Your New Electronic Business Card
Writers thrive on communications. We write to our known and unknown readers. Through our writings, we further engage with ourselves. We write to find out what we think and feel. Communication is the lifeblood of our personal growth. We survive as writers by communicating. It’s not only what we write. The writings and responses we receive from others fortifies our sense of reality. That’s why we communicate on Medium, Facebook, LinkedIn, through emails and a host of other avenues. No one is an island and nobody wants to live in isolation. We are social creatures–thriving on human relationships and understanding.
Part of following other writers, (and our hope that some may follow us,) requires that we share our communication pathways with others. In the old days, we shared printed business cards. Now, we place “signatures” at the end of our emails to help others connect with us. These signatures often provide links and email addresses. We also share links to our other social media connections.
It would be convenient if all of our avenues of connection could be stored in one location. Then, there would only be one place to maintain the list of connectivity links we share. Centralizing this information keeps it simple and saves a lot of time.
Linktree helps us achieve these communication goals. It tries to “connect audiences to all of our content with just one link.” Here is how it is accomplished.
Linktree, at https://linktr.ee, lets you create an unlimited list of links through which others may contact you. You can include your email, websites, social media profiles, and even a phone number. Maintaining only one link to your communication avenues makes it easier for you and those who seek to correspond with you. You might not want to include every avenue of contact. Your information might only include your email, social media posts or your web page.
There are two tiers of using this handy online tool: “Free” and “Pro” for $6/month (or $72/year). To show you an example for how Linktree works, here is my Linktree profile card.
As you can see, I’ve used a photo of myself from my hard drive and placed it at the top. Alternatively, you may wish to put a company logo or anything you choose. My username is my first initial and last name. Then, below that, I can include as many links as I need. In this case, I include the following connections:
- My website address (FlyByNight.us)
- My Medium Profile Page (since I frequently post articles on Medium)
- A recent Medium post.
- My contact links is a webpage I’ve created on my own website, using Linktree’s idea
- My phone number
You can add and remove links to your list whenever you wish. Providing a list of connectivity choices allows your friends and readers to contact you through whatever social media you may use. This online tool is a convenient way to maintain your contact links.
You setup your links in the “Links” area of your Linktree account. The left side of your panel (below Add New Link) lets you provide a name for the link and, below that, the actual link. The preview appears to the right. This is what the user will see. The link you share with others appears at the top right (see green arrow in this screen image). On the resulting screen, Linktree hides the actual addresses, preventing the internet spammer bots from scooping up email and other addresses for their spam campaigns.
Other Social Media Links
Links to my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profile pages appear across the bottom of the screen. There is also a live link to my email. I expected that I would need the “Pro” level to post these types of links but that was not necessary. By going to the Settings tab, multiple media links are available. Once selected, they appear below the link buttons on the Linktree screen. Linktree inserts the appropriate company logos with the chosen media addresses.
The Workaround For Displaying Your Phone
Linktree is not set up to display phone numbers. That’s because most of our communication avenues have moved to electronic media. But here is a workaround. You can include a phone number by tricking it into showing a desired phone number as I did (see the gold arrows).
On the button’s title line, type in the word “Phone” — with your desired phone number.
On the second line (beneath it), type in your “My Linktree” address.” You’ll see this displayed in the upper right of your control panel. It is a link to this same page. When a viewer clicks on it, it takes them to where they already are so nothing really happens if they select it. Putting your phone number in the title of the button, at least, provides your telephone if you choose to post it.
Your Decision on Content
This tactic is a workaround to display a phone number. If you want to display a phone number, use this method. If you do not need your phone number showing, skip this workaround.
We are no longer giving out printed business cards. What other content used to appear on printed business cards? Our name, company name and our position in the firm. Telephone and FAX numbers. There might even be the company address.
In the latter part of this article is an explanation of how to set up a web page where you can include any further information.
How You Use Your Linktree
My Linktree address is https://linktr.ee/psiddons. You are going to use your Linktree address to direct others to your contact links.
