QR Codes are an effortless way for friends and family to share your business details with people they know. And they’re better for the planet than business cards.
You don’t need any downloads or special logins to create a digital business introduction that’s easily shareable in any kind of networking situation. Even holiday dinner with your family.
The social media platforms you already use have built-in features to create a QR (quick response) code that instantly links to your content.
And best of all, you won’t end up throwing away hundreds of plastic-coated business cards when you outgrow what’s printed on them.
How To Use A QR Code Instead Of A Business Card
If you haven’t already used QR codes for networking, book tours, flyers, or any of a million other ways to use it, you’re in for a treat!
They’re basically bar codes that smart phone cameras recognize. When someone scans the code with their phone, it opens the link associated with that code. It’s a shortcut for driving in-person traffic to your online pages.
You can save it as the lock screen on your phone so that it’s easy to show people at events. Simply wake up your phone and have the other person aim their camera at it.
Their phone will then offer to open the link that the QR code leads to.
Or you can print out a single copy and have people take a photo of it. No more pockets stuffed full of cards for people you can’t remember the next day!
You can also keep a copy in your images folder on your phone and pull it up anytime someone says “they might know someone who needs your help” at a family gathering.
You can get fancy and create a QR code for any page on the internet. But to save you time, we’re going to show you the fastest and easiest ways to use tools you’re already familiar with.
How To Turn Any Instagram Post Into A Shareable QR Code
This is my favorite QR code trick because it’s instantaneous and hassle-free:
- Simply add two letters ~ qr ~ to the end of any Instagram URL to instantly get a downloadable QR code that links to that post.
- Yes, it’s that simple!
- And, you can choose which color scheme you want it to be, to keep it (mostly) on-brand.
For example, if we wanted to link to this post in our feed:
Simply add qr to the end of the URL like this:
Go ahead and click that URL ⬆⬆ to see it in action. You’ll see something like this:
And if you aim your phone’s camera (sometimes called “lens” mode) at the QR-code in the above image and click the shutter button, you’ll see for yourself how it instantly opens the same post you see in the background of that image.
How cool is that?!? 😎
Of course, you can also grab QR codes on the fly from the Instagram app. Just open the post you want to share with someone and click the 3 dots at the top of the post to open this menu of options;
The option for “QR code” is in the top row on the far right. Click that circle and it will pull up the same view as before where you can choose your color scheme and download the image. (Or just show it to the other person as-is and let them scan it. No need to save it if you don’t think you’ll need it often.)
Ways to use an Instagram post as an introduction to new leads
You can create a video to introduce yourself, display your portfolio as a carousel of your work, or share a video advertisement for your products/services.
Think about who you plan to share this QR-code with and make something specifically for what they’d want to learn about you.
If you plan to share the code at a networking event, then you’d probably want a short video that helps them recognize your face and remember who you are and why they wanted to connect with you again.
If you plan to share the code with friends and family at the dinner table, then you’d probably want it to link to something that introduces you to a new lead who has never met you or heard of you before, like an intro video or a portfolio post.
How To Create A Pincode QR Code for a Pinterest Board
This one is also ridiculously easy to grab and use:
- Open the Pinterest board you want to link to.
- Click on the 3 dots to open a dropdown menu.
- Choose “Create Pincode” from the menu.
- Download/save pincode.
The steps to use the pincode are included in the download like this:
Go ahead, open your Pinterest app and scan that rainbow circle ⬆ and watch the magic happen! (There are a lot of great tips in that board for how to grow a business that’s good for the planet.)
Ways to use a Pinterest board as an introduction to new leads
This is a great way to share a portfolio of your work, a curated list of blog posts, or even just a single “pin” to any page on your website.
Edit the board description to include an introduction and brief bio or use this space to describe the purpose & content of the board.
Then add pins for whatever content you want to share:
A pin for each piece in a portfolio where the pin image clearly states what that pin links to and the description adds more details such as metrics, stats, or results. Include testimonial pins in between portfolio pieces for maximum effect. Have each one link to your portfolio on your website or an application to work with you.
A single pin for your landing page or sales page. Optional: include testimonial pins that each link to the same landing page or sales page.
A video pin of you introducing yourself and talking briefly about your business. Links to your contact page on your site.
A curated collection of pins that each link to a different product in your store.
The possibilities are endless!
How To Create A QR Code In WordPress
If you’re using Jetpack with your self-hosted WordPress blog or website, you can create QR codes for any post right inside your dashboard, no plugins needed!
(Your dashboard may look slightly different than mine, depending on which theme you’re using.)
There are 2 ways to access the QR code option inside your WordPress post editor:
- If your post hasn’t been published yet, you can grab the QR code when you hit the button to schedule the post. (See screenshot below.)
- If your post is live on your site, you can open that post and click the Jetpack icon at the top right of the editing window. This will open a menu that includes multiple sharing options including the QR code for that post. (See screenshot below.)
The button to grab the code shows up when you first schedule a post ⬆
And you can also “Get QR code” after a post is published ⬇
Ways to use a WordPress post or page as an introduction to new leads
Ok, now the possibilities really are endless!
You can link directly to your portfolio page or curate a gallery of images you want a new lead to see as their first impression of your business.
You can link to a blog post that talks about why you started your business and your business values.
You can link to your About page or Home page or anything else.
You could create a different post or page for every season and highlight your top tips or products for that season. For example, you could create a gift-giving guide for the December season and include links to your most giftable products.
Or you could curate a collection of your favorite holiday recipes and share that post.
Or create a catalog of your current offers and services and share the QR code to that page.
Just remember to focus on who will be receiving this code from you or your friends/family while chatting face to face, and what will they be most excited to see when they visit your site for the first time. If they’re being referred by a family member, then you probably shouldn’t try to sell to them on the first page they see.
Bond with them. Give them a reason to fall in love with you and your brand. And make sure to include some way for them to stay in touch (sign up for your list, contact you directly, or request more info.)
How To Create A QR Code That Links To Your LinkedIn Profile
This one works great for professional networking events where you would normally want to send people to your LinkedIn page anyway. You can also include the QR code at the top of a printed proposal so that your clients can quickly move from paper to digital assets.
But this one is my least favorite because you only have one choice of which page to link to. No opportunity to curate something unique for that specific audience.
According to the LinkedIn help docs, you can get the QR code from the mobile app:
To find your QR code:
Open the LinkedIn app on your mobile device.
Tap the QR code in the Search bar at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
Tap the My code tab to find your QR code.
Then, save the image to your phone for future use.
How To Create A QR Code For A YouTube Video
YouTube doesn’t have this feature built in (at this time), so I would recommend following the steps above for creating a Pincode for a Pinterest board.
- Upload a snippet of the video as a video pin and then link it to the full video on YouTube.
- Add as many videos to your Pinterest board as you like.
- Get the QR code for the board using the steps outlined above.
Voila! Easy QR code for YouTube videos too.
What About Facebook And Twitter?
Facebook and Twitter used to have built-in features for QR codes (I know, because I’ve used them before!) But at this time (December 2022) it seems they’ve both discontinued that option.
There are third-party tools that will help you generate a QR code for any page on the internet, including your Facebook or Twitter feeds. Just make sure you vet any tool before using it to make sure it’s legit and isn’t invading anyone’s privacy when you use it.
Now It’s Your Turn!
How will you use these ideas to promote your business? Let us know in the comments below!
Did we miss one? Let us know and we’ll add it!