Thursday, January 19, 2012

QR Codes ~ what they are and why you may need one

Marketing is vital to birth professionals of all kinds, whether you are a doula, childbirth educator, lactation consultant, massage therapist - no matter what you do!  But marketing today is different than it was just five years ago.

When you hand out print materials (business cards, informational postcards or flyers - even posters), you want to entice the reader to visit your website or blog.  You want them to learn more about your philosophy, services and how to reach you.  The newest form of marketing to include on cards, postcards and flyers is called a QR Code.

A QR Code is a Quick Response Code or two dimensional code first introduced in Japan (Toyota). The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background.   Previously used to track auto parts, these Codes are now used in magazines, signs or city buses to drive visitors to URLs or Uniform Resource Locators, commonly called web addresses.

Now, if a person has a smart phone, they can download a QR Code Reader app and have access to the information encoded in the QR Code.

At this point, you may feel overwhelmed.  But if you can type in a web address and click your mouse, you are just a few moments away from creating your own QR Code!  And once you create it, you can put it on t-shirts, hats, bags and yes, even chocolates!

First, decide the URL that you are going to make into a QR Code.  Second, go to to make your Code.  Input the URL in the space provided.  Then you can either have it emailed to you OR you can right mouse click and open the image in any program that will transfer the image to a JPG or photo image (named after the group who created it: Joint Photographic Experts Group), such as the program Paint which is available on most PCs.  A JPG is nearly a universal photo image for use on computers, websites, etc.

Then, once you have saved your QR Code as a JPG, you are ready to insert it as a photo image on a variety of marketing items...want to give away chocolates with your Code on them?  Go to!  Need them on stickers or decals? Go to How about a skin for your laptop, so the next time you are working at Starbucks, you can still be marketing?  Go to  And for business cards/postcards: and for shirts and other imprinting

I hope this has helped you with marketing your business.  Questions?  Email me at!

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