QR Codes are all the rage for businesses. They are used in products from magazines, billboards, and lately even TV commercials. What few people seem to realize however is that QR codes don’t have to be just for business and can in fact be an effective way to boost your own personal “brand” or just to help your friends/family figure out some details. However you use it though remember to be creative by adding value to someone scanning it with their phone. Just linking to your website which could have probably been typed in in less time than it took to scan your QR code is a bad idea.
Your Business Card
If the point of a business card is getting your information to where someone can use it than a business card is the perfect place to start. You can put your contact information using the VCard format, a video or other link providing more pertinent information, or something else entirely. As a business card is the only information someone is going to have on you as a person when you meet them at a meeting, conference, etc a QR Code is the best way to increase the value of your business card by either making it easier for the recipient to save your data or by providing them with more information than can be contained on a tiny card.
Your resume is the first thing a prospective employer sees about you and must gain their attention in 15 seconds or less. While a QR won’t change this fact it does give you a way to creatively add a video or other content pertinent to your application for the employer to see on further review of your resume. In addition, as they are not used in this manner too often, in many circumstances using a QR code on your resume will still get you “cool points” as there isn’t much chance of other resumes having one for most industries.
Your Personal Website
Are you trying to get folks to call or just remember you? Are you selling an app for smartphones? Put a QR code on your personal website to link to your contact information or, if you’re an app developer, the app you created. Unfortunately there isn’t as much room for creativity here as whatever you QR code links to needs to add value to the mobile user in such a fashion as they haven’t already received the same information from your actual website. Used correctly however a QR code on your personal website can increase conversions or simply help others remember your name.
Your Social Networking Profile
QR codes can help you in social networking in much the same way they can help you on your personal website. They are great for helping a user save your contact information to their phone, etc but as the content is already available online they really don’t offer you as much creative freedom as they would on printed information.
One thing to remember when using a QR code on any website or social media site is that the information you share is available to everyone including those you otherwise wouldn’t want to have it. Be smart about it.
Well grandma might not be the best target for a QR code, there are most likely a number of folks who would get something out of it. I recently had a wedding invitation with a code that loaded the address right into the GPS on my Android. I’ve also seen them used to share personal videos and other creative information. Unlike the uses above it probably isn’t appropriate to share your contact information in an invitation, but a personal video, address for a GPS, or other creative use might work perfectly here.
Need a good way to create QR Codes? Check out qrstuff.com (affiliate link). I’ve been using them for a little while and they really make it easy to generate codes for pretty much anything.
I’m sure there are plenty of other places where QR codes can be used to help you personally. What are some of your favorites?