Increase the ROI of Your Professional Networking via Digital Business Cards
Professional networking is crucial to achieving your business or career goals. Learn how digital business cards can help you conduct more effective, influential, and ROI-driven professional networking.
Professional networking is crucial regardless of what you do or at what stage you are in your professional journey. A LinkedIn study shows that nearly 80% of business professionals consider networking essential for career progression.
Today’s professional networking is progressively becoming technology-driven. Individuals and organizations now use various digital avenues with traditional offline mediums to build meaningful professional networks.
In this post, learn the significance of professional networking in your career or business. You will also learn how to improve your professional networking ROI using a widely-used digital communication tool.
What is professional networking, and why is it crucial?
Professional networking refers to mindfully creating and maintaining meaningful relationships with other professionals or potential clients in your field.
It helps you build a strong network and find more opportunities to advance in your career or acquire more customers for your products or services.
Traditionally, professional networking interactions involved the exchange of paper business cards.
However, paper business cards present various drawbacks that can hurt your professional networking ROI.
These drawbacks include a restrictive content space, lack of real-time interactivity, limited sharing capabilities, and high printing costs, among others.
To conduct networking that delivers substantial, measurable results, you must switch to a digital alternative that eliminates all of these drawbacks. This is where a digital business card(or virtual business card) can prove beneficial.
In the next section, you will learn how digital business cards can play a key role inbuilding a strong professional network for better career opportunities and securing more clients.
6 Reasons why digital business cards are a must-have for professional networking
The dress you wear, how you speak, what you say, and what communication tools you use—consciously or subconsciously cast your first impression.
When it comes to communication channels in face-to-face networking, paper business cards are losing appeal in today’s tech-driven business environments.
For this reason, using an outdated networking tool such as a paper business card could be counterintuitive if you wish to appear professional among your network.
Upgrading to a digital business card is one of the best ways to appear modern and professional in your networking. Remember, appearing professional increases trust and credibility and leaves a better first impression.
2. Conduct 100% paperless and contactless professional networking
If you are committed to building a professional network, you must carry a business card with you at all times. The reason being you would never know when and where professional networking opportunities can emerge.
This need to be networking-ready at all times means you must carry multiple copies of your card wherever you go—a necessity that can prove cumbersome. You may limit the number of cards you hold, but you risk running out of copies during crucial networking scenarios.
Digital business cards eliminate these issues in your professional networking. Being 100% paperless, digital business cards can be stored virtually on your mobile device.
Moreover, the only way to distribute a paper business card is through face-to-face, physical interactions. Since digital business cards are paperless, you can share them through various contactless means, whether online or in person.
Digital business cards let you access multiple contactless and virtual card-sharing methods that can widen your networking reach. You can:
3. Use interactivity to increase your professional networking ROI
Per a Salesforce report, 6 out of 10 consumers prefer digital interactions with businesses over physical ones due to convenience. This finding is unsurprising since digital customer experiences are significantly more interactive.
For instance, if a client wishes to contact you, they simply click one of the phone numbers shown on your virtual business card. If they want to view your business location, they simply click the Google Maps icon on your card.
4. Track the results of your professional networking
Paper business cards don’t provide card scan tracking and analytics; hence you cannot ascertain if your professional networking efforts are getting your ideal results.
The only way to capture card-scan data and gauge the performance of your networking initiatives is via a virtual business card.
With a virtual business card, you can obtain the following metrics in real-time:
The total number of views your card has received
The number of times your contact was 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
With this data in hand, you can now determine if your digital business cards are getting the desired results and make data-driven decisions to optimize your networking efforts.
5. Establish two-way contact sharing between you and your client
As mentioned earlier, exchanging paper business cards can be full of friction.
Suppose you are a sales professional, and after giving your initial presentation, you have piqued your prospect’s interest.
This interaction will likely end with both parties exchanging paper business cards—a process that requires various manual efforts, such as typing and saving contact details on mobile devices.
In addition, you, as the sales agent, must also manually populate your lead management system with your prospect’s contact information.
Repeating this process several times a day can be extremely inconvenient.
To eliminate unnecessary friction in your networking, switching to a digital business card that offers two-way contact-sharing can help.
With two-way contact-sharing, your card recipients can instantly share their contact information directly from your digital business card. As a result, you can capture your prospect’s details as soon as they become warm.
Even if a warm lead does not share their contact details immediately, they can do so anytime since they now have your digital business card.
Each prospect who shares their contact information from your digital business card becomes a new lead entry in your digital address book.
From this digital address book, you can examine, organize, and manage the leads you have collected via your card’s two-way contact-sharing function. You can also export these leads directly to Salesforce or 700+ other lead management tools via Zapier.
6. Save thousands of dollars in your professional networking initiatives
Currently, the average annual cost to print paper business cards is $194 in the US. For a team of 250 employees, you would have to spend an average of $48,500 in annual printing expenses.
This average cost can further rise if you opt for complex designs and use expensive materials for your paper business cards.
Professional networking can yield positive outcomes for your business. But it does not have to incur costly overheads.
So for the same 250 employees, you can spend as low as $12,000 – $18,000 per year, saving you as much as 75% on your business card expenses.
Another drawback of paper business cards is that they can become outdated with even the slightest change in your contact information. Updating your cards would require another round of reprinting, redistribution, and the accompanying hefty costs.
On the other hand, you can instantly update your digital business card at the back end, which immediately reflects on your live card. This flexibility eliminates reprinting and redistribution.
Moreover, their eco-friendly and sustainable nature helps you attract eco-conscious clients and professional connections.
Boost your professional networking ROI with Beaconstac’s digital business cards
Results-driven professional networking can help you achieve your business or career goals. But to conduct it efficiently and grow a meaningful professional network, you must possess the right networking tools.
With Beaconstac, you can access all the features you need to create digital business cards at scale. Once created, you can immediately share them through various contactless methods, such as via Apple Wallet and Google Wallet, URL, and QR Code.
Each digital business card you share enables two-way contact-sharing—a capability to capture your recipients’ contact information right from your card. You can view and manage all your captured details as leads in your digital address book.
In contrast to other platforms, Beaconstac’s digital business card solution lets you access all these features without downloading an app. Moreover, all your networking activities through the solution are protected by robust, enterprise-grade security measures.
Do I need a digital business card for a professional networking event?
Using digital business cards during networking events can generate more ROI than physical business cards. Here are a few reasons:
You can significantly reduce card-printing costs since you don’t need to carry stacks of paper business cards.
You never forget or misplace your business card since it is stored on your mobile device.
There is no limit to how many times you can share your card. You do not run out of copies.
You can share your card in a professional and contactless manner via Apple or Google Wallet.
Capture your client’s contact details from your digital business card via two-way contact-sharing.
Do digital business cards allow interactive professional networking?
Yes. Digital business cards are highly interactive. Your card recipients can access all the information on your card instantly and in real-time.
For instance, if a client wishes to contact you, they can simply click on a phone number or an email address. If they want to save your contact information on their device, they can do so with a similar click of a button.
Your clients can even share their contact information right from your digital business card via two-way contact-sharing.
All of these capabilities make digital business cards the perfect tool for interactive and professional networking.
Reuben is a Content Marketer who helps businesses drive audience engagement and conversions through compelling content narratives. Currently, he explores the impact of simple yet innovative business tools, such as digital business cards, on organizational ROI.