For instance, rather than handing out a physical business card, you can share your contact details via Apple or Google Wallet.
This sharing method is streamlined, contactless, and most importantly, convenient for your card recipients.
In addition to convenient sharing, digital business cards allow you to customize their visuals to make them consistent with your company’s branding and design. This customizability further increases your professional appearance and helps you build trust and authority through brand consistency.
#5 Significantly cut down on business card printing expenses
The average annual cost to print paper business cards in the US is $194 per person. Your card-printing expenses can certainly exceed this average if your cards possess sophisticated designs and are printed in higher quantities.
In comparison, purchasing a digital business card plan from a dedicated digital business card solution is much more cost-effective—coming only at a fraction of the cost of paper business cards per unit.
Moreover, virtual business cards are highly scalable, meaning the more cards you purchase on your plan, the less you have to spend per card.
#6 Measure your digital business card’s engagement performance
Paper business cards do not possess the means of providing actionable engagement insights. This capability is available only for digital business card users.
By switching to digital business cards, you can start using card-scan tracking and analytics. This invaluable feature allows you to obtain the following meaningful engagement metrics:
- The total number of views your card has received
- The number of times your contact details were saved
- The total number of unique recipients your card has reached
- Your best and worst-performing digital business cards
- Card engagement by time, date, location, and device
You can monitor these metrics via a trackable digital business card solution for a full picture of your networking results.
#7 Eliminate tedious and lengthy business card procurements
The typical process for procuring paper business cards—from start to finish—takes an average of 30 days. This is because card procurement often involves complex company procedures on top of the card supplier’s lengthy production and delivery turnaround times.
You can eliminate this tedious procurement process by adopting digital business cards for yourself and your organization.
Digital business cards can be created within minutes—whether standalone or in bulk. In addition, each of your company’s departments has full control over its virtual business card creation and management without relying on procurement teams and external suppliers.
#8 Network in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner with virtual business cards
A recent study revealed that 82% of consumers prefer working with companies that put people and the planet first before profits. Switching to digital business cards displays your commitment to adopting sustainable business practices.
Digital business cards do not involve the use of paper.
This paperless quality of virtual business cards substantially reduces your networking’s carbon footprints, allowing you to network sustainably and attract eco-conscious consumers.
What C-suite executives MUST include in their digital business cards
To maximize your digital business card’s networking impact, you must ensure it displays your full value, expertise, and authority as a business leader.
Below are four of the most vital elements a c-suite executive must include in their digital business cards:
#1 Basic profile information
This encompasses fundamental details about yourself and your business: name, title (e.g., CEO, COO, CFO, etc.), professional headshot, company name and logo, and professional summary. Your basic profile information sets the foundation for building trust and authority among your audience.
#2 Contact details
Once your recipients are confident about who you are and the value you offer, they might wish to quickly get in touch with you. Make it easy for your recipients to get in touch with you by having all your contact details—phone numbers, emails, URL links—accessible directly from your virtual business card.
#3 Social media links
Quite often, the URL links in your contact details are sufficient to provide your recipients with any additional information they require. But adding social links to your digital business card can further build your credibility and authenticity.
#4 Branding details
Your digital business card must reflect your company’s unique branding details such as your brand’s distinctive colors, preferred font styles, and a suitable card layout. Once incorporated, these branding elements will allow your card to stand out and promote your company’s recognition.
Beaconstac’s digital business card generator thoroughly supports adding the above-mentioned four elements. You begin the card creation process by fleshing out your profile information and adding your contact details.
Next, you include any business-relevant social media icons—with 20+ unique icons available for use within the platform. Finally, the platform gives you the customization tools to enforce your brand’s design elements to your virtual business card.
Next step? Conduct ROI-driven networking with Beaconstac
As an executive, there’s no denying the importance of building meaningful connections with clients, vendors, and other like-minded business leaders. However, to truly maximize your networking ROI—let alone conduct modern networking practices—you must rely on a robust and capable digital business card solution.
Through Beaconstac, you and your team can leverage a feature-rich platform to create and manage digital business cards at scale.
My entire executive leadership team uses Beaconstac.
I’ve created Beaconstac digital business cards for my company’s executive leadership and had a wonderful experience doing it—great product, service, and value. I highly recommend it!
Philip Smith, Communication Manager, Chick-fil-A, Inc. (Source)
Upon creation and customization, your cards become immediately shareable through various channels, including Apple or Google Wallet, social media, email, and instant messaging.
With Beaconstac, all your business card activities—creation, platform storage, distribution, and tracking—can be carried out without downloading a separate app. Furthermore, your business card activities are safeguarded under enterprise-grade security measures.
These advanced capabilities position Beaconstac among the best digital business card solutions available today.
Frequently asked questions
Should a CEO use a digital business card?
CEOs often engage in various networking interactions, including meetings, conferences, and even impromptu scenarios. For this reason, CEOs must use digital business cards.
Digital business cards outperform their traditional, paper-based counterparts in every crucial networking aspect—including shareability, interactivity, cost-effectiveness, and more.
These cards are also convenient to carry and can be shared an unlimited number of times. These qualities entail you no longer have to worry about misplacing your cards or running out of copies during a busy networking event.
Learn more: The Top 8 Benefits of Digital Business Cards
How do you create a digital business card?
To create a digital business card that helps achieve your networking goals, choosing a specialized digital business card platform is imperative. A dedicated platform lets you leverage a full range of features that can augment the impact of your digital business cards.
You can learn more about virtual business card creation by referring to our handy guide on how to create a digital business card.