Use your Linktree in your email signature
In your email client, you can create a “signature” with your name and Linktree address. In this Outlook E-mail signature, my name appears and below it are the words “My Communication Links.” Embedded in this second line is the address of my Linktree page.” ¹
¹ To embed the link in your Linktree address in the words “My Communication Links,” open Microsoft Word and type the words you want. | Next, highlight those words and click on Insert (in the menu bar above) and from the Insert ribbon, click on Link. | At the bottom of that dialogue box, type in or paste in your Linktree address. | Lastly, copy and paste the text (and its’ embedded URL) into the place where you are creating your email signature.
Email signatures can be automatically or manually placed at the bottom of any email. This enables readers to use my Linktree links to contact me. This signature informs my recipients of all my avenues of communication.
Share Your Linktree in Any Media Post
You can provide this handy list of personal links through any social media post. The Linktree address can be used for Blogger, Facebook, LinkedIn and in any publication.
Provide a QR Code
Linktree also gives you a QR code. Click on the Share button (in the top right) and choose “Download My Linktree QR Code.” Your readers can scan the code from a web page which takes them to your contact list. (CodeScanner is one of many free quality bar code readers for your smartphone.)
Use Your Linktree In Your Medium and All Other Social Media Profiles
There it is. With our one Linktree address, you can communicate all your important media links.
The free version of Linktree includes:
- Unlimited links on your Linktree
- The count of the total number of times your links have been viewed
- Lifetime view counts on your Linktree
- A wider selection of Linktree themes
- Amazon Influencer Program Integration
So Linktree is an excellent product. You could use the free version of the software. It will meet most of your needs.
The “Pro” Version of Linktree includes everything in Free version plus these items:
- Priority support
- Advanced customization
- Premium themes
- Custom buttons and font styles
- Background images
- Advanced analytics
- Click-through-rate, location data and more
- Video, SMS, email and Priority Links
- Integrations with Mailchimp, Facebook, Youtube, Twitch and more
- Complete customization of your Linktree colors, button styles and fonts
- Top Countries — See which countries where your visitors live
- Top Referrers — See the referrals that linked your visitors to you.
- Download your analytics data in a CSV file
- Video Links — Embed Youtube videos in your Linktree with Video Links
- SMS Signup — Capture your visitors’ mobile numbers for SMS marketing
- Custom T&C’s for Email Signup (And SMS Signup)
- New fonts
Practical Uses of Linktree
Linktree is an excellent service that will help you consolidate all of your social media links and publishing information. Linktree sets up a web page for you to easily place links to any part of your communication preferences. This website makes it easy to list and configure how your communication links appear. This is what internet innovation is all about. Linktree is a brilliant product. But what if you already have a website?
An Alternative To Linktree
There is no limit to the type or quantity of information you include on a web page. You can set up a web page of your own with your own personal links if you have the following resources:
- A website (see Web.com or Godaddy.com)
- Dreamweaver or a similar website creation software
- Photoshop or another photo editing software
Here is my own version of my linked information:
In my website version, I put a background image from Digital Blasphemy 3D Wallpaper. To include photos and graphics in Linktree, one would have to subscribe to “Pro” level. Since I have my own website, I was able to put multiple pictures on the page and any kind of preferred links or media. This page displays on a smartphone as well as on a computer screen.
To start, I put a two column table on the webpage. In the left column, I provide descriptions of the links. In the right column are the links but I hide the URLs using the free hide-the-email tool (see below). I was able to put a company logo in one of the cells of the columns as well as another photo in the upper part of the page.
Safely Hiding Emails and Other Links
In putting my email and webpage addresses on the webpage, I use the free hidetheemail.com tool. I believe the makers of Linktree have a feature like this in their product. Their website addresses do not show but only display the address titles.
For your own webpage, hidetheemail.com disguises your email address, web page addresses or phone numbers. The words appear to your website visitor but the code prevents spam bots from scooping up visible address information. Spammers use programs called web crawlers or spiders to gather information they want to collect. This is why we get so many spam emails and phone calls because our information appears on websites. Using this simple technique reduces the chance of spammers finding your email address and other information.
When you compare all that is required for a website of your own, the Linktree subscription is less expensive and saves a lot of time. This free central management link for all your social media connections is outstanding.
So get yourself a free Linktree account. Start your one-stop communication hub to promote your publishing links. If you have the wherewithal to make a web page yourself, go for it. But as long as Linktree has their free account, you can’t go wrong. It’s a highly useful product for keeping your readers connected. Having an electronic business card is liberating and convenient.