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Showcase Your Networking Presence With an Online Business Card

Stand out in the crowd

online business cardsIn a world of high volume, high velocity social networking, it’s no longer good enough to just be present, you have to find ways to stand out so you don’t look like every other real estate agent who is following people on Twitter, Facebook, etc. So we found a quick way that you can aggregate all of your social networks that doesn’t take technical knowledge!

Getting set up

There are many options for creating an online business card that shows all of your social networking and blogging profiles, but our two favorite are card.ly and magntize because they are easy to use and have the most modern themes on the market.

Here are some screen shots of the final result of both online business cards (click the image to see a live demo):

cardly business profile
magntize business card online

To get started, all you need is a list of your usernames and URLs for your social networks. There are many themes available (themes are like templates or skins) and I chose the ones above because they were clean and streamlined. As a side note, the black and white design has more colorful options, and is the only of the options that offers a capture mechanism, making it act almost as a website and makes it possible for people not using social networks to reach out.

Bonus tips:

Almost all social networks have a spot in your biographical information for you to share your website and the international standard is to share your blog URL. But imagine someone visiting your new online business card instead and seeing not only your main blog but your other social networks and any other blogs you create, giving people the option to reach you in whatever way they are most comfortable. That is awesome!

Another tip is instead of typing https://lani.magntize.com into your social network’s bio position, go to a URL shortener (like bit.ly or dwarfURL) and create a shortened URL not for the convenience of being short but for the ability to track clicks to your online business card, so https://lani.magntize.com has just become https://bit.ly/47MhiY and now I can tell when someone is clicking on it from Twitter or Facebook or otherwise. Don’t just blindly use social media, measuring ROI is possible!

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The last tip for online business cards is to use the url on your own business card. Instead of typing in each address you are using and having 20 lines on your card, send people to one place and let them choose their final destination. The era of being able to point people to your blog is not over, but in such a noisy world, it’s nice to be organized about it.

When you set up YOUR online business card, share the link with us in the comments so we can all see what you came up with!

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. The Harriman Team

    November 18, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Here we are: https://bit.ly/2FOPoo (I don’t believe Bit.ly put “poo” in our URL! Are they trying to tell us something?!?)

    [EDITOR’S NOTE: here is the lengthened URL from the above bitly so you can see where you’re clicking: https://card.ly/TheHarrimanTeam%5D

  2. Lani Rosales

    November 19, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Wayne, I *love* the short bio y’all wrote, that’s funny! Wow, you guys sure are active on a lot of social networks, which is your favorite?? ๐Ÿ™‚

    _________________
    PS: Readers, we don’t typically allow links in comments, but we’re making an exception here, so please use the full url instead of a shortened one so no one questions the safety of where they are being directed. Thanks!

  3. Selena Faulkner

    November 19, 2009 at 12:18 am

    I’ve been wanting a tool like this for a while! Thanks for the heads up…now I can redirect my domain name to this site

    Don’t judge me, it’s a work in progress! This means you Lani! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    https://card.ly/singingcello #cardlyand send people to this virtual business card. Thanks!

  4. Lani Rosales

    November 19, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Oooh, that’s a good idea- to use a dormant domain! Selena, what I love about yours is that your bio isn’t dry and it actually outlines your goals, that’s innovative thinking- Wesley could learn from you ๐Ÿ˜‰ (tell him I said that) ๐Ÿ™‚ lol

    • Selena Faulkner

      November 19, 2009 at 12:45 am

      I will gladly pass along your message to Wesley. . I really like what Magntize has to offer for themes as well. I’ll have to play around with both options you presented tomorrow to see which once I want to direct my domain name to. Thanks again for posting such useful information!

  5. The Harriman Team

    November 19, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Sorry for just using the Bit.ly URL! Well, I like a few different networks, for different reasons. I have Last.fm playing on my PC while I’m working, but I think my favorites would have to be Facebook and Twitter. There’s just so much activity on them, so much to see and learn and respond to and discuss, so many interesting people to “meet”! Sometimes I wonder what it was like just a few short years ago without these networks. Probably kind of like the early 1940’s before TV rolled around!

  6. Barry Lynn Miller -REMAX

    November 19, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Should you optimize the dormant domains.

