My name's Zé Pequeno, Bullshitter Extraordinaire.
January 25, 2010 8:25 PM   Subscribe

I arrived in Hong Kong last week having just finished my Masters in International Business. I'm looking to either start my own export brokerage company between China and Latin America or work for a while in a company that already does this in order to get some experience. I meet interesting people every day but don't have a card to give to them. If I did have a business card, what would I put on it?

I'm going to get some cards designed and printed this week but I don't want to look like a charlaton. I don't have a company registered yet so I'm not a company director and, other than the work I do freelancing as a translator and editor, neither do I have a job title.

What can I put on my business card to make me look respectable and trustworthy and not like some kind of international bullshitter?

As a secondary question (if that is even allowed), what is the best software to use for designing a card? Adobe Illustrator?

posted by Zé Pequeno to Work & Money (4 answers total)
Put your name, phone number, e-mail address, and business address on your card. That's enough for people to contact you if they want to.

In terms of pretending to be a business, websites are much more important than business cards. Having a business card --- or really, a calling card --- without a business name shows a certain amount of confidence and class.
posted by alms at 8:39 PM on January 25, 2010

Business cards are very important in HK. It's not Japan important, but still important. Get someone to translate your name to Chinese so you can put this on the card. Chinese on one side and English on the other side.

Straight alliteration for the name is alright. (i.e. Obama is O-Bah-Ma; three characters, with the last one (Ma) the character for horse)

The best way to not appear to be a bullshitter would be to get a name for your company that you're going to form and then have it in your head that it's a company. And then form it. Wouldn't you want this...

Ze Pequeno Enterprises
p: (+852) 3333-4444
Ze Pequeno

on your card?

I had business cards made there that I created in the poor man's photoshop, GIMP, so whatever program you use is fine. Make sure it's 300 DPI or vector based. Adobe Illustrator is great. There's a ton of little shops that will be able to handle what you throw at them, mainly because they're staffed not by slack jawed teenagers but the actual business owners.

Oh, and I liked Hong Kong. :) Make money; have fun; don't miss out on the hiking.
posted by sleslie at 9:35 PM on January 25, 2010

You can always change it later, but why not just put your name and contact info? I've seen some that are simply a name and email address. Could make you seem intriguing and mysterious and important.
posted by zardoz at 12:05 AM on January 26, 2010

There's nothing wrong with a simple 'personal card' that includes your personal details and references to proper online social media (email, website, LinkedIn). If it looks more personal than business I think you'd be less likely to look foolish. I often meet people I'd like to have further contact with (but not as a representative of my company), and a personal card is very convenient. You can always mention that you're new in town and haven't completed setting up your business affairs or found employment yet. Think of it as a modern calling card...
posted by joelr at 4:46 AM on January 26, 2010

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