    I understand having this application but I am on say 30 Soc. Networks and I use ping to blast post if I put this on my site will it show those 30 or so links as outbound links.

    If so I was under the impression that was a bad thing

  7. Jack Leblond

    November 19, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Barry – Your questions seem like SEO ones, so I’m stepping in on Lani’s post (hope I don’t squish her toes)

    Not sure what you mean by “optimize dormant domains”. But I *think* you are referring to what Selena is doing. (which is a good idea by the way, but – only do it until you are ready to put your site live. Also, use a 302 (temporary) redirect. That way when you turn off the redirect, all the “link juice” will flow to your new site.) If you are going to redirect ONE domain to your online card, there really isn’t anything else for you to do. If you want to use more than one domain, make sure that you use 301 redirects for all but the first, otherwise you will be creating duplicate content on your domains. That’s bad.

    These “cards” are not something that you put on your regular sites, but rather you link to them from various places. As such, the number of profiles the card links to does not matter.

    As for doing bulk updates of the same stuff to every profile on every site – STOP! Three good reasons to not do that:

    1) Most sites have a unique personality, and the people that congregate on them expect information to provided in a certain way, using a certain “voice”. Doing everything the same on every site wastes your time – and theirs. You will likely turn off most of the people on most of the sites.
    2) You will have a certain amount of overlap in your audience – why punish them by forcing them to read the exact same text 30 times?
    3) Imagine you are a new visitor, you start clicking links from the online business card, and everywhere you go it is exactly the same stuff – kinda looks like you are a robot…who wants to work with a robot?

    Hope this helps.

  8. Andrew McKay

    November 19, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Great great tool. Simple, clean cut and useful. Many thanks.
    https://card.ly/WasagaBeachTalking

  9. Susie Blackmon

    November 21, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Here’s my card.ly card: https://card.ly/SusieBlackmon

    Next project is new photo and freshening up profile info.

    Thanks Ms. Lani.

  10. Karen Goodman

    November 22, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    I think this makes a lot of sense for people who write on multiple blogs or have several websites. Instead of having to pick just one site to put on your social networking profiles, you can give visitors everything and let them choose. And, it makes a lot of sense who is marketing themselves as a social media educator/professional.

    But for someone like me who is currently directing all of my efforts towards getting people to my business blogsite, this would require an extra click from visitors wanting to find out about me and many people will bounce off this card instead of clicking through to my site.

    Also, doesn’t having the links from the profiles going to my website help my website with Google? Wouldn’t I be loosing the link juice if I directed them to this business card instead?

    I DO think it is a good idea, just not for someone with only one website/blog.

    • Karen Goodman

      November 22, 2009 at 10:22 pm

      Follow up thought…I keep hearing that I should have a landing page on my blog for those profile URLs instead of just directing them to the home page.The landing page would be customized to speak directly for the site visitors coming from your profile page on social media sites.

      So, couldn’t you basically do this for yourself…creating an interior hidden page that lists your profiles and a brief bio…and speaks directly to the type of visitor who are checking it out? It would give you a way to let people connect with you however they chose, while still sending them to your main blog and capturing the link love.

      • Lani Rosales

        November 23, 2009 at 12:46 am

        It’s not about how many blogs you’re on, it’s about putting all of your social networks in one spot. If you blog and don’t use Twitter, FB, Flickr, LinkedIn, etc. that would be fine, but it’s frequent that we see people all over the place with no single placeholder. ๐Ÿ™‚

        You COULD do this on your own by creating a page on your blog, however in my opinion, 99.999% of blogs are not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as the two options above, so it’s a matter of preference.

  11. Jennifer Rathbun

    November 25, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I made a card.ly ( http://www.card.ly/jennrathbun ) page last week. I happend to use the same theme Lani used (how cool is that!). I also have the http://www.JenniferRathbun.com page.

    But I’m just beginning to wonder how many of these are just reposting the same thing over and over again?

    I have 3 photo accts (more if you could work and personal for some of those), several pages that have links to my other social media.

    Links on my blog, links on facebook, links in newsletters.

    It took me 2 days to make sure all of my webpages were updated! But do I choose flikr over picasa? Linked in over plaxo? MyBloglog or Dipity? Slide or slideshare or docstoc?